Three Questions pertaining to HAPPINESS
(Verse Nos. 37, 38, 39 of Ch.XVIII, The Gita)
Did the individual have that attitude to pleasure or happiness which did not care for the initial unhappiness knowing full well that it will lead to ultimate happiness?
OR
Did he have the attitude to happiness which wanted instantaneous pleasure that finally ended up with the disgust and disappointment of unhappiness?
OR
Was he simply satisfied with the dull inertial happiness of sleep, stupor, laziness, error and sin?

Comment: Every one is certainly after happiness and all our activities are motivated by the pursuit of happiness. But all the debate and discussion is about what is happiness. The scriptures say that happiness is not to be sought outside. The Upanishads are never tired of declaring that happiness is one's natural state of being. If you start chasing it you become unhappy. The moment you think happiness is outside you, you have implanted the seeds of unhappiness in your mind. The unhappiness is not in the absence of things, but it is in our wanting them and searching for it. This is not a cynical way of looking at things, but it is a positive assertion. Looking for pleasure in the material sense as an end-in-itself leads to real unhappiness. Happiness, Pleasure, Bliss are always with us in the initial state. Whenever we want something, we move from this initial state. When our want is fulfilled, we go back to our initial state. Therefore happiness is not what was given to us by the thing we thought we obtained, but it is our natural state. Unhappiness arises out of grief, fear or delusion. Grief is always about a happening in the past. One is unhappy or something which he had and which he has now lost; it could be money, possessions, kith and kin, peace, anything. We think we had it; actually it was not ours, it was His. This misplaced vision makes us grieve about our past. Sometimes we are unhappy because we are fearful of the future. What will happen if I lose what I have now? What will happen if nobody comes to my rescue? What will happen if I die? -- all this is fear about the future. In between the past (which creates grief) and the future (which creates fear) there is the present in which we are deluded by our present attachments. The delusion caused by attachment is the reason for the dilemmas into which we always land ourselves: whether we take this alternative or that, both being important for us because each is interlinked with something in which we have placed our attachment. We are attached to the present. We do not want the present happiness to become the past. That is delusion, for it cannot be so. Present happiness will pass and become the past. On the other hand, we think sometimes that the present unhappiness will continue in the future; and that is also a delusion. The happiness given by the senses carries along with it the bitterness of disappointment when the pleasure does not continue, the satiety of fulfillment because we know the pleasure will cave down the next moment, and sometimes also a disgust born out of the satiety. One's sleep also looks like happiness. But it is born out of inertia and ignorance. The only intransient happiness is the state of being the Self. It is pure and unsullied. We are told by the Seers that the state of samaadhi is like this.
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February 15, 1999
Copyright V. Krishnamurthy
Four character-types
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