Thanks to Val Boyko for the youtube.
Alan Watt’s videos are a great source of wisdom. This short one is no exception. He speaks here about attachment, and how we humans hang on to things. We grasp at fleeting happiness that, like a butterfly, flits in and out of our lives leaving only memories. Neither things nor people make us really happy. We need to learn happiness from those who are masters in that department. Anandamayi Ma was a master of happiness or what she called bliss.
In the book The Essential Sri Anandamayi Ma, the author, Alexander Lipski has given many wonderful accounts of her mastery and her teachings on non-attachment. Anyone who was fortunate enough to meet Anandamayi Ma – and there are many fortunate ones still living – knows that something of her teaching is in her very person. She was the living embodiment of “A Blessing”, a gift to mankind. I wish there were more like her alive today, but it seems as the darkness of the age has drenched us with uncertainty and fear, so the great masters have retreated from our world. We are left with their words and timeless wisdom, in those we need to find solace in this age of Kali.
From Selected Discourses – Anandamayi Ma..
Question: “Please explain the nature of worldly and divine happiness.”
Mataji: “Divine happiness is pure, unalloyed bliss, happiness in its own right.”
Question: “But surely, there is happiness in the world too!”
Mataji: “Then why do you make this remark?”
Question: “Why do people run after material happiness?”
“You know this happiness from experience, and hence your question. But the Divine is gracious and makes you see that this so-called happiness is not happiness. He kindles discontent and anguish in you, which is due to the want of communion with the Divine. Worldly happiness is derived from the countless manifestations of God. People talk and marvel about those who renounce the world, but in actual fact it is you yourself who have renounced everything. What is this “everything”? God! Leaving Him aside, everyone is literally practicing supreme renunciation. It is only natural that the sence of want should awaken. Even in the midst of comforts and pleasures one feels homesick in a foreign land. There is distress even in happiness, one’s possession are not really one’s own – this is what He causes man to feel. It is said, it is not, that on being hit one recovers one’s senses, one learns by receiving blows.
When He manifests Himself as worldly happiness, one does not feel contented, for along with it He appears as the sense of want. But divine happiness, even the tiniest particle of a grain of it, never leaves one again; and when one attains to the essence of things and finds one Self – this is supreme happiness. When it is found, nothing else remains to be found; the sense of want will not awaken anymore, and the heart’s torment will be stilled forever. Do not be satisfied with fragmentary happiness, which is invariable interrupted by shocks and blows of fate: but become complete, and having attained to perfection, be YOURSELF.”
A precious necklace was seen flashing from the bottom of a lake. Many felt tempted to recover the valuable ornament and dived deep into the water for it, but found no necklace anywhere. Yet it was clearly visible to everyone from the edge of the lake. They were all puzzled. Eventually they realized that there was no necklace at the bottom of the lake; what they saw was its reflection in the water. They looked up and discovered the precious ornament hanging from a tree. A bird must have picked it up from somewhere and deposited it there.
God who dwells within you is the source of true happiness. In the objects of the senses this happiness is merely reflected. The individual, misled by birth after birth by having only a glimpse of this reflected joy, thinks that this is the real thing, namely sensuous delight. So long as one believes that true happiness can be had in sense objects without searching within, one will never taste true happiness. The kingdom of God, hence of happiness, is within you.
– Anandamayi Ma, the Mother Bliss – Incarnate, by Anil Ganguli