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Threefold Discipline To Attain True Happiness According To Hinduism

In Hinduism, the pursuit of true happiness is often seen as a spiritual journey, one that involves deep introspection, contemplation, and meditation. The threefold discipline you mentioned—hearing about the Atman, reflecting on it, and meditating on it—is indeed considered a fundamental practice for attaining true happiness and liberation from the cycle of birth and death (samsara).

Hearing about the Atman (Sravana): This involves listening to the teachings of the scriptures, gurus, and spiritual texts that expound on the nature of the Atman—the true self or soul. Through hearing about the Atman, individuals gain knowledge and understanding of their innate divinity, the eternal aspect of their being that transcends the physical body and mind. This knowledge is essential as it serves as the foundation for the subsequent stages of reflection and meditation.

Reflecting on the Atman (Manana): After gaining knowledge through hearing, reflection or contemplation (manana) is the next step. This involves deeply contemplating the nature of the Atman, internalizing its significance, and integrating this understanding into one's daily life. Reflecting on the Atman allows individuals to clarify doubts, overcome misconceptions, and deepen their realization of the self as immortal and divine.

Meditating on the Atman (Nididhyasana): Meditation (nididhyasana) is the practice of turning inward, quieting the mind, and directly experiencing the Atman. Through meditation, individuals strive to go beyond the limitations of the ego and connect with their true nature—the Atman. This is not merely intellectual understanding or reflection but a direct experience of the self as pure consciousness, bliss, and infinite awareness. In this state of meditation, one transcends the fluctuations of the mind and experiences a profound sense of inner peace, joy, and oneness with the universe.

By diligently practicing these threefold disciplines—Sravana, Manana, and Nididhyasana—one gradually realizes the Atman as the ultimate reality underlying all existence. This realization leads to liberation (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death and the attainment of true happiness, which is not dependent on external circumstances but arises from the eternal bliss of the self. Thus, in Hinduism, the journey towards true happiness is ultimately a journey of self-discovery, leading to the realization of one's divine nature and the experience of boundless joy and fulfillment.