The Aspiration for the Delight of Existence

Every part of our being desires happiness in its own way.  The body seeks comfort and a feeling of pain-free ease.  The vital force seeks delight and feelings of ecstasy.  The mind seeks for the deep satisfaction of fulfillment.  Each of these represent the deep-seated aspiration for the bliss of existence.

There are many who preach a gospel of suffering, who believe that the world is a place intended for trial and suffering and we have to bear this suffering in order to prepare ourselves for a greater existence hereafter.

The Taittiriya Upanishad holds however the primary status of Ananda, the bliss of existence:  “When he hath gotten him this delight, then it is that this creature becometh a thing of bliss; for who could labour to draw in the breath or who could have strength to breathe it out, if there were not that Bliss in the heaven of his heart, the ether within his being?”

What each of the parts of our being seek for, and what the Upanishad refers to, is the ineffable Bliss of the Eternal, from which all this creation has manifested and into which the consciousness returns as it evolves and grows.

Sri Aurobindo notes in The Life Divine:  “An aspiration, a demand for the supreme and total delight of existence is there secretly in the whole make of our being, but it is disguised by the separation of our parts of nature and their differing urge and obscured by their inability to conceive or seize anything more than a superficial pleasure.  In the body-consciousness this demand takes shape as a need of bodily happiness, in our life parts as a yearning for life happiness, a keen vibrant response to joy and rapture of many kinds and to all surprise of satisfaction; in the mind it shapes into a ready reception of all forms of mental delight; on the higher level it becomes apparent in the spiritual mind’s call for peace and divine ecstasy.  This trend is founded in the truth of the being; for Ananda is the very essence of the Brahman, it is the supreme nature of the omnipresent Reality.  The supermind itself in the descending degrees of the manifestation emerges from the Ananda and in the evolutionary ascent merges into the Ananda.  It is not, indeed, merged in the sense of being extinguished or abolished but is there inherent in it, indistinguishable from the self of awareness and the self-effectuating force of the Bliss of Being.  In the involutionary descent as in the evolutionary return supermind is supported by the original Delight of Existence and carries that in it in all its activities as their sustaining essence; for Consciousness, we may say, is its parent power in the Spirit, but Ananda is the spiritual matrix from which it manifests and the maintaining source into which it carries back the soul in its return to the status of the Spirit.  A supramental manifestation in its ascent would have as a next sequence and culmination of self-result a manifestation of the Bliss of the Brahman: the evolution of the being of gnosis would be followed by an evolution of the being of bliss; an embodiment of gnostic existence would have as its consequence an embodiment of the beatific existence…. In the liberation of the soul from the Ignorance the first foundation is peace, calm, the silence and quietude of the Eternal and Infinite; but a consummate power and greater formation of the spiritual ascension takes up this peace of liberation into the bliss of a perfect experience and realisation of the eternal beatitude, the bliss of the Eternal and Infinite.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Future Evolution of Man, Chapter Eight, The Gnostic Being, pp. 110-111

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