Man ceaselessly tries to be happy. He constantly puts in great efforts to be merry; yet he fails in his endeavor. What is the main reason for his repeated failures? Let us analyze this in detail.
A child is born; he passes his time in playing with toys and enjoys the company of his mother. He grows and reaches the age of adolescence. Now his main interest is his friends. Then he comes to the age of marriage. Now his major interest is his wife. Later he begets children and gets interested in them. Thus one’s main focus and interest shift from one thing to another, from one person to another.
All these can be termed as apparent necessities of life, the fulfillment of which leads to excitement. If they are not fulfilled, it leads to dejection and disappointment. But does the fulfillment of these wants lead us to real happiness, to real satisfaction? All our life we ceaselessly exert to fulfill these wants. But what happens at last? Are we happy? The answer is that, though the fulfillment of such wants gives us temporary flashes of excitement, they are soon lost. Again dissatisfaction and new wants crop up. The point is that the pleasure in fulfilling these wants is transient. We feel as though we are after a mirage. The feeling of emptiness in us does not go away. What is the reason for this?
Sages say that the main reason for repeated failures is due to our ignorance of our real need. They repeat emphatically that our real need is for peace and love of God. We have mistaken that pleasures of the world can satisfy us. Swami Ramsukhdasji raises a question here as to whether inert material pleasures can satisfy the sentient being like us. It is high time we recognize our real need. Let us analyze this matter with an example (illustration) from our daily life. Let us ourselves ask the question what is the most important thing that we need. Is it one’s wife, parents, food, money or children? On deep reflection we come to the conclusion that it is sleep that is most essential need. We can even forgo our food. We can fast. But can we remain without sleep? Even if we do not sleep for a day we will be looking forward to sleep as soon as possible to get the much needed relief from the great strain and exhaustion. Nowadays to prove crimes, the culprit is not allowed to sleep. This makes him admit his crime. This method is much effective than inflicting physical injury or pain.
Why is sleep so dear to man? What happens in deep sleep? On reflection we find that deep sleep is a natural way where we are divested of mind- ego complex.
There is absence of the mind in deep sleep and so we remain as deep peace and bliss. There is no ego or the personality to enjoy or to suffer. The complicated workings and functions of the mind and ego are absent. All relative knowledge of the mind is not there. Only calmness and real happiness prevails. This experience of unalloyed peace and bliss is the key factor that makes sleep so dear to every being.
This peace which is beyond the grasp of the intellect and the mind is also termed as God in Vedanta. The deep affinity we have for sleep indicates our great innate urge to divest ourselves from the grip of the ego. Persona in Latin means a mask. This proves that we get real rest in the experience of the self or God.
So we can surely conclude that our real need is for peace and God. Upon destruction of ego (ignorance), no more wants remain.