Showing posts from February, 2015

The Secret of Being Happy : 9.

We do not know what will happen to us tomorrow, yet we are very busy today. What makes us keep busy? Nobody knows what our condition tomorrow will be, and yet we are so busy, very active, as if we are having an eternity in front of us, while it is not the truth. The breath can stop even in a minute for some reason. Nobody knows when their life will end, and yet there is a hope for eternal life. This hope keeps us alive. If this hope were not to be, life would have been impossible. If it were a fact that in a few minutes everything will crumble to pieces, how could life be possible? But in spite of the knowledge of the fact that anything can come to an end at any time, hope is secure.

We are like masters living in a precarious condition. Everything is uncertain, and yet we are happy. How is it? How is it that we are happy, smiling and laughing when everything is insecure, uncertain and untrustworthy? We do not know what will happen the next moment, and yet we are happy. We are smiling…

The Secret of Being Happy : 8.

There is something very interesting behind us, something impossible of abolition and destruction. However much we may deny, there is something behind every kind of denial. Even if we think we are dead, there is a thought of being dead which cannot die. So there is a deathless, unabolishable, conscious meaning behind the transitory values of earthly quantities. When everything goes, something will remain. That is our friend. When all friends desert us, one friend will not leave us. Who is that friend? If the whole world goes, naturally human beings also go, and we cannot have human friends. Then who is that friend that is left? It is that thing which remains as the conscious contemplator of all these sources of everything.

It is impossible to imagine what this is because we have no time to think all this. We are busy with quantities, calculations, counting, measurements. These take all our lives. Where is time for us to think of this fundamental vital value which is keeping us alive i…

The Secret of Being Happy : 7.

But what do we see in the world which is enduring? We cannot say anything in the physical cosmos is enduring. We say the creation itself has a beginning. Once upon a time God created the world, and so on; it had a beginning, and therefore, it will have an end also. It shall be withdrawn. But there is an underlying basic being which is within all and which urges itself forward as an unavoidable and irreducible minimum of existence in us. When everything goes, one thing will not go. When everything passes away, there is something which remains.

Just imagine for a few minutes that everything is gone. The sun has gone cold, the solar system has been smashed, the earth is pounded to powder, the whole ocean is dried up into the air, and all the air is merged into space. There is nothing here, not a single living being to see anywhere. Everything is gone. What remains? Can you imagine what remains? Nothing remains except the person who thinks that everything is gone. You remain as the conte…

The Secret of Being Happy : 6.

Our aspiration, therefore, is to manifest in our life a quality called happiness which is unending in space and in time. This is only a theoretical and academic acceptance to most people. Learned men, scholars and protagonists of religion do accept that truth and righteousness are the supreme meanings of life. But no one knows what Truth is, and no one can define what righteousness is. Inasmuch as its very conception is difficult, it becomes more difficult to implement in one’s life, so that our learning is a waste. It has become a husk. It is a quantity that we are carrying on our heads as a kind of weight and a load which is of no value to us when we are actually in need and are suffering. When we suffer, we have to suffer alone. No one can help because suffering is a private condition of the mind which cannot be transferred to other people. It is brought about by circumstances beyond the control of the mind.

Though the sufferings of the mind, the agonies of people, are multifariou…

The Secret of Being Happy : 5.

The second defect of the mind is to associate quality with a relationship. Though we know that quality is an inherent truth behind a quantity, we cannot understand what that quality is. For example, we say a flower is blue. Now, the blueness is a quality of that flower, but this blueness is incapable of perception unless there are other things different from blue. If everything in the world is blue, there will be no such thing as blue colour. So the existence of a quality of an object as we conceive it is only a relationship of one quantity with another quantity, so that even this so-called quality has become a camouflage of quantity.

The third thing is the relationship that we try to establish between one thing and another thing, which is very artificial. There is no such thing as a physical relationship of one thing with another thing because the moment one physical body relates itself organically with another physical body, the two bodies become one body. But that does not happen.…

The Secret of Being Happy : 4.

The world is a huge body of mass which is a quantity. When we look at the stellar system, the solar system, we see a quantity. When we see earth and air and fire and ether, we see a quantity. When we see a human being, we see a quantitative body. Everything is a quantity. But quantity, being external, material and physical, has a beginning and an end, and therefore, those who depend on these quantitative values for their happiness suffer in life. An unhappy person is that person who hangs his happiness on a quantity of the world. It may be money, it may be a person, it may be an office, it may be land or a building; all these are perishable things which will desert us today or tomorrow.

Ultimately, we cannot even have a friend in this world because friends, again, are quantitative relationships. It is one body connecting itself with another body. It will not last long.
So what is our fate, ultimately? To suffer, it looks like that. From birth to death there is a tension and agony and…

The Secret of Being Happy : 3.

To evaluate the worth of a person through the riches one possesses, the appearance of one’s body or one’s objective relationships would be to equate the person with a quantity, while a person is not a quantity. We are not a weight or a length or a breadth. We are something quite different from these measurements of space and time. There is some worth and value, some meaning, significance and connotation in us which we intuitively feel but cannot explain, cannot understand and, therefore, cannot appreciate. Inasmuch as we are unable to have a grasp of this quality in us, we run for quantities. We want a huge furnished bungalow to live in, a vast field, a garden and many possessions, which is a quantitative satisfaction that we are trying to achieve because we have lost the quality of life.

If we have a quality in us, we will not ask for quantities. We will not want riches, buildings, lands and properties. We run after properties and quantitative possessions because quality is missing.…

The Secret of Being Happy : 2.

The mind is made up of certain formations of thought, and therefore, it can conceive only forms, whereas Truth is formless. Has anyone seen the form of Truth? Where does it exist? Nobody knows where Truth exists, how long it will exist, who created it, and what its shape and construction are. Nothing can be said about it, and yet everybody accepts, unwittingly though, that Truth is supreme. How do we say that Truth is supreme when we know nothing about it? We have not seen it, cannot hear it, cannot touch it, cannot taste it, cannot smell it, cannot measure it, cannot calculate it, cannot argue about it, and yet we concede it is the only existent value.

This goes to prove that the essential values of life are non-calculative, non-commercial and impossible of quantitative measurement. Quantities are different from Truth values. Truth is not a quantity. It is, perhaps, if at all we can call it a quality, the highest conceivable quality.

The quality involved and hidden behind the quanti…

The Secret of Being Happy : 1.

The nature of the Absolute is incomprehensible to the mind, which is another way of saying that Truth is incomprehensible and impossible to contain in the mind of a human being. We fail in our lives, whatever be our walk of life. We cannot contain the essence of the matter in the form it takes.

Our minds are so constituted that they can visualise and conceive only forms, but not the substance of the form or the essence behind the form. Just as when we look at a person we cannot see their soul or intelligence and behold only their body, their external behaviour and conduct, the Absolute principle hidden behind the things of the world cannot be cognised and appreciated by the mind.

Due to this difficulty we mistake the form for the content, and exhaust reality in our frail attempts when we mistake the particular, the discreet, the separated and the objective for the unlimited or the infinite.

All wonderful things in the world take place suddenly. They do not come with premeditation or …

The Three Root Desires : 15.

The Upanishads say there are three things: the desire for physical expansion by the accumulation of property, wealth, kingdom, etc.; the desire to perpetuate oneself through progeny, which looks like actual continuance in time, and the desire for endless recognition, that one's name should be remembered even after the body goes. You have no desire in this world except these three. You can go on thinking a thousand things, but you will find that they come from only these three, which are like a big umbrella covering all your desires.

In this circumstance of your placement in this kind of world, what are you supposed to do when you seek salvation? Can you imagine how much inward effort is necessary on your part to take steps along the line of yoga practice? These involvements should be disentangled. They should not be severed by a sword. You do not kill your desire; you disentangle it and untie the knot.

There are three knots, they say: brahma granthi, vishnu granthi and rudra gran…

The Three Root Desires : 14.

Why does this desire arise? It arises because the finite hungers for the infinite; the little thing craves for the big thing. The thing that is confined within a little dimension wants to break that dimension and become dimensionless. How large should your kingdom be? Kings are never satisfied; they go on annexing their kingdom. The whole earth, even the sky must be theirs. There is no end for this desire to expand yourself.

The endless desire to expand yourself physically, socially, politically is a desire of the inner infinity in you to assert itself. You will never be satisfied with any amount of property, or belonging, or kingdom that is given to you unless endlessness of belonging is achieved, which cannot be possible. So you will die without fulfilling desires of this kind. No one dies having fulfilled every desire.

On the one hand, the infinity that is incipient, latent in the finitude of your personality asserts itself when it eagerly seeks to expand itself in the form of kin…

The Three Root Desires : 13.

The Upanishads are great psychologists. In their wonderful psychological analysis they have said that, finally, we have only three desires, though we seem to have a bundle. Every other desire can be boiled down to these three desires. In Sanskrit they are called eshanas: putraishana, vittaishana, lokaishana. The desire for physical possession and security, the desire for perpetuation of oneself in time, and the desire for name and fame—these are the three desires. All other desires are included in these.

You look very small physically. As you are just one person among many other people, what is your importance? In a large sea of humanity, you are one drop. You will feel very miserable about it, and you do not want to feel that way. "I am a big man." You cannot become big physically, you know it very well, so you impose upon yourself a bigness by social association—by what is called authority over other people, by becoming a king or a minister or a president. When you are in…

The Three Root Desires : 12.

The other aspect is psychological—to have a good name and a lot of fame in the world. You should be a recognised person, with power and authority. You would like to have a good name, not merely while you are alive. You wish that even after you die, people will know that you were an important person. Your name should not vanish. Would you like to be a great, noble man in the eyes of people now when you are alive, and after you die they call you an idiot? You do not want that to be said about you. You will not even know what people are saying, so what does it matter? You have died, but still, it is as if you are hearing what people say.

The eternity in you still tells you that people are speaking this way. See the mysterious, chaotic working of the mind! You do not want that even after death your property should go to some wrong person. What is this 'wrong person'? Once you have gone, you do not even know whether the property exists or not. Do you know what property you owned i…

The Three Root Desires : 11.

Would you like to live a hundred years? It is a good thing; rarely people live for a hundred years. Suppose, theoretically at least, you are granted a lease of three hundred years. Will you be happy and comfortable, and not worry afterwards? Suppose two hundred and ninety nine years are over; one year is left. What will you say at that time? Even three hundred years are not sufficient.

Why does this happen? This is an in-depth point for consideration. The desire for perpetual, continuous existence even in this body is a reflection of timeless eternity that is masquerading inside you. There is a great man inside this little man that you appear to be, and that big man is eternity. He says no, he cannot die.

The fear of death is an unavoidable phenomenon which goes together with the desire that you should not die. There is a contradiction in your thoughts. On the one hand, you know that you must die; on the other hand, you know very well that you should not die. How is this? These two t…

The Three Root Desires : 10.

Many people say that to believe that something exists, it should be capable of observation; it must be visible. The greatest thing in the world, which is name, fame, power, authority—for which people can die—is not visible. That shows we have a personality in us which is not necessarily a visible phenomenon like the body. There is an invisible person inside, which is more important than the physical, visible person.

You must listen carefully. The first thing you require is to exist in this body; and you want to exist for a very long time—not only for three days. So the struggle for existence involves, on the one hand, the worry about appurtenances necessary for the maintenance of the body and, on the other hand, the qualification that they should be enduring. Why should you add that qualification? If you are comfortable today, is it not sufficient? Why do you worry about tomorrow? Because you feel that you must exist tomorrow also.

What is this peculiar thing that the mind is thinkin…

The Three Root Desires : 9.

Apart from that, there are other needs of your personality which require you to be concerned with the world. It is not that you are concerned only with this body; there are certain other things with which you are very much concerned and would even die for—namely, recognition in this world.

Do you wish to be a non-recognised non-entity in the world—just riffraff, a man of straw? Would you like to live like that? It is like death. You have food to eat, you may have a house to live in, you have good clothes to wear, but you are a nobody in this world. You would rather starve for days and run about in search of ways and means to see that you become a recognised person. Even starvation does not matter. Therefore, you should not think that eating is the only important thing.

I mentioned that this body has to be maintained by food, clothing, etc. It is true, but there are other things for the sake of which you may even renounce the pleasures of the body for some time. You will not sleep whe…

The Three Root Desires : 8.

You require certain things from the world outside in order to compensate for the finitude that you feel in your own self. You feel small before the big world and, in a sense, you are little—one individual. The physical body requires its own security and sustenance. It cannot itself manufacture all the things that it requires. There are a hundred things that it needs every day. You know very well that these needs are available only in the world outside; they cannot come out from the body. The food that you eat, the water that you drink and the many other needs of the body do not crop up from the body itself. They come from a secondary source, which is the world outside.

So for physical sustenance and security—to see that the body continues to exist safely—you have to see that certain appurtenances from outside are associated with it continuously, and those associations should be made one's own. They should not be precarious. "Tomorrow I may get; tomorrow I may not get." …

The Three Root Desires : 7.

It is true that we should not be attached to things and there should be an amount of renunciation spirit in ourselves. The initial step in yoga, as I mentioned previously, is to set ourselves in a state of harmony with things, which is another way of saying that we should not be attached to things.

Now, not to be attached may look like detachment. Is it identical? Is non-attachment the same as detachment? They seem to be the same, but they are slightly different. There is a positivity of meaning in 'non-attachment', whereas the word 'detachment' implies a little bit of negativity. It will look that we have to cut ourselves off from connection with certain things when we speak of detachment. But when we speak of non-attachment, it will mean a kind of conscious adjustment of being free from association with things. They look identical, but there is a slight shade of difference.

Association with things arises on account of desire for things. 'Attachment' and '…

The Three Root Desires : 6.

You can adopt one method if you are students of yoga who are intent on real practice for self-development. Have a diary, and when you wake up in the morning, write down the first thought that occurs to your mind. As far as possible, write down all the thoughts that arise in your mind throughout the day until you go to bed at night. When you are busy working, you may not be able to do this always. But if you sit quietly for a few minutes in the evening, you will be able to gather a general idea of the processes of thought that occurred to your mind throughout the day.

Let there be a list of all the thoughts that arose in your mind on one particular day, from morning to night. Do this for one month. Let there be thirty pages of your diary, giving a list of thirty sets of ideas that occurred on thirty days. You can strike a common denominator of the whole process, and you can know something about yourself. "This is the kind of person that I am. For one month I have been basically t…

The Three Root Desires : 5.

This is one aspect of the matter. The other aspect is the involvement of consciousness. Are there things in this world in which you are involved consciously? This requires a tabulation of the items of your involvement—gradually, by calm thought. The so-called spiritual diary is nothing but a method of self-checking that people adopt by putting questions to themselves.

You cannot actually know what kind of involvement your consciousness has with things because the conscious mind operates only in one level at a particular time; it cannot operate in all levels at the same time. If a wedding ceremony in your family is going to take place after a month, for a month you will think about only that. All other things will be brushed aside from the conscious level. It does not mean that other engagements are not there, but the pressure of the immediate phenomenon will be so great that, for the time being, other involvements are suppressed. All things cannot come to the mind at the same time. T…

The Three Root Desires : 4.

There are two ways of looking at this. How did you happen to own any property in the world? You did not bring it when you were born from your mother's womb, nor will you take it when you leave this world. A thing that was not with you in the beginning and will not be there in the end—how did it become part of you in the middle? It is by a kind of psychological association.
"This is my land," you say. That land was there even before you were born. How did it become yours? An operation of thought takes place, and you begin to imagine that it has a vital connection with you. And if you sell that land to somebody else, that vital connection is snapped because the mind says that it does not belong to you anymore.

That land has not moved from that place; it is just there. Even if it has been purchased or sold a hundred times, it will be in the same spot. Nothing has happened to it. It may not be even aware that the sale process is going on. But something is happening in the e…

The Three Root Desires :3.

The position that one maintains in relation to another beside oneself is important. The world cannot be renounced in a slipshod manner, as we usually think, because it is like renouncing one's own self in some way. A part of yourself goes when you renounce the world. If you leave a geographical location and go a thousand kilometres away to another place, it does not mean that you have renounced that place. That place will cling to you as a part of yourself as long as your mind is there in some way—either because you want it, or because you do not want it. Even if you do not want a thing and you are conscious that you do not want that particular thing, it will still cling to you. The attachment of a particular thing to consciousness is either positive or negative. It is concerned, that is all—a kind of concern that you have about things. It may be any kind of concern.

Hence, the usual religious ordinance or requirement that seems to be a part of yoga practice—that renunciation is …

The Three Root Desires :2.

We are told that there are realms of being above this world, of which we are totally unaware. They do exist, and perhaps they exist more significantly than this physical world; yet, they do not exist for us. In our daily considerations, we do not regard them as being there at all. Let them be there or let them not be there. Let the forces of nature be operating or not; we are not concerned with earth, water, fire. We are concerned with people, relations, and a little bit of our daily occupation.

The world's existence, as far as any person is concerned, is to the extent of its involvement in one's consciousness. This is why it is called a self. You will be wondering how the world is called a self, how an object is a self. Its selfhood arises on account of your self, which is consciousness, being involved in it.

If you are not involved consciously through your mind and through your affections, that particular thing does not exist for you. Therefore, the world cannot be handled …

The Three Root Desires :1.

The necessity to be in a state of accordance, assonance and harmony with the world outside is not merely a requirement on the part of yoga practice; it is essential even for a reasonably comfortable life in this world. The world is not so very unimportant as to deserve our neglect totally or to assign to it a kind of secondary importance in relation to our own self.

I mentioned previously that the world is called the secondary self, the gaunatman, in the sense that it is something that is foisted upon our personality by an involvement of our consciousness in a very specific manner. Most people cannot be sure as to how they are involved in this world. Everything is taken for granted, usually. That something is happening in the world, and we are seeing it happening, and we have to do something with it, is a crude, rustic way of interpreting things. But things do not unnecessarily or randomly happen in the world, so we should not take them lightly.

The world's importance arises on a…

Handling Desires :10.

Study of such great scriptures like the Srimad Bhagavata, the Bhagavadgita, the Ramayana of Valmiki or Tulsidas, whatever it be, as a regular sadhana – not merely a random reading as in a library – would also create internal conditions by which the grace or blessings of these holy authors of these scriptures also would descend upon the seeker. When we read the Srimad Bhagavata, we are in a subtle internal contact with the great author Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa. After all, the thoughts are inseparable from the personality who has projected these thoughts.

We are in communion with Vyasa himself in some way when we study the glorious recitations of the Mahabharata or the Srimad Bhagavata. We are in communion with the great sublime feelings of Valmiki when we read the Sundara Kanda of the Ramayana, for example. We are in tune with Christ's tremendous spiritual force when we read the New Testament, Sermon on the Mount, etc. When we read such holy texts like The Imitation of Christ by T…