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The Treasure is at Home

Babaji in the 1970’s

In 1975 a few people in our satsang undertook to publish a spiritual journal called “Dharma Sara: a Journal of Yoga Sadhana.” Although the intention was that it be the first of a series, it turned out to be the only one (though other publications followed).

Babaji taught us classical Ashtanga Yoga, the eight-limbed path that is inclusive of all other yogas. Its various aspects lend themselves to people of every temperament. Because the intention in publishing this journal was that it be an expression of spiritual universality, articles and stories from all spiritual paths were included.

Included in that issue was this popular Hasidic fable:

Moishe, the son of Yankel, lived in a small Jewish ghetto 500 miles east of Moscow. Moishe was very poor, and every night before going to bed he would fervently pray to God that he might somehow get enough money to pay the bills, educate his children, and so on.

One night things seemed particularly bad, and in desperation Moishe stayed up half the night praying to God for a solution to his dilemma. Finally he fell asleep. The next morning he awoke recalling a very strange but vivid dream. In his sleep a voice called to him, “Moishe, go to Moscow, and next to the palace you will find a bridge. Underneath the bridge lies a treasure which is the answer to your problems.”

Moishe, however, wasn’t one to take dreams too seriously. Even if he wanted to go to Moscow, where was he going to get the money for the long journey and who would take care of his family while he was gone? No, the whole thing was totally absurd.

Moishe continued praying, hoping for Divine help, but the only message he got was the dream telling him to go to Moscow. After two weeks of this, he reasoned that there must be something to the dream. One morning he decided to pack up his few belongings and start for Moscow on foot.

Three weeks later, half starved and totally exhausted, he arrived in Moscow. Things had an uncanny familiarity. There to his right was the palace, and beside it, the bridge. Everything seemed ideal…..but underneath the bridge a guard was stationed. What to do? Perplexed, Moishe sat down and tried to figure out a way to lure the guard away from his post. It was only a matter of time before the guard spotted the suspicious looking Moishe. “What are you doing there?” yelled the guard.

Too frightened to make up a story, Moshe told the guard the truth. He was certain that the guard would call him a liar and take him away to be shot. To his total surprise, the guard burst out laughing.

“For weeks and weeks I’ve dreamt every night that in a Jewish village 500 miles west of Moscow in the house of Moishe, son of Yankel, there lies a treasure underneath the stove. Now do you think that I’m as stupid as you that I should go 500 miles to this village where half the men are named Moishe, son of Yankel, and go through every house searching for a treasure which doesn’t exist?”

The guard was so amused that he let Moishe go. Moishe returned to his village – and, sure enough, underneath his stove was a fortune in diamonds.

This story has a very important moral. If you didn’t get it by reading the story, here it is spelled out: The treasure, the one that is yours, is found only in yourself and nowhere else, not even in your Tsaddik (spiritual preceptor or guru) – but you may have to go elsewhere to find this out.

The treasure that awaits is already within us, but we have to search for it ourselves; no one else can do it for us. Babaji has written, My guru gave me very honest teachings. He did not give me any false assurance that he would give me enlightenment, but told me, “It’s your garbage and you have to clean it” and, “I can cook for you but I can’t eat for you.”

We keep hoping that something – a relationship, career, something out there – will give us the happiness and fulfillment we long for, and it does – for a while – but lasting peace is not somewhere else; it is inside us all the time. It’s up to us to search for this treasure. The first step is to listen to the voice directing us to begin the search.

contributed by Sharada