Gita Rahasya -Tilak 98

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak



that is, " when man is faced with 'preya' ( transient external pleasure of the organs) and 'sreya' (true and permanent benefit), he elects between the two. He who is wise prefers sreya to preya, and the weak-minded man prefers preya, that is external happiness to the benefit of the Atman " It i s, therefore, not correct to believe that the highest goal of man in this world is the physical happiness 'obtainable through theorgans in worldly life, and that whatever a man does is done by him merely for the sake of obtaining' external, that is, Material happiness or for preventing unhappiness.

Not only is the internal happiness obtainable through Reason, or Metaphysical happiness of greater worth than the external happiness obtained through the medium of the organs, but the physical pleasure which exists to-day comes to an end tomorrow, i. e., is trainsient. The same is not the case with rules of Ethics. Non-violence, Veracity and other moral principles are looked upon by people as independent of external circumstances, that is, of external happiness or unhappiness and as being constant in their application at all times and in all circumstances, that is to say, they are looked upon as permanent by everybody.

Materialism cannot satisfactorily explain the reason why moral principles have this permanence which does not depend on external matters, nor how it comes into existence. For, whatever general doctrine is laid down by reference to happiness or unhappiness in the external world, yet, in as much as all happiness or unhappiness is inherently transient, all doctrines of morality founded on such a transient foundation are equally weak, i.e., non-permanent; and, on that account, the ever-lasting permanence of the law of Truth seen in one's being ready to sacrifice one's life in the interests of Truth, irrespective of considerations of happiness or unhappiness, cannot be based on the doctrine of the ' greatest happiness of the greatest number'. Some persons advance the argument, that if in ordinary life even responsible persons are seen taking shelter behind falsehood when faced with the problem of sacrificing their lives, and if we see, that in such circumstances even philosophers are not punctillious, then it is not necessary to look upon the religion of Truth etc, as eternal; but this argument is not correct.

Because, even those people who have not got the moral courage or do not find it convenient to sacrifice their lives for the sake of Truth, admit by their own mouths the eternal nature of this principle of morality. On this account, in the Mahabharata, after all she rules of ordinary life which lead to the acquisition of wealth (artha), desires (kama) etc have been dealt with, Vyasa ultimately in the Bharata-Savitri, (and also in the Viduraniti), has given to everybody the following advice namely :— na jatu kaman na bhayan na lobhad dharmam tyajed jivitasyapihetoh I

dharmo nityah sukhaduhkhe tv anitye jivo nityoh hetur asya tv anityah " II [1] that is : " although happiness and unhappiness is transient, yet morality is constant: therefore, one should not abandon moral principles, whether for desire of happiness or out of fear, or avarice, or even if life itself is threatened. Life is fundamentally eternal and its objects, such as, happiness, or unhappiness, etc, are transient. " And that, therefore, instead of wasting time in thinking of transient happiness or un, happiness, one should link eternal life with eternal religion. In order to see how far this advice of Vyasa is correct, we have now to consider the true nature of happiness and unhappiness and to see what permanent happiness is.


References And Context

  1. (Ma. Bha. Sva. 5. 6; U. 39.12, 13),