How do we seem to obtain Happiness from certain objects & circumstances ? Whatever relative Happiness we may seem to obtain from them is actually a state of our own Mind. Happiness is something that is latent within us, & it sometimes becomes manifest when we experience certain material objects or external circumstances. How does this happen ?
Similarly, though we may understand intellectually that Happiness is our True Nature & that we do not actually obtain Happiness from anything outside our self, we nevertheless continue to feel our self to be somehow lacking in Happiness, & therefore continue to experience desire for things outside our self, as if Happiness could really be obtained from them.
Whenever we obtain something that we like, & whenever we avoid or get rid of something that we dislike, we feel happy. Conversely, whenever we lose or are unable to obtain something that we like, & whenever we cannot avoid or get rid of something that we dislike, we feel unhappy. In
other words, we feel happy when our desires are fulfilled, & unhappy when they are not fulfilled.
Thus the real cause of the Happiness that we seem to obtain from external objects & circumstances is not those objects or circumstances themselves, but is only the fulfillment of our desire for them. Whenever we experience a desire, whether in the form of a like or a dislike for a certain thing, our Mind is agitated by it. So long as that desire persists in our Mind, the agitation
caused by it persists, & that agitation makes us feel unhappy. But when our desire is fulfilled, that agitation subsides, & in the temporary calm that results from its subsidence, we feel happy.
The Happiness that we thus experience when one of our desires is fulfilled is a fraction of the Happiness that always exists within us. When a desire arises & agitates our Mind, our inherent Happiness is obscured, & hence we feel restless & unhappy until that desire is fulfilled. As soon as it is fulfilled, the agitation of our Mind subsides for a short while, & because our inherent Happiness is thus less densely obscured, we feel relatively happy.
Therefore, though Happiness is our own true nature, & though in reality there is no Happiness at all in anything outside us, we nevertheless feel happy whenever our desire for anything is fulfilled & hence we wrongly believe that we derive Happiness from the objects of our desire. We feel Love or desire for other people & for external objects & circumstances only because we believe that we can derive Happiness from them. And we believe this only because we experience Happiness whenever any of our desires for those external things are satisfied.
Our delusion that Happiness comes from the things that we desire, & that therefore by desiring & acquiring more things we will become more happy, is thus a vicious circle. Because we desire something, we feel happy when we obtain it, & because we feel happy when we obtain it, we desire more of it. In this way our desires are always continuously increasing & multiplying.
The raging fire of our desires can never be quenched by the objects of our desire. The more we acquire those objects, the more intensely our desire for them & for other such objects will rage. Trying to quench the fire of our desires by fulfilling them is like trying to quench a fire by pouring petrol upon it.
The objects of our desire are the fuel that keeps the fire of our desires burning. The only way we can extinguish this fire of our desires is by knowing the Truth that all the Happiness that we seem to derive from the objects of our desire does not actually come from those objects but only from within our self. However, we should not think that understanding this Truth by means of our intellect or power of reasoning is the same as actually knowing it. We cannot actually know this truth without experiencing our self as Happiness.
So long as we feel our self to be a limited individual Consciousness that experiences relative degrees of Happiness & un-happiness, we clearly do not experience the Truth that we our self are absolute Happiness. No amount of intellectual understanding can give us the true experiential
knowledge that Happiness is our own true nature, & is not something that we obtain from the objects of our desire. We can understand something intellectually, but nevertheless actually experience something that is quite contrary to what we understand. For example, if we see water in a desert, we may understand that it is only a mirage, but we nevertheless continue to see it as something that looks quite real, & the mere sight of it continues to make us feel thirsty.
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"There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth."
– the "no creation"
, Shankara, Ramana, school of Gaudapada Nome – Ajata Vada
for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see: www.ajatavada.com/