What is Bliss? Part II

Last time I had put forward a meaning of the word `bliss’ which forms the third part of the triad `existence-knowledge-bliss’ (Sat-Chit-Anand) description of the reality, or Lord, or the ultimate aim of self realisation.

1. Why is it that this meaning has a chance of being correct?

One can check the validity of anything in the spiritual path by three means. a) Look into the shastras b) look at the lives of great saints and c) see in your own life.

Out of these three means available to me to justify my meaning of Bliss, the third one is too personal to put forward. Besides, why would anyone believe in my personal experiences? So we stick to the other two means. In all vedas, it is said that the ultimate Bliss is never ending and is independent of everything in this world. I do not want to give exact shlokas to justify this but interested reader can very well check this out himself/herself. Now, if the Bliss does not depend on anything, how is it that we can achieve it? After all by pulling a string we can at most expect to get things that are at its other end. Not something that is not tied to it. So our efforts can only yield something that is tied to them (like getting good marks by studying very hard, making someone happy by behaving according to her wish etc.). Therefore, this bliss must be with us from the beginning. We cannot get it afresh because it is already with us. My meaning is consistent with this thought.

Now if we look at the lives of all the saints, it is not recorded that the saint has given permanent bliss to any of his desciple (so there is no question of giving it to his family members, just because they were his sons/daughters or wife). True, Ramakrishna Paramhans gave an experience of samadhi to Vivekananda by his touch in his first meeting but Swami was unable to understand it! He thought that he had been hypnotized by this mad old man! After his guru’s death Vivekananda had to do enormous tapasya, which culminated in his being alone and without food in the middle of the sea for few days and then he realised the Truth. One can give thousands of examples where the family members of a saint were seen completely at odds with the exalted state of their great relative. For example, Saint Tukaram’s wife constantly nagged him with her wants. So it is clear that this bliss has to be discovered in spite of being in difficult worldly position. It would be wrong to assume that first the world around me becomes friction-less and then I can go towards my spiritual aim. (The time to do sadhana is NOW!)

I hope that with this, I have been able to convince you that my meaning of Bliss is not at all unreasonable! Now it is up to you to use the third way of proving that it is the correct one (i.e. by experiencing it in your own life.)

2. Some of you may think that this bliss is too abstract. What is its use in our daily life?

There is a usage ` Knowledge is wealth.’ We must understand that proper understanding of a thing gives us tremendous control over it. Imagine: if you know exactly why you get angry in a certain situation, will it not be easy to control your anger in that situation? Then you would not care to avoid those situations. You have become their master, so to speak.

Now, we are constantly craving for happiness. If we know for sure, without a least iota of doubt, that this happiness that we are looking for is always with us, then won’t we stop looking for certain favorable situations in our life? After all, we are happy no matter what happens in this world, right? The moment this knowledge is firmly fixed in our head, all our internal struggles (which have arisen because of our need to maintain only certain conditions in our life) will vanish. Is it not a good enough reason for us to invest time and energy in understanding this meaning of the word Bliss? If this reason is not enough then which reason is enough?

People run away from abstract thinking because it forces them to think on their own. You see, one cannot take a pill to make you understand the meaning of a word. We have to spend time on it ourselves. This aversion of doing work is the basis of our fear of subtle words. But spiritual practice is not a spectator sport. You have to play it yourself and enjoy the victory with yourself. Others can only learn lessons from your efforts but for their victories, they have to play the game themselves.

To sum it all up, I have justified my thinking and put forward a thought that only you change your spiritual life. Further, changing our spiritual attitude for the better is the only way to live life to its full.

Have fun!

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