Joy of Unity
Understanding the Unity
Number of Sessions: 10
(K01 – K10)
Number of Lessons: 7
On completion of this unit, the student will be able to
(v) Understand that unity of the truth and diversity of the illusion.
(w) See that multiple levels of happiness are mere reflections of our original nature and live joyfully.
Notes to the teacher: (Ref 11.001 and 11.134 of the original text)
This chapter is titled as Bliss of Yoga. The Yoga is to be explained as the process of identifying multiple objects of the world with the single source ONE.
Students are aware of the universe since they perceive it with their five senses. They do not perceive nor do they have the knowledge of existence of the ONE. Through the known universe they need to be taught about the unknown ONE and shown that the known universe is an illusion and hitherto unknown ONE is the only reality.
15. Why do people seek fulfillment?
16. What are the five mistakes committed by most people?
17. What is the only way of overcoming these five mistakes?
18. What are all the difference between a wise person and others?
19. What are all the four different levels in which we experience pleasure and pain?
20. Why does the Holy Scriptures refer to most people as ‘children’?
21. What is the three-fold division of the single source of joy?
22. Is it possible to go beyond this three-fold division and enjoy our natural happiness?
23. How do we prove that joy is our basic nature?
24. Discuss the relationship among three types of happiness, namely Original Happiness, External Happiness and Internal Happiness.
25. Explain the process of falling into deep sleep.
26. Explain the movement of EGO as described through the example of ice berg.
27. How do we know that there is a Happiness Sheath?
28. Why the vision of a wise man is compared with single vision of the crow?
29. How the life of a wise man is compared with the experience of a man standing in the river?
Lesson 1: Joy of the unity
Session: K01 – K02
SELF and ONE are identical just like space inside the pot and space outside the pot are identical. When we talk about capacity of the pot, enclosed space within the pot appears to be different from space outside the pot. In essence, there is no difference.
Similarly, the consciousness that enliven all our body/mind complexes is only one. In the context of the individual body/mind complex, this consciousness is referred to as SELF and in the context of the universe the very same consciousness is referred to as ONE.
Human beings are ignorant of this truth and assume that they are distinct entities different from each other and independent of the universe. As a result of this ignorance, people assume themselves to be limited entities and have the constant feeling of insufficiency and insecurity.
This causes desire for fulfillment. Since the apparent differences are due to illusory covering, namely the individual body/mind complex, they get involved in various actions in material pursuit.
Example: A professor invited his students who graduated ten years earlier, to his home. He offered hot chocolate in a large jar and an assortment of cups – porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – and asked the students to help themselves.
The cheap and plain cups were remaining and all the expensive and good looking cups were taken. While sipping the hot chocolate, they were looking at each other’s cup and felt that their own cup is not as good as someone else’s cup. While content of all the cups are identical, attention of the people are diverted away from it by the type of the cup which do not add any value to the contents.
Similarly, SELF is identical and same as ONE on which the entire creation is projected as an illusion. The illusory body/mind complex is distracting our attention away from SELF and makes us feel insufficient. As a result, we seek success in our material pursuit with a hope that we will attain fulfillment.
The following are the series of mistakes committed by most human beings.
Mistake No 1: Ignorance. We assume that the finite body/mind complex is our real nature without knowing that in essence we are infinite consciousness. The cups are offered for drinking the hot chocolate. They do not belong to us and we have to leave them behind after drinking. It is ignorance to think ‘this is my cup’. Similarly, the body/mind complex is a tool with which we can experience the joy of living. The joy – like the hot chocolate – is identical for everyone.
Mistake No 2: Lack of discrimination. Since our attention is on the material container (cups) and not on the essential content (hot chocolate), we are working towards better position, more money/ power/ fame and such material goals.
Mistake No 3: Limitation of material pursuit. We do not realize that there is no end to material pursuit. Achievement of materials goals will never give us complete satisfaction. Until we realize our real nature, we cannot get over the feeling of insufficiency or inadequacy. Since our real nature is ever witnessing joy, we can know that we are already complete only through spiritual pursuit and not through material pursuit.
Mistake No 4: Lack of formula for success. Since our actions never give us fulfilling results, we assume that there is something wrong with our actions and look for a formula for success. We look at a ‘successful person’ and try to imitate his actions with a hope that we will also become successful soon. That ‘successful person’ however is also feeling inadequate and working towards his goal of fulfillment. This is similar to the example of a person with a glass cup looking at person with a silver cup, who in turn is envying a person with a gold cup. The search is endless.
Mistake No 5: Wrong classification. Such endless material pursuit results in likes, dislikes, favorable thoughts and unfavorable thoughts. We are not aware that classifying the persons, events and objects in the universe leads to development of attachment and aversion. As a result, our life becomes an oscillation between pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. We are caught in this eternal suffering.
Realizing, ‘I am ONE’, is the only way to overcome this suffering. The Holy Scriptures talks about ONE as follows:
1. By knowing the joy of ONE, one becomes eternally free from suffering.
2. A knower of the ONE achieves the supreme status.
3. One becomes ONE by knowing ONE.
There is no fear or anxiety of the future in the mind of those who know that there is nothing else other than ONE. Only if there is something else other than us, there is a possibility of any fear. A person, who knows that his essential nature is ONE, does not have any cause to worry. This is similar to knowing that the cup does not make any difference to the content. The one who drinks the hot chocolate without paying any attention to his cup or the cups of others enjoys the drink most. Similarly, the person who is established in ONE enjoys life.
Fear, anxiety, worry, guilty feeling, sorrow and such negative emotions do not torment such a wise person. Others are scorched by such emotions because they think they are the doers. A wise person established in ONE knows that all the actions are the manifestation of ONE. He is beyond good and evil. Although engaged in action he does not have any desires. Since there are no desires, he is not born again. Even in this present life he is not tormented by the thoughts of good and bad actions which he might have done or omitted to do.
Lesson 2: Levels of happiness
Session: K03 – K04
Pleasure and pain are experienced at four different levels.
Physical Level: Our five sense organs interact with sense objects of the world. Some objects give pleasure and some give pain. For example, extreme weather gives pain to the body. Temperature within a range is comfortable and gives pleasure to the body.
Mental Level: Our likes and dislikes dictate pleasure and pain at the level of our mind. If we get what we like or if things go according to our expectations, we are happy. The opposite of such events bring us pain. Unlike our physical body, which is a gross object, our mind is made up of subtle matter. Therefore, the objects/ events that give pleasure and pain to the mind vary from time to time and from place to place. At the physical level it is fairly uniform and common. At the mind level the variation is very high.
Intellectual Level: Knowledge brings a higher level of pleasure and pain. If we know something we are happy and if we do not we are unhappy. People want to be competitive and in comparison to others they would like to have more, wider and deeper level of knowledge. The skills, capabilities, creativity and such attributes bring us pleasure and absence of them gives us pain.
Spiritual Level: This is the highest level. While the quantum of pleasure and pain derived at earlier levels increase from physical, mental and intellectual levels. One goes beyond pleasure and pain after reaching the Spiritual Level.
Many human beings do not grow beyond experiencing happiness at physical level and their life is spent focusing on the pleasure and pain at the physical level only. Some move beyond physical level and start enjoying the higher level of pleasure and pain at mental level. Only a few moves further up to intellectual level. A very small percentage of people go beyond the intellectual comprehension of the contents of the Scriptures and attain the highest level of happiness.
Example: A two year old baby plays with a toy. It will be regrettable if it continues to play with the same set of toys even after twenty years.
This is the real situation. Majority of the people do not grow up beyond mental level and intellectual level. They keep engaging in childish activities like earning more money, power, position, name, fame and such mundane pursuits. This is the reason such people are referred as ‘children’ in the Scriptures. Only those with higher discriminatory power seek the eternal happiness rising themselves to the spiritual level.
Happiness at the spiritual level is the highest because only at this level our mind is relatively free to reflect our real nature clearly.
Source of happiness:
Our physical body is made up of gross elements (space, air, fire, water and earth) and it is an inert object. It cannot experience pleasure or pain. Mind is made up of subtle matter. Mind is also an inert object. However, it has the capability to reflect the consciousness and therefore it appears to be sentient. During the waking stage, mind enlivens the body and thereby enables the experience of pleasure and pain possible at the physical level.
Both at the mental level and at the intellectual level, pleasure and pain experienced will become finer and therefore of higher quality.
The only source of joy is ONE which is our real self. This joy is reflected in our subtle body which then is made available for our experience.
Prior to creation of this universe only ONE existed as pure ever witnessing joy. The universe is created by the illusory power of ONE. The body/mind complex is part of this illusion. After the creation, the very same happiness is split into the experiencer, experienced and experience. The ego which is the part of the mind assumes the role of expereincer. The objects of the world including our physical body become the ‘experienced’. The mind is the field of experience where the experiencer experiences the experienced. This three-fold division of the single source of joy provides varying level of pleasure and pain at the physical, mental and intellectual level during the waking stage.
When we enter the deep sleep stage we become one with our original nature. The mind is totally absent during the deep sleep and therefore the three-fold division of expereincer, experienced and the experience come to an end. We are immersed in our real nature and we are aware of the immense happiness.
Mind is not active during deep sleep and therefore it cannot experience the happiness of the deep sleep. However, on getting up we know that we slept peacefully. This is made possible by our consciousness, which is our basic nature. We do not need the help of EGO to know that we were happy during the deep sleep stage.
EGO is essential to gain the knowledge of external objects. To convert the unknown external object as a known thought object, we need the assistance of EGO as discussed in earlier modules. However, for illumining our essential nature, we do not need the assistance of EGO since our joy is self-revealing.
The joy of the deep sleep is superior because it is the original and undivided happiness. However, we are in the state of ignorance during deep sleep state. When we are spiritually awakened, we enjoy the very same original happiness even during the waking state.
The three fold division of expereincer, experienced and the experience is understood to be part of the illusion by a wise person who has become ONE by knowing ONE. Therefore, the illusion is ignored by him. He constantly dwells in the original status of ever witnessing joy. Therefore, he goes beyond the pleasure and pain of earlier levels and enjoys the everlasting happiness at the spiritual level without the three fold division of experiencer, experienced and the experience. He is constantly aware that his own body/mind complex belongs to the illusory part and he is the pure ever witnessing joy.
Every living being is the pure ever witnessing joy and all the body/mind complexes are part of the illusion. However, only those who strive and reach the destination of spiritual pursuit become aware of this truth.
Creation is the result of inherent joy of the ONE. Just as we create the dream world without any effort, ONE creates this universe without getting involved in the process. Every living being in the creation lives for enjoying the happiness. When they reach the final destination of Joyful Living, they are reabsorbed back into the non-dual indivisible ONE.
Example: In the board game of Snake and Ladder, one goes up by the ladder and come down through a snake eternally until the final step of liberation is attained.
Similar, to this game, individual living being go through the three fold division of experiencer, experienced and experience in a cyclical fashion until they are awakened to the truth of their inherent nature, joy.
Question: What is the proof that there is happiness in the ONE? If we could experience this happiness then it is not undivided and it will be like any other happiness that arises out of three fold division. If we cannot experience it how can we know it is there?
Answer: The inherent joy of ONE is self-revealing and it is not available for experience in the absence of three fold division. As long as our ego is assuming that it is a separate entity, independent of ONE, it is not possible to experience joy of the ONE.
Example: The reflection of a light in a mirror cannot illumine the source of light.
Using the reflection of the light, we can illumine various objects and experience them. We do not and cannot experience the source of the light in the same way (of illumining it with the reflected light). We do not need the medium of reflection (our mind) to know the existence of ONE. When our ego dissolves in the knowledge that it is part of the illusion, then the self-reveling ONE will be obvious.
We are able to recall that we enjoyed the deep sleep without the three-fold division of experiencer, experience and experienced. During deep sleep, we are oblivion of all sense objects in the world including our physical body. The mind together with all sense organs is completely inactive. Yet, on waking up we claim that ‘I had a good sleep’. This shows that the ONE is self-revealing. This is a sufficient proof to show that ONE is self-revealing and its nature is joy.
It is said ‘sufficient proof’ because there are two types of people who ask such a question. One is an earnest seeker and for such a person this proof is sufficient. The other one does not have enough mental maturity to understand the meaning of the term ONE and for them no amount of explanation will be enough.
Question: How can the absence of misery and suffering is termed as joy? In deep sleep, a blind person is not blind and a prisoner is not a prisoner. All misery comes to an end. How can we say that this status is joyful?
Answer: It is not that only those who are suffering look forward to sleeping to relieve themselves from all the suffering. Even healthy people, who are happy, willingly go to bed to have a sound sleep. This shows that there is joy in deep sleep, in addition to removal of all sufferings.
Besides, we infer whether a person is happy or suffering based on our inference from the expressions in the face. However, we do not need to infer our own emotions. We directly experience the presence or absence of positive/ negative emotions. Our emotions are illumined directly without the help of EGO. During deep sleep not only we experience absence of negative emotions, we experience joy directly since ONE is self-revealing. Everyone says that they enjoyed their sleep.
When a person retires to bed after a particularly hectic day’s work, there is an anxiety and worry how the next day will turn out to be. As long as he is worried and thinking about various tasks, he cannot fall asleep. Only when he sets aside all his worrying thoughts, he gets to sleep. He does not have to recall the good experiences to make sleeping joyful. Even without recalling any of the past moment of happiness, everyone says that they have experienced peaceful and happy sleep. This can only be possible if ONE is self-revealing and its nature is joyful. This conclusively proves that our nature is joy and self-revealing.
Lesson 3: Joy of variety
Session: K05 – K06
The happiness that we derive through our physical, mental and intellectual levels is the reflection of our real nature. Until we reach ‘home’ of our eternal happiness, we will continue our search. This is explained through the following examples in the Scriptures.
Example: A falcon tied to hand of the master, may fly higher and higher but it has to return to its source to take rest.
Similarly, the mind which is an instrument of human beings go to all conceivable places and travel in three time zones all through the day but it must return to its source at night to take rest.
Example: A hawk may soar to lofty heights throughout the day in all directions in search of food but it must return to its own nest at the end of the day for final rest.
Similarly, the mind of the human beings wanders among sense objects of the world to enjoy/suffer fruits of the past actions. When this is completed, the mind gets back and dissolves into the undifferentiated ignorance. It is again woken up, when more results of the past action are fructifying for experience.
Example: A baby after drinking milk smiles lovingly and appears to be an embodiment of happiness because it does not have any EGO (thoughts of ‘I’ and ‘mine’).
Similarly, when we gain freedom from desires and aversion, we will rise above likes and dislikes and enjoy the peace, security and happiness which are our original nature.
Example: An emperor, however mighty he is, still has lots of duties and responsibilities. He still has fear and insecurity. His happiness is not fulfilling.
Similarly, the happiness derived from material pursuit is always limited and not fulfilling. It is mixed with pain and causes bondage through attachment. Compared to this, the happiness of knowing ONE is superior.
Example: A person, who is established in ONE, has reached the ultimate goal of Joyful Living.
He has done everything that is needs to be done. He has learnt everything that needs to be learnt. He has realized that by nature he is eternal peace, security and happiness.
Since original nature of all human beings is ever witnessing joy, they will not settle down for anything less than the eternal peace, security and happiness. All the varieties of happiness one enjoys are the reflection of their original nature. Such reflection serves as a reminder for them to seek the ultimate. They will not rest until they reach the goal of Joyful Living.
Happiness can be classified into three types.
1. Original Happiness
2. Internal Happiness
3. External Happiness
Happiness is only one and every human being knows what this only happiness is, because everyone has experienced it in life. However, their knowledge on the source of happiness varies. The above classification of happiness is done based on the knowledge of the people.
SELF is the only source of happiness and it is classified as Original Happiness because only very few people have studied the Scriptures and realized this truth by following the steps prescribed in the Scriptures.
Both Internal Happiness and External Happiness are mere reflection of the Original Happiness.
One of the natures of SELF is happiness. SELF is reflected in the minds of the people at all times during waking stage. However, the mind is clouded with thoughts and the reflected happiness is not perceived by the EGO. When the thoughts are silenced, the natural original happiness of the SELF shines. Due to ignorance, people assume this Original Happiness to be either Internal Happiness or External Happiness.
People assume that objects of the world are only source of happiness. Objects of the world, including living beings, do not have any power to give happiness to anyone. However, thoughts of likes and dislikes give such power to the objects.
Most human beings are driven into action by desire. Desire is a set of thoughts. Such thoughts occupy the mind most of the time and preventing the clear reflection of Original Happiness. As and when a particular desire is fulfilled, the mind is free of thoughts for few moments and the Original Happiness is clearly reflected. Experience of this Original Happiness is mistaken as happiness derived through fulfillment of the desires due to ignorance. Therefore, people assume that objects of the world give them happiness. This is classified as External Happiness.
As and when sense objects come in contact with sense organs, we gain experience. Such experience may be a pleasure or pain based on our accumulated preferences. Repeated experiences leave a mark in our mind and one will be able to dwell on pleasurable thoughts and remain happy without any contact with the external world.
One can meditate on any chosen object and keep the mind still without any disturbing thoughts. Due to the stillness of the mind during meditation, the Original Happiness will provide peace and serenity to the person in meditation. This is wrongly assumed as Internal Happiness.
Thus both the Internal Happiness and the External Happiness are actually the Original Happiness and do not come from external world or through meditation.
SELF is only one and this one appears to be multiple objects in the universe and offers various kinds of External Happiness and Internal Happiness. This is the joy of variety.
Lesson 4: Deep Sleep experience of Original Happiness
Due to ignorance people assume that happiness is either external or internal. They do not know that the source of happiness is SELF which is enlivening them. However, they do experience this every day during deep sleep.
The process of falling into sleep:
During the waking stage, our intelligence is fully functional and controls our mind. Our mind is also alert and controls the functioning of all the five sense organs and the five action organs. In this stage, the EGO, which is the reflection of SELF, has complete clarity and the reflection overshadows the original.
In an intoxicated state or when one is mentally tired, the intelligence loses its control over mind. The EGO is in a melted state. Therefore, one does not claim to be the doer during this state. The EGO resigns to the fact that the actions are being done without it doing them.
It is not possible to sleep when the intelligence is fully alert and the EGO is highly active. However, this state does not continue for long. When one retires to bed, slowly the intelligence loses its control and starts disappearing.
At this stage, our sense organs will be functional but EGO is weak to perform any task. It cannot become the tip of the spear and gather knowledge. Therefore, we hear a voice but do not comprehend the meaning. Similarly, even if we talk, our words will be incoherent. This is a sign of withdrawal of intelligence.
When the intelligence is fully withdrawn, the mind starts losing control of our sense organs and action organs. Suddenly our hand or leg may tremble and move involuntarily. After the cessation of the functioning of the sense organs, mind does not get any inputs from the environment. It plunges into its internal thoughts which are accumulated in the past. Such thoughts come in random order and appear as dream. A dream world is created by the uncontrolled mind and the EGO assumes the role of the dreamer. The EGO goes through various experiences during the dream state, which lasts as long as the mind is active.
When the mind is fully withdrawn, one enters deep sleep. At this stage the EGO, the reflection of SELF, merges into the original completely.
One enters the deep sleep stage and returns to the original nature of ever witnessing joy. Deep sleep is always joyful for everyone. Every one recalls that he slept peacefully. Recollection presupposes prior experience. One is aware of nothing. One knows that the mind and intelligence have completely dissolved.
Lesson 5: Movement of EGO
Moon reflects the sunlight completely on a full moon day and it completely disappears on a new moon day. Similarly, the EGO is fully functional in waking stage and completely disappears in the deep sleep stage. It goes through various experiences in line with fructifying results of the past actions in the waking stage and dreaming stage.
In deep sleep stage both complete awareness and complete ignorance are present. Complete ignorance is due to absence of mind/ intelligence. Complete awareness is because it is the nature of SELF. That is the reason we could recall that we slept happily and that we did not know anything.
Example: An iceberg has a specific identity even though its mass and shape are continuously changing. When it completely melts, it merges in the sea and the identity is lost temporarily. When the coldness increases it again regains its mass and shape.
We can compare our physical body with the visible part of the iceberg, subtle body with the invisible part and the causal body with the chillness in the water. Both our body and mind are continuously changing but it has an identity. This identity is our EGO. Water of the ocean is ONE and the water content of a specific EGO is the SELF.
Both our physical body and the mind are continuously undergoing change throughout the day. When we go to sleep, first we lose control of physical body and enter the dream stage. The EGO continues experience good or bad events in the dream since mind is still active. The mind also disappears when we enter the deep sleep stage. Since there is nowhere to cling on, the EGO disappears just as a reflection will disappear if the mirror disappears. The original is not affected by the presence or absence of the reflection or reflecting medium. Similarly, SELF continues to be conscious and joyful during the deep sleep.
When it is time for the EGO to undergo the results of the fructifying past actions, we get up from deep sleep just as the iceberg emerging back when the temperature falls down.
From the deep sleep stage we again drift into dream stage for a while before entering the waking stage. Even after coming out of the dream stage, it takes a while for the EGO to take the full shape and claim as the owner of all the actions. When we are woken up from sleep, we will not know what we say or what we do because EGO has not yet assumed the position of the doer. When we wakeup fully the EGO becomes fully functional.
The appearance and disappearance of the EGO shows its illusory nature. SELF is eternal and changeless.
Whether the iceberg is completely solid or completely melted, it is part of the ocean. Its separate identity is an illusion. When we are in deep sleep stage we are aware that we are one with the SELF since we know nothing and we know we enjoyed peaceful sleep. However, when we are awake, we are carried away by the name and form of our body/mind complex and assume the role of doer/ enjoyer of our action.
All our actions are performed with the sole intention of becoming happy. Once we know that clinging on to the non-existent EGO as our selves is the real problem and by nature we are always joyful, we get liberated.
EGO becomes active during the waking state and dissolves completely during the deep sleep state merging with the original SELF. During the waking hours the only job of the EGO is to serve as a tool to convert the unknown object as a known object and not assume the role of doer/ enjoyer.
During deep sleep every living being is equal. There are no fathers, sons, masters and servants. Only such roles bring us misery and during deep sleep we raise beyond all sorrow because the identification with the mask (role) is resolved and we are with our original face. During waking stage also we need to understand that roles are just roles and not bound by them since our original nature is unattached, unbound and infinite.
Our causal body consists of pure consciousness and joy. There is no trace of ego in the causal body. The subtle body, which includes our mind, is in the latent form. We go back to our causal body during deep sleep and therefore we exist in a joyful and conscious state. From the latent form, when the mind comes to the manifested form, it comes with the knowledge of peaceful sleep.
However, we are not able to explain our experience beyond the words, ‘I slept peacefully and I knew nothing’, because this knowledge is illumined only by the SELF and not by the EGO. All our knowledge in the waking stage is illumined both by the original light and the reflected light and therefore more prominent as explained in the ‘children reflecting light on the wall’ example in the Module H.
In the waking state EGO identifies with our body, sense organs, action organs, mind and intelligent alternatively depending on the circumstances. However, in the deep sleep state it is dissolved and gets merged with the source.
Example: A child plays with clay by making various articles out of it. At the end of the play all the articles are merged back in to one lump of clay.
Similarly, the name and form appears to be varying identity of the EGO, which assumes various roles and in the deep sleep state it becomes one undifferentiated ONE. Chillness of the ocean cannot be identified with individual iceberg. Similarly, we cannot talk about individual causal body since at causal level everyone is ONE.
Lesson 6: Happiness Sheath
Out of the five sheaths with which every individual living being is covered, the Happiness Sheath is the innermost. EGO travels between Physical, Psychological and Intelligence sheaths during the waking period. Happiness Sheath is not accessible for the EGO since both the mind and intelligence have dissolved during the deep sleep. In the absence of the reflecting medium, the reflection, EGO, is no more.
The Happiness Sheath is identical to all living beings and this fact is validated through (a) Scriptural declarations, (b) Logical validations and through (c) personal experience.
Happiness Sheath is like the chillness in the ocean water after dissolution of the multiple icebergs. We cannot talk about the Happiness Sheath at the individual level since it is a sheath covering SELF, which is only one.
Happiness Sheath is closest to SELF and therefore it reveals the natural happiness of the SELF clearly. However, since both mind and intelligence are at the latent state during the deep sleep, the EGO cannot have direct experience of this Happiness.
Example: We cannot see our face directly. We can only see the reflection of our face. It is meaningless question to ask whether the reflected face can see our original face.
Similarly, it is meaningless to talk about the possibility of our EGO to perceive SELF. During the deep sleep state the distinction between the experiencer, experience and the experienced is blurred and not fully eliminated.
During the deep sleep, the expereincer is not EGO but the reflection of consciousness in the latent intelligence. Since it is in the latent form, intelligence is not able to recall the vivid details of the experience nevertheless it is able to recall the happy experience on waking up.
Experience is made possible by the conscious principle of SELF, without the support of EGO.
Experienced is SELF, whose nature is happiness.
Thus, the mind is modified during deep sleep with the happy experience. Even after waking up, this happiness lingers for some time. The individual just lies down in the bed and continue to dwell in the original happiness for a while until the results of the past actions drive him into further action.
During the waking stage the thoughts at the intelligence level are modified when there is an experience of sense objects. This modification of the thoughts constitutes cognition. We gain knowledge only thorough cognition.
Example: Individual water droplets join together and solidify into ice
Similarly, during deep sleep, all the modified thoughts solidify into one undifferentiated mass of consciousness.
This undifferentiated mass of consciousness reflects the happiness aspect of ONE during deep sleep.
On waking up, this experience lingers for a while until the undifferentiated mass of consciousness melts into individual thoughts of distinct knowledge. Then the intelligence takes over and the person gets into the daily routine forgetting the happiness he had experienced during deep sleep.
The reflection of the joy aspect of SELF in latent intelligence of the Happiness Sheath is the happiness that we experience during deep sleep state. This daily experience proves that the happiness is neither external nor internal. Happiness is the inherent nature of SELF.
This experience serves as a daily reminder to all human beings that their original nature is immortal bliss. Therefore, human beings will strive continuously until they realize it, albeit without conscious awareness of this destination.
Without scriptural knowledge and guidance of the teacher, people will assume that Original Happiness is yet another type of happiness that they derive from objects of the world. Technically a person can sleep for most part of his life and enjoy happiness of the SELF but practically it is not possible because one can go to deep sleep stage only as an intermission between his experiences as dictated by his past actions.
Thus, the Scriptures provide the authority on the Original Happiness. The teacher helps to validate the existence of Original Happiness and the illusory nature of Internal and External Happiness through logic. Finally, the Happiness Sheath provides an opportunity for the individual to directly experience it.
Not everyone who understands the Original Happiness through the authority, logical validation and personal experience will be able to lead Joyful Living during the waking hours.
Example: A huge sum of money is offered as a reward to anyone who knows the four Vedas. One man claimed, ‘From your words, I now know that there are four Vedas. So please give me the reward!’
One has to realize and get established in knowledge of ONE, so that he can live life joyfully. This requires hard and dedicated work.
Lesson 7: Joyful Living
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.
Joy of Teaching
Number of Sessions: 5
(L01 – L05)
Number of Lessons: 2
On completion of this unit, the student-teacher will be able to
(x) Understand the type of people who can be taught
(y) Understand the how non-seekers can be taught
Notes to the teacher: (Ref 12.01 and 12.90 of the original text)
The teacher should apply the teachings in this chapter on the students and classify them on how much they can absorb. It is advisable to divide the class into smaller groups and teach them according to their level.
30. What are the three types of people who do not yet seek the teaching?
31. What are the prescribed steps through which the non-seekers could be taught?
32. List the ten differences between the love for self and the love for others.
33. Why we do not live joyfully if it is true that our basic nature is happiness?
34. Is consciousness and happiness are two different attributes of SELF?
Lesson 1: Teaching the truth
Session: L01 – L02
After reaching the destination of Joyful Living, it is natural to feel that we should help others.
Example: After surmounting a highest peak of a mountain through a difficult path, one would like to guide others. From the top one will be able to see the struggle of those who are attempting to scale the peak. Some may be making rights moves while others may be making wrong moves. It is natural to feel the urge to guide them through the right path so that more people could reach the peak faster and with less effort.
Similarly, once the essence of life is understood, there will be a natural tendency to guide others to improve the quality of their life.
However, this is a difficult proposition. There are different grades of people and not every one of them is capable of receiving the guidance.
Example: A medicine which normally cures a disease, may not suit a particular patient. It may do more harm than good. In such a case, a different but appropriate medicine should be prescribed.
Similarly, it is very important to understand people to whom one wants to provide guidance to reach the destination of Joyful Living.
Type 1: Those who do not have enough intelligence
Joyful Living is possible only when a person has sufficient level of intelligence. Most people do not have this qualification and therefore they cannot be helped.
Example: An expert who coaches people to climb mountains will check physical fitness of a person prior to commencement of the training program. A person who does not have enough strength to run for 10 minutes will not be enrolled for the training program. He has to develop the required level of physical fitness and then attempt to climb the mountain. The expert may prescribe certain diet and exercise routines for improving the physical fitness.
Similarly, there are many people who are not yet qualified to commence the journey towards joyful living. Their level of intelligence is below the standard and therefore they have to spend more time (may be more life times) on making the mind matured enough before a meaningful guidance can be given to them.
Life is an activity based learning process. All actions done by an individual goes to increase his intelligence and mental maturity. Therefore, appropriate prescriptions like, ‘earn more money’, ‘pray to god’, ‘follow the traditional rituals’, will help them.
They may take their own time to get the required level of intelligence. The teacher cannot do anything for them.
Example: A student in the 8th grade is not yet ready to enter the college. He has to spend more time and effort in completing the remaining grades in the school before applying for college study.
Type 2: Those who are qualified but happy with life
There are many people who have required potential to commence the journey towards Joyful Living but they do not yet see that life oscillates between pairs of opposites like pleasure and pain.
When they are enjoying, they do not see the need to spend time and effort on learning the Scriptures.
When they are suffering, they will not be able to commence their journey towards Joyful Living because they are bogged down by the problems.
It is a difficult job for a teacher to educate them that it is not possible to live joyfully without studying the Scriptures. It is not the job of the teacher to light a fire on the head of the student and then offer to help him to put off the fire. Only those who have realized the certainty of getting burnt will seek and get guidance of the teacher.
Thus, only those who understand the limitations of objects of the world in giving happiness can benefit from the teaching.
Type 3: Those who are qualified but seeking Joyful Living through material pursuit
Most educated people believe that advancements in science and technology combined with appropriate political and economic system can bring about Joyful Living. It will be very difficult to convince them that they are chasing a mirage.
Only when they realize the futility of prosperity in giving Joyful Living, they will turn their attention to spiritual pursuit. A teacher can help them only at this stage and not before.
Thus, the teacher can become a teacher only if there are students, who are seeking the truth. A teacher cannot on his own volition guide others through friendly advice, discussion and debate or by recommending books.
Lesson 2: Teaching the self
Session: L03 – L04
Normally, a teacher should teach only those who seek to understand the Scriptures. However, if a teacher wants to teach non-seekers, following steps are prescribed.
Step 1: Teach that self is more important than others
In reality there is nothing but SELF. However, this is too difficult to understand. Therefore, the teacher should start from the known self and only after the student understands this he can proceed to teach about SELF.
Everyone understands that there is a difference between self and others.
The first lesson to be taught is self is more important than others. Generally, selfless service is considered as a virtue and selfishness is considered to be an evil quality. The teacher should teach that truth is just the opposite.
A husband loves his wife for selfish reason and never for the sake of his wife.
A wife loves her husband for selfish reason and never for the sake of her husband.
No one loves anyone for the sake of the other and everyone is always selfish.
This truth should be taught using the following examples:
1. A father with a beard kissing a crying baby for his own satisfaction and not for the baby’s satisfaction.
2. Money, gold and other riches are inert objects. They do not need any protection. The rich person loves and protects these riches and it is obvious that the beneficiary is self and not the riches.
3. A farmer loves his cows because they work for him in agriculture.
4. Liking or loving one’s profession is not for the sake of the profession but due to the benefit that brings to oneself.
5. Praying to God is for selfish reasons and not for the Gods. Even if one prays for the welfare of others, the ultimate reason for such prayer is always selfish.
This is a simple and obvious truth. Those who cannot understand this initial lesson are not yet ready to progress to the next lesson.
Unless a person considers that self is the most important entity, he will not have inclination to understand more about self. As long as one is focused on what others will think and the roles played by others in life, it is difficult to concentrate on the lessons of SELF.
Step 2: Teach the difference in love
Once the student understands the truth that all his actions are selfish in nature, he is ready to understand the differences between love for self and love for others. The truth, SELF is the subject and not the object of love, is too difficult to understand. Therefore, the teacher should proceed to teach about the love for self as if self is an object of love. In the process of such teaching shrewd students will start seeing the unique nature of self/SELF.
Following differences between the love for self and love for others is to be taught.
1. There will be an emotional content in love for others. There is no role for emotions with respect to love for self.
2. Love for others will involve desires. For example, love for the son will give raise to many desires for his welfare. Love for the self does not result in any desire because self never undergoes any change and it is constantly present.
3. Attachment to the object of love is common in case of love for others. Love for self does not involve any sense of attachment.
4. If the loved object is another human being, then there will be faith and trust in that person. (If there is a betrayal of such trust, then the love is lost) In case of love for the self, there is no role for faith or trust.
5. If one loves God, there will be devotion and willingness to perform sacrifices for God. These are not present in the love for self.
6. Love for self is expressed through the dominance of Aura component of AEM. When one is serene, peaceful and full of happiness, the love for self is obvious. Love for others will involve fear, insecurity and sorrow. For example, the love for a son will bring misery and suffering from the day of the marriage in the form of expectations and desires of pregnancy, delivery, well-being of the baby, proper education for the child, good job/ wife for the son etc. The possibilities of unhappiness are virtually unlimited.
7. Love for the others keep varying depending on how they respond to our love but love for self is unchanging and always constant.
8. Love for others may turn into hatred but there is no such chance in love for self. Even if one wants to commit suicide it is the hatred towards the body or mind, which are mere objects of love and there will never be hatred towards self.
9. The object of love keeps changing from the time we are born until we die. But the love for self does not change.
10. Love as a means to happiness is partial love. Love for others is partial love since it is always for the happiness of the self. Love for self is infinite and always complete.
Step 3: Suggest inquiry into self
If the student comprehends the teaching thus far, he becomes eligible for this step. In this step, the teacher starts the inquiry process of finding out the most important object of love for the student, namely his self.
Thus, the process of self-inquiry, ‘who am I’, starts in a subdued manner in the following lines.
‘May I never perish, May I ever exist’ is the common desire that is seen in all living beings. Therefore, the love for self is very evident. This desire for eternity is possible only if our nature is eternal.
Example: While visiting a foreign country, any object (food or a person) from the home country appears to be very attractive. This attractiveness is due to the fact that we are used to such object in our home country.
Similarly, since our nature is eternal, we seek eternity.
We are also aware that the feeling of I does not undergo any change at all. We observe the changes in our body, mind and intelligence. We have never noticed an iota of change in ‘I’. There is no young ‘I’ or old ‘I’ because the words young and old refer to the body.
Therefore, self is different from my body/ mind complex.
Self is present at all times and at all stages. During waking, dreaming and deep sleep stages the self persists.
Step 4: Suggest introspection into self
The student may take a long time to complete systematic study of the Scriptures under the guidance of a competent teacher and understand the central message that SELF is the only source of infinite joy.
Then many questions may come up in his mind. A teacher should teach students at this level in the following lines.
Question: Since the consciousness aspect of SELF is fully reflected in the mind, why the joy aspect is not constantly reflected?
The composition of Aura, Energy and Matter determine the reflecting capability of the mind. While the basic composition of AEM in the mind of all the living beings has the ability to reflect the consciousness aspect, the joy aspect requires dominance of Aura.
Example: A lamp may spread light and heat. While light from the lamp fills up the room, heat from the lamp is not widely spread. A person sitting at far end of the room may not feel any heat from the lamp. However a person sitting close to the fire will feel the heat.
Similarly, only people with the refined mind will have the ability to reflect the natural joy of the SELF and lead a life of joy.
Question: Does it mean consciousness and joy are two different attributes of SELF? It said in the scriptures that SELF has no attributes.
SELF has no attributes. We talk about consciousness and joy as two natures of SELF just we talk about the softness and smell of a flower. The flower is only one and it is not possible to separate the softness or smell from the flower. Just because we have distinct sense organs to perceive the flower, we attribute two different qualities to the flower. Similarly, the consciousness and joy are inseparable. When our mind is Aura dominated we will be able to perceive the joy aspect in addition to the consciousness aspect else it is not possible to perceive the joy.
Example: If my nose is blocked, I cannot claim that the flower does not have any smell.
Similarly, only when our mind is Aura dominant, we will be able to reflect the natural joy of SELF. When our mind is Energy dominant, our natural joy is obscured.
Example: The intensity of the sour taste of tamarind is lessened when more salt is added.
Similarly, more Energy component, we experience less joy.
Once the teacher guides the student through the above steps, he will be able to identify the true happiness is his own nature and see that the objects of the world are part of the illusion. SELF is only one and it is common to all the living beings. All the living beings and non-living beings are mere projection of the SELF. Only those whose minds are dominant with Aura can reflect the natural joy of SELF and reach the destination of Joyful Living.
Only such people with Aura dominance will seek the teaching for Joyful Living. Those who are dominated by Energy may want to learn the content of the Scriptures, for improving their performance in material pursuit. Such people should be taken through the above four steps by the teacher.
Joy of Universe
Understanding the Universe
Number of Sessions: 5
(M01 – M05)
Number of Lessons: 4
On completion of this unit, the student-teacher will be able to
(z) Know why there is nothing but happiness in the world
(aa) Understand the perspective of a wise man and that of an ignorant person with respect to the world.
Notes to the teacher: (Ref 13.001 and 13.105 of the original text)
35. How the evolution of the universe is described with the example of pot, clay and potter?
36. What are the three types of material causes?
37. What are the eleven descriptions of ONE given in the Holy Scriptures?
38. Explain why knowledge of the world will become useless after gaining knowledge of ONE?
Lesson 1: The nature of the Universe
The creation which we perceive through our five senses is made up of a single substance called bliss.
Example: The pot is made out of clay. Potter is different from clay. Clay is material cause of the pot and potter is intelligence cause of the pot. Potter will exist before the creation of the pot and after the destruction of the pot.
Consciousness is the intelligent cause of the creation and bliss is material cause of the creation. Pure existence is the nature of consciousness and bliss.
Prior to the creation of pot, it existed in potential form in the clay. Similarly, prior to the creation of the universe it existed in potential form in the bliss. After creation, pot is sustained by clay and if the pot is destroyed it becomes clay again. Similarly, the entire universe is created out of bliss, sustained by bliss for some time and then it is resolved back into bliss. As such there is nothing other than bliss in the creation, just as there is nothing other than clay in the pot.
Potter is different from the pot. But consciousness is another dimension of bliss which alone exists. The potter has the power to create a pot out of clay. The clay is an inert object and it cannot become a pot by itself. Similarly, consciousness ‘created’ the universe by modifying the existence of bliss.
The creation of the pot is attributed to the potter. But creation of the universe is not attributed to consciousness because there is no creation. Consciousness is said to be the intelligent cause of the universe because the created beings are conscious of a universe that appears to be existing. Since bliss appears to be divided between observer and the observed, the consciousness is named to be an intelligent cause of the creation during the initial stages of teaching.
Pot and the non-pot (after destruction) are seen as the clay. Similarly, the universe and its resolution are different status of bliss. The universe when it exists is called as the manifested bliss. Prior to creation and after resolution, the universe is said to be in the unmanifested bliss. Although bliss is the material cause of the universe, it does not become the universe or it causes the universe. The material cause can be of three types.
1. Original Material Cause
2. Evolutionary Material Cause
3. Illusory Material Cause
Both Original Material Cause and Evolutionary Material Cause assume that the output is different from the input. The Illusory Material Cause does not give rise to another product with the same state of reality.
Original Material Cause
When one kind of material is produced from another kind of material then the raw material is called Original Material Cause. While the basic ingredients of both the raw material and the finished product may be identical, the finished product will have some additional attributes which the original raw material may not have.
Example: Gold is shaped into jewels. Cloth is stitched into garments.
In such cases, there is no difference between the raw material and the finished product except that the finished product has a name and a form.
This is not the relationship between bliss and the universe. Bliss is not such a raw material from which the world is created.
Evolutionary Material Cause
When the raw material undergoes certain change and becomes the finished product, it is the case of Evolutionary Material Cause.
Example: Milk becoming curd. Cotton is woven into thread.
In such cases, the raw material is different from the finished product.
This is not the relationship between bliss and the universe. Bliss is not such a raw material that evolved into the world.
Illusory Material Cause
When the finished product appears to be produced in the presence of the raw material, it is case of Illusory Material Cause.
Example: The sea appears to be blue reflecting the color of the sky. The rope appears as a snake in twilight.
The sea water is colorless. It appears to change colors in tune with the color of the sky. However, the sky itself is colorless.
Such is the relationship between the Illusory Material Cause, bliss and the finished product, universe. The universe is an illusion that appears to spring up from the bliss. While the bliss has the status of absolute reality, the universe belongs to a lower order of reality, namely, objective reality. This is similar to a man who sees a snake in a rope while all others see it as a rope. Rope is the objective reality and the snake is the subjective reality. In other words, at the level of objective reality, rope is real and the snake is false. Similarly, at the level of absolute reality, bliss is real and the universe is false.
Lesson 2: The nature of the bliss
Bliss is the power of ONE. It is pure joy. ONE is part less and non-dual. Bliss is not independent of ONE nor is it identical with ONE.
Example: A man has power to sing a song. There can be no song which is independent of the singer and at the same time we cannot say that the song and the singer are one and the same.
Such is the relationship between bliss and ONE. ONE is pure consciousness, pure existence and pure joy (bliss). Bliss causes the appearance of the universe without getting involved in the process. Consciousness is reflected in some parts of the universe giving rise to living beings. ONE alone exists and the existence is borrowed by all objects in the creation.
Just as a magician has a power to bring about an illusory object, ONE has the power (bliss) which appears as the world. The power of the magician is inseparable from him and at the same time it can not be said that he is identical with his power to perform magic. For example, unless an appropriate environment is provided to him, he cannot perform the magic. This does not mean that he does not have the power. There is no magic without the magician and presence of magician not necessarily leads to performance of magic. Similarly, bliss is inseparable from ONE and at the same time it is not identical with ONE.
We can perceive the power of the magician only when he performs the magic. Similarly, we can perceive the power of ONE only by observing this universe. Just as the illusory object created by the magician, this universe is an illusory object created by ONE.
Scriptures give a description ONE and its power as follows:
1. ONE is eternal, perfect and non-dual.
2. ONE has the power to create the universe.
3. This power sustains this universe. This can be observed directly in our action, knowledge and will power. People seem to have the power to know, power to desire and power to act. These are the powers of ONE.
4. Everyone feels that they are conscious. This is the expression of power of ONE.
5. This power of ONE is also expressed as movement of air, hardness of stone, liquidity in water and the ability of the fire to burn.
6. Similarly, it is the emptiness of the space and the perishability of the objects.
7. Prior to creation the whole universe is latent in ONE just as a huge snake is latent inside the egg.
8. When ONE which is all pervasive, eternal and infinite assumes the power of cognition we call it as the mind.
9. When the non-existent EGO appears in the mind, it assumes the status of doer and enjoyer. Hence there is bondage. Therefore, one has to look for liberation.
10. The bliss, which is the power of ONE, is also expressed as the power of sense organs to sense the objects of the word.
11. The bliss also appears as sense objects of the world and feed the mind with experience through making contact between the sense organs and the sense objects.
The whole creation is brought about just as an imaginary story for the children.
“Once upon a time there were three handsome princes. Two of them were never born and one is yet to be conceived in the just born mother. They lived happily in a city which never existed. When they are roaming around, they saw trees laden with fruit growing in the sky and among the trees they saw a beautiful non-existent angel….”
Such stories are narrated to entertain children who do not have the power of discrimination yet. They will not ask how a prince who is not yet born can walk around. They will accept all the narration as true. They will be happy if the fictional characters in the story are happy and will become sad if any sorrowful event happens to them.
Similarly, most human beings do not yet have the discriminatory power to differentiate reality (SELF) from illusion (Universe). They assume that the world they perceive is solid and real. Therefore, they take the events in the world as real and accordingly they feel emotions of pleasure and pain. This is bondage just as children are amused or suffered by listening to the made-up story. It is possible for the story-teller to bring in ghosts within the story and scare the child. The child may start crying and go to bed weeping continuously. Suffering of the people in life is not any different from the suffering of the child listening to the ghost story. People suffer because they give reality to the illusory objects of the world.
The made-up story cannot gain the status of reality based on the number of children, who are affected by it. Similarly, it cannot be said that the world is real because many people perceive it to be real. An older child listening to the story along with others may know that the story is a fiction. Similarly, a wise person who has understood the illusory nature of the universe will not be affected by the events of the world, while the rest of the people suffer due to ignorance.
The story is the outcome of the power to tell story which is inherent in the story teller. Story-teller is ONE. The power to tell story is equivalent to the bliss. The story is the creation, universe.