Upanishad Ganga – Episode 2 – Points to Ponder

published on March 25, 2012

Points to Ponder from this episode:

  *  §    Why do children rebel? Why do people break laws? Isn’t it because they are seeking happiness but the existing circumstances do not give them happiness?

But the question is, even after rebelling, Are They Happy? If we ask the question, ‘What is it that we want from life?’, different people might give different answers like ‘wealth, power, position, fame, etc.’. But we all seek these different things only with the thought that it will give us happiness. In short, whatever we do, we do it to be happy. Even when we kiss a child, it is not because we want to make the child happy, but because we gain happiness when we do that.

In this process of gaining happiness, we run behind so many things throughout our lives, thinking that all those things are going to give us happiness. If we look back at all those objects that gave us happiness at one point of time, we can see that the happiness we got from them was momentary. It disappeared after a while.

A batsman hit a ball high in the air and a fielder caught it. The bowler jumped with joy. But moments later he realized that the fielder’s leg had crossed the boundary line. All the joy was washed away. At one stage in our life, a big balloon had given us a lot of happiness. When we grew up, it was a racing car. Then it was a cycle, then a bike. Then probably a girlfriend or a boyfriend, then a partner of our dreams, then a beautiful child, then a job promotion…Were not all these joys momentary? Can we say that once we achieved our ambition, we were happy forever?

So, what is the ultimate formula for happiness? What is it that once we achieve It, It will give us permanent happiness? The scriptures say, the outside objects of the world can give us only momentary happiness. But once we take a ‘U-turn’ and turn within, we start walking a path that will ensure nothing else but permanent happiness. What is this ‘U-turn’? It is nothing but, trying to understand the ‘Subject’, the entity in us who is the experience of happiness. If happiness is in the objects, then the same object should give happiness to every person. Let us take an example of alcohol. If a drinker thinks that alcohol gives happiness to everyone, then it should give happiness to everyone at any point of time. Can this be true? Of course, not! Then why is it that certain people experience happiness when they consume alcohol? From where does this happiness arise? Let’s try to analyse this. ‘Sid comes alcohol.’ Here we have the ‘Subject’ (Sid) and the ‘Object’ (alcohol). In this very paragraph we analysed that happiness is not in alcohol (the Objects). If that is the case, the resulting happiness when alcohol is consumed has come from no one other than the Subject (because there are only two factors in this case – the subject and the object. If object cannot carry happiness, then it has to be the subject). So, it was Sid who was the source of happiness. That means, he was carrying happiness with him all the time but could not realize it until he consumed alcohol. Due to his ignorance, he thought that he gained happiness after consuming alcohol and that alcohol contains happiness.

Now, we have evaluated that happiness is in the Subject, i.e. it is in Us. If it is in us, then how to experience it always without depending on an object or an occasion to bring it out? How!

*    §    Who decides our destiny?

Gandhari curses Krishna saying that Krishna could have prevented the Kurukshetra war and so many people would not have died. The answer to this question was given in the form of a question at the end of the episode – Who decides our destiny?

If what Gandhari said is true, then we should say that God decides our destiny. If that is so, then we all are helpless victims of what God decides. If that is correct, then why should we get punished for the negative actions performed by us, because it is ultimately God’s wish…HE is the one who wrote our destiny and HE is the one who got it done through us? If God does negative acts performed through us and gives us the punishment too, then God cannot be ever-loving, all-compassionate, ever-forgiving One. This is contradictory to what we all believe. We believe that God is compassionate towards all beings. He is not a cruel Father who can do such unjust things. Hence, we can conclude our assumption was wrong.

So, who then, decides our destiny – God or We ourselves?

*    §    Why did Krishna give the knowledge of the Self only to Arjuna?

Very good question. This episode gives the answer too. Because, it was only Arjuna who had a doubt…who had a question. Rest everyone was so deeply involved in war that they could not think of anything else. But Arjuna thought that how he could gain happiness by killing his own kith and kin who are on the other side?

The teacher clears the doubt only of that student who has a doubt. For others, where is the doubt that the teacher can clear? Since Arjuna questioned, he got the answer.

In the movie Matrix, there’s a dialogue where Trinity tells Neo, “It is the question that drives us. It is the question that brought you here.” Questions come from the root word – Quest. If we are on a Quest, then we have Questions. And then it is sure that we would get the answers too!

The answer to all the above questions is – study of our scriptures, the Upanishads. The Upanishads are not religious texts, but Subjective Sciences which deals with our own Self. It answers questions like – What is the cause of our sorrow? Is it possible to be happy all the time? Who is responsible for our happiness?

*    §    To conclude, let us quickly look at the dialogues between the Son and the Father towards the end of the episode.

Father: (after seeing the drama that enacted Upanishadic philosophy) Your work is far greater than mine.

Son: No, Father. There is a lot of difference between both of us. I’m just repeating the words of Truth. You are Living the Truth.

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