Exuberance vs Euphoria

A euphoric country’s collective dreams dashed on Sunday when India lost to the clinical Aussies. The entire nation sank into the ocean of sorrow because more than being exuberant, we were euphoric. “A moment of euphoria is a point of enlightenment / But a longer euphoria brings resentment,” wrote Walt Whitman. Euphoria is often a false feeling of something too good which is not possible or practically feasible. In other words, its moonlight or a reflected state of joy that doesn’t and cannot last. But exuberance does last and can be permanent.

There’re three states of mental evolution: Exuberance, ecstasy and finally euphoria. Mystics believe that a human should experience ecstasy and euphoria, but he must live on the plane of exuberance. To be exuberant is to be in sync with the Universe or Cosmos. But to be euphoric is to be a daydreamer who’s forever lost in reveries. Rabindranath Tagore wrote in one of his poems in Gitanjali, “I’m perpetually exuberant. I’m forever blessed.”

To accept existence as it is and rejoice in every act and action with consciousness, one attains exuberance. Exuberance is an enraptured state of mind. Hakim Sanai calls it ‘Naqeefat’, just a notch below ‘Bekhudi’, trance. In a state of exuberance, you’re the spectacle as well as the spectator; an actor as well as the admirer; and also the world as well as its witness. This is the conscious state of existential exuberance about which Urdu poet-lyricist Shakeel Badayuni wrote, “Pahuncha hoon wahan nahin door jahan/ Bhagwaan bhi meri nigaahon se” – I’ve reached a state from where, even the god doesn’t seem to be very far. Exuberance is a state of everlasting nirvana.


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