Some time ago I had a counseling session with a woman who had come to India because she was searching for something. That is at least what she answered to the question how she had had the idea to travel. What she was searching for? Herself, inner peace, spirituality and everything that goes along with all these things. And where is the place where most people would search for that? India, the country of spirituality, of yogis, philosophers, saints and sadhus. She asked me if I thought she would find what she was looking for.
Well, that is a question that is not as easily answered, partly because it depends very much on the individual situation. There are a few aspects however that are true for everybody.
The very first one is that you should inform yourself about India before going there. Don’t come to this country with the illusion of a perfect country, where everyone does yoga every day, where nobody acts in any other way than out of love and where everyone is in peace with himself and the world. If you believe this – and I know that this is a common misconception especially among people who are deeply involved in the ‘spiritual scene’ – you will be disappointed. India is a very religious country, yes, and many people, rich and poor, act with much love. It is however just a normal country and not the seventh heaven! Read some books or newspaper articles, watch a documentary or two, there are a lot of issues in this society that could disturb any piece of peace that you may have found until that point.
The next question that I think you need to ask yourself is where exactly you are looking for your inner peace. Where are you searching for spirituality and where do you think you can find yourself? Are you going to a guru, a master or any religious leader and want this person to tell you who you are? If this is the case, I tell you that you won’t be very successful. On the contrary, you will run the risk of ending up in a manipulating sect or a brainwashing religion.
I believe the only way that you can find anything that could satisfy your need, your wish and this gap that you want to fill, is if you don’t go searching in the outside. You need to look inside yourself for finding your inner peace. You will not find yourself only by going to India, you will find yourself inside yourself.
This does not mean that I discourage everyone from travelling to India and I also don’t believe that nobody can find himself here and everyone should stay at home. No, on the contrary, I think it can be very helpful to take a time out from your daily routine at home and instead relax and concentrate on yourself, listen to your inner voice and find out who you are yourself. Do some yoga and take a retreat. Cleansing and detoxifying your body with Ayurveda helps to clean out first physically and through the relaxation mentally and emotionally, too. This all can help you to find yourself. You will have some distance and see things from another point of view.
So please come to India, travel, relax and enjoy. But take time for yourself and focus on your inside. This is in my opinion the best and maybe even the only way to find any of these things you are looking for!