When a man puts away, O Partha, all the cravings that arise in the mind and finds comfort for himself only from Atman, then is he called the man of secure under-standing.
Ghandi says ‘To find comfort for oneself from Atman means to look into the spirit within for spiritual comfort’.
He explains that comfort or bliss must also be distinguished from pleasure or happiness from the possession of wealth, for example, as it can be delusive.
We fill our lives up with material objects such as houses, cars, clothes and even relationships in the hope they will give us happiness. The happiness may be temporary and will give pleasure, but there may also be elements of pain ie: attachment and entrapment.
“Real spiritual comfort or bliss can be attained only if we rise superior to temptation, even if we may be troubled by pangs of poverty and hunger” – Gandhi.
Time and time again we are given the opportunity to learn and remember that is it is not the outer things that enrich our spiritual self (or happiness), but the interactions of our inner thoughts and feelings with those things.
The first step in finding happiness is to understand that happiness always comes from inside your self. To think that happiness comes from outer enjoyments or events is an illusion, and one must first secure self-awareness (sakshin) to find that state of happiness.
From a young age my dad always told me ‘love comes from within’ I have never thought much of material possessions and have had a lifetime of inquiry into the concept and would rather spend money on experiences as opposed to things. I know from life experience that happiness doesn’t come in this way. Cravings to have this and that lure like a carrot dangling in front of our greedy ego, but again we must find balance to what is essential and what is not.
“So if happiness comes from within, then I can stop looking for it?” I would say. “Yes dear, you are created eternal and your creator loves you eternal. We are in oneness.” He would continue. I’m a lucky girl to have such a cool dad.
However, I didn’t know what that really meant until I started to learn yoga. I had heard these things before, but they didn’t make sense. Now with practice I get we live in a body that exists on planet Earth, but for me, My-‘SELF’, I am not a body. I am an eternal soul.
He has also taught me ‘only love is real and doesn’t have an equal or an opposite.’ This little phrase is baffling. I am very grateful to my dad for his teachings. Humble and simple, yet incredibly complex! Just Imagine, if ‘only love is real’ then how can fear, pain, suffering, disease, poverty and hunger exist on Earth?
We live in a world where there’s a constant rival between self and society, selfishness and selflessness. The Gita teaches us, incredibly, good ethics and how to supress the ego as the essence of moral life.
How would you be if you transcended from the unreal to the real and arrived in a state where life becomes natural and love becomes spontaneous? Where acts of kindness were an everyday thing and people worked together as opposed to against for a common goal of love and unity.
Imagine a world where we don’t operate on a plane of law and commands, but on the plane of nature or expression.
This capitalist society has made life on Earth on continuous struggle, based around a weekly pay packet and a 9-5 job, working to pay off the debt for the shinny car and the house in the suburbs. We are led to believe in school that this is the picture of success. Is that not the most ridiculous lie ever told? What is ‘work’ anyway? How can we make this ‘work’ conducive to individual and social welfare?
Off track…. In many ways yoga has set me free from the shackles of mental limitations. I feel like I have broken the confines of a limiting core belief system and seen the possibility of being limitless. Still many battles to face, but the great questions are being raised that will endeavour a lifetime inquiry. The more I learn the more I realise how little I know.
Musings by RIA x