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Celibacy/Abstinence/Sensual pleasure Vs Bliss of the Atman (self)


QUESTION: Dear Dhananjay,

I have a strong belief that if people are made to understand the difference between sensual & spiritual happiness in terms of quality & not just in terms of side-effects or duration they would find it easier to cognise & take a decision as to which path to follow & develop a taste for spiritual pursuits.

The large majority has no understanding of the different sort of happpiness gained from meditation.

The below article on basis of scientific study has been almost like a god sent for me in understanding the diff in quality of results gained from one of the highest sensual pleasures like an orgasm & meditation on the other hand.

As a person who has experienced samadhi could you try & put into words what is the chief difference you observed in higher meditative states of absorbtion & life's sensual pleasure.

I'm trying to find a principle on which I can base my understanding & consciously overcome need for sensual gratification rather than suppressing it.

So far what I can deduce is sensual pleasures(be they of any sort from alcohol/sex/drugs) have a way of diminishing awareness,making one unconscious & a sense of stopping of thouhts(this seems common with meditation & therein lies the trap) while meditation increases awareness & absorbtion & disconnectedness from thoughts.Most people drown themselves in sensual pursuits to get rid of constant chattering mind.

There is something in us that wants to stop the mind(addicts go below & sages above)

Pls provide your comments even if this is covered in past replies.
It is always a rare oppurtunity to hear from experienced sages than any scientific study.

ANSWER: 1. There is only one 'Ananda' (bliss) - That of the Atman (self), coming from the Lord.

2. There are two ways to experience this bliss.

3. The easy course is through sense pleasures. This is temporary, limited in intensity, causes debility of the body/mind & increases bondage 'Agnyana' (ignorance), ending in suffering.

4. The other method is to merge consciousness into the Atman (self). This rewards strength and eventually liberation from the very need for bliss, for one becomes bliss himself (his true nature).

5. The wise choose the second path.

6. One's very nature of the Atman is that of bliss. When consciousness identifies with the body & mind, it forgets its true nature, for these two being 'Asat' (unreal & illusory) have no bliss in them. Thereupon starts its quest for bliss from one external object to the other (world). None of these are real and hence cannot give everlasting bliss.

Ultimately, the mind realizes the fallacy of such action and completely gives up the external search. It also gives up the vision of itself, for awareness of the mind is itself another botheration. Then suddenly surfaces the Atman (self) which was what it had all along been in search of. When this process of being merged in the self, as the self becomes natural and irreversible through constant Sadhana (practice), the search finally ends. Then, he who searched is gone. The self which is of the nature of infinite knowledge-bliss-being alone remains, with no desire or want.

Thus every being's quest for happiness is its unconscious quest to know the Atman (self).

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Dhananjay,

DOes this men to suggest that there is no qualitative difference b/w sensual pleasure/bliss & atmic bliss?

No diff. in quality between shreya & preya other than it's duration & debilitating effects.

If menas are different surely the end will carry the signature of it's means.

If both bliss are qualitatively same why aren't serious drug addicts not any closer to god for the moments they are high on drugs.

1. Sensual pleasure is minuscule & temporary as compared to Atmic bliss which is continuous & everlasting.

2. Bliss by itself is not the Atman. It is one of the traits of the Atman. Thus the self is always in bliss, while all those who experience bliss through some means for a certain duration have not necessarily realized God.

The Ananda (bliss) enjoyed by a drug addict also comes from the self alone. However, the means used to enjoy such bliss are incorrect and ends in suffering as explained earlier.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)  


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Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.


The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."


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