Now the question may arise in your mind: “What about all those beautiful things, those pleasant things, those tasty things, those colourful things, those melodious things filling the world? Do they not give happiness?” Certainly these things do give definite experiences. But, can these experiences be called happiness? That is the point we have to decide now.
The experience derived from all these things depends for its validity, upon our coming into contact with them. Without coming into contact with them no experience can be obtained. Surrounding yourself with a plethora of the most beautiful objects and then closing your eyes will demonstrate this point. You will not be able to obtain any experience from their physical presence in your room. Why? Because the sense of sight has not made any contact with them. They are things to be seen, and if the sense of sight does not contact them, no experience can be had. Again, let the most wonderful music be played. Plug your ears. Now it is impossible for you to enjoy the pleasure of the sound, became no contact has been made between your ear and music. Similarly, unless the tongue contacts the food you eat, you do not obtain pleasure from the most exquisite banquet of delicious dishes spread out on the table before you. Hearing, seeing, touching, smelling and tasting—all depend upon the contact of the instrumental sense with the corresponding object.
Physical experiences are of the nature of sensations. As such, they are limited by the capacity of the senses to entertain thought of external objects and to carry the sensations to the mind. Beyond a certain limit which marks the sense capacities, things become disgusting and detestable. Moreover, by the very fact that all these things afford experiences dependent upon sense contacts followed by the conveyance of sensations to the mind, the actual state of the mind is clearly seen to be a condition affecting one’s experience of pleasure. In certain states of mind, one is in no mood for enjoyment. Supposing, for instance, one has received a telegram that his eldest son has just been killed in an air crash. Then the presentation of all manner of pleasurable things will not be able to arouse in him the slightest indication that there is any pleasure that can be derived from them. No! He will be incapable of obtaining any pleasure because the factor which is within him, and which is essential to his happiness, has been overcome by his state of mind. Not all the things of the world could then give to him the experience of pleasure.
It is not surprising, therefore, that opulence and misery oftentimes go together. Some people who have everything from which sense pleasures can be derived nevertheless live in misery. They have no peace of mind. They are dejected or in despair. They even contemplate ending their lives. Why? The answer is that there is no invariable causal connection between objects in plenty and the derivation of the experience called happiness. The contrary is also apparent. There are some people possessing very little, but who are filled with happiness. They are always laughing, always singing, even while they work. How is this? If external objects are indispensable to the experience of happiness, how is it that there are people without possessions—clad in rags perhaps or sorely in need of a shoe repair—who are at the same time filled with happiness? If the prerequisite for happiness were the presence of objects, then their absence should rob these people of all joy.
Thus it is that the absence of objects is yet found to be compatible with the experience of joy, just as the presence of objects is found to be compatible with the experience of misery. Clearly it is seen that there is no causal connection between the objects of this universe and the experience of happiness.
Next: Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 3.Happiness—A Lost Treasure
Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Sri Swami Sivananda The Path Beyond Sorrow
- Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness
Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, Happiness seems to have been the quest of man on earth ever since creation began, but this quest does not yet seem to have ended. Happiness is the quest of the whole world, but at the same time the despair of all of us. There does not seem to be any finding of it. Happiness seems to lie far in the future, on the distant horizon as it were, where, like the horizon, it recedes out of sight the very moment you think it attainable. After several thousand years of known history, modern man seems to be as far away from the actual experience of happiness as his remote ancestors. Yet, there is no doubt that during this time tremendous efforts have been made to attain it. Throughout the centuries man has striven, often tirelessly, to create countless devices to fill his external life with pleasures. But all these devices have failed to serve the exact purpose. For, if man is asked the question, Are you really happy?, hardly anyone will give a forthright and direct answer, Yes, I am!. Almost everyone will begin, instead, with Er,...Oh, I think so... or Perhaps... or May be not quite... or I cant exactly say.... Anything but a definite affirmative! at energyenhancement.org
- Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 1.Happiness Is an Experience
Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 1.Happiness Is an Experience, This much is certain. Man knows what he wants. But he does not know the true nature of what he wants and why his happiness eludes him. That there is a surpassing supreme happiness which can be obtained in this human life is the great declaration of the Upanishads, the Vedas, and the Bhagavad Gita. Know thou that the Reality is indescribable bliss and the highest conceivable happiness. There is that happiness which is so intense that the intellect cannot even comprehend it and the senses (which ordinarily experience happiness) cannot even grasp it or convey itit is so intense and so transcendental!: that is the happiness which is the goal of man. Fullness and perfection pertain to the highest happiness. It has nothing to do with the imperfect, for imperfection implies a mixture, and in a mixture of factors, there is no uniformity of experience at energyenhancement.org
- Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 2.Possession of Objects Means No Happiness
Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 2.Possession of Objects Means No Happiness, Now the question may arise in your mind: What about all those beautiful things, those pleasant things, those tasty things, those colourful things, those melodious things filling the world? Do they not give happiness? Certainly these things do give definite experiences. But, can these experiences be called happiness? That is the point we have to decide now at energyenhancement.org
- Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 3.HappinessA Lost Treasure
Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 3.HappinessA Lost Treasure, How do people, who have all the things that are ordinarily envied, act when they get a few days free from their work? They go on a trip to the mountains or to the national parks or perhaps to Hawaii. Though they own everything usually conceived of as sources of happiness, yet when they are given a little freedom, they in fact try to get away from what they already have. Who ponders over the significance of these things? Who sees their implication? To the thoughtful person, it is clearly revealed that objects of the universe do not have the subtle power to give man the experience of happiness. The thoughtful person sees that happiness is not the getting of anything. What then is the special significance of the expression The quest for happiness or The search for happiness? Why do we use the words quest and search? Seeking or searching implies that something has been lost. If a thing was, and then is not, we may immediately go in search of it. When the lost thing is found, we have simply recovered it. Life, therefore, is not so much a struggle to discover the source of happiness as an effort to recover lost happiness. In its aspect as a quest, life is an attempt to recover that which has been lost at energyenhancement.org
- Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 4.The Limited Utility of Sense Objects
Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 4.The Limited Utility of Sense Objects, Try to evaluate objects as they really are. To lead a proper existence here on earth, one has to assign a limited value to objects. Certain objects are indispensable for the maintenance of life. To that end they should be utilised. But, let them not assume an undue prominence in your life. For, instead of serving as sustenance, they may become the veritable tyrant sapping life of all true contentment and satisfaction. Your happiness may then become mortgaged to these objects. These objects may then come to have a stranglehold upon you and tend to dominate you and enslave you. A proper understanding and a right evaluation of objects as they are, and for what they are worth, is of prime concern to the human individual. Thus far, and no further! you must say, when objects try to invade the interior kingdom of your life at energyenhancement.org
- Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 5.Time-tested Aids to Happiness
Sri Swami Sivananda, The Path Beyond Sorrow Chapter 12: The Only Source Of True Happiness, 5.Time-tested Aids to Happiness, As far as possible, you must always try to simplify your life. Simplicity of life is the true secret of happiness. Unhampered experience of the joy which lies within comes out of simplicity. Therefore, your life should never be complicated with too many things. Due to too many things, due to too many desires, modern man unfortunately has missed this joy. You have seen the bright posters printed by Pan-American Air Lines, TWA, etc. The paradise which they feature, for a holiday, is not in metropolitan, highly urbanized America, but in the South Sea Islands. Why? Not because they have drive-in theatres, barbecue hamburger stands or race tracksnone of these things are there. Such places rarely offer the ordinary conveniences, yet one readily admits the idea that there is a paradise there, because one knows of the natural simplicity of those places. The Hawaiian native always sings and dances. He is comparatively carefree and filled with the happiness of simplicity and contentment. We envy him and even try to imitate him, at least for the time being, by leaving all distractions and going away to his place. In simplicity, man has the key to happiness at energyenhancement.org