Misery begins when we endeavor for happiness… How?

Rao, 31st August 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!
All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to your devotional service!

Please help me to understand this quote with examples: “misery begins when we endeavor for happiness” .

your servant,
Rao

nuria.k, 31st August 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Do you mean material happiness?
aruni

Shreyas, 03 September 2015

Hare Krishna revered K.V Rao ji,
Please accept my humble obeisances and consider the below answer,
All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

I am sharing what I recently heard while hearing a lecture from His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, delivered on 9th Oct ’76, Aligarh, India (SB 1.2.5):

Solution:
When mind is engaged at the lotus feet of the Lord… As it is stated in the Śrīmad-Bha…, sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor (SB 9.4.18). When the mind is fixed up in the lotus feet of the Lord, then the words are used, the vibration of the tongue used… Vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane. Then the words are utilized for describing about the spiritual world. (coughs) The spiritual world is called Vaikuṇṭha. There is no kuṇṭha, anxiety. That is spiritual world. When you become spiritualized, brahma-bhutaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54), there is no more kuṇṭha. This is the sign of becoming brahma-bhūtaḥ. At the present moment we are jīva-bhūtaḥ. Manaḥ saṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati (BG 15.7). Therefore our struggle for existence is with the mind and the six senses. But when your existence is spiritualized, then brahma-bhūtaḥ, you have no more anxieties. That is the sign. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na… Prasannātmā means na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54).

Problem (here’s the answer):
We have got two diseases in the material world. One is śocati and the other is kāṅkṣati. The things which we haven’t got, we desire to possess, kāṅkṣati. And the things which we possess, it will be spoiled, it will be lost. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says that everything in this material world is temporary: smaro nityam anityatam. So when we engage our mind in these temporary things, that is śocana and akāṅkṣa. And when we are elevated to the spiritual platform, then there is no more śocana and akāṅkṣa. This is the symptom. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati, samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu (BG 18.54). At that time it is possible to re-establish samatā. We are very much anxious to re-establish our universal brotherhood, but from the material platform it is not possible. Unless we come to the platform of brahma-bhūtaḥ, we cannot expect samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). These things are there in the Bhagavad-gītā.

So there’s no harm to endeavour for happiness, as long as the source and sink is Krishna Himself. Devotional Service is satisfying upto the degree it is selfless and uninterrupted. So if my happiness is based on something other than Krishna (selfish), then that means I am putting myself in the position of “I am the enjoyer”. This naturally isolates me from Krishna whereas the natural state is we are all parts and parcels of Krishna (mamaivamso jiva loke jiva bhutah sanatanah). Misery enters here and as my spiritual master states the word misery comes from the word miser. Examples are common. My phone gets lost or cracked I feel depressed and next day I blame Krishna for it and then I feel disinclined towards chanting my 16 rounds or instead of dancing with devotees in a kirtan or arati I remain spaced out. Or maybe skip the program too. This is because my happiness was based on that phone/car/person/job/glorification, etc. and whenever I wanted to feel happy, I depended on them.

And if Krishna is my source of happiness then I would have thanked that at least my bhakti is not lost or stolen.

Of course, it’s a matter of practice as we are daily doing but as we keep getting attached to derive happiness from Krishna, misery is reduced to that degree because we are being servants not misers. It’s all about channelizing our endeavours. We can rather hanker/lament for pushing forward the movement of Srila Prabhupada than for getting promoted in a job or getting a better salary, car or material circumstances.

However, the topmost state is when our only desire is to please guru, vaishnava and Krishna. Then our only misery is how can I please them and this misery is rather source of happiness at the same time, strengthening our Krishna Consciousness.

The Thought of the day at www.backtohome.com from Sept 1 2015, stating –

“If you are not tasting unlimited bliss at every moment, you are doing something wrong because to be constantly relishing unlimited nectar is your natural constitutional position”

helps a lot as a barometer.

Other thoughts at http://www.backtohome.com from Aug 28, Aug 22 2015 and other days are also good on misery/anxiety.

your servant
Bhakta Shreyas

Bhakta Sunil, 03 September 2015

Great answer Shreyas Prabhu

 

Shivani Saxena, 05th September, 2015

Very delightful representation Shreyas Prabhu.

Shivani

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 10th September 2015

Dear Bhakta Rao,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you for your really insightful questions. In addition to the delightful answer by Shreyas, here is something from Srimad Bhagavatam, part of several verses from Prahlada Maharaja, speaking directly to Sri Narasihmadeva, along with translation and very apt purport by Srila Prabhupada…

(BTW, that entire chapter, SB 7.9 is highly nectarean, among my favorite sections from the Bhagavatam)

SB 7.9.20: “O great one, O Supreme Lord, because of combination with pleasing and displeasing circumstances and because of separation from them, one is placed in a most regrettable position, within heavenly or hellish planets, as if burning in a fire of lamentation. Although there are many remedies by which to get out of miserable life, any such remedies in the material world are more miserable than the miseries themselves. Therefore I think that the only remedy is to engage in Your service. Kindly instruct me in such service. ”

SB 7.9.24 “My dear Lord, now I have complete experience concerning the worldly opulence, mystic power, longevity and other material pleasures enjoyed by all living entities, from Lord Brahmā down to the ant. As powerful time, You destroy them all. Therefore, because of my experience, I do not wish to possess them. My dear Lord, I request You to place me in touch with Your pure devotee and let me serve him as a sincere servant. ”

SB 7.9.25

kutrāśiṣaḥ śruti-sukhā mṛgatṛṣṇi-rūpāḥ
kvedaṁ kalevaram aśeṣa-rujāṁ virohaḥ
nirvidyate na tu jano yad apīti vidvān
kāmānalaṁ madhu-lavaiḥ śamayan durāpaiḥ

Translation:
In this material world, every living entity desires some future happiness, which is exactly like a mirage in the desert. Where is water in the desert, or, in other words, where is happiness in this material world? As for this body, what is its value? It is merely a source of various diseases. The so-called philosophers, scientists and politicians know this very well, but nonetheless they aspire for temporary happiness. Happiness is very difficult to obtain, but because they are unable to control their senses, they run after the so-called happiness of the material world and never come to the right conclusion.
Purport:
There is a song in the Bengali language which states, “I constructed this home for happiness, but unfortunately there was a fire, and everything has now been burnt to ashes.” This illustrates the nature of material happiness. Everyone knows it, but nonetheless one plans to hear or think something very pleasing. Unfortunately, all of one’s plans are annihilated in due course of time. There were many politicians who planned empires, supremacy and control of the world, but in due time all their plans and empires — and even the politicians themselves — were vanquished. Everyone should take lessons from Prahlāda Mahārāja about how we are engaged in so-called temporary happiness through bodily exercises for sense enjoyment. All of us repeatedly make plans, which are all repeatedly frustrated. Therefore one should stop such planmaking.

As one cannot stop a blazing fire by constantly pouring ghee upon it, one cannot satisfy oneself by increasing plans for sense enjoyment. The blazing fire is bhava-mahā-dāvāgni, the forest fire of material existence. This forest fire occurs automatically, without endeavor. We want to be happy in the material world, but this will never be possible; we shall simply increase the blazing fire of desires. Our desires cannot be satisfied by illusory thoughts and plans; rather, we have to follow the instructions of Lord Kṛṣṇa: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. Then we shall be happy. Otherwise, in the name of happiness, we shall continue to suffer miserable conditions.

I hope this helps!

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

 

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Author: Mahabhagavat Das SDA

I am a formally initiated disciple of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari. My spiritual master was initiated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1971. He is the author of the famous Ultimate Self Realization Course. Check it out at www.joincourse.com.

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