Thus Spoke Mahapragya - Vol.1: 05. Eternal Happiness (1)

Published: 29.03.2011
Updated: 02.04.2011

Eternal Happiness (1)

A discussion was going on between the Guru and his disciple. The Guru promised that he can show the way to eternal happiness. The disciple was very excited. Eternal happiness is not an ordinary happiness. There are two types of happiness: temporary and permanent. Nature has its own cycle. After happiness comes sadness and after sadness comes happiness. In a day itself you would experience this cycle numerous times. In a single day man becomes happy and sad numerous times. This cycle continues forever. There are many people who lose their temper in a day ten times and become happy ten times. Like day and night, the cycle of happiness and sadness also keep moving. Night followed by day and the day followed by night. Similarly, happiness followed by sadness and sadness by happiness.

The guru said that he would show the path of eternal happiness where there is no night, where there is no darkness; it is always filled with light. The disciple said that he would be blessed if the guru could show him the path to eternal happiness. The disciple sat down to listen to his guru. The guru said, “For eternal happiness one must listen to the solution carefully. The first solution is complete knowledge. There are two types of knowledge: partial or incomplete and a complete knowledge. Once a person acquires this complete knowledge, he can get enlightened. Our knowledge is incomplete knowledge.”

Why does a man become sad? He is sad because he lacks the complete knowledge. He lacks the knowledge of past, present and future. The knowledge of the beginning and end. One knows how to start a work but lacks the knowledge of successfully completing it. One knows how to give speeches but lacks the knowledge where to conclude logically. There is an interesting anecdote.

There were two brothers. The younger brother was poor and the elder brother was rich. The elder brother never helped his younger brother. Where money is involved, relationship has no value. One whom, we think are our well-wishers become strangers and vice versa. This is a strange game of relationship and money. As a result the younger brother used to be sad. One day he was going somewhere. On the way, he met an old man. The old man had a heap of wood sticks. The old man asked “You look to be sad, what's the matter?” The younger brother replied “I am hungry and I haven't eaten food since yesterday”. When one is deprived of something how sad he could be we often hear and read in the newspaper.

I have seen helpless and deprived people. We have experienced such people closely during our yatra (journey). If they get one meal in the morning then there is no guarantee that they will get anything for the rest of the day. People who do penance can fast, but not everybody can do penance. For them, hunger has become part and parcel of everyday life. There are very few people who get to eat two meals a day. In India where the population is more than one billion, close to half the population is such that they do not get two meals a day also. Small children are no exception. People who are financial well-off cannot even imagine this. We have seen this with our eyes. We had stopped for a while during our journey. Some people had gathered around us. Among them, one old man came forward and said “Maharaj! Please do something for us”. I asked “What can I do for you?” He replied “Neither we have a house nor a land for agriculture. After toiling for the whole day, we barely manage one meal a day. Then the worry of what we will eat the next day comes to us.”

People who are spending lives worrying about arranging for one meal a day itself, how can they even think of any other aspect. One young man told me that he was doing well financially. During his days of struggle, he could arrange only for one meal a day for himself. There was no breakfast or dinner for him.

We people with dedication and with Tyaag Bhavana (Renunciation) have the self-control. Sometimes we eat food on alternate days, we fast or at time we have meal only once a day. For people failing to meet their ends and find it difficult to even get a single meal, a day, such people lack the self-control and Tyaag Bhavana. One cannot expect them to have it. Hence generally hunger troubles them more. We have seen people struggling very closely. We have experienced their pain. We have even seen the people living in the tribal region of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Their houses are made up of dry grass and leaves. Such is the poverty.

Now coming back to the story. The old man asked “Why are you so sad?” The younger brother replied “I am very sad. The biggest problem, I am facing is that I am not able to arrange for even one meal a day. Such is my poverty”. The old man must have been a fairy angel. He said “Son. Carry this heap of wood and drop it in my home. I will give you something which will solve your entire problem”. The poor man lifted the log of wood and dropped at the old man's home. The old man gave him a grinding stone. The man asked “What will I do with this grinding stone? Please give me something to eat or give me some money”. The old man replied “This is not an ordinary grinding stone. This grinding stone will help get rid of your poverty. If you rotate this in the clockwise direction, it will produce whatever you have wished for. On rotating it in the anti-clockwise direction, it would stop.” What does a blind man needs? Two eyes to see. The young man went home and kept the grinding stone in front of his wife. The wife frowned at him and said “There is not even a single grain at home and what will I do with this grinding stone? You must have gone crazy to get this grinding stone.” When a person has been deprived of something and that something is food, one can imagine his state of mind. The man replied “I haven't bought this grinding stone from any shop. One old man has given this to me. You please get me a piece of cloth.” The irritated wife got him a cloth. The man placed the grinding stone at the center of the cloth. The young man had full faith in the old man that the grinding stone would fulfill his entire wish.

He asked his wife “Tell me what you do want?” The wife thought that hunger must have turned her husband crazy and, hence he was behaving like a mad man. The husband again insisted what she wanted. She sarcastically replied “Give me rice, if you can?” The man rotated the grinding stone in the clockwise direction and within few minutes a heap of rice was there. The wife was surprised and within no moments the entire house was filled with a huge stock of wheat, pulses, sugar and other items.

The grinding stone was no less than a miracle for the younger brother. It fulfilled all his wishes and desire. Things had now changed drastically. He was not a poor anymore who used to struggle to make his ends meet. He was now counted among the rich and influential people. Within a short period of time he had constructed a palatial house for himself and had every luxurious thing that one can dream of. With money not only the looks that changes but it also changes the way one thinks. People on the other hand were surprised to see this sudden meteoric rise of the younger brother. The person who was disturbed and jealous with this meteoric rise was none other than his elder brother. His wealth and status was not even comparable to a servant in the younger brother's house.

The elder brother was determined to find out what had caused this sudden meteoric rise. When wealth comes suddenly, without any reasons or from any undisclosed sources there are people who are too eager to get into the research for this sudden prosperity. The younger brother did not have any factory or a mill. The elder brother set out to find out the reason for this sudden prosperity. Finally he could secretively uncover the real reason for his younger brother's wealth that it was grinding stone which was the reasons for younger brother's prosperity.

The greed of the elder brother increased. He wanted to get the grinding stone at any cost. After getting the stone, his two wishes would get fulfilled: One, the source of his brother's prosperity is no more with him. Second, his doors to prosperity would open up. So one night finally he decided to steal the grinding stone from his younger brother. After stealing the stone, he thought that if he stayed in the same place, his conspiracy would be revealed and, hence he thought of migrating to a different place and try his luck. Hence he decided to leave his place. After walking some distance, he had to cross a river by boat. He put his belongings and other necessary things in a small boat and headed for his new destination. It was the time for food and he took out the packed lunch. He realized that there was no salt in the food, and he had forgotten to pack salt. Suddenly he remembered that he had the grinding stone that can fulfill any of his wish. He took out the grinding stone and rotated that in the clockwise direction and wished that it gave him salt. The grinding stone started producing salt. This was the first test that the man had conducted on this grinding machine. The machine meanwhile kept on producing salt. The man shouted that he doesn't need any more salt and let the salt production be stopped. However the grinding stone did not stop and it continued producing salt.

The elder brother had committed one mistake. In his excitement, he had heard only to the instruction to start the grinding stone and out of excitement he did not hear the instruction required to stop it. The man kept on shouting “I don't want more salt. Please stop producing salt”. The grinding stone continued producing salt and because of the weight of the salt, the boat sank. The boat sank and the elder brother died in water as he did not know to swim.

This is the result of greed, jealousy and incomplete knowledge. Hence it is very necessary for one to have a complete knowledge. Unless one has complete knowledge, he cannot get eternal happiness. Hence incomplete knowledge is considered to be very dangerous. There is a saying “Alpavidhya Bhayankari” (Incomplete knowledge is dangerous). Hence either one needs to have a complete knowledge or no knowledge at all. One must ponder on this. One should have complete knowledge as partial knowledge is undesirable and can have devastating effect.

It is said that today there are lot of unethical issues, corruption, violence. Why is that? It is because of partial or incomplete knowledge. When one does not have complete knowledge, then there is darkness which is due to Moha (attachment towards darkness). Incomplete knowledge results in attachment towards ignorance. Knowingly also man has ignored this. In Sanskrit, there is well known proverb “One who does not know, does not know at all. One who knows also does not know.” There are two more proverbs. One who could see is also blind and who can hear is also deaf. This is because of our attachment. When there is enlightenment, then the attachment starts disappearing. As long as this darkness of attachment is there in man's life, he can never see the truth.

Today there is something on the contrary happening. Everybody wants peace. However the violence is increasing day by day. We are running behind what cannot give us peace and running away from what can give us peace. How can one seek peace? Our attachment with the materialistic objects has increased. The material can never give us peace. It could fulfill the need but not give us peace. We tend to believe that materialistic object can us give us peace but such is not the case.. All over the world, people want to come to India. They believe that India has the key to peace. What is that knowledge of peace? When you run behind materialistic object it only would increase violence and when you leave this materialistic object behind, you will start discovering peace.

The path to peace has been found in the form of Tyaag (relinquishment). Accumulating is definitely not the path to peace. This is because material and fear cannot be separated from each other. They are inseparable. Why talk about others. At time we say “I have kept something outside. Please take it inside, else somebody will take it away”. We sadhus don't have anything and despite that at time we have this fear. People, who have, then one can imagine the fear they will be having. One follower bought a watch and said “Maharaj! Please keep this watch”. I said “No”. He asked “Why”. I said “If it was an ordinary watch, then I do not have to worry about anything. Nobody will ever take it also. If it is expensive, then one has to be careful about not losing it”. A fear of somebody taking it will always be there. A sadhu should never accept anything expensive. If he accepts anything, it should be an ordinary one so that even a thief is not tempted to steal it. It should be something that even if it's lying unattended, one should not worry about it. There is one line in the song and it says “Santa ka khulla hai baarana” (If the door is open, then there is no worry. If one accepts an expensive thing, then even a sadhu will start worrying like a householder.) One must understand that with materialistic object, fear is associated. Whether it is an expensive pen, expensive clothes or an expensive watch, the moment the word expensive gets associated with a material, fear automatically gets attached.

Gurudev was in Ladnun. Some Japanese people had come there. They requested him a lot to accept something from them. They had a pencil, which could write for years. We did not accept the gift. If we had accepted, we would have to always carry the fear of losing it. Hence we would start worrying about its security more than using it for writing. Thus more time would have been spent on worrying about its security and less on writing. It happens usually that man becomes perplexed and for him wealth becomes of paramount importance.

Materialistic object and fear they both go in parallel. Then how does one get peace. Where there is a fear, one cannot expect peace there. One who wants to be fearless needs to be prepared to relinquish. Accept what is required and relinquish the rest. Once you accept more than what is required, fear will creep in. You will start worrying about its security. The vessels Sadhavi's use should not be very attractive and beautiful. Otherwise a fear would occur in the mind that nobody else should use the vessel. Everything should be ordinary so that one doesn't need to worry about it.

We should head towards being fearless and develop the will power to relinquish. When we keep ordinary things, there is nothing to worry about. Attachment with the materialistic object leads to fear. It is a shadow which could dim the light. It is an irony that we become ignorant even after knowing the truth.

The third key to the eternal happiness is Raag (Attachment) and Dwesha[1 ](aversion / avoidance).

Attachment is like a King, which has two commanders - Raag and Dwesha. There is no mention of Raag and Dwesha even in the twenty-eight different forms of Mohaniya Karma (concealment of truth or reality). Raag and Dwesha are born out of material, person or a thing. If something good comes then we develop an attachment with it and if something bad comes then we develop hostility towards it. If we meet a person whom, we like then the attachment develops and if we meet someone whom, we do not like then hostility develop towards him. The cycle of attachment and hostility keeps moving. If we have the Moha, then the attachment and hostility also develops. When the Moha advances, then the attachment and the hostility also advances and does their work.

Ram Sen was a Jain Acharya. He had written a book on Yoga called Atvanushashanam. The first of the book says Attachment is like a King which has two commanders - Raag and Dwesha. If you cannot defeat Raag and Dwesha then conquering Moha is not possible. When anything is favorable or as per the liking of the mind, the attachment would develop. We have to accept the truth that society produces the attachment. It is not possible to live without attachment. Hence Acharya have divided Raag into two forms: Dharmnuraga which is a Prashastha raag (quintessential, exemplary, ideal or a classic raag through which one can attain liberation) and the other raag is aprashastha raag (not an ideal raag and cannot help in liberation). Guru has attachment towards his disciple and the disciple has devotion towards his guru. Guru has affection towards his students. Affection and devotion are both raag, but a good one and this is called Prashastha raag. If the guru does not have affection towards his students then he will be all alone and if the student does not have devotion towards his guru, then he cannot progress and develop and there would be no mutual understanding among them.

Once, Gurudev Acharya Tulsi spoke about the importance of a good relationship between a teacher and a student. He said that if the mother is not affectionate towards her child, the child will not grow. He might even cease to exist. Bringing up a child is the most difficult task. Taking care of him from the first day of his birth till he is five to seven years old is one of the most challenging tasks. This can only be done by a mother and not a father. There was a person standing in front of me. His wife was dead. He was carrying a child in his arms and the other child was holding his finger. I could see the helplessness and fear in his eyes. I asked him “What is wrong with you?” He said “My wife is dead. I don't know what to do with these children. I am finding it very difficult to bring them up”. Bringing up a child can be best done by a mother. In a society it is very difficult to give up your affection and attachment completely. If we want to be happy then we must think in terms of defining a boundary for them. We have to make an attempt to move towards the good form of attachment i.e. from aprashastha raag to Prashastha raag.

There is a rule: Shubh pravritti[2] (effort is towards construction), ashubh pravritti (effort is towards destruction)and nivritti (renunciation). We all have to go this nivritti, but we cannot go to this directly. Hence we have to make an attempt to move from the ashubh pravritti, to the shubh pravritti. One must make an attempt to spend most of his time in shubh pravritti. One must first move from bad to good and then think about nivritti. Even in dhyan (meditation) we have savikalpa dhyan (thought and options are there) and nirvikalpa dhyan (no thoughts and no options are there). Savichar dhyan (good thoughts) and Nirvichar dhyan (zero thoughts). The best form of dhyan is the nirvikalpa dhyan where there are no options, no thoughts. This can't be achieved instantaneously. We chant mantras, pray our deity silently in mind. Why do we do all these? We do this, so that at least our thoughts move from the impious thoughts to the pious thoughts. We do this so that our thinking process becomes pure. Hence the transformation path is from Bad thoughtsà Good thoughts à No thoughts. Our destination is nirvikalpa dhyan, we have to reach a stage where there are no thoughts occurring. We cannot reach there directly. Hence we follow a sequence and with a series of steps. We have to move gradually from a stage of bad thoughts to good thoughts and finally to a stage where there are no thoughts occurring in the mind.

Hence one must destroy Raag and Dwesha. One cannot do this in one attempt and, hence we have to do it gradually. With regular practice one can achieve this. We have seen people doing it, heard people doing it and we believe that this is possible.

There is a very important sutra of Aagam and it is called Aacharchula. It says:

Trotra Indriya (Hearing Sense) is open and one cannot hear words. This is not possible.
Chakshu Indriya (Seeing Sense) is open and one cannot see objects. This is not possible.
Ghraana Indriya (Smelling Sense) is open and one cannot smell. This is not possible.
Rasnendriya (Taste Sense) is open and one cannot feel the taste. This is not possible.
Sparshnendirya (Touch Sense) is open and one cannot feel the touch. This is not possible.

When one comes across words, objects, smell, taste and touch and he doesn't feel Raag and Dwesha, this is possible and one must aim to achieve this. Practice it and do it slowly and gradually. One day you would reach a stage where you would feel material is just a material and one is just using this material. There would be no Raag - Dwesha associated with the material. You will reach this stage after a long meditation. Without meditation this is not possible. If we set a goal and work slowly towards it we will reach the goal.

Long back when I was in Bhikshu Vihar (Jain Vishwabharati), I had experienced three stages of sound. In the first stage, the words come to the ear and our mind goes towards this word. In the second stage, the word comes, but the mind doesn't go towards it. In the final stage, the word doesn't reach the ears only. We have to strive for this final stage. This is certainly possible and one can reach there slowly and gradually. One cannot reach there directly.

The guru had shown his disciple the path to eternal happiness. If one hears a word and he shifts his focus over there and thinks what the other person would have said about him. If it was pleasant, then he gets into Raag and if it's unpleasant then he immediately heads towards Dwesha. Sometimes Raag and sometimes Dwesha, this is certainly not the path to eternal happiness. The path to eternal happiness will be when words do not reach your ears at all. Therefore, one has to work towards such that in his mind there is no feeling of happiness or sadness; there is no thought of Raag or Dwesha. This is certainly a long journey.

People who are interested to know more about eternal happiness, they should refer the thirty second chapter of Uttaradhayayan for further deeper understanding.

On a 10th January.


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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. Aagam
  2. Acharya
  3. Acharya Tulsi
  4. Bhavana
  5. Bhikshu
  6. Dhyan
  7. Fear
  8. Greed
  9. Guru
  10. Gurudev
  11. Indriya
  12. Karma
  13. Ladnun
  14. Madhya Pradesh
  15. Maharashtra
  16. Meditation
  17. Moha
  18. Mohaniya
  19. Mohaniya Karma
  20. Pradesh
  21. Raag
  22. Ram
  23. Sadhu
  24. Sadhus
  25. Sanskrit
  26. Sutra
  27. Tulsi
  28. Tyaag
  29. Vihar
  30. Violence
  31. Yoga
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