Vedantic Wednesday: The Happy SELF

The nature of SELF is bliss or Ananda. This we can understand when we look at each of our activities in the world. We alwaysDew_drop_on_green_grass work towards one need – the need to be happy. Consider a student, a mother, an industrialist or a social worker – they throw themselves at something in the world because they derive happiness from doing this.  Some of us seek happiness in activities that benefit us as individuals. Some of us seek the same happiness by doing service. If we can stop judging the ‘quality’ of happiness – we see that the only motivator behind all our actions is to seek happiness.

It is so true even with self destructive habits. When one becomes depressed and resorts to drinking, other abusive habits or when one even takes extreme step of suicide; these are motivated from moving away from situations that are NOT making one happy. Whatever be our state in the world – be it young, old, aged, diseased, etc, we all want to be happy. For some it is in health, for some in fame, for some in relationship, for some in other’s smile.

All our actions then seem to be aligned to the base nature of our SELF – happiness.  Then why are we feeling unhappy despite success? Why do we feel pressurised doing what supposedly gives happiness? Why do we feel incomplete?

It is because of our ignorance. We are ignorant of the fact that however we are today in the worldly context, as SELF we are at this point in time – complete, absolute and in state of Ananda. Forgetting this, in our ignorance instead of connecting with the happiness within us – we search for it outside.  In external objects.

Our ignorance makes us a victim of sensory enjoyments. As we try to appease each one of the sensory demands we realize our need to feel happy is not fulfilled. Over time the futility of this external search sets in. It weighs us down. It is only when we leave the external search for happiness and turn it inwards that we find eternal happiness or bliss. But for many of us it takes more than a lifetime to come to terms with this. We do not turn our search inwards. Till our last minute we attempt to grab the happiness that we feel is present in external objects, while from the very start we have it within us as  the absolute SELF.

It is easier written than believed. It is easier written than experienced. We cannot accept that a beggar on the road is as complete as the richest man when we look at the SELF that propels them. Our conditioning poses a lot of questions on the veracity of this claim.  It is difficult to understand the nature of the absolute when we operate in the realm of a relative world.

And this truth cannot be understood by any other means than individual anubhava or experience. Study of scriptures and contemplation on the lines of the principles within them will help us in directing our thinking inwards, will give us courage to break free of what we believe today is the truth!

 

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3 thoughts on “Vedantic Wednesday: The Happy SELF

  1. Hi Raj, couldn’t agree more. And it is from this truth phrases like ‘live in the moment’, ‘live today fully’, etc. have come up. All links up – do what you love to do, follow your passions, listen to your heart… Such things make you happy. I believe that one should (if he could… break away from conditioning) do things which he really wants to do and loves to do. That is the only way to be happy and experience FLOW and be part of the moment. We are in this one moment… God is in this one moment. Problem is that we are so conditioned that we always strive to ‘become’ and move away from ‘being’.

    1. I completely agree…’Being’ in this moment is what we all have to learn to do. We are either holding on to past or predicting the future, letting go completely of this opportunity to connect with our own self. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

  2. heart this post, Raj! Have been struggling for the longest time with what I want from life and other elusive questions. Its tiring and at times defeating. But i dont feel like giving up, yet.

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