The Quest

Nothing happens by chance, no one goes on a quest without a reason. Every action, thought and feeling is motivated by an intention. There is a businessman who is working very hard to enhance his newly launched enterprise. He works from morning 7 to 3 at night. You ask him, why do you work so hard. Why? He will say, by that I can enhance the production of my company. Why do you wish to enhance the performance of your company? By that I can earn a lot of money. I see, so it is all about money. But why do you want money? It will give me the things of the world. What kinds of things? Things to taste, things to touch, things to see, things to smell, things to hear. God has given us five senses and we want the objects of these senses. But why do you want these five kinds of things? It will give me happiness. Ah! So ultimately you want happiness, you are running after happiness. Questions like “why do you want”, “what do you want” – this series of questions end at happiness. You ask the same question to anyone of any country of the world, practicing any profession. What do you want? Whatever he says, why do you want this; whatever he answers, why do you want this…. the series of questions each time is going to end on happiness. In other words, the united common desire of all of us is happiness. It is a different matter that we are searching for happiness in different things. Somebody’s intellect has decided that if I can have a car, I will be happy; somebody’s intellect has decided that if I can have a bunglow by the beach, I will be happy; somebody’s intellect says if I can go around the world, I will be happy. ‘munde munde matirbhinna’ The decision of the intellect of everyone is different, but the goal is one.

Now one last question – why do we want happiness? Swamiji! I have never thought of that. I know I want happiness, but why I don’t know. Tell me is there anyone who wants misery instead of happiness? There is nobody like that. Otherwise we are all different. We all have different facial appearances. We have different finger prints – the tips of the finger, this little bit of area and 7 billion people on the planet earth have different biometrics. That is the extent of variety that the Creator has filled into the world. Everybody’s voice is different; everybody’s bodily smell, its aroma, is different. You may not realize it, but the dog does. The dog has been given a very powerful nose; it recognizes people more by smell than by sight. That is why you go to your friend’s house who has a pet dog and seeing you the dog barks. However, when you go close, he smells you and realizes this smell is in my memory file – he is an acquaintance of mine. So we are different in every way. Why then are we all the same with respect to this desire for happiness? Has it been programmed within us? We are not taught to seek happiness. In our childhood we are imparted with so many instructions – “My child! Always speak the truth”, “My child! Never speak lies”, “My child! You must not steal other people’s property”. Parents instructed us, teachers taught us. Did we also receive this teaching – “My child! You must only seek happiness, it should not come about that you make misery the goal of your life”. This instruction was never given to us. In other words, without being taught by anyone, this desire for happiness awoke within us and it was the first slogan we raised upon birth. When we were born, the first thing we did was to raise the slogan – “Give me happiness”, “Give me happiness”. You will say, Swamiji! At that time we could not even utter a-b-c-d, so how come we raise slogans? No, it is not the kind of empty slogans of the world. We raised it with all our heart. What did we do when we are born? We cried and why did we cry? Because in the process of birth, we experienced pain and by crying we gave vent to our emotions – “I have not come to this world to suffer, I have come for happiness. Give me happiness, give me happiness. And from there till today, all we have been seeking is happiness and the varieties of things we do is for that single purpose. Apparently our actions may be contradictory – sometimes we sit, sometimes we stand. Right now you are sitting. Are you enjoying yourself? Out of politeness you may say, “Yes Swamiji, I’m enjoying myself”. Supposing I keep speaking till 11.30 at night, will you continue to sit? Ah! I have to get up. What happened? You know, you became so boring that getting up is giving me happiness. When the performance of an activity resulted in boredom, the person wishes to do the reverse. But the goal still remains happiness. So sometimes we sit because it makes us happy; sometimes we stand because it makes us happy. Sometimes even though sitting at a stretch gives us unhappiness, we continue to sit because in future it will make us happy. So the goal of happiness remains with us forever. Why?

The Vedas say:      आनन्दो ब्रह्मेति व्यजानात् |

आनन्दाद्ध्येव खल्विमानि भूतानि जायन्ते |

आनन्देन जातानि जीवन्ति |

आनन्दं प्रयन्तंभिसंविशन्तीति ||

Taiteriya Upanishad of Yayurveda is saying that the Supreme Lord, who has created us, is an ocean of infinite Bliss. It is from Him that we have emanated and it is within Him that we are situated. We, as the tiny fragments of that ocean of Bliss, are naturally drawn to bliss or happiness. This desire for happiness has been indelibly inked into the blueprint of our personality since eternity and until we find that perfect infinite bliss which will satisfy us, we will never be contented. This quest will go on and no matter how much material happiness we give to our soul, the soul from within will give the decision “I’m still not satisfied, give me the Divine Bliss”.