Question: There are times when I feel very deep loneliness that no friend, family member or lover can seem to satisfy. Do you ever get lonely like that?
Sri Gurudev: Long ago I used to feel lonely until I realized that there is a Lover who is always in me, with me, next to me, closer than my heart. That is God, or the Self. Since then, I have found that I am never alone.
If you depend on anything or anybody outside you to be a companion, it is impossible to have that companion always with you. Even if another person wants to be with you always, he or she cannot. We come alone, and we go alone. Don't depend on outside company. Even as you are coming and going, there is always another there- your own spirit, your own Self or the God within you.
God is in you, outside of you, in front of you and behind you, to the right, to the left, above and below. The moment you realize that, you will never feel lonely. Unfortunately, we seem to be depending on outside things and people for company. The outside company is fine, but don't depend on it. Be independent of everything. If it comes, fine. If it goes, wonderful.
Just because I say, "Don't depend on that," you don't have to reject something if it comes to you. Let it come whenever it wants, and let it go whenever it chooses. Give everything that freedom. The minute you try to cling something or someone and say, "I want to keep you with me always," you are creating big trouble. Nobody can be with you always except that God in you.
Just because you hear it, it's not going to happen overnight. You have to contemplate on it. Think of pros and cons of your depending on other things and other people for your happiness. The more you think about it, the more you will realize, "Yes, I cannot depend on anything. I can't even depend on the body. I'm keeping it for now, but every day it is, little by little, getting older. Beauty isn't permanent. Money isn't permanent. Friends aren't permanent. Name isn't permanent. Fame isn't permanent."
See if you can name anything that is permanent other than God.
From the Golden Present Daily Inspiration Readings by Sri Swami Satchidananda (March 26)