One way of collecting the mind and directing it towards that specific state is to adopt Gautama Buddha’s principle of detachment. The one remain unmoved in pleasure and pain is ‘sthita-pragnya’ and can attain eternal bliss according to the Bhagwad Gita. Even when we get involved in daily trifles, if we are able to take action with devotion, neither sorrow nor pleasure can dominate us for long. Bhakti does not mean we give up action. It motivates us to pursue action without expecting the fruits of action. If someone is doing wrong we will of course fight for justice. But if we don’t get justice we don’t get affected by that either.
What prevents us from attaining eternal joy? Greed, jealousy, meanness are some of the things that mislead the mind hugely. For example one may pursue greed to acquire wealth at the expense of others, which is both illegal and unethical. Further, even if you manipulate all documents to win the legal battle, the deprivation you cause to another remains unforgivable in the eyes of nature. And the biggest punishment from nature is that your mind can never be relieved to realise the higher and finer gifts of nature. The amount of grace that a tiny bud reveals in the process of blooming will remain a secret. The happiness that the insignificant grass-leaf expresses with the touch of the southern breeze can never be within your reach.
No one is free of negative qualities. But they do need constant monitoring. Separate yourself from the attribute and observe it uninterruptedly, particularly when it spreads its wing to engulf your mental space. The moment you start gazing at jealousy within yourself it disappears instantaneously. The capability to take that initiative to disassociate yourself from the negative feeling at that spur of the moment in itself is the biggest gift which not everyone of us have; realise it. Once we set in motion that mechanism, nothing can mislead us. The mind itself becomes our guru. And eternal joy becomes a part of our existence.
The sun’s rays falls on everyone equally without discrimination. Similarly none can say that eternal joy is partial in approach. It is our choice or prioritisation which determines our accessibility. And once it is tapped it gives a unique feeling. Even in the midst of worldly misery the overflow of joy can be immense. All our tears and smiles are actually leading to that joy, little by little. The source is there in each of us and can get activated any time. At times we say “today I don’t know why I am feeling extremely happy”. There it is. Because we are not aware of it we do not know how to sustain it or dwell in it and, thus, we look for an earthly cause to make us happy.
True sadhana is to discover the source within and strive to remain connected even while performing worldly activity. And then one day we realise what Tagore said, the stream of ananda is flowing in the entire universe.
~ Arup Mitra