Fruit from the Garden of Wisdom
by Swami Krishnananda


Chapter 13: Where is the Soul?

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, and all that. This is the way we try to find the soul, but we have lost it somewhere else.

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.

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 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.