Chapter 8: Where is the Soul?
(Addressed to Roger, an Italian visitor)
SWAMIJI: Where have you kept the soul? Is it in your bag, or where have you kept it? Many people keep the soul somewhere, and then search for it elsewhere. They lose it elsewhere. By mistake, they keep it somewhere; in the railway station, or bank, or office, or somewhere they keep it. Then afterwards, they cannot know where it has gone. So, they are searching for it in Sivananda Ashram, but they can't find it so easily like that.
There was an old lady who could not see properly. She was almost blind. She was living in a small house without light, in a village with no electricity. She was poor and was living by sewing cloth with a needle. That was her profession. One day she lost that needle. It fell inside somewhere, and because it was dark, she could not see, as the eyes also were not good. She went outside into the bright sun, and started searching for the needle. Some people who came that way asked her what she was searching. She said that she was searching for the needle that she dropped somewhere. "Where did you drop it?" they asked.
"I dropped it inside," she said.
"But why are you searching for it outside, in the sun?"
"Because inside there is no light. Outside there is light, so I am searching for it here," she answered.
This is the story of the soul. It is lost somewhere, but the searching is elsewhere. Where do we search? We look for it in enjoyments of life: in living a comfortable existence; in trying to lengthen our physical life; in making more and more money; in increasing name, fame, authority, and power; in becoming king, minister, dictator, Duce, and all that. This is the way we try to find the soul, but we have lost it somewhere else. It is not sitting in the Duce, and all that. A Duce has no soul; he is like anybody else. You know what is Duce? But people want to become a Duce because they think the soul is there.
This whole world of perception is the light of the sun, and we are searching for the soul by moving from place to place, here and there, like the old lady who searched for the needle in the light of the sun; but the needle is inside, in the dark corner of one's own heart. This is the story of the soul. What do you say?
But, we are not finding it in the dark corner. It is dark; there is no light inside. In the heart, there is no light. The light is outside in the sense world. We have got electric light, sunlight, moonlight and starlight. So, why not enjoy the light that is already there, and search for the soul outside? Thus, you go everywhere, travel the whole world twenty times, and try to find the soul, like the lady searching for the needle outside, but it is in the dark corner of the heart. You can meditate on the soul.