Sometimes, I find it hard to keep reading Om Swami’s books, because I get blown away at the very first page; it is impossible to go any further. This happened to me while reading his book ‘A Million Thoughts.” On the very first page, I came across this statement:
“The soul wants to go back to its source.”
This is completely true for my own life journey— perhaps for the journey of many lifetimes. At a subconscious level, I am always trying to find my way back to the source of my deepest happiness. For me, like for many others, the source, at least in this lifetime, lies in my earliest childhood memories.
While growing up, I lived in a beautiful house in Lucknow with my loving parents and my elder brother. Our house was always filled with uncles and aunts who would shower me with love and affection. We had a nice lawn around the house and there was a big chabootra, or patio, at the back.The Lucknow zoo was nearby, and we could hear animal sounds throughout the day.
Later, we moved to New Delhi, and lived in a rather similar bungalow there. Life was beautiful, surrounded by all the comforts that a good life has to offer. All this came to an abrupt end, when my father passed away while I was still a teenager. We moved to my uncle’s flat in Lucknow. A year later my brother passed away, and the good life, as we knew it, was shattered into pieces.
Fast forward to the present moment. I now live in Canada with my wife, in a small but comfortable house. It is a corner plot, and we have a spacious lawn. We have a stone patio in our backyard, very similar to a chabootra. We are at the edge of the city, with a forest just a couple of hundred yards from our home. The forest teems with wildlife, and we get occasional visits from raccoons and skunks. A coyote also roams the area, though we never really get to see him.
We did not build this house. We just chose it from what was available in the market, but, somehow, my childhood home was re-created. It is amazing how the universe conspires in our favour, when the soul truly wants to go back to its source.
My wife has different childhood memories. Her happiest moments centred around a beautifully maintained government flat in Shah Jahan Road in New Delhi. She brings the same sense of perfection to our home in Canada, taking great pleasure in keeping it spotless and clean at all times. New Delhi is, of course, India’s capital city. Now we live in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. The universe does, indeed, work in mysterious ways to perform its wonders.
The journey from early childhood to the present moment has not been an easy one for me and I am sure there are still many struggles ahead. I had to get an education, make a career and get married. There have been ups and downs, moments of great pleasure and times of great sadness, like in everyone’s life. We had kids, they had their kids, but at every moment in time, this soul has been searching for the roots of its happiness.
There is a beautiful Sufi composition called Nawai Neh (The Song of the Reed), sung by Tina Sani. Those who are interested will find this song on the internet.
Here is my interpretation of some of the words:
‘Listen to my song of separation.
I was painfully cut from the forest and fashioned into a flute.
I am always aware of my roots, any song I sing can only express this feeling
Any being that is separated from its root can only sing the song of re-union
This is my song, this is the song of life itself’
We humans are singing this song of re-union in so many ways. We sing this song when we seek happiness in physical relationships. We sing it when we express ourselves in a blog. Sometimes, we seek the source of happiness in a bottle of wine, sometimes we seek it in our relentless pursuit of money. Sometimes, we look for happiness in a shopping spree. All of these pursuits, however, are just a reflection of the real thing.
Nothing can resist the divine pull towards the source. Even the planets are pulled towards the sun; their essence is seeking re-union with the being that created them. It is only their rapid motion in their orbit that keeps them separated from the sun.
It is the same with human beings. As long as we are in motion, running from one pursuit to another, we are at a distance from the source. The moment we are still, the soul is drawn inwards towards its centre. Maybe, this is why Om Swami ji emphasizes absolute stillness of the body during meditation.
As my body ages, my soul will keep trying to go back to its source. It will, eventually, succeed in its quest. If I get very, very lucky it will be a one way trip as I have no great desire to obtain a return ticket.