Inner Joy In All Circumstances

The Taittiriya Upanishad has a remarkable passage sometimes referred to as the “calculus of bliss”. It sets forth an ascending series of ever-higher states of bliss, Ananda, the serene inner state of joy that is the sign of the spiritual divine consciousness. Each state of being is calculated to be “a hundred and a hundred times” the former state. The first stage is that of the human being “Let there be a young man, excellent and lovely in his youth, a great student; let him have fair manners and a most firm heart and great strength of body, and let all this wide earth be full of wealth for his enjoying.” Ten stages of bliss later, each “a hundred and hundred fold” more intense than the prior stage, is the “bliss of the Eternal Spirit.” What is interesting is that the Upanishad equates this incalculable sum of bliss to be equivalent to “the bliss of the Vedawise whose soul the blight of desire touches not.”

Human beings seek their joy in outer circumstances and are bound thereby by the force of desire. The divine soul looks inwardly, sees all things with the inner eye of the divine consciousness and takes joy in all forms and events as being the manifestation of the Divine in the world. Sri Aurobindo describes it thus: “What joy it takes in outward things is not for their sake, not for things which it seeks in them and can miss, but for the self in them, for their expression of the Divine, for that which is eternal in them and which it cannot miss.”

This inner state of bliss and peace “…is innate, it is the very stuff of the soul’s consciousness, it is the very nature of divine being.”

When we look for the sign of the divine worker, this is the essential distinction that sets the divine soul apart from those still engrossed in the human being’s attachments in the outer things of the world.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 18, The Divine Worker, pg. 175

and Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads , Taittiriya Upanishad, Brahmanandavalli, Chapter 8, pp. 272-273

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