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On taking an inward journey

These days some people do wonder, though late in life, what is human life really all about. "Who am I essentially?" is a deep existential question to which some tend to seek an answer. Often, it leads to a journey of personal self-discovery to uncover inner source of existence that leads to a life filled with joy, love, peace and self-empowerment, as Salem puts it.

According to Vedic scriptures, inward journey is that of attaining spiritual self-awareness and exclusively a personal quest for a higher meaning to human life. It has been held by Indian sages that as one grows in wisdom, he or she goes inside to work at discovering who one really is. In other words, it is a quest for the source of one's being or existence.

According to Tsamsiyu, for embarking on an inward journey, one has to forget any and all references to the outside world, and only discuss how it relates to the journey of one’s soul from Ignorance to Enlightenment. Viewing, inward journey a long and tedious journey, Dag Hammarskjold says, “The longest journey is the journey inwards. Of him who has chosen his destiny, who has started upon his quest for the source of his being.” Similarly, for Howard Thurman, inward journey is self-discovering the deepest needs and aspirations of the human spirit in a quest for meaning, understanding and fulfillment of life.

Though the end of life is death but humans philosophize about birth, life and death. As Hammarskjold puts it, “Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.” And, this road is of inward journey. “There is great meaning in life for those who are willing to journey,” says Jim England. Thus, Inward Journey is devoted to advancing spiritual awareness of one’s existence and exploring one’s relationship of service to external world.

According to Osho, the inward journey to our self or source of existence seems difficult since humans are no simpler and their complexity creates all kinds of problems. Buddhism propounds its noble eight-fold path for inward journey, namely, right view; right intention; right speech; right action; right livelihood; right effort; right mindfulness; and right Samadhi. This journey avoids seeking for a solution to life’s problems in externals, in the pleasures and pains of the body, but instead aims at turning inwards for the peace of the mind.

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Lalit Kishore

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Rajasthan ,  INDIA

I originally hail from Kurukshertra, now settled in Jaipur, and have taught physics in KV-2, Ambala; Mayo College, Ajmer; Sports School, Rai.

After working with KVS, Krishnamurti Foundation, Lok Jumbish, Bodh, CULP, UNESCO and UNICEF, these days I am doing freelancing.

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