I understand happiness comes from within but when things dont work what you wish for then how can one be happy internally? I understand everything about letting go, meditating to make ones sattva-guna high but still when there are unfulfilled desires how can one be happy and attain higher self? And of course man will have desires but when they are not fulfilled he tries to run behind them in order to achieve it.
Lalita (Name changed), USA
Can we ever be happy?
Everything you said is absolutely true...to answer your question in a straightforward manner – Yes, we cannot be happy internally for as long as we want. The real answer to your question is in your question itself – “when there are unfulfilled desires how can one be happy and attain higher self? And of course man will have desires but when they are not fulfilled he tries to run behind them in order to achieve it.”
Fulfillment of one desire gives birth to many unfulfilled desires
1) Let’s analyze statement in your question above: ‘One is not happy because there are unfulfilled desires (Very true)’ Now another important truth is: Once any desire is fulfilled it is replaced with even a stronger desire to achieve even more (that is how desires work “Wood to Fire” and that is how God has made them to work). Therefore, once a desire is fulfilled, man gets more stronger desire to run after. At the same time, the number of unfulfilled desires keep growing parallely in the life. As a result of this, an individual is never happy even after fulfilling several desires in the life because they have been replaced with more and stronger desires to achieve even higher goal…which have become next-in-the-line “unfulfilled desires” and one is not happy this time because there are even more unfulfilled desires to be fulfilled. The unhappiness prevails. This is the picture of almost every human life in absence of the desire to do the God.
Thus, the eternal fact is: Fulfillment of any desire brings a tiny amount of happiness, but unfortunately many more “unfulfilled” desired are born at the same time that bring “unhappiness” within us (look at the tragic lives of many milliners and billionaires whose desires have continued to grow as their wealth and achievements grow)
99.99% of people in the world do not have any idea of the process of attaining happiness. First, let us look at the root source or the cause of happiness or unhappiness.
Attachment to worldly matters is the source of the unhappiness
In simple words, the source of all the un-happiness is our attachment towards the worldly things within us (which is the womb of desires). These words are simple to utter but extremely difficult to understand or perceive because we have never experienced the “state of detachment” in our lives. (Lord Sri Krishna’s message of Karma yoga or Gyan yoga in the Bhagvad Geeta is all about this topic). Real “long-lasting” happiness (eternal divine joy or bliss) can start only when our mind is detached from the worldly matters – Desires - within. This happiness is temporary initially because by its inherent nature, our mind cannot get away from the worldly matters (ME and MINE). But as the process of detachment starts (meditation, seva, giving and spiritual readings etc) we occasionally start getting the experiences of the joy, bliss or happiness, which becomes to establish slowly as detachment continues and establishes completely when detachment is complete (this is a state of eternal bliss or state of complete awareness). This is the goal.
This is the exact reason why I always mention the window of several lives in attaining the higher self (or self realization or attaining the God or the Supreme bliss or the Consciousness). Change towards good is not easy to come. It does take several lives to overcome the Tamo gun and Rajo gun....even after conscious efforts..(and forget about those who do not do such efforts...that is the reason they say Jivatma travels through 84 lakh lives)....Until the last day of salvation the struggle of the atman continues.
Now, let us discuss your questions in more practical way (more on human plain than on the yogic plain)
Practical approach to happiness or a “GRADUAL” spiritual progress
1) “when things don't work what you wish for then how can one be happy internally” - I agree it is hard to be happy internally and unhappiness WILL prevail in such situations (even the people close to the God can not escape this situations...only difference is that they have less of such situations than an average individual and they have less impact on them because their mind has higher sight)...in short NO escape from daily material problems and desires and we must go through such periods in the life (where things can get extreme sometimes) and try to do best to materially overcome the material problems.
2) “I understand everything about letting go, meditating to make ones sattva-guna high but still when there are unfulfilled desires how can one be happy and attain higher self.” - As explained above, there are going to be “unfulfilled desires” up to the end of the life and person should NOT run away from those, we must try to fulfill all the “good” desires of the life (in fact only then we can walk comfortably on the path to the God) but while we try to fulfill all “good” the desires of the life...we should also take care of being aware that the “desires are not the goal”....but they are the obstacle in achieving the goal..and slowly continue the process of trying to overcome desires (meditation, reading, Seva and all that) Again look at the window of several lives to achieve such goal...One step every day is the ultimate key. That is where the consistency of efforts comes into picture.
To give you my example: Even though I have practiced meditation and kundalini yoga for over 25 years, even though I might have various experiences on the path of the God, even though my Guru is behind me every moment of the life...everything above mentioned does affect me just like any other individual. Some times I also do not get sleep at night because of one material issue or other. But the only difference is that my thoughts give me consistent awareness that these desires and problems are not the goal...Such thoughts reduced the impact of the desires ,problems and resulting unhappiness....and this will be the key to my ultimate salvation after my efforts of several more lives. But with current level of my Tri-Gunas and my past Karma I must face the daily life (which is my own creation)
3) “And of-course man will have desires but when they are not fulfilled he tries to run behind them in order to achieve it.” - Yes, nothing wrong in running after desires...because the driver behind our actions is our past Karma and our combination of Tri-gunas...Never try to win over them (desires) in few years or one life. But as I said above: “Maryada” - Reducing the desires while fulfilling desires by doing religious efforts should be the goal.
The key to happiness is to understand how Desires work to dissolve the desires
Most important aspect is that Desires should not work as wood to Fire. (but that is how exactly they are made to work)..so the task of “fulfilling” or taking out the desires is absolutely impossible. So while we fulfill the desires we should do parallel efforts of raising the “sattva gun”...It is a continuous struggle of life...As we practice more of “Sattva” the Desires go on thinning and the “Sattva” will go on getting stronger and stronger....on the way purifying our karma which will ultimately achieve the goal of attaining the happiness, or bliss or the God. If you have heard Lata Mangeshkar's song of “Ananda che dohi Anand Tarang”..that is Shri Gyneshwar Maharaj’s ovi…that means good thing bring more of the Good things..That is why small efforts will increase good (Sattva) within us which will bring more sattva…But be aware every moment that this is a process of SEVERAL LIVES and at the same time we must do efforts ever day.
Karma rules our life
Short answer to your question: Karma rules our life and we must go through the daily gyrations of the life. No one has escaped from that. But keep doing consistent efforts while we also fulfill duties and goals of the life - A drop of water a day will make a lake after millions of days - Therefore, look at the window of several lives in the process of true fulfillment of desire where true happiness comes.
This is another reason why I always say “Ignore the experiences” is because they have no value in the life. Keep eye on reducing desires by raising the Sattva and purifying the Karma (actions and thoughts both).
What is God?
It is nothing more than the highest level of awareness within us. So the day we are fully aware and for every moment - that is the day we have attained the God which is state of ultimate bliss and the FREEDOM FROM THE DESIRES AND PROBLEMS OF THE LIFE.
Highest level of spiritual state
That awareness is brought by “Anusandhan of the God”, which is the highest level of spiritual state of the Sadhak...much higher level than the “artificial” process of meditation, yoga and every other religious effort that we know of – Meaning - If you can be aware of God every moment you will attain the God within very short period of time in the life...but to get to the level of “anusandhan” one has to do the efforts for several lives..
Hope I was able to explain. I am sure this may have raised several other questions..but that is why millions of books have been written on the topic of God and still most of us are the travelers of the path in the initial stages.
Read continuation of this topic at How desires work? Desires are obstacle in the path to God
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