By K Gitanjali
Can’t take off on a vacation? Try staying at home. You will be surprised at the outcome as the author discovered
Recently, I was thinking about the Karthik Poornima celebrations held in the temple of Arunachala every year. It has long been my desire to go to Arunachala temple in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. So far, it has not happened. It has now been relegated to ‘shall do in the future list,’ along with a long desired trip to Chidambaram, Badrinath, and Parangipettai (the birthplace of Babaji). I have for the present, shelved any plans of visiting these places.
Life has to go on. The family needs to be catered to, food has to be put on the table and served, the plants need to be watered, the dog has to be fed – this is the famous grind of life, the sages keep talking about – the treadmill that goes on and on. Where is the time to go on a vacation or a pilgrimage? Even if I have the time, my school holidays do not coincide with my son’s holidays. If they do as in the case of the Christmas break, my spouse cannot take leave at that time. So home seems to be the only vacation spot.
This was at first very difficult for me to digest, and I yearned to visit all the places I have mentioned above. However, this Karthik Poornima, which also happens to be the birthday of my guru Mahavatar Babaji, I had a revelation.
Aruna means light and achala means steady. The idea behind going to see Arunachala is trying to keep your own inner light steady. Suppose that the pilgrimage I was hankering after was only an outward manifestation of an inner state. Why do I need to stir outside my home in search of ways to steady the light of my soul when all I need is to turn inward? When I did an about turn and turned my focus inward, I found that I needed to do nothing. The world rolled itself out at my feet. Life became all about keeping my calm, holding my peace, keeping the light steady in the world.
I suddenly remembered what Krishna spoke of in the Gita when he said that one’s light should be steady and protected from the winds of the world.Isn’t that the greatest challenge? Remaining in this world, at this point of time, doing all you need to do with perfect involvement, yet remaining calm and unaffected, even when the storms of life blow all around you. In fact, it is about diving into the light that we are, to find comfort and solace, especially when a storm is raging outside. Sometimes home can be the best vacation spot, especially when you carry Arunachala, the steady light, in your heart!
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