You were born with wings. Why crawl through life? Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do! Everyone has been made for a particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart. —Rumi, Sufi Mystic 13thcentury AD
When I was in India for a month-long spiritual retreat recently, I visited a most amazing and unique park. It’s called Swanubhooti Vatika or Sanskrit for Self-Discovery Park.*
It’s a place that invites you to go within and discover your hidden talent and divine potential.
As you walk through the park, you are led through pathways, closed and open spaces, courtyards, structures and gardens lined with Frangipani, Bougainvillea, Lemon Grass, Hibiscus, Roses and other fragrant trees and bushes.
In each area are displays with inspirational quotes, questions, art and stories that uplift your mind and make it contemplative.
The words and images below are the actual ones that you’ll find in Swanubhooti Vatika. As you read them, you may be inspired to discover your own life purpose and potential…
I am my limit. I am my sky
Man’s stands in his own shadow and wonders why it is so dark. —Zen proverb.
Why do so many of us live disconnected from our aptitude and potential? How awake are we? Why do so many of us not hear our inner calling? Why do we fear to answer the call? To seek the answers, you have to explore yourself.
I want to reach great heights. Then tell me, which is the highest mountain in the world? Mount Everest? No! It is the mind mountain. Created in the mind with rocks of false perceptions and fears. In the shadow of our own mind mountain, we are not able to see our own gigantic stature. Can the mind mountain be conquered? To conquer any mountain, you have to conquer yourself first. How? With right thinking.
The first step on the path of success has to be taken in the Swanubhooti Vatika of the mind.
Under the sky of limitless opportunities, you are your traveller. The explorer of honey—the beholder of the fire that glows within you. How bright your fire burns depends on how aware you are of your fire. How deeply you want to read its glow, how devotedly you nourish the fire as you explore your path. Ability, Potential, Talent, Innate Nature, Grace of God! This fire has many forms, but only one reason for being—to glow! Keep your fire going. Explore within. Gather the honey of knowing yourself. Shine enlightened.
Many paths but only one destination
To each, his or her own path, but there is only one destination. The journey from the self to the Self. You are the traveller and you are the pathmaker too.
No one else can walk your path for you. You have to do it yourself. You have to discover your path. This is the eternal law of the journey of life.
The pathway of life has no dead ends.
Every twist and turn has a message. What looks like the end always hides a new beginning.
Keep walking. Keep walking.
Tap into your potential
Who is the enlightened traveller? One who knows his or her potential and uses it with purity of thought and action. One who offers all actions to the divinity that resides in the form of his or her own potential. One, in doing so raises one’s potential, the potential of one’s field of work, and the potential of the people around him or her to a higher level. Such explorers gather honey! [The honey of knowing oneself]
Selfless service and devotion to an ideal [is the inspiration]. [We start] from working to adorn our own lives with joy to working to erase the sorrows from the lives of others.
[In a spirit of service] we perform our duties without a grain of pride, with being choosy about duties.
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, then all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your mind expands in all directions and you find yourself in a great new wondrous world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents come alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you were ever meant to be.” —Patanjali
Have faith in yourself
The weak person does not start any work due to fear of obstacles. An ordinary person starts a task but gives up when tasks arise. The truly superior person does not give up what she or he starts even when difficulties strike one after the other! — Bhartrihari, Nitishatakam 27.
Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires to give the best to those who dream and work. — APJ Abdul Kalam
One who waits for better times to come, waits forever. Today’s effort carves tomorrow’s destiny. Instead of wasting time worrying about the past or the future, do your best with whatever you have at hand. Success and failure are in our hands. —Swami Tejomayananda
It is the privilege of man to achieve greatness! Our success depends upon the amount of transformation we can successfully bring about in our personality and character. The vital question is not how many talents each one of us has but how much of our existing talents we can explore, develop and exploit. An individual may have many talents and yet he can be a failure in life. That person is success who makes practical use of at least one great talent that he possesses. —Swami Chinmayananda
Take a vow that you will sing the song of your soul. That you will gather and spread honey. HE is watching over you. HE will be at your every step. Have no fear.
Now is the only auspicious time to initiate new plans.
— Swami Chinmayananda.
*Swanubhooti Vatika is located on the grounds of Chinmaya Vibhooti, a retreat centre three hours outside of Mumbai, India.
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This is Shyam Banerji and Ruma Dasgupta, the designers, content developers and writers of the texts and translations in Swanubhooti Vatika. Glad to see such a detailed and quoted coverage of Swanubhooti Vatika. We are using some of your brilliant photos. Warm regards, Look forward to meeting you sometime. Shyam / Ruma
Hari Om Shyamji and Rumaji, Thank you for the design and content of this most amazing park! Yes, please do use the photos as you like. And I look forward to meeting you too.