The Lost Watch

A man was frantically searching for something in a dark room. He was weeping and shouting. He was making a mess of the things kept in the room. He broke some and tumbled on others. Yet, what he was searching for, he could not get. A friend came to the threshold and asked for the reason of the man’s misery. He replied: “O my friend, I have lost my wrist watch. It is gone.”

The friend said: “How can it go away from here? But, what a fool you are to search for it in the darkness! I have brought the light. Now, calm yourself. Think deeply and try to remember where it ought to be. You will soon discover it.”

The man did so, and got the wrist watch. The friend explained: “The watch was not lost, nor have you gained it now. It was there all the time. But due to the darkness that prevailed in the room and the fact that you were searching for it where it was not, you did not get it. You were ignorant of its whereabouts. Now that ignorance is removed, you think you have got it. It was ever yours and was never lost.”

Similarly, within the deepest recesses of man’s heart is the Self, full of bliss and peace. But blinded by the darkness of ignorance, man is unable to see it and experience the bliss and the peace. Searching for happiness and peace, he wanders about among the objects of this world, makes a mess of himself and the things of the world as well. He causes misery to others and to himself, weeping and wailing all the while. But the object of his quest is not found.

At last the Guru appears with the lamp of wisdom; calm yourself. You have not lost it before; nor have you gained it now. It has always been there. Only you were ignorant of it. Now that in your pure heart and calm mind, the self-shines, self-luminous, you feel that you have regained it. In fact you had never lost it.”