Talk:Ānanda (Hindu philosophy)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Hinduism (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Hinduism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Hinduism on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.

Accertaining content[edit]

Ānanda (Sanskrit:आनन्द) means bliss or happiness. Happiness, one of the four moral ends towards which human beings direct all their efforts, is derived via good thoughts and good deeds that depend on the state and on the control of the mind, that means, on evenness of temper; the state of supreme bliss is reached through evenness of mind with reference to all aspects of one’s life.[1] Both, Physical good and Spiritual good, result in bliss; the former by itself is an aspect of bliss, and the latter constitutes the acme of bliss.[2]

According to the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy Ānanda is that state of sublime delight when the Jiva becomes free from all sins, all doubts, all desires, all actions, all pains, all sufferings and also all physical and mental ordinary pleasures, having become established in Brahman it becomes Jivanmukta.[3] The Upanishads repeatedly use the word, Ānanda, to denote Brahman, the innermost Self, the Blissful One, who has unlike the individual Self no real embodiness.

The plight of being[edit]

The plight of being is in its own being, for the very fact of being by itself necessitates actions that give pleasure and pain. Pleasure and pain are results of Karmas. The Bhagvad Gita, by using five verbs viz. करोषि Karoshi (ordinary activities carried on for earning a livelihood, social duties etc;), अश्नासि Ashnaasi (activities intended to keep the body and soul together by intake of food etc;), जुहोषि Juhoshi (activities connected with worship, meditation etc;), ददासि Dadaasi (activities connected with charity etc;) and तपस्यसि Tapasyasi (activities which bring about self-restraint, all forms of austere penance etc;), enumerates those actions with which the ordinary man identifies himself with and craves for their fruits.[4] Craving, which is longing difficult to curb, is the origin of suffering. Pleasure too is attended by pain. Craving, pleasure and pain, which are products of ignorance, are associated with the Jiva, the empirical self, whose origin is the origin of the limiting adjuncts of the mind-body complex. Actions that depend entirely on the performer bring about Jiva’s connection with the body,[5] and which particular connection brings in its wake suffering, pain and grief for the Jiva. [6] There is the right to work but never to the fruit thereof; suffering, pain and grief afflict so long as actions are made to bear fruit.[7]

Moreover, the empirical self, the finite individual, cannot imagine the Infinite without limiting it; the finite being can only form limited and objective conceptions of the Infinite, which forms and concepts rest ultimately in the Infinite, the Absolute.[8]

The role of the mind[edit]

By itself the mind is an unconscious organ or substance that gets readied by various impressions and will, to assist the Jiva. According to the Chandogya Upanishad the subtlest part of food when eaten becomes the mind; the Katha Upanishad compares mind to the bridle of the chariot (body) to which are yoked the (evil) senses; the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad suggests that since mind is what it is desirable to know, therefore, all manifestations of the mind should be known, and the Aitareya Upanishad explains that all mental functions are the processes of Thought, that of intellection. But, the Jiva, who is by its true nature Consciousness itself, due to delusion continues to engage in vain pursuits. [9] In its anxiety and ignorance the Jiva equates pleasure, satisfaction and comfort with happiness, and wanders about without knowing what happiness truly means; the kind of happiness that the Jiva generally seeks to enjoy is limited, momentary and perishable in nature.

The cause of empirical life is nescience i.e. lodgement in the Prakrti and clinging to its constituents or desires, which is to be shunned, what dispels nescience is knowledge and dispassion with renunciation. The instruction is to keep the mind pure through gain of knowledge.[10] The light which illuminates the mind is the light that confers knowledge,[11] and the Paramatman, the Supreme Self, alone is the only source of bliss for the Jivatman who through its own purified ten means of knowledge seeks Him.[12] So long as there is mental preoccupation with causality so long does the worldly state continue, which preoccupation can be removed through perfect illumination. While remembering that the birth less Brahman is everything then one does not perceive the born, and the mind established in equipoise should not be disturbed. Both the mind and the Jiva are objects of each other’s perception; they are cognized through each other.[13] The mind is kept bound to the Jiva not for the destruction of Prana and its associated aspects but for their protection for on them depends life. [14]

The two categories of happiness[edit]

There are two categories of happiness – Great Happiness and Little Happiness. Real happiness is the happiness that is enjoyed in the vision of the Infinite. It is the everlasting imperishable Great Happiness; all other kinds which constitute Little Happiness are momentary and perishable. The former consists in the mystical realisation of the triune unity, by becoming identified with the Infinite; the latter consists in finite things that do not give real happiness. The presence of the Infinite is felt everywhere, without and within, but the sense-objects that please and satisfy the senses alone are limited and impermanent. Happiness is plenum, happiness is completeness, happiness is totality, happiness is in the Absolute.[15] R.D.Ranade explains that Great Happiness consists in seeing, hearing and meditating on the Atman, and Little Happiness, upon other things besides the Atman, the former is experienced when the Infinite is seen everywhere as identical with everything that exists when the being residing within us as the I is realized everywhere identical with every thing, the latter is limited to the I-consciousness alone; he who thus realises the triune unity of the Infinite, the I, and the Atman, and experiences the truth of the Brahmvakya - So Aham Atma, is alone entitled to enjoy the highest happiness, Ananda. [16] The unique awareness of Sameness, which is actually the awareness of Oneness, is the knowledge of Reality, which is Bliss, and the sole source of bliss.[17]

After renouncing the fruits of action and thus becoming freed from the bonds of Karmas which are in the shape of good and bad consequences one should duly practice concentration on Aum first through the means of its letters, then meditate on Aum without regard to its letters, and finally on the realizaion with this latter form of meditation on Aum the idea of non-entity is attained as entity; non-entity is the world of name and form i.e. of Avidya and its effects, and entity is Brahman alone free from all adjuncts and limitations.[18] Therefore, the sages of the Rig Veda pray for drawing up of strength so as to locate the causal truth and the causal untruth lying buried beneath the ancient marks of name, place and birth denoting existence and life. [19]

The nature of Ananda[edit]

Without doubt, enjoyments born of objective contacts cause pain only. One who is strong enough to resist the urge of lust and wrath is always happy who becomes Brahman and finds peace in Brahman. Pure and noble thoughts, and the resultant dedicated will, impel the Jiva to set for itself, desirable and definable higher and greater goals, and enable its actions and efforts to stay cohesively sincere and properly directed. Real happiness or Ānanda is the most refined extract obtained from such an effort of the mind. [20] A deluded mind considers real happiness to be illusory and unattainable. But, all that there is, together with the moving and the non-moving, is a manifestation of the mind, for when the mind ceases to think duality is not at all perceived. Those who do not perceive duality experience spiritual bliss.[21]

Paramahamsa Upanishad states that for the renouncer all desires of the mind cease to exist, he is not agitated by grief and has no longing for happiness; renunciation of attachment to sense-objects comes and he is everywhere unattached in good or evil, he neither hates nor is elated. The outgoing tendency of all the sense-organs subsides in him who rests in the Ātman alone, who then reaches the end of his desires.[22]

The experience of spiritual bliss is the enjoyment of eternal happiness i.e. of Ānanda. The fatherly figures, the learned ones, who keep the fire alight at their homes and those who do not, owing to their knowledge of the highest Truth enjoy eternal happiness.[23] In the state of sublime delight experienced on being face to face with Reality and having become established in Brahman one becomes free from all physical and mental bonds and becomes Jivanmukta,[24] having attained eternal tranquillity[25] his senses along with the mind and intellect become motionless[26] and he having realised the Atman finds eternal happiness everywhere.[27] Till he becomes liberated the considerate and discriminating man of learning and experience, preferring to avail the delight pouring forth from the great fire (of learning and knowledge) kept alit, but remaining untarnished and grateful watches the benefic creative works of the Sun, Vayu, and water. [28] i.e. detached he continues to perform his duties.



The aforedetailed text is the exact text of the article "Ananda (Hindu Philosophy)" that I had intended to re-submit for review and creation, the previous version that was edited by a brother editor having been declined. I am still waiting for its re-review process to commence.Soni Ruchi (talk) 07:41, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
If some text has been copied from your article without any attribution, that is copyright violation! --16:03, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Ananda is an Indian concept, a concept that was new to Western philosophers, and the word, Ananda, does not exactly mean bliss. No doubt happiness is desirable but Ananda is not the kind of happiness all seek. Nowhere from page 5 to 10 of Pathways to Joy have I found any hint about Vivekananda talking about efforts to find the meaning of Ananda, the sole reference to the word Ananda in the entire book is on page 27 in respect of the phrase Sat-chit-ananda. I have not also been able to locate the second statement attributed to Vivekananda. In fact the entire book Pathways to Joy reiterates the philosophy and Upanishadic thought, the same as Soni Ruchi had done. When I compare the two drafts I find the different supposed meanings of Ananda high-lighted in the published article to be misleading. The existing article needs to be deleted and rewritten in line with the Vedanta philosophy.Tarun marwaha (talk) 11:25, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Ananda is an Indian concept, if you find the lead misleading please discuss here before making changes , or if you think the aritcle is hoax you can nominate for deletion under AFD , the main idea of the article is to have multiple point of view of different author and not to carry only one. as you may already know , India has many philosophers and many school of thoughts please keep in mind that the article should try to mention all their point of view without any undue balance to any school of thought.Shrikanthv (talk) 08:03, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Just now read your response to my noting. My dear friend, kindly do not allow wrong notions to assume the stature of truth. Please read Chapters 11 to 15 of Panchadasi of Vidyaranya (published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai.) Even though Vidyaranya has classified Ananda as being - that 1) of Yoga, 2) of the Self, 3) of Non-duality and 4) of Knowledge on one hand, and 5) of Objects (which is not Ananda but simply pleasure) on the other hand, you would realize(vide Chapter11.Sloka 13) that in real terms Ananda cannot be classified at all, and also conclude that the Infinite alone is Ananda - Yo bhoomaa sa sukham Therefore, with regard to Ananda there cannot be different schools of thought. Nice knowing you though.Tarun marwaha (talk) 13:21, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Hello Mr. Tarun, again if you are concedering books by Ramakrishna math,its again one point of view, have a look at Bagavan ramana or Sri aurobindo they have different out look on the subject. it would be really helpfull you can bring all this deferent concepts to summarise the subject Shrikanthv (talk) 11:31, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
My dear Shrikanthv, You seem to have written the above lines without even reading Panchadasi. I can't say I am surprised because you also appear to be steadfastly unchanging and rigid in your reasoning and approach which is evident from the fact that a) you have taken in the same breath the name of Sri Ramakrishna Math as publishers with those of Ramana and Aurobindo who were thinkers and reformers and b) you have not yet reworked the article you had posted in preference to what is reproduced on this talk page. You are asking me to complete the task you had commenced, I can, but I do know that even if I were to rewrite/improve this article you are certainly not going to accept the changes. You are bound to reject that effort.Tarun marwaha (talk) 13:12, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
Hi Tarun. First off, let me say thank you for offering to participate in discussion here; your willingness to enter into dialogue about the article is commendable. I'd also note, for the record, that you are evidently better read than me in Vedic philosophy (I've only a very rudimentary knowledge of the subject), so I'm happy to take your word on which books say what. However, it seems evident to me from doing only a little background reading that multiple interpretations of the Ananda concept exist. One of Wikipedia's founding principles is that the encyclopedia must be neutral - in instances where multiple noteworthy positions on a topic exist, we do our best to report all of them. Whilst I'm in no way suggesting that the Vedic concept of Ananda be written out of the article (and if you'd like to insert information derived from Panchadasi, please do so), other positions need to be covered as well. (The weighting given to each would ideally be in proportion to their coverage in reliable sources elsewhere, though this is always difficult to achieve in practice.) So, whilst we can certainly cover the fact that (for example) the Advaita school sees Ananda as a state to be reached when one achieves moksha, we should also cover the fact that (again, for example) Aurobindo believes it to be humanity's natural basic state. In the same way that we cover both the Catholic and Baptist interpretations of, say, the Eucharist (and each of those faiths would argue that the other has misinterpreted scripture and is wholly wrong), we need to cover the multiple interpretations of Ananda that exist.
Perhaps it would help if you were to expound here (briefly!) what sort of shape you would like to see the article take, to give us an idea of the changes you would like implemented? Yunshui  13:30, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Mr.Yunshui, I have hereinabove already outlined what I would do if I were ever to edit/rewrite/improve the article that is existing on this Talk page, and I have also indicated my disapproval of what is presented as an article on the main space. But on the basis of your closing lines, am I to presume I cannot edit/rewrite/improve this article without obtaining your express approval? Moreover, as you say you have a very rudimentary knowledge of Vedic philosophy, yet without any prior notice to the author you had arbitrarily though leveraged by a technical excuse deleted this article of Soni Ruchi; these two acts not at all endearing have put me off totally. You also do not know that two or more concepts need not be compared if a comparison is not warranted; you cannot compare Ananda of the Upanishads with the interpretation of Bliss by other schools of thought in an article devoted to Ananda alone. I am not being rigid but I am also not able to follow your line of thought. When two minds do not meet what is the need to continue a fruitless discussion. Therefore, I am unable to engage with you. I am sorry, no offence meant. I don't know, you may close this talk page if you must.Tarun marwaha (talk) 08:23, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry if you feel unable to engage in discussion with me. You are welcome to edit the article as you see fit, without approval from me or anyone else - what you do need to be willling to do, though, is discuss your changes if they are challenged. Whilst I'm only casually familiar with Vedic philosophy, I'm extremely familiar with Wikipedia's policies, and my deletion of Soni's fork of the article was mandated by those policies.
In an article devoted to Ananda as a philosophical concept, we need to cover all the philosophical interpretations of Ananda that have arisen, both those based on the use of the term in the Upanishads and those that have delveloped subsequently. These should absolutely be compared, but in a neutral, non-judgemental manner. As a related example, see Ahimsa, which is rated as a Good Article - it covers the concept across multiple faiths, and even within Hinduism alone it discusses the disputes between interpretations. All the assertions are backed up with secondary sources (for example, the claim that the oldest instance of the concept appears in the Chāndogya Upanishad is not sourced to the Chāndogya Upanishad, but to Tähtinen's 1976 commentary, Ahimsa. Non-Violence in Indian Tradition). You need only glance at the "References" section of the old/forked version of the page, above, to see that Soni's original text incorporated almost no secondary sources at all - we cannot have an article on a religious concept that is only sourced to the religion's primary texts, because such an article would be hideously unbalanced and non-neutral.
In short, whilst I'm certain that your conception of Ananda is well-considered and based on sound philosophy, it is patently not the only conception of the topic. As such, we must present an article that give appropriate weight to all interpretations of the idea, not just yours. Yunshui  08:42, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
Mr Tarun I am happy that you are here and talking, some basic information is that wiki is free for all and no single person is owning anything (just like real democracy) , some people bear office (just like Mr Yunshui is an administrator) so that wiki does not go crazy or turn into facebook , and for rest like me and you are contributors , do not take anything negatively, i am bit caught up in working other articles, I can see you are explaining a line of deference between Ananda and bliss which i myself ran into while writing this article, so it would be really helpfull if you can put your suggested changes here and we give it a go and you can make the changes, ( do not worry or approval or disapproval) I would be really happy to say yes to your suggestions Shrikanthv (talk) 08:48, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

So now, Mr.Yunshui,you are throwing your weight and rank via one of those whom you have adopted and protect (he has deliberately taken care to inform me that you are now an administrator to instil in my heart and mind awe and fear). What a pity. I am certainly not impressed. Moreover, I always thought discussions are a part of the keenly awaited and much adored learning process but you have made them sound as if they were some pre-planned keenly contested strategic but avoidable jousts between adversaries bent upon scoring points. That is not the motto of Wikipedia which is an information highway. With these few words I seek your permission to leave this talk page.Tarun marwaha (talk) 02:08, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Friendly suggestion, Hi Tarun I was the same in the begining, you have to know that wiki has its own rules and regulation and often different from the ideologies which we live in our real live !! ( unbelievable but true) , there is no weight or under weight , good or bad and seriously no goodies or crownies nor any $$ (bling, blings!!), I would say MR yunshui is no greater man than me or you are, adminstrator is a office and he bears it as he knows how things work here more than you and me.
It is like even in democracy, you cant really go and kill a monkey right! , there are some rules which we humans have formed to make us "sane" (same goes here too) . it may happen an Alien lands on earth one day and starts chewing all humans and says hey guys cant oppose us you are scoring crowines!! and trying to enforce your superiority.........
one thing i did not see here was a constructive critisim on topic itself nor suggestion on what is wrong and needs to be changed !! dont let negeativity get to you, be positive and for sure fight of what is right (inside wiki rules )
Visit your talk page too Mr Tarun here Talk page Shrikanthv (talk) 07:45, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
My being an administrator does not in any way place my opinion above that of other editors - all it means is that I have a handful of tools that most other users can't access. In all other respects, I'm no more or less an authority than you. I'm sorry if you felt Shrikanthv's mention of my admin status came across as threatening; I'm sure it was not intended as such. Yunshui  09:16, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Ananda should not be translated as "happiness" because that is a word in English used for mild positiveness. Ananda is the source goodness behind anything positive in the Universe. "Bliss" is a better word because it is not used for mild, everyday occurrences, yet it is still understood as positive.

Also, how did Aurobindo get on this page as some kind of authority on anything? He has great "PR" and managed to get the approval of some politicians - mainly because of his image as someone who resisted the British Raj. None of that makes him a scholar. It's like making Thomas Jefferson an authority on Christianity, simply because he as famous and he wrote about Christianity. (talk) 22:28, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Sexual interpretation[edit]

The sexual interpretation was in the lede but not in the body of the article. I've moved it to the end and toned it down a little, leaving just an indication in the lede, and I've added a citation needed. I find this mentioned in other reliable sources, but sexuality and religion is Jeffrey J. Kripal's particular area of research and we should not over-emphasize this. Can others who know more about the topic than me help achieve a good balance with appropriate references? For instance, I removed "euphemism" as a loaded word, but it is possible that this meaning of ānanda occurs mostly in Tantric contexts? Yngvadottir (talk) 07:00, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I am cutting and pasting the controvercial stanza here, I believe its with bad taste and missleading the whole topic in gross misinterpretation and doubt the authority of the author on his experience on this Shrikanthv (talk) 13:59, 24 November 2014 (UTC) Relationship of ānanda to sexual bliss" Ānanda is also used as a term for sexual pleasure and orgasm. Ancient Sanskrit texts make an explicit connection between ānanda as "orgasmic rapture" and ānanda as the experience of brahman/ātman. The Upaniṣads, for example, clearly identify the organ of ānanda as the penis.[citation needed] Similarly, ānanda is equated with nocturnal experiences of divine sexual intercourse, the ejaculation of semen, and the production of male offspring. Such meanings were ignored, suppressed or lost in many later textual traditions produced and interpreted by celibate monks.[1]

  1. ^ Jeffrey J. Kripal (2005), "Phallus and Vagina", Encyclopedia of Religion, 10 (2nd ed.), Thomson Gale, p. 7083