Monday Musings 42

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Life Skills from Bhagavad Gita

‘Krishnavatar’ is the epitome of the principle `Happy Living and Cool Thinking’. Krishna suffered innumerable difficulties right from the birth but remained happy throughout. You will be surprised that Lord Krishna was the first to pronounce the hypothesis that `Happiness is a state of mind’. Yes, this is stated in Bhagavad Gita which is the ‘Universal Guide for Positive Living’. Let us look at Bhghavad Gita sloka 24 in Chapter 5.     

योऽन्त:सुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तज्र्योतिरेव य: ।
स योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति ।।

Transliteration –
yo ‘nta
-sukho ‘ntar-ārāmas tathāntar-jyotir eva ya
sa yogī brahma-nirvāa brahma-bhūto ‘dhigachchhati

Translation – Those who are happy within themselves and enjoy self as well as guided by inner light are yogis, such yogis certainly attain liberation from material existence.


anta-sukha (antah – inside, sukhah – happy) means ‘remaining happy within self’ and 
anta-ārāma (antah – inside, aramah – enjoying) means ‘enjoying the self’ and
anta-jyoti means `guided by inner knowledge’.

We are the cause for our happiness and not our circumstances.  Pleasure is in enjoying ourselves and not material comforts. The word antah used by Lord Krishna in all the three unique phrases has a very special meaning and purpose here. Krishna wants to stress that `Self Esteem’ is very important for eternal happiness.

“True happiness comes when you can look at yourself and like what you see”

Lord Krishna further explains three different types of happiness in Bhagavad Gita slokas 36 to 39 in Chapter 18.  These three types of happiness as explained in Gita are:

  • First type of happiness is `sattvic happiness’. Good and permanent happiness is in `self-knowledge’.  This seems like poison at first but tastes like nectar in the end.  Permanent happiness is enjoying in our mind and not enjoying our senses. Our circumstances do not impact this happiness.

That which seems like poison at first, but tastes like nectar in the end, is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness. It is generated by the pure intellect that is situated in self-knowledge. 
Bhagavad Gita 18.37

  • Second type of happiness is ‘Rajasic Happiness. Happiness derived from our senses is `Happiness by passion’. This is temporary and is like nectar at first but turns out to be poison in the end. This goes away once the situation changes.

Happiness is said to be in the mode of passion when it is derived from the contact of the senses with their objects. Such happiness is like nectar at first but poison at the end. 
Bhagavad Gita 18.38

  • Third type of happiness is ‘tamasic happiness. Lord Krishna says this is illusionary and hence was never there from the beginning till the end. This is the happiness derived from Sleep, Laziness and Carelessness. It is illusion as it gives a feeling like happiness but was never true happiness.

That happiness which covers the nature of the self from beginning to end, and which is derived from sleep, indolence, and negligence, is said to be in the mode of ignorance.
Bhagavad Gita 18.39

What a beautiful explanation for `Happiness is in our mind and not in the situation’! Many of us at times think that sleeping and idling on holidays is actual happiness. Lord Krishna nicely explains in Bhagavad Gita that such happiness is illusionary and is never actually happiness.

Don’t look for happiness from your circumstances, from your senses. Look inward. Happiness is a ‘state of mind’ and you can live happy ever at any time at any circumstance under any condition.




Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in the article.



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