The Ineffable Delight of Existence

When the seeker has the experience of a shift of standpoint from the limited ego-personality to the divine standpoint that encompasses the entire universe and the Absolute that contains and permeates the entire creation, there is a release of all suffering and an infusion of an ineffable experience of delight, or bliss of existence.  When this experience suffuses itself in the individual, it is felt by all other beings and they are drawn to it as the secret object of their seeking.  Other Upanishads, notably the Taittiriya Upanishad go into great length about the experience of the bliss, even going so far as to create what has been called the “calculus of bliss” where each level of evolutionary growth brings with it a new and much more intense experience of it.  In the end, however, the Rishis point out that even the highest levels of bliss are experienced by those who have untied the knot of desire; in other words, those who have been able to shift from the limited, grasping consciousness of the individual to the unlimited consciousness of the divine standpoint.  This delight transcends the pleasure and pain felt by the ego-personality.

Kena Upanishad, 4th part, Verse 6:  “The name of That is ‘That Delight’; as That Delight one should follow after It.  He who so knows That, towards him verily all existences yearn.”

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “In the next verse we have the culmination of the teaching of the Upanishad, the result of the great transcendence which it has been setting forth and afterwards the description of the immortality to which the souls of knowledge attain when they pass beyond the mortal status.  It declares that Brahman is in its nature ‘That Delight’, tad vanam’ .  ‘Vana’ is the Vedic word for delight or delightful, and ‘tad vanam means therefore the transcendent Delight, the all-blissful Ananda of which the Taittiriya Upanishad speaks as the highest Brahman from which all existences are born, by which all existences live and increase and into which all existences arrive in their passing out of death and birth.  It is as this transcendent Delight that the Brahman must be worshipped and sought.  It is this beatitude therefore which is meant by the immortality of the Upanishads.  And what will be the result of knowing and possessing Brahman as the supreme Ananda?  It is that towards the knower and possessor of the Brahman is directed the desire of all creatures.  In other words, he becomes a centre of the divine Delight shedding it on all the world and attracting all to it as to a fountain of joy and love and self-fulfilment in the universe.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Kena Upanishad and analysis, pg. 107, 177-183

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