Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Man in Search of Happiness* Swami Paratparananda

If scholarship alone were sufficient to attain everlasting happiness, then Narada
with his vast knowledge should have been most happy, but he was not. He felt he lacked
something which was the essence of felicity. Where then lies happiness, true and
changeless? In the knowledge of the Atman, in the realization of God or Brahman. It is
not merely theoretical knowledge or book knowledge that Narada refers to, when he
says: Shrutam hyeva me bhagavaddrishebhyah, tarati shokamatmavit iti, “I have indeed
heard from preceptors like you that the knower of Atman goes beyond all sorrow,” but to
the direct experience of Brahman or Atman. The Rishis of olden times, who sought that
Infinite Bliss, attained it after strenuous efforts; and theirs was a different type of life, of
strict brahmacharya, and control of the senses. However, they did not say that they were
the only ones capable of reaching that state. One the contrary, they called upon one and all,
nay even those who resided in the celestial regions to try and obtain their birthright,
Immortality. For example, in the ‘Shvetashvatara Upanishad ’ the Rishi declares: “Hear
ye all, the sons of Immortality, and even ye that inhabit the celestial regions, I have
known the Eternal Purusha, who is beyond darkness and shines like the brilliant sun.
Only knowing Him one goes beyond death. There is no other way to cross this ocean of
The Upanishads are full of passages that indicate the depth and vastness of the
bliss of Brahman: a bliss which is unalloyed, which can be experienced even here, in this
world, provided the person who seeks it, lives his or her life according to the standard set
by the Rishis, who had attained Brahman
Man in Search of Happiness*
Swami Paratparananda
*Article published by the “Vedanta for East and West” magazine - issue 159

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