The Theosophical Forum – August 1939

THE CAUSES OF UNHAPPINESS AND THE MEANS OF HAPPINESS — Pundit L. Ram Sahijpal

IV

Why does Spirit suffer pain? Because it has body in which it lives. And body it must have or else it cannot manifest itself and least could it stand naked, as it were, without a cover in the wan and pallid, hence inappropriate, environments of our earth. Who gave it body? and why should it suffer from it? Body is its own Creation, though Mother Earth helped it in creating it; and it must suffer from it because it, the body, is its (Spirit's) concreted "Karman': Spirit has an inherent urge to self-express itself. Its urge sets up activity within it. The latter, propelled by the urge sends forth out of itself a bit of spiritual substance, or an emanation of a certain amount of spiritual force or energy. No sooner does the emanation issue forth than the elementals surrounding it make its vehicle and it develops to be a thought. The swabhava of the spiritual self colors it and directs it to follow a certain line of action. It, the emanated thought, acts upon the surrounding environments to which its swabhava leads it, and the environments react upon it. During this interaction there is a transference of substances between the aggressing and the aggressed parties, and in consequence the fabric of the former, the thought-self, is more or less coarsened in exact accordance with the nature of its action. Such actions and reactions continue resulting each time in a change and a thicker materialization of the thought-substance, and in time, the thought-self, that was spiritual or ethereal matter at the time of its coming into being, gets concreted, develops as its vehicle a life-atom, and then atoms which are employed in building and strengthening and concreting the body of their spiritual parent. These atoms are Spirit's concreted "Karman" because the latter is their parent, their Creator. These atoms are produced by the Spirit all the time. A certain number of them make one molecule and a certain number of molecules make one cell. Our teachers of science tell us that twenty-six trillions of cells make one human body. Thus it is, and it ought to be quite clear from the above that the body, in which Spirit lives, is its own creation; and that it must suffer from it because it is entirely Spirit's own concreted "Karman."

Is Karma then the real cause of man's sufferings? Not quite so, because there would have been no karma had there been no desire to act. Is desire the ultimate cause of pains then? Not quite so, because there would have been no desire, as it is, but for "Swabhavic Egotism," self-exaltation. The latter, the Swabhavic Egotism, the element of self-importance, the Selfness, is due to the want of right discrimination, avidya, the thought and feeling of "I am I" instead of "I am." Hence the latter, "avidya," is the cause of all the sufferings. But because it is rooted in some other cause which is the ultimate one, it may be called the sub-main cause of Man's sufferings. This sub-main cause is planted in the Spiritual Self's urge to self-expression or self-manifestation necessary to learn more and to climb higher on the endless ladder of "Spirit's Eternal Life." Had there been nothing more for the Spirit to learn, it would have no longer the urge to self-express Itself, because its urge in its origin is the impress of the next step higher "Sutratman."

Yes, there is always something more to learn, and the entirety of wisdom is the Consciousness per se only. But the latter, like the boundless sea in which waves rise and fall but which is not their originator, cannot be called the cause of the urge of the Spirit. "It" is the Rootless Root, the Causeless Cause, and the observer but not the participator. The Consciousness per se is never the Cause although the Spirit rises to manifestation and falls back into IT. But the point is that the evolutionary process or course of Spiritual unfoldment is endless, the spirit is never perfect per

se, but to become more perfect It urges each time, and Its urge develops the whole of the manifestation to win the goal, the next step of spiritual Wisdom, at the end of it. Had the Spirit been perfect per se or had It nothing more to learn, there would have been no urge in it to Self-express itself, and, in fact, it would have been called spirit no more but Consciousness per se, to which "Time" and "Space" have no meaning. Hence, the imperfection, or, using the technical term, Avidya, on the part of Spirit is the ultimate Cause of all Its manifestations, in which the sub-cause of man's sufferings, his "avidya," is planted. Avidya is eternal, of endless number of grades, and bipolar. Where there is Avidya, the darkness, there is wisdom, the light also. They are two eternal twin sisters. And the fact is that to attain to the latter the former must be suffered each time. Without sufferings, bitter circumstances, sorrows, pains, and aches, "Avidya" cannot be overcome and Wisdom cannot be attained. Spirit must suffer to learn more, so must man suffer to know more. Hence why complain when in the clutches of ill-Karma? It is for man's good that he is suffering. The black clouds are pregnant with sweet waters to irrigate the dry land, Darkness is condensed light, and our tortures and torments are our friends in disguise, for they reduce to ashes our sins and throw light on our path leading to the god-world and the immortal gods. Come, O Sadhu! smile inwardly when you are in the hem of calamity, learn what it can teach you, and sin no more.

V

The bud of rose is covered with thorns, and to the ignorant eyes it seems to be dangerous for the tender petals of the coming rose to rise among them. But when the time of their rising comes, thorns and thistles yield back leaving the central plane empty for the rose to land. Strange are thy ways, O Nature! how thou changest adverse hearts to be conformable companions! The very thorns that were looked upon as enemies are now the best friends of the rose, not only affording a room to stand, but defending their king, the rose, against the foreign forces, the fingers of the pluckers. That philosopher was very wise who said, "Every discord is a harmony not understood." To these physical, ignorant eyes appearance is everything. They smile or they frown at things for their forms and colors, and very often begin condemning or rewarding them, but they know not that "Reality" is hidden within, nor do they care to look behind the veil. May be that man is, worldly speaking, in bad circumstances, and if he is the victim of "avidya" he is miserable and unhappy because he cannot see into the heart of things; but if he is wise he will rejoice amidst his present ills and be happy, because, being wise, he will know that his misfortunes are the results of his past mistakes and that his going through them means to him his salvation. Yes, the wise smile but the foolish frown when dark times have overshadowed them. O physically conscious man, worry not! It is only your short-sightedness that makes you fret. You are not ignored. There is an Eye which is always watching over you. You are like a babe playing in the yard, and that I is your invisible Mother always keeping you under her watch. All is well with you. Do not be discomposed by the hot winds of your low times. They are only like those thorns that after all were the best friends of the rose. There is not an atom in this universe, not to speak of the bigger entities, that is not under the shadow of that "Mighty Wing," the "Higher Self," the "Universal Self," which is all-pervading, all-knowing, and all-powerful. Some call it Father and some call it God; call it by what name you will, but "It" is there watching each and every move that you are making. It is Truth, It is Love, It is Light, and It is Life and all; All are in "Him" and He is in all. Verily, there is nothing else, but He alone is: these appearances, He, You, and I, are only His manifestations; and if one may look within, he would, no doubt, find "Him" there — He and He alone is there, the same One, in each heart.

Man does not know that he is a divine being, an infant god, a divine prince, whose futurity has it for him that some day he shall develop to be as boundless as his Father, "The Universal Self," in which he at present lives, moves, and has his being. If he only knew what he is in his essence — the Boundless — if he only knew that he is a born divine prince, and that no one in the whole of the Universe can deprive him of his princely birthright, and if he could only realize the High Descent to which he belongs, he would, indeed, feel dignified, cheat no more, kill no more, subject himself to low life no more, fear no more, worry no more, and would do what the gods do — forgive, forbear, love and let live. In the womb of the future we are already photographed as gods. Divinity is ours and we are "IT" in the inmost core of our heart. Let us aspire, O dear reader! towards moral health, the upliftment of the fallen, and the life that Gods live, "eat to live, live to learn, learn to teach and help others, and do so with no reward in view."

VI

(a) There is no such thing as "Beginning per se," nor is "End per se" anything but moonshine, even though beginnings and ends are incalculable — a strange paradox! Out of the "Invisible Boundless" things arise in their serial times, exist for a time, short or long, and die adding more events to their endless past. Strictly speaking, the forms vanish but their impressions survive, and what at last becomes of them are the entities themselves, modified as they stand at any time. One of such multimyriads of cases is "Man," who is his own Karman, the sum-total or rather the modification and the stamp of his bygone endless eternities. His past has merged into his present, and his present is the cradle of his future that lies in its latency therein. Hence he is his past, present, and future. If he knew that he is all this — the Almighty in miniature (would to Immortal Gods that he did!) — he would never let his ill-present harass him but rather stand on his divine dignity as calm and grave as the "Mount Everest," challenge misery by not minding it, and be but a mere observer of it and happy amidst the raging fires of his own self-created "Suttee." That is the right kind of stuff to countervail miseries: or else the more one is crying the more he is made to cry. Encouragement and a lion-like heart are needed to face the music of one's self-made Karman.

(b) Loads of Karman are on man's back and loads besides in front of him, and in the middle stands his self, the inmost Center and the present "Now." If he could realise that his present "Now" — the modified self at any time under Karmic effects — is eternal and that it would always hold something for him that he would have to suffer from known or unknown to the world, he would learn to love it and live it happily. Then his present, however ill, would become quite natural to him and hence no longer a misery but something as usual.

(c) Casting off his shoulders the loads of his past he can have no future. Cognising them as his enemies he would only increase the resistance, add more fuel to the fire as it were, and thus intensify the acuteness and strength of their bites. But giving them a most hearty welcome he rises above them; and by making the best of them and learning what they can teach he creates his beautiful future out of the ashes of the ill-past. Consequently, if misfortunes have called upon one's door he should welcome them with his hands stretched to embrace them to his heart. Such hospitality would prove itself as a cool and still water mountain tarn to absorb the heat of misfortune's hot steels, and emasculate them of their venom.

(d) The annals of his past eternities are replete with his mistakes and their consequential bitter fruits that he had to taste of to their very uttermost. The present one is another like them. Neither did they last forever, nor will this one forever be. Why worry?

(e) The pages of his soul are but an endless series of modifications. The present ordeal, however baneful, shall modify and improve it still more: and he shall rise higher at its end and be
come wiser and happier than ever he was before. Why worry? His misery is a friend in disguise.

(f) Time-periods last only for so long and pass away. The present one is no exception and it shall pass away too. Why worry? He must look ahead and be happy! His bad times are only temporary and his own creation, but he is the "Spirit Eternal" and the parent. He must be fatherly and soar above them.

(g) The world is full of variety in its countless phases. Among men some are rich and some are poor, some in raptures of delight and some in tears of sadness, and even amongst the latter some are worse off than others. If one's lot be among the humble and the lowly he must look towards those who are even humbler and lowlier than himself, and be contented and happy in being even as he is. And, furthermore, if he be sympathetic, kind, and serviceable to those who are below him, and if his sympathy, kindness, and service be impersonal and not selfish in any way, there will ooze out of his mental soil a spring of joy that will not only be everlasting but probably the foundation of his future becoming a "World Savior" also.

VII

The causes of unhappiness and the means of happiness can by no means be said to have been given in their entirety in this paper, but the space intended to be devoted, is coming to its close. In conclusion a sovereign remedy to tone the toneless minds and their vahans — bodies — is explained and given in the following two paragraphs before the last and concluding one is given. Here it is: Holy thoughts — the thoughts of "Universal Brotherhood," Compassion for all that lives, Forgiveness, Self-forgetfulness in service, and Impersonal Love — are constitutionally, each, composed of the divine substances of the highest ranges of vibration and harmony. Each one is a spiritual matter, a matter which is superheated, as it were, and made conscious. It is most extensively vibrant but superlatively harmonious, hence extremely forceful and heating, yet extremely tranquil and cooling. From its very nature, or swabhava, it unnerves and dispatches the lower and venomous matters but unifies and gives life to the higher and life-giving matters. In connexion with a human mind which is, like a seam of coal with its occluded gases, congested with the Lower Kama-manas-stuff, the divine substance of a higher or holy thought simply burns, or rather boils, to nothing the dross that has choked the pores of the mental gauze, as it were. No doubt such lofty thoughts are too holy to enter such impure and sickly environments as those of an impure mind, but when man's "will" demands their presence therein they cannot disobey such command. The demanding will itself paves the way for them and they enter. To bring real happiness into his life man must fill his mind with lofty, compassionate, impersonally loving and helpful thoughts, cherish them, nurse them, dwell upon them, and make his mind their home. Such divine thoughts when loved and lived, purge the mind of all its paralytic contents, cleanse it, ventilate it, purify it, feed it with the nectar of Gods, thus strengthen it, rejuvenate it, and make it really happy. Simultaneously to its working in the mind the spiritual matter filters, radiates and percolates throughout the lower parts of his seven-fold constitution. Wherever it goes it works on the same lines as in the case of mind but in varying degrees of effectiveness, and overhauls and resuscitates health and happiness everywhere in him. A sound mind in a sound body is like a happy bird in a clean cage. O dear Reader! it sings divine songs and exhibits heaven on earth; and do not wonder if it may penetrate through the veil and find itself treading the holy ground where his wondrous Master lives. Indeed, where holy thoughts reside, there the hand of divinity is felt at work, and the earthly pains and glooms are extirpated and washed away from the mental field to return no more. Let man take care of his thoughts, his words and acts will take care of themselves. Such a man whose thoughts, words, and acts, are godly, is a god among men. He is surrounded by a heavenly and spiritual atmosphere; and like a sweet-scented rose, which is not only gay and glorious for itself but inspires and gives pleasure to all who come near it also, he is holy and happy and blesses all with mirth and spiritual food who come to him.

Divine thoughts, cherished and nursed, are a rare panacea to cure mental and physical ailments, but that is not all which is most beautiful about them. They are the rarest foundation-stones of man's grand future — Godhood. The fact of the matter is that the more one dwells upon a divine thought the more points concerning it descend from the "Divine Self within him into his mind. The achievement of each new subtle point means to him another step traversed towards the inmost core of his holy "thought-self." The deeper one digs into its veins the greater and the subtler volumes of the Akasic substance surround him; and there is not much to wonder at if he should altogether disappear from the physical eyes of the world. The more enwrapped he is in the divine substance, the more he is dead to the outer world and the more quickened to the reality of the core of this holy thought and that of his own. Now he feels that there is a strange similarity between the two realities and that each one is pointing, or rather vibrating, towards the same mystic "North" — the heart of the Universe — like two magnetic needles pointing towards the same magnetic north. This strange similarity of vibration develops a strange love — words fail to express it — between the two selves. This love brings them still more heart to heart with one another, and it enables him to see and enables the holy thought to disclose that both are one in essence but the former has so far been playing the part of a student, a searcher for truth, and the latter that of a teacher, a Gurudeva. Then, indeed, the thinking self distinctly sees that the divine thought, the subject of his meditation, is not a mere thought, a passing whim of every-day life, but that it is a part of his own self, that it is a divine ray, of which the top end is rooted in the "Divine Heart" and the lower end into his own, that it is a school in itself to raise the thinker out of the "Mayavi-net," and that it is a path that leads to the heart of his "Wondrous Being," then to his another "Wondrous Being," then to his another "Wondrous Being," and then to his "Parent Wondrous Being" whose feet the Galaxy is in kiss with. Sojourning inwards yet outwards and backwards, yet forward towards the heart of the Universe and along the long hollow core, as it were — the invisible Central thread which is insulated and girded with the Akasic thread — the sojourner, the meditating self, lands at last at the heart of its Inmost Self, the Universal Self, and becomes it. Then the thinker is a man no more but a fully developed Self-conscious God, a Buddha, a Jivan-Mukta, who is completely relieved from the chain of births and deaths, whom pains and so-called pleasures, heats and colds, forms and colors, and the rest of the earthly pairs of opposites have no hold upon, but whose heart is melted with compassion and whose last mission is to serve, to teach, and thus to uplift the rest of mankind to his own spiritual level. This is what a holy thought can and will do for you, O brother reader! See the sublime fruit it can bear — the freedom from the chain of "Chaurasi," the "Bliss," the "Ananda," that can only a Lord of meditation enjoy. Can any earthly sample of happiness beat it? None. One can never lay enough of emphasis upon the fact that the Spiritually rich thoughts — the thoughts of Universal Brotherhood, Compassion, forgiveness, self-forgetfulness in Service, and impersonal love — are each a golden ray of the "Father Sun," through the hollow, or rather sunyatic, archway of which one can, if he may dare, climb from the Foster Mother our earth, to the "Father Sun."

All holy thoughts are different paths yet all are one because they open out into each other. Taking any one of them one takes all of them automatically, as it were. To save oneself from being swept away from the direct path and pulled into the mayavi ones of this tempting world purity of mind is the key. To develop purity in the mind serene, kind, and holy thoughts are indispensable. Even the latter are less effective — nay, even they may mislead — without a trained guidance. Hence the Gurudeva is indispensable. But even the Gurudeva is helpless without the real devotion and heartfelt love of the disciple for him. O, yes, brother sojourner! the seeker of bliss and beatitude! if you would, indeed, be happy, learn to love and to forgive! because love is at the root of everything. My Gurudeva tells me that "Love is the Cement of the Universe."

PEACE BE WITH YOU.


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