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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Five flavors of happiness

We all experience the happy moments and the sad moments in life. And we continually strive for happiness - ever lasting happiness because that is the true nature of our consciousness – Sat-Chit-Anand (Eternal-Conscious-Blissfull). The sages of the east did a lot of self analysis and broadly categorized five flavors of happiness.

Every living being live, enjoys and chase the happiness associated with sensual pleasures. The wise men also called such happiness as the “Vishay-Sukh” or the material happiness. Such happiness is related with the five senses and their associated subjects: tongue experiences the delicious taste; eyes observe the beauty; ears hear the melodious sound; nose smells the fragrance; and the sensual pleasures of the touch of body with the opposite sex. I don't have to describe these pleasures in detail. Even animals experience such kind of natural happiness. We all experiences these pleasure in daily life and crave for these pleasures throughout our lives. But at the same time, we never get satisfied with it.

Second one and the higher form of happiness is the happiness associated with the knowledge, the “Gyan-Sukh”. In worldly life, when your doubts are vanished after knowing the reality about something, you feel contended. When you happen to meet one of your friends, in that knowing you feel happiness. Similarly when a true seeker explores the inner world and slowly come to know the Truth about his own true Self – the Eternal-Conscious-Blissfull nature, he or she feels delighted and contented. This flavor of happiness is subtler and longer lasting than the happiness associated with the sensual pleasure.

Third is the happiness associated with peace. You get tired doing daily chores, and then you crave for sleep and the peace associated with it. Peaceful sleep and quiet moments of the morning restore your strength and energizes you. After a loud and wild party, you get tired, and then crave for a few moments of silence and peace. Peace is your true nature and there is a delightful feeling of happiness associated with it.

Fourth flavor of happiness is associated with love – both at the worldly level, as well as at the spiritual level. When you are in love with someone, you feel delighted even at the very thought of your object of love. A mother feels subtle happiness at emotional level when the baby is playing in her lap. When a father hugs the baby, he feels delighted. In the spiritual world, a devotee feel happiness in the remembrance of the God. Love is a strong emotion and certainly there is happiness associated with it. The more purified, spiritual and deep the love is, the stronger is the feeling of happiness associated with it. The happiness associated with love varies according to its depth and purity. A seeker begins to differentiate the bodily love, the relational love, the emotional love (between mother and child, between the friends) and the devotional love (the love between a devotee and God).

After Self realization, the seeker begins to experience the most profound form of love- the love associated with the Self. The seeker become one with the omnipresent, formless God and begins to experience God everywhere and at every moment. The sages describe the bliss experienced in such a realization as the highest form of happiness. After achieving such a state, there is nothing left to be attained.

It is unfortunate that most of us spend all of our life in the seeking of first form of worldly happiness. A few of us begins to understand and give importance to the happiness associated with peace and knowledge. Only the fortunate ones becomes the seekers of the higher forms of happiness - the happiness associated with true love and Self realization.

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