The spiritual roots of India pre-existing before ages, always been a center of attraction for westerners with an urge to discover the truth behind self-existence and acquire stillness in thoughts. India has been a land of sagas, saints, rivers, mountains, and a whole array of life connected to spirituality.
India is the origin of Buddhism. Gautam Buddha experienced the truth sitting under a banyan tree, for which he left his kingdom, family, and everything else behind. And this truth gave birth to a specific religious view named after Buddha as Buddhism. The place where he acknowledged the truth, is named after him as Bodh Gaya.
After acknowledging the truth, Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath, which is located in Banaras, Uttar Pradesh. Banaras or Varanasi is the ancient holy city believed to existed for ages, and never lost its cultural essence. Devotees from far away come to this city in the hope to get relieved from their karmas or deeds and attaining Moksha.
Truth of Self Existence
It is amusing that people from far away come to India after crossing the boundaries, traveling miles, leaving their self-identity, and their quality life behind to explore and discover the truth behind their self-existence. As Buddha experienced it, there would others too who learned about it in their spiritual journey or passed it to others. Is not it amusing that there is a force that enters your mind and triggers you till you don’t look for answers to some significant yet insignificant questions about the existence of life? It includes emotions, stillness, and the journey that gives you the strength to remain unaffected by anything, with no more desires to achieve or experience materialistic pleasures that end.
People come from far away to meditate in the country, it is said in the mythological tales that described numerous yogis leaving their birth homes behind and going for meditation far away in mountains, banks of rivers, or forests. Several stayed life-long in ashrams, forbidding to marry or have family and become saints.
It is believed that the Sanatan way of living always existed in India, which is later renamed Hinduism to keep it distinct from the religious aspects of the population that arrived with colonialism. With growing differences, and keeping it distinct, the rigidity for non-acceptance made it to lost its values with extremism, and Sanatan got vanished in the modern world. More and less, I believe that Sanatan is too flexible, and accepts each type of devotion. As there were numerous types of saints with varying practices of worshipping. Few practices can still be acknowledged with the existence of Naga sadhus, Aghoris, and those who follow extreme vegetarianism, perform Trikal Sandhya, and fast.
Why Did Tech Leaders Come to India?
Steve Jobs in his teen years came to India in search of enlightenment. During his journey, Jobs met a mendicant who took him to the mountain, where he dipped his head in a pond and shaved it off. After that, he and his friend Kottke went to meet Neem Karoli Baba, a spiritual guru. But his wish remained incomplete, as the Baba left his body way before he came. While coming back they got trapped in a thunderstorm and got to sleep in a dry creek bed.
Steve Jobs named the tech startup as Apple, after his visit to a commune located in Oregon, which he used to refer to as ‘apple orchard’.
Steve Jobs suggested Mark Zuckerberg to visit the Kaichi Dham, the ashram of Neem Karoli Baba at Nainital Uttrakhand. The Metaverse founder visited the ashram four to five years before the death of the Apple founder.