|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - K
Unit - K01
Lesson K0107: Joyful Living
By Raja Subramaniyan
While residing in the Happiness Sheath, one experiences the Original Happiness. On waking up, the EGO is born and it gets itself identified with the Physical, Psychological and Intelligence Sheath and goes through various experiences.
Example: 'I am the body. I have knee pain' or 'I am the father. I am very proud of my daughter' or 'I am a professor. I am an authority on my subject'
These experiences alternate between pleasure and pain depending on the fructifying results of the past actions. Between these two extremes, one often experiences the Original Happiness intermittently.
Example: 'Now I do not have any worries. I am happy.' No one says 'I am unhappy without any reason'
Thus, everyone during such intermittent gaps feel the true nature of SELF which is Original Happiness. However, such gaps become far and few as a person grow from childhood to adulthood to old age. Therefore, people end up calling life as a struggle.
Even the happiness that is felt during the intermittent gaps is not recognized as Original Happiness by many. They mistake it for either External Happiness or Internal Happiness.
Example: "I am very happy after seeing this movie. It made me forget all my worries" or "I got the long overdue promotion. Now I am happy".
Thus, people do not recognize that they are indeed experiencing their Original Happiness whenever they are happy.
Example: By touching the outside surface of a pot containing water, one can infer the cold water inside. There is no water in the outside surface but the chillness indicates the content of the pot.
Similarly, by experiencing the External and Internal Happiness, intelligent people infer the Original Happiness through the guidance of a teacher. Once one realizes the Original Happiness is the nature of SELF, then he will be able to abide by it all through the waking hours.
He understands that his EGO is a mere reflection of SELF. Identifying with the SELF he is no longer feels that he is a body, father or professor. He will go beyond the pleasure and pain and start living joyfully since he has realized the Original Happiness.
For the person who is established in ONE, the world is seen as an expression of ONE.
Example: A crow has a single vision which alternates between two eyes.
Similarly, a wise man has a single vision that there is nothing but ONE. He does not experience anything other than ONE. Both the Internal and External Happiness are two different eyes to him. Whichever eye he uses to see, he is aware that he is seeing the same object. He is aware all the happiness stem from his basic nature. There is no unhappiness at all in life for such wise people. A movie containing many ups and downs in emotions is enjoyed by the audience. Similarly, a wise person sees both pleasure and pain offered by the experiences in life with a single vision. They are part of the ever changing nature of the illusion.
A wise man will live joyfully all the time and deal with the world differently according to the people he encounters.
Example: A person who knows two languages will be able to convey his single thought easily in both the languages so that the listener (who knows only one language) understands well.
Similarly, while he knows that his EGO is a reflection, he will be able to use it as if it is real while dealing with the others. He may say, 'I can do it' although he is aware that no one does anything nor can they do anything.
He will experience the Original Happiness and the miseries of the world at the same time and remain joyful.
Example: A person standing in a cold river in hot sun experiences heat in the upper parts of the body and chillness in the lower part of the body at the same time. At will he can plunge into the water and escape the heat.
He is aware that although his original nature is happiness, his illusory body/mind complex will have to go through experiences of pleasure and pain according to the fructifying results of his past actions. Such experiences will come to him both during the waking stage and during the dream stage. He does not differentiate between the dream experience and the waking experiences because they are not different. Both belong to the realm of illusion and both are experienced due to the fructifying results of his past actions. While undergoing the experiences at the surface level he will not be affected because he is rooted in the knowledge that he is unattached, unlimited, eternal, ever witnessing joy.
Life is joyful for such a wise person.