Climbing the Bliss Pyramid

An integrated perspective on self and society

by Dada Shambhushivananda

Knowingly or unknowingly, every living being on this earth longs for pleasure, happiness and bliss. Human beings want and crave for them even more so. Despite our innate endeavors to achieve them, the fulfillment of this urge remains an elusive dream for a large segment of society. Instead, what we see is a fractured self, dysfunctional organizations and a tormented society.

Here, I advance four secrets drawn from a yogic perspective on how to climb the bliss pyramid and attain a stance of lasting peace and tranquility for both the self and the larger society as a whole. The basic thesis is that there are four inherent longings in humans viz., physical longings ( kama ); psycho-physical and psychic ( artha ); psycho-spiritual and proto-spiritual ( dharma ) and spiritual ( moksa ). Our endeavor to attain them may take us in two directions—the path of greater bondage or ultimate freedom from worldly bondages. The sum-total of individual and collective endeavors in these four domains ultimately produces a materialist or a spiritual society. Taken to an extreme, the path of selfish pleasure ( atma-sukha tattva) is likely to lock us into an unending vicious cycle of un-satiated sensual gratification, insecurity, desire for more and more wealth and knowledge, craving for power and other manifestations of human ego, ultimate depression, frustration , disappointment and un-fulfillment. It has been a quite common scenario till today. There is however, a way out of this vicious cycle. It requires mastery of the following four secrets.

Secret 1
Moderation or Restraint is the secret of pleasure in this world. In order to maintain our bodies, we may need to indulge in kama (physical sensual gratification of any kind) but we shall need to use our conscience ( viveka ) in order to keep the kama under control. A mere indulgence without restraint is the sure recipe for attachment and pain. Our inner passions are like wild horses and need to be trained and cultured. Yogic lifestyle has several ways to achieve this.

Secret 2
Progressive Utilization rather than mere accumulation of wealth for selfish pleasure is the secret of overcoming psychological insecurity. We want to secure pleasure in the future via control of wealth, information and knowledge. Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) teaches us the importance of maximum and proper utilization of all wealth and to explore the inner secrets for the fullest and benevolent utilization of all wealth using the latest tools of science, technology and the arts for the good and happiness of all beings.

Secret 3
The tendency to control inner faculties of mind also usually simultaneously strengthens the tendency to control, manipulate and can sometimes lead to addiction to power. The secret of transcendence over this lust for power is to cultivate the spirit of service and sacrifice. Only such a philosophy of life that goads us towards neohumanist service is the panacea for fighting dogma and liberating the human intellect from the noose of intellectual extravaganza and pseudo-intellectual games. However, it is not an easy task. It requires constant application of discriminating intellect and a spirit of coordinated cooperation as opposed to subordinated cooperation.

Secret 4
Freedom is the innate urge in all living beings. However, freedom begotten out of control of others is not lasting. History is a testimony to the cruel ending of all endeavors to keep control of power through suppression, oppression and repressions. The secret of true and lasting freedom is a peaceful attunement to the call of our Higher Universal Spiritual Self. This spiritual work brings inner-enlightenment; enfoldment of creativity , genuine wisdom; and, perennial flow of universal love. It also gives vitality to stand for Truth or fight for Dharma(righteousness). So, the ultimate solution for bliss is to strive towards spiritual enlightenment above everything else in life. Spiritual enlightenment comes through discipline of the mind, cultivation of selflessness and an unending devotional endeavor to unite with the omniscient Cosmic Consciousness-beyond all forms and expressions.

Climbing the Bliss Pyramid
While the above four-secret theory may appear simple, its actualization is not an easy task. It is like climbing Mount Everest . It is fraught with dangers and risks. The obstacles are both internal and external. They originate both from the individual and from the collective-consciousness. The staticity of self and society intertwines and generates a powerful invisible power of gravity. Hence; a collective effort is required to create a proper environment for enabling the climbing of this Bliss-Pyramid. Any endeavor in this direction would be a laudable task. The mission of Ananda Marga Gurukula is to empower each individual to overcome all obstacles; attain the highest stance of blissful spiritual attainment; and contribute towards removing the bane of fractured self, dysfunctional organizations and a tormented society

AMGK Affiliation Certificates
AMGK Affiliation Certificates have been awarded to the following NHE Schools in the past 6 months:
New Day School – Portland, Oregon, USA
Escola Neohumanista Tera Viva Ananda Marga – Brasilia, Brasil
Recreation Universal Infantil Ananda Marga – Brasilia, Brasil
Centro Eucational Ananda Marga – Belem, Brasil
Ananda Marga Neohumanist School – Juiz De Pora, Brasil
Neohumanista Escuela Basica – Toledo Capiata, Paraguay
Universal Infantil – II (Dadas) – Asuncion, Paraguay
Universo Infantil IV – Sapucai, Paraguay
Universo Infantil – II (Didis) – Asuncion, Paraguay
Centro Educational Infantil lar de Criancas – Sao Paulo, Brasil
Lar Ecreche Jardin Ecologico – Sao Paulo, Brasil
Creche Jardin Ecologico – Sao Paulo, Brasil
Escola Neohumanista De Ensino Fundamental Ananda Marga – Porto Alegro, Brasil
Ananda Marga Creche Belem Novo, Porto Alegre, Brasil
Escola Infantil Restinag Nova – 1, Porto Alegre, Brasil

NHE Schools are invited to apply for affiliation through