Pleasure and Happiness
A friend of mine, a young man about twenty-five, was told that he is
suffering from an
heart disease. He wrote to me that instead of slow death he
preferred suicide. I replied to
that a disease incurable by Western medicine may be cured in some
other way. There are
powers that can bring almost instantaneous changes in the human
body. Effects of repeated
also verge on the miraculous. I wrote to him not to be in a hurry to
die; rather to give a trial to
is a Yogi living not far from Bombay who possesses some miraculous
powers. He has
in the control of the vital forces governing the body. I met some of
his disciples and sent
to the Yogi my friendís letter and photo. Let us see what happens.
Yes, miracles often take place. But there must be the will to live.
Without it the miracles
Can such a desire be instilled?
Superficial desire, yes. But it will wear out. Fundamentally, nobody
can compel another to live.
there were cultures in which suicide had its acknowledged and
Is it not obligatory to live out oneís natural span of life?
Natural -- spontaneously -- easy -- yes. But disease and suffering
are not natural. There is noble
in unshakable endurance of whatever comes, but there is also dignity
in the refusal of
torture and humiliation.
I was given a book written by a siddha. He describes in it many of
his strange, even amazing
According to him the way of a true sadhaka ends with his meeting his
to him body, mind and heart. Henceforth the Guru takes over and
for even the least event in the discipleís life, until the two
become one. One may call it
through identification. The disciple is taken over by a power he
cannot control, nor resist,
feels as helpless as a leaf in the storm. The only thing that keeps
him safe from madness and
is his faith in the love and power of his Guru.
Every teacher teaches according to his own experience. Experience is
shaped by belief and
is shaped by experience. Even the Guru is shaped by the disciple to
his own image. It is the
that makes the Guru great. Once the Guru is seen to be the agent of
a liberating power,
works both from within and without, whole-hearted surrender becomes
natural and easy. Just
a man gripped by pain puts himself completely in the hands of a
surgeon, so does the disciple
himself without reservation to his Guru. It is quite natural to seek
help when its need is felt
But, however powerful the Guru may be, he should not impose his will
on the disciple. On
other hand, a disciple that distrusts and hesitates is bound to
remain unfulfilled for no fault of his
What happens then?
Life teaches, where all else fails. But the lessons of life take a
long time to come. Much delay
trouble is saved by trusting and obeying. But such trust comes only
when indifference and
give place to clarity and peace. A man who keeps himself in low
esteem, will not be
to trust himself, nor anybody else. Therefore, in the beginning the
teacher tries his best to
the disciple as to his high origin, noble nature and glorious
destiny. He relates to him the
of some saints as well as his own, instilling confidence in himself
and in his infinite
When self-confidence and trust in the teacher come together, rapid
in the discipleís character and life can take place.
I may not want to change. My life is good enough as it is.
You say so because you have not seen how painful is the life you
live. You are like a child
with a lollypop in its mouth. You may feel happy for a moment by
being totally self-centred,
it is enough to have a good look at human faces to perceive the
universality of suffering. Even
own happiness is so vulnerable and short-lived, at the mercy of a
bank-crash, or a stomach
It is just a moment of respite, a mere gap between two sorrows. Real
happiness is not
because it does not depend on circumstances.
Are you talking from your own experience? Are you too unhappy?
I have no personal problems. But the world is full of living beings
whose lives are squeezed
fear and craving. They are like cattle driven to the slaughter
house, jumping and frisking,
and happy, yet dead and skinned within an hour.
say you are happy. Are you really happy, or are you merely trying to
convince yourself. Look at
fearlessly and you will at once realise that your happiness depends
on conditions and
hence it is momentary, not real. Real happiness flows from within.
Of what use is your happiness to me? It does not make me happy.
You can have the whole of it and more for the mere asking. But you
do not ask; you donít seem
Why do you say so? I do want to be happy.
You are quite satisfied with pleasures. There is no place for
happiness. Empty your cup and
it. It cannot be filled otherwise. Others can give you pleasure, but
A chain of pleasurable events is good enough.
Soon it ends in pain, if not in disaster. What is Yoga after all,
but seeking lasting happiness
You can speak only for the East. In the West the conditions are
different and what you say
There is no East and West in sorrow and fear. The problem is
universal -- suffering and the
of suffering. The cause of suffering is dependence and independence
is the remedy.
is the science and the art of self-liberation through
I do not think I am fit for Yoga.
What else are you fit for? All your going and coming, seeking
pleasure, loving and hating -- all
shows that you struggle against limitations, self-imposed or
accepted. In your ignorance you
mistakes and cause pain to yourself and others, but the urge is
there and shall not be denied.
same urge that seeks birth, happiness and death shall seek
understanding and liberation. It is
a spark of fire in a cargo of cotton. You may not know about it, but
sooner or later the ship will
in flames. Liberation is a natural process and in the long run,
inevitable. But it is within your
to bring it into the now.
Then why are so few liberated people in the world?
In a forest only some of the trees are in full bloom at a given
moment, yet every one will have its
or later your physical and mental resources will come to an end.
What will you do then?
All right, despair. You will get tired of despairing and begin to
question. At that moment
will be fit for conscious Yoga.
I find all this seeking and brooding most unnatural.
Yours is the naturalness of a born cripple. You may be unaware but
it does not make you
What it means to be natural or normal you do not know, nor do you
know that you do not
present you are drifting and therefore in danger, for to a drifter
any moment anything may
It would be better to wake up and see your situation. That you are--
you know. What you
-- you don't know. Find out what you are.
Why is there so much suffering in the world?
Selfishness is the cause of suffering. There is no other cause.
I understood that suffering is inherent in limitation.
Differences and distinctions are not the causes of sorrow. Unity in
diversity is natural and good.
is only with separateness and self-seeking that real suffering
appears in the world.