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PATH TO

Joyful Living
[Based on Sadhana Panchakam of Adi Sankara]

Course material written and dedicated to Swami Omkarananda


by
Raja Subramaniyan (joyfulliving@gmail.com)
July 2007
Path to Joyful Living – Part II
Contents: Page No
Introduction
1. Introduction to Life 21
2. Introduction to Joyful Living 22
3. Introduction to the Path to Joyful Living 23
4. Introduction to the Role of our mind 24
5. Introduction to the Nature of our mind 25
6. Introduction to the Solution 26
Step 1 – Getting a matured mind - Theory
7. Understanding desires 27
8. Understanding the role of God 28
9. Understanding the cause-effect relationship 29
10. Understanding the purpose of doing work 30
11. Understanding the rights-duties relationship 31
Step 2 – Getting a matured mind - Practice
12. Dynamic starting point 32
13. Overview of the path 33
14. Physical fitness 34
15. Mental fitness 35
16. Minimum qualification 36
17. Initial enquiry 37
18. Initial Action 38
19. Earning and spending money 39
20. Self-restriction/ penance 40
21. Developing Discrimination 41
22. Developing Dispassion 42
23. Developing Deep Desire 42
24. Shift the focus from material to spiritual life 43
Step 3 – Spiritual Enquiry – Practice
25. Restraining the sense organs 44
26. Restraining the organs of action 45
27. Farewell to material pursuit 46
Step 4 – Spiritual Enquiry – Theory
28. Commencement of spiritual enquiry 47
29. Enquiry on the Holy Scripture 48
30. Learning from the teacher 49
31. Reflecting on the teaching 50
32. Inner transformation 51
Destination 33. Glimpse of Joyful Living 52
34. Summary 53
35. Summary – Stage I 54
36. Summary – Stage II 55
37. Summary – Stage III 56
38. Summary – Stage IV 57
39. Conclusion 58

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1. Introduction to life

If we are to take a birds eye view of permanent feature of the universe.


our life, we will get a very clear idea Every atom, every thought, every
on where we are heading. The situation, every object, every person,
purpose of doing this exercise is to every living being and every non-
decide whether any course living being is constantly changing.
correction is required.
Without realizing this fact, we enjoy
We have been traveling from birth. life assuming that it is going to last
The first part of our journey was forever. When we undergo a
under the influence of our elders. We negative experience, we assume
need to take a critical view of the that we are caught and powerless.
second part that starts from our We do not realize that we are equally
adulthood. caught and powerless when we
undergo a positive experience as
During this period, our goal and well.
priorities in life are constantly
changing. In addition, the nature of Example: A cow tied to a pole, thinks
our experience varies widely. If we that it is free when it is grazing the
observe carefully, we will find that grass within the boundary drawn by
life’s experiences are like the the rope and it feels restrained only
pendulum of a clock, oscillating when there is no more grass within
between pairs of opposites. Some of the boundary. The truth is it is bound
the pairs of opposites are all the time.

Prosperity and Poverty Similarly, we are caught by our


Pleasure and Pain attachment when we enjoy life and
Gain and Loss we are caught by the very same
Fame and Blame attachment when we suffer. Either
Good and Bad way we are caught. We are not in
Love and Hate control of our life as of now. We are
Victory and Defeat under the mercy of the pendulum of
Brightness and Boredom the pairs of the opposites that keeps
Enthusiasm and Frustration oscillating all the time. We do not
seem to have any influence on the
When we are on the positive side of oscillation.
the oscillation, we enjoy life and
when we are on the negative side, We need to take charge. We cannot
we curse life. In either extreme allow our environment; objects,
position, we forget the temporary events and persons determine our
nature of the experience. Whatever happiness. The review of our life
we experience, will pass over and reveals that a course correction is
change. Change is the only required if we are to live joyfully.

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2. Introduction to Joyful Living

We would like to be in charge of our Although every living being has an


life. External events, objects and inborn urge to live happily and
persons should have no influence on peacefully, only human beings are
our happiness. This is Joyful Living qualified to pursue the path to Joyful
Living. Most of them are ignorant of
If we are to describe a happiest day the possibility of reaching such a
from our past, it will be from our goal. Those who come to know the
childhood. It is quite possible for us possibility do not either believe in it
to the make rest of our life happier or do not have the capability to
than the happiest day in our life. If undertake the journey. Those who
we do that, it is Joyful Living. are willing and capable, take up the
journey and invariably every one of
More important than having a good them succeed in reaching the goal.
day, we do not want any bad events, Few of them after reaching the goal,
persons or objects to spoil our day. start guiding others in the journey.
We do not want a traffic jam or hectic
work demands from the boss to push Joyful Living cannot be brought
us down emotionally. Imagine that about by Science & Technology,
we do not ever get angry, worried, Economic Development or Political
irritated, frustrated or depressed. wisdom. This is proved by the history
Such a Sorrowless Life is Joyful of the past 5000 years. Religion and
Living. Spirituality is the only path that will
take us to Joyful Living.
If we are fully contented with life,
having achieved whatever possible All the religions in the world hold a
to achieve, we will feel happy, view that there is something beyond
peaceful and secured. This is Joyful the material world. Enlightenment,
Living. Nirvana, attaining liberation, being
identified with God, Judgment day
Joyful Living is possible only for and such concepts are beyond
those who are willing to work for it. It science. Unfortunately, these
will not happen by chance. It is a concepts paint a picture that it is not
result of hard and dedicated work possible to reach this goal here and
done in a systematic way. Only now. The truth is liberation is not
those who desire to reach this goal something that is to be gained at the
will be eligible to participate in the time of death. It is possible to get
path to Joyful living. Mere wish is not liberation here and now. Liberation
enough. One should have deep means Joyful Living.
commitment and willpower to pursue
the path, since the path is not an The central theme of all the religions
easy one. is to help human beings to pursue
the path to Joyful Living, so that they
get to enjoy life all the time.

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3. Introduction to the Path to Joyful Living

A path is one, which takes us to the reader who has no intention to travel
destination. This “Path to Joyful will find a travel guidebook very
Living” shows the roadmap of the boring. On the other hand, if one has
entire path that leads to Joyful already decided to travel to a
Living. Obviously, tracing the path particular destination, then the travel
with the finger on the map will not guidebook will be very useful and
take us to the destination. We should interesting.
understand the intricacies of the path
prepare for the journey and then The complete overview and the
undertake the journey to reach the details of each step are given here.
destination. Although the descriptions in a travel
guidebook are accurate, they are not
Example: Trace a path from home to as good as visiting the actual place.
Mount Kailash in a map. Depending Similarly, the details of each step
on where we are, we might have to shown are only an indication of
go by train, flight and by road to actual experience of the journey.
reach the destination. We might
have to stay many nights en route. The destination of the path shown in
The climatic conditions may widely this book is called Joyful Living.
vary between the origin and the Alternatively, it can be called as
destination. We need to make enlightenment or liberation. It is
preparations accordingly. essential that one should reach this
destination as soon as possible so
Similarly, we should understand the that the rest of the life could be
path to Joyful Living as described in joyful.
this book, mentally prepare for the
long journey, plan for the required The ultimate destination of everyone
steps (depending on the starting in the world is Joyful Living and there
point, which will vary individual to is only one path leading to this
individual) and then START the destination. However, many do not
actual journey. Mere reading and have clarity on their destination and
understanding this book will not take therefore, they are traveling in the
one to the destination. wrong path. They will not reach the
destination until they gain clarity on
The complete requirements in terms the destination and the right path.
of theory and practice are discussed
here. In addition, it describes the This book describes the entire path
details of each step and gives the from the beginning to end and the
over all summary. reader will benefit from this book
wherever he might be starting his
Like any travel guidebook, this book journey to Joyful Living.
is meant only for those who wish to
reach the destination. A casual
4. Introduction to the Role of our mind

It is impossible to make the world external environment at all. The only


perfect. Even if we assume that, we factor that determines our happiness
are successful in changing the face is our mind.
of the world by removing all hunger,
poverty, pollution, war and all such Example: A purchase manager of a
social evils, still it is a not a company is highly corrupt. There are
guarantee that our life will be joyful. two competing vendors, one is
concentrating on making quality
Being rich and famous does not products, and the other takes care of
guarantee happiness. Whatever we the purchase manager. Who is the
want to achieve, someone has successful vendor?
already achieved it. Even after
reaching the goal, the happiness or Similarly, our mind is corrupt. We
contentment do not last for long. need to spend most of our time and
New goals appear when achieve our effort in taking care of our mind
current goals. We seem to enjoy rather than spending time on
chasing the goals, without passing to correcting the external world.
think why we are chasing them in the Changing the environment is
first place. necessary but incidental. We will see
that we need to work on the
Other than these external factors, environment for the sake changing
there is one more aspect involved in our mind.
making up a joyful living. Our mind.
Even if we correct the whole We need to maintain good
environment that includes all the relationship with others if we need
people, places, events in our life, still companionship, which may not be
we may feel miserable. We may feel the source of happiness all the time.
a deep sense of insecurity.
Alternatively, we could have an To live comfortably, is another
unknown fear, an anxiety that purpose of our attempt to change the
everything could be wiped out. environment. The most comfortable
man could still be unhappy. A man
The whole world is working on who has no comforts could still be
changing the external environment. happy. That is not to say that we do
The time and effort spent on not need comforts in life. We need to
changing our mind is comparatively be happy and comfortable.
negligible. As a result, even where
the economic development has To achieve such a scenario, our
reached unimaginable heights, there mind plays the major role. It is
is no sign of lasting happiness or responsible for all the happiness,
contentment. peace and security in our life. The
role of external factors is limited to
Therefore, we can see that joyful provide comforts/companionships to
living does not depend on the us.
5. Introduction to the Nature of our mind

Without our awareness, slowly we Similarly, the need of the mind can
progress towards hunger. If we do be fulfilled only by thoughts. Since
not eat, our hunger grows. When we knowledge (made up of thoughts) is
eat, the hunger goes and we are also subtle, it will satisfy the mind
satisfied for the moment. It is not an and make it eternally contended. We
eternal satisfaction. Soon we will feel are aware of this fact partly. We
hungry again. assume happy family, loving
relationships, universal love, and
Mind in a way is very similar to our such emotions can lead us to be fully
stomach. contended.

Mind functions exactly the same Therefore, some of us will abandon


way. Like a hungry stomach, it our search for material progress and
yearns for fulfillment of a desire. look for love/ companionship. Others
Longer the desire is not fulfilled, will continue to earn money with the
more agitated our mind becomes. It hope that companionship/ love can
drives us crazy and makes us run be bought. Both the groups will find
after the fulfillment of the desire at that their search is futile. Mind will
any cost. Once the desire is fulfilled, not be satisfied with love that
the mind becomes happy and depends on objects, persons, people
peaceful. It is not an eternal or events of the world.
satisfaction. Just like the stomach
which feels hunger again in the Without knowing this, we try to feed
lunchtime although it had breakfast, the mind by fulfilling desires of
the mind is ready for the fulfillment of various kinds. The cycle of desire –
yet another desire. This happens fulfillment continuous eternally. This
without our awareness. is due to a specific nature of mind. It
is a bottomless pot. No amount of
The hunger is caused by the need of objects can fill it. We need to
our physical body. Since the physical understand this very basic nature of
body is gross, any food, which is mind that it cannot be fulfilled ever
also gross, can satisfy the hunger. by worldly objects or worldly
However, the mind is not gross. It is thoughts.
subtle. Therefore, a gross object
cannot fulfill the need of the subtle This understanding will be just a
mind. piece of irrelevant information if one
does not have his own experience to
Example: A man is hungry. Food will validate this information. Only those
satisfy his hunger. When he sleeps, who have spent much energy and
he dreams that he is hungry. This efforts for a sufficiently long time
suffering cannot be solved by real chasing and gaining material objects
food. Only the knowledge that it is a and relationships, will be able to
dream can remove such suffering. convert this information as
knowledge.
6. Introduction to the Solution

Joyful Living means making our mind


fully (and eternally) content by filling Example: When a professor gives a
it with the right knowledge. lecture in a classroom, lots of
information is given. Only when a
We have already seen that this student listen and has specific
cannot be achieved by worldly doubts on the information given, it
possessions (including money and will be converted as knowledge in
love). We have also seen that the the mind of that student. That is the
mind can be fulfilled only with the reason why few gain knowledge and
knowledge (thoughts) since both the rest say the class was boring.
mind and thoughts are subtle in
nature. Similarly, one has to have the spirit
of enquiry to gain Self-Knowledge.
Our hunger can be fulfilled only by
food and not by any objects. Thus, enquiry is the next destination
Similarly, our mind can be fulfilled to gain Self-Knowledge
only by a right set of thoughts
(knowledge). Not everyone will have an enquiring
mind. If one is busy earning money
The right knowledge is the answer to to feed his family with the next meal,
the questions “Who is God?” or he will have no interest or
“Who am I?” Both these questions inquisitiveness to initiate an enquiry.
are inter-related and one cannot be Matured mind is a pre-requisite for
known without knowing the other. seeking Self-Knowledge.
Therefore, if we get this answer, our
mind will be filled up and we can live Thus, gaining the matured mind is
joyfully forever. our next immediate destination. This
book shows the path that is starting
Thus, our final destination of Joyful from method to make the mind
Living can be reached only if we gain matured.
the knowledge on self/ God.
Therefore, our immediate destination Therefore, the solution is to get the
is to gain this right knowledge. mind matured, conduct an enquiry
and gain Self-Knowledge. Once this
Any knowledge can come only when is done, one will reach the
there is an enquiry. It is not possible destination: Joyful Living.
to pass on any knowledge. One can
pass on only a piece of information.
It will be converted as knowledge
only when the listener is in the
enquiry mode.
Step 1: Getting a matured mind (Theory)
7. Understanding desires
Example: A child will have enough
It is generally perceived that desires power to desire a chocolate and will
are evil. Nothing can be far from not have desire to receive a high
truth. Desire is a very much essential value currency note. This is due to
factor. The power to desire is the the ignorance of the child. The child
distinct power, which makes the does not know the value of the
human beings superior to all other currency note and desires the
living beings. Animals live based on chocolate instead.
their instincts. When they feel
hungry, they look for food. They Similarly, most of us are ignorant of
have enough knowledge to survive the power of knowledge to give us
and they have enough capabilities to Joyful Living. Therefore, the desire to
convert the knowledge into action to gain this knowledge is generally
fulfill the need of survival and absent. As a result, we are
reproduction. contended with the desire for the
worldly possessions.
In case of the human beings, both
the power to know and the power to Example: A grown up child chooses
act are driven by the power to desire. a currency since it knows many
Desire is the motive power to know chocolates could be bought with that
and act which makes human beings currency.
superior to animals.
Similarly, when we get mental
However, this power to desire varies maturity we will grow out of the
from individual to individual and from desire for worldly objects and start
time to time. When we are young, we desiring to know God. This maturity
have enough power to desire toys. comes only when one observes the
As we grow, our power to desire also limitations of the worldly objects. As
grows. We start desiring to buy a and when a desire for worldly object
car, house etc. is fulfilled the satisfaction lasts only
for a while. Soon another desire
This power to desire determines the comes up and makes us chase it. If
capabilities of the person. If one has one observes this carefully, he or
the power to desire to reach the she will be free of desires for worldly
heights in the society, he or she will objects and shift the attention
be willing to put the required efforts towards desiring the self-knowledge.
to reach such heights.
Like the currency, which can buy
The ultimate power is to desire to many chocolates, once the desire to
reach God. Not everyone will have know the God is fulfilled, one can
such desire. enjoy the worldly possessions all the
time without any risk/ fear of losing
them.

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8. Understanding the role of God

The key differentiating factor For believers in God this is easier


between human beings and animals because they already believe in God.
is the thinking capacity. Joyful Living They should continue to believe and
is not a dream goal for any animal. pray to God. For the rest it is
Only human beings can hope to necessary to modify their belief
achieve it using their power to think. appropriately. They may have to
One of the steps in the path to Joyful assume God is nameless, formless
Living involves God. power that is superior to man.

It is necessary to have clarity on Why should we believe in God?


God. Among the thinkers, there are
believers and non-believers. God can either be a truth or false. It
Essentially both mean the same. does not matter to us either way if it
Both the types of people do not is not connected to Joyful Living. By
apply their power to think sufficiently believing in God if we can live
to know God. They replace the need happily here and now, there is no
to think with blind belief. Even non- harm in believing. Infact we will be
believers believe that there is no fools if we do not, since the only
god. Neither group could prove other option is to sway between the
either existence or non-existence of pairs of opposites helplessly.
God.
Fortunately, we do not know for sure
God is an essential stepping-stone to whether God exists or not. In such a
reach Joyful Living. God is not the scenario, it is better to join the
ultimate truth which ‘grants’ our wish. winning side. After all our goal is
It is a truth, which needs to be Joyful living and it is very difficult to
understood. Once God is understood reach our goal if we choose not to
there will not be any more questions believe in God.
whether God exists or not. One will
know God for sure without resorting Example: Warm clothing is a
to any belief. necessary option if we are planning
a trip to Mount Kailash. Without it,
Example: We know milk is white. We we can reach but the journey will be
do not say ‘I believe milk is white’, painful.
we know it is white.
Therefore, we will believe God exists
Similarly, we should know God and it as a formless and nameless entity. If
is not enough just to believe or not we want name and form, we have an
believe in God. However knowing option to choose from an array of
God is an integral part of the final gods ranging from Rama, Krishna,
step in the path and one is not yet Shiva, Vishnu to Jesus and Allah. It
ready for such an understanding. does not matter which one we
Therefore, it is necessary to ‘believe’ choose so long we believe in one
in god to complete the initial steps. sincerely.

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9. Understanding the cause and effect relationship

Conventionally people are under the Nor all those who succeed in life
impression that there is a linear have done actions that deserve the
relationship between result and success.
effort. This stems from the industrial
experience where one can One has to recognize and accept the
accurately determine the quality and fact that the result is in God’s hands.
quantity of the output. In the areas of We are responsible only for our
material science, there is a perfect actions.
relationship between the cause and
the effect. Such direct relationship is This fact is very difficult to
not fully transparent in the case of comprehend in the absence of direct
life. experience. Invariably everyone
sees for himself or herself that
It is obvious that many students work sometime they fail to achieve their
hard and prepare well for the exam. goal inspite of the best effort and
Nevertheless, it is possible only for sometime there are unexpected
few of them to remain in the top. In positive results without any
case of the mass production of any corresponding action from their side.
product, the output is uniform. There Some people talk about luck or ill
will not be any difference between luck, assuming that such events are
the products comes out from an far and few. The fact is that there is
automatic production plant. no apparent correlation between the
However, in case of the human action and the result. It will take a
beings there is always difference. while for one to see this truth.

This difference is conventionally It is not that God plays a direct role


assumed due to the adequacy or in determining the result. There is a
otherwise of the preparation of the direct correlation between the action
participant. and the result of an individual.
However, it is not visible and
Man is responsible only for doing transparent as in the case of
action. The result of the action does industrial production. Some of the
not correlate directly to the action. results of the action are deferred and
Some unidentifiable factors influence some results come about due to the
the result. accumulated effect of the past
actions of the individual. Thus
Example: There are many unknown although one is fully responsible for
singers who are more talented and the results they do not directly relate
hard working than the most popular/ to the actions that precede the result.
successful singers.
Understanding this truth is essential
Similarly, in any given field not to gain mental maturity, which will
everyone who is qualified shines. qualify one to the second step.
10. Understanding the purpose of doing work

The true purpose of doing any work oneself that one is doing worship by
is to polish one’s mind and make it doing the work, it is advisable to pray
matured enough to enquire and around five times a day. This will
understand the ultimate knowledge. remind them that the work done
However, without knowing this, during the entire day is done with an
people engage in various actions, attitude of reverence to God. It
expecting specific results. They should be done as a return gift for all
assume that the results will bring the inputs we have taken from the
them eternal happiness. environment for our survival and
growth.
Example: People go to work to earn
money on the assumption that It is essential one should be
money will buy them happiness. engaged in a business or
professional activity with an attitude
This assumption is wrong. One is to serve the God. Mere knowledge
working not to earn money but to will not help. One has to actually do
gain mental maturity, which will lead the work as worship for a
to joyful living. Without knowing this considerable length of period before
fact people spend lots of effort and the mind is matured enough to move
time in earning money, which is on to the next step.
counter productive. While earning
the money they are unhappy (since Example: Walking around the god, in
they will be working hard) and after a temple, give better results than the
earning money they will find that the morning walk.
money is not enough. Once they
gain the knowledge that, the purpose Similarly, all our daily activities
of working is to polish the mind; the should be carried out with utmost
work can be carried out more reverence. Whatever we do, we are
efficiently and more happily. Since able to do due to God’s grace.
there is no focus on the immediate Therefore, we should be thankful
results, one continues to be happy that we have the opportunity to do
and not get upset during the journey. the work.

Work is to be done as an offering to When we eat, we should thank god


God. Work is worship and it should for his gift. Our normal attitude that ‘I
be done to the best of one’s ability. am enjoying the benefit of my action’
One should also continuously should be replaced by ‘This is the
develop one’s personality by raising alms from God’. Slowly this attitude
his capability to work. Proficiency is should spread to all the results (like
the gift from god and productivity is salary, increment, love, affection)
the return gift one gives to God. one gets.
Once this attitude is firmed up, the
There is no other separate prayer mind will get matured enough to
required. However, for reminding receive the ultimate knowledge.

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11. Understanding the rights and duties relationship

The whole universe is well If every one of us sticks to this


integrated. No living being is prescription, then automatically our
independent of the universe. As a rights will be fulfilled. However, not
corollary to the above, we can see everyone is interested in pursuing
that the life of every human being is the path to Joyful Living. As a result,
intertwined with many duties and many will not do their duties
rights. One man’s duty is another properly. This should not deter us
person’s right. from continuing our best
performance with respect to our
Example: It is the duty of the duties. God holds the responsibility
employer to pay salary and he has a of matching the duties and rights. It
right to expect work. It is the right of is His duty to ensure that the right of
the employee to expect the salary everyone is fulfilled appropriately. It
and duty to do work. Thus, right of is beyond human comprehension to
one is the duty of the other. verify the calculation of God. We
need to trust and accept God’s work.
People in general are accustomed to
give undue importance to the ‘rights’ Trusting God, if one does all his
and ignore or be slack in the ‘duties’ duties perfectly his mind will mature
part. To progress in the path to fast.
Joyful Living, it is recommended that
one should change this attitude. One One should start dedicating all the
should concentrate only on one’s duties to the God and leave the rest
own duty part and totally ignore the to God.
duties of the others.
Example: Mr A works very hard and
Example: While walking on a road, sincerely for the organization and
the person walking ahead has earns lots of revenue for his
dropped the valet. To pick up the employer. However, Mr B, who
valet and return it to the owner is our hardly works, gets a huge bonus and
duty. When we do that, if that person promotion. Mr A was given only
does not thank us, we get upset or normal increment.
angry because we expect that it is
our right to get recognition for our If Mr A does not accept the normal
work. increment as a God’s gift, he will
have mental trauma. Therefore, to
This is wrong. Our duty ends when complete this step successfully one
we returned the valet. We should not has to surrender to God. Offer all his
have any expectation for getting the action as worship and accept all the
acknowledgement. results as gift from God.

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Step 2: Getting a matured mind (Practice)
12. Dynamic starting point

The journey towards Joyful Living is Since the current position is


long. It is impossible for anyone to somewhere between the origin and
complete the journey in one birth; the destination we can locate it
however, one may not know the easily. The steps that appear below
distance already traveled in the (to our standard) are completed
previous births. Therefore, steps and the steps that are above
technically it can be said that (difficult to comprehend or pursue)
everyone can reach the destination lead us to the destination. In this
of Joyful Living in the current birth. book all the steps starting from the
origin is given. If one finds some of
Example: When we traveling in a the initial steps easy, then it means
new place, we know neither where those steps are already completed.
we are nor do we know our path to
the destination. Therefore, we Example: A refugee child wants to
cannot read the map and assess the be admitted in a school in a foreign
distance to the destination. country without any past records. If
Therefore, we ask a knowledgeable the child is admitted in a lower class,
person, ascertain our current he will perform well and he can be
position and then estimate the time given double promotion until he
and effort required to reach the reaches a class that is right for him.
destination. Similarly, when we start our journey,
we will progress quickly and easily
It is quite probable that we are since we might have completed them
standing right at our destination in the previous birth. When we start
without being aware of it. struggling to make progress, we
have identified the current position.
Similarly, one may be just few steps
away from the destination of Joyful If we keep moving (working) without
Living and it is quite possible to consulting the path, we will be going
reach it in the current birth. in circles without making any
Therefore, it is very important that progress towards the destination.
one should consult the path and
ascertain the current position. Therefore, it is necessary to get
Depending on the progress made so expert opinion on our status and the
far, one should continue the journey. next steps. Many do not get
One should comprehend all the opportunity to know about the
steps in the path, assess their existence of the path and therefore
current position (be happy with the they remain ignorant. Once we
progress made) and then take know, we should make progress.
appropriate steps towards the
destination. Method of assessing the
current position

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13. Overview of the path

Knowingly or unknowingly, all of us During the initial phase of the path,


are on the path that leads to Joyful one has to earn money and achieve
Living. However, many are not economic progress. It does not
aware that they are on the path. Only matter in which field we work. We
if one knows the destination and the need to excel in our chosen
path, the journey will be interesting profession and thereby achieve
and effective. Without this, we will some degree of material success in
constantly have a feeling of life.
inadequacy, which will ultimately
push us to find out all about the path In the next phase, we should have
and the destination. The destination many worldly desires and fulfill them.
is generally but not clearly known to There need not be any limit on the
everyone. (Everyone wants to be desires so long they are socially
happy and all actions are performed acceptable. We should spend our
for the sake of being happy) time and money on enjoying life and
However, no one knows the right not accumulate wealth. One should
and only path. celebrate all sorts of functions and
religious festivals. Obviously, the
The entire path requires one to live money will be spent on self,
righteously. This means that we immediate family, extended family,
should be good and never be bad. friends, relatives and neighbors. As
we grow in the economic status, we
It is an absolute necessity that one to shall start contributing towards social
be good for pursuing the path to causes that commensurate with our
Joyful Living. To be good involves status.
having good thoughts, good words
and good actions all the time. If one During the final phase, we need to
slips away from righteousness replace the worldly desires with the
consciously, he or she will also slip desire to know God. Once the
away from the path. worldly desires are fulfilled to a
reasonable level, one tends to turn
GOOD, is defined as, those towards God for fulfillment. The
thoughts, words and deeds, which limitations of the worldly objects in
one would like others to entertain. giving ever lasting happiness is
realized and one desires deeply to
BAD, is defined as, those thoughts, lead a joyful life.
words and deeds, which one would
not like others to entertain. Once we get this desire to know
God, we will progress towards Joyful
The entire path to joyful living and Living.
beyond consists of pure
righteousness without any trace of
bad thoughts, words and deeds.
14. Physical fitness

Our body is the basic tool to transact However, our subtle body insists that
in the world. We need to maintain it we feed the physical body with a
in proper condition. Without a cola. If we yield to such temptations
healthy body it is very difficult to frequently, we end up spoiling our
perform any journey including health.
pursuing the path to Joyful living.
Therefore, one should first give Thus, we need to understand that
utmost importance to fitness. the subtle body is not always
concerned about the well-being of
Intake of healthy food at regular the physical body.
intervals and appropriate exercises
are the only way to maintain a Example: The tenant of the house
healthy body. Normally amidst the may not maintain the house properly
demands from our profession, family since he is occupying it only for a
and other pressures, maintaining the short duration. Because of his
health takes least priority. Our body negligence if the house reaches a
is a wonderful instrument but just like stage of being collapsed, he will not
other instruments, it will also break hesitate to abandon the house and
down if it is not properly maintained. move on to a new house.
When we lose our health, it takes
considerably more time and effort to The relationship between the subtle
become normal. Therefore, it is body and the physical body is
advisable that we should devote exactly like that of the tenant and the
specific attention to the health when house. Therefore, we should use our
we are young. intelligence and will power and
restrain our sense organs. This is the
People in general do not know that only way in which we can protect our
the physical body is independent of physical body.
the sense organs. Our ability to hear
sound or smell fragrance does not The purpose of physical body is not
belong to the physical body. They to cater to the short term demands of
are distinct functions of our subtle the sense pleasures. Its main
body, which is independent of the purpose is to enable us to reach our
physical body. Subtle body can goal of Joyful Living. We cannot
survive without the physical body but progress on our journey with poor
the other way around is not possible. physical health. Therefore, we need
to maintain the health of the physical
Being ignorant of this fact, people body to keep us in a fit condition for
yield to the sense pleasures at the our journey.
cost of spoiling the health of the
physical body. The physical body
reports that it is thirsty and does not
demand any aerated drinks. Mere
water will quench the thirst.
15. Mental fitness

Many diseases can affect our mental on growth is an essential


fitness. Excessive anger, jealousy, requirement to pursue joyful living.
fear, anxiety, animosity, hatred and
such diseases affect the well-being To maintain the mind in a fit
of our mind. We need to maintain our condition one should continue to
mind free of such diseases atleast feed it with intellectual exercises.
for a sufficiently long duration during One should progressively seek for
any given day. It may not be possible more challenges and strive to
to eliminate all such qualities until maintain jobs, associations, hobbies
one reaches the destination. and pass time activities that demand
Nevertheless, attempts should be higher level of intelligence.
made to reduce the frequency and
intensity of such emotions to enable We should participate in discussions
us to pursue the path to Joyful and debates which are intellectually
Living. stimulating. Keeping a company of
intellectual people also contribute to
A mind clouded with negative maintaining mental sharpness.
emotions is unfit to gain any
knowledge and especially the self- Anyone who can pursue and
knowledge. complete postgraduate level of
education in any field has the
Negative emotions are normally the required minimum level of
result of our life-style. If we are to intelligence. However, this is the
live in a socially acceptable way, we minimum requirement. Mental
should be able to avoid the influence sharpness, better IQ and the ability
of the negative emotions largely. to concentrate for long time will help
us to progress in the path at much
In addition to the above, we need to faster speed.
read good books, which teach us to
progress us in life. We should stand If some one is not able to complete
in front of the mirror and say, “You the high school education, then that
are becoming better and better in all person may not have the required
respects”, everyday. All our efforts level of intelligence to pursue the
should be focused on such growth. path to Joyful Living. Similarly, one
who indulges in clubs (gambling) and
We should seek the company of pubs (drinking) is disqualified to join
good friends who help us to progress the path to Joyful Living.
mentally, socially and economically.
Mental fitness is judged by the
Gambling, drinking, smoking and curiosity to learn new subjects and
spending the time in clubs and pubs creativity. More fitness, better we are
prevent us from growing mentally. equipped to progress on the path.
Sharp and alert mind that is focused
16. Minimum qualification

One should lead a life of The degree of success in avoiding all


righteousness. This involves doing the bad actions and performing the
good actions and avoiding bad good actions is left to the judgment
actions. Action here includes all our of the concerned individual. Each
thoughts, words and deeds. person’s scale may vary but it is
essential that one should be satisfied
Good Actions are those that benefit with one’s own performance.
others and will include the following.
For example, the meaning of the
Kindness and compassion to all phrases, ‘amassing wealth’ or ‘to be
Respect to Mother Nature greedy’, will vary person to person.
Respect to elders in the society Nevertheless, it is left to the
Hospitable to all guests judgment of the individual. If a
Helping tendency towards neighbors, person feels that he is greedy, then
colleagues and fellow human beings he should consciously avoid being
Feeding the poor so until he reaches a stage that he
Providing shelter and clothing feels that he is not greedy any more.
Supporting education to poor
Cleanliness and Purity in all actions On very rare occasions, one is
Contentment with whatever we have permitted to do bad actions on
Willful self-denial of sense pleasure meeting the following two conditions.
(Avoidance of over indulgence and
learning to live within limited means Elders and noble men in the society
although one cold afford to spend must decide such action is warranted
more)
Such action should not have any
In short, how an individual expects selfish motives and done purely
others to behave are called Good purpose of ensuring a larger good.
Actions.
It is advisable to stay away from the
Bad Actions are those that harm or bad actions, even if these two
hurt others and include the following: conditions are met, since it will
Violence and killing invariably bring negative results to
Stealing and misappropriation us.
Cheating, exploiting others
Harming others by untruthfulness All actions are addictive in nature
Violating the private space of others and therefore one should do good
Amassing wealth and to be greedy actions continuously so that they
Showing disrespect to elders or become part of our personality.
insulting people When that happens, we will enjoy
Illegitimate relationships doing good actions and we will meet
In short, how an individual expects the minimum requirement for
others not to behave are called Bad traveling towards Joyful Living.
Actions.

36
17. Initial enquiry

It is true that the entire human race In Dadar West station in Mumbai,
is working for the sake of gaining most people who get down from the
everlasting security, undisturbed train do not go to the exit gate but to
peace and non-diminishing Dadar Central Station to take the
happiness. Every one is involved in connecting train. If one follows the
never ending action to achieve this majority blindly, he will start doubting
goal. However, not every one knows his decision to follow. When he sees
the right exit, which will take them to that people are heading towards
this destination. another train, he will start the enquiry
about the exit gate.
It is like traveling in circle. To reach
the destination one may have to Similarly, only when we see that we
travel. Nevertheless, one should exit are not reaching our goal using our
at the appropriate place to reach the regular path we start questioning it. It
destination and not continue the will take a while to realize that we
travel forever. are not getting anywhere near the
exit gate. Only then, we will wake up
Until we understand the right path to and start the enquiry. Some of us,
Joyful Living, we will also behave like who find much comfort being with
the majority. Since the destination the majority, may not want to wake
(happiness) is common and the up and take a different route all
means of travel (working at an office) alone.
is common, we assume that
following the majority will lead us to When we enjoy the whole world join
the destination. This assumption is with us. When we suffer in life, we
valid only if the majority is not are alone. Nevertheless, we console
ignorant. ourselves that every one has to
suffer some time or other in their life.
We are generally sure that whatever Therefore, we do not do anything
we are doing is the right thing to do about our suffering. If there is an
since most of the people around us option to avoid such suffering, we
are doing the same. We find security should be willing to take it. This will
in being with the majority. involve traveling alone and one may
not have the security of traveling with
Example: When one gets down from the majority (in the wrong direction!).
the train in a strange place, he will When we are ready to travel alone in
start walking along with the majority the right direction, we take the next
of the people to reach the exit gate step.
of the railway station. Since he is
sure that everyone is going towards We will start enquiring whether we
the exit, he will not enquire the are on the right path. We will know
direction to the exit. that monitory progress is not taking
us to where we want and explore
other options.
18. Initial action

So long we are sure, we do not the required change. The knowledge


enquire. When we are doubtful, we has to be put in to action.
start the enquiry. Our enquiry shows Example: A doctor prescribes certain
us the only alternative to the material medicine for an illness. Mere
path, namely, spiritual path. knowledge of the effectiveness of the
However, pursuing spiritual path may medicine will not cure the illness.
not involve any change in what we One has to take the medicines.
are doing. We have to continue
doing what we are doing but with a Similarly, the knowledge on the
different attitude. mental maturity is not enough to gain
mental maturity. One should work
Everyone around is involved in hard and gain mental maturity, which
action for the sake of correcting the takes long years of practice.
world around them. We may have to
do the same action for the sake of Everyone follows the truth. However,
correcting our mind. To bring in such what the term ‘truth’ means, differs
attitude in our action is the next step from individual to individual. It is not
in our journey. possible for everyone to understand
the absolute truth because the level
The regular work (with out the right of intelligence varies. What is logical
attitude) will take us nowhere. and clear for one person is illogical
Example: A man is rowing the boat and absurd for another.
very hard all through the night. In the
morning, he realized that he has not Nevertheless, everyone follows truth,
moved an inch from the starting as seen through his or her limited
point. The reason was the anchor, vision. When one starts to live by the
which was tied to the ground, is not truth, he or she progresses and sees
removed. the fallacy of their earlier version of
Similarly, all our work in our truth. Thus, one should keep
business/ office is being wasted progressing until one reaches the
since we do not have the right ultimate truth.
knowledge why we are working. We
are under the wrong assumption that How do we know which one is the
we are working for earning money. absolute truth? Answer: It does not
We feel that money could be used to require us to do any further action. If
correct the environment thereby we we need some action to reach the
can fulfill our mind. truth, then it is at lower level.
Absolute truth liberates us from all
We need to have right knowledge sort of action and make us live
and then do whatever we are doing joyfully ever. This will come at the
until our mind is matured enough to end of the journey. As of this stage,
gain the knowledge of the ultimate. whatever lower level of truth that is
Mere knowledge that we need to acceptable to us, we need to put that
modify our mind will not bring about in action.
19. Earning and spending money

The money one earns is the person from being caught in the
measure of material success. It is bottomless pit.
essential for one to achieve
reasonable success in life and earn Fourthly, spending money will help a
enough money to support the self person to find out the true nature of
and family. The quantum of money in the objects, events and persons in
absolute terms is not relevant. In the world. There is no happiness in
relative terms, one should them. Nevertheless, the knowledge
progressively earn more money. that there is no happiness in them
cannot be assimilated without an
The money thus earned should be actual experience. No amount of
spent. Money does more harm when preaching on the deficiency of the
one starts accumulating it without worldly possessions and material
spending. One should according to wealth in giving happiness to a
the level of income, spend money on person will be of any help. One has
self, immediate family, extended to experience this personally to gain
family, friends, relatives, neighbors this knowledge. That comes by
and society. spending money and trying to fulfill
our desires.
Spending money on a good cause is
more important than earning money Finally, spending money on others
if one wishes to progress towards will bring one lots of merit. This will
joyful living. The reason for this indirectly help one to succeed in life.
emphasis on spending is manifold. Success in life is not directly related
to one’s effort towards it. It depends
Firstly, it enables a person not to be a lot on the merit accumulated by a
unduly attached to his or her wealth. person. In addition, one requires a
helping hand from the right teacher
Secondly, it is essential to earn more while progressing in the path to
money since it is one of the easy-to- Joyful Living. This comes from the
use tools to measure the growth in accumulated merits. Therefore, it is
one’s personality. Growth in essential that one spends money on
personality is essential to progress social causes and spend liberally on
on the path. needy persons. It could be in the
form of providing food, shelter or
Thirdly, it prevents a person to think education to poor.
that if more wealth is accumulated
he or she will become joyful. It is a Donating money to the God as a
myth. One tends to sacrifice the compensation for the sins committed
present for a future happiness that is is strongly discouraged. The mind
never going to come. Therefore, will convince itself to continue to
spending the money will save a commit sins since appropriate
‘license fee’ could be paid to God.
20. Self-restriction/ Penance

All the religions impose certain self- contradict the demand of the
restrictive practices as penance. One intelligence. This tendency is a big
has to follow such religious obstacle in our path to Joyful Living.
injunctions as prescribed in their
respective religion. Those who do The sense objects of the world
not have the habit of doing any such attract the sense organs. The more
practices, may self impose any we enjoy the sense pleasures the
beneficial practice. For example, more we get addicted to them. All
abstaining from specific type of food our actions are automatically are
items may be a good practice. It can focused on obtaining the objects of
be in line with the doctor’s desire and avoiding the objects of
recommendation to reduce disliking. Such actions become our
cholesterol or blood pressure. habits and they reinforce our likes
and dislikes.
It is essential that the act of penance
involves doing something which one As a result, we become prisoners of
generally does not want to do the external world. We are here to
(getting up early in the morning and enjoy the world and all the sense
visit temple) or not doing something objects are for our enjoyment.
which one wants to do (not eating However, unfortunately instead of
food). being the masters we are attached to
the sense objects. This attachment
Example: A king may collect taxes brings us misery and prevents us
from the subjects just to emphasize from living joyfully.
his control over them. The tax money
may not be required otherwise. Example: A bee visits the flower to
drink the honey. However, it is
Similarly, the acts of self-restriction/ caught in the nectar.
penance have the main purpose of
establishing control over our likes So long, the external world
and dislikes. The relationship determines our happiness or
between intelligence and mind is otherwise, joyful living is impossible.
always dynamic. Some times our It is never going to be possible for us
actions depend on the decisions of to correct the world to our liking.
the intelligence, but most of the Therefore, we need to practice self-
times they are in line with the wishes restraint/ penance which will facilitate
of the mind, which is under the our release us from this bondage.
influence of our sense organs. This
is not correct. The intelligence Connecting the God with such
should always prevail over the mind. practices helps us to improve our
self-control. However, it is not
The mind is influenced by the likes necessary one should practice such
and dislikes and such influences penances in the name of God.

40
21. Developing Discrimination

If we have followed all the steps which will fulfill our deficiency of the
suggested so far for a length of a mind.
period we would have gained
enough mental maturity to While everything around us is false,
discriminate between the transitory the only thing that is real is within us.
objects of the world and the When we actually undertake the
permanent self. journey and travel thus far, we will
realize the meaning of this sentence.
If we are to think back about our life
so far, we will see that there was not The definition of truth is that which is
a single object, person, situation, present at all times without any
which gave us complete ever-lasting changes or modification. We will not
satisfaction. If this is the case, what be able to identify this truth, which is
is the probability of we ever getting present in all of us, until we develop
an object, person or situation that will sufficient sense of discrimination.
fill the deficiency of our mind? Such
probability is zero. This is so Discrimination has two parts.
because the nature of the world is Identifying the falsehood is the first
deficient. part. When we gain this part, we
start developing a sense of
Secondly, the pleasure we seem to dispassion, which is detailed in the
derive from the worldly possessions next step.
(objects, persons and events) are
addictive in nature. In course of time, The second part is to know the truth
we will stop getting any pleasure atleast partly. It is not possible to
from them. Moreover, we become know the truth fully since it involves
slaves to such possessions. long period of learning from a
competent teacher. Based on the
Example: We install an air progress made so far, one would
conditioner. For the first few days, have gained enough wisdom to
we enjoy the comfort. Slowly the identify the truth, which is
pleasure, we derive from the air changeless, our self.
conditioner keep reducing. Then we
forget there is an air conditioner This will result in a deep desire to
running. After a while, we suffer if the know it fully, which is detailed in the
air conditioner is not working. Thus, subsequent step.
we do not get any pleasure from the
air conditioner; instead, we suffer
when it is not working.

This is true for all our possessions.


All our luxuries become our
necessities during the course of time
and we keep looking for that object

41
22. Developing Dispassion

The limitation of the external objects mind is trained to assume that the
in giving us happiness, peace and source of happiness is out there in
security is to be fully understood. the external objects, it takes lots of
This is possible only thorough effort to convince the mind to see the
practice of earning/ spending money limitations and deficiencies of the
to fulfill our desires. The more we do worldly objects.
the more the desires grow and we
never get a feeling of fulfillment. If one sees and understands the
When we experience and realize this limitation of the external objects to
fact, we will develop a sense of give lasting happiness, he or she is
detachment from the external objects closer to joyful living.
of the world. This is quality is called
dispassion. The worldly objects appear to be the
source of happiness until one
We need to see the limitation as enquires on it. On enquiry, their true
frequently as possible. Since our status is exposed.

23. Developing Deep Desire

After knowing the limitations of the Example: A disciple wanted to see


worldly objects in giving lasting God and the teacher kept postponing
happiness, we turn our attention to the day on which he will show God.
the permanent truth. This can When he becomes impatient, the
happen in three different ways. teacher pushed him under the water
and kept him there for a while. The
We can take a bird’s eye view of our disciple was struggling for breath.
entire life and question the purpose The teacher released him and told,
of living. We wonder why and how “When you want to see God as
this world is created. frantically as you were grasping for
breath, you will see Him”
Alternatively, we may want to know
who is God or look for the answer to Such deep desire is required before
the question ‘Who am I?”. one commences the serious enquiry.
Finding answers to such questions is
Any one of these three pursuits will not a pass time activity. It is a very
end up answering all the questions. serious affair. One should be willing
However to embark on the quest to to forgo everything else for gaining
find these answers one should have this knowledge.
deep desire.
24. Shift the focus from material to spiritual life

One should bid farewell to the busy Reduction of Obligations and duties:
life to which one is accustomed. Life One should give up all the
will be more hectic in search of the obligations and duties systematically
internal soul and correspondingly the so that enough time is available for
focus from the external world should spiritual pursuit. Our duties and
be shifted. obligations are some one else’s
rights. We should not cause them
Until this point of time, one is sufferings by abandoning everything.
working for achieving success in the Therefore, one should consciously
external world. When one gains reduce the duties and obligations
enough discrimination, dispassion until one reaches the final stage of
and deep desire automatically he will Joyful Living.
tend to move away from material
pursuit. One should not abandon all Reduction of Relationships and
the activities all of a sudden. All the friendships: Unless equally oriented
activities should be reduced towards spirituality one should cut
systematically in a planned manner down on all relationships and
causing least trouble to self, family friendships. Social obligations and
and the society. This is called maintenance of relationships will
reduction of PORT as detailed below cause one to slip back in the spiritual
journey.
Reduction of Possessions: One
would have accumulated many Reduction of Transactions: All the
worldly possessions. All these things worldly transactions are to be
are to be given away in charity either reduced to the extent possible since
to one’s own family members or to all the effort and time are now to be
outsiders. More than physical and redirected towards the spiritual
legal transfer, one should give up the quest. Reading newspaper, watching
mental ownership. If it is possible for television and such ‘normal’ activities
one to give up the possessions in the are to be abandoned.
mental level it is not required that
one should give them away We should stop looking for sense
physically or legally. The reason for pleasure (Detailed in the next
giving them away physically is for section).
maintaining the possessions. Our
possessions require constant We should also stop using our
maintenance and we may not have organs of actions towards material
that much of time and effort to spare. pursuit. (Detailed in the subsequent
Our main pursuit will be SELF or section)
GOD and physical possession might
be an obstacle to our pursuit.

43
Step 3 – Spiritual Enquiry – Practical
25. Restraining Sense Organs

Sense organs (Ear, Skin, Eye, Example: If we hear the news of a


Tongue and Nose) are instruments death of a person close to us, we
through which we gain knowledge may not be in a mood to enjoy the
from the world. Due to ignorance, we sense pleasures.
assume that they are the source of
happiness. Therefore, we seek Thus, the status of the mind
fulfillment of sense pleasures. ultimately determines whether we
can enjoy the sense object or not. It
Any experience depends on three is quite possible to derive happiness
distinct factors: even by denying the experience. It is
all in the mind.
The availability of a sense object:
There are many sense objects freely Example: If a sweet that we like is
available for sense pleasures. available, we may derive more
Nevertheless, they do not attract us pleasure from giving it to our loved
because they are available free. We ones than by eating it.
are under the wrong impression that
we need to spend lots of time and As it can be seen from the above,
energy to obtain a sense object to the mind plays the crucial role in our
derive pleasure. Therefore, it takes a experience. Therefore, it is advisable
while to get the ‘desired’ sense to pull ourselves away from the
object. desires based on sense pleasures.
Initially we can moderate them and
The availability of the corresponding slowly we can switch over to higher
sense organ: Our sense organ level of pleasure. In any case, we
should be in a perfect condition to must give up sense pleasures before
enjoy the sense object. This may not we become old or incapacitated to
be the case all the time. When one enjoy.
ages, the capabilities of the organs
are bound to come down. If we are If we do not do that, we will become
still clinging on deriving happiness progressively unhappy and feel
through sense pleasures, we will feel miserable when we age. Therefore,
miserable since our sense objects even if one does not want to pursue
will soon start non-cooperation the path to Joyful Living, it is better
movement. to restrain the sense organs.

The availability of a mind: Even if One should gain enough freedom


both the above conditions are met, from the control of sense organs so
we may not be happy because the that one could spend the required
mind may refuse to cooperate. time towards progressing in the
spiritual path.

44
26. Restraining Organs of Actions:

Organs of the actions (speaking


tongue, organs of digestion, organs Example: A lone bad habit of
of reproduction, hands and legs) are gambling will slowly attract a person
the means to interact with the world. into drinking, smoking and all such
We mainly use it to chase happiness bad habits.
in the external world.
Desire is the cause of all our actions.
Thoughts are the origin for all our The cause of the desire is our
words and deeds. Our words and thoughts. The cause of our thoughts
deeds have direct influence our is our action. It is a vicious circle. We
thoughts. If we keep doing some act can break the cycle only by breaking
repeatedly, it leaves a mark on our at the action level. It is not possible
mind, which makes us think more for us to control our thoughts directly.
often about that act.
However, before the thoughts could
Our way of life and company in be converted into actions, we can
which we live influence our words use our will power and prevent it
and deeds. Therefore, we should from expressing as actions.
ensure that we are in good company.
In the place of bad actions, one
We should not do any bad actions should plant good actions. Over a
(thoughts, words and deeds) willfully. period, this will enable good thoughts
to replace the bad thoughts.
Firstly, they cause hurt to others and
that is not good for us. It will bring us Example: One visits bar everyday. If
demerit and pull us away from the somehow he is forced to visit the
path to joyful living. Secondly, our place of worship everyday, instead of
mind will not be at peace when we going to the bar, then it becomes a
do something bad. habit. Even when the force is
removed, one will choose to go to
Similarly, if we show love and the place of worship and not to bar,
affection to someone before it until he is forced again!
reaches the other person, it gives us
happiness and peace. The other This is true for any action, good or
person getting benefit of our bad.
kindness is incidental.
Therefore, one should use the
Another aspect of good and bad intelligence and willpower to restrain
actions is they come as a bunch. If the organs of actions from doing any
we hold on to one good quality, it will bad actions. It is important that we
bring along with it all other good force the organs of actions to do
qualities. Similarly, if we keep doing something good and positive, lest
one bad action, it will influence us to they will stray back into the bad
do all other bad qualities. actions.

45
27. Farewell to material pursuit

Once the mind is matured, it can


discriminate between the reality and One should stop completely all the
falsehood. As a result, of this work relating to earning money. The
understanding one will develop need for sustenance and survival will
complete mental detachment from all be taken care of by God. The only
the worldly activities. In addition, one permissible activity is to surrender to
will have a strong urge and move a competent teacher and pursue the
towards understanding the only learning of Holy Scriptures.
reality.
Example: One needs to travel on a
This drive towards understanding the pony to reach the temple after
ultimate reality will shape the reaching Mount Kailash. There is no
environment, company of friends/ option to do this part much earlier as
relatives and the nature of activities the first leg of the journey from
one undertake. He will consciously home. The sequence is important.
move away from ‘normal’ activities
like reading daily newspaper etc. Thus, one should not stop working
before reaching this stage. Nor work
Trust in God will become deeper. He should be abandoned abruptly. It
will pray to God sincerely with the should be systematically handed
only request to show the correct way over causing least trouble.
to the truth. Whatever happens in life
will be looked upon as the desire of A father feels that the son should not
God and he will accept them with undergo the troubles he had
gratitude. undergone in his childhood. This is
not correct. Everyone needs to
Example: A tourist ship was caught undergo all sorts of experiences to
in a cyclone in the middle of the sea progress in life. Therefore, one
and the ship appeared to capsize. A should allow the near and dear to
newly married wife was thoroughly shoulder the responsibility of working
frightened; her husband was and running the family by
maintaining a cool all the time. When themselves. This will enable them to
they reached the safety of their progress in their spiritual path.
home, the wife asked her husband
the secret of his calmness. He All the responsibilities should be
answered, “My knowledge” and given away before others snatch it.
explained by pointing a knife at her, The only duty is to fall on the feet of
“Are you scared now?” She replied the teacher and seek for blessing in
smilingly “No. I am not. Why should I the form of knowledge.
be scared of the knife in your hand?”
He responded, “Cyclone is God’s
creation. God loves me. Therefore, I
was not sacred”

46
Step 4 – Spiritual Enquiry – Theory
28. Commencement of spiritual enquiry

Our ultimate destination is Joyful is partly known. Moreover, what is


Living. Gaining Self-Knowledge or known is not the truth. Therefore, it is
Knowledge of God is the means to impossible to conduct an enquiry on
reach the destination. For gaining our self without external guidance.
this ultimate knowledge, we need to
conduct the enquiry with an eligible We know that we are not an inert
mind. object. We are conscious unlike a
table or chair. However, we wrongly
Eligible mind is one, which is assume that this consciousness is a
matured by completing the steps part, property or product of our
described so far. physical body/ mind.

If a person with eligible mind Example: We are seeing a snake in


completes the process of enquiry, he a rope in the twilight.
will surely reach the destination.
Even if he does not want to reach Now so long we are under the
the destination, he will have no impression we are seeing a snake,
choice. we can never reach the truth. All our
thoughts, words and actions will be
Example: If you buy the right ticket based on the illusion of snake. We
and board the right train, reaching need another person to tell us the
the destination is automatic and truth of the snake, which is rope.
unavoidable. Once we hear this, there is a strong
possibility of us identifying the true
Similarly, with the eligible mind if one nature of the object through enquiry
commences the enquiry with the and analysis.
guidance of a right teacher, one is
sure to reach the destination. All the Holy Scriptures contain the
knowledge on the ultimate truth.
The problem with the enquiry on God However, since our mind is clouded
is it is unknown. We need to reach with wrong notions, we will never be
the unknown only through the able to read the scriptures and gain
known. Therefore, either we need to the knowledge of the ultimate by our
start with the SELF or with the world own effort. We need the guidance of
to conduct our enquiry on God. a competent teacher who can give
us the right interpretation of the truth.
The problem with the enquiry of
SELF is not that it is unknown, but it

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29. Enquiry on the Holy Scripture

The path to the Joyful Living is method followed by action. The


available only in the Holy Scripture of second stage is to work for getting
any religion. However, since we are the ultimate knowledge (the answer
not capable to decode them, we to the question “Who am I”), such
need a competent teacher who is action will result in gaining the
already librated, to guide us. He ultimate knowledge. There is nothing
needs to validate the teaching with to be done after this stage. There is
the scripture and with his personal nothing to put into practice. Mere
experiences. Logic is used for this knowing the truth will turn the life
purpose. joyful.

A matured mind alone can use the Example: We are searching for our
scripture and services of the teacher specs while wearing it. No action is
and gain the knowledge. If a person required to find the specs. All we
attempts to skip the previous steps need is to know that we are wearing
and start with enquiry, he will not it. However, for knowing, we might
reach the truth. Mental maturity is an have been engaged in action and
essential to comprehend the truth. In often we require the help of
the absence of it, one will someone else to point out the fact
accumulate information and not gain that we are wearing it. After realizing
knowledge. the truth our actions will stop.

Example: A high-school-drop-out Thus in the final stage, knowledge


attends a PG course on math. need not followed up with action.
Until one gets there, action based on
Although both the teacher and the knowledge is important. Infact if the
textbooks are perfect, the student action does not follow the
would not have gained any knowledge, in the first stage, such
knowledge since he is not yet ready knowledge causes more harm than
for the high level of the subject. good. People, who are ignorant, will
enjoy life depending on how good
Knowing the answers to the question the environment is to them. Once we
“Who is God or who am I” is enough get the knowledge that we are
to lead a joyful living. No further attached and such attachment is
action is required apart from the leading us to misery, we need to act
actions to gain the knowledge. on the knowledge. If we do not, we
cannot even enjoy the good things in
There are two stages in reaching the life. Thus, one is better off without
Joyful Living. The first part is to the knowledge. Ignorance is bliss.
make the mind mature. This requires
us to gain the knowledge on the

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30. Learning from the teacher

Finding a competent teacher is a knowledge, it should not be blindly


difficult task. One should make accepted. At the same time, there
himself an eligible student and the should not be an iota of doubt
teacher will be automatically found whether the teacher is teaching
due to the positive results of the past correctly.
actions. When one finds the teacher,
it is necessary to ask for his blessing Example: A seven year old cannot
for knowledge. believe that 5+1 could be equal to 8–
2. At the same time, he should not
It is essential to fall on the feet of the reject the teacher’s words. He should
teacher to enable effective learning. trust that the teacher would show
The ego is the big obstacle in the how 5+1 and 8–2 are equal. He is
path of learning. One should puzzled and not blindly accepting the
surrender the ego and falling at the statement. Nor he dismisses that the
feet signifies such surrender. Losing statement is impossible since the
ego is more difficult than losing life. teacher has told the statement.
Nevertheless, we do surrender our
ego if we want to gain something Similarly, when the teacher teaches
very seriously. YOU ARE THAT, one should not
blindly accept or reject such
Example: In the political arena, it is possibility. Apparently, we know that
common to fall in the feet of the we are not God but the teacher is
leader in a public platform. One saying so. He should be right. We
expresses the seriousness of the need to trust him fully and then ask
intention by surrendering the ego the relationship to be explained with
completely. lots of curiosity. The curiosity in the
relationship arises from the fact that
It is to true in the spiritual arena as we are personally involved in the
well. One should surrender the ego equation unlike the example in the
and fall on the feet of the teacher. He math equation.
should seek the absolute knowledge
from the teacher. Prior to the arrival One should continue to learn from
at the teacher’s place, one would the teacher until the central message
have been holding very high of the Holy Scripture is clearly
positions in the society. Falling at the understood. There is only one
feet of the teacher removes all the central message in all the Holy
inhibitions from the mind and makes Scriptures of the world. All religions
one as a serious student. convey the very same message
because every scripture is talking
Complete trust on the teacher about the same God. It is highly
combined with inquisitive mind is the illogical to assume that there are
prerequisite for learning. Both are multiple gods, one or more for each
essential. When the teacher imparts religion.

49
31. Reflecting on the teaching

While learning from the teacher one an auto rickshaw has just arrived at
should depend on the teacher 100%. our gate. However, when we open
After crossing that step, one should the gate we find an old scooter had
start reflecting on the central theme arrived. On seeing it, we realize that
of all the religions as taught by the it was sounding like an auto
teacher. Reflection involves rickshaw. If we find it hard to believe,
validating the teaching with logic and we can ask the person in the scooter
personal experience. It is also to drive it (and verify the sound) to
essential to negate all other schools confirm that our earlier judgment is
of thoughts and hold on to one wrong.
central message. One should know
why others are misled and remain at Similarly, we are having a wrong
a lower level of truth. view of ourselves. We need to
enquire seriously and learn from the
During this step, one should depend teacher our true nature. After
on the teacher 50%. The remaining learning, we should verify the truth
50% of the effort should come from from our own experience.
the personal understanding. Once
we complete this step, we should not Logic is required to validate the
depend on the teacher at all. We knowledge from the scripture. Logic
should own up the knowledge and it should not be applied to invent a
belongs to us 100% concept. Worldly knowledge that is
based on the five sense organs is
The very first logic one should use to insufficient to validate the truth
validate the teaching from Holy revealed in the scriptures. We need
Scripture is to question the reason to accept the scriptures as the only
for its existence. Suppose the source for giving us the ultimate
scripture wants to teach that we are knowledge.
mortal and limited, we do not need
the scriptures at all. We know it by Firstly, one should listen to the
our own experience. Only if the teaching of scripture for a
scriptures say something opposite, considerable length of time, from a
like we are immortal and complete, competent teacher in systematic
we have some learning to do. way. Then one should reflect on the
teaching and assimilate the
Our experiences in the world have knowledge without any doubt in the
shaped our views on our true nature. mind.
When we hear that, our views are
incorrect from an authority (our The time taken for the whole process
teacher) we should understand and of listening and assimilating the
correct our earlier conclusion. knowledge will vary individual to
individual depending on the mental
Example: Based on our past maturity gained prior to the arrival at
knowledge of the sound, we assume the teacher’s place.

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32. Inner transformation

The final step towards Joyful Living Specific Meditation: This varies
is called Inner Transformation. Once person to person depending on the
the knowledge is acquired, it should personal preferences. Our past
be made steady. Knowledge should actions determine our preferences,
be converted as emotional strength. which influence our actions. Since
This is the most difficult step since these are based on the wrong
we have lived with the wrong notion knowledge, we will be driven to act
for a length of time; it will take long on them involuntarily. We need to
practice to make the knowledge force ourselves to act on our new
steady. knowledge consciously. This
requires our intelligence to guard our
Following are some tips to make the words and actions all the time. One
process faster. should be aware of what one thinks,
says and does all the time. This is
One should not talk/ listen anything living in meditation.
concerning worldly affairs.
One should eat what is available Both the types of meditation can be
without any concern on the taste. stopped once the Inner
One should not attempt to teach Transformation is completed. At this
anything to anyone. stage, one no longer has any doubt
One should not argue with anyone on the real nature.
on any topic.
One should drop the ego in all the Example: Even if we are called as
words and deeds. donkey by everyone, we never get
One should never take sides when doubt that we are human being. We
caught up between two extreme do not check in the mirror whether
views. we are infact look like a donkey
One should take the midpoint and because we know for sure that we
not make a judgment on anyone. are not a donkey.
One should not enjoy the love and
affection shown by others Such a sure knowledge is required to
One should learn to live alone and complete the process of Inner
be happy. Transformation. Although everyone
One should spend time on around treats us as human being all
meditating on God and reflecting on the time, we should be sure of our
Vedanta divine nature. Not for a moment, we
In addition, one should engage in should think that we are an ordinary
two type of meditation. mortal.

Generic Meditation: This involves However, after sufficient practice it is


allocating specific time to possible to reach Joyful Living.
contemplate our essential nature of
Ever Witnessing Joy and negating
the world as illusion.
33. Glimpse of Joyful Living

The desires that arise in a person world through the wishes of the
prior to reaching the destination arise enlightened persons.
out of a sense of incompleteness. A
person is under the wrong Even after gaining the ultimate
impression that the fulfillment of the knowledge, the fructification of the
desire will make him complete. past results will continue to happen.
Fulfillment of such desires will This means the pairs of opposites
invariably lead to another desire. will continue to swing in the life of an
Like cancerous cells, desires keep enlightened person as it does for
multiplying. The person loses his others. However, since the ego is no
identity in the mass of such desires. longer present, there is no one to
enjoy or suffer.
Even after reaching the destination,
due to the inbuilt imprints/ Example: The harrowing dream
preferences, one continues to get experience does not affect the
desires. However, such desires waker. It can affect only the dreamer.
come along with a sense of Since the dreamer is no longer
completeness. Such desires do not available, the experience has no
have a selfish end. The objective of locus.
such desires will only be to serve the
humanity/ world. It is an expression Similarly, after enlightenment, a
of healthy mind. person knows that he is independent
of his mind and body. Therefore, the
Desires of a person, who is living suffering of the body and mind does
joyfully, can be called as the wish of not affect him.
God. God influence and guide the
34. Summary

This universe has come about Stage 2: Working for Mental maturity
merely for the sake of enjoyment. (Progress) – This stage consists of
The only destination of all the human implementing the plan. One starts a
beings is Joyful Living, enjoying the business or engages in a profession,
pleasures offered by the universe gets married, start a family in line
without any sufferings/ sorrow. Every with the plan. However, the goal
living being is destined to reach this (unknown to the traveler) of this
destination. However, the Path to stage is to gain the mental maturity.
Joyful Living consists of many steps. The perceived progress in the path
All the human beings on the earth depends on the accumulated results
are progressing in the path at of the past actions (carried out in this
various stages. In the meanwhile, birth or during the countless previous
they helplessly oscillate between births)
pleasure and pain as dictated by
their environment. Stage 3: Withdrawing for Mental
focus (Review/ feedback) – After
The path can be divided broadly in progressing for sufficiently long
four stages. Everyone will go through distance, one realizes the futility of
all these four stages. The journey is the travel in reaching the ultimate
not affected by death. The progress goal. While traveling in a forest, the
report is carried along with us on moment we realize that we are lost,
death, and we continue our journey the first thing we do is to stop.
in a new body. Similarly, at this stage one stops and
review the progress made. After the
In every life, we go through all these review, one may decide to continue
four stages, however, our progress the journey in the same path or
will be faster and in the right choose alternative paths depending
direction based on the progress on the level of mental maturity
made in the previous birth. gained in the stage 2. During this
stage, the mind develops deeper
Stage 1: Learning to live (Plan) – insights on life. Eventfully, one finds
This stage consists of understanding the right path.
the destination and the path.
Everyone will select Joyful Living as Stage 4: Learning the ultimate
the destination, but the clarity in the knowledge (On the right path) – This
destination and path will largely is the only path to Joyful Living.
depend on the progress already Nevertheless, one has to cross the
made in the previous births. previous three stages (by traveling in
Depending on the mental maturity, ‘wrong’ paths) for gaining the
one may decide to work for name, required mental maturity and focus
fame, wealth, power, position, to receive the ultimate knowledge.
people, love, friendship or work for
god or society. Once this learning is complete, the
destination, Joyful Living is reached.

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35. Summary – Stage I

Joyful Living comes through is to make the child competent to


correcting the mind and not by contribute to the science and
correcting the world. Without this technology (which will make the
knowledge, we spend all our effort world a place for Joyful Living) and
and time in changing the world the second is to make the child
around us. eligible to earn enough money to pay
for Joyful Living.
We do not see any difference
between the position of a cave man Since most of the world’s population
that lived thousands of years back is engaged in such a struggle, one
and our position. He went out for does not generally pass to think,
hunting (to fulfill his hunger) and whether it is the right thing to do.
when he caught a pry, he came back However, based on the experience
to the cave with full satisfaction. gained in the previous births,
Soon he will have to come out of the eventually, one starts thinking about
cave again looking for food. the fruitfulness of such effort. One
Similarly, we spend enormous time wonders if the riches and power can
and effort to earn money. However, ever lead to Joyful Living.
just like the cave man whatever we
earn does not seem to last long. We If one still thinks that economic
are continuously on a wild goose progress is very important for Joyful
chase. Infact our position is worse Living, one should continue to work
than that of the cave dwellers for it. One should not abandon the
because relatively we are poorer work. Since the success made so far
than our distant cousin is. In his time, in life has not taken us closer to
there were two classes of people. Joyful Living, one should bring a
Who ate and who did not eat. Now change in the attitude. While the time
our yardstick does not have an end. and effort spent is towards earning
Comparing the ever growing name, fame, wealth, power, position,
economic status of the rich and people etc, one should keep the goal
famous, most of us are nowhere in as ‘mental maturity’.
the scale. Therefore, our level of
dissatisfaction is much higher. If we are able to do this, then slowly
we will reduce our likes and dislikes,
If we do not extrapolate the future, which will make our mind more
based on this history, we will matured.
continue to hope that science and
technology will bring us the solution. Eventually we will see the
A child is fed with such thoughts. inadequacy of material progress in
Without the conscious decision of leading us to Joyful Living and take
the child, it is pushed into the appropriate steps towards the next
economic rat race. There are two stage.
sides to this education/ learning. One

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36. Summary – Stage II
At some point of our life, we will external world is more than sufficient
realize a vacuum inside us. Inspite of in giving comforts to us. If we are not
all the time and effort spent in satisfied with the level of comforts,
working at different capacities, with we can always work for more
all the money, power and position we comforts. Our priority at this moment
have gained, there seems to be a lies in correcting our mind.
feeling of inadequacy lingering
somewhere deep in our heart. This can come about doing our work
with a different attitude.
Therefore, we continuously collect
data (by reading books, discuss with We need to dedicate all the work to
friends, attend discourses etc) and God as offering. Whatever work one
process the information to gain more is doing regularly should be done as
knowledge. After gaining the a service to God. If one has to do
knowledge, we should reflect on the this way, obviously it should be done
knowledge and come to specific perfectly to one’s complete
conclusion. It is essential that we put satisfaction. There cannot be any
our knowledge into action. deficiency in the quality of our
offerings to God. Thus, doing every
For example, we collect enough data work perfectly is the worship to God
and we conclude that will do many and such worship is highly required
good to us if we rise from the bed to make the mind fit.
early in the morning. This is new
knowledge should be put into Businesspersons shall do the
practice. We should start getting up business as if the business is done
early in the morning. It may be for the sake of God. This does not
difficult to start with. We need strong mean profit is not important. Profit is
will power to continue the practice. If not sole objective.
we are convinced about our
knowledge, we can make this as our Piety means trusting God that he is
habit. It will be a pleasure to rise just and will somehow grant us the
early in the morning. This is only an results that are due to us. What type
example. Everyone should progress of work we do is not important but
as a better human being according the attitude is important. If we could
to his or her own learning/ successfully carry our daily duties to
understanding of the world. Such the best of our abilities, without
growth will reflect in the growth in the having any anxiety on the results,
professional environment and one then our mind will be matured
will grow in social stature. enough to progress to the next
stage.
If we do not have a joyful living even
now, then it should be due to the Proficiency is the gift God has given
inadequacy of our mind. We need to us. Productivity is the return gift to
work on our mind to gain joyful living. God.
The work we have done in the

55
37. Summary – Stage III

The mind feels occasional fulfillment, with respect to the human


which is of temporary nature. After personality.
enjoying such temporary fulfillment,
we work for repetition of the same Step 1: Discipline the thoughts: The
experience. We think it is possible to wavering thoughts in the mind
enhance this temporary fulfillment should be trained to be under the
into a permanent one. This will not control of intelligence.
work. All object dependent
fulfillment is transitory and Step 2: Discipline the senses: The
temporary. pull by the sense organs towards
sense pleasures should be
Therefore, one should stop working controlled by the mind.
on the environment and start working
on the mind. However, we can do Step 3: Withdraw the mind: The mind
this only when we complete the first should be withdrawn from the world.
two stages. Like in any journey, the It should not be distracted with the
steps are to be followed logically. events, places, and people. Instead,
One cannot juggle the steps it should focus on aligning the
according to their convenience. internal personality.

Example: Skiing blades can be worn Step 4: Develop forbearance and


just before one steps on the ice and fortitude: One should learn to live
not when boarding the plane. under any external conditions. This
is the result of putting the knowledge
Thus in the initial part of the journey (that the external environment does
one should work hard for material not affect our happiness in any way)
prosperity. Only when the mind is into practice.
sufficiently matured it can see the
inadequacy of the material progress Step 5: Develop faith in the scripture
as a fact. When this happens, one and the teacher: The ultimate
should progressively quit working in knowledge can come from the Holy
the external environment. One Scripture and one needs the
should be ready to lose any material guidance of the right teacher to gain
possession without a tinge of sorrow, the knowledge.
since it is not required for Joyful
Living. Step 6: Attain non-wavering mind:
When the personality is fully aligned
One should put all the effort and time through the above steps, it fill be
in focusing the matured mind. Proper ready to receive the knowledge. One
alignment of the personality is the will have complete dedication and
purpose of the goal of this stage. confidence to move into the final
One should maintain the hierarchy stage.
38. Summary – Stage IV

Majority of the people are striving experience to validate the truth


towards changing the environment revealed by the teacher. If there is a
so that one can live happily. After mismatch, one should work harder to
gaining experience in the first three understand the truth and not doubt
stages, one is fully convinced that either the teacher or the scripture.
the solution lies in gaining self-
knowledge or knowledge about the Step 1: Inquiry (Understanding the
God or knowledge about this world. central message of the Holy
Such knowledge cannot be gained Scriptures)
either through our five sense
perceptions or through logic. This comes only by studying
systematically and consistently for a
The only source of such knowledge long period under the guidance of a
is Holy Scripture. In addition, it is not live teacher. Student depends on the
possible to understand the Holy teacher completely
Scripture without the appropriate
guidance of a competent teacher. Step 2: Introspection (Validating the
This is true for any knowledge. central message with logic and
Without the guidance, any experience)
knowledge is difficult and time
consuming to achieve. In this step, the responsibility shifts
partly from the teacher to the
Example: If we want to locate a student. Student should do self-
place in Anna Nagar, one can spend study, apply logic, discuss, debate
hours going around the place OR and validate the central message
one can choose to ask for guidance with the experience in life. This step
and reach the location with less time lasts until there is perfect clarity on
and energy. what the central message conveys.

Similarly, one will need to surrender Step 3: Introspection (Making the


to a teacher to gain self-knowledge. knowledge steady)
It will be an exception to gain this
independently For a long time one has lived under
the spell of wrong knowledge. It will
Example: Ramanuja has learnt math take a while to make the knowledge
on his own. Therefore, we can stop steady. In this step, one becomes
teaching math in school so that completely independent of the
every one can learn on their own. teacher and it ends with Joyful
Living.
This does not work. One has to have
a teacher to gain knowledge. The
trust in the teacher should be
absolute. However, it is essential to
employ logic and the personal
39. Conclusion

The entire life is a journey that takes dispassion (moving away from
us to our ultimate destination, material progress) and deep desire
namely, Joyful Living. This is (to gain the ultimate knowledge).
possible only when we know our real
nature is consciousness, eternal and Such a matured mind is eligible to
happiness. However, we are under receive the ultimate knowledge that
the spell of wrong knowledge our real nature is Ever Witnessing
thinking that we are a body-mind Joy.
complex.
We do not have to wait for any great
Initial stages of the journey, prepares good news to arrive to make our day
our mind to receive this ultimate wonderful. The mere sunrise will
teaching. During these stages, it is feed our mind it will be fulfilled all the
suggested that we work for material time.
gain. We accept this suggestion
since it is in line with our wrong Surely bad things will continue to
knowledge. It is also suggested that happen in the world. It is the nature
we earn name, fame, wealth, power, of the world to be oscillating between
position, people etc in the RIGHT the pairs of opposites. Nevertheless,
way. since our mind is fulfilled all the time,
the external pain and pleasure will
Example: Sugar coated pill will work not have any impact on us.
even if we do not disclose the
ingredients Example: It is like riding a vehicle
two feet above the ground. The
A child takes the sugarcoated pill for smoothness or the vicissitudes of the
tasting sugar; the ingredients will road will have no impact on our
cure the illness. Similarly, even if we movement.
start working for material prosperity,
we will automatically develop Once the knowledge gained become
discretion (to know the real from the steady we will lead a Joyful Living.
false) which will also give us
Exercise – Part 1

Chapter 1 – Journey

1. Journey in the train refers to the journey of ____


2. Not knowing his own name refers to absence of _____
3. Countless ticket represents the countless ___ ____
4. The bundle of cash represents the ___ ____
5. When the journey was commenced?
6. What does traveling blindly indicates?

Chapter 2 – Destination

1. What is the definition of destination?


2. What is the meaning of reaching the destination in life?
3. The Ultimate Destination is called _____ ________
4. What is P/A Logic? (Explain it with your own example)
5. What concept is explained here by using P/A Logic?
6. Is everyone selfish? If not, give examples.

Chapter 3 – Ultimate Destination

1. What are the two types of contentment?


2. Define both the types of contentment.
3. Is it possible to be happy all the time?
4. Joyful Living means (a) ___ ____, (b) ____ ___ and (c) ____ ____
5. Is there any destination other than Joyful Living?
6. For an effective travel, we need to be clear on the ______ and the ____.

Chapter 4 – Immediate Destination

1. What is your immediate destination? Is there more than one way to reach
it?
2. List the immediate destination of atleast four people known to you.
3. What is the immediate destination to reach the ultimate destination?
4. Knowledge here means ___________
5. Is it difficult to gain this knowledge?
6. Can we reach the ultimate destination, without gaining this knowledge?
7. When will we hurry to reach the immediate destination?
8. Travel Agent means __________
9. After boarding the train, is there anything else that we should do to reach
the destination?
10. What do we have to do now to reach the ultimate destination?

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Chapter 5 – Travel Agent
1. Is there any option available to us in selecting a Travel Agent?
2. What are the three jobs of a Travel Agent?
3. What is your Map?
4. Who is your Tour Guide?
5. Do you have to follow the Map and Tour Guide immediately?
6. Which is the only source that describes the path to Joyful Living?
7. What is the new idea described in this chapter?
8. Do you agree with the new idea?
9. Ask your parents and elders if they are working harder than before. If yes,
do they enjoy doing such hard work? If not, why are they working?
10. What is your suggestion for those people who are working very hard to
reach their goals in life?

Chapter 6 – The Map


1. Name few Holy Scriptures known to you.
2. Who is the author of Holy Scriptures?
3. What is the general content of Holy Scriptures?
4. What is the purpose of Holy Scriptures?
5. Should we blindly follow the Holy Scriptures?
6. What is the goal of life according to Holy Scriptures?
7. There is only one ______ and one ______ for all the human beings.
8. Is there a direct bus to the ultimate destination?
9. What is the meaning of “…, any bus will go to some place”
10. Why the shopkeeper is compared to the Travel Agent?

Chapter 7 – Tour Guide


1. What is the difference between the Travel Agent and the Tour Guide?
2. What is beyond the comprehension of the Human mind?
3. What is the role of Tour Guide?
4. What is the meaning of enlightenment or liberation?
5. What are the three essential requirement of a Tour Guide?
6. Is there a need to change your Tour Guide? If yes, when?

Chapter 8 – The path


1. What are the immediate destinations for the two parts of the path?
2. Draw the path and name the parts.
3. Is it required to travel in the first part of the path?
4. Why do people travel in the first part of the path?
5. Preparatory path is the __________ part of the path.
6. When should we branch off to the second part of the path?
7. Who determines which part of the path one should travel?
8. After knowing it is going in circles, can one branch off to the second part
immediately.
9. Is there a need to change the tour guide for the second part of the path?
10. Is there more than one way to reach the ultimate destination?

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Chapter 9 – The field
1. Is it possible to eliminate all evils from the world?
2. What are the two worlds described in this chapter?
3. Can one change the world and ensure it gives happiness all the time?
4. Is it necessary to aim for name, fame, wealth, power and position in life?
5. Do french fries have power to attract anyone?

Chapter 10 – The chariot


1. Your body is your _______ and you are not your ______.
2. Explain what happens on death.
3. Can our physical eye see?
4. We need to keep our body fit through proper ____ and _____.
5. Explain why smocking is referred in this chapter.

Chapter 11 – The horses


1. Five Horses represent ____ , ____, ____, ____ and ____
2. What is the difference between gross and subtle?
3. Why old people cannot hear or see properly?
4. How do we develop our likes and dislikes?
5. Which are the two sense organs that are different from others?
6. What is the significance of a tamed horse in this context?
7. What is the significance of religious rituals?
8. The motive power that drives our body is ______
9. Why we do not miss any particular smell?
10. What are the five action organs? (Not given in the lesson)

Chapter 12 – The rein

1. Mind is independent of your _______


2. How do we know that we are different from our mind?
3. Mind should control _______
4. Mind should be controlled by ______
5. It is the nature of the mind to _______ between alternatives.
6. Mind is _______ by nature.
7. What are the four modes of mind? (Not given in the lesson)
8. Is the mind functioning in the dream? (Not given in the lesson)
9. Is the mind functioning in the deep sleep? (Not given in the lesson)
10. What is subconscious mind? (Not given in the lesson)
11. What is the process of gaining any knowledge? (Not given in the lesson)
12. How do we think? (Not given in the lesson)
13. Is it possible to do meditation? (Not given in the lesson)
14. What are emotions? (Not given in the lesson)

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Chapter 13 – The Charioteer

1. Who is responsible for your life?


2. Your intelligence should have clarity on the _____ and the ______
3. Intelligence should control the sense organs through the _____
4. Why does our intelligence need external guidance?
5. The motive power that drives the intelligence is _______
6. How can you review the performance of your intelligence?
7. How will you know that you are going round in circle?
8. Explain the internal struggle.
9. Who is hijacking who and why?
10. To proceed on the right path you will need ______ and _______

Chapter 14 – The traveler

1. Who is the traveler?


2. Traveler is different from ____ , _____, _____, and ______
3. There will be no sorrow since there is no ________
4. What are the requirements to understand your real nature?
5. What is to be renounced?

Chapter 15 – Requirements

1. _________ based contentment will not lost for long.


2. Eternal contentment is not an _________
3. The word I normally means _____, _____ and ______
4. We identify ourselves with the body-mind complex due to ________
5. What are the five requirements to succeed in the journey.

Chapter 16 – Preparation

1. The two steps in preparing for the journey are ____ and _____
2. Explain the cloth example
3. Journey refers moving from ______ to _______
4. What does jumping off from the moving train signifies.
5. Effective learning is not possible with the mind ________

Chapter 17 – Summary

1. In the chariot example, list what is referred by chariot, horses, rein,


charioteer and the traveler?
2. Is there more than one way to reach the immediate destination?
3. What are the three steps in acquiring the knowledge?
4. Why should we reach the destination as soon as possible?

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Chapter 18 – Reaching the destination

1. What are the two steps to be taken after reaching the destination?
2. What are imprints?
3. How do we erase the imprints?
4. What is the meaning of alienating the mind?
5. What is the role of mind after reaching the destination?

Practical Exercises:

1. List the emotions that is associated with the word ‘Joy’


2. List the emotions that is associated with the word ‘Sorrow’
3. Is there anyone who does not want to be happy all the time?
4. Is there anyone who wants to be unhappy anytime?
5. Is it possible to live a Joyful and Sorrowless life?
6. Do you want to live a Joyful and Sorrowless life?
7. Prove that every one wants liberation (contentment) through P/A logic.
8. Prove that everyone is already engaged in the action to reach the goal.
9. Prove that you are not your body.
10. Prove that you are not your mind.
11. Select TWO ‘odd’ names: Shiva, Krishna, Jesus Christ, Allah and Rama.
12. Name two enlightened persons.
13. Name two persons without any problem or desire.
14. Recall two occasions on which you were very happy.
15. Describe the story line of the movie Total Recall
16. Debate and discuss:
a. What will happen after a brain transplant operation?
b. Will there be a nuclear war ever?
c. Will the divide between rich and poor grow?
d. How do we make the world free from hunger/ war?
e. Why do people commit suicide?
f. Is rebirth is true or fiction?

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Exercise – Part II

Chapter 1 – Introduction to Life

1. Why should we take a bird’s eye view of our life?


2. Name atleast four pairs of opposites.
3. Is it possible for us to influence the oscillation of the pairs?
4. What is described by the cow tied to the pole example?
5. Why do we require a course correction in life?

Chapter 2 – Introduction to Joyful Living

1. What is Joyful Living?


2. Is it possible to live a Joyful/ Sorrowless life forever?
3. Why Joyful Living cannot be brought about science and technology?
4. Enlightenment is known as Joyful Living. True or False
5. What is the central theme of all religions?

Chapter 3 – Introduction to Path to Joyful Living

1. Is it required to understand this book to live joyfully?


2. Is it enough to understand this book to live joyfully?
3. What is the advantage of reaching the destination quickly?
4. Who will find this book interesting to read?
5. What is your ultimate destination?

Chapter 4 – Introduction to the Role of our mind

1. Why is it not possible to make the world perfect?


2. How will you become happy (forever?)
3. Can we lead a joyful living without attempting to change the world?
4. Explain the relationship between comforts and happiness in life.
5. Why do people are chasing their goals?

Chapter 5 – Introduction to the nature of our mind

1. Explain the similarities between the mind and our stomach.


2. Explain the difference between the words Gross and Subtle.
3. Explain how (and why) to earn the love of others.
4. Explain the process of converting an information into knowledge
5. What is compared to a bottomless pot and why?

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Chapter 6 – Introduction to the solution

1. How to make the life Joyful?


2. What does right knowledge means?
3. What is the process of converting a information into knowledge?
4. We need to get _______, conduct an _______, gain the _______ and
then live a _________.
5. What is the immediate next step for you?

Chapter 7 – Understanding Desires.

1. Desire is the driving force behind the power to _____ and power to _____
2. What are the limitations to your power to desire?
3. What does the chocolate-currency example signify?
4. Why we do not desire for gaining self-knowledge?
5. What is the problem with the desire for worldly objects?

Chapter 8 – Understanding the role of God

1. Why should we believe in God?


2. Can we say both believers and non-believers are same?
3. Can we know God now?
4. Divide these names in two equal groups. Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Brhama,
Jesus and Allah. Give your logic for such grouping.
5. Give your personal comments and believes on God.

Chapter 9 – Understanding the cause and effect relationship

1. More effort will yield proportionately more results. True or False?


2. Who alone is responsible for putting the effort?
3. Who alone is responsible for getting the result?
4. What are all the causes for differences among the human beings?
5. What is meant by transparency in this context?

Chapter 10 – Understanding the purpose of doing work

1. Why should we go to work?


2. ______ is the gift from God. ______ is the return gift by us.
3. Explain the recommended attitude while doing the work.
4. List the advantages of doing the work with the recommended attitude.
5. How to make the mind matured?

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Chapter 11 – Understanding the rights and duties relationship

1. What sort of attitude is recommended with respect to rights and duties?


2. Why do some people not do their duties properly?
3. What is the immediate advantage of not emphasizing on the rights?
4. What does God do about the inadequate compensation for our duties?
5. Why should we do our duties without emphasizing on the rights?

Chapter 12 – Dynamic starting point

1. Is it possible for you to reach Joyful Living in this birth?


2. How will you ascertain your starting point, in the path?
3. Why there are different starting points in the path?
4. How will you estimate the steps that are already crossed by you?
5. Name few, who are going in circle and not making any progress.

Chapter 13 – Overview of the path

1. Does everyone know what is good and bad?


2. What will happen if we are not righteous?
3. Should we earn money to reach Joyful Living?
4. Describe the objectives in the journey in the first three phases.
5. What is the final requirement to reach Joyful Living?
6. Explain the feeling of inadequacy and the reason for its occurance.

Chapter 14 – Physical fitness

1. What are the two requirements for physical fitness?


2. Why physical fitness is important?
3. What is the right age for starting the physical exercise?
4. The tenant of the house is compared with which body and why?
5. We need to protect the health of our physical body using our _____ and
_____ _____.

Chapter 15 – Mental fitness

1. Name few mental diseases mentioned in the chapter.


2. Is it possible to live completely free of such mental diseases?
3. Why should we avoid going to clubs and pubs?
4. What are the suggestions made to improve the mental fitness?
5. Mental fitness is normally judged by _______ and ______

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Chapter 16 – Minimum qualification

1. What is the minimum qualification required to progress towards Joyful


Living?
2. Action includes ______, _______ and ________
3. List few of the Good Actions
4. List few of the Bad Actions
5. Why we should not do bad actions even if it leads to good results?

Chapter 17 – Initial Enquiry

1. Entire human race is working for ____ ____, _____ _____ and ____ ___
2. Why do we make the mistake of following the majority?
3. The reason for not making enquiry is we are ____ of our path.
4. Being with the majority or being on the right path – Which is more
important to YOU?
5. Do you like to question everything or accept whatever is told to you?
(Have you ever asked anyone who created the earth and got the answer
that is convincing to you?)

Chapter 18 – Initial action

1. We will start the enquiry when we are ______ of the path.


2. To follow spiritual path we need to do ____ action but with different ____.
3. Explain the example of the man rowing boat without removing the anchor.
4. How can one work for mental maturity?
5. Explain the concept of “Levels of truth”

Chapter 19 – Earning and spending money

1. Which is more important, earning or spending?


2. List the five benefits that come from spending money.
3. Why should we not donate money to God as a self-punishment for sins?
4. What is the meaning of accumulation of wealth?
5. The money should be spent on self, family, _____._____, _____ in that
order.

Chapter 20 – Self-restriction / Penance

1. What are the purposes of religious penances?


2. What are the two types of penances?
3. Explain the bee example.
4. When joyful living is impossible?
5. Is it necessary to do penances in the name of God? Explain

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Chapter 21 – Developing discrimination

1. What is the meaning of discrimination?


2. What are the two parts / offshoots of discrimination?
3. What is the basic requirement to gain discrimination?
4. Which object will give us complete ever-lasting satisfaction?
5. What are the two problems associated with the objects?

Chapter 22 – Developing dispassion

1. What is the meaning of the word ‘dispassion’?


2. When we will develop dispassion?
3. What are the limitations of the external objects?
4. External objects are source of happiness. True or false
5. What is the training given to our mind so far?

Chapter 23 – Developing deep desire

1. What are the three pursuits listed in this chapter?


2. When will we turn our attention to know about the truth?
3. What is the meaning of deep desire in this context?
4. What is the purpose of developing deep desire?
5. Is it possible to know why and how the world came into existence?

Chapter 24 – Shift the focus from material to spiritual life

1. Expand PORT.
2. Why should we reduce PORT?
3. Explain PORT.

Chapter 25 – Restraining sense organs

1. What are the sources from which we gain knowledge?


2. We think of these as sources of happiness due to our _______.
3. What are the three distinct factors on which any experience depends?
4. Is it possible to derive happiness by denying an experience?
5. What is the upper limit before which we should give up sense pleasures?
6. What will happen if we do not give up sense pleasures?
7. What is the benefit of giving up sense pleasures?

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Chapter 26 – Restraining Organs of Actions

1. What are the five organs of action?


2. In general, for what purpose we use the organs of action.
3. Explain the relationship between deeds, thoughts and words.
4. What is the concept of bunching up of good or bad actions?
5. We should use our ____ and ____ to restrain our organs of action from
doing bad actions.
6. What are the two reasons to avoid bad actions?
7. Why should we replace a good action in place of a bad action?

Chapter 27 – Farewell to material pursuit

1. When will one be ready to bid farewell to material pursuit?


2. What is the necessity of bidding farewell to material pursuit?
3. Will one come back to material pursuit after reaching Joyful Living?
4. Explain the pony journey example.
5. Is it possible to gain experience by listening to other’s experience?

Chapter 28 – Commencement of spiritual enquiry

1. What are the three steps required to reach Joyful Living?


2. How does one gain mental maturity/
3. Which is better and why? Self-Knowledge or Knowledge about God
4. Why do we need external help to know about ourselves?
5. What is the difference between an inert object and a living being?

Chapter 29 – Enquiry on the Holy Scripture

1. Explain the process of conducting an enquiry on the Holy Scripture.


2. What is the purpose of conducting an enquiry on the Holy Scripture?
3. Explain the lost spectacle example.
4. What are the two stages in reaching Joyful Living?
5. What is the basic requirement before attempting the enquiry?

Chapter 30 – Learning from a teacher

1. Why should one fall in the feet of the teacher?


2. _________ and _______ are required to learn from a teacher.
3. Explain why the 5+1 example is given
4. How long should one learn from a teacher?
5. What is the biggest obstacle for learning from a teacher?

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Chapter 31 – Reflecting on the teaching
1. What is the purpose of doing the reflection?
2. Validation of the teaching should be done through ______ and ______
3. What is the process of doing reflection?
4. How knowledge can be erased?
5. Why we should not use logic to invent a concept?

Chapter 32 – Inner Transformation


1. What is the purpose of doing Inner Transformation?
2. List few tips given for Inner Transformation. Explain with reasons.
3. What are the two types of meditation involved in this process?

Chapter 33 – Glimpses of Joyful Living


1. What is the difference in the nature of desire prior to and after reaching
Joyful Living?
2. Will there be any change in the environment after getting enlightenment?

Chapter 34 – Summary
1. What are the four stages in life in the journey to Joyful Living?
2. What is the purpose of the creation?

Chapter 35 – Summary Stage I


1. Why are people working to correct the world?
2. In what way we are different from a cave man.
3. What is the purpose of reviewing the history?

Chapter 36 – Summary – Stage II


1. What is meant by ‘vacuum’ in this chapter?
2. Is doing profitable business a non-spiritual activity?
3. What is the meaning of ‘piety’? (as described in this chapter)

Chapter 37 – Summary – Stage III


1. Explain the Skiing blades example.
2. What are the six steps detailed in this chapter?

Chapter 38 – Summary – Stage IV


1. Explain the Anna Nagar example
2. Explain the Ramanuja Experience
3. What are the three steps in the journey of gaining knowledge?

Chapter 39 – Conclusion

1. Explain the example of riding a vehicle two feet above the ground.

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