SWAMI SHANKARATILAKA

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THE HAPPINESS PARADOX

by Swami Shankaratilaka969170_680031662042459_1086138198_n

We all want to be happy. May be not right now and may be not all the time, but sooner or later we all seek a time when we will be happy. We seek it in the work that we do, in the connections that we build and in the experiences of our daily lives.

Viktor Frankl, was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, puts it beautifully: “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.”

Swami Chidananda Sarasvati teaches:

The happiness depend upon peace of mind

The happiness depends upon peace of mind. Happiness arises in a calm, tranquil state of mind alone. Happiness, in the truest sense of the term, is the that changeless experience right within you.

Simplicity of life is the true secret of happiness

Simplicity of life is the true secret of happiness. Unhampered experience of joy, which lies within, comes out of simplicity. A simple and contended life depends more upon God-made thongs than upon the man-made objects. If you discover this secret, there will be no end to your happiness.

Swami Chinmayananda Sarasvati teaches:

Who is a happy person?

He alone is a happy person who is a master of his own mind and able to overcome the impulse of desire and anger.

Happy person is a Yogi

Shri Krishna say in the Bhagavad Gita 5:23, “He who is able, while still here in this world (karma loka), to withstand, before the liberation from the body in the death time, the impulse born out of desire and anger, is a yogi, he is a happy man”.

Perfect happiness

Thus Krishna has assured Arjuna, in the Bhagavad Gita 5:21, and through Arjuna others like us who will read and try to understand this immortal scripture, than man can live perfectly happily while in this form, among these very objects, in this very world, during this very life, if only he in his spiritual evolution learns to renounce his impulses of desire and hatred: “With the self unattached to external contacts, he finds happiness in the Self; with the self engaged in the meditation of Brahman, he attains endless happiness.”

What is the best form of happiness?

The joy that a man discovers in himself subsequent to self control, scriptural study, meditation, etc., is indeed the best happiness. The hoy arising out of inner self-control and the consequent of self-perfection is no cheap gratification. In the beginning its practice is certainly very painful and extremely arduous. But one who has discovered in oneself the necessary courage and the required heroism to walk the precipitous path od self-purification and inward balance comes to enjoy the subtlest of happiness and the all-fulfilling sense of inward peace. This sukham, happiness, arising out of self-control and self-discipline is classified here by the Lord as the sāttvica “happiness”. Shrī Krishna say in the Bhagavad Gita, 18:35. “That which is like poison at first, but in the end like nectar, that pleasure is declared to be sāttvica, pure, born of the purity of one’s own mind due to self-realization”.

The joy, peace and serenity come to experience as a result of their discipline and contemplation

The peace and serenity, the joy and expansion that the mind and intellect come to experience as a result of their discipline and contemplation are the true prasāda. The joy arising out of spiritual practices provided by the integration of the inner nature, mind and intellect, is called prasāda which is the sāttvica-happiness or prasādajam.

In short, the sense of fulfillment and the gladness of heart that well up from the bosom of a cultured man, as a result of his balanced and self-disciplined life of high ideals and divine values of life, are the enduring happiness of all men of perfection, of all men of true religion.

Shrī Krishna say in the Bhagavad Gita, 6:27, “Supreme Bliss verily comes to the Yogī whose mind is quite peaceful, where passion is quieted, who is free from sin, and who has become Brahman”.

 

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