Friday, August 26, 2016

The apparent dichotomy between meditation and worldly life prompted me to ask a question of my own.

Q: How is it that one gets the same happiness from worldly activities that one gets from meditation?

Bhagavan explained that contrasting emotions were all a product of the mind. 

'One's happiness and suffering are dependent on one's mental state. Happiness is our natural state. Suffering occurs when one leaves the Self and thinks that the body and the mind are 'I'. What to do about this? The thought 'I am this body' has been strengthened over many births. What remains after it has been destroyed is happiness'

Bhagavan had not directly answered my question about the different types of happiness but the matter was clarified later when another devotee asked a similar question:

Q: Bhagavan, the shastras talk about so many different kinds of ananda [happiness or bliss]. Are there really so many different types?

Bhagavan: No. Ananda is only one. That ananda is itself God. Our natural state is ananda. Because this is experienced externally through various sensual enjoyments, various names are given to it. However many varieties of happiness are enjoyed, many millions of varieties of miseries will also have to be experienced. But this is not so far a jnani. He enjoys all the happiness enjoyed by everyone in the world as his own Brahmananda [bliss of Brahman]. Brahmananda is like an ocean. The external type of happiness are like the waves, foam, bubbles and ripples. 

Ananda is common to all in sleep. All living things and all human beings from a pauper to an emperor experience ananda equally while they are asleep.

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