Gita Series – 168: Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVIII. Verse 36 – 39

Now, listen to me on the three types of happiness. That in which the spiritual practitioner by means perseverance finds happiness in practices such as the devotion, meditation, prayers, service, etc., thereby he reaches the end of his sorrows, though appears like poison in the beginning, tastes like nectar at the end. This happiness is sattvic in nature, as it arises from one’s purified mind due to the realisation of the Self. The happiness that arises from the senses though appears as nectar in the beginning, eventually becomes poisonous. This happiness is rajasic. The happiness that originates from delusion, excessive slumber, obdurate and slothfulness is said to be tamsic in nature.”

After having categorised actions, doers, intellect and fortitude, Kṛṣṇa begins to categorize happiness under three guṇas. With this, categorisation under the three guṇas is completed. Out of the three guṇas, sattvic, rajas and tamas, sattva guṇa is the best one, that is to be followed by all the sincere spiritual aspirants. The other two guṇa-s do not purify the mind and amplify egoism.

Law of karma is supreme and having born with karmas, one has no choice except to go through the unfoldment of karmic account The person who aims for liberation has to ensure that his karmic account does not swell any longer. Therefore, he chooses to pursue the path of devotion by renouncing the fruits of his actions. He gradually loses the concept of doer ship and leaves everything to the Lord. He refines and purifies his mind by resorting to meditation, prayers, service to the Lord, etc. Though he may find the initial stages of his spiritual life as painful, ultimately he reaps the benefits of his perseverance and dedication. When one can attune his mind with the Lord, irrespective of the intensity of his sufferings, he does not feel the pains of his sufferings. Initially, one will find the spiritual path as very challenging, particularly control of the senses. Ultimately, when he succeeds in his attempts, he always remains in a state of bliss, the reward for his perseverance and dedication. At this state, the aspirant is very close to the Lord, awaiting his turn to become liberated. However, he has to wait, until his karmic account is exhausted. The intensity of happiness that immerses him at this stage is sattvic in nature. A spiritual aspirant who is devoid of wants can comfortably reach this state of happiness.

A person, who indulges in sensory pleasures, will be happy in the beginning, but as time runs out for his exit from his present body, he begins to realise his mistakes. By that time, his mind would have been totally corrupted with un-erasable impressions that get manifested in subsequent births as well. Sensory pleasures, beyond the permissible limit cause serious inflictions in one’s present and future lives. The initial joy in such cases, invariably lead to irreparable miseries. Such temporary and deceptive happiness is said to be of rajasic in nature.

When a person is inert and derives happiness out of delusion, excessive sleep, unwilling to mend his wrong doings, remaining stubbornly remorseless and unwilling to work, if at all he derives happiness, this happiness is classified as tamasic happiness. Such kind of men is to be discarded and deserve no sympathy from the society. Their very presence will cause serious depletion of positive energy levels.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVIII. 29 - 32

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVIII. 33 - 35

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVIII. 40 - 44