Everywhere in this universe, in one respect man's condition is the same. No matter how vastly different he may be in the outer appearance of his life, different countries, different races, different cultures, different languages, different ways of living, eating, dressing, etc., he may be completely different in all of these aspects, but there is one thing that is the same to all human individuals. And it is this factor that binds them into a global unity. If analyzed, it will be discovered that all humanity is engaged ceaselessly, day after day, from the cradle to the grave, only in trying to avoid painful experiences and in trying to attain that which gives them happiness.
Yet, beloved seeker, let me ask you this one very important question. Since the time of creation, is there one single individual who has been born onto this earth who can stand up boldly and declare, "In my life I have never experienced any sorrow or pain or suffering whatsoever. My whole life has been a life full of joy, full of happiness, full of bliss". You will find that there is not even one single individual on earth who has not had at some time or another some type of pain or suffering or grief or sorrow.
This is a world of pain and sorrow. With a few minutes thoughtful reflection you will see that this is so. Many painful experiences are brought about by natural forces beyond our control-floods, earthquakes, tidal waves, cyclones, fires, famines. Then there is suffering brought about by other forms of life-germs, microbes, bacteria, viruses, insects, reptiles, animals. But by far the greatest source of suffering is caused by man himself. It is suffering that is self-created, that arises within our own psychological self due to desire and attachment for worldly objects-love and hate, anger and passion, fear, worry, tension, anxiety, jealousy, envy, greed, frustration, disappointment, disillusionment, the sorrow of separation, bereavement, and all other varieties of restlessness of mind due to our multitude of desires.
Everyone thinks happiness is to be found in objects and experiences. Everyone thinks, "If I could only attain certain objects, if I could only possess them, if I could experience them, I will get happiness." In spite of countless disappointments and disillusionments, man never learns. There is not an iota of happiness in earthly objects. No object is perfect. They do not have in them the power or ability to give you lasting happiness or joy because they are finite and they are imperfect. Otherwise, they must be able to give a homogeneous state of happiness to all beings at all times under all conditions. But what do you actually see? If you like milk and you take a glass full of sweetened milk flavoured with spices, the first glass may give you satisfaction. And if you are pressed upon to take another glass, the second glass may give satisfaction, but it is not the same degree of happiness or pleasure as was the first glass. And if your stomach is already full with two glasses of milk, if you try to take a third glass of milk, it becomes unpleasant, it becomes undesirable. And if it is forced upon you, a fourth glass of milk produces nausea and you will have to throw it up. Where then is real happiness?
If milk had in it the power of giving happiness, it must be able to grant you this happiness at all times, under all conditions. It cannot change its nature. Such examples show that all experiences derived from the contact of senses with their respective sense-objects ultimately are experiences that end in disappointment.
Therefore, the great world teacher, Lord Krishna had this very important insight to impart to us when he said: "O Arjuna, all these experiences brought about by the contact of one or other of the five senses with their respective sense objects, these experiences are ultimately the source of sorrow. There is no real happiness in these sense contacts and sense experiences. They are but mere momentary sensations afterwards giving you pain."
A wise person realizing the real nature of earthly objects, that they are impermanent, fleeting, empty of content, that they cannot give happiness, such a person never stoops to revelling in these petty objects of this materialistic world.
Yet lasting happiness must lie somewhere, otherwise the Creator would not have put this inner urge within each human soul. Somewhere there must be a source of eternal and unchanging happiness attaining which all desires become at once totally fulfilled. Is there an experience which grants at once total satisfaction and eternal bliss, which takes one forever beyond all sorrow, pain and suffering? This is an important question. It was to the resolution of this riddle of life that the ancient sages and seers of India devoted their entire lives. Relentlessly they pursued this quest until they ultimately achieved an experience of inexpressible joy that took them forever beyond all sorrow, pain and suffering.
These sages, being filled with universal love for all beings, did not want to keep this experience to themselves. Therefore, they declared to all: "O mortals, striving and struggling upon this earth plane, weeping, wailing, buffeted by the vicissitudes of life here, we have come upon a great discovery. There is something beyond these appearances, these vanishing names and forms that go to make up this universe. There is something beyond which forms the very source and support of all these objects of the phenomenal world. Why do you search in vain for happiness outside. Come, come, happiness resides within. Stop your wanderings amidst this desert of empty earthly objects, amidst this jungle of sensuality, and turn your gaze within. Dive within. Happiness is within. God is within you. Meditate upon the Reality within."
They had discovered a Supreme Reality attaining which one goes beyond all relative experience, all duality, and enters into a blessed state of Bliss Absolute, a state beyond all sorrow. To attain that state in which even the heaviest sorrow is powerless to shake one is the birthright of each and every individual soul.
If Wealth is lost, nothing is lost. If Health is lost, something is lost. If Character is lost, everything is lost.