Saturday, March 07, 2015

Shaad piyala*

Someone on Twitter just now asked for ways to be happy. No, not seeking the real thing, she was putting together an article - for the many pages that will need filling up for Women's Day, I presume.

I was tempted to respond and did, with a couple of 'commonsensical' suggestions that would be acceptable to our periodicals. But as I thought about that question and answer - both so pat - near-hysterical laughter welled up within me. How does one answer that question in polite circles? How does one attempt the question and still sound measured? The real answer, by all accounts, is obscure, arcane, beyond description... but some have tried.

O Nanak, the entire world is in sorrow;
He alone is happy who has been blessed
with initiation by a Perfect Master.

Or, as the colossal Shankara puts it:

yogaratova bhogaratova
sangaratova sangaviheenah
yasya brahmani ramate chittam
nandati nandati nandatyeva

Through yoga or through pleasure
In company or alone
He, who trains his mind to revel in Brahman,
Enjoys bliss, enjoys bliss, he alone enjoys bliss.

* From Sultan Bahu:
Sar devan akhan naahi shaad piyaala peeta hu... They’d give up their heads than give up His Secret, they who have drunk from the Cup of Gladness.

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