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Choose Your Path Wisely

Updated on January 7, 2016

A Year of Books for me!

After a few draught years of no reading, I finally decided that 2016 is going to be my Year of Books (inspired by Mr. Zuckerberg!). The first book I picked up is a piece of fiction by Anita Desai called Journey to Ithaca. It had been lying on my bookshelf, attracting dust for years. And now the time had come when the pale yellow pages were to be turned one by one, to uncover the story of a young man, searching for God and spirituality in the mystic land of India. Don’t worry; this is not a book review. I am still in the process of reading the book.

From the start, the writing and the words chosen in the book got me hooked on. As I read page by page, I was more intrigued to learn more about the protagonist. But as soon as I turned page 33, to reach page 34, a few lines taken from the Katha Upanishad made me stop and think.

Read. Think. Reflect. Repeat.

There is a path of joy and there is the path of pleasure. Pondering on them, the wise one chooses the path of joy. The fool takes the path of pleasure.

Katha Upanishad 1:2:2

These lines made me reflect and think about my own journey in life, they ignitedmyneurons to look within. I asked myself, what are the two paths of joy and of pleasure? What path am I on? Which is the right path? And I ask that same question of you. But before we do that let me give my understanding on it.

To my understanding joy and pleasure are two different things.

Joy is a state of being happy and not just momentary happiness. It is a more sustainable and lasting state of emotion. Once you find joy in your work, your actions and in your life, then no task, big or small, seems mundane. You live for the sheer joy that it gives you. You stop seeking worldly pleasures, though they matter to you but you are non-attached to them.

Pleasure on the other hand is ephemeral, transient, and it comes and goes. You feel pleasure when you eat a piece of cake, when you meet an old friend, when you get a raise, but the very next moment that excitement and the feeling of happiness disappears. You are pulled back to the state of normalcy. If you are seeking pleasure from life than you are doing nothing but running on a Ferris wheel. It seems that you are putting the hard work to reach your destination, but actually you are going nowhere.

Based on this I feel the wise always chooses the Path of Joy whereas fools continue to take the Path of Pleasure.

Choose Wisely!

Which path do you follow in life?

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