“There is no happiness at all in any of the objects of the world. There is not an iota of happiness in objects, because they are insentient. Even the sensual pleasure is a reflection of the Atmic bliss only. It is sheer ignorance to think that we derive any pleasure from the sense-objects or from the mind.
Real happiness is within you. It is in the Atman. It is subjective. It manifests when the mind is concentrated. When the Indriyas are withdrawn from the objects outside when the mind is one-pointed when there are Vasana-kshya and Manonasa when you become desireless and thoughtless, Atmic bliss begins to dawn, spiritual Ananda begins to thrill”.
– Shri Swami Sivananda
What is Happiness?
After reading the definition of happiness by Sri Swami Sivananda, I decided to invite Lisa, a teacher of Transcendental Meditation (TM), to explain how ancient Vedic spiritual knowledge explains Happiness.
Lisa: “I read your quote from Sri Shwama Sivananda about Happiness and would like to say that, of course, there is no happiness in the objects themselves. However, we are happy if these objects can satisfy our needs, such as the need for beauty or comfort, and we can enjoy them. It is natural to have a desire to be happy by any means, because this is how nature created people: to strive for more and more happiness, love, strength, energy, wealth, etc. Unfortunately, we can feel happiness temporarily, because this state of mind can be disturbed by any negative events. We can lose all the objects that we like.
Vedic spiritual knowledge says that we should focus our minds on the source of happiness, which allows us to always be happy. The source of all happiness and energy is the Unified Field; in Vedic literature, it has many other names. The Unified Field Theory was recently developed by modern physics. We cannot experience existence in this Field through intellectual practice, books, or discussions. The only way to gain spiritual knowledge is through other people who are highly spiritually developed, and through training (techniques).”
Lisa: “In Vedic knowledge, most Teachers (Gurus) lived in ashrams in the Himalayas, and they used meditation to develop their Consciousness. I personally use TM (the Transcendental Meditation) as a TM Teacher. This technique is very easy to master and perform, and it does not require a concentration of the mind. Some other methods use concentration, but it is very difficult to do and not so effective.
There were many spiritual societies that spread their spiritual knowledge and used many different techniques. For example, Sufi societies used art, mainly dancing and storytelling, as well as hypnosis. Remember the tales of dervishes — strange people wandering from one place to another in poor clothes and telling funny stories. They were talking about spiritual knowledge in a secret form that ordinary people could not understand.
Only a devoted Sufi could understand another Sufi. All medieval poets were Sufis in this region. Not many people know that the philosopher, scientist, and poet of the 11th century Omar Khayyam was not a drinker or a womanizer. When he wrote poems full of deep philosophical thoughts in an allegorical way about wine, love, friendship, the meaning of life, he shared his spiritual knowledge. I recommend you to read the books of Omar Khayyam. I am sure you will enjoy them. I think that love of art is much more beneficial for your spirituality than any other philosophy.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi believed that in a single brushstroke of an artist there is more Pure Consciousness (in modern terms of the Unified Field) than in the books of many scientists. He meant that through art we can achieve this Field faster than through intellectual thinking. I would like to recommend his book, “The Art of Life and Being,” because it contains very practical and gentle advice for everyone. ”
However, we are taught that intellectual knowledge is the main source of success in our society. Not surprisingly, some consider intellectual knowledge to be the highest and more advanced way to achieve Pure Consciousness.
Is there a contradiction between the mind and the senses? I personally believe that a connection with a spiritually developed person, a Teacher, can give a great advantage in learning spiritual knowledge. Can we consider the person with whom we feel a spiritual connection, a potential Teacher?
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Lisa: “Regarding your first question: there is no contradiction since the mind and the senses play their own role in spiritual development. It is the senses that allow us to enjoy art and beauty and can lead to Pure Consciousness. The deepest level of intellectual satisfaction can do this as well. But regular training through meditation is considered very important, allowing us to touch this level on a regular basis and install the mind at that level forever. This means that we can achieve Cosmic Consciousness so that it will never be disturbed.
There is the greatest way to achieve Pure Consciousness: through another highly spiritually developed person. It can be a Guru whom you respect and trust, or your parent or friend. We cannot know the level of spirituality of other people, as there are no signs to determine this.”
Role of Family
Lisa: “But if you feel connected with a person, it is much easier to learn from that person, because love and friendship create energy flows from one person to another. For this reason, the Vedic tradition says that living in a family is even better for development than living in an ashram alone. If the family creates a favorable environment for spiritual development, all members of the family can achieve a high level of spirituality.”
Thank you, Lisa, for sharing the Vedic knowledge of Happiness. Sri Swami Sivananda wrote hundreds of books on spirituality and yoga practices. His teachings inspired many people to practice yoga in order to achieve harmony and spiritual wisdom. The twenty spiritual instructions of Sri Swami Sivananda contain the essence of his teachings, which contribute to the development of harmony of the body, mind, and spirit of man.
“Expansion of happiness is the purpose of creation and we are all here to enjoy and radiate happiness everywhere.”
Now try ten minutes Guided Transcendent Meditation (video).