Understanding Indian mind: An ardent ancient searcher of happiness

The human mind gets stirred up by the desires that are still unfulfilled,
breeding the sorrow and unable to satisfy the inner ego. The Hedonic view, a popular
Western approach to understand well-being and happiness, states that pleasure
is just an intrinsic good and can be retrieved by connecting with the world. At
this context, another leading philosophy from the West is the Eudaimonic approach
that claims happiness to be the ultimate and highest state as per the lives
lead- virtually or with good intention.

As per the Upanishads, the origin of self-less action is happiness. Most of the art forms created through human hands have its root cause in either happiness or sadness that creates waves in their mind, to recreate the emotions again. For example, the 10,000 years old Bhimbetka rock shelters of Madhya Pradesh, India, featuring prehistoric cave paintings show the reaction of human minds while hunting and dancing and their first response towards watching animals. Again, the poetries of Kalidasa indicating the fervency in the poet’s mind- that has the search of creation latent inside it. Not only just necessity, but happiness is also the central cause behind these type of self-less Karma or action.

 

(Bhimbetka Rock Shelters)

The Gyan Marg or path of knowledge and Karma Marg, the path of action is
equally appreciated by any Advaita Vedantist. 
Here, no differentiation can be done between a Brahmin or teacher and a
Sudura or service-man. Remember, Vikarna like a Dvaitavadi (dualist), claiming Pandavas to be
winning because of God on their side, but himself coming across Krishna or
truth in both squads of the army at Kurukshetra war (the absolute truth at one
side, and his personal truth/duty at the other) when he faced and argued with
Bhima, his opponent? Truth can manifest in any form.

 

(Krishna and the army fighting at Kurukshetra)

Particularly in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist concepts, a typical area is
found where every idea perform the thinking inclined towards inside and to
realize their self or truth. A Vedantist figure out the objects to be neutral
by themselves. Nothing as binary true or false is there in the interpretation
of anything or any idea. We put our bias as per our conditioning, situations
and what we go through. It asserts that till we believe that the origin of happiness
is the objects of this world we deal with, the endless Karmic cycle would
continue. Hence, the actual happiness lies beyond ego and have the characteristic
as “Sat-Chit-Ananda”.

बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत्सुखम्।

स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते।।5.21।।

bāhya-sparśheṣhvasaktātmā vindatyātmani yat sukham sa brahma-yoga-yuktātmā sukham akṣhayam aśhnute (Bhagavad Gita — 5.21||)(People unattached to external sensual pleasures identify the divine within. Establishing the connection with God through Yoga, the everlasting happiness is experinced.)

 A Dvaitavadi think that Jeevantma or my soul is different from Paramatma or God.
From our daily experience through our eyes, we can definitely say that we are
not God. If we deny God, at least we can accept the Prakriti or nature- that
makes myself different from my surroundings. Here, a Vishishtadvaitavadi (Qualified Non-dualism) in particular would account for the
argument that Jeevantma comes from Paramatma. It is connected to Paramatma and
one day would get assimilated to Paramatma. In line with this context Alan
Watts catches up showing the example of one throwing bottle full of ink at a
wall, the central part of the smash tending to be dense and is thin towards the
edge where it generates more complex patterns. Similarly, common people think
Big Bang happened a long time ago and own self to be distinct from the other
parts of the Universe. Here, our view about our own self can be compared with
the minute negligible wavy motion that came out of the shore of the ink plot
like everything expanding with Time after Big Bang. The wave will be awake as
it would realize its nature as the ocean. In Indian terms, it is called “tat
tvam asi” that states that everything visible is inseparable from what they are
in reality.

Modern
science will also not deny that our body is made up of the constituents of
nature and is a part of the surrounding. One day it will get dissolved in
nature.   Now put Jeevatma in the place of body and God
in the place of nature. An Advaitavadi will add up that all the assumptions are
valid. There is nothing called the ‘surrounding”. It is just an illusion due to
Maya. There is only one Paramatma- a single consciousness appearing with
different identities because of the mistake due to Maya. According to Rishi
Aurobindo, it is the original power of “apprehension”, the part of the
Supramental Truth-consciousness that generates the difference between knowledge,
knower and known.

 

আনন্দ তুমি স্বামী, মঙ্গল তুমি,.
তুমি হে মহাসুন্দর, জীবননাথ ॥
শোকে দুখে তোমারি বাণী জাগরণ দিবে আনি,.
নাশিবে দারুণ অবসাদ ॥
Aanondo tumi swaami, mongalo tumi,
Tumi hey mahasundar, jibanonaatho.
Shoke dukhe tomari baani jaagorano dibe aani,
Naashibe daaruno abosad. (Song of Rabindranath Tagore)
(Oh happiness, you are the Lord, the bliss
You are the all beautiful, sustaining the life
In every grief and sorrow, your message would make us rise
Destroying the intense exhaustion)

Without question! Go for any of these ideas or any other beyond the list from the Indian or any other school of thought from the world, which you think suits you- that brings you happiness, give you pleasure… or can come up with any new ideas all that jazz! I don’t think any Hindu God/Goddess representing any of the school of thoughts, other than what you have chosen is looking forward to curse you for this. 

Bibliography:

The
Life Divine – Sri Aurobindo Ashram

https://auromere.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/syncretism-in-sri-aurobindos-thought-part-1/#more-3135

https://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/significance-of-happiness-in-hinduism.asp

https://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/the-gunas-and-the-qualities-of-happiness/

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/130841-it-s-like-you-took-a-bottle-of-ink-and-you

https://vedantavision.org/you-are-as-happy-as-you-want-to-be/

https://www.advaita-vision.org/the-pursuit-of-happiness/

https://medium.com/@pulkitsingh01/pleasure-in-bhagavad-gita-2821f7078125

https://www.hinduhumanrights.info/non-dualism-the-basic-philosophy-of-most-schools-of-hinduism-buddhism-and-the-indo-european-tradition/
Writings of Joydeep Basu https://www.facebook.com/joydeep.basu.79
Writings of Anirban Datta https://www.facebook.com/anirban.datta.3517
 
 

Image courtesies:

https://www.1zoom.me/en/wallpaper/182600/z208.9/

https://in.pinterest.com/pin/333970128616777306/

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/bhimbetka-rock-shelters

https://detechter.com/arjuna-is-shown-as-the-key-character-although-bhim-killed-all-the-100-kauravas/

https://unsplash.com/s/photos/happiness

https://wattsquotes.tumblr.com/post/114423833114/reality-is-only-a-rorschach-ink-blot-you-know

 
 

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