There is a serious defect, a manufacturing defect that our senses have (the senses of sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing). Yes, even God, the almighty, is not an error-free manufacturer!
What is the defect? If the eyes were to see, why cannot they see inside your body, the state of different organs? If the skin could touch, why does it not touch your organs, why does it not touch your heart?
This is the defect of our sense organs, the manufacturing defect that they can see only outside, the external. They cannot see inside. Unlike the surveillance cameras so common nowadays, these camera-like sense organs of ours cannot rotate 360 degrees; they cannot rotate even 180 degrees. This is the problem.
Tilicho Lake, Manang in Nepal
The problem of the outward gaze keeps us preoccupied with the problems of others, other beings or things. We are always concerned with this person or that thing and set out to correct them, all the time unaware of the manifold problems we are suffering from, both physical and mental. These are the symptoms of the deeper problem of not understanding our true nature, which is spiritual.
If we desire material or spiritual success, if we desire peace, we need to turn our gaze inwards. This inward gaze alone can protect us from suffering and trouble.
Just like machines that come with a self-repairing mechanism, we need to develop a self-analyzing and self-correcting mechanism. Sitting on the window seat of life, we should constantly turn our vision 180 degrees to ourselves and understand that the perception of fleeting objects is caused because we do not have the patience to pause. We do not have the patience to analyze and discern.
If we need peace, we need to take a moment and analyze this life of ours, its pace and its destination. Where are we headed to? What pace are we travelling in? Such questions need to be asked constantly and at every moment of our lives. The inward gaze has to be so penetrating that we should be able to see through the façade of body and mind, into our very soul, the indwelling Atman.
The Almighty preferred to tear us apart by the pulls of five senses in not just five but countless directions! But some people who can show the mirror to the senses—not just seeing their reflections in mirrors — people who have the patience to pause, they start turning their gaze inwards, and they start their journey towards peace and fulfillment.
Source – Excerpts from Editorial Prabuddha Bharata June 2015