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The Hopeless Search Goes On

Pure, eternal joy and peace are to be found only in union with the Atman.

Our ignorance debars us from that union, but the dim, confused longing for happiness remains. So we are driven to seek it in the external world. We are forced to accept wretched substitutes and to try to persuade ourselves that they are genuine and valid.

Instead of eternity, we cling to what seems relatively enduring.

Instead of purity, we value what seems relatively pure.

Instead of true happiness, we hold to what seems temporarily pleasant.

But our satisfaction, also, is short-lived.

The strongest tower falls, the most beautiful flower withers in our hands, the clearest water turns brackish and foul. Ignorance has betrayed us, as it always must.

Yet, as we turn sadly away, our eyes fall upon some new object of sense attachment and desire. And so the hopeless search goes on.

Source - Book titled - Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Swami Prabhavananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, p.75