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I've lately been feeling quite lonely, due to - at least what I feel is a lack of - deep/meaningful connection. I am not sure where this sudden desire for community/friendship came from. I'm a university student and I didn't really have a group of friends for many years but suddenly I am feeling quite sad and moping around.

I'm trying to put myself out there and have what one may consider "friends" but all of these connections feel superficial. I don't have much connection to family as I live in the United States and they're in India. I've done daily sandhyāvandanā for years and it has always helped me feel better dealing with various issues (mostly academic / physical in nature) but even my daily prayers are not giving me comfort now.

As someone spiritually inclined, this is quite bothering to me, and I am not able to either focus on my academic pursuits, or my spiritual pursuits. I'm always thinking of one or another person, over analyzing why I might not be getting text responses, etc. etc. A verse from the subrahmanya bhujangam composed by Adi Shankaracharya comes to mind here:

अहं सर्वदा दुःखभारावसन्नो
भवान्दीनबन्धुस्त्वदन्यं न याचे ।
भवद्भक्तिरोधं सदा क्ऌप्तबाधं
ममाधिं द्रुतं नाशयोमासुत त्वम् ||

Aham Sarvadaa Duhkha-Bhaara-Avasanno
Bhavaan-Diina-Bandhus-Tvad-Anyam Na Yaace |
Bhavad-Bhakti-Rodham Sadaa Klpta-Baadham
Mama-[A]adhim Drutam Naashayo[a-U]maa-Suta Tvam ||

I am always sunken with the burden of Sorrows, You are the Friend of the Miserable in all the Worlds; apart from You, I Pray to None Else, Preventing full Devotion towards You by always causing Obstacles ... are my Mental Sorrows; O the Son of Uma, please Destroy them Quickly.

Would appreciate any perspective at all. Thank you.

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    Hey, thanks for your comment. I have asked to talk with a counselor through my university and I'm actively searching for other remedies. But I was hoping that this community might be able to give some insight into a religious perspective - as I'm more sure that I might more readily take to something that has been suggested by those scriptures that I respect :). Aug 29 at 3:11
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    Hope mods don't delete but it would be completely understandable if they did. And yes, I haven't lost hope quite yet :) it's just frustrating as I'm happy (at least, not "sad") one day and the next day I'm down in the dumps. And so it goes, again and again. You know sometimes I think this is the karmic result of me mentally dismissing so many stotras that claim to give intangible things like "peace of mind", "worldly happiness", etc. etc. I thought, "why would one explicitly pray for this?". And now, look at me, searching in vain for this very object :) Aug 29 at 3:36
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    one perspective, sadness is there then only we can value happiness. Aug 29 at 4:03
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    Will do! Maybe for a reason, I stumbled upon authentic translations on how to practice yoga and pranayama very recently. I know you wanted to end this discussion, but I just wanted to let you know that this interaction with you has given me a measure of comfort. My ishta devata is Chandika devi (of the Devi Mahatmya), and maybe your username is just a co-incidence, but I'll choose to view it as a small pat on the back from above :) Aug 29 at 4:45
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    @ChamundaDas and Hari Kumar thank youf or your kind words. I am indeed holding onto stotras like the Bhavani Ashtakam. I pray that one day by Her grace, there comes the time when I'm able to feel her Presence at all times, remain happy. Sep 1 at 19:45

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This may be a partial answer in the perspective of Bhagavad Gita

It's imperative to understand that no being(jiva) can ever remain (even for a split second) in inaction.(at the levels of Kayika,Vachika or Manasika),Hence , inevitably has a seeking to engage with the world,(/other beings) that suits ones own nature .

Bhagavad Gita 3.5

न हि कश्चित्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत् | कार्यते ह्यवश: कर्म सर्व: प्रकृतिजैर्गुणै:
There is no one who can remain without action even for a moment. Indeed, all beings are compelled to act by their qualities born of material nature (the three guṇas).

Who can be lonely

Atma-Santhushtaha , (self realised) is one could discover the bliss of ones own true essence (Satchitananda), without any dependency over sensory integration.

Bhagavad Gita 3.18

नैव तस्य कृतेनार्थो नाकृतेनेह कश्चन | न चास्य सर्वभूतेषु कश्चिदर्थव्यपाश्रय:
They have nothing to gain or lose either in discharging or renouncing their duties. Nor do they need to depend on other living beings to fulfill their self-interest.

As performing karma is inevitable for anyone. (BG 3.8) suggests action is superior to inaction . One may find the means to engage in any dharmic action that suits their temperment and avoid remaining lonely.

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