When travelling to new locations, Mary and I use her smart phone’s GPS. It’s a really handy device in getting from where we are to where we want to go. It reminds me often of our internal GPS, our buddhi. The buddhi, according to yoga, is that part of our mind that always knows the best action for us to take. It knows exactly what is good for ourselves and, at the same time, what is good for everyone else. Lately, I noticed that it also gives the fastest way to get to our new location, giving me a choice in how I wish to proceed—fewer miles or faster roads.
Recently, while Mary and I were driving to a gathering with the kids, we stopped for gasoline. As soon as we turned off the route that we selected for our journey, the little voice said, “Proceed to the route.” It knew that we had deviated from the chosen course. So, when we finished filling the tank, we headed back to the route. But we turned the wrong way. Instead of scolding us, the little voice told us how to get back to the route—“turn right at ‘such and such’ street”—until it got us back to the right course.
I laughed and remembered that is exactly what my buddhi does when I get turned around and journey in the wrong direction.
Of course, the location to which I am journeying is my union with the Divine Mother. It is my buddhi which gently, without scolding, gets me back to the route.
There were times when I was driving that I got confused about exactly which route I was on, so I had to pull over and stop the car to reestablish my bearings. That stopping was like a mini-retreat or meditation, where I shut out all the distractions (the radio, the traffic around me), in order to get on the proper path to complete my journey.
Sometimes my GPS would say, “Recalculating!” When that happened, I got worried. I wondered how long the recalculating would take and whether I had gone out of my way too much. Eventually, I got back on the right path and proceeded to my destination.
My GPS experience is exactly how our journey to spiritual union with God and the fulfillment of our purpose and meaning in life happens. The buddhi knows exactly where we need to go and what we need to do to get there. We just have to follow its promptings. When we get off the route, like going to the gas station, it will gently say, “Proceed to the route.”
If we get confused and make a wrong turn, like drinking too much or eating too many sweets or taking out our frustrations on those we love, it gently says, “Go back to the way you have originally chosen—the way of temperance, or self-control, or love.” It doesn’t beat us up.
Sometimes our path needs recalculating. It is at those times that we need to take a retreat from the busyness and distractions of life or we need to re-commit ourselves to the quiet time of meditation, so that we can actually hear the inner voice of the buddhi.
Just like the GPS will never let us down—unless the device is broken or because of distractions we can’t hear what it wants to tell us—so too, the buddhi—unless it has been killed by overwhelming habits of fear, insecurity, or worry that destroy the inner voice—will never let us down. It will guide us always to our ultimate goal—union with the Divine Source of our Life.