Written by Wes Annac, July 14, 2014 – http://cultureofawareness.com/2014/07/14/enlighten-yourself-the-illusion-of-materialistic-bliss-part-22/
Concluded from Part 1
According to Shankara, the true self never experiences pain – only bliss.
“Pleasure and pain are characteristics of the individual — not of the Atman, which is forever blissful.” (1)
When we’re sad, upset, or angry for any reason, we feed into a lower aspect of our consciousness instead of the higher aspect we’re ready to embody. Moments of pain and frustration signify that we still have something to learn before we can be in a place of absolute bliss, and here in the lower realms, temptation to stray away from bliss is everywhere.
In the face of all the temptation, the best thing to do is remain in our center and seek the love that constantly lives within. It might be difficult to feel blissful if the temptation to be angry is strong, but it isn’t impossible.
Shankara then tells us that bliss can be found in the open heart.
“[The Self] is realized within one’s own heart as existence, knowledge and bliss absolute. Realize this Atman within the shrine of your own heart.” (2)
Returning to Ramana Maharishi’s perspective, he tells us that the self can’t be realized with earthly intellect alone.
“I am that Brahman which is bliss, which is eternal, effulgent, all-pervasive, the substratum of names and forms, which is not cognized by the impure intellect, but is cognized by the pure intellect, stainless and boundless.” (3)
In a very simple statement, Ramana Maharishi tells us that “Your nature is Bliss.” (4)
Since bliss is our nature, striving to find it would be fruitless. It’d be like striving to have blue eyes when you already do! Striving is helpful and gets things done, but when it comes to something that’s already there, it just isn’t required.
Obtaining something we want offers temporary and illusory solitude in the Atman or Self, but this solitude fades when our object of desire ceases to satisfy, as Ramana Maharishi tells us.
“When the object of desire is obtained, the intellect becomes steady for a moment and turns inward. Then the bliss of the Self is reflected on it and this gives rise to a delusion that there was bliss in the object. But when other objects are desired the bliss vanishes.” (5)
The bliss we find from obtaining our desires is never in the obtainment itself, but in the latent, inner happiness we feel when we receive them. We can constantly indulge in this blissful happiness, and we certainly don’t need material things to find it.
Quite the opposite – material things inhibit our perception of our bliss by temporarily providing it when we satisfy our materialistic urges, thus making it more difficult to find without satisfying them.
In our final quote, Ramana Maharishi affirms that bliss isn’t to be found in the physical world.
“Bliss is experienced in the state of samadhi and deep sleep even without objects. Therefore there is no bliss in objects. The Self alone is bliss. It is because the bliss of the Self alone is experienced by all, that all are proclaimed by the Vedas to be of the form of bliss.” (6)
I highly recommend meditation to find a deep, blissful state of consciousness, and for me, meditation is little more than an attunement to the higher vibration we all have the ability to feel. I can’t recommend meditation enough given the amazing things it’s helped me perceive, and in perceiving these things, I’ve realized that I am them in another form.
We are the bliss we previously sought in material things, and realizing this is essential to transcending the idea that physical indulgence provides happiness. We’re all capable of finding a blissful perception – we simply need to realize we are and have faith in our divinely ordained abilities.
Throughout the centuries, waves of people have sought bliss in one form or another.
Our society currently seeks it in material things, but it doesn’t have to be this way. In breaking the chains that have kept us bound to lower-dimensionality, we’ll discover the bliss of the sacred self as we realize that it’s never been meant to be sought in physicality, despite how many people think or assume it is.
We’ve been given plenty of assistance with realizing this, and all we need to do is open up to this assistance to start acting on it and unlocking a greater level of loving bliss than we’ve ever felt.
Wes Annac – Choosing the self over physicality.
- Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher lsherwood, Shankara’s Crest-Jewel of Discrimination. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1975; c1947, 48.
- Ibid., 68.
- Sri Ramana Maharshi, Jewel Garland of Enquiry (Vichara Mani Malai). Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1996; c1977, 7.
- Munagala Venkatramiah, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Downloaded from http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/books.htm, 31 August 2005, Question 197.
- Sri Ramana Maharshi, Jewel Garland of Enquiry (Vichara Mani Malai). Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1996; c1977, 9.
- Loc. cit.
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