Author Topic: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:  (Read 1797 times)

Subramanian.R

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The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« on: January 19, 2016, 03:27:15 PM »
(This article is from Mountain Path, Jan-Mar. 2016)

When you ask people what they want from life, most respond with something along the line, 'I just want to
be happy.'

Desire for happiness is without question a universal psychological instinct.  It is the most intensely felt
of all human aspirations.  Regardless of our culture, race, or gender, the ultimate goal of our lives is
fundamentally the same:  We all want to be happy.

This fact has been noted by some of the greatest thinkers across the ages. Some 2300 years ago, the
Greek thinker Aristotle stated, 'Happiness Theis the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end
of human existence.'  (Nicomachean Ethics, Book I).
More than two thousand years later,  the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote, 'Happiness,
though an indefinite concept, is the goal of all rational beings.'  (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of
Immanuel Kant:  Practical Philosophy, 1996.)

The French scientist and mystic Blaise Pascal observed, 'All men are in search of happiness.   There is
no exception to this, whatever different methods are employed.'  (Blaise Pascal, Pensees and Other
Writings, 2008).

Happiness is the overriding aim of human existence and its attainment the central mission of our lives.
It is the desire for happiness that actuates most of our actions. Almost everything we do is intended
-- in one way or another -- to bring us closer to this goal.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

             
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 04:08:01 PM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2016, 10:42:20 AM »
Even though the lives of a doctor, a religious hermit, a polar explorer, a bank robber, and the CEO of a
multinational corporation may bear  little resemblance outwardly, their actions are driven by the same
motivation.  They all do what they do, because they believe that it will bring them closer to happiness.

But surprisingly enough, even though happiness is the paramount objective of everyone's life, most
people actually never attain it.   To see that this is so, we only need to ask ourselves this:  Out of all
the people we have met and known how many could we say were truly happy in full sense of the word?
How often do we come across people who exhibit a lasting sense of contentment, satisfaction and peace
that are the hall marks of genuine happiness?

To see how this paradox affects us personally we can simply ask ourselves: Despite our best efforts
have we ourselves achieved the happiness we have been pursuing for so long? If we are truly honest,
few of us would probably answer in the affirmative.

This makes for a remarkable state of affairs:  Billions of people across the world are engaged in pursuit
of happiness, and yet only a small handful ever actually achieve the goal.  Happiness is universally
sought but rarely attained.

This can only mean one thing:  There is something fundamentally wrong about the way most of us go
about pursuing the supreme objective of our lives.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2016, 10:37:55 AM »
"Sri Ramana: Happiness is your nature"

When asked about happiness Sri Ramana gave a seemingly startling answer.  He insisted that there is no
need to embark on an outward-bound pursuit of happiness, because happiness is already our nature.
All we need to do to experience it fully is to turn within.

"In order to gain that happiness which is one's nature and which is experienced in the state of deep sleep
where there is no mind, one should known one's self.  For that, the path of knowledge, the inquiry of the
form of 'Who am I?' is the principal means."  (Who am I?. Sri Ramana).

Sri Ramana said, 'Happiness is inherent in man and is not due to external causes.  One must realize the
Self to open the store of unalloyed happiness."  (Talks No. 3). He told those who came to Him for guidance,
'As the Self is not outside but inside you, you are asked to dive within, instead of going without.'  (Devaraja
Mudaliar, Day by Day, 8.10.1946.)

Regrettably, only relatively few people have been able to benefit from the sagacious advice.  This is
not surprising, because Bhagavan's assertion is so sharply at variance with the way we normally think
that it seems nearly impossible to believe that what He says may be true.

Nevertheless, it would be wise to at least give Sri Ramana the benefit of the doubt.  After all, he does
not ask ask us to blindly accept His words on faith.  He only asks us to look and see for ourselves.
Regardless of how improbable His words may seem, if we summon the courage to follow His counsel
we may yet discover that what He says is indeed true.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     
       

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2016, 10:43:32 AM »
The Parable of a treasure hunter:

The following story illustrates our situation.  Imagine a boy who has always been told that a precious treasure
lies buried on a remote island.  Having heard all the wonderful tales, the boy makes the decision that one
day he will go and find the treasure for himself.  What he does not know, however, is that the stories he has
been told are false.

When the boy grows up he journeys to that faraway place and starts digging.  He keeps working feverishly
for many years driven by the futile belief that the more digs the closer he gets to his goal.  Then one day
he comes to across an old man whom the islanders hold in high esteem.  The wise man informs him that no
treasure is buried on the island. He then tells him the treasure he is looking for is to be found under the
foundation of his house back at home.

How the seeker proceeds is entirely up to him.  But of this he can be certain.  The success of his quest is
entirely dependent on his looking in the right place. If he chooses to dig in the wrong spot he will never
find what he is looking for no matter how long or hard he tries.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 12:45:10 PM »
Like the treasure hunter we too have been searching long and hard for the precious treasure of happiness.
Then one day we come across Sri Ramana who informs us hat the treasure is not to be found in the places
where we have been looking.  Instead he tells us to go back home to our selves.  He claims it is there, at
the very core of our own being, that we will find that which we have been seeking.

Each of us must decide how we receive this information. For most people this is not an easy decision to make.
Since our earliest time we have been told and taught that happiness resides in the good things of this world:
wealth, material prosperity, professional and social success and such.  Bhagavan's instruction seems so
far fetched and so at variance with our customary way of thinking that most people -- even those who otherwise respect Him deeply -- are psychologically unable to accept the possibility that what he says may
be correct.

But to help us overcome our skepticism we should consider the character of the one who gives the advice.
Sri Ramana was known as a person of profound insight and impeccable integrity. We can, therefore, be
reasonably certain He would not advise us to do something He has Himself not found to be true in His own
experience.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   
 
   

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2016, 10:31:49 AM »
To help us along not only does Sri Ramana Maharshi point to the place where happiness is to be found,
He also indicates the way that leads to the treasure.  'No want is the greatest bliss', He says.
'It can be realized only by experience.  Even an emperor is no match for a man with no wants.'
(Gems from Bhagavan, Devaraja Mudaliar).  Thus according to Sri Ramana, the roya road that takes us
back to ourselves -- to the bliss and happiness that are our nature -- leads through relinquishment
of our wants and desires.

The happiness equation:

Even though Sri Ramana's contention that bliss and happiness are a result of non desire may
sound far fetched at first, its truth can be shown by a simple thought experiment.

Let us pause for a moment and just try to  imagine how it would feel if we really and truly did not
want anything.  How would it feel if we did not want to acquire anything, if we did not want to
achieve anything, if we did not want to change anything?

How would it feel if we were completely content and satisfied with the way things are?

The answer is contained within the question itself: If we were completely contented  and satisfied
we would perfectly happy, since contentment and satisfaction are the very hallmarks of happiness.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2016, 12:35:46 PM »
As long as we do not want anything except what is now before us,  we cannot but be happy.  This is
because a state of mind in which we are free of wanting implies that we are  fully contented and satisfied
with our condition and circumstances, which is just another way of saying we are happy.

Therefore, all that is required to attain happiness is only not to want anything. To put it another way,
happiness is the inevitable consequence of giving up desire.

This can be expressed schematically as a simple equation:

You minus desire = happiness.

It also holds true the other way around:

Happiness = you minus desire.

It also holds true the other way around:

Happiness =  you minus desire.

In other words, happiness is ourselves without wanting anything.
Happiness is what is left when we shed our wants.

What this shows is that happiness is really our nature.  It reveals itself the moment we give up our desires.
If we cease wanting objects, situations and persons, the happiness and bliss that exist at the core of
our being will well up in our experience.   This is how Sri Ramana put it:  "Happiness is inherent in man....
bliss is not added to your nature; it is merely revealed as your true and natural state."

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 10:30:02 AM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2016, 10:54:35 AM »
Grace on the path:


The question is how does one enter the state of non desire.   Obviously, the simplest and most direct
way would be through a clear recognition that nothing in this world can ultimately satisfy or fulfill.
Bhagavan Himself made this point repeatedly.  In response to one questioner, He said, 'What happiness
can you get from things extraneous to yourself?  When you get it, how long will it last?' (The Teachings
of Ramana Maharshi, Osborne.)

On another occasion, Sri Ramana used the story of the Buddha to illustrate this idea:

'When he was in the palace with all possible luxuries in the world, he was still sad.  To remove his sadness,
his father created more luxuries than ever.  But none of them satisfied the Buddha.  At midnight he left
his wife and child and disappeared.  He remained in great austerity for six years, realized the Self, and for
the welfare of the world, became a mendicant. It was only after he became a mendicant that he enjoyed
great bliss.  (Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, Suri Nagamma, Letter 164.)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 10:16:44 AM »
But even though we may see this truth intellectually, our conditioning and habitual ways of thinking
make it difficult to firmly integrate this insight into the fabric of our being. Deep inside we still tend to
harbor desire of one kind or another thinking that its fulfillment will finally bring happiness we seek.
Despite repeated disappointment, the human mind seems to be constitutionally unable to fully grasp
the futile nature of such wanting.

There is good reason to believe that human effort can only go so far and that in most cases divine
assistance is required to make that last step.  (The expression 'last leap' is used to as a concession
to the way things appear to the mind.  It has been said many times by sages that divine assistance
is required at every step that a human being takes along the path of liberation.)   Many people have
testified that it was an infusion of grace that provided that final push by presenting before their eyes
and hearts the reality of their condition.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2016, 09:42:04 AM »
The story of Radovan:

I have come across a striking real-life example of this not too long ago. It happened to my brother
Radovan one late afternoon as he was travelling home from work.  At the time he was going through
a difficult period in his life.  He was in the midst of planning a relocation to a different country in order
to take his child out of an environment that was detrimental to her well being. Not knowing how his plan
would work out or even how he would provide for his family in the new place, Radovan was feeling severe
pressure from several sides. That afternoon he was particularly eager to get home quickly, but as he was
driving, he came up a terrific traffic jam that eventually forced his car to a standstill.  There were so many
things to take care of and here he was struck in traffic. A despair began mounting in his mind.

But then, as he was staring at the column of cars in front of him, a question suddenly arose in his mind.
It was a strange question, one that had never occurred to him before.

The question was this:  'What would I need or want if I were to die tonight?'

This question impressed itself powerfully and vividly on his mind.  For the first time in his life Radovan
truly felt that death was real and that he was subject to it.  He felt as if this question was somehow a
harbinger of his own death and that he might, indeed, die that night.

The disturbing premonition caused all his mental powers to gather together with a great sense of urgency.
His whole being focused on this question as if the answer to it was the key to the whole mystery of his
existence.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2016, 12:09:46 PM »
And then, after a few minutes of intense focus, the answer suddenly came to him in a moment of great
relief and clarity.  In that moment, he saw that even if he were to die that very night there was nothing
he would want, because he already had everything he ever needed.  He saw clearly and beyond doubt
that there was nothing in this world that could make him more whole or complete than he already was.
Upon realizing this a great spring of happiness seemed to burst happiness kept rolling through his body
and mind.  He broke into an ecstatic laughter mixed with tears of joy.  Never before had he experienced
such intense ecstasy and rapture. This lasted for a long time and even though it eventually diminished
in intensity its after glow has never really left.

When Radovan experienced that afternoon was nothing more than the truth of Sri Ramana's statement,
'No want is the greatest bliss.'  The instant he saw that he neither lacked nor needed anything all his
desires dropped away including the desire for life itself.   All that remained at that moment was his bare
nature stripped of all wants.  And that was precisely the point of at which the gates of bliss broke
wide inside him. Suddenly and unexpectedly while sitting behind the steering wheel of his car he
found himself in Paradise.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

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Re: The Bliss of No Want - Vasko Kohlmayer:
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2016, 11:23:36 AM »
"The Kingdom of God is within you", said the Good Shepherd from Nazareth a long time ago.  In a flash
of revelatory clarity these words became a reality for Radovan even though he himself was not a believer.
But one does not need to be a believer to experience the inherent bliss of one's being.  All that one needs
to do is to give up the assumption that one needs external things in order to be happy.

That afternoon my brother experienced the greatest bliss of all: the bliss of 'no want.'   As Sri Ramana
said so many times, happiness is our vary nature.  It is only the belief that we are something else,
that we need something in order to be happy, that prevents us from experiencing the bliss that we
truly are.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.