IS HAPPINESS SAME AS ANANDA?

The first thing to understand is that Ananda is not a dualistic emotion like emotions in general.

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Ananda is not a high that is connected to a low. Ananda is a non-dualistic state of awareness, Chidananda.  It is a unitary state of feeling/knowing/seeing and being, in which we experience the essence, peace and delight that is the ground of all existence beyond time and space.

Emotion is a dualistic reaction of the ego and reflects bodily pleasures and instincts as well as personal social interactions that we find attractive or repulsive. Ananda is beyond all embodiment or mental conditions, one with the inner Seer or Atman and through it one with all of existence.

Ananda is not a denial of sorrow or pain but a transcendence of them. Ananda is a fullness of feeling in which we can discover our true Self in all beings and an eternal meaning in all of our changing experiences. Those who have that inner Ananda cannot be disturbed by sorrow or pain in body or mind. They can experience all that life has to offer, extracting the essence of creative delight behind the universal movement on all levels.

True Ananda is not induced by any external stimulation, substance or activity, including any type of drug or media influence. It is self-contained and manifests spontaneously of its own accord beyond any external karma, personal or material influences. Yet all the happiness we experience outwardly is a reflection or shadow of the eternal Ananda within that is unlimited.

We can compare Ananda with art. Art teaches us to experience the deeper essences of feeling and sensation behind outer objects. A bowl of fruit on a table is not a bowl of fruit on a table for an artist but an element of design evoking a beauty that transcends its constituent forms. Ananda is the ultimate beauty and delight that any artistic rendering can  intimate or evoke.

Our fundamental mistake in awareness that we make is that we confuse the pleasure or happiness that we experience from external objects as the source of that joy, when in fact it is only allowing us or triggering us to experience our own inner joy reflected on the object.

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