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Knowledge – Upasana – Happiness

So long as a man does not know the real nature of a subject, its effect and benefit, he will not be convinced of it! nor does he settle on it. And unless he settles on it he does not get peace and happiness. The mystery of all happiness lies in the steadying and settling down of the activity of the mind (Chitta-vritti). Happiness is the heir or result of peace and rest. Such is arrangement in the order of Nature. All this game is according to that arrangement only. But knowledge spirituality, on the importance of which so much stress is laid, concerns itself with the problem of bondage and veil. Otherwise, what has happened is happening, or will happen, and will continue to happen, and this goes on in its own sequence.

Now the question is: where is the greatness of knowledge if everything happens automatically? Where is the need to know, and for the desire and effort to know? The answer is that that which is called know­ing, and the struggle to know, also exist in the same order of Nature. How can we escape from it? What is destined to happen would definitely continue to happen. Then the question would be: 'Why should we bother, when a certain thing happens without our bothering about it? In that case our effort would be useless, and the thing remains unattainable. The answer to this is 'better do not worry'. If there is no worry it is well and good. But what we call worry" is minds' itch (Kured), which is the result of inner desires. And so long as the desire is not fulfilled, it will be there working for fulfilment. This desire is called Vasana in Sanskrit. Due to this alone the human world comes into being, and unless this desire is transformed into desirelessness one cannot get peace.

The transformation of desire into desirelessness means stability, upasana and settling. This is secured either by knowledge, or by contentment due to fulfilment of desire. A sort of stability comes after obtaining a desired thing. Hence the wise have sung in praise of knowledge, and it is true to the word. The deficiency in discrimination, judgment and firmness of mind is bound to be there so long as one does not gain knowledge. It is a known fact that a man who cannot take a quick decision and hesitates is always restless or is always perturbed. Another thing is that every condition does not always remain the same in Nature. It has a rise and fall. For example, the waking state withdraws into the dream state, and the dream state naturally with­draws into the state of deep sleep. Again the state of deep sleep rises either in dream state or in the waking consciousness. This is the daily routine called by the name Kal-chakra or wheel of time.

Contentment and desireless-ness are almost one and the same condition. The fulfilment of desire can be called Bhog and desireless-ness (of desire) can be called Yoga. Yoga is Bhog as well. Tasting is Bhog; and Yoga is the name for the union of the essence. Knowledge and action both become one towards the end. Thousands of works (Karma) are produced from one work (Karma), and innumerable desires take birth from the womb of one desire in the beginning. Not know­ing about these things is to dwell in darkness. When experience is gained in performing action (Karma) and removing desires, and when the mind is purified, the condition of knowledge opens. Then discriminate is awakened. One steps into the region of light, and the mind remains firm in desirelessness. Work (Karma) is the first stage and knowledge (Jnana), the last. Engaging in conversation without thinking and under­standing is the first stage. It is called Mimamsa. Mimamsa are two: (a) The Purva Mimamsa or search for the first knowledge and (b) the Uttara Mimamsa or search for subsequent knowledge. The first is action or work (Karma), which is only related to the knowledge of the utilitarian status of the Veda? If this is the idea, then it is the first stage. And Uttara Mimamsa is knowledge; but only that knowledge which is related to the essential status of the Vedas. This is the subsequent (superior) stage. Those who under­stand them as such are not deluded. But those who perform ordinary action keeping in view the fulfilment of some desire, raise action after action and desire after desire; and being caught in the web of this 'cycle' are thrown far away from the destination. Likewise those who, knowing the purpose of knowledge, restrict them­selves to mere argumentation, proof and discussion are lost mid-way. They become verbal pedants and will be nowhere.

Action (Karma) is the practical or utilitarian side of the manifestation of existence, whereas knowledge is its essential aspect. These two aspects are conjoined with the middle link which is the human heart. This very heart sends its current in the grosser regions of existence; causes the action to be performed and practiced; and thus arranges for the expression of its existence. The same heart sends its currents (vibrations) in the subtler regions and, assuming the heirship of its knowledge, settles in the middle. So long as it lies in knowledge and action (Karma), it enjoys the bliss of both. But if it leans completely towards either of the two, it becomes either this or that, because it has the reflection and influence of both the subtle and gross regions.

If this heart is weaned away from both action and knowledge, and is taught to settle (stay) only on the subtler region, in that case the teaching is called Upasana. The result of this upasana is designated as bliss and peace, which is kept as the final goal. But there is the pleasure (happiness) of duality (Dvidha), in this upasana, which is not to be relied upon. It is a defect. The gross region of the body is the place of multiple transformation (Change) of matter. The Vritti or active current of mind is disturbed again and again from this place; and since happiness is the state of concentration and settling down of the disposition of the mind, misery or sorrow is experienced on its being disturbed. Its happiness is (a) temporary, (b) transient and (c) dependent, (d) increases consciousness, (e)thrown in hesitation, (Dvidha), and one can attain neither enjoyment (pleasure-Bhoga) nor union with the Ultimate (Yoga).

In the same way, with regard to the spirit, since it takes with it the influence and shadow of materiality, it cannot have a firm footing there also; and it goes there without any consciousness, and returns from there in the same condition. Desirelessness and contentment will not come. It remains imperfect and full of defects. The qualities of perfection are not developed in it, nor does it attain perfection.

The scriptures describe three forms of happiness and misery, (a) Adhibhautika—caused by the creatures made of elements of Nature; (b) Aadhidaivika—caused by fate or gods; (c) Adhyatmika—caused by ones own heart in the heart. Thus misery and happiness is caused according to the combination and influence of these.

Happiness is the name of a certain disposition of mind, of Upasana, of the condition of firmness, settling and withdrawal of mind; and misery is the name of that disposition in which there is wicked desire, evil propensity, jerk, removal and weakness. Except this, happiness and misery are nothing. The disposition of mind (active current of mind) flows all over the body from head to foot in the form of currents through the veins and arteries. Happiness is experienced where it settles or dwells, and misery is experienced when it moves or is removed from there by force. It, the mind, always plies between the physical, mental and spiritual planes, and experiences happiness and misery. If it travels of its own accord in a natural way, then it will not feel happiness and misery. On its settling, happiness is experienced, while misery is experienced on its being removed by force. Thus happiness and sorrow is the play of settling and moving or removal of the current of the mind.

For example, two persons are playing chess. The minds of both are concentrated on the game. They are deeply interested in it, and they get pleasure, freshness and happiness. If a third man comes and annoys them, or disturbs the game, and overthrows the chess-board, their settled mind is perforce removed. Or, in other words, it was compelled to move. The result is, the relation is cut off. There is disinterestedness and un-happiness (sorrow). This is the first instance.

Take another example. A person goes for a stroll in the garden. He is seeing flowers, creepers, avenue trees, and beautiful scenery, the area emitting fragrance. His disposition of mind is settled on it and he is happy. If his attention is made to divert perforce through the influence of any individual, event, or opposition, his happiness is converted into sorrow.

Take one more example. Sitar and Tabala are being played; the songster is singing. The mental disposition of the hearer is immersed in the song or music, and he is happy. If some one removes him (the hearer) from that place his disposition will be removed from there, and he becomes unhappy.

This disposition gets happiness when it makes the edible articles and the organ of taste as its centre and settles there. Remove the articles or bite the tongue. The disposition suddenly withdraws itself, and the re­sult will be unhappiness. Provoke a dog chewing a bone and see the result! When a man is hale and healthy the current of mind flows through the viens and arteries and settles on the physical plane, which results in happiness. If there is an injury, or the vein is cut, or there is bleeding, the flow of the current will not settle. It has to move away again and again account of the injury, and the result cannot be anything other than unhappiness.

In the state of perfect health the disposition settles, resulting in happiness. In ill-health it becomes unsettled and the result is unhappiness. If the abdomen functions well on account of the settling of the disposition, there is happiness. If there is heaviness or indi­gestion and the disposition is unsettled there is pain and unhappiness. Likewise this is applicable to all condi­tions of ill-health. There will be two conditions on rubbing ointment over the wounded part of the body. Either the continuity of the veins will be re-established without any hindrance to the current to flow; or that part will be benumbed and the disposition will cease to unsettle, with the result that there will be no unhappiness.

When a sympathetic friend, a physician, a guru or an affectionate relative comes and sits beside a patient, the flow of the patient's mental disposition leaves the lower part of the body by the effect of medicine and reaches the brain, which unconsciously becomes its centre as per natural law. So, there will be no feeling of pain when a person breaks his head by falling from a high mansion. The flow of his mind, due to the effect of the blow, leaves the lower part (region) of the body and settles in the brain. There, too, the same difference is found. Happiness is not anywhere outside. It is in our fixing the attention, in the steadiness of disposition, and in the withdrawal of our mind. (Surat). Those who know this secret need not search for happiness outside.

A person is engaged in a particular thought making his heart as its centre. He is merged in joy on knowing the result. This thought may pertain either to a mathematical problem, or to an enigma in astronomy, or to a question in philosophy, or it may be any other thought – there, too, he gets happiness and is in a state of merger. If any one disturbs him the disposition is unsettled and he will feel unhappy.

No other theory is tenable in the spiritual field except that of the flow of disposition and steadiness of attention. Spiritual happiness is nothing but stadiness, settling and peace.