Since time immemorial people have often feared isolation. Nobody likes being isolated and, therefore, seeks constant company of people. Isolation is often compared 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 disconcertment.
Given this, it’s hard for many to believe that isolation can also be strength – an idea of presence, fullness, aliveness, joy of being, over flowing 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 indispensable characteristic of wise who constantly seek supreme wisdom. Such seekers of wisdom constantly live in solace and are detached from general mass of people. They see social isolation not as a threat but as an opportunity for it provides them with an opportunity to analyse, contemplate and meditate for better solutions for greater good.
What people often forget is that even people can make them lonely. Therefore, various Vedic scriptures suggests, one should learn to establish friendship with one’s own 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’ own 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.”
Mind is a significant. It shapes not just the life of individuals but also of the society around him and, at times, even the world. This is truer with leaders. Leaders who seek to conquer the world without conquering their mind often end up becoming despots and, eventually, cause their own 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 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 steady 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 unsteady 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 souls. 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, that which is quintessential for our progress – peace. If you’ve trouble with isolation, it’s obvious that you’ve a trouble with yourself. Somewhere, deep within you’re not at peace and, worse, may be 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.