The Wisdom of Swami Amar Jyoti
Discovering the Joy Within Us
Prabhushri Swami Amar Jyoti
© 2003 TRUTH CONSCIOUSNESS
Why is it easier, relatively speaking, to relate to externalized life, to that which pertains to the five senses, rather than the life within? Why is it more difficult to sit in meditation and quiet the mind than to get up and do things—arrange library shelves, dust the furniture, cook, do the laundry, or go shopping? Instead of prayer, meditation, or even deep thinking, why is the mind easily attracted to external things? Why is it easier to read a newspaper than a serious book, for example? Why do people tend to relate to jumping‑up‑and‑down music, with its feelings and sensations, rather than serious music, such as classical? The basic question is: why is the external easier to relate to or more attractive than the internal?
The only thing that comes to mind is, it’s easier to go down than up.
Your example is good. Going up is difficult; going down is easy. But who determines that the outside is down and the inside is up?
The outside is more habitual and mechanical; the inside is more conscious. You’re working on consciousness and it’s harder to stay with it, for lots of reasons.
The outside is mechanical and habitual. To do the habitual is therefore easier in a sense. This is one of the reasons, no doubt, but let’s see if there is a more intimate answer to this, appealing to our common sense, which is move intimate than abstract thinking. Habits form by repeating the same thing, but what makes us take up that which is easier before it arrives at the stage of being a habit? What attracts us, tempts us, or makes us feel easier about the external rather than going within? Leave aside my or anyone’s preaching to you to go within—why is it not naturally so?
Do not jump to the conclusion that God created that way. God created everything, not only this. This is not a difficult question; when we come to the answer, you will see how easy it is. You are not wrong by saying that the outside is synonymous with going lower and inside with going higher. But if God created everything, why would He create the external as low when everything is Divine? We see a peak as high and a valley as low, but if you were hurtling in space without the sense of north, south, cast, west, up and down, you would not necessarily use the wording “low” for a valley and “high” for a peak.
How did this phenomenon happen in the first place? In a way, it sounds like a very metaphysical question, but it is also a psychological question. Why is going within to attain Liberation, Enlightenment, not easier than experiencing through the senses and attending to the world? Why is it not more attractive to go within, to meditate and become Realized? Ninety‑five percent of meditators would rather get up and do the cooking, laundry, shopping, sewing, typing or whatever. When they get up from meditation and get dressed for work, they feel jubilant about getting on to the real world, as if they wait to get out of this project—Enlightenment—to do what is practical and real. Why the enthusiasm, inspiration or excitement for the external and not for the life within?
Let’s put it another way: why have known
things become unknown? We know Truth, we were born out of Truth; how
does it become unknown? Why would you pray, “Lead us from untruth to Truth”
if you didn’t know instinctively that Truth is your Reality? We were created
from the Truth, Spirit, Light, and then we came to darkness, untruth
and so on. I’m not asking why we had a fall, but in the process, why are we
still attracted to outward things and find them more “satisfying” than
things within? We are actually the same, within and without. It is not as
though within you is someone else and outside it is you. You are the same
person. Leaving aside temptation, let’s say before the pull or attraction
formed the habit, where did the “fall” occur?
When I separated myself from what I was...
Why would you choose to separate? You say ego, but in order to separate, you had to have ego. When you avoid the Truth, the ego is created. Now we are trying to bridge the gap and get to union, yoga, but why did we separate in the first place? And why even now do we choose to remain separate rather than united? This is the basic question. Like a moth flies into the flame, why do we not run, first and foremost, to Oneness.
I’d have to give up being me.
Why would you not, if you were convinced that the other is greater, that union is our Goal, our Source, the summum bonum? If you are lacking in conviction, I understand what you mean, but if you believe that it is so, philosophically, why would you have chosen to separate?
Why would anyone have chosen to be separate if we believed we were separating from God, Enlightenment, Light, Spirit, our True Self? There is only one answer: You wanted to play. And in the process, you forgot. That caused separation. You wanted to play. And you could not play the way you are playing, did play and would be playing, if you were united with your Spirit. Why did we choose to play? To enjoy. The intrinsic quality of playing is to enjoy, to be entertained, to feel good. So nothing is wrong with enjoyment as long as you do not forget your True Self, your Source. With the limited ego, created by separation, you cannot even enjoy that much. This is exactly the point: you lost your joy and bliss and instead came down to wishing for en‑joy‑ment.
For example, in your home you have many things—a sofa, dining table, refrigerator, TV, sound system. You have button remote controls for seeing any movie, listening to music. You can even play games—billiards, ping pong or whatever. Still, have you not seen, in, spite of having all these things at home, you want to go out and enjoy.? You want to play more, for the sake of enjoyment, which in Sanskrit we call bhoga. Is there anything wrong with enjoyment? If you had joy and bliss by being Enlightened, by being Light yourself, why would you want to enjoy? You had perfect joy and now you are “enjoying.” That is what makes creation: you cannot enjoy without creating duality, relativity. As long as you are one with bliss, joy, Truth, you are not enjoying, per se. The hunger is the same: you want to enjoy the joy.
God said, LET ME BE MANY. God was God. Why did He want to be many? Was He unhappy with Himself alone? Since He was Himself, He wanted to create. If you have joy, you want to enjoy it. God is Himself in joy and bliss and He said, LET ME BE MANY. Why would He think this when He is established in the True Self? Because He is Himself. He multiplied Himself within Himself. When you are joyful, you want to share, but you cannot enjoy without creating relativity. You want to be many; to multiply. You were Being, now you become. That is what creates objectivity, and that is exactly the definition or equation of separation. If you had maintained pure Consciousness throughout, becoming, enjoying, and creating, then you would not be called fallen; you would not be in separation from your Essence. But normally that does not happen. Why? The very unconsciousness whereby you create enjoyment does not allow you to remain Conscious and in absolute joy.
Let’s say there is a Conscious being and an unconscious being, and both are eating an apple. To the unconscious person, this is enjoyment. How does an Enlightened being experience the apple? What are his sensations, his feelings? I am trying to communicate to you how enjoyment equates with creation and how that cannot be maintained along with being fully Conscious. The Enlightened person also feels good about eating the apple, though he or she may not express emotionally how good or delicious it is. Is he enjoying the apple the same way the unconscious person is enjoying? No. Why? The Conscious Being does not get excitement or enjoyment from the apple—but from Himself—but still he or she is eating.
When you are Conscious, you experience as much as an unconscious being, probably more. But you do not take your enjoyment from an apple; you just eat it and whatever qualities or tastes it has, you experience those. Within you, you are already joyful. There is no separation. When you identify with the sensual world, you are separate, because not only are you identified with the dualistic world, you also lose consciousness of your original Oneness, Spirit, Light.
Sri Krishna said to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita—There is nothing in the three worlds that I cannot enjoy, achieve, do, have or possess. Still, Arjuna, while doing, I am not doing; while enjoying, I am not enjoying. It is my True Self only. He does not go outside Himself to identify with the phenomenal world. Of course, when you keep identifying outwardly, you become habituated, and then at one stage comes your fall, if you call it a fall. That habit becomes solidified. Now we are calling it “within” and “without.” It wasn’t. In the state of ignorance, unconsciousness, separation and enjoyment—pertaining to the five senses—we term it within and without, which is untrue. Do you think an Enlightened person, when he eats an apple, loses his Divine consciousness? For him, within and without do not exist.
Krishna gave a good reply to this question: All the millions of things of enjoyment are within Me. And that is how He showed His Universal Form to Arjuna : All is within Me. In other words, He is not enjoying outside Himself. He enjoys within Him all that exists within the three worlds, the physical, astral and causal. Not just a few potatoes, tomatoes or pizza but enjoyment of any kind: sports, relationships, places, scenery, music, art, literature, friendships—anything. His enjoyment does not come from those things, relationships or commodities. It is all within Himself.
In the Vedas this example is given: you might have heard that goats are very fond of eating thorny bushes. Not that they will not eat green leaves and other things, but when it comes to thorny bushes they are in heaven. What happens is, first of all, the goat has to be stupid to do this, but that is exactly the explanation. When the goat eats the thorns, they cut its mouth and blood oozes. The goat tastes this and believes it to be from the thorny bush; it is ignorant that the blood is coming from its bleeding mouth. The goat attributes the delicious taste to the thorns, and we do exactly the same thing: out joy, which is within us, we attribute to so many millions of things pertaining to the five senses, believing that they are giving us enjoyment.
If it were true that enjoyments truly give joy, why then do we experience pain, misery, grief and afflictions? When the goat has stopped eating the thorns, its mouth hurts. We created happiness and unhappiness simultaneously. Now we blindly ask, Why did God create misery? He didn’t. You have attributed joy and bliss to things of the world. You never realized this joy is coming out of you, like the blood coming from the goat’s own mouth. An Enlightened One knows this. When he enjoys something, he knows he is enjoying within himself, as God does. The difference is, you became separated because you created the sense of enjoyment as a separate identity. If you are always Conscious, you are never ignorantly in misery, pain or affliction.
Again, the Vedas have likened the plight of the ignorant mind to a drunken monkey being bitten by scorpions. You have been bitten by the bug—that is how you created these five senses. The genesis of creation is the desire to enjoy. Everything is only a reflection of your innate joy, but because it is limited, it has to end somewhere. The goat does not learn the lesson, in spite of suffering. As soon as it finds a thorny bush, it runs to it. Desire creates attachment by habit; attachment creates insecurity and greed. And because things are limited and transient, they do not go as we want them to. Thus greed creates anger, and therefore the metaphor of the drunken monkey stung by scorpions. In that condition, you totally forget your True Self, God. You forget that the very sense of enjoyment is a pale reflection of the real joy within you. You and I, by dint of our own conscience, think the goat is stupid to believe that the blood from its mouth makes the thorns delicious. Yet we keep “eating” the same things in life, all the time forgetting that joy comes from within.
To get out of a rut needs practices, will power, doing, and you if do not do it, you become weak. Fear is a weakness. The Divine is everywhere, within and without, but you cannot realize this intellectually. Unless you get back to your Self and see that everything is within you, including enjoyment of sensual things, then the distinction of within and without will remain. After Enlightenment, you will not see the within as Divine and without as un‑divine.
We do not want to give up ego because now it is not easy to go within. It is difficult because all this has to be given up. You have formed the habit now, here at the fallen state, and it is difficult or uncomfortable to give it up, nor do you want to. Even those who wish to, find it difficult because they have to transcend all these habits. Naturally that binds you. Yet all the things you are enjoying or using to gratify yourself come originally from you. That is the main point. The very hunger and craving you have for enjoyments is because you have lost your True Self, your Consciousness. You have lost your intrinsic blissfulness and now are trying to attain gratification, starving for that from which you have separated.
There is nothing wrong with friendships, relationships, food, music, skills, traveling, etc., as long as they are subjective. An Enlightened One does not lose or gain anything; it is all within him. He does not crave for gratification and sense enjoyment as an unconscious person would. Often Perfected Ones seem unemotional, so we jump to the conclusion that they have no human feelings. They have simply transcended that, gone beyond it.
Each individual and creature has such a different mind. Why are we all different even amidst the same situation? If you have ten people in the same ashram, the same home, the same city, each will see the world differently. Some are happy, some unhappy; some are angry or jealous, some are hostile, some are positive. Why? We each carry our own world. You perceive what you project. And that is the world we see, individually, separately. No other world exists for us. Then we act according to the world we have created.
Then comes a sage, as in the story from India of six blind men and an elephant. One feels the trunk and says the elephant is like a snake; another feels a leg and says the elephant is like a tree trunk, a third feels an ear and says it’s like a leaf. Each experiences the elephant through his own blindness. Then a wise man comes along and tells them. “It’s all one elephant. You are just blind”—blindness, meaning symbolically, ignorant. Those who have the view of Oneness see differently: it’s all one elephant.
A wise man sees the whole as One. Just imagine what he sees: all is within him. Therefore he has no desires, no anger, attachments, greed. You are the creator of your own world, That is you—everything, everywhere. If ever you realize this, your life will change, your whole consciousness will change. You will see subjectively, and your separation will vanish.
Edited from Discovering the Joy Within Us
Audio Satsangs of Swami Amar Jyoti
© Truth Consciousness
This Satsang appeared in LIGHT OF CONSCIOUSNESS—
Journal of Spiritual Awakening