Aug 15, 2010


My previous article on happiness has inspired me to find the reasons of not being happy. Not being in a happy mood most of the time manifests into a sense of loneliness. Loneliness is a feeling in which a person experiences a strong sense of emptiness and solitude. Loneliness is also caused by the individual temperament which often generates the feeling of being unwanted and unimportant. I have seen very few people having the sense of loneliness who are extrovert in nature. Generally, extroverts may find reasons to keep themselves busy by putting themselves in action or looking for an opportunity to share their views with others. Lonely people tend to be shyer, less trusting and more socially awkward, anxious and hostile. Therefore loneliness is also considered a disease.

Loneliness can be described as a feeling of isolation from other individuals, regardless of whether one is physically isolated from another or not. Therefore loneliness can be categorized as situational or circumstantial, and internal. It can even be as a combination of more than the said factors. Therefore, a person can experience loneliness for many reasons and many life style events may be associated with it. For example lack of love, proper responses from parents and other family members or friends, lack of recognition in the society, failure to achieve being strived for, loss of health, wealth, and respect etc. Loneliness does not require being alone only and can be experienced even in crowded places. It can be described as the absence of identification, understanding, or compassion.

I personally feel that constant negative thinking may also aggravate into a sense of loneliness and solitude. If a person analyzes words or statements made by others negatively on a regular basis, then it may result in alienation and depression causing loneliness.

However, being alone by choice or circumstances only do not contribute to loneliness. It can be experienced as positive, pleasurable, and emotionally refreshing if it is under the individual’s control.

Loneliness can be cured or made pleasurable if one practices kriya yoga, pranayama, and meditation under supervision. In this case, an individual is not alone but the person will be in company of his mind and body which will have an immense positive impact. Loneliness can also be overcome by positive thinking which has the inherent power to uplift the mood and change the entire perspective of life. A positive thinker can make the world as the most beautiful place to live, as the power of positive thinking changes the way one thinks. For a positive thinker, the world is not a bad place because the nature has created people to act the way they do. The good or bad actions of a person can be considered as the character of a person because people at large are slaves of their own nature and they are supposed to act or react accordingly. It depends upon the individual to interact according to their adoptability and tolerance. Even suffering can be considered positive as the result of the bad karmas of past lives. By believing in God, one can always thank the Almighty for his compassion in reducing one’s suffering, as they must have deserved more due to bad karmas of past lives.

Alternatively, for an Atheist, Karma Yoga is the best alternative where the person can serve others selflessly without any expectations. This will prove to create immense satisfaction and will change the perspective of life. For a Theist, Bhakti Yoga may be the best possible answer because there can not be a pleasure comparable to anything but to believe in totality in the superpower and love for the divine. In this case, God becomes your friend, relative, and well wisher with whom you interact and you are not at all alone. If we believe in a soul, then we all are the manifestations of the almighty and it is the purpose of the soul to ultimately culminate into the source of the origin. Therefore, why to wait and go through several lives to understand this reality? And I can guarantee that by way of practicing bhakti yoga, one can make use of his or her loneliness into immortal bliss.

Here is a poem called Salvation written by me and I hope it may provide an answer to our woes:

(Composed on Tuesday October 6th, 2009)

It is the grace of the Almighty, who lives somewhere in the blue
Who is all-powerful and mighty, and we have no clue

Our thought and perception is lost due to his illusion
And this keeps our mind in a state of confusion

If we have to get his blessing
Then we should get out of this mental casing

We should pray with full devotion
And activate ourselves into the state of spiritual motion

This way, we will cross the cycle of death and birth
And we will uplift our soul, from the bottom of the hearth

Suman Saran Sinha
(Copyright © 2010)

I will solicit your valuable comments with your perception which may upgrade my process of thinking as well as of our readers.


Anonymous said...

It is of immense pleasure to know that you are inspired to write another topic on your blog and we would consider ourselves most priviledged if we have contributed,in any way,towards that inspiration.However, having said that I must mention that your chosen topics are extremly vital and directly related to the present generation because of the momentum, frustration,wants, stress associated in the era that we are living and if "Kriya yoga" can be incorporated as a "life style" or as a way of life would be extremly beneficial.

In this regard I want to add that "being alone" and "lonliness" are two completly different things and as I think and many of you may agree that we all need some time alone to ponder on our self being and lonliness has much to do with the "mind" we know that everything is in the mind and unless ,ofcourse the distortional thought process can be cured , the well being of any individual can not be changed and hence the prescription to profess and practice "yoga" is a wonderful way of keeping body & mind healthy.

Swami Yuketeswar said about Kriya Yoga that" the ancient yogis discovered that the secret of cosmic conciousness is intricately linked with breath mastery.This is India's unique and deathless contribution to the world's treasury of knowledge"....I would really appreciate if Sumanji can little bit elaborate on what "Kriya Yoga" is all about and how it can be made a part of daily life in a simplified way.

There is no doubt about the fact that "lonliness" is a universal phenomenon and it visits every human soul at some point of time or the other in our lives but let us not forget that while we suffer a monadic existence, we are all social animal,needing each other, to bond , to connect and to love...

Shubhra Sen

Annya said...

Hey Dad!

Loved your blogs.
Don't really have much to comment on this one, EXCEPT to add, that loneliness can be neurological/genetic, and in those cases regardless of the environmental factors, or a person's inbuilt nature, loneliness will prevail. Unless of course, treated scientifically with dopamine.

And I guess it's true that introverts do have the likelihood of being lonely more than extroverts, BUT can't we say that extroverts may be more lonely, but it is harder to identify because they deny it by trying to be constantly in peoples company. And for your happiness to depend so absolutely on the presence of others around you is somewhat another definition of loneliness too? That you can't be happy and content with yourself? What do you think?

And nice poem ;)


Raja Ravi said...

Hi Suman Uncle!

To start off with, this is the first time I've read your blog and I just want to say so far I find it amazing. I like the analysis and the fact that your entries leave room for a lot of interpretation.

This blog entry in particular resonated with me due to the fact that when I was younger (around the ages of 12-15), I spent a fair bit of time alone. As you said, if it is the individual's CHOICE to be alone and to be on their own for whatever period of time, it ceases to feel like a punishment and rather it serves to help one feel refreshed and "cleansed" in some form.

Furthermore, I agree with the sentiment that negativity and constant cynicism result in a feeling of detachment and isolation. One that is continually looking for faults is putting others on a separate platform for the purpose of judging them. A positive attitude towards life in general brings one closer to everything and everyone - mentally if not physically. This has been one thing my father has emphasized since I was young. A positive outlook on life goes a long way towards connecting you to others, both spiritually and physically.

Also in response to Annya's comment --> that's a very good point you brought up that I felt needed to be addressed as well. A good example of one that needs others' company in order to feel needed and loved is the actor Jim Carey. Although he appears to be extremely jovial and surrounded by a large group of people, he has stated numerous times that he suffers depression and requires the presence of others around him in order to validate his existence. Although he has an extremely extroverted personality, he often feels lonely and detached from the rest of the world. As such, I believe one's attitude and their introvertedness/extrovertedness plays a minor role in our feeling connected to others.

One other thing I found interesting was in an article I read recently. A survey done recently showed that people in today's world feel a lot more disconnected and out of touch with the rest of the world than they did 50 years ago. I found this somewhat ironic due to the fact that we are living in an age where we are all able to communicate with anyone we choose at the click of a mouse or a dial of the phone. I was just wondering uncle and Annya: What are your thoughts on this recent global disconnectedness even though we are all so closely linked to each other?

Annya said...

Hey Raja!

Nice example with Jim Carey. And another point to add in defense of introverts, is that most forms of yoga promote introversion. For example Papa, Ujjayi breathing which is prevalent in almost every meditation asanas aims to invert ones feelings and emotions. Therefore, a happy introvert, is technically a person who according to yoga is truly happy and content.

And to Raja's point, in my opinion it is due to the extent of communication with which we alienate ourselves. I remember reading somewhere that one of the reasons for loneliness in an era of global connectedness is lack of social interaction. Yes, we communicate through e-mail, blogs, video call, msn, telephones, and more, but there is less real human interaction involved. As a result, many children of the coming generations are having trouble socializing. Even schooling has become so technologically demanding that we are now losing teacher-student relationships. There is a study that was conducted which stated that people reported higher levels of mood loneliness after chatting online than those conversing face to face. Here's a dissertation on Social Use of the Internet and Loneliness if anybody wants to pursue it in their free time. I found it rather interesting. .

I also think being exposed to such a huge global community has given many people cause to feel insignificant. In a world where there are hundreds of thousands of books being published every hour on every subject, it is difficult to keep up with a world that is progressing faster than we can imagine.

But now I'm spinning off topic. What do you think Papa?

Anonymous said...

Hi Raja,

As far as the disconnectedness with the world is concerned, I think in every era, people have had this problem. A hundred years back when there was no telephone, cell phone, television or the internet; people remained disconnected with the world and in the 21st century when we have all these media of communication some people still feel disconnected.

Therefore, as I stated in my article above, that it is a state of mind which feels connected or disconnected depending upon the situation or circumstances. One can remain lonely in a crowded place or be happy with the mind occupied in positive thoughts. Personally, I will never feel loneliness, even if I migrate to the Himalayas or to the deep forest. My wisdom and quest to do something positive and constructive will always find ways to keep me busy. I also feel that I want to do so much in my life like writing books, researching on unconventional thoughts, painting to display my imagination, photography to catch the beauty of nature, to learn musical instruments, to sing vocal and classical music, to practice and teach yoga, to be a good parent, husband and a social person etc. But unfortunately I have only one life (in this birth) and only 24 hours each day to work on something.

Furthermore, in the case of popular people like Jim Carey, over exposure to the media creates a lonely syndrome especially when the person is not surrounded by people who care for him. Again, it is all mental work, and as Annya has suggested, it can be corrected easily with the help of asana (exercise), pranayama (breathing) and meditation.


Ramy said...

Hi Chacha,

Great to see and read this side of you!!! Unfortunately could only go through your initial 2 blogs Happiness and Loneliness but was somehow inclined to contribute on the later one.

I find it great to be alone. As a matter of fact at times I look for reasons to be alone, to somehow get a little away from everything else so that I can concentrate on myself and myself only.

Maybe it’s the calmness or the non-distracting element that sooths me. But whatever it is, I just like it. Its gives me a great chance to re-direct my thoughts and find alternatives if I am stuck. I am able to visualize scenarios in multi dimensional aspects which I am usually unable to do when I am not alone. It has really helped me with lots of stuffs especially related to Office, re-forming opinion about a person or in general.

Somehow co-relating myself with loneliness, I see of it as a blessing in disguise.

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