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Neither happiness nor unhappiness can last forever – Vanamali

Boundless joy can never be got from a changing world.

All material pleasures have to end at some time or other because duality is the nature of the world.

Neither happiness nor unhappiness can last forever.

We are always hankering for joy which lasts forever, not realizing that by the very nature of the world this is totally impossible.

The stage on which we are playing the drama of our life is the atman which is pure existence, pure consciousness and bliss. The only way to recapture the original state of bliss is to renew our relationship with that universal consciousness or Brahman which exists in us as the atman. This is Self Realization – when we recognize the real ‘I.’ This realization alone can give us boundless joy.

– Mataji Vanamali

Explanation to above verse

All material pleasures have to end at some time or other because duality is the nature of the world.

This teaching reflects the core philosophy of Hinduism, which emphasizes the transient nature of material pleasures and the underlying duality present in the world. In Hinduism, the concept of duality, known as "dvaita," acknowledges the existence of opposing forces such as pleasure and pain, light and dark, joy and sorrow, birth and death. This duality is seen as inherent in the nature of the universe.

The idea that material pleasures must end is based on the understanding that everything in the material world is impermanent, subject to change, and ultimately transient. This impermanence is encapsulated in the concept of "Maya," which refers to the illusory nature of the physical world. According to Hindu philosophy, attachment to material pleasures and possessions leads to suffering because they are inherently temporary and cannot provide lasting fulfillment.

Hindu teachings encourage individuals to seek a deeper understanding of the true nature of reality beyond the transient realm of material existence. This involves recognizing the underlying unity, or "advaita," that exists beneath the apparent duality of the world. By transcending attachment to material pleasures and realizing the eternal and unchanging aspect of the self (Atman) and its connection to the ultimate reality (Brahman), individuals can attain spiritual liberation (moksha) and break free from the cycle of birth and death (samsara).

Thus, the teaching reminds practitioners to cultivate detachment from the fleeting pleasures of the material world and to focus on spiritual growth and inner fulfillment as a means to transcend the cycle of suffering and attain lasting peace and happiness.


 The stage on which we are …realization alone can give us boundless joy.

This passage delves into the concept of the self (atman) and its relationship with universal consciousness (Brahman) in the context of achieving true bliss and self-realization. Let's break it down:

The Stage of Life: Here, life is likened to a stage where we enact the drama of our existence. This metaphor suggests that life is transient and filled with various roles and experiences.

The Atman: In Hindu philosophy, the atman refers to the individual self or soul. It is considered eternal and distinct from the physical body. The passage describes the atman as pure existence, pure consciousness, and bliss. This implies that at the core of our being, we are characterized by pure consciousness and blissful existence.

Universal Consciousness (Brahman): Brahman is the ultimate reality in Hinduism, representing the universal consciousness or the supreme cosmic spirit. The passage suggests that this universal consciousness exists within each individual as the atman. Therefore, the relationship between the atman and Brahman is intrinsic and interconnected.

Self-Realization: Self-realization is the process of recognizing the true nature of the self (atman) and its connection with the universal consciousness (Brahman). It involves transcending the illusion of individual identity and realizing one's oneness with the cosmic reality. This recognition of the real 'I' leads to boundless joy and fulfillment.

In essence, the passage emphasizes the importance of reconnecting with the universal consciousness within ourselves to attain true happiness and fulfillment. Through self-realization, one can transcend the limitations of the ego and experience the eternal bliss inherent in the atman-Brahman unity.