|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - A
Unit - A03
Lesson - A0310: Why we are not happy?
By Raja Subramaniyan
It is logically shown that our true nature is happiness. The Scriptures also confirm this fact by declaring that we are 'Ever Witnessing Joy'.
However, our daily experience shows that we have lots of sorrows in life. Life seems to be a mixture of pleasure and pain. Everlasting happiness is not evident.
Therefore, it may appear that there is some mistake in our logical conclusion and in the declaration of the Scriptures.
On enquiry, we find that there is no mistake in our conclusion.
The true nature of the self (happiness) is evident and not evident at the same time.
It is evident because we like ourselves.
It is not evident because we feel that we are incomplete and we seek fulfillment from the objects in the external world.
There is a contradiction.
If we are aware that we are the source of happiness, we will not be chasing material objects for happiness.
At the same time, we know that we are the source of happiness, since we like ourselves the most.
If we observe the world, we see people like themselves very much and at the same time, they seek happiness in the external world by pursuing various objects.
How can this contradiction be explained? How can our true nature (happiness) be evident and not evident at the same time?
The answer to the question is it is generally evident but not specifically evident.
Statement 24: We are generally aware that happiness is our true nature.
Statement 25: We are not specifically aware that happiness is our true nature.
The general awareness and the specific unawareness of our true nature (happiness) seem to be the issue. This can be explained with an example.
Example: A child is learning to sing under a teacher. The father of the child wants to see how the child is progressing and visits the classroom where many students are singing together. Does the father hear his child's voice or not?
The answer is 'Yes' and 'No'.
The father is able to hear the child's voice but at the same time not able to ascertain whether the child is singing well or not. This is so because he hears the child's voice in general and not specifically.
Similarly the knowledge 'We are happiness' is generally known (therefore we like ourselves) and not known specifically (therefore we assume that the external objects give us happiness).
For such a contradiction (Being evident and not evident at the same time) to happen there has to be an obstacle. This obstacle causes the blurred vision.
An obstacle (which makes an object some time evident and some time not evident) is defined as a phenomenon, which distorts the existence/ expression of an object and shows it as non-existent and not evident.
Example: When we look at the clear sky in the night, we see stars. The star exists and it is evident. Nevertheless, in the morning we do not see the stars. In this case, the obstacle is the sunlight, which makes us claim that the stars are non-existent and not evident while the truth is otherwise.
An obstacle does not change the reality. It changes our perception of the reality.
Our true nature is happiness. Due to the presence of an obstacle, we are not able to perceive it clearly. This obstacle distorts the existence and expression of our real nature. This is the cause of the contradiction.
The name of the obstacle is Delusion.
Statement 26: Delusion is the obstacle, which distorts the existence and expression of our true nature.
Voices of the rest of the children are the obstacle to ascertain the singing capability of a specific child.
Similarly, Delusion is the obstacle, which prevents us from seeing our true nature of happiness very clearly.
This obstacle has to be removed in order to get a clear view of the true picture.
Lesson 11: Understanding Delusion Session: A13
We have seen that there is only one obstacle that stands between everlasting happiness and us. The name of this obstacle is Delusion. In order to remove this obstacle, we need to understand its true nature systematically.
Statement 27: There is just one obstacle, namely Delusion
The good news is that there is just one obstacle, which is preventing us from seeing our true nature clearly. Once this one obstacle is removed, we will have clarity.
The bad news is Delusion (with a capital D) is more complicated compared to the normal meaning of the word 'delusion'. Normal delusion can be dispelled once true knowledge is revealed. However, Delusion is much stronger.
Although we know that, we are not the body-mind complex we continue to be deluded to think that we are.
Although we know that we are eternal, immortal, we continue to be deluded and be afraid of death.
Although we know that our true nature is happiness, we continue to be affected by the problems of the world.
Thus, Delusion is much stronger. Ordinary delusion will go once we understand truth.
Example: A husband is deluded to think that his wife sincerely loves him, while in fact she is cheating on him. His delusion will go the moment he gains the true knowledge about his wife.
This is not the case with the stronger Delusion, which will go only when we thoroughly understand it in addition to knowing the truth. We know the truth that we are the only source of happiness. In addition, we need to understand the effect (already discussed in the previous lesson), powers and origin of Delusion.
Delusion has two powers, power to shield and power to distort.
Statement 28: Delusion has the power to shield.
The shielding power covers up our true nature (Happiness) from us.
Statement 29: Delusion has the power to project.
The projecting power projects a false image on the truth and distorts it. Due to this Delusion, we think that we are mortal.
Example: There is a 4 feet long rope lying at a distance in the garden. We are not able to see it properly due to poor lighting. The poor lighting is the obstacle. It has two powers. The shielding power covers up the specific nature of the rope so we do not see it as rope. However, it does not fully cover the rope. If it does then we would not have seen anything.
The projecting power of the obstacle projects a 4 feet long snake on the useful rope, making it appear as a harmful creature. If the projecting power distorts the view and shows us a 4 feet long cloth or chain, then we would not have been affected.
Poor lighting is the obstacle, which shields the rope partly and distorts it to appear as a snake. Similarly, Delusion is an obstacle, which shields our true nature and also distorts it.
The shielding power of the Delusion covers up the true nature of our self, which is Ever Witnessing Joy. However, it does not cover it up fully. It shows the Joy part alone. That is the reason for us to like our self because we see a part of the true nature of our self. If it had covered our nature fully from us, we would have been as happy and contented like animals. Animals have awareness but they are not aware of their self.
Human beings have more problems compared to animals because the shielding power of Delusion covers up our real nature only partly. Therefore, unlike animals we are aware that we are the source of happiness.
If the shielding power of the Delusion covers up our true nature fully then we do not have any problem. Ignorance is bliss! We need to progress from this half-baked wrong knowledge to complete true knowledge by removing the Delusion fully.
Then we will realize that Knowledge is bliss.
The projecting power of the Delusion distorts the true picture of our self. Instead of showing the Immortal (Truth) Knower, it shows an opposite quality (mortal body/mind complex) as our real self.
If the projecting power were not present, it would have been much easier for us to remove the Delusion. Since it is superimposing an opposite quality on the reality we are Deluded. If we had mistaken the rope for a chain, we would not have been afraid. But, since a dangerous snake is projected on an innocent rope, we have a deep problem on hand. Similarly, since we are thinking that we are a limited, mortal human being (the projecting power of Delusion has superimposed this negative factor on our positive real nature) we seek fulfillment from the objects of the world. We are not aware that we are complete and limitless as we are.
Example: A prince is thinking that he is a beggar.
It is more difficult to remove such ignorance. He has to start from the very beginning on why he is thinking that he is a beggar in order to comprehend and realize his real nature.
Similarly, we need to figure out the origin of Delusion in order to realize our true nature of Ever Witnessing Joy.
Statement 30: Delusion is beginning less
Delusion is part of the creation.
ONE, which is the only reality, is under the Delusion that it is a mortal living being due to the creation of this universe. If the creation has a beginning then it could be said that the Delusion has a beginning.
Since, creation is beginning less, Delusion is also beginning less.
We need to understand the process of creation so that we can comprehend Delusion.
Question: Why I do not realize my true nature is Ever Witnessing Joy?
Question: How to remove the Delusion?
Answer: First, we need to understand the true nature of this Delusion.
Question: How to understand the Delusion?
Answer: To understand the true nature of Delusion, it is necessary that we understand the entire creation.
Example: When a virus affects a person, it is not possible to cure him unless we have complete knowledge of the virus. Scientists study about the virus not because they are interested in the virus. Their main concern is the welfare of the human being.
Similarly, we need to study the Delusion so that we are free from it. Delusion plays a specific part in the creation of the universe. Therefore, we need to understand the entire process of creation.