Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
The little series of videos is complete - for the time being. Let us return to extracting items from 'pushtakprasaad', little booklets with gems of Knowledge and application in them. These are mini-texts handed out to students and attendees of discourses as a 'blessed gift'.
THE WISE AND THE OTHERWISE
This is a title which might have you thinking that it talks of those with Knowledge and those without it. Not so. The context of this little booklet is about the choices we make. Yes, we are still on the subject of choice! That is, after all, the purpose of the posts on this day of the week &*> This booklet was composed by Guru-ji, Sw. Tejomayananda.
He begins by pointing out that before anyone goes into discussing ways and means of doing something, a 'goal' must first be defined. When we are on the subject of life, it can seem that everyone has their own goal criteria. Joe may be looking to build a home, whilst Pushpa seeks to become a grandmother; Bill wants to fly, Viren would like to feed his family at least one full meal a day… seven billion lives each with their own small or large goals. However, are these many goals - or just one? Thinking more deeply we can discover that for all these lives, there is but one, common goal. Guru-ji writes; 'Physically we all wish to be healthy. We want economic prosperity. Professional success, family unity and socially, nationally and worldwide, we wish for peace and harmony. All this we seek only to be happy. We wish to gain something or give up something only to become happy. Happiness is therefore the common goal of all human beings - nay - of all living beings.'
Good. It has been determined. Can it be denied? It may be that the term 'happiness' is not attached to all our individual goals. For Joe, getting the house built is considered his goal - but what is his motivation? Pushpa wishes to become a grandmother and Bill to fly - why? It might be said that Viren's drive is pure survival - but what makes survival worthwhile? No. it is the small joys of attaining these ambitions in life which keep people moving forward. There is one, single goal that you, your neighbour, your family, your countrymen, your fellow humans are working for each and every minute of each and every day; freedom from pains and anxieties, feeling fulfilled and connected… in a word, happiness. Now we can discuss the ways and means of achieving and retaining that goal.
In doing this we face this fact; there are two ways to travel towards the destination. We have the choice of the path of Knowledge (the wise way), or the choice of the path of ignorance (the unwise way). Here 'ignorance' is used in reference to the philosophical concept that, until we know differently, we are destined to keep repeating our mistakes. The wise way, in Vedanta, is called the ïeys!/shreyas and the unwise way is called àeys!/preyas. More correctly, shreyas means the 'way of purity' and preyas means the 'way of impurity'. Shreyas is challenging to follow as it does not give immediate results and requires that we do some serious thinking. Preyas looks more attractive as it offers instant gratification and only requires that we respond to our senses and desirous thoughts. The wise choose shreyas, the unwise opt for preyas.
" ïeyae hI xIrae _aIàeysae v&[Ite àeyae mNdae yaeg]emaÖ&[Ite/ shreyo hii dhiiro bhiipreyaso vRniite preyao mando yogakxhemaadvRniite… The path of shreyas leads to lasting happiness, final beatitude and freedom from bondage. Whilst the path of preyas brings tension, sorrow and bondage."