Priyam, Modam, Pramodam
Prof Anil Kumar -- How we can achieve Permanent Happiness --& Swami's Reply
Prof. Anil Kumar: Swami! Kindly let us know how we can achieve anandaprapti, permanent happiness, and removal of suffering, dukhanivrutti.
Bhagavan: These two levels of consciousness are not separate from each other, as you have stated. When suffering is removed, you derive happiness. Absence of happiness is the cause of misery.. Both are interrelated. Absence of light is darkness: Where there is light there is no darkness. Absence of one of the two is the presence of the other.
So, if you explore the methods of removing suffering, happiness naturally and automatically dawns. If you investigate the reason for misery, you will know that ignorance is the cause of all misery. What is responsible for ignorance? It is the ego. What is ego? It is attachment.
The happiness that you get from listening to a person whom you like, or hearing about an article that you wished to acquire is described as priyam, pleasure.. When you actually get what you really want, that is called modam, joy. The experience of joy after acquiring what you want is called pramodam, supreme joy. If anybody starts talking to you about what is dear to you, you will be happy. So it is called priyam. If you see or meet those who are dear to you, you will be extremely happy. This is called modam. On receiving and possessing what is dearest to you, your experience is described as pramodam.
When you hear of the divine power from great epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and of the leelas of God incarnate and devotion celebrated in Bhagavata, and other texts, you will be very happy. This is priyam. If you practice all that you have heard from these immortal books, you will derive a kind of joy described as modam. If you identify yourself with the divinity and merge in it, the supreme bliss you get out of it is called pramodam.
You do not have to sacrifice the world, You have to give up worldly thoughts and feelings. You do not have to sacrifice your properties, but you must establish proper-ties with God.
So one has to hear about God, priyam in the first stage, practice all that is heard, modam in the second stage and finally experience the bliss thereafter, pramodam in the third stage. This is anandaprapti, the way to be blissful.
In philosophical parlance, desiring, acquiring the object desired and enjoying the object acquired (priyam, modam and pramodam) are also regarded as relating to the three stages of 'sravana' (listening), 'manana' (ruminating in the mind over what has been heard) and 'niddhyasana' (imprinting in the heart what has been ruminated upon). Merely listening to sacred words will not help. It should be followed by recapitulation and deep contemplation.