All glories to Jagadgru Shree Kirpaluji Maharaj
I never appreciated Hindu Dharma as a boy. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, and I never really had any other Hindu friends. To me, Hindu Dharma was going to temple before a new semester started, putting my hands together, hearing mantras I could not understand, and then going home. Dharma played no part in my life at the time.
As I grew up a little bit and starting learning more about religions, I figured all theistic philosophies were more or less the same. They talk about God being omnipresent, omnipotent, all-knowing, etc. God rewards the good, punishes the bad, and graces us. Most theistic religions describe God in these ways. I never considered Hindu Dharma to be different.
However, Jagadguru describes the definition of God from the Hindu perspective which no one ever told me. He says the Ved describes God like a chemical formula. Just as water has a chemical formula, H2O, God also has a formula. God is sat-chit-anand.
What does that mean? Let’s break it down. Anand means happiness. Divine happiness. Sat means actually existing. Something that is sat is a true and eternal entity. Chit means living. In this sense, it means being sentient and having self-awareness. God is true, eternal, unlimited living bliss. God is the embodiment of Divine happiness. Think of it like this. Honey is the embodiment of sweetness; you can’t take sweetness out of the honey and it still be honey. You can’t take the white out of milk and have it still be milk. Similarly, God is the embodiment of bliss because you can’t take happiness out of God and have Her still be God.
I am not a God realized saint, so I have no real authority on the matter of happiness. I can only tell you what I have been told and learned. True happiness is found in God; it can’t be found in the material world. I explained in the first part of this article series on how Ved gives the three qualifications of happiness: 1. Happiness must increase in amount. 2. Happiness must be unlimited in amount. 3. Happiness must be eternal. Only God fits all three of these qualifications. Hindu texts and God realized saints say the more time you spend thinking about God, the happier and more enjoyable it becomes. God is unlimited bliss. God is not limited, so the bliss must also be unlimited in amount. God is eternal. She has no end, so there is no end to the experience of happiness with Her. God fits the three qualifications for true, eternal happiness.
After hearing this explanation, I questioned, “Why?” Why do we want happiness? The desire to attain happiness is the driving force for our actions, but why do we want it so desperately? Ved scientifically explains why we want happiness. Ved explains the concept of an ansh seeking its anshi. You can think of ansh being a part, and anshi is the whole. It is natural for an ansh to desire union with its anshi.
Ansh is a drop of water which seeks to join an ocean, its anshi. Ansh is fire and heat which rises high in the sky towards the sun, its anshi. Ansh is you and me, and our anshi is God. We are small parts of God’s soul power. If we are small parts of God’s power, and She is the embodiment of happiness, then it makes sense why we desire happiness all the time.
Jagadguru emphasizes it is natural to have desires. He advises us that we must turn our desires towards God and not the material world. But how? How do we attain ultimate happiness? How do we turn our desires away from the material arena? Both God and God realized saints stress the importance of surrendering yourself to God and giving Her your true, selfless, and exclusive love and devotion. If the key to unlocking happiness is to turn our desires towards God, how do we do it?
Jai Sri Radhe
Part One can be found at http://www.hindustudentscouncil.org/nature-of-happiness/