brahma satyath jaganmithya
Brahman is the Truth, the Universe is false.
The requisite background practices recommended for deep Knowledge of Shankara’s ½ verse above was enumerated in a the previous Blog, starting with knowing the nature of Happiness & Love which amount to the same thing.
All beings desire happiness always, happiness without a tinge of sorrow. At the same time everybody loves himself best. The cause for love is only happiness. So, that happiness must lie within oneself. Further, that happiness is daily experienced by everyone in sleep when there is no mind. To attain that natural happiness one must know oneself. For that, Self-enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ is the chief means. – Ramana Maharshi’s 1st publication “Who am I ?”
Briefly stated nothing objective can be instrumental in rendering or increasing Happiness which is purely subjective & in no way related to any objective realm. On the hand, acquiring or attaining a given object can be found to consistently precede a “bump-up” in partial Happiness. So what’s going on ? Now “object” is a noun that can refer to any person, place, or thing, any situation, any quantity or measurement, & so on.
Shankara in several ways makes the point that even this partial “seemingly object–derived” Happiness is not experienced in the Mind nor at all controlled or reproducible by the Mind. Sure, there us an even lesser aliquot of Happiness forthcoming from remembrance of the “happy event”, but that is a new & lesser Happiness connected with thus later mental remembrance experience. And that mental remembrance experience is never as intense as the “happy event” so recalled.
Yet, without the Mind functioning in the need way, mere proximity to or Sense experience of the object cannot prompt any Happiness, nor can Happiness be experienced on all occasions of the needed mental functioning & involvement with the object. Sometimes we don’t like or want it. Nor will too little or way too much, or too much repetition always do the trick. At this point a brief related warning from one of the Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths is apropos:
The nature of Life is Suffering:
– we suffer when we don’t get what we want
– we suffer when we get what we don’t want
– we suffer when we get what we want in that we sense that all is lost in Time
Anyway, so not in or from the object, not in or from the Mind, Happiness is shown by Shankara to be experienced in the Self, from the Self, & as in the Self, as the essential nature of the Self.
Given that peerless authority, & the power of his argument, available in several Shankara texts, again we might ask how does the consistent role of certain objects fit into the picture, at least for certain lower-level portions of partial Happiness ? The expedient explanation (applicable within Maya, within the Illusion of the Waking State Dream) can be summarized as follows:
1) the Mental dissatisfaction (at lack of, loss of, wanting the Object) seems to “Veil” out Eternal True Nature as Happiness itself, as the Self.
2) acquiring or attaining the said object allows a relaxing of that dissatisfaction “Veiling”
3) with “Veil” relaxes, a bit more of our natural Happiness shines through & we may incorrectly credit an object or some Mental process (including Emotions, etc. which are only special kinds of thoughts). Alternatively, we can say that Bliss–Happiness–Love is the only Emotion & that Mental distortion seems to generate the plethora of lesser positive & negative “feelings”.
4) with fading or other loss of the object, dissatisfaction returns, down comes the “Veil”, & our True Nature of Happiness seems to be attenuated, or almost totally lost.
5) the only reliable & complete remedy is Self-Knowledge, Liberation from imagined “dissatisfaction” or Bondage, Self-Realization as Happiness itself. For that, Self-enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ is the chief means. Ramana Maharshi
Happiness is the nature of the Self. They are not different. The only happiness there is, is of the Self. That is the truth. There is no happiness in worldly objects. Because of our ignorance we imagine we derive happiness from them. If, as a man generally imagines, his happiness is due to external causes, it is reasonable to conclude that his happiness must increase with the increase of possessions and diminish in proportion to their diminution. Therefore, if he is devoid of possessions his happiness should be nil. What, however, is the real experience of man? Does it confirm this view? In deep sleep the man is devoid of all possessions, including his own body. Instead of being unhappy he is quite happy. Everyone desires to sleep soundly. The conclusion therefore is that happiness is inherent in man and is not due to external causes. One must realize his Self in order to open the store of unalloyed happiness. Ramana Maharshi Who am I?’
[to be continued]
[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through www.jpstiga.com ]