Happiness Demystified

Posted: 17.06.2016

It is always the aim and endeavour of every human being to be HAPPY, but most of us do not know that the very nature of the soul is joy and happiness - the divine state of the soul! HAPPINES is always with us until we lose it. A child is born as happy- soul devoid of any unhappiness. Slowly, as the child grows, he learns to be unhappy. Those who seek happiness outwardly, do not know that true and everlasting happiness lies within us

Almost all of us have learnt this rhyme in the nursery class -  

The time to be happy is now

And the place to be happy is here

And the way to be happy

Is to make someone happy

And to have a little heaven right here...! And to have a little heaven right here....!

The happiness vanished from our lives when we forgot this message and started to seek all the happiness for ourselves and refrained from sharing it with others.

A very powerful Hindi prayer is sung in many schools every morning -

Is dharti par jitney prani, sabka mangal hoye re

Tera mangal, mera mangal sabka mangal hoye re...

Sabka mangal hoye re...

We are unhappy today because we did not remember the message of the prayer and the poem. When we pray for other's happiness and well- being, all others are praying the same for us. This is more enlightening then being selfish.

Happiness is a state of complete wellbeing. The term complete wellbeing refers to physical, mental or emotional and spiritual state of well-being. It represents positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

The definitions of happiness may be diverse and complex, but happiness is as simple and natural as nature itself. Human being is the most beautiful creation of the nature. Unlike other living beings, human beings have the mind and power of knowledge and intellect. Nature has provided almost everything to all the living beings to feed themselves and to enjoy all the benefits of earth, water, sun, air and the open sky. Natural resources are abundant and available free of cost to all.

Unhappiness starts when we want the larger share of these benefits and do not want to share them rationally amongst us.

We want others to make us happy, but have we ever consciously attempted to make others happy? It might have been a small gesture of help extended by you, but you must have definitely derived a great sense of satisfaction by doing it. Although, we should not expect much from others as it may cause disappointment.

Normally, our main concern is to make ourselves happy, but essentially, the best way to gain satisfaction and real fulfilment is to help others to see a smile on their faces. A human being lives in a society and is surrounded by many groups. If anyone in the family, neighbourhood, friend-circle, society or country is unhappy, it is our concern as well. So long as everyone around us is happy, it will be difficult to feel and enjoy the happiness. You need happy people around to celebrate your happiness.

In material world, Happiness is mostly associated with material possessions and it is experienced through senses which create pleasant feelings such as good taste, smell, sight, song, music or touch. Good physical health is considered necessary for happiness. A person suffering from chronic decease or ailment is likely to be in agony and depressed. In economic world, happiness is measured by fulfilment of needs. Human needs are almost insatiable. When one need is satisfied, other needs crop up and with greater intensity.

The needs have a hierarchy and range from basic needs to physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. Basic needs are food, clothes and shelter. At emotional level everyone expects love, appreciation, recognition and reward. Mental happiness is derived from good relations, achievements and belongingness. On fulfilment of the basic emotional needs, we want superiority, dominance and satisfaction of ego. The highest level of happiness is self-actualisation. This is the stage of bliss.

It is also relevant to find what causes unhappiness. Any person, place, thing, or situation which is not tolerable or acceptable to us will cause unhappiness. Some situations and circumstances are beyond our control, but we have the option to either react or accept the situation. If we react, the situation will make us uncomfortable and therefore unhappy. At the same time, if we accept the situation, then the adversity will not cause the same discomfort which otherwise would have been. Mostly we lose the emotional balance by external factors, whereas the happiness is something deep within and cannot be disturbed so easily.

Emotional stability is the key to control unhappiness. 'SAMATA' - the sense of equality can be achieved by consciously practising the basic principles of the religion for enlightenment of the spiritual level. Practice of Yoga and Meditation coupled with self-discipline can be of great help.  The higher level of happiness is a stage where the mind is perfectly balanced and does not get adversely affected by external elements.

All our efforts are directed towards finding happiness and alleviating pain. Happiness and suffering are both merely states of mind. Therefore, to truly be free from suffering and enjoy happiness in every moment, it is imperative that we possess a thorough and profound understanding of the mind. All our problems arise from our own mind. When we can respond to life's difficulties with a positive and peaceful mind, the solutions emerge easily and problems disappear. Problems are easier to solve with a calm and balanced mind. Regular practice of yoga and meditation is key to generate inner peace and to have better control on emotions and mind. Problems only really arise when we adopt a negative state of mind in response to a difficult or unexpected situation.

The followers of Bhagwan Mahaveer's philosophy, observe five main spiritual disciplines - Truth, Non-violence, Non-stealing, Non-possessiveness and Chastity. By understanding these basic principles and practicing them in our daily behaviour, the world becomes a better place to live in. Truth and non-violence will generate a natural fraternity and harmony amongst the persons and countries. The natural resources and the wealth of the society or country will be available equally to every individual when consumption will be controlled to optimum limits and there will be no excessive accumulation. Non-violence and non-stealing will curb the crime and promote moral values which will control the instinctive behaviour of the animal hidden in each one of us. A very simple logic is that when everyone is willing to give unconditionally and generously, each one will get so much from so many that it will be sufficient to make him happy.

Nature has made every individual unique and it is very likely that their taste, liking preferences, beliefs and culture will vary to a great extent. This can also cause differences and serious problems leading to violent struggles and wars. The doctrine of 'Anekanta' resolves this problem. It teaches us to respect other's view point. Anekanta refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, or vantage points, the notion that reality is perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth. Each individual can have freedom to enjoy his life the way he wants to the extent it does not interfere or harm others.

It is not difficult to maintain a continually happy and peaceful mind because we have all this potential for peace and happiness within us. There is a need to be habitually aware not to allow negative thoughts that consume our mind and destroy our inner peace.

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