The source of human happiness and misery is the lack of awareness to eliminate afflictions from life. For a man of discrimination, there is no happiness in the world. Life is full of misery, said the Great Buddha.
HAPPINESS AND MISERY exist together. Misery follows joy, and happiness follows sorrow. It is a game of Light and shadow. The human mind can create suffering and pain by a play of thought.
How can one be happy, and how can the satisfaction remain forever? When one contemplates worldly affairs, one understands that nothing is permanent and everything is temporary.
According to Patanjali Yoga Sutras, past life karmas are the root cause of miseries. All the pain, agony, and suffering are, continued in the present and future lives.
If one understands the laws of karma, one gets convinced that whatever is happening in one’s life is mainly due to the effects of past karma. One need not blame or give credit to anybody else for these happenings. The other person is just an excuse for our joy and suffering, which are an outcome of our karmas. Every action, physical or mental, is imprinted in the Chitta (Mind or storehouse of memories) in the form of latent impressions, like seeds that sprout to fruition in the present life. It is like a storehouse, a safe vault where all the karmas are stored, which are allowed as fructification in each birth, and while one is still dealing with the previous karmas, one also keeps adding new karmas to the storehouse. If one experiences karma with full awareness, the karma gets consumed, and no further addition is made to the storehouse.
One cannot elude the sufferings from the past and, in the present, cannot be avoided. The pain which is yet to come can be averted with effort. We have a choice of not sowing the seeds of misery, which can take effect through meditation.
How to be aware? Osho has suggested, “to become immobile all of a sudden, stop thinking, do not move the body, just experience the feeling of silence inside.” if one does these experiments regularly, one gets a glimpse of being aware. A yoga practitioner may achieve the technique of awareness over a while.
Unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness are keys to leading a spiritual life. This two-way approach depletes the previous karmas faster without more addition to the Chitta (Mind – Storehouse of memories/impressions)
Happiness or suffering is experienced at three levels – physical, emotional, and intellectual.
What is good karma, and what is bad karma?
If one does good karma, he immediately starts getting results at the emotional level. Similarly, lousy karma starts affecting physical and emotional levels directly. On a spiritual path, one may experience sudden enlightenment, this can happen due to the blessings of Ishwara or a Guru, or it can happen on its own. In this situation, the storehouse of impressions is annihilated – This is enlightenment. The yogi has achieved Kaivalya.
Laws of Karma and reincarnation are certain mysterious things that do not happen in the so-called logical sequence, and hence we do not have an explanation for them.
Life is continuously changing – along with the correct knowledge, incorrect knowledge, deep, dreamless sleep, and memory also constantly change, causing impermanence in our life patterns.
As Light and darkness cannot exist together, the same way, awareness and unawareness cannot live together. The understanding that nothing is permanent in life makes one detach from worldly attachments.
So finally, we come to a conclusion and understand that to remove the sufferings from life, one should start leading life with awareness taking oneself beyond happiness and misery into the field of bliss and joy.
Awareness is the key, and meditation leads to awareness.
If one meditates and catches life’s joyful moments with understanding, one will experience a different quality of life.
A yoga sadhaka remains aware while experiencing misery and happiness.
For the ordinary human being – awareness can be developed by focusing on one particular object; the best technique is to focus on the breath. Breath awareness is the foremost vital technique to fix your mind, i.e., Dharana (Fixation of the mind), the power to concentrate continuously (without force)in an uninterrupted flow of awareness on the breath leading towards Dhyana, i.e., mediation. And as one gets wholly absorbed with the inner self with the practice of meditation, one can reach a state of self-realization and achieve the highest bliss, i.e., Samadhi, free from all the sufferings and misery.
As said earlier, our future depends upon how we act today. We have a choice of not sowing the seeds of misery.
Through meditation or through silence, the mind is purified, and the self becomes the witness; as soon it becomes the witness, it can distinguish itself between the body and the soul and the world created by nature, and it reaches the state of enlightenment, i.e., Kaivalya – Absolute reality.
- Patanjali Yogadarshana – Swami Ananda Rishi & Ms. Ananda Varsha
- Yoga Darshana with reference to Vyasabhasya – Dr. Shriram Agashe
- Photo by Kat Smith from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/grayscale-photography-of-crying-woman-568027/