Gita Rahasya -Tilak 122

Gita Rahasya -Tilak



As has been stated above, when happiness is divided into the two divisions of physical and mental happiness, one has to attach a higher importance to the activities of the mind than to the activities of the body or of the organs. Even the well-known Materialist philosopher Mill has admitted in his book on Utilitarianism, [1] that the theorem that the merit of Mental happiness is higher than that of bodily (i. e., Material) happiness, which has been laid down by scients (jnanin), is not made by them as a result of any arrogance about their own knowledge but because the true greatness or appropriateness of the superior human birth consists in Knowledge.

Dogs, pigs, oxen etc. also like the happiness of the organs in the same way as human beings ; and if the human race was of the opinion that enjoyment of objects of pleasure is the only true happiness in the world, then man would be ready to become a beast. But in as much as nobody is willing to become a beast, notwithstanding that he can thereby obtain all the physical happiness which can be got by beasts, it is clear that there is something more in a human being than in a beast.

When one begins to consider what this something is, one has to investigate into the nature of that Atman which acquires the knowledge of one's Self and of the external world by means of the Mind and of the Reason (buddhi ); and when one has once begun to think of this matter, one naturally comes to the conclusion that, that happiness which is to be found in the extremely noble activities and in the purest state of the Mind and of the Reason is the highest, or the most ideal happiness of mankind, as compared with the happiness of the enjoyment of objects of pleasure, which is common to man and beast. This kind of happiness is self- controlled, that is, it can be acquired without depending on external objects, and without reducing the happiness of others, and by one's own exertions; and as a man becomes better and better, the nature of this happiness becomes more and more pure and unalloyed. Bhartrhari has said that " manasi ca parituste ko'rthavan ko daridrah ", i. e., " when the mind is satisfied, the begger is the same as the rich man ", and the well-known Greek philospher Plato has main- tained that Mental Happiness is superior to bodily ( that is, external or Material ) happiness, and that, that happiness which can be realised only by means of the Reason, (which is the highest Metaphysical Happiness), is superior even to Mental Happiness. [2] Therefore, even if we for the time being keep aside the question of Release, the fact that that Reason, alone can obtain the highest happiness, which is engrossed in the contemplation of the Atman, is definitely proved; and therefore, after happiness has been divided in the Bhagavad- gita into the three divisions of sattvika, rajasa and tamasa, it is first stated that " tat sukham sattvikam proktam atmabuddhi- prasadajam ",


References And Context

  1. " It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied ; better to be Secrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question ". Utilitarianism p. 14 (Longman's, 1907).
  2. Republic (Book IX).

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