Three Kinds of Happiness – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 36-39

Happiness & Inner Peace

36
Now hear from Me, Best of the Bharatas, the three kinds of happiness that are enjoyed through the repeated practice by which one reaches the end of sorrows.

  • Happiness (sukha) – ‘having a good axel hole’; easy, auspicious, pleasant, agreeable, gentle, mild, comfortable, happy, prosperous, virtuous.

This verse is saying that by the repeated God-practice Lord Krishna is teaching Arjuna (and us), one not only finds happiness and enjoyment, but reaches the end of sorrows.

Now He will tell us of three forms of happiness that arise as a result of this practice. In addition to the increased happiness one experiences in everyday life, it also applies specifically to the practice itself.

Those of you who are already engaged in surrender sadhana will be relieved to learn that states of unhappiness arising in your meditation are the overall effect of the purification this practice entails, and leads to a deeper, more lasting happiness. By knowing this, it is hoped that you will understand and stop worrying that you are doing something wrong, or that there is something amiss with the sadhana. Understanding this, your sadhana, and your happiness in everyday life, can only grow.  

37 — Sattvic Happiness
That which is like poison in the beginning and changes to nectar, that happiness is the tranquillity of one’s own self-knowing, and is sattvic.

Get to know yourself. You may be surprised!
Have a close look at yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised!

When in the God-practice of Surrender Meditation you begin looking inside yourself, it may be painful and even embarrassing. If you don’t experience this, you are holding yourself back from self-discovery. Even sages and seers have been through this; it is what got them where they are. But once you begin self-study with complete self-honesty, it won’t take long to get past it. Then you are on your way to realizing your True Self as divine, perfect and imperishable, and reaching that real happiness that is “the tranquillity of your own self-knowing.”

Your joy will be so much greater than your embarrassment, that you will wonder why it took you so long to get here, when this happiness is what you were looking for all along. Now you know where it is (in You), and how to access it.

38 — Rajasic Happiness

Get excited about yourself.
Get excited about yourself

That happiness which, through the union of the senses with their objects, is like nectar in the beginning and like poison in the end, is rajasic.

When your senses present you with nice things that you like, you feel happy. But this does not last, for while the Real You is eternal, all objects of sense in this physical-material world are temporal and subject to change. Even the sense organs themselves are in this world of life and death, whereas the Real You is beyond this, and eternal. So stop looking for happiness in the world, and instead, look inside.

With the regular practice of Surrender Meditation (God-practice), this will become clear to you, as your senses become introverted and separated from their organs and you behold miraculous things directly (without the aid of your mind or sense organs). This happens as a result of the passionate and exciting repetition of this God-practice. 

39 — Tamasic Happiness
That happiness which, from beginning to end, is self-deceptive and arises from avoidance and negligence, is tamasic.

One who does not care to look for the Real, and do what needs to be done in order to realize and attain it, is tamasic.

Kick back, chill out and pig-out
Kick back, chill out and pig-in.

The tamasic person never has any real happiness because he is self-deceived, a pretender, and content to remain so. He continues to avoid taking the trouble to wake up and seek Truth. He avoids this troublesome venture at all costs.

I have met a few people who have come to me for shaktipat because they had begun thinking about this, and sought to find someone who would take them to the end with one touch. No real shaktipat guru would do this. Such a thing would be a grave disservice to the seeker.

No one can take your journey for you. There is no way around it. You have to do the work. 

You may delude yourself into thinking that you already have happiness, but if you have not walked this road, you do not have happiness that will last. This is the prize awaiting you for taking this journey. It will keep you happily expectant and inspired with small bites of genuine happiness along the way. It is an adventurous journey that, no matter what arises, you will come to love. And you will thank the powers that be for getting you on this road to Happiness that never wanes.

When you have become truly enlightened, you will realize that you still have to walk the road to the finish line.

The Highest Happiness of Tamas

Another meaning of tamasic happiness for advanced practitioners of surrender sadhana is the sleep of Yoga (yoga nidra), and later, the darkness of the Absolute in nirbija samadhi. In both cases tamas has become the highest of the three gunas. (Remember that upside-down tree in chapter 15 ? This gives it a whole new meaning!).

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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The Dharma of Karma 3 – Desire

As I sit here in my sunny room, doors and windows open, looking outside at the grass greening, the blooms beginning to open and a few clouds scudding across the sky, a nice breeze on my cheek, I find myself drifting back to an old desire. I guess no matter how good we may have it on any given day, there’s always another desire waiting in the wings. And I am very proficient at having both conditions present in the same moment. I am content, but there’s that other thing I want that would make even a day like this, seem better.

Dharma – Law. The established nature, character, peculiar condition or essential quality of anything.

Karma – Action. From, kri, meaning ‘to do’.  

The Dharma of Karma – The law of cause and effect: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

As a yoga practitioner, this would be an excellent opening for a discussion on how desires keep us bound in ignorance, but I am of the opinion that suppressed desires have a way of becoming the most powerfully domineering desires of all (we talked about how that works before).

Anything that we suppress becomes hidden from us—that’s the whole point of suppression. This includes thoughts and feelings, but hidden desires have a foot in both worlds (mind and emotion) and they drive us to try to force life, even though we may not realize it. Hidden desires relentlessly drive us to get them satisfied. They dominate our lives. We adjust things to meet their demands, and we turn into raving fast-laners or couch potatoes. Some of us wonder why we’re so stressed or depressed and what we’re doing wrong. Some of us blame someone else, preferring to try to control the people and things around us to practicing a little self-honesty and looking inside. But inside is where the solution lies.

I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t have what you want. What I am addressing is the problem of those pesky hidden desires and what you can do about them, not to mention the ones you do know about—you know the ones I’m talking about, the ones you’ve tried everything possible to get to come to fruition and it’s just not happening no matter how hard you try, no matter how many affirmations you do, no matter how much you try to stay positive.

Incidentally, it is a smart move to watch out for this insidious type of suppression: “Oh well, I really didn’t want that anyway, what I really want is _________,” or “All those affirmations I’ve been doing must be working, just look at that parking spot I just manifested!” These tactics just push away from you the very thing you’ve been wanting. They are evidence that you are still in a state of want, whether you admit it to yourself or not.

Want, or desire, is an affirmation of lack that reinforces the thought-idea that you don’t have what you want. This negative affirmation stops the manifestation of the object of desire. Tricky, isn’t it? This principle is what is behind the teachings of ancient sages who tell us to abandon desire—not because desire is bad or wrong, but because it doesn’t work. Not only does it not work to nurse a desire, it has the opposite effect.

Desire is a negative affirmation of lack.

The key is self-honesty and bringing hidden desires to the fore. You won’t succeed in this without self-honesty. It is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever undertake to do. It can be down right humiliating, and even scary. But if you want to make improvements in your life, you really must practice self-honesty. It has a way of creating profound shifts of a very rewarding nature.

What does all this have to do with karma? Well, I’m thinking about how self-honesty allows for the opportunity to avoid creating more karma. I’m also thinking about the difference between the presence of a desire, which doesn’t of itself create any karma, and acting on that desire, which does create karma. Our karma is what binds us, limits us, so who wants more of that? More bondage, less freedom.

Riding the Desire

While you’re practicing self-honesty and waiting on The Big Shift, here’s something else you can try: Enjoy the desire itself. Ride the desire. It’s already there and you didn’t put it there, so why do anything with it? It is enjoyable in itself, so enjoy it, don’t avoid it—that would be doing something (= karma).

Desire: don’t drive it … ride it !

That’s what I was doing this morning before I started writing this to you. I was content, but when the desire I spoke of surfaced, I just enjoyed the desire itself. I didn’t try to do anything about it because I knew that trying to do something about it would ruin the contentment I already had, and just create more karma.

I’ll close now, and wish you happiness and the effortless fulfillment of all your desires.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You Really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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