|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - O
Unit - O01
Lesson O0101: Objects and Happiness
By Raja Subramaniyan
It is not possible for anyone to desire an unknown object. Desire presupposes knowledge. Intensity of the desire depends on depth of the knowledge.
Example: Prior to introduction of mobile phone services in the country, there was no one who had the desire to buy a mobile phone. When it is introduced, those who had the knowledge of its existence, desired to buy it. Only when more people gained knowledge the desire became widespread. Desire for buying a mobile will become intense when someone known to us buys one.
All human beings want to be happy. This desire for happiness is not possible if people do not know what happiness means. Everyone has experienced complete happiness sometime or other. Most people recall that their childhood days were full of happiness. Since they have complete knowledge of happiness, everyone desires to be happy all the time and no one wants to be unhappy at anytime.
This experience of happiness is possible through objects of the world. As child, they were happy with toys, balloon and chocolates. As they grew their source of happiness shifted to more complicated objects and which were not as easy to obtain as before. Therefore, money became an important instrument to gain happiness.
Thus, objects of the world serve two opposite functions.
1. They serve as a means of happiness. Without objects of the world, so many people would not have been exposed to the experience of happiness. Objects, by providing the experience of happiness, have provided a goal for all human beings, which is to work for happiness.
2. They have misguided people into wrong path. While helping the people to set the right goal of seeking the happiness, they have given the wrong idea that the original source of happiness is in the objects. Therefore, people are involved in material pursuit with a hope that soon they will have enough money to make their life joyful.
Since it serves as the initial gateway to happiness to most of the people, it is important to understand the objects of the world.
Objects of the world comprises of everything that we perceive. They include all inert objects, living beings, events in life and intangible objects like power, position, property etc. They promise happiness to people. This happiness is enjoyed by people at three levels. At the physical level, the objects of the world give happiness to a person by coming into contact with the sense organs. By developing positive emotions on certain objects, people enjoy happiness at the mental level. Finally by gaining knowledge on the objects, people enjoy happiness at the intellectual level.