In some religions, practitioners subject their body to discomfort through fasting or other rituals; but a sense of contentment can be observed on their faces depicting a very blissful state of mind.
Scriptures of most religions and even experiences suggest that we are not just a body but we are conscious souls. We are a part of the supreme divinity or the Cosmic Consciousness which is all pervasive, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent whom we refer to as God. Objective of all spiritual pursuits is to be aware and conscious of this eternal truth and to achieve oneness with the cosmic divinity to attain eternal bliss and sublime peace.
Generally, we get confused between pleasure and happiness or BLISS. Pleasure is totally in the domain of physical body. It is a result of sensual gratification and hence, is quite temporary. It stays till the source of gratification stays.
Compared to this, happiness is an internal state of the mind. It is subtle and it is long lasting. This may or may not be result of some physical and worldly factors or events.
Bliss is the supreme state of happiness, experienced by soul and is always due to reasons which are non-physical. It is always achieved by conscious means.
Our Guru Maharaj has propounded a system of spiritual pursuit which enables us to attain this state of bliss. This system does not interfere with our worldly pursuits rather it enables us to live happily and peacefully in this world as well as achieve our spiritual goals. It is not just a ritual, tradition, or process but a complete way of life in which we attain a state of mind that stays calm and peaceful through the ups and downs of the life cycle.
By following this system, we realize that our worldly and spiritual pursuits are complementary and supportive to each other.
God has given us physical and sensory organs, as well as three inner organs to traverse this world. We gain knowledge of this world and act with the help and assistance of our five senses. The inner ones that are ‘mind’ and ‘intellect’ help us in gaining spiritual knowledge.
Our mind being the master of all physical and sensory organs works as a fulcrum between our body and soul. When it is engaged with the body, we are drawn towards the world for steering through our professional, family, or social responsibilities. And when the same mind aligns with the soul, we are engaged in our spiritual pursuits and working towards our own enlightenment.
The experience of our saints suggests that the state of supreme happiness and bliss is achieved when our body, mind and soul are in harmony and without any contradiction.
The soul is a part of the supreme divinity and consciousness. Bliss & tranquillity is its intrinsic nature. When it comes to this world along with the body, it retains the same nature. The mind, intellect, or ego has no effect over it but gradually as it moves and interacts in this world it gains layers of ignorance and experience called sanskaars. Body, and the illusionary forces, make soul its prisoner and subordinate to itself. Soul, like an imprisoned king, loses its free will and freedom to exercise its consciousness. Fulfilment of our physical needs and sensory gratification becomes our supreme objective. Our consciousness is marginalized and we start oscillating in the cycle of duality of joy and sorrow.
This world has been created with contradictory and opposite properties. We find an opposite for everything in this world; if there is light, there is darkness too and if there is heat there is cold, If there is summer, there is a winter. So, it is but natural that we encounter and experience ups and downs in our lives too. The challenge is to stay calm and peaceful during these opposite phases of life. This state of mind of staying calm and peaceful during good and adverse time is explained in Bhagvad Gita as the ultimate state and result of Yoga as the equipoised.
Guru Maharaj propounded the system of spiritual pursuit. By devoting a small portion of our daily life we achieve that holistic spiritual growth which sages gained after spending considerable time. Guru Maharaj suggested that we should devote most of the time of the day for our worldly responsibilities and should spend less than 5% of the time for our spiritual pursuit towards developing and invoking the powers of our soul. But during this time, we forget the world totally and let the light and wisdom of our Guru Maharaj permeate through the layers gathered over our soul.
The system includes meditation and introspection through studying literature which contains experiences of his own spiritual pursuits. Once we connect to our Guru/Master and sit in meditation, our guru takes over the responsibility of taking us through the path of awakening.
The mind gets trained to be engaged with soul even while performing our worldly duties. Our heart and mind become purer and intellect becomes sharper and more subtle. Slowly but surely, the soul regains its basic nature of bliss and sublime peace. Ultimately, as the soul regains its freedom, we start experiencing true bliss by transcending the boundaries of the body and senses and realize that eternal happiness is an inner state of mind.
May Guru Maharaj grant us strength to observe His blessings and grace in every action and deed today and always.