There is an often-told joke in North India.
Night has fallen, and on a busy and noisy road, a person is frantically searching for something, beneath a street light. A passer-by enquires as to what is lost, and is informed that a priceless jewel is not traceable. He joins the search, but the object cannot be found.
Soon, others join the search, but still no sign of the jewel. “Show us the exact spot where the jewel was lost,” they ask. The person says that it was lost in my house. “Then why are you searching here,” they ask again. “Because my house is dark, so I am searching where there is light!”
The joke stops here, but the story does not. This is an incident from the life of the great Sufi Rabiya. As the crowd laughed at her answer, she wants to know when all are so wise, why do they repeat this mistake every day?
When you know that there is darkness inside, why not find some light to aid your search for your own self?
All we see inside is darkness. When we close our eyes, we see nothing. When we fall asleep, we only see dreams related to our fears and our desires.
And the attendant noise caused by our anger, jealousy, and selfishness.
Because our eyes see only the physical world, and our ears hear only worldly notes, we try finding our eternal selves in the ephemeral and short-lived heat and dust outside.
Rabiya asks us to instead find a teacher, who will help us bring light to our insides, which is the right place to find our essential being.
The Guru Granth Sahib guides us so:
Within the home of your own self, why not seek the Love of your Lord?
He is so very near; why do you search for Him outside?