Faith

Bliss of the Self

In the Advaita text Panchadasi, the author Vidyaranya explains the nature of the Self as the essence of bliss by alluding to the famous instruction by Yagnyavalkya to his wife Maitreyi in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. The acharya analyses the instruction that shows with relevant examples that it is individual self interest at work in all human relationships, pointed out Sri R. Rajagopala Sarma in a discourse. The conclusion drawn is ‘ atmanasthu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati,’ ‘the Self is most loved by all and is most dear.’ It is shown that all objects, people and places are loved by people not for their sake but for the sake of the Self. In our day today life, when constant interaction is always taking place, at the family, social, cultural and spiritual levels, etc, it is the self or inner essence that is dear to each individual. The reason behind the love in ties such as those between husband-wife, parent-children, etc is one’s own satisfaction. Even the love of wealth and possession only reflects the owner’s sense of ego. Does wealth know that it belongs to a particular person? Or does it wish to belong to anyone it thinks is special?

When one seeks name and fame in life it is for the individual’s sake since name and fame are insentient abstractions. One might rear animals such as the cow or the horse not because of any love for them but because they serve him in some way or other. At the bottom line in all these instances is the desire for happiness in us. Since the self is the essence of happiness and bliss, knowledge of this truth leads to realisation. To internalise this truth, the sage advises her to know about the atma. This is possible by the practices of sravana, hearing, manana, reflecting in one’s mind and nididhyasana, contemplating and meditating on the Self at all times.


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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 8:42:56 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/bliss-of-the-self/article65567301.ece