TODAY -

Why happiness can be so elusive

Swami Tejomayananda *



Man performs actions only for gaining happiness – sukhaaya karmani karoti loka – declare our scriptures. We all desire to be happy. But the harsh reality is that even though we have all the trappings of success from a worldly standpoint, happiness still seems to elude us.

If we approach a teacher of Vedanta for a solution, he will counsel, “You have done enough, now you must know. You have performed many actions (karma), now it is time to gain knowledge (jnana).”

At the moment, both our actions and the world are a constant source of anxiety and suffering. Yet, Vedanta categorically declares that there is nothing wrong with our actions or the world. What is required is a correction in the vision. It is this change in vision (drshti), which is essential to make a transformative difference in how we see the world.

The ignorant as well as the wise, both see the world. Each has a perception and each sees the world accordingly. For them, the world is the same, but their visions are very different. In the spiritual field, the teacher does not try to change the outer world, but alters the student’s inner vision.

Thus, the world remains the same but the seeker’s perspective and response to it changes.

In the very first statement of the Ishavasyopanishad the Guru tells the shishya,”Your sorrow is not because of any action, person or the world, it is because of how you are looking at this world.” The Upanishads say God is everywhere. See Him everywhere. Whatever is there in this world, however insignificant it may be, it is pervaded by the Lord.

Intellectually, we may accept this fact as irrefutable, but we are not able to see Him in everything, especially in those we dislike! He is in all – as all. “Look at the world with God-vision and your sorrows will end”, asserts Vedanta.

However, we tend to focus on our difficulties and misery; on the faults of others; on the chaos in the world; and not on the fact that everything in this world is pervaded by the Lord alone.

When we lack this holistic vision of the one Lord alone pervading everywhere, we will only see multiplicity and diversity – the enchanting multitudes of names and forms.

The underlying Reality, its substratum, which permeates the entire universe like the unseen thread holding together the beads in a necklace, remains hidden from our view.

The Lord is the substratum from which the world emerges, in which it exists and into which it merges back, in the same way that waves take form from the ocean, exist for awhile, and then merge back in the ocean again.

Hence, look at the world as pervaded by the Lord. Know that there is only One God that pervades this world and have the vision of Oneness.


* Swami Tejomayananda wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on May 07, 2017.


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