Ramana Maharshi often spoke about the true nature of solitude. He has explained a number of times that silence, peace, and solitude are not a function of our environment but our mental state. Indeed solitude is in the mind and not to be found somewhere outside.
Sri Ramana drives this point home beautifully, clearly, and eloquently in a number of talks and says, “The obstacle is the mind. It must be got over whether at home or in the forest. Renunciation is always in the mind, not in going to the forest or solitary places, or giving up one’s duties. The main thing is to see that the mind does not turn outward but inward.” (Talk 54).
In another conversation, Bhagavan Ramana explains, ” Solitude is a function of the mind. A man attached to desires cannot get solitude wherever he may be, whereas a detached man is always in solitude”. (Talk 20).
Bhagavan used to say that wherever we go, we take our mind with us. Therefore, regardless of our circumstances, we have to create the mental atmosphere of satsang (company of the Self). Bhagavan’s teaching is that serenity is a state of mind and not our circumstances.
Where can we find solitude except right here and now in our own Self?