Practical Philosophy, here, is the translation of the Sanskrit word “Darshana”. It is not for mere academic discussion. It is for living. Every moment of our life depends on the kind of model we have about the world and about ourselves. By getting clarity in the model, we can lead a better life. Everything that is told here is Hinduism presented in words that are easily understandable by today’s people. Some articles give references. Some do not. However, there is nothing totally new here. It is the age-old wisdom in a modern package.
Every creature seeks happiness. We have a concept that it is objects, people and situations that create happiness and sorrow. If it is true, then the same object, person or situation should give the same amount of happiness to everyone at every time. But this is far from the truth. Moreover, at anytime, if we decide to be happy irrespective of anything, no object, person or situation can make us unhappy. This shows that happiness is an attitude. It is by choice that we are happy or unhappy. No one can remove this freedom from us. We are inherently free emotionally. We just need to break the delusion and habit of depending on objects, people and situations for our happiness and make a resolution to be happy. This delusion can be broken by knowing our true nature. The habit can be broken by living up to this conviction.
Who am I?
When I say ‘I’, I mean the subject. Anything that is objectifiable is not ‘I’. I can objectify everything in the world. I can objectify the body and mind too. That which remains ever the subject is ‘I’.
When the eyes see a flower, the eye is the subject, the flower is the object, form and color of the flower are properties. When the mind ‘sees’ the eye, the mind is the subject, the eye is the object, myopia of the eye, etc are properties. When the intellect ‘sees’ the mind, the intellect is the subject, the mind is the object, understanding and confusion are properties. Properties always belong to the object and never to the subject.
So, ‘I’ have no properties. All change is in properties only. So I am changeless. As I am changeless, I am free from action and results. Changeless implies changeless in time and space. So I am eternal and omnipresent. So I am infinite and sole existence. There is no second entity. So everything that exists is just ‘I’ only.
There is no individuality. There is just one infinite conscious existence, which is ‘I’. It is a delusion to identify with a particular body and mind.
However, it is not possible for me to suddenly jump into this conviction. I need to go step by step from where I am. From my current practical point of view, I am the wielder of free-will. I decide what to do and I am responsible for my decision. I use my body and mind as instruments to experience this world and express myself in this world.
When I identify myself as an individual, the infinite is objectified as God.
From the point of view of the finite body and mind, God is seen as the sentient being, to whom belongs the sum total of all physical and mental existence. Everything comes from God, everything exists in God and everything dissolves back into God. There is no existence of anything apart from God.
God is seen as the Law of Causation by which all actions fructify into results in a just manner. God is the essence of all physical, mental and spiritual laws by which everything works.
God is seen as the sentient being, who is the solace for tired minds and the source of inspiration of all virtue. As God is everything, God can be accessed as formless or in any form and by any name. God is the ultimate target of love, knowledge and veneration by every individual.
Thus the concept of God helps me to face ups and downs of life with poise. It also helps me to realize the oneness of all existence. Thus it gives an easy and practical approach to the problems of “Happiness” and “Who am I?” from the point of view of relative individual existence.
Does God exist? God is existence. God alone exists.
With this knowledge of my true nature, I need to stop identifying with the body-mind complex and start identifying myself as the real ‘I’. To enable this, the sensory inputs and thought patterns need to be regulated. I should learn to forbear success and failure, while doing whatever is needed as duty. The truth needs to be ruminated again and again to be fully convinced about and assimilated fully. Freedom and happiness can be enjoyed “here and now” by living up to this knowledge and conviction.
Applying all these concepts to practical everyday life is the theme of this website. The obstacles to realizing this knowledge and freedom, and the various ways to overcome the obstacles are often discussed.