Human beings since time immemorial are in search of happiness, eternal happiness. That quest for happiness continues even today. Although we have made immense progress in material science and our physical life has become much more comfortable, same cannot be said about happiness. Today also we are far away from eternal happiness. It continues to elude us.
Causes of Unhappiness
Almost all of us are unhappy, the reasons could be many. Some of the reasons could be, I don’t have enough wealth, my health is not good, or my job is not good, I have family problems, I want better job or a better boss, my neighbour has a bigger car; his flat is bigger than mine. The list is endless. We believe that happiness is to be found in external objects, be it material things or human relations. As a result we keep chasing objects of desire or keeping searching for perfect relationships.. When one desire is fulfilled, we feel happy; however, that happiness is temporary and mind moves on to next desire and our happiness is gone. I would like to share a small story with you.
Two strangers were going from one town to another. The way to other town was going through dense forest. It took them a week to cross the forest. After crossing the forest they were to go separate ways. At the end of their journey, the first stranger told the other stranger that I am a small thief. While crossing through the forest I steal valuables from others and run away. I wanted to do the same thing with you. Every day when you used to be asleep or were away for some time, I used to search your belongings for valuables. However I could not find anything. I think you must be a bigger thief. The other stranger told him that he is not a thief but a big businessman and was carrying jewellery. He went on to say that the reason you could not find any valuables was because I used to keep it in your bag while sleeping or when I used to be away. If you would have searched your belongings of rather than mine, you would have found it. Saying so the businessman went his way.
The story ends here, but for us actually our story begins now.
We also keep searching for happiness without, while actually we have to search it within! We keep aspiring for material objects. I should have a bigger flat, a bigger car or a better job. We keep comparing with others. Why is he wealthier than me, why is he healthier than me, how come he has no troubles in his personal or professional life.
In short, all the time, we want to be in shoes of someone else. Unfortunately that “someone” else also keeps changing in our mind all the time! Sometimes we want to be the richest person on earth, at other times we want to be most popular person or the best sportsperson!
We keep ignoring that others also must be thinking and doing the same thing. I am very sure that if we are really offered that choice to swap places, we will refuse it once we come to know the problems the other person is having!! We also have to remember that to gain something we have to give up something. If we want to become richest person on earth, we may have to give up our social life or our good health or our hobbies. As human beings everyone will have his share of good things and bad. Everyone will go through that cycle of ups and downs. God has given all human beings their share of happiness and sorrow. Each one of us is unique and cannot be compared with anyone else.
In short we search for happiness in
- वस्तू (Object)
- व्यक्ती (Individual) or
- परिस्थिती (Situation)
We are looking for happiness in getting things or receiving something from others. We feel happiness is in receiving and hoarding. However the happiness that we get from above is temporary and transient.
Mantra for Eternal Happiness
The key to living happy life is to decouple our happiness from above three aspects. We have to change our search for happiness from objects, individuals and situations. We have to stop looking for happiness in receiving and hoarding. There is much more happiness in giving. We have to stop benchmarking our happiness against someone else’s happiness. The key to our happiness should not be outside of us and certainly not with someone else, it should, at all times, be with us and us only. We also have to remember that each one of us will have good times and bad times. It is not possible that any human being will have only good times in his life or only bad times. Life is like a sine wave, it will go up and down; it is like stock market, which goes up at some point of time and goes down some other time. The key is to take both ups and downs in our stride. We have to remember that “This too shall pass”.
Once we start believing in, accepting and practising this philosophy, we are in Eternal happiness, Eternal bliss.
To summarise, for Eternal Happiness
- Look within and Not Without
- Give rather than take and
- Practice Equanimity
If we follow these three principals in our life, I am sure our life will turn for better; we will be on a path to “Eternal Happiness”.