In the last article, Worldly Happiness, we learned that the happiness of the world is not a fact, but is only a feeling of the mind, based on the intensity of the desire for a particular person or object. In other words, the greater the desire is for the object, the greater the happiness experienced. Desire for a person or an object corresponds to the degree of attachment for it in the mind. And attachment grows out of repeatedly thinking of a person or object as a source (or potential source) of happiness (chapter 2, shlok 62). Thus, the mind creates its own experience of happiness through its own thinking – positive, hopeful thoughts about a person or thing create an attachment in the mind for that person or thing; and because of the subsequent attachment, the mind feels desire for that person or thing in the same amount; when the mind enjoys the association of that person or thing, happiness is felt in the mind in the same amount. Such happiness is fleeting, because as you go on enjoying, your desire goes on decreasing, until it finishes altogether. Thus, your happiness also decreases and ultimately finishes. Then you feel neutral or bored, and want to find a new object of enjoyment. This is why we say that the happiness of the world is not real happiness. Then the question is – is the world only full of pain?
If there is no happiness in the world, then is it full of pain?
The answer can be understood through the very same philosophy. If the world were truly the form of pain and suffering, then everyone would experience it from the same things, in the same amount, all the time. But this is simply not the case. God realized Saints live in this world and experience only the Divine bliss of God in every particle – then how can we say the world is the source of pain? Even the rest of us cannot agree on what is a source of pain and suffering. One person suffers if exposed to cigarette smoke, yet another can’t live without it. One person feels happiness when meeting a certain person, yet another can’t stand the sight of them.
The cause of this again comes back to our attachments. Let’s explore ‘attachments‘ or Rag-Dvesh’ in detail in our next article.