There was an old woman who lived in a humble hut in some small hamlet of India. She was a Sufi saint, loved all the people who lived in that village, so she was dear to all. One morning some people who were passing by saw her slowly walking outside her cottage ,intensely searching for something. When they were returning home at mid afternoon they found her still searching, half bent to the ground. They took pity on the old woman and asked her what she was looking for. The old woman said that she was searching for a needle that she had dropped somewhere. The group of people also started looking for the needle to help her. They all had good eyesight but could not find the needle. So one of them asked her , “can you please tell us where exactly did you drop it?” She promptly replied that she had dropped it inside the cottage. The people could not believe the madness. They were angry and told her that not only has she wasted her time but wasted their time as well. Why is she searching outside if the needle is inside the cottage? The old lady then replied, “look , I am searching in the wrong place only today, but you all search in the wrong place everyday!” Then she told them that each one looks for happiness somewhere other than it is. It is inside you, and you are always looking for it in the objects of the world outside. Isn’t that madness.? All saints have time and again explained what this simple Sufi saint explained by acting out a practical demonstration of this valuable teaching. Kabir, Nanak, Raman Maharishi, Vivekananda, Swami Chinmayananda all have taught the same.
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi. Email: