O best of the warriors, now please hear from me about the three kinds of happiness by which the conditioned soul enjoys, and by which he sometimes comes to the end of all distress. Bhagavad Gita 18:36
We’re talking about three different types of happiness, three different categories of so-called joy or joyful experience. And sometimes by experiencing one of these particular types of joy, it may help a person come to the end of all distress. These types are described as modes of material nature:
- Mode of goodness: In this condition, you’ll see people being more attracted to a simple lifestyle, natural kind of lifestyle, not being overly agitated and driven crazy by so many desires and things. People that live in a more peaceful existence.
- Mode of passion: This is usually epitomized by intense desire and longing; so, this is intense agitation. The creative impulse is because of this mode of passion and so people are driven to build massive cities and to engage in a passionate undertaking. But the result, the end result of this mode of passion is distress; it’s inescapable.
- Mode of ignorance: It’s epitomized by laziness, sloth in general, a very depressed mental and physical state or a state of intoxication when you cannot think clearly and you’re unaware of how you’re behaving and what you’re doing and it always ends in darkness; in darkness and great distress, in different forms of craziness or insanity.
So, it’s not that a person—even within a day, a person may be feeling in different times the influence of these three different forms of energy in different times and responding differently to different types of stimulation. The quest for happiness or pleasure is also very shaped by which one of these types of energy or a combination of them that we’re being influenced by.