Friday, August 12, 2016

Variety in Happiness ~ Swami Krishnananda

Variety in Happiness  
by Swami Krishnananda

extract from his book "The Philosophy of the Panchadasi"

Happiness always derives from Atman within
by Swami Krishnananda
When there is the feeling of the possession of a desired object, there is also a temporary cessation of that desire, and the quality of Rajas in the mind which propelled the desire outwardly comes to a cessation. The Rajas having ceased for the time being, there is a quick introversion of the mind and a revelation of the stability of Sattva brought about as a consequence, which occasions a sudden reflection of the Bliss of the Atman within, which makes one happy at the time. Sensual happiness, therefore, is not something imported from the object outside, but really belongs to the Atman within, though, on account of ignorance, the Jiva does not know that this is the fact. The object merely acts as an outward agent causing a temporary cessation of Rajas in the mind and an accidental manifestation of Sattva, wherein the Atman is reflected perspicaciously. Thus, it becomes clear that every sensory happiness of the world is ultimately a distorted expression of Brahmananda (Bliss of Brahman). 
Yet the mistake here lies in the Jiva’s wrong notion that the pleasure has come from the object, and its consequent clinging to the object. It is this clinging that causes the sorrow of the Jiva, and its transmigratory life is occasioned by its desires due to love for pleasure. In this world there are only sense-pleasures of various kinds, but the true Bliss of Brahman is never felt at any time except during the short duration of the interval lying between the cessation of a thought and the rise of another. 
 Happiness of deep sleep

Broadly, we can classify happiness into three groups: 
1) Bliss of Brahman experienced in direct realisation; 
2) Impression or the Vasana, of it, experienced immediately after waking from deep sleep, etc; 
3) Sensory happiness which is the reflection of Brahman Bliss through the psychological organs. 
Other than these three types, there is no happiness anywhere. However, it does not mean that there are three independent kinds of happiness; the latter two are only manifestations of Brahmananda, or Absolute Bliss. The Bliss of Brahman is manifest in the state of deep sleep in the way explained, and the mind and intellect, working in dream and walking, distract it by the operation of Rajas, externally. The same thing, in fact, appears as the cause in sleep and as effect in the other two conditions. These changes in the states of the Jiva are due to the working of the Karmas of the past, lying hidden as latent forces ready to germinate when suitable circumstances are provided. During the waking state, Consciousness pervades the whole body and is said to be specially active in the right eye; in dream it operates in the region of the throat, and in deep sleep it resides in the heart. There is a gradual widening of the field of Consciousness as it moves from sleep to waking. It is due to the identification of Consciousness with the objects in the waking state that one begins to feel that one is a human being, and so on. Such feelings are connected with bodies and are not relevant to Consciousness as such. The individual is, accordingly, happy, or unhappy, or indifferent, as and when the forces of the Karmas begin to work differently in the different stages of evolution. When there is a complete cessation of both happiness and sorrow, it means that the Karmas are not actively operating. By contact with physical objects, and also by generating of imaginary ideas, happiness and sorrow are possible, but when there is neither of these experiences there is joy which is not born of sense-contact, and in this condition of silence of the mind true spiritual bliss is revealed.

On account of there being a generality of egoism (Ahamkara) in these experiences, the Jiva does not have actual experience of Brahman then, but only the inferential glimpse of it. 
Egoism is of two kinds, gross and subtle. 
1. The gross one is that by which one refers to oneself as “so-and-so”, meaning thereby that oneself is a body. 
2. The subtle ego is the simple feeling of “I am”, without any other association, such as the body, etc. 
The subtle ego-consciousness prevails even when there is an experience of spiritual happiness, when there are no thoughts of anything in particular, and there is silence of mental activity. Just as we can infer that cool water is in a pot by the feeling of coolness outside the wall of the pot, so can we infer that there should be an Absolute due to the very fact that there is cessation of thought and individuality-sense. In proportion to the forgetfulness of the ego by the practice of Yoga does one gain an insight into the spiritual happiness revealed through the development of a subtle vision within.