THE CONSIDERATION OF HAPPINESS AND UNHAPPINESS
There is much difference of opinion among Materialistic philosophers themselves as to how the word 'happiness', in the phrase 'the greatest happiness of the greatest number', is to be understood. Some of these philosophers are of opinion that, in as much as man is very often willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of Veracity, or of his Religion, casting aside all Material Happiness, it is not proper to say that his desire is always to acquire Material Happiness; and they have, therefore, maintained that we must use the word 'benefit' (hitam), or the word 'good' (kalyanam) instead of the word 'happiness' (sukham), and change the phrase 'greatest happiness of the greatest number' into the phrase 'greatest good or benefit of the greatest number'. But, even doing so, the objection that the Reason (buddhi) of the doer has not been taken into account, as also several other objections apply to this point of view.
If one says that Mental Happiness must be taken into account, along with Material Happiness, then, the fundamental theorem that the morality of any particular Action must be decided by its external effects, is falsified, and one, to a certain extent, accepts the Metaphysical aspect of the matter. But, if in this way, you cannot escape accepting the Metaphysical aspect of the matter, then where is the sense of accepting it only half way ? Therefore, our philosophy of ' Karma-Yoga has ultimately come to the conclusion that the doctrines of 'the benefit of everybody', or 'the greatest happiness of the greatest number', or the highest development of humanness' or other such external tests or Materialistic methods of determining questions of Morality are inferior tests, and that what is Right Action, and what Wrong Action or Non-Action must be determined by the Metaphysical tests of beatific happiness in the shape of Self -Realisation, and the attendant Pure Reason of the doer. The case is different, of course, of those persons who have sworn not to enter into the philosophy of things beyond the external world, under any circumstances. Other- wise, it only logically follows that one has got to go beyond Mind and Reason, and look upon the permanent benefit of the- permanent Atman as the most predominant factor, even in the Karma-Yoga science.
The belief of some persons that when one enters into Vedanta, everything becomes Brahmised (Brahma-maya), and the necessity of worldly life' cannot satisfactorily be accounted for, is wrong. As the various works on Vedanta, which can ordinarily be read now-a-days have been written principally by followers of the Path of Renunciation, and as in the Path of Renunciation, worldly life in the shape of Thirst is looked upon as totally insipid, it is true that the science of Karma-Yoga has not been properly expounded in their works. Nay, these writers, who are intolerant of rival cults, have foisted the arguments of the Path of Renunciation on the Karma- Yoga, and attempted to create the belief that Samnyasa (Renunciation) and Karma- Yoga, are not two independent paths for obtaining Release (moksa), but that Samnyasa is the only correct Path according to the Sastras. But such a view is incorrect.