The philosophy of joy


The sole search of every being is joy. Whenever one is searching, whatever one is searching, one is looking for joy — whether it is spiritual or material, whether it is in the movies, bars, or in the church or temple; whether it is money, fame or power. The search simply is for joy and the Divine is all joy and bliss.


Bliss is nothing but qualified joy, a joy that is devoid of feverishness, suffering and pain. Love comes along with pain. Silence is a little serious; joy is mischievous. One cannot have mischief if there is no joy and Krishna is all mischief. Krishna is absolute joy, absolute bliss. Nothing whatsoever could take away the joy from Krishna.


If you look at his life, it was miserable — he was born in misery. Kansa, the uncle of Krishna, is a symbol of ego. Ego is far away from joy; ego tries to kill the joy in us. Children are so full of joy because there is no ego. The moment ego comes, separation comes. We destroy the bliss, the beauty, that innocent joy. Kansa sent several people to kill Krishna but was unsuccessful. Krishna, when he was just eight or ten, fell in love with Radha, she was much elder to Krishna. That love was such a pure love. People did not know why they were in such a love with Krishna; everyone would flock around him.


Mischief is the outcome of joy. Children are very mischievous. Parents say, ‘Don’t do this!’, ‘Stop that!’ It’s very normal for children to be mischievous; we should let them do it. Sometimes it entails trouble for the parents, but there is also fun. What is life without fun? Krishna told many lies, played and troubled people around him. People around him would like to be troubled by him. People would complain with anger, but the moment they came in his presence, they would start giggling, all their anger would vanish.


In the presence of pure bliss, joy, all complaints vanish and life appears like a play. One can look at every trouble as a challenge or can spend it crying and complaining. You know, what you have in your hand indicates what you are inside. If you have a gun in your hand, it indicates fear or violence. If you have a flower in your hand, it indicates you are like a flower. If you have a flute in your hand, you are like a flute — hollow and empty.


Krishna has the flute in the hand and the whole style of standing indicates his whole philosophy. One leg is firm on the ground. A dance can happen when your feet are first touching the ground. If your legs are buried in the mud, a dance cannot happen. Not even if it is up in the ground. One leg has to be firm on the ground, the other can be up in the air and then dance happens. Joy is the dance of life and the life of Krishna is such a dance.


One can imagine Krishna everywhere; you cannot pinpoint Krishna as one thing. Sometimes he may ride a horse, be a charioteer and in some other place he can be dancing. Krishna is the symbol of all possibilities, the total blossoming of all aspects of human, or Divine — whatever you call. It’s very difficult to really understand Krishna’s personality. The rishis called him the full embodiment of the Divine total because all that a human could be, a being could be, is all in Krishna. You can see him as the perfect friend.


Once one of his close aides tells Krishna, ‘‘O Krishna, I cannot understand you. I have been with you for the past fifteen years, you confuse me more and more everyday! At one point I see you as such a courageous person who could alone fight war with so many people, at other times you hide yourself in the closet. You behave completely eccentric. One time you are so powerful, another time so scared. One time you come out with such a great wisdom, another time you ask me advice.’’ One place he is a servant, another time king of the whole province, who takes very good care of all subjects.


Contrast energies


Arjuna was ready to quit everything and go to the Himalayas. He was not ready to fight the war. Krishna convinced him. Krishna was a good teacher because he taught as a friend. He said, ‘‘You’re such a great warrior. Anyway, everyone is already dead.


I do everything, you just be an instrument.’’ In the battlefield, if someone could sustain the depth of awareness, clarity of mind when everybody is in such chaos, and give the highest knowledge, that leaves you in awe of Krishna.


You can have a big smile when everything is firm and smooth but when everything is upside down and you smile, then you have achieved something. Everything was upside down, chaotic, wherever Krishna went and yet, the smile would simply capture everything. His smile was so great that people would forget their sorrow and joy would simply flood.


Even the saints would fall in love in that field of energy; people who have renounced everything would be interested. The dispassionate one will be drawn. The word Krishna, itself, means that which is attractive, that draws everything. The very core of your being is such; the bliss of the self, the joy of the self is like that. It just draws everything. In a symbolic manner, also, it is so beautiful. Krishna was such a charmer that people could not stay away from him. Young and old, boys and girls and even the rishis, could not stay away; they would just follow him around.


The gopis said, ‘‘the love between you and me; only my soul knows.’’ The depth of the love, joy, and devotion was like wildfire all around Krishna. In love there is 2 percent lust. In lust there is 2 percent love. You may have noticed when children are in deep love, they come and hug, hang to your neck, kiss you, lick all parts of your face. What do you call it, love or lust? Love. But the act is very lustful.


It’s the same thing with a puppy. When you come back home, the puppy will jump all over you and lick you by which it is expressing its love to you. Intense love wants expression. You hug, shake hands, give flowers… nothing really satisfies. Love cannot be fully expressed, yet it cannot be without expression. That’s the nature of joy and love. It wants to find an expression.


The love of the gopis and Krishna was such a love. Krishna means the most attractive. It is the divinity that is the most attractive; the energy that pulls everything to it. Krishna is the formless centre which is everywhere. Any attraction from anywhere is coming only from Krishna. Often people fail to see the spirit behind the attraction and merely hold on to the outer shell. And the moment you try to possess the shell, you will see Krishna has played a trick and you will be left with an empty shell in your hands and tears in your eyes.


The mind moves towards beauty, joy and truth. Krishna tells Arjuna, ‘‘I am the beauty in the Beautiful, the strength in the Strong, the wisdom in the Wise.’’ Be clever like Radha — don’t be tricked by Krishna. Krishna could not escape from Radha, for, her whole world was filled with Krishna. If you can see that wherever there is an attraction, there is Krishna; then you are Radha, you are in your centre.