Soul Searching

After a month of hectic travels across the UK, it’s time to change gears. As I catch my breath in London for a week, I simultaneously prepare for a flight to India this coming Tuesday. My destination is the remote village of Vrindavana, the holy place where Krishna spent His childhood years. Located 130 km south of Delhi, it’s a mystical place which is full of inspiration and insight. They say that nobody returns from Vrindavana the same person, and that’s exactly why I’m going there. Though we act as spiritual doctors, we are undoubtedly patients as well. People accept us as teachers of wisdom, yet we remain humble students. After a month of sharing spirituality with others, now comes an opportunity to do some soul-searching and reflect on whether I’m walking the talk.

These trips are not just a physical journey to a special place but also an inner journey towards transcendence. The great saints of Vrindavana exemplify the pinnacle of spiritual consciousness. Complete absorption in the spiritual reality rendered them indifferent to the external world. Their living quarters were not formal brick or wooden structures, but temporary arrangements like the hollow of a tree, a clearing under a thorny thicket, or an underground cave. In these austere and solitary settings, the great saints would settle into spiritual trance and have their conversations with God, continuing for hours on end. Their spirituality wasn’t a casual activity. It wasn’t a ritual. It wasn’t simply a discipline – rather, it was full of emotion and feeling. It was from the core of the heart.

I doubt that I could isolate myself and go that deep, and neither is it recommended to try. But hearing of such remarkable personalities nevertheless inspires me to intensify my spiritual endeavors. I’m trying to break free of my mechanical and ritualistic approach. I’m trying to rediscover the freshness, enthusiasm and simplicity that I once had. I’m searching for that childlike innocence that is so beautiful. I’m going back to basics. The core spiritual practices and teachings I was introduced to at the onset of my spiritual journey remain the bridge to the eternal reality; they are not to be taken lightly. I’ll attempt to go a little deeper, and hopefully I’ll become a little closer to Krishna. I’m approaching Vrindavana in the mood of a beggar: spiritually impoverished but confident that I’ll find some sacred treasures along the way.

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