Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram -Truth, Auspiciousness, Beauty - this is our own true nature. Knowing this and abiding in it alone makes us happy always.
In this book, Swami Tejomayananda, Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide, unravels for us the true meaning and nuances of these three words and leads us to the Highest through them. The unique aspect of this book is that Pujya Swamiji elucidates these three terms in a most reader-friendly manner, with illustrations from everyday life, building up the subtlety of their import to exalted levels. This makes the book a fascinating Journey from oneself to oneself.
Words are the tools used in society to convey meaning. We find that frequently used and prevalent words are most often used superficially. Their deeper meaning is not paid much attention to and is sometimes even forgotten. Sometimes they are partially understood, misinterpreted or wrongly used. With the aim of giving deep thought and thereby reviewing and taking a fresh look at such words, we have chosen the topic of Satyam (truth), Sivam (Auspiciousness), Sundaram (Beauty).
As Indians we have heard this phrase from our early childhood. It has been with us from ancient times. In more recent times this has been made more popular by a film and a title song by that name.
The Chinmaya Mission, Houston, USA, arranged a four-day lecture series on this subject on the eve of 1998. This gave me a chance to reflect on this topic. Those talks are now being presented in a book form. May the readers benefit by its study and fill their lives with Truth, Auspiciousness and Beauty.
On the eve of 1998, I wish you all a Happy New Year! We all wish each other a happy new year but, we really do not know how to be happy! If we are told, you can be happy by making others happy, our new question is, "how to make others happy?" We may be able to make a person happy for sometime, but we know from experience, that it is impossible to make one happy at all times. Our likes and dislikes, moods and thoughts are in a constant state of flux. What makes us happy today may not do so tomorrow. After trying in vain, a woman asked her friend, "How do you keep your husband happy?" The latter replied, "Honestly, I do not know. I have never tried!" Most of us have tried, but have not succeeded in making either others or ourselves happy.
Habitually, we seek happiness in objects, relationships, power, fame etc., so we think that we can make others happy by giving them these. But our experience has shown that this does not work. It is then that we begin to wonder whether we can really be happy or make others happy all the time. Further, we seek to find out whether the direction of our seeking has been right? On deep inquiry we realise that the direction of our seeking has, indeed been faulty. We realise that the only true source of happiness is the Self. Knowing the Truth and abiding in It alone can make us always happy. Only those who have known true joy and radiate happiness can make others happy. Only one who is truly happy can make another happy.
When a flower blossoms it emanates fragrance. Its very presence has the inherent power of giving happiness to others. Beauty has an innate quality-it captivates and attracts by its very being. The flower does not invite us. We naturally gravitate towards it.
Why do we feel that acquiring objects, relationships, wealth, power etc. alone will make us happy? Have we not experienced happiness in the deep sleep state when none of these are present? Have we not felt happy when our mind is quiet and free from desires? Have we not, at times, felt totally at ease with the world and ourselves when attuned to Nature? The answer to all this is-yes, we have. Yet we are unaware of the true source of happiness!
Here comes the role of the Scriptures, the Guru and Satsanga (the company of noble souls). They draw our attention to this source within us, which is our own true nature--Satyam, Sivam, Sundaram. Let us now think about it, experience it and abide in it.
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