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Thus Spoke Mahapragya - Vol.1: 04. Is Happiness In Abundance Or Sadness?

Published: 28.03.2011
Updated: 30.07.2015

Is Happiness In Abundance Or Sadness?

The disciple approached the Guru and said “Gurudev, I want to get rid of sadness. Please suggest me a way”. The guru asked “There are different kinds of sadness. Tell me from which one you want freedom?” The disciple said “I want freedom from all forms sadness”. The guru explained the disciple that first one must understand where the sadness lies? We are all souls and souls do not have sadness. We always think about sadness and hence we become sad, else there is no question of being sad.

I have asked this question numerous times during my journey earlier and I am asking this today also “Where is sadness?” I have asked this question in many cities and villages. I have asked this question when I visited Surat, Ahmedabad, Chittor and Bhilawara asking if there was a shop where I can get sadness. I want to see that shop. But till date nobody could answer this. Ladnun is a small city. When I could not get it in a big city like Mumbai, I definitely cannot expect to see that in Ladnun. Where is the shop where one can get sadness?

If one carefully examines one of the preachings of Lord Mahaveer - “Attakade Dukkhe”, one can get the answer. Sadness is not outside. Sadness is created by man himself. Man himself builds this sadness around him. One can ask the question if man doesn’t like sadness, why will he ever create it. “Savve Pana Suhsaaya Duhpadikula” - Everybody likes happiness. When one doesn’t like sadness why would he ever create it? The reason behind this is Man’s ignorance. He doesn’t know the vasthusthithi (real nature of things / facts). I would like to explain this with an anecdote.

One lady persuaded her husband to buy her an expensive necklace. When the persuasion increased, the husband finally bought the necklace and gave it to his wife. The necklace was extremely beautiful and the wife was finally very happy. After a week, the wife lost the necklace. She became sad. She went to her husband and started crying. She told him that after a lot of persuasion he had bought the necklace for her and it was her bad luck that she could not take proper care of it and lost it. She started crying more loudly. The husband who was watching this started laughing. What a strange incidence that the wife was crying and the husband was laughing. Another strange incidence is when somebody cries and the other person laughs, then your sadness increases. However, if the other person joins you and also cries along with you, then you feel that your sadness decreases. At least, you console yourself saying that there is someone to share your sorrow. But when somebody laughs when you are crying you are bound to lose your temper. The same thing happened with the wife. She said “What kind of a man you are? I have lost my favourite necklace and incurred such a big loss and you are laughing and making fun of me?” In this anger, the wife had taken out her entire frustration on her husband, but the husband kept on laughing. Finally he controlled his laughter and said “Why are you sad. The necklace was just an imitation”.  I bought imitation ornaments for you and why are you so sad for loosing imitation ornaments, which are not at all expensive.

The sadness disappeared from the wife’s face. She was sad because of her ignorance. If she was aware of the true fact about the ornament she wouldn’t be sad either. The husband was aware of this fact and hence he was not sad.

An ignorant person will always be sad and a knowledgeable person will never be sad. An ignorant person expresses his sensitivity towards sadness and as a result becomes sad. A knowledgeable man will not become sad. One of the reasons for sadness is an ignorant man’s sensitivity towards it. As long as there is ignorance, one cannot remove sadness.

The second prime reason for sadness is - avivek (one who lacks humility). One who lacks humility, lacks the power of vivechana (observation), lacks the power of vishleshan (analysis), whose point of view is pre-determined and not willing to change that person is bound to be sad. One whose perception is broad and observes and analysis things, doesn’t involve himself till he does analysis such a person doesn’t become sad. One who lacks humility will become sad immediately. We can understand this with an example.

A patient was sitting next to a vaidya (physician). The vaidya was knowledgeable in Nadi Shastra (an ancient form of diagnosis which was done based on the feeling of the pulse). Today this form of knowledge has almost disappeared. In the ancient times, in the Indian culture this knowledge flourished and with this even the minutest details could be known. Today there are numerous facilities for diagnosis. However with this ancient form of diagnoses, the diagnosis was so perfect that at times even the modern diagnosis fails in front of it. Such powerful was this knowledge of Nadi.

In Bikaner, there was a very well known nadi vaidya (physician who diagnosed based on feeling of the pulse). Famous and well-known people have to give some test of their knowledge from time to time, which puts their fame and prestige at stake. Somebody wanted to test this nadi vaidya. He approached the nadi vaidya and said “I have got a patient from a far of place for you. Kindly diagnose him. But I have a request. This patient is very afraid of the physician and hence he will not come in front of you. He will be behind a curtain. I will tie a thread to his wrist and the other end of the thread will be with you. You are a great nadi vaidya and diagnosing the problem should not be difficult for you”. The nadi vaidya agreed to this.

The nadi vaidya in a few seconds diagnosed the problem. He said, “Nothing has happened to the patient. The only solution for this patient is to feed him grass”.

The patient was actually a buffalo and one end of the thread was tied to its horn. Are there any modern diagnostic, which can diagnose such a thing? India was once upon a time a hub for this form of knowledge. We headed towards Bhivani after reaching Delhi. In Bhivani, there was another nadi vaidya. He used to do remote diagnosis. If there was a person who was sick in any part of the world and if a person visits this nadi vaidya on behalf of the sick person, the nadi vaidya can diagnose the sick person remotely by examining the person who visited him. Surprising! But it is true. He had gifted us with a book written by him. Today you can hardly see this kind of treatment. Gulab Kothari, who owned Rajasthan Patrika, was telling us that Ayurveda is so vast and powerful that it can cure anything. But unfortunately, we are forgetting this form of treatment and running after the other forms of treatment which are expensive.

One patient went to a nadi vaidya. The nadi vaidya diagnosed the problem and said “Do not take anything which is high in fat content. You must stop taking milk and milk-products. You should eat simple food. You should eat chapati without the clarified butter.” The patient agreed. There was another patient who was sitting next to the nadi vaidya. The nadi vaidya diagnosed the second patient and said “It is winter. You must eat things, which are high in fat. You must take sweets made of methi and goond (these are rich in vitamins and proteins). The first patient who was hearing this felt bad that the doctor advised him not to eat such food and to the second patient he advised to eat those foodstuffs. He thought it was a clear case of favoritism. He said “Doctor. You have asked me not to eat food, which is high in fat content, and you are prescribing the other person this food. Why is this favouritism?”

The question that comes to the mind is why did the first patient become sad? It is because of his ignorance and lack of humility. The vaidya explained the first patient “Brother. There is no question of favouritism here. The problem that you are facing is because of the fat that you have in your body. It has affected your liver and digestive system. The root cause of the problem that you are facing is the food with high fat content. If you control this, you will once again lead a healthy life. The other patient was the victim of malnutrition. His body is not getting the right amount of proteins and vitamins what it is supposed to receive. Hence he is becoming weaker day by day. Therefore I suggested him to take food which is high in proteins, vitamins and fat”.

Reasons for sadness

The reasons for sadness are habits, ignorance, lack of control over emotions, anger, ego,  cunningness  and external factors

Why does man become sad and angry? It is because he lacks humility. When the doctor prescribed him the diet, he could not understand

and accused the doctor of being partial. When he understood the reason, he was satisfied. Ignorance can make man sad and unhappy. Hence we must understand that ignorance gives birth to sadness.

The third reason for a man to be sad or unhappy is his habits. The habits are also strange. It is because of the habits some people become sad or experience sadness. Such people can never be happy. Jayacharya described such people as “Khodili prakruti ro dhani” (One who is intolerant will experience sadness). Somebody said “Sir. Please don’t sit there, please sit here”. This is enough for such person to get wild and lose his control.

This is because of the habit. Because of this weakness, the person becomes sad and can never be happy. What a strange nature the person has.

The fourth reason for a man to be sad or unhappy is lack of control over his emotions and passions. One who does not have control over his emotions, on bad thoughts such a person would always tend to be sad or unhappy. Sometimes, he would be sad because of the anger or may be sad because of ego.  Even a small incident like people not standing in respect of him can also make him sad. Incidents like his own son or his own wife not listening to him can make him sad too. One must understand that it is impossible to force people to listen to you always. If one has a total unique of way of solving problems people might listen to him. When you don’t know this unique way, there is no point in accusing that no body listens to you.

There was a rich man and a servant. The rich man was not an intelligent person. Whenever we would pass by that side, we always used to see both of them fighting. One day I asked them, “Why do you fight always?” The rich man replied, “I am short tempered man and so is he.” I asked, “Is it necessary for you to stay together?” He replied, “Yes, both of us dependent on each other and we cannot live separately”. What a strange co-incidence. They want to live together and continue fighting also.

Anger gives rise to sadness; ego gives rise to sadness; and so does maya (illusion of wealth); and cunningness gives rise to sadness. This is a very serious thought. You want to conceal something and to conceal that one needs to go through tension. Tension is one of the reasons for this sadness. The question is, how is this possible? Today the biggest problem man faces is to conceal his money. Concealing produces tension. There are two types of money: white money and black money. Some account is in the former (white money) and some in the latter (black money). How do you conceal the black money? One has to stealthily conceal such money. In spite of all these concealing it still gets revealed. There are raids which unearths this money. Man again becomes sad and unhappy.

One of the prime reasons today for man’s poor health is this mad rush for money and deceiving others. There are so many ambitions that are not necessarily fulfilled. When one is not satisfied, he becomes sad. There is one sutra in Preksha Dhyan - One doesn’t become happy with what he has and one doesn’t become unhappy by what he does not have. There was a rich man and he had huge wealth. He had everything in life which one can dream of, yet he was sad. His neighbour is another rich man and he possessed a little more than him. The neighbor is unhappy with it. Man doesn’t become happy with what he has. He becomes sad with what he does not have.

Greed is another reason for sadness. Greed gives birth to fear.  To weaken a heart, greed plays a very important role. Dr. Manchanda who was the director of All India Medical Institute of Cardiology was associated with Preksha Dhyan. As per him, the rate at which the heart cases are increasing, it is believed that in the next ten years there would be at least one hundred million people who would be affected with heart diseases. Today youngsters between the ages of twenty five - thirty years are also affected with heart diseases. One man asked, “I have control over my diet. But still I don’t know how I got the heart disease?” The man had control over his diet but had no control over his greed. Today because of this greed, man has become so busy that his heart is overworked and hence how can it remain healthy? This greed is one of the main reasons for man being sad or unhappy. If this greed is reduced then one can become happy.

The fifth reason for a man to be sad or unhappy is external factors. Man can become sad or unhappy because of the external factors also. A poor man who does not have anything to eat becomes unhappy. One who is ill and cannot afford the treatment becomes unhappy.

The meaning of sadness is the feeling of it. When you don’t feel it you will not feel sad. However tough the circumstances could be, whatever the magnitude of the problem could be if you don’t feel it will cause no sadness within you. You may be having numerous problems but when you sleep you do not experience this sadness because during sleep you are not feeling it. You are not feeling it because your conscious mind is not working then. Sadness is associated with the feeling that we have towards it. A person who has controlled his thoughts either through humility, knowledge or by his very own matured outlook will build a resistance to this feeling and his sadness will dissipate.

Attachment is another one of the main reasons for a man to be sad or unhappy. There was a man in Delhi and he had business in Calcutta. The business suffered a huge loss but this man did not come to know of it. The man did not become sad till he heard the news. But once he came to know the truth he became sad. The man had suffered the loss ten days back. Only when he came to know the truth that he became sad. Hence man does not become sad with the event. But when he acknowledges that the event has happened, he becomes sad. Once the event comes to our knowledge, we become sad.

Solution for sadness

Humility, observation, analysis and  meditation

With the Dhyan, we can build resistance to this sadness. Accept the event as an event, problem as a problem. There is an event, there is a problem but man should not become sad or unhappy. In family you would have seen that even a small incident can cause someone to become sad. Sometimes, there are people who don’t seem to care even when a major event has happened. They just say “No Problem. Let’s close this here itself.” There are some people who make a hill out of a mole and loose their hunger, sleep and everything. The main reason is we do not have control over ourselves. If we have to become happy and we want to reduce our sadness, we have to bring a change in ourselves and only then we can become happy.

Hence one has to change himself, change his habits. One has to remove his ignorance and arrogance and control his emotions and then only one can be happy. I often ask this question “Is happiness in abundance or sadness in abundance? The people reply to me saying “Sadness is in abundance”. But I sincerely believe that in this world sadness is in scarce and happiness is in abundance. It is the characteristic of our Aatma to live in happiness. It is our ignorance that we have created a web of sadness around us and conclude that we are unhappy. If you want to be happy, you need to bring about a change in your mindset.

On a 9th January


Mahapragya ne Kaha - Vol.1 Translated by:
Rakesh Kumar Jain Online Edition: 2011

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Ahmedabad
  2. Anger
  3. Ayurveda
  4. Bhivani
  5. Bikaner
  6. Body
  7. Calcutta
  8. Chittor
  9. Delhi
  10. Dhyan
  11. Dr. Manchanda
  12. Fear
  13. Greed
  14. Gulab Kothari
  15. Guru
  16. Jayacharya
  17. Ladnun
  18. Mahaveer
  19. Maya
  20. Meditation
  21. Mumbai
  22. Nadi
  23. Preksha
  24. Preksha Dhyan
  25. Rajasthan
  26. Shastra
  27. Surat
  28. Sutra
  29. Vaidya
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