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October 7, 2017

Ekaanth: Power of Isolation

Since time immemorial people have often feared isolation. Nobody likes being isolated and, therefore, seek the constant company of people. We compare Isolation to loneliness – a lack of feeling that something is missing, a pain, a depression, a need, an incompleteness, an absence. They relate isolation to pitch darkness – a state of disconcerting.

Given this, it’s hard to believe for many that Isolation can also be strength – an idea of presence, fullness, aliveness, the joy of being, overflowing through the realization of the truth that you are complete in yourself and that nobody is needed to complete you, and that for you-you yourself are enough.

Krishna, in Bhagavad-Gita, professes Isolation as an essential characteristic of wise who continuously seek supreme wisdom. Such seekers of wisdom constantly live in solace and are detached from the general mass of people. They see social isolation not as a threat but as an opportunity for it provides them with a chance to analyze, contemplate and meditate for better solutions for the greater good.

What people often forget is that even people can make them lonely. Therefore, various Vedic scriptures suggest, one should learn to establish the friendship with one’s self through Ekaanth and then there’s no way for himself to feel lonely.

Krishna also suggests that through Ekaant (Isolation) “An individual can elevate oneself by ones’ mind. The mind is the friend of the wise, and enemy of unwise.” And “For him who has conquered his mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy.”

The mind is significant; it shapes not just the life of individuals but also of the society around it and, at times, even the world. Leaders who seek to conquer the world without conquering their mind often end up becoming despots and, eventually, cause their destruction. History can testify to this fact.

Bhagavad-Gita puts this in much better perspective “An individual with untamed mind while seeking his object of desire, develops an attachment to the sense object. From this attachment greed is born; from greed comes anger. From anger comes delusion, from delusion, comes bewilderment of memory. Bewilderment of memory affects decision making and through unwise decision comes certain destruction.”  However, “he who has controlled his senses and mind, being free of attachments and desire as well as aversion attains wisdom and attains a state of perpetual bliss.”

Ekaanth – or isolation – is a power which enables us to see how steady is our mind. A mind is not stable if it is agitated with itself if it feels lonely and longs for company. Extreme desire for social acceptance is among the various social problems of our society. People, who are perturbed when they don’t get adequate appreciation from people or publicity are verily the ones with an unstable mind. For these unsteady mind the only way to live is to seek a way to find social acceptance – appreciation from their loved ones, citations from their superiors, testimonies from their peers, publicity in the media and awards from the organizations. It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that these people are often troubled. And when they assume position of power the situation can be even more troubling.

By being with ourselves in isolation we find through contemplation and meditation we find that which is quintessential for our progress – peace. If you’ve trouble with isolation, it’s obvious that you have a problem with yourself. Somewhere, deep within you’re not at peace and, worse, maybe even at war with yourself.

Therefore, if you seek to work to make the world a better place; you’ve to be peaceful within. It’s only with the light from our inner self that we can enlighten the world.

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