By Swami Satrupananda
You can find everything you ever wanted by looking inside. That’s a bold statement. It’s true because the source of everything is inside of you. Another even bolder statement. The yogic sages of India have been saying this for thousands of years.
In searching for a complete understanding of the universe, Stephen Hawking turned to look within. At age 21, he was diagnosed with ALS and given two years to live. He lived another 55 years and made significant contributions to theoretical physics and cosmology.
Hawking said, “Although I cannot move and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind I am free. I have spent my life travelling across the universe, inside my mind.” He explored the universe inside his mind. He didn’t travel across the universe to measure, feel and see blackholes on the outside. He explored them within himself. That’s where knowledge comes from, the inside.
I had a tangible experience of this in meditation. I was settled deep inside. Then an insight arose, answering one of the unanswered questions in my dissertation. After my meditation session, I contemplated this, surprised that this insight had come. I had not been thinking about my graduate research for over eight years. Yet here was new knowledge. And in that moment, I realized that all knowledge, all answers, come from within. The yogic sages say all knowledge can be found within.
The source of knowledge is within. The source of everything is within you. When I first heard this teaching, my scientific mind struggled: “How can the universe be within me; it is so large?” Yet the scientists now describe that the whole universe banged from a single point called a singularity. This point contained the mass of the whole universe in a space that is 0” by 0” by 0”. In these conditions, space and time don’t function like we are used to. Scientist don’t yet have the math or tools to understand this. But yogis do.
The yogic sages describe how the universe came from a singularity — called “bindu” in Sanskrit. In explaining the teachings from the sages, Gurudevi says:
In meditation, you see the bindu inside… You find it inside because the source of the universe is also the source of your own being.
The bindu within you is the source of the universe. This bindu is the source of your own being. That same bindu is in me and everyone else. There is only one source here, which you find by looking within. You don’t have to go searching in blackholes or far away galaxies. You find the source of everything inside. Everything is inside.
Though everything is inside, you don’t yet have access to it. Your mind keeps you distracted by turning your attention outward. With your attention turned outward, you see the world as separate from you. You feel incomplete and empty. This drives you to go searching for something to fill you up. You go looking for more external distractions.
There’s nothing wrong with the external world. The only problem is that you allow yourself to be distracted by it. In a Shaktipat tradition, the distractions melt away with time and practice. The more you do the yoga practices, the more you experience of your own Self. The more you discover of your own Self, the less external things distract you.
I had a tangible experience of this process a few years ago. I was having a difficult day. My mind was keeping me very distracted by external things. I felt incomplete on the inside. Driving home, I decided I was going to remedy my challenging day with a delicious meal. When I got home, I made mac and cheese, adding extra cheese for good measure. I took the first bite and was so disappointed. While the meal was delicious, I knew the food would not fulfill me. I knew that only knowing my own Self would address my feeling of incompleteness. And since that moment, food never distracted me like it used to.
And that’s why this blog began with my bold statement that everything you ever wanted is inside. The mac and cheese that I wanted was not about the food. It was about changing how I felt on the inside. With everything you’ve ever wanted, the reason you wanted it was in order to feel different — on the inside. You’ll only feel complete and full on the inside when you know who you truly are. Do more yoga. Then you’ll get everything you ever truly wanted — your own Self.