Tuesday, January 31, 2012


There are alternate perspectives on the truth regarding the pursuit of happiness. The Bhagwad Gita offers one in a rather crystallized form: it does not make sense to go about life without knowing the facts or having a fulfilling attitude...

66. For the uncontrolled person there is no knowledge, nor is there meditation for him; and for the un-meditative person there is no peace, and for one bereft of peace how can there be happiness?
67. Whichever of the wandering senses the mind follows, that one carries away his wisdom as the wind a ship on the sea.

--- Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 2 verses 66, 67 (Swamy Vireshvarananda’s translation)

A little reflection on the two verses above would reveal that whenever the mind is in pursuit of pleasures there is no chance of happiness… Is it not a radical thing to say…?

Do note that the verses do not browbeat; they are postulates; someone inquired and 'discovered' this ‘reality’ and he is presenting it in the two verses. In other words, the claim is that a sincere/honest (and may be lucky) explorer will find evidence that a person seeking pleasure will not be meditative; he will not have peace and therefore will not find happiness…

It is said that everything a man does is in pursuit of Happiness… If he believes that pleasures will give him happiness he will pursue it, if he believes that ‘rest’ will give him happiness he will want to take rest… similarly believing that 'achievements' or 'friendships' or even 'sacrifice' will give him happiness he could be pursuing these … And these things, which he pursues, need not be fixed, they can change from time to time … But be that as it may, all actions are supposedly taken up by man primarily in pursuit of happiness…

Now, when individuals seek happiness in sensual pleasures… according to these two verses, they chase red herrings… It supposedly is not going to get them to where they want to go...

Is this true...? If people follow the senses, would they find happiness and fulfillment in life or would they not …?!

There is evidence to believe that at the end of a pursuit there is momentary happiness… But then it is known to be momentary and is not assured either … Besides this there seems to be nothing positive to gain from such pursuit... Instead, there is this long phase of 'yearning' for what the senses seek; if the mind is not at peace, and if it is agitated over something it pines for, there seems to be little chance for happiness… This needs investigation and one hopes people will not delude themselves over it...


Now, applying this logic to sexual intercourse (in which the senses have a major say) does it mean that in pursuit of (or through ‘seeking’) sexual intercourse, one cannot find happiness? Or, does that mean the fun in a sexual intercourse does not lie in pursuing it with a desire to satisfy the senses?!!

Chapter 3 of the Bhagwad Gita (verses 9 to 16) throws light on this;

9. This world is bound by action other than that done for sacrifice; (therefore) perform actions for the sake of that, O son of Kunti (Arjuna), free from attachment.

10. Prajapati, creating of yore beings who co-exist with a sacrifice, said; “By this you multiply, let this yield you covetable objects of desire."

The two passages indicate that man is created by Prajapati (God) in such a manner (in other words, it is the nature of man) that coexistence with the spouse is driven by a “sacrifice”… That is, humans are not ‘bound’ by their sexual 'needs'; as is otherwise claimed in current intellectual circles… It is not the nature of the human that he has ‘a healthy libido which needs satisfaction’… Instead he has a choice whether or not to take up the “sacrifice”…

Therefore ‘need’ and ‘sacrifice’ are two contrary observations about the nature of the human and there apparently exists a need to resolve between the two… But since we are familiar with the arguments in favor of the ‘need’ view, let us explore what the authors of the “sacrifice” perspective have to say…

Continuing in the vein that “sacrifice” is the way nature has designed man, the author says:

11. “By this entertain the gods and let the gods entertain you; entertaining each other you will both attain supreme good."

The 'sacrifice' perspective therefore asks for ‘entertaining’ a ‘god’… check it out… it is not a violent one sided act of Sc****** or F****** each other… further it is about letting the other entertain you and through that both attaining ‘Supreme Good’… 'Supreme Good' meaning that it is supposed to be consistent with the Highest Self or Godliness …

A one sided approach to it, that is, if sexual intercourse is pursued with the sole focus on one’s own satisfaction, and nothing is paid back to the god in (pleasure) kind at that instant (this has nothing to do with later on paying a sex worker for ‘services’), then it is the same as thieving. So the next passage says…

12. “Being entertained by the sacrifices the gods will surely bestow on you the desired enjoyments. He who enjoys what is given by them without offering it to them, is indeed a thief.

13. “The good who partake of the remainants of a sacrifice are freed from all sins; but those sinful persons who cook for their own sake, partake of sin.”

It figures; there is a natural process and one has not fulfilled his side of the completeness when he pursues self gratification... so he is a thief. Further the passage 13 points out that if one does not follow the “sacrifice” route to sexual intercourse, it defies essential human nature and is sinful…

Verses 14 and 15 that follow are technical in nature and explain how the entire act of intercourse is essentially part of the natural process and that it essentially divine; the exchange is supposed to eternally rest in the Highest Goodness (the Veda)…

14. Beings are born from food, food is produced from rain, rain comes from a sacrifice, and a sacrifice results from action

15. Know that action originates from Brahman (the Veda), and Brahman originates from the Imperishable. Therefore the all-pervading Brahman (Veda) eternally rests in the sacrifice.

Here of course one needs to stretch the imagination to figure out what the various terms mean, but by the sequence it is clear that if the approach is 'sacrificial' then there is no question of sin...

16. He who does not follow here this cycle thus set revolving, who leads a sinful life and delights in the senses, in vain, O Partha (Arjuna), does he live.

So if one does not follow the 'sacrificial' approach, he lives in vain… in other words, a person who delights in the senses continues to live in a wandering mind that is doing nothing but ‘yearning’ for happiness always, and not managing to being quite there… and is perpetually miserable… That forlorn existence makes him live like ‘trees moving around’ (Bible), like a vegetable, devoid of happiness, in the lesser worlds, shorn of charisma and not living in the present moment

1 comment:

  1. Dear Nixon,
    My views----
    1-Control your mind -easier said than done-it is the most difficult thing in the world. It is more difficult than controlling the wind
    2-Control your senses like Lord Krishna controls the wild stallions as the charioteer of Arjun-if you have any difficulty seek Krishna’s help which will come provided you totally and unconditionally surrender to him ----thereafter all you have to do in case of any difficulty any time is to remember him or take his name –in fact for any really difficult task seek his help -it will come once you are connected -to get that elusive link one has to throw off all negative traits and free oneself from the shackles of Maya and thereafter be like the spacecraft which has finally beaten gravity !!!!
    3-Be on earth like a lotus flower in dirty water -although in dirt yet stainless !!!
    4-Control of mind will lead to knowledge -which knowledge? Not material -it has to be spiritual -otherwise God save you!!!
    5-To have wisdom / vivek , sacrifice ,selflessness -develop a strong foundation of positive traits /character - if in doubt read role model and use it as your guide always and every time
    6-Sex etc will be taken care of
    7-If you are married your spiritual development should be fast -if not god help you -no better catalyst than wife for swift & sure spiritual success --my personal opinion only!!--- I may be wrong !!!!
    8-nothing good happens without sacrifice- marriage is also a great sacrifice !!!! -law of nature is universal
    --------- Col Vinay Dalvi (Via e-mail)