Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji was a master teacher.  Driving a point home with an interesting story or an unforgettable example was one of his great teaching skills. The following is one such:

A rich Sethji was travelling by train when another passenger ( a thief) boarded the same compartment. The Sethji pulled out a thick wad of notes and started counting the money in front of him and then kept it away. The thief delightedly looked forward to the night as he went to the restroom to change into his sleeping suit. Sethji took that opportunity to hide his cash. Sethji snored happily after a big meal. The thief then searched inside out Sethji’s baggage and belongings but could get no trace of the money. Next morning when the thief returned from the restroom after his morning routine Sethji was again counting his money. Too curious to know, the thief frankly disclosed his identity and failed endeavour and asked Sethji to disclose his secret hiding place. Sethji smiled and said “Oh, just under your pillow. You wouldn’t search yourself.”

Then came the teaching, we look for the Lord  outside but never take a U turn and peep within . That is where He resides, hidden in every plant , animal and human. We keep seeking happiness in objects, relationships and situations, but can never find it ,as it is not where we search but within us . We are searching in the wrong place . Raman Maharshi says the same thing, “ Happiness is your nature, it is not wrong to seek it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.”

The Indian masters teach the art of ‘unconditional happiness’, which nothing and no one can take away from you.The Lord, like Sethji has tucked it inside you yourself. Search in the right place.

Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission New Delhi, can contacted at


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