Who is Happy?

From the teachings of Swami Sivananda Saraswati

A sage is happy. A yogi is happy. The person who has controlled the mind is happy.

Happiness comes from peace of mind. Peace of mind comes from a state of mind where there are no desires, no moha, infatuation, no vishaya or worldly pleasures, no thoughts of objects. You should forget all ideas of pleasure before you enter the domain of peace.

When there is a desire in the mind, the mind is filled with rajas. It is in an agitated condition. It is restless and unpeaceful. It will be restless until the desired object is attained. When the object is attained and enjoyed, when the desire is gratified, the mind moves towards the inner soul. It ceases functioning. It is filled with sattwa. All thoughts subside for a split second; the mind rests in the soul within. The soul’s bliss is reflected in the intellect. The ignorant person thinks that he is receiving the happiness from the object; just as the dog which is biting a dry bone imagines that it is getting the pleasure from the blood oozing from the bone, whereas in reality, the blood comes from its own palate.

Towards ananda

Spiritual bliss is the highest bliss. Spiritual bliss is bliss of one’s own soul. It is ananda, transcendental bliss, independent of objects. It is continuous, uniform and eternal. It is enjoyed only by the sage.

Sensual pleasure comes out of emotion, but bliss of the soul is self-delight. It is the innate nature of the atman. Pleasure is temporary and fleeting, bliss is everlasting. Pleasure is mixed with pain, bliss is unalloyed happiness. Pleasure depends upon nerves, mind and objects, bliss is independent and self-existent. There is effort in attaining sensual pleasures, but there is no striving in experiencing the bliss of the soul. The drop joins the ocean, and the jiva, the individual soul, floats in the ocean of bliss.

Purify the mind by japa, satsang, charity, control of mind, self-restraint, selfless service, study of the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and Yoga Vasishtha, practise – yama and niyama, pranayama, vairagya and tyaga. You will then get a proper instrument for meditation, a calm, sharp, subtle, one-pointed mind. Start meditation with the help of this instrument in the morning and at night. You will be convinced of a supersensuous spiritual bliss. You will have to feel this spiritual ananda yourself. Can you explain the happiness of sugar candy to a boy who has never tasted the same? No, you cannot. The boy himself must eat sugar candy. He must, when he has grown up, taste carnal pleasure. A new kind of indescribable ananda will dawn in you.