--> Skip to main content

Why Is The Mind One Day Wearing A Happy Mask And The Next Day A Sad Mask

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad declares that Purusha, the cosmic soul, has entered into all different bodies. One day the mind is wearing a happy mask and the next day it is wearing a sad mask. When we are identified with our body, emotions, and mind, our individuality is constantly changing. The holiday of Halloween is very relevant to Vedanta. The soul is all the time playing Halloween and wearing masks. We have passed through so many lives, so many masks, and so many cultural customs. This play with so many masks is fun sometimes, no doubt, but in comparison with our real Self, it is nothing.

The Self is the totality. The sense of existence, knowledge, and joy comes from the Self. Our constant companion is our own truth. The Self is the ground of our very existence. It is our Self that is appearing as a dog or a cat or a man or a woman. It seems like it is something that is very difficult to comprehend: ‘I am the Purusha, the cosmic soul.’ The Self is often described as ananda, joy or blessedness. We may think of speech and mind as the most important things in life, but we give too much importance to them. We should never forget this fundamental point of Advaita Vedanta when we say the Self is this or that. These may be necessary steps, but we should remember that these are only steps. These steps will lead us to our true Self.

In the Taittiriya Upanishad the Self is described as rasa — juice, sweetness, joy. Our Self is the juice of everything. Anything that exists has to wear a label of existence. Whatever exists is also a piece of knowledge, a bit of that light of knowledge. When our experiences are grounded in our particular likes and dislikes, we cannot experience this joy. If our mind is troubled with selfish thoughts, we cannot experience this joy.

In the last chapter of the Taittiriya Upanishad, the discussion is about ananda, bliss. It is ananda that is making it possible for us to live. All beings are really sustained by ananda, but it is difficult to understand. Forget these names and forms and just concentrate on the light of knowledge, like a million-watt light bulb. Our mind must become free from likes and dislikes. We should try to be aware of that natural joy that is pouring into us all the time, like a kind of radiation from outer space. Always see that it is the same Purusha emanating from everything and everybody. When our likes and dislikes are dissolved we will be open to absorb that joy. Then whatever exists is just like a radioactive substance — emanating knowledge.

SourceMeditation on the Upanishads by Swami Shraddhananda page 48 – 49 – Prabuddha Bharata September 2018 Issue.