If Happiness Is Truly An Internal State As Claimed By Spiritual Teachers, Why Is Everyone Searching For It Outside?
Let’s ask Gnani, the Spiritual Teacher, himself.
Gnani explains how it goes…
A Hunt for Happiness
The ego hunts for happiness in this relative world (the world outside). It settles for some happiness, but then experiences that there is no real happiness here. So, it moves onto the next relative object. Once again he hunts for happiness in it, he experiences that there is no happiness here either, and then again moves onto the next temporary object.
This cycle goes on life after life wherein one keeps taking different kinds of experiences and keeps concluding that there is no real happiness in this, there is something beyond this experience.
In the process, one is silently progressing on the path of development. And ultimately, when he realizes the Self and experiences the Soul (within), he tastes the real happiness and settles there permanently.
There are three kinds of happiness that one experiences in this world:
Happiness related to the senses (indriya sookh). This is the happiness that one experiences through the medium of the five senses.
Happiness not related to the senses (nirindriya sookh). The person who renounces sensorial pleasures, but has not acquired the happiness of the Self (the Soul within) is caught up in a bind; he is neither here nor there. The happiness, void of the senses, is ego-inebriated. People fuss over him, calling him ‘Sir, Sir’, and he remains intoxicated with pride.
Happiness beyond the senses (atiindriya sookh). The happiness that is beyond the senses is the infinite bliss of the Self. This happiness cannot be acquired without knowing the Self.
Let’s understand the contrast between these three kinds of happiness and their effects through a small story….
There are three travellers – one enjoys the pleasure of the senses, the second is given to ego-pleasures and the third remains within the realms of his pure Self beyond the senses.
One day, all three happen to spend a night at a particular village inn. During night, it snows and the atmosphere turns very cold. None of them have any blankets. Now, how do they spend the night in this village inn?
The first one keeps crying out all night, ‘It is very cold, I am going to die from this cold’, and by morning, sure enough, he is dead.
The second traveller keeps saying, ‘Darn! It’s so cold! But heck with it, it does not affect me, it affects the body.’ This is how he spends his entire night. Such person, who is given to ego-pleasures, remains intoxicated by the ego all the time. In the morning, this traveller’s entire body has become very cold, but the fellow is still alive, breathing very slowly though.
The third traveller, from the moment it starts snowing, withdraws within the cave of the Soul. During the entire night, he, with the right knowledge of the Self, remains completely detached from his body, and lives in the infinite bliss of the Self instead. By morning, the atmosphere gets normal and he proceeds on his way forward.
Our Soul is the only element in this world that has infinite vision, infinite knowledge, infinite strength and infinite happiness. In the light of Soul alone, we are able to know things, experience them, etc. This Soul is the real Self. That is what we really are: an abode of eternal bliss!
Everyone is in search of happiness but without having decided what happiness is
Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan says, “Happiness should be such that it is never followed by any misery. Go find one such happiness in this world. The eternal happiness, the bliss is within you. Your real Self is an abode of bliss and yet you are looking for happiness in temporary things.”
We derive transient happiness from material things. But there is no happiness in material things. Drawn by the attraction of things, the intellect superimposes happiness on them. And whatever pleasure you derive through the intellect ultimately results in misery. Eg. What would happen if someone were to scratch or dent your new car?
And if it is true happiness, it should be the same for all, isn’t it? Truth is universal. But what you may believe gives you happiness, others may find it to be tremendously miserable. This is how this world is like. We are unable to understand the real nature of pleasure and pain.
Thus, people have abandoned the factory of main production (that yields permanent happiness) and instead have started factories of by-production (that yield transient happiness).
All worldly happiness is a by-product and to realize the Self is the main production.
Permanent happiness is experienced when one attains Self-realization i.e. attains the real knowledge of “who am i?”
The entire world wanders around in ignorance as they are unaware of the path to liberation. Consequently, they get lost wherever they go. If you want liberation, ultimately you will have to go to the Gnani.
Even when you want to go to a railway station, you have to ask someone who knows the way there. The path to liberation is like a labyrinth. If you attempt it on your own, you are bound to get lost. So, look for a Gnani (Spiritual Teacher) who can make you attain Self-Realization, and once you meet Him, follow his words exactly. You will find the answer to your question then!
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