What is `Bliss’?

It is always important to know that words that are in common use have different interpretation for different people. Even the simplest word like `red’ the colour will have different hues in our minds. For example, in a traffic police’s mind it will as red as the red light of the traffic signal, in surgeon’s mind it might mean blood red and to a frequent visitor of tavern, it may take the color of his favourite drink! If the most common words which describe tangible things have different meaning in our minds, then what to speak of words which try to describe what is essentially intangible? Now, to know others we must know (as much as humanely possible) what (s)he means when they use a certain word. This obviously forms a basic platform without which we can not build the manor of our understanding. Today we take one such word and try to unravel its meaning.

Most of us are enchanted at the prospect of achieving permanent happiness. In fact, most of our waking life is spent in pursuit of happiness in one form or other. Therefore, when come across the teaching of great saints and find that a `never ending fountain of bliss’ is promised at the end of sadhana, we are naturally captivated. It is this word `Bliss’ that we will try to understand today.

I do not know whether you have noticed or not, but all our understanding of happiness or bliss is in relation with a thing that is outside. For example, a worried father thinks happiness lies in the wellbeing of his child. An young and upcoming bright fellow thinks that Bliss lies in excelling beyond compare in his chosen profession and a person in a country ruled by foreigners thinks that we must first get freedom to know the real happiness. Really, have we ever thought of happiness as an independently existing quantity to which we can have direct access without any aid? Can you even imagine feeling happy inside when your dear child has broken his arm and is writhing in pain? Or, have ever thought that you can feel perfect peace when your boss gives the promotion long due to you to your unworthy competitor? Think about it now and you will see how preposterous these questions sound to you. A very few chosen ones are those who can say that `yes, it can happen and it has happened to me.’ These illumined souls apart, all of us will be bewildered at such a happenstance.

Now, the bliss that is promised to us by saints belongs to this type. This bliss is to be experienced without any other aid (like well being of your child, a justly obtained promotion or taking good care of your spouse etc. etc.). It may very well happen that on the physical plane, things may be going wrong horribly wrong. However, like a quietly burning candle, the calm mind inside you will keep burning unwaveringly.

You see, when we start spiritual practices with the hope of attaining quiet mind, there is a tacit assumption in our mind that this peace of mind will come about along with solutions of our present problems in this world. We ask for peace, but what we mean by that is a peace through a particular means. God is not bound by our assumptions. He will grant us peace, surely He will, but it may not come about in a way that we have imagined. Are we ready for this kind of bliss? Are we ready to feel happy and play fiddle like the emperor Nero when the whole world around us burns to ashes? The bliss that is promised to us at the end of our spiritual road is independent of this external world. Therefore its existence inside you does not mean any attenuation of your physical misery. Be prepared for this when you hanker for the peace that was ever with saints.

Once you are prepared for this kind of happiness, you will start noticing that this bliss was always with you. We have taken it so much for granted that we have ceased to feel like, just like we have become incapable of tasting the ever present saliva in our mouth. It is for this reason that Indian saints say that in spiritual practice we have to unlearn what we have learnt and start noticing things that are always with us. Just think: When we are in deep sleep, does it matter that during previous day, we have been honoured as a king or whether we have lost one of beloved ones unexpectedly? The deep sleep is the same in both of these circumstances. In this state. we have gone to primeval state which is completely independent of the external world. It is this state that is referred to as Bliss when saints speak of it. The trick lies in noticing it to be permanently with us. Even in our waking state. That is why it is said in the Gita that `A true yogi is awake to the state where everyone is asleep and is sleeping to the state where everyone is awake.’

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One Response to “What is `Bliss’?”

  1. eleklybramb Says:

    Nice site keep it up!

    http://www.dasofte.com

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