Joyful Living

[Based on Chapter 14: Vidyananda Prakaranam of Panchadashi of Sri Vidyaranya Swami]

Course material written and dedicated to Swami Paramarthananda by Raja Subramaniyan (joyfulliving@gmail.com)

October 2008

Module N Joy of The Knowledge

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Unit 01: Knowledge and Joy

Number of Sessions: 2 (N01 – N02) Number of Lessons: 1

On completion of this unit, the student-teacher will be able to (a) Understand how knowledge of ONE leads to Joyful Living

Notes to the teacher: (Ref 14.01 and 14.65 of the original text)

Unit Test:

Session N02

1. What are the three levels in which we experience happiness? List them with example. 2. Which happiness is long lasting among these three? 3. What are the five features of the happiness that is derived by knowing ONE?

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Lesson 1: Nature of the knowledge We experience happiness at three different levels:

Session: N01

1. Physical Level: When sense organs are exposed to favorable sense objects we are happy. For example when we listen to our favorite song we are happy. 2. Psychological Level: When we experience positive emotions in our mind we are happy. For example, the song we listened would have reminded us some enjoyable events in our life and we will be happy while thinking about those events. 3. Intellectual Level: When we gain knowledge, we are happy. For example, if we solve a math problem or write a software code for a complex problem we are happy. Only source of all happiness is SELF. There is no happiness in the external world. However, we seem to gain happiness only on the above occasions. This is so because during these occasions our mind becomes serene and the EGO dissolves temporarily and as a result our natural happiness is reflected in our mind without any obstacle. Therefore, we experience happiness. Thus, serene mind and absence of EGO is essential for experiencing our natural happiness. To see our face we need a mirror. If the mirror is covered with a thick coating of dust, we cannot see our face. Similarly, EGO and various thoughts in the form of desires and worries are covering our mind most of the time preventing us from experiencing our original happiness. The external world in the form of sense objects, internal emotions and the knowledge helps us to clear the mind so that we could experience happiness for few moments. Happiness gained at intellectual level is long lasting compared to the other two and happiness gained at the psychological level is better than happiness gained at the physical level. Happiness at the physical level lasts only as long as we are in contact with the sense objects. Mind spread across the physical body and enjoy happiness at the physical level. This is surface level happiness. When mind is involved directly, it derives higher level of happiness. Gaining knowledge provides highest level of happiness since intelligence is the highest level of mind. There are gradations on the type of knowledge. Higher level of knowledge provides higher happiness. Highest possible knowledge is knowledge about ONE. Once we become steady in this knowledge our EGO is permanently dissolved and our mind is always clear. Therefore, our life will become joyful.

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Such a happiness derived from gaining knowledge of ONE can be described as follows: 1. Absence of sorrow: Since knowledge of ONE also gives us the knowledge of illusory nature of the universe, there is no cause for sorrow. One understands that all events and objects in the world are not real and therefore they do not have power to affect our real self. Thus, there are no guilty feelings of the past or worry about the future in the mind of wise person. 2. Absence of desires: Since objects and events in the world do not have any power to give happiness, a wise person has no desire. There is nothing to be gained, nothing more to learn and nowhere to go looking for happiness. 3. Joy of gaining everything: While everyone is involved in some action so as to become happy, all actions of the wise person arise out of his happiness. He always dwells in his natural happiness since he has gained the knowledge about the reality of his nature and the falseness of the world. 4. Freedom forever: Actions of the ignorant bind them. Actions of the wise person do not bind him because such actions are done without any desires and the doer, EGO is completely absent. Just as water droplets do not make lotus leaf wet, events of the world do not affect the wise person who may be constantly interacting with the world. A wise person is free to do any action and all his actions are considered as actions of God. 5. Joyful Living: It is specifically stated in the Holy Scriptures that the knower of the truth may be seen laughing, playing, rejoicing with women, riding vehicles and enjoying other worldly objects but he does identify himself with his three bodies. He always abides in ONE. The physiological sheath, impelled by his fructifying past actions keeps his physical body alive so that his body/mind complex can experience the fruits of his past actions by coming into contact with objects of the external world. He is aware that his mind is part of the illusory power of ONE and as such allows it to function in line with the accumulated preferences. He is not affected by the changes in his mind. Thus, a wise person established in the truth does not have any sorrow nor he has any unfulfilled desires. He is completely satisfied and remains ever fulfilled. He may continue to deal with the external world in line with his accumulated preferences. Just as a beautiful princess enjoys her beauty by looking her reflection in the mirror, he sees his natural happiness in the objects of the world. It does not matter which objects are made available to him. He can see ONE in everything because his knowledge of ONE and the Universe is complete. This is the joy of the ultimate knowledge.

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