--Sri. Atul Mishra
Pujya Sir and my Dear Brothers and Sisters.
I am presenting some of my views on the topic of today’s seminar - “The happiest man is he who is happy under all circumstances.” taken from message - Love Universal.
In the message “Simplified System of Spirituality” Master says "Things come and go but what lies in between these two is our real condition. This changeless condition of us is the end of all spiritual activities. Blankness is another expression for this condition. The whole system is vacuumized in the end, and man becomes a real man. It has been found difficult to define "man", but when we add the word "real", it defines the beauty a man should have to belong to."
Being the Real man has been advocated as the true goal of human life in our system of sadhana. All the practices and teaching of the systems are geared towards this goal. Further it has been explained that a Real man is one who is just and balanced under all circumstances. This to my understanding resonates fully with the topic of the seminar “The happiest man is he who is happy under all circumstances”.
Rev. Master has stated in the commentary of commandment 8th that happy disposition is a state which may aptly be taken as next to the Divine. While reading and contemplating on the message for the seminar, the central theme which I could catch on was that to be truly happy is to be truly contented. I can not put it more appropriately than quoting Rev. Sir from article (BP Vol 3, Page 12) “Determination and Contentment” – “I strongly believe the feeling of Santushti or being satisfied with what we have is the first step in becoming happy. This is the secret of happiness. If this is not there any amount of comfort or riches or fame will not give happiness. Real Santushti feeling is a by product of the awareness of transitoriness of things and events in life. There is every reason to look into our images in the mirror every day and feel happy at being what we are. We should note however that our image has been changing and we have always been happy at it.”
The way I have understood the article of Rev. Master is that He has pointed out (subtly or explicitly), one-by-one, the things which keeps us away from true happiness and how we can address those.
First he points out that we need to understand the difference between Sat and Asat. What is permanent and what is temporary. The basic lesson of Viveka and Vairagaya. We grant the status of permanency/reality to transience and suffer the consequences. Be it our body, name/fame in the society, ranks in profession, bank accounts, relationships, expectancy of dependency and help from people in later stages of lives, this physical existence and many more. And as per their nature when these things exhibit their transience, in the absence of understanding of right relationship of things, we feel unhappy. It is only when we attach our identification with these things we suffer disillusionment. This is where Rev. Master advises us to rise above these things if we want to live a happy and peaceful life. He says it should be duty of every abhyasi to make himself rise above the mire of thoughts and emotions and methods of our system bring out such results if practice with interest. He quotes the example of wisdom of a weaver displayed through the movement of his hands which I have understood as taking help from higher centers. As Master puts it “Under the system of Natural Path the dormant energies of the Centre and sub-centres are awakened so as to enable them to function properly. When the higher centres are awakened they begin to shed their effect upon the lower centres, and when they come into contact with the Divine, the lower ones get merged in them. The higher centres thus take over charge of the lower ones. The lower centres too are cleaned so as to relieve them of the grosser effects settled on them. That alone is the proper, and the most natural course, which can bring about the highest results.” So long as we let the higher centers guide us, it is sure sign of moving in the right direction.
Next thing which Rev. Master has pointed out is Goal of life. Without its clarity life either appears to be monotonous, an endless drudgery or means to live through petty entertainment and pleasures and both are the sources of unhappiness. The importance of commandment 3 become relevant here where one needs to set oneness with Divine as a goal of life and has to keep on working on it till the ideal is achieved. The way I have been trying to understand this goal is not as some static point where we need to reach one day but a continuous way of living as per the commandments of Master where we follow those sincerely and help other to do so.
The third point which Rev. Master makes is to understand the difference between individualistic expressions of love soiled with attachment v/s Universal expression of the same with a feeling of oneness for one and all. Attachment is sure to bring pain and we need to learn the lessons of trusteeship and due attachment in our living to balance it. For this, He advices us to live a life like coot and ducks in the water. He says it is very easy to transcend from one expression of love (one soiled by attachment) to the other once we learn how to remove our brokenness, prejudice or hatred towards the others. It starts flowing equally to one and all and it becomes universal. This state of mind brings immense happiness.
Next important point which He makes is the need to understand that we all are family people and must behave accordingly. Leading a family life will have its own challenges, needs and requirements. To take care of these needs and fulfill due requirements at material plane money is required. This requires us to work and earn money for our maintenance and good living. But parallely He warns us that having an attachment to money is a disease and it is sure to bring unhappiness. Being a grihastha we need to be moderate in our dealings and operate with an understanding that having needs and desires is not bad but we need to be watchful that we are not becoming slaves of them.
Keeping up with the central theme of the message as understood by me, i.e. need of contentment in life to be truly happy, I would like to conclude the paper with thoughts of Pujya Sir, once again, from article “Determination and Contentment” (BP Vol 3, Page 15)– “There is no use in wailing over the past and getting distracted. We should remember that "contentment is the greatest form of wealth." Contentment and acceptance of the situation should never be confused with complacence and indifference. Cultivating contentment means learning to appreciate what is given rather than focusing on what may be missing. "I am satisfied" is not the same as "I do not mind even if I do not have?" The commandments 5 and 7 of the Master requires us to develop the attitude of 'radical acceptance' which implies unconditional Maitri (friendliness) where openness and love are such as that we are prepared always to receive with gratitude all that happens to us. Such a life of contentment has no barriers to the being and any and every one finds a place in our heart even if we do not like what they may think or do. Contentment really means that we have the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, having the courage to change the things that can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference between these two.”