Gita Rahasya -Tilak
THE CONSIDERATION OF HAPPINESS AND UNHAPPINESS
 It is not that the above-mentioned evil effects of Thirst have not been acknowledged by the Bhagavadgita. But, as the doctrine of the Gita is that the total abandonment of Action is not the proper course for obviating those evil effects, it is necessary to consider here somewhat minutely the above explanation of the nature of pain and happiness. We cannot, in the first place, accept as totally correct the dictum of the Samnyasa school, that all happiness arises from the preventing of pain, such as Thirst etc. Wishing to experience again something, which one has once experienced (seen, heard, etc.) is known as Desire (kama, vasana, or iccha). When this desire becomes stronger as a result of the pain due to one's not obtaining soon enough the desired object, or when the obtained happiness being felt to be insufficient, one wants more and more of it, this desire becomes a Thirst (trsna). But if Desire is satisfied before it has grown into Thirst, we cannot say that the resulting happiness arises from the removal of the un- happiness of Thirst. For instance, if we take the case of the food which we get every day at a stated time, it is not our experience that we feel unhappiness every day before taking food. If we do not get food at the proper time, we will suffer unhappiness as a result of hunger, but not otherwise. But even if we do not in this way distinguish between Thirst and Desire, and say that both are synonymous, the doctrine that the root of all happiness is Thirst is seen to be incorrect. For instance, if we suddenly put a piece of sugar-candy into the mouth of a child, the happiness which it experiences cannot be said to have resulted from the destruction of a previous Thirst- Similarly, if while walking along the road, one comes across a beautiful garden and hears the melodious notes of a cuckoo, or coming across a temple on the way, one sees in it the beautiful image of the deity, one thereby experiences happiness, though there had been no previous desire of obtaining those particular objects. If we think over these illustrations, we have to- abandon the above-mentioned definition of happiness of the Samnyasa school, and say that our organs have an inherent, capacity for feeding on good or bad objects, and that when they are in that way carrying on their various activities, they come into contact sometimes with a desirable and sometimes, an undesirable object, and we, thereupon, experience either pain or happiness, without having had any previous Desire or Thirst for it. With this purport in mind, it is stated in the Gita , that pain and happiness arises as a result of 'matrasparsa', that is, of contact with cold or warm objects etc.
References And Context
- See Rockhill's Life of Buddha, p. 33. This stanza has appeared in the Pali book called Udana (2. 2) ; but, it is not stated there that it was uttered by Buddha when he attained the 'Buddha- hood', from which it can be clearly seen that these stanzas could not have been originally uttered by Buddha.
- (Gi. 2. 14)