What is your ultimate aim in life?
To earn more?
To stay forever young, healthy, beautiful?
To have better, longer-lasting relationships?
To improve your personality?
The list is endless. For each individual, there will be a specific goal or many goals.
But every single goal, without exception, points to the same thing: a yearning to be in ananda or bliss. Can anyone say, ‘I am not interested in being happy, being fulfilled, being blissful?’
Each of us is searching for bliss, but we search in many different ways. However intellectual, however sophisticated may be the ways in which we express it, we are all seeking only bliss. Only the ways in which we are searching are different. But ninety-nine percent of us are not even aware that bliss is our true goal! Because we are unaware, we search outside ourselves for this bliss. We search everywhere in the outside world for something which is there within us, just waiting to be discovered. This is exactly what we do in our own lives. We are all experts in searching for answers in the wrong places. We search for bliss everywhere, in money, power, relationships, ideologies, but we don’t move in the one obvious direction – inwards.
In life everyone has experienced some moments of great happiness. But it has always been for a reason. It is a nice feeling but it has two disturbing qualities: the feeling doesn’t last and it is the result of some cause or reason. You are happy because you got a promotion; you are happy because you were cured of some disease; you are happy because you bought a new car.
The state of that happiness does not seem to remain forever. It is there temporarily, and when it changes or goes away, once again you feel pain. Only the happiness you experience for no reason at all, which does not die for any reason, is real and permanent happiness. This is what is called bliss. Such happiness doesn’t depend on anything outside of you.
The word ‘ananda’ itself means, ‘that which cannot be reduced, which cannot be lost’. Ananda does not translate into ‘happiness’. You will be surprised to know, it simply means ‘that which cannot be reduced or lost’. Bliss is that thing which does not reduce for any reason.
source: Living Enlightenment