This post is also available in Gujarati at http://agniveer.com/6583/happiness-hinduism-vedas-gu/
In this article, we shall discuss proven techniques to obtain extreme happiness. The happiness we are referring to is not the petty enjoyments we try to seek from worldly toys. We are discussing the happiness of salvation or mukti or moksha.
Q: But Mukti will happen after ages and we will have to suffer so much till then. I do not have that patience. What do I do?
This happiness of Mukti shall NOT come after lots of grief and pains in the process. No, not at all! We don’t want you to lure you in imaginations of a fancy paradise that shall come to you after all the painful activities you indulge into for ages and then die.
The techniques listed here would, on contrary, provide you privileged access to more and more from reservoir of happiness, independent of what happens in the world right from now. We are talking about true unconditional happiness that keeps increasing rapidly every moment till you achieve the full access to the reservoir in form of Mukti. So your paradise is going to be with you right from NOW and as long as you continue!
We are talking about full enjoyment, happiness, fun, masti, dhamaal or whatever you may call, ALL THE WAY from now to then!
This is going to be amazing fun to begin the process, even more fun during the process and ultimate fun after the process! A level of fun that no other activity or object in the world can provide you! Vedas put it beautifully in Yajurveda 31.18: “There is simply no other way than this to have total fun!”
In fact one of the greatest misconceptions about spirituality or goodness in general is that you get the results only after lots of tortures and failures. And nobody remains alive to see anyone obtaining those results!
Nothing can be farther from truth.
In fact this is a test of any spiritual ideology or person. If it brags about facing pains and miseries, it is defective. Simply reject it and run away as far as you can from this crap!
Ishwar’s justice is instantaneous and ongoing. There is no lag time. When you do the right things, you get the results immediately in form of happiness. You simply pursue this happiness further and reach upto salvation or Mukti.
Yajurveda 19.30 puts it marvelously: “When you make the resolve, you become eligible immediately. When you maintain your eligibility through your deeds, you get the positive results in terms of happiness, achievements, satisfaction etc. When you see the positive results, your faith increases further and you enhance your deeds even more. When the faith becomes unflinching, you achieve the ultimate truth or bliss.”
Q: Then why do we see people pursuing Mukti or saints or freedom-fighters or great people to suffer so much?
1. What actually happens is that as and as much one starts practicing the techniques of Mukti, he or she starts getting independent from adverse effects of the world. Thus he or she is no more troubled by those petty issues that cause nervous breakdown in other people. She starts accessing the reservoir of happiness within her and thus no more remains a beggar in the world to get that.
2. Because she has become much robust and powerful, she can now explore more ambitious challenges to speed up her progress to Mukti. This look amazing to rest of the world. Because she is defining her own path that need not be in line with trends of the world. People and situations try to create problems and obstacles for her. But this only acts as a feeder for her, in same way that fire keeps growing when it gets more substances to burn.
3. Finally her time to quit this world and continue the journey elsewhere comes. People foolishly think that she had to face troubles and agonies in her life. But smart ones know that she was laughing all the way to her success and was no way affected by these petty situations which were only fruits of past actions for her that need not be taken seriously.
4. Thus, the yogi made the best out of each situation that kind Ishwar presented to her, had fun all the way and continued her journey ahead setting examples for us.
It is not true that Mukti-aspirants always suffer and suffer more than rest of the people. It is just that they are capable of handling bigger challenges which amaze us. They, in fact, enjoy each moment thousand times more than rest of us do. It is this enjoyment that keeps them propelling.
A small baby would cry ‘Uan Uan’ when stung with a mosquito. But as grown ups with powerful bodies, many of us would enjoy facing punches and kicks during martial arts practice.
Practice of Mukti transforms you from the little baby who weeps on every petty thing to a powerful wrestler who wins the Gold in the arena of the world!
Q: Sounds exciting! What do I need to do to become the champion!
A: Nothing painful! If you have taken the resolve, you have already started the process. Rest is simple.
Basic Principle is simplest - Accept truth and reject falsehood proactively.
Because falsehood is cause of grief and truth is cause of bliss. Sinful activities (Adharma or Paapa) cause grief and Virtuous activities (Dharma or Punya) cause bliss.
Q: How do I decide what is truth and what is falsehood?
There are some simple pointers:
- It should not be self-contradictory. (For example, if someone says Ishwar tests and also says that Ishwar knows everything, it is contradictory.)
- It should follow the logical process of cause-effect. (For example, if someone says a woman was born from rib of a man, it is illogical.)
- It should follow the principle of generalization. (If something hurts me, then it should hurt others also. Hence I should not do such a thing.)
- It should be as per examples set by role models and great people. (However even to decide if someone is worth being role model, one should not go by popularity, but by testing the deeds of the person on basis of other criteria of truth.)
- It should be as per inner-conscience or inner-voice. (If one feels a sense of shame or guilt doing something, that should not be done.)
- It should be tested on merits of evidence, logic, comparison etc.
Similarly other criteria can also be deduced. We would evaluate them sometime later. But the key is that something should not be accepted blindly out of peer pressure, popularity, habit etc. Neither should one be skeptic of every other thing regardless of having any valid reason to do so.
If one is genuine to best of his or her intentions, the capability of discerning truth from falsehood keeps improving and progress happens.
Q: OK, I got an idea about how to detect and follow truth. What next?
A: Simply follow the truth now in thoughts, words and actions. Get closer to truth through enhanced knowledge, practice and contemplation.
For example, if you came to understand that
- it is less than one in zillions probability that this world is a random event,
- you know well that you are not controlling it,
- you understand that if there is supreme power guiding us, it should provide its guidance from inception
- you know that Vedas are devoid of interpolations due to the manner they were preserved and are the oldest texts
- you know that your own intelligence is not sufficient to further your progress
then you should try to explore and learn what the Vedas teach.
You also know that Ishwar should be equally blessing on people away from Vedas due to geography. Hence the way to understand Vedas cannot be merely mugging up. It has to be more practice-oriented and the mugged-up or read knowledge should assist in enhancing those practices instead of being sufficient in themselves.
So now you got a blueprint for fast progress. On one side you should follow your inner voice to adopt truth in practice. On other side, you should work upon to imbibe concepts of Vedas, bring them in sync with inner-voice and further strengthen the inner-voice and hence progress ahead through practice. And when both these approaches would merge, you would have achieved your mission.
If you cannot have access to Vedas or your current duties prevent you from exploring them in full depth, don’t worry, simply follow inner-voice and move ahead. Ishwar would work out best opportunities for you. But if you have opportunities to imbibe Vedas in your current set of duties, don’t be skeptic, lazy or unnecessarily critical. Simply move ahead and grab the opportunity.
This habit of grabbing the opportunity should become your integral part. We shall discuss this further soon.
Once we agree on this fundamental, the rest of the framework becomes extremely intuitive:
Q: What is this framework for achieving Moksha or Mukti or extreme happiness from right now?
A: There are 4 components to it:
1. Viveka or Understanding of Concepts. Lets call it Intelligence.
2. Vairagya or Detachment
3. Shatak Sampatti or 6-Fold Formula
4. Mumukshutva or Desire for Mukti
Note that this is another way of looking at the points already discussed in Vedic Religion in Brief and Vedic Worship (Upasana Section). But this is extremely helpful for better understanding and implementation.
Q: What is Viveka or Intelligence?
A: We have already discussed it. The ability to discern truth from falsehood is Viveka. If you recall discussion on Vidya in Vedic Concept of Salvation, then you can understand it as the ability to possess Vidya.
With Viveka, one should put efforts to understand and analyze Self through contemplation. Sages have provided the following pointers to help this (Don’t worry if they appear complex. They are supposed to be realized naturally through practice and not mugged up):
Pancha Kosh (Five layers over soul)
There are 5 layers over soul that is ‘I’ which are DIFFERENT from us.
Annamaya Kosh – The external body made of skin, flesh and bones.
Pranamaya Kosh – The system which ensures transportation of vital air. These include 10 kinds of Prana. We shall skip the complex discussions.
Manomaya Kosh – Mind (Mana), Ego, Inherent powers of actions like speech, locomotion, grasping, excretion and reproduction.
Vijnanamaya Kosh – Intellect (Buddhi), Memory (Chitta), Inherent powers of sensing like hearing, touch, smell, see and taste.
Anandmaya Kosh – Sense of pleasure, affection, more or less pleasure.
One should try to understand how soul is different from all these 5 layers and how Ishwar has integrated the soul with these layers so that it can seamlessly and effectively carry out all its activities. One should understand how to use these as tools to achieve our objective – Ultimate bliss!
Alert (Jagrit), Dream (Swapna) and Sleep (Sushupti)
1. Gross Body (Sthula Sharir) that we observe
2. Subtle Body (Sukshma Sharir) consisting of 5 Vital Forces (Prana), 5 Sensing Powers, 5 subtle forms of Nature (Sukshma Bhoot), Mind (Mana) and Intellect (Buddhi). This stays with soul even after death and continues into next life. Soul uses this to continue its journey of progress towards ultimate bliss in next life right from where death stopped it in previous birth.
This subtle body comprises the portion made by Prakriti and the portion that is innate property of soul. During salvation, the portion made by Prakriti also detaches from soul and only innate properties remain. Thus soul is able to conduct its actions merely through Sankalpa or Will. This is most efficient system to possess for a soul.
3. Causal Body (Kaarana Sharir) that causes deep sleep. This is derived from Prakriti or Nature and is same for all souls.
4. Superior Body (Tureeya Sharir) that forms the connection with Ishwar and brings us access to His reservoir of infinite happiness. This stays with soul during Mukti also and enables it to enjoy bliss of Ishwar in utmost capacity.
ALL THESE ARE INERT (JADA) AND DIFFERENT FROM SOUL.
They come into action only when enjoined with soul by Ishwar. Through Viveka one should clearly understand his or her identity BEYOND these lifeless tools. One should learn not to blame or praise these but the soul who alone is their driver.
One who understands it, starts understanding the guidance of Ishwar through inner-voice. Whenever the soul uses these tools, as described above, to conduct any action, this inner-voice guides it. If its a good action, one feels happiness, fearlessness, enthusiasm etc. If its a bad action, one feels fear, doubt and shame. This is the constant mentoring by Ishwar. One who is able to follow it, obtains extreme happiness upto Mukti right from now. One who does not follow it, obtains bondage and grief accordingly.
THIS MAY BE GETTING REPETITIOUS. BUT THIS IS THE KEY BEHIND EVERY OTHER TECHNIQUE OF EXTREME HAPPINESS AND HENCE WORTH THE REPITITION.
Similarly one should use Viveka or Intellect to understand Soul (Atma), Nature (Prakriti), Ishwar and relationship among the three and act accordingly. One should introspect, study, explore practice in actions and meditate to firm this Intellect. This forms the first component of Mukti framework.
Q: What is Vairagya or Detachment?
A: To reject the desire to achieve whatever is temporary, impure, inanimate and cause of sorrow and replace them with enthused resolve to achieve the permanent, pure, animate and cause of eternal bliss, after due application of Viveka or Intellect is called Vairagya.
Q: What is Shatak Sampatti or 6-Fold Formula?
A: After Viveka and Vairagya, one should focus on doing actions based on following 6 principles. This is the greatest treasure one can have. In fact, one who possess these 6 jewels is the richest person, and one who is devoid of these but boasts of petty stones that would go away with death in few decades is the most unfortunate. So just grab these 6 jewels right now!
1. Shama or developing the tendency to constantly keep our self (our soul) and mind away from Adharma ( bogus actions that do not lead to Mukti) to Dharma (virtuous deeds).
2. Dama or developing the tendency to refuse conducting any bad deed (that does not lead to Mukti – lechery, fraud, cheating, hatred, lust, adultery, ruthlessness, frustration etc) through our sense and work organs and indulge in virtuous actions like self control, peace, compassion etc.
3. Uparati or staying away from people who are wicked, fraudulent or immoral.
4. Titiksha or staying resolved in pursuit of ways and means of Mukti regardless of insults, praises, losses, gains in the mundane world.
5. Shraddha or having full faith on our inner-voice, wisdom of Vedas and other truthful texts and people, after having evaluated through Viveka. Shraddha does not mean blind faith in the imaginary, but full passion in pursuit of what has been understood to be true. Doubt or unnecessary skepticism is the recipe for destruction. Even if there is vagueness with regards to understanding of the ultimate goal, one should not have doubt over actions and methods to reach there, because these actions and methods are beneficial and best treasures to possess regardless of clarity on goal. One does not doubt studying sincerely in primary school merely because he is not clear about what a good career after post-graduation means!
6. Samadhan or practicing control of mind. The Eight-Fold Path of Patanjali Yoga focuses on this.
Q: What is Mumukshutva or Desire for Mukti?
A: All other desires are bogus for a person who has used his Viveka or intellect even a bit. But a desperate desire for Mukti should persist. This acts as the fuel that charges every other action or thought that a Mukti-aspirant undertakes. Thus one should have that level of desire for Mukti that a person who is hungry or thirsty in host summer for days together has for food or water.
Suppose one submerges his head in water for sometime. The way one gets desperate for a breath of air and does not find anything else in the world worth being achieved, if one can inculcate that level of passion for Mukti, he or she is sure to be the winner! The reservoirs of bliss from Ishwar start opening for Him immediately.
This Mumukshutva brings a strength of character in a soul that can amaze mundane people. Unlike hunger or thirst or suffocation that creates pain for soul, Mumukshutva brings a level of happiness that one cannot imagine otherwise. Mumukshutva itself is the most wonderful state to have in this world. And its destination is even more wonderful!
This is what we described as “habit of grabbing the opportunity” earlier.
Q: Can you summarize the framework for my ease?
A: If we were to redraft the Mukti framework in form of a corporate statement, it would look something like this:
Vision: To have direct access to infinite bliss of Ishwar who is source of all happiness.
Mission: To get rid of all miseries and obtain ultimate happiness, and start getting that happiness right from now.
Eligibility: One who has access to 4 components of Viveka, Vairagya, Shatak Sampatti and Mumukshutva as described above.
Strategy: To understand and conduct actions accordingly after study of Mukti techniques as described in Vedas and Vedic texts in most diligent manner.
Q: How do I properly understand the concepts necessary for this subtle topic?
A: This demands use of a foolproof method of Shravan Chatushtaya or 4-fold technique for proper understanding. This can be applied to anything one studies but is more relevant for Mukti which is the most subtle subject due to its inherent intuitiveness.
- Shravana or carefully listen or read the subject without distractions. Put full focus into it.
- Manana or analysis of whatever has been imbibed through Shravana. If there are doubts, they should be clarified. Shravana and Manana should go hand in hand. One should only listen or read as much that can then be analyzed properly. Otherwise people tend to take things for granted.
- Nididhyasan or contemplation on what has been studied and analyzed in meditative stage. This demands mind-control which becomes easy when the 4 components described above are practiced. This develops a ‘feel’ or more subtle understanding of the subject.
- Sakshatkar or thorough understanding through above three as well as conducting the practice.
Q: Any other useful tips on pursuit of Mukti?
1. Study Patanjal Yoga (not exercises and breathing methods taught wrongly in name of Yoga) to understand and practice the concepts described above from another perspective. We shall discuss this later in another series.
2. Stay away from Tamoguna (anger, polluted thoughts, laziness, inactivity etc), Rajoguna (jealousy, lust, false ego, hatred) and indulge in Satvaguna (peace, friendliness, purity, fearlessness, intellectuality, action-orientation).
3. Have feeling of friendship with happy people, show pity and help those in distress, feel happy on pious noble people and have neither hatred nor affection on wicked ones. Simply work to eradicate their wickedness.
4. The powers of mind-control are amazing and normal people don’t even scratch 1% of it. For Mukti, one should ideally meditate for at least 2 hours daily so that Viveka described above becomes clear and one gains tremendous will-power and other miraculous powers of mind. Refer to Patanjal Yoga and “Lets learn Vedic Worship” for details on meditation. (Note: if 2 hours seem too daunting, don’t worry. Start with what is comfortable with you (at least 15 minutes) and let it grow organically. Practice makes perfect. But meditation cannot be forced mechanically. So focus on quality and not quantity.)
5. Mukti happens in unity with world around. Efforts for Mukti in isolation is foolish. So use the techniques above while you work proactively to transform our society and world. Take these challenges to practice your Mukti-skills. Fight against injustice, fight against crimes, fight against impotency in the society, fight against enemies of country and humanity and carry these fights proactively.
6. Do not limit yourself and keep stretching beyond for greater and greater challenges that face our world. But choose your battles smartly. A smart Mukti-aspirant does not keep doing everything, but chooses his domain that is best fit for his nature, tendencies and capabilities with the demands of the situations and then keeps working on stretching the challenges by stretching the capabilities and mastering his nature and tendencies through mind-control and practice. Ultimately he prays:”Krinvanto Vishwamaryam!” – lets make the entire humanity noble! And he works his way smartly to this goal.
To conclude, understand that we, as souls, are eternally conscious. We are separate from mind, intellect, senses, action organs and everything else that surrounds us. Our only eternal relationship is with Ishwar. He alone is source of all happiness. When we start realizing this true identity of ours and start acting accordingly, we immediately start getting more and more of confidence, happiness, bliss, satisfaction, enthusiasm, achievements and are able to perform wonders that dazzle the world. And then we use challenges facing the world and society to continue increasing the dazzle more and more. And have more of fun in process!
The process begins from the moment we start our journey. So what are you waiting for! There is nothing more worthwhile than this in world which guarantees peerless bliss right now and after!
This made legends out of Rama and Krishna. Bring out that legend from within you RIGHT NOW! And reclaim you happiness in the process.
There is no other way!
Lets enjoy some good songs now!