We are all striving for wellbeing within and around us. It may be wellbeing of body or mind, wellbeing of our family, friends or society. The search for wellness is the foundation of all healing and the treatment of all diseases. The pursuit of wellbeing is the basis of our work, communication and all our striving in life.
In yogic thought the supreme reality is defined as Sat-Chit-Ananda, Being-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute. By this account Being is by nature bliss and unqualified wellness. This means that Being is wellbeing. If we can return to the ground of our Being, the core of who we are, we can find wellness everywhere.
Why then is there so much sorrow in our world? Our very search for wellbeing indicates that we find our lives to be deficient. We may reach a state of wellness temporarily, but it soon eludes us as new problems arise.
Being and Becoming
Being in the yogic sense is beyond body and mind, birth and death. To find it we must look beyond all forms of change to the changeless.
All the movements of life within and around us constitute various forms of Becoming. Yet Being as the universal, all-pervasive and enduring pervades these changes. If Being was not there, then becoming would not be possible either. A nonbeing or nonentity cannot function.
Becoming as movement must involve birth or beginning, growth or increase, maturation, decline and termination or death. That is simply the law of time, the impermanence of all that is manifest. This means that complete wellbeing is not possible in the realm of becoming and in our world of dualistic forces.
Rise and fall, gain and loss, happiness and sorrow come and go inevitably with the movement of time. There are daily, seasonal and lifetime cycles, from the beating of our hearts to the blinking of our eyes and each inhalation and exhalation. Death appears to be the ultimate fact of our realm of becoming. Death remains at the inescapable end of all becoming, though it may suggest another life or set of changes beyond it.
Is deeper and enduring state of Being behind or beyond our more obvious transient realm of becoming? Vedic thought says yes, such a realm of Being is the basis of all existence. If there was no unqualified Being how could we even have the idea of immortality or want to go beyond death?
We all live in an ocean of Being. Everything we see is part of the same greater existence. Becoming is simply the waves arising from the sea, but the ocean of Being remains regardless of outer fluctuations. Existence is everywhere and all things are connected in Being. All things are various faces or glimmers of the unlimited light of Being.
Being and Consciousness
How do we discover this ultimate wellness of Being? For this we must cultivate an awareness of Being. Normally we are so caught in various forms of becoming that we miss the deeper presence of Being. Becoming is only possible because there is Being or existence behind it. The ever-changing present moment is but a reflection of the eternal presence of Being. To dwell in that presence of Being is to go beyond time, birth and death.
Normally we are not conscious of Being. We take Being for granted and are caught up in Becoming as our reality. We fail to see that Being is Consciousness. We consider the Being of things to be unconscious. We do not ascribe Consciousness to the existence of a rock, a cloud, a chair or any of the inanimate objects of our experience. This is because we confuse Consciousness with mind, which is a creature phenomenon, a limited embodied consciousness. The inanimate objects we see may not have minds in the creaturely sense, but are pervaded by the boundless Consciousness of Being that is present in everything.
The truth is that Being is Consciousness. We live in a Self-aware universe. Consciousness underlies everything as the very ground of existence. Our individual minds are but creaturely reflections of this unbounded Consciousness of Being, not the sole repositories of intelligence or consciousness.
Being and Bliss
Not only is Being Consciousness, it is also Ananda or Bliss. There is an inherent fulfillment and happiness in Being, not just in being alive but in Being all that is. Normally we seek happiness in getting something or in becoming something. But all happiness gained in becoming must fade with the natural course of time. True enduring happiness is possible only in Being, which requires Consciousness of Being in its universal nature. To recognize the unbounded Consciousness of Being is to experience peace, happiness and wellbeing as our true Reality.
Certainly, we should seek wellbeing for body and mind, for other people, the world and for all life as a whole. But to truly discover that we must open up to the universal Bliss that brings unbroken happiness and fulfillment to all. If we surrender to the immutable wellness of Being then all that we do will be permeated with an inner happiness.
Being is the ultimate state of complete wellness and optimal wellbeing. True Being is inherently wellbeing. It is eternal and unlimited wellness, not a temporary state of wellbeing such as we normally experience in life.
Return to Being
We must rediscover our inner Being and Self in order to gain the full wellness of Being-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute. This is a matter of turning within. It requires an inquiry into Being. Who are we? Who am I? What is the nature of Existence? This inquiry is not an intellectual process but requires holding to an awareness of Being moment-by-moment. We do this when we learn to witness the mind and all of its changes. This allows us to witness time and its fluctuations, which is to dwell in the timeless. Such knowledge is called Sadvidya or the knowledge of Being in Vedantic thought.
We need not deny the outer realm of becoming but should witness it from the boundless Presence of Being. We all must experience birth and death, joy and sorrow, darkness and light in life, but behind this is the enduring transparent light of Being. That eternal Being is your true nature, your inmost core. Body and mind are but its instruments of expression. All that you see is a boundless state of Being that connects you with all. Reclaim your Being with all and there will be nothing left outside of who you are, which is Sat-Chit-Ananda, Being-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute. Universal wellbeing is your true nature.