Countless lives have passed, and we have attained countless things, but we have not attained happiness. What is the definition of true happiness? That which is of an infinite extent and lasts for eternity. Pay attention to both these words. It must be of an unlimited extent. When a very poor person gets his first bicycle, he is very happy. "I have a new bicycle." But when he sees a motorcycle, he wishes he had one too. When the motorcyclist sees a car, he envies the one driving it. That is, there are countless levels of happiness. If there is greater happiness than ours, we become unhappy. If we see or believe that there is greater happiness than our own, we receive sorrow. Thus, we seek a happiness beyond which there is no further happiness. You have attained great joys. How do you identify the greatest happiness you have received? It's when you faint in unconsciousness. When your mind and body stop working; this is the greatest happiness.
Let's say you hugged your mother, spouse or child and you received so much happiness that you fainted. Perhaps you people have received it. Yes, you have. Everyone has. When you lie down on your bed to sleep. You place your arms and legs in your own peculiar styles - everyone has their own way of sleeping. And then you start thinking of sleep and finally fall asleep, i.e. when you entered the dream state from the waking state, you became unconscious. This is your greatest happiness. Your wife or mother are next to you, but you don't care. When the waking state meets the dream state, you fall asleep. The confluence between the waking and dream states gives you the greatest happiness. There is no greater happiness anywhere. You experience a shadow of this happiness from your parent, sibling or spouse, but the happiness of deep sleep and of this confluence is the greatest, which even a pauper gets. The beggar lying on the footpath sleeps soundly and snores, while the billionaire is in tension and has to take sleeping pills to sleep. This is his punishment. You poor people think, "If I could get a million dollars, I would sleep peacefully." Your sleep would be ruined. Don't ever wish for it. You are better off now.
Kunti asked for a boon, janmaisvarya sruta sribhir edhamana madah puman (Bhagavatam 1.8.26) "O Lord, do not give me any more material wealth, and please take away whatever I have." Why? Because people will stick to those who possess something. A rich man is always surrounded by people - teachers, doctors, etc. and all for their own selfish interests. If someone is especially talented, people surround him too. If nothing else, just the exceptional beauty of one's face. If she is Miss India or Miss whatever, people surround her too. This leads to pride. These tiny worldly possessions have ruined us by making us proud. We are unable to shed tears before God. We cry if our daughter leaves home or our son dies, but we do not cry that we have not met God. He, who is the most important and our true relative, there are no tears for Him. And even if someone does, he cries for both the world and for God. He cries for his daughter leaving and also cries for his Guru leaving. For both God and the world; not exclusively.
A material soul therefore works every moment for happiness alone. Since when? Since eternity. And until when? Until he attains it. This is very straightforward. And the one who perfected his devotion; his surrender to God, he has attained God - unlimited happiness for eternity.
To be continued . . .
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
9 February 2002
© Radha Govinda Samiti