Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Man in Search of Happiness* Swami Paratparananda

Again, speaking about happiness, Sri Ramakrishna said that there were three
types—vishayananda, pleasure one gets in the satisfaction of the senses; bhajanananda,
happiness one derives out of the spiritual practices, and brahmananda, the bliss that one
attains on realization of Brahman or God. The last one cannot be measured or compared
to any other happiness; it cannot even be imagined. The Upanishads have tried to give
an inkling of its vastness in various ways. For example, in the 'Taittirya' we come across
a passage where the happiness of the different types of beings, beginning from man to
Brahma, the Creator, is described and compared. Then it goes on to state that even the
bliss of the Creator is nothing compared to that which one gets on realizing Brahman. In
another Upanishad we read that the whole creation is sustained by an infinitesimal
fraction of this bliss, matrena upajivanti. Now the question arises: "If this were so, why
does man, an intelligent being, a being endowed with the faculty of thinking and
discriminating, run after the petty and worthless things of the world neglecting such a
mine of bliss which is his birthright?" There are two answers to this question: (1) that
many do not know about the existence of such a kind of bliss and as such do not seek it; and
(2) that many though aware of its existence find it difficult to overcome the pull of the
outward going senses.

Man in Search of Happiness*
Swami Paratparananda

*Article published by the “Vedanta for East and West” magazine - issue 159

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