Someone from an extremely poor home couldn’t even afford a bicycle. Today he got one. He is extremely happy. Now he can ride to work and arrive early. But his neighbour just bought a motorcycle. Now he feels sad, “A bicycle is useless!” Now he gets a motorcycle. But his neighbour purchased a car. “What is the point of having a motorcycle? I need a car!” This disease is so pervasive it even exists in the celestial abodes. Everyone experiences suffering by seeing someone who has more than himself. By seeing those who have less than us, we forget our suffering and feel happy. “He has a bicycle, but I have a motorcycle!” In life there are those ahead of us and behind us, but everyone is experiencing suffering. That same object we experience happiness from will also cause us to experience sorrow. A son obeyed his father’s request. The father was happy and gave him a hug. The second time, the son didn’t pay any attention to his dad. He also ignored him a third time. Finally the father scolded and slapped the son. What happened? You were just hugging him! We feel attached and detached from the very same mother, father, and spouse ten or twenty times a day, depending on whether or not they are fulfilling our self-interest.
If there were happiness in any of these relations, we should constantly experience it. But instead it always steadily decreases. This is true of everything that gives us happiness in the world. Thus, we need to think deeply about the nature of our world. We have hugged our loved ones thousands of times, but there has always been a difference in the feeling of happiness from person to person, and times have come when we felt so adverse to them we didn’t even want to look in their direction, “It would be good if he died! My life has been ruined by getting such a spouse! How did I get such a terrible son,” and so on.
If there is no true happiness in this world then this means it must be in God, because there is no third entity. This understanding has to become firmly seated in our mind. Our situation is like a dog that runs to a man who is showing him a piece of bread. As he comes close to the man, the man hits him with a big stick. The dog runs away crying in pain. When he is at a distance, he looks back angrily at the man. The man shows him a piece of the bread again and the dog thinks, “Never mind, he is giving me something to eat.” He runs towards the man wagging his tail, and again the man hits him with the stick. When we have problems with our relatives, we feel emotionally detached from them. Then after some time, we feel attached again.
If someone thinks deeply about this, he will come to the realisation that there is no true happiness in this world. In other words, he will realise, “My kind of happiness is not here.” My means ‘what belongs to me’. Me means ‘what is not mine’, such as my body, my mind, my intellect. What is mine cannot be me. We don’t say, “I am the house.” We say, “This is my house.”
To be continued . . .
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
14 November 2009
© Radha Govind Samiti