[Advaita-l] Free Will and/or Destiny -2

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 10 00:03:11 EST 2018

Free-Will and/or Destiny – part 2

Autobiography of a Human Life: 


Examination of everyone’s life across the globe, that includes, of course, a pragmatist, an atheist, a theist, a rationalist, etc., seems to indicate that there is only one purpose for living. That is to get maximum happiness out of this world. We run after objects of our desire with the assumption that we can get happiness when our desires are fulfilled. We love objects/people that give us happiness says, Yagnavalkya, while teaching his wife Maitreyee, in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad – na vaa arE (maitreyee), aatmanastu kaamaaya sarvam priyam bhavati| - We love objects not for objects' sake but for our sake as they give us happiness. We start hating if they cause unhappiness. What we love is happiness that comes and not the objects/people per sec. 


In this very pursuit of happiness, there is inherent assumption that we are not happy as we are, and will be happier when our objects of our desires are fulfilled. Interestingly, when the objects of desires are fulfilled, no one seems to be contented or fulfilled, since we go after happiness again by trying to fulfill more objects of desires. Thus rat race has set in. In the final analysis, everyone wants inexhaustible infinite happiness for him to feel that the very life purpose is fulfilled, and he does not have to run after objects of desire anymore. Then, there is no more longing mind or desiring mind or a mind that feels inadequacy, seeking fulfillment. The tragedy of human life is no one can ever get that infinite inexhaustible happiness by any pursuit or even series of finite pursuits; for logically finite(s) cannot give infinite happiness. At the same time, one cannot give up the pursuit of happiness throughout his life. Thus the rat race continues until the rat cannot race anymore and kicks the bucket. This seems to be the autobiography of every human being; nay every life form too. 


The logic says that there is no happiness in any object, including in our good-old hot cup of Madras-Coffee that one longs for as the first desirable thing in the morning. Vedanta says you are trying to solve a problem where there is no problem to solve; and that itself has become a problem, not only in this life but life after life. It says you are the very source of happiness. Hence you are searching for yourself all over the world, as in the missing 10th man-story; some even travel continents. Hence the very desire for happiness deprives one of having one, says Sage Ashtavakra in his Geeta. No doubt one feels happy when an intense desire is fulfilled. However in those moments, the mind becomes calm, and in the momentary stillness of the mind, you feel happy, until another desire props in. That desire-fulfilled momentary happiness is the reflection of your own nature, says Vedanta. Hence we can conclude based on our experience that a pre-requisite for enjoying uninterrupted inexhaustible happiness is to have a peaceful and serene mind all the time; which seems to be the impossible task for all people; except for some rare ones. When there are no desires for objects, the mind ceases to run after objects for happiness as it is self-contended by itself with itself. Such person revels in himself by himself, since he understood that the self that he enjoys the very source of happiness that one is longing for – says Krishna. prajahaati yadaa kaamaan sarvan paartha manogataan, atmanyeva aatmanaa tuShTaH, sthitaprajnastadochyate...II-55. He is called as Sthitaprajna or jeevan mukta– or liberated while living.


In spite of understanding of this essential truth, which is logical and also scripturally ascertained, many of us still run after the objects of desire, or name or fame, trying to chase for happiness that is not there in any object. Mind habitually runs after objects of desires, even after knowing that there is no happiness in any object. Eternal inexhaustible happiness that one is longing far is one’s own true nature, and can be realized right here and right now, as it involves no action but a mere recognition that you are complete or full as yourself, says Vedanta. The fact is, the very longing for 

happiness prevents one to gain that happiness. There is an inherent problem in seeking what you already have. It is like searching for a key all over the world when it is there all the time in your pocket. When the seeker himself is the sought, any seeking is bound to fail, since in the very seeking one presumes that the sought is not there where the seeker is. To stop chasing for happiness through any pursuit, one has to make the mind turn inwards and examine the nature of one’s own self. 


To do that inquiry, the inquiring mind has to be subtle enough to inquire within, since it is habituated to look outside for answers– as in the search for happiness in the hot cup of Madras-Coffee in the morning. I am a subject (an existent-conscious- limitless entity) and not an object. Every object by its nature is inert and limited. The subject, a conscious entity, can never become an object, an inert entity, and vice versa. Subject ‘I’, cannot become an object of my own inquiry (nor anybody else’s), since in the very objectification conscious subject ceases to be a subject. To understand these subtle truths only Vedanta becomes a means of knowledge or pramaana. Knowing the truth about oneself and to gain this understanding one has to stop looking for happiness outside. One cannot stop looking for happiness outside unless one understands this simple truth. 


To be continued

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