Shree Vasudevanandasarawati Swami Maharaj describes joyfulness, an experience of every human being, in a beautiful composition –
‘āji ānandi ānanda | mani bharlā purṇānanda || vāce bolatā na ye | buddhibodha stabdha rāhe ||’
Joyfulness is indescribable. It’s the pinnacle of pleasure that one experiences, incomprehensible to even the mind-intellect apparatus. Every human being is inherently joyous. To enhance this experience further, man resorts to japa, meditation and spiritual practices prescribed in the spiritual texts such as the Shrimad Bhagwat Gita, Dnyaneshwari, Yogawani. God is Bliss/joyfulness and hence Lord Kapila advocated the path of devotion through ‘submerging ourselves in His subtle smile.’ Adi Shankaracharya also impressed upon directing all our senses towards Lord Panduranga. In doing so, we slowly begin to experience a sense of fulfilment, contentment, and joy. Eventually, we become desireless. Saints are inherently joyful because they are the very incarnation of Bliss. That’s why we are pleasant and joyous in their presence.
The ānandavalli prakaraṇa of the Taitteriya Upanishad beautifully explains the degree of happiness experienced by man to that experienced by him in the state of ecstasy or bliss. In the best of moments, when man is at the peak of happiness, this is taken as unit measure. Then, the happiness experienced by Gandharvas is 100 times that of man’s. Happiness experienced by Devatas is 100 times that of Gandharvas. The happiness experienced by Bruhaspati (Guru of the Devatas) is 100 times that of the Devatas. Happiness experienced by Brahmadeva is 100 times that of Bruhaspati’s. Ultimately, Brahmananda exceeds even that of Brahmadeva. Saints and sages through the ages have attained to this ecstatic state and could only describe it as –
‘brahmānandi lāgali ṭāḷi | maga dehāte koṇa sābhaḷi |’ meaning in the state of ecstasy, the devotee loses all association with the mind, the physical body and intellect and simply swims in the ocean of Bliss.
The secret to True happiness, Bliss, Joyfulness or ecstasy is contentment, gratitude, generosity and an appreciation for all things around us. This secret was disclosed to King Yadu by Avadhoot, “I have learned life’s 24 most important lessons from 24 Gurus around me. That’s why I am Joyfulness, which is my true nature.”
In short, Brahmānanda is available to each one of us. It’s a true blessing that our saints and sages, through their personal experiences, give us a glimpse of this elixir.