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  Selected Articles ::
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Happiness is your Birth Right
Giving is Life
Truth - A Practical Necessity
Taking Responsibility For Life

Related Articles
Two Swamis – Getting Stuck
 

Happiness is your Birth Right ::

Common belief is that happiness is a joy experienced through success whereas unhappiness results from our failures. Success or failures themselves may arise through or from different sources. Sometimes we look for happiness through people or events and yet at other times, we seek it through acquiring, possessing, protecting and hoarding of money and material objects.

We all want happiness and keep pursuing it consciously and unconsciously throughout our life. In fact, happiness is the ultimate goal of all our endeavors in life.
 



 

Each time, we manage to succeed in any of our missions; we feel happy and excited. Meeting with a lover, getting married, birth of a child, meeting of friends, get together of relatives, celebration of birthdays, anniversaries, festivals, picnics, getting a job, bagging a prestigious business contract or order, success in examination etc. are occasions for happiness. Purchase of a house, furniture, a TV or a refrigerator adds smiles to our life. For days, months and years, we plan, strive and work hard to achieve success, after the celebrations of success, happiness soon leaves us and we start waiting for another big occasion to be happy.
 

Nevertheless, feelings of despair and sorrow are experienced if one fails to achieve money and material possessions. A person may experience terrible unhappiness at not possessing a TV, but there are people who are blind and deaf. One may worry the inability to purchase and possess a comfortable pair of expensive party shoes but there are a few unfortunate ones who are not even blessed with feet. The famous Chinese proverb ‘I was about to feel sorry for myself for I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet’ reinforces the above thought.
 


Money, materialistic possessions and agreeable persons, events and happenings can generate only temporary happiness but they alone cannot ensure any durable joy. A person could be miserable in spite of many material possessions and the company of near and dear ones. Sometimes such so-called material possessions and inter-actions with loved ones are the main source of pain and sorrow. If pleasure or pain were in the money, objects or events or circumstances, then each of them should provide equal joy at all times to all people who come in their contact.
 

Obviously, this is not true. A cigarette, wine, car or a wife or children may give tremendous joy and satisfaction to one, yet the same object or person may cause annoyance to other person and yet another may not care for them either way. The world of objects per se has no power over us except what we permit them. Hence, our common belief ‘happiness through possessions’ is not supported by reality.
 

Happiness is a State of Mind

Then what is happiness: Happiness is really a state of mind. It is entirely a subjective phenomenon. It is very much within us. To one person, attaining success in his desired goal may be so satisfying that he may be happy and singing and he will happily eat a burnt toast or not be perturbed by a missed holiday. For him presently, the entire world becomes beautiful. Yet exactly at the same time, his neighbour may be cursing the world because he is physically ill or had a stroke of bad luck at the stock market. The world remaining the same, the individual’s mental condition can change perceptions greatly. When the mind is happy, every thing seems wonderful. When the mind is agitated, sorrow is perceived all round. Buying a new TV may be a source of great joy to all in the family, yet the same TV can be a source of irritation to an old or a sick person.

Money can buy a big and expensive house with latest fittings and gadgets; but it cannot guarantee a happy family. With money, one can organize a thick cushioned fancy bed, but that does not guarantee a relaxing sound sleep. With money, one can manage to buy the most delicious multi cuisine dinner but good appetite or digestion is a grace of almighty. Happiness obviously depends entirely on the tranquility of one’s mind.

Where, in what and how do you then get lasting happiness?

Man as the unique creation of God has been gifted with the ability to change his mental condition at will. He does not necessarily have to depend upon the objects and circumstances around him. For most people, this capability to mould his mind lies dormant. He is even unaware of God’s great gift. He foolishly continues to strive to become happy by acquiring and hoarding of objects of the world. Objects do give a glitter of joy but this joy soon vanishes. No object can ever give a lasting satisfaction or happiness.
 




 

Happiness Comes from Positive Attitudes

Instead of depending on outside events, circumstances, happening, attitude, and behaviour of others for your happiness, it is far wiser to modify one’s own attitude to the situations. No body has any control on what is happening outside of him but every one can, if he wishes; control what happens inside of him. While on seas, you cannot change the direction or the intensity of winds but you can adjust the sails of your boat.
 

True happiness comes from our own attitude of surrendering ourselves to the will of divine grace. In meditation, when a person anchors his soul - atman with the Paramatma – the almighty, who is the substratum of entire creation, then the inner calm, peace, joy and bliss are experienced. These can lift a person to unbelievable heights of happiness. Similar happiness is also experienced through pure and selfless outgoing love for your dear ones, respect to elders in family and in society, selfless service to others, giving consciousness and forgiveness to detractors.

 

Search and pursuit of happiness is akin to a cat trying to catch its tail. She can go round and round endlessly without ever succeeding, if she forgets about the tail and moves forward, the tail is bound to follow her wherever she goes. Happiness is a bye product of our karmas (actions) and our perceptions, attitudes and behaviour in life. Like a Lighthouse, if we work with commitment and integrity, contribute to the best of our capabilities, attempt to make others around us happy by our giving attitude and selfless service; if we surrender ourselves to the will of God and do not insist on getting any particular results from our endeavors, the happiness is ours now and always. No body and nothing can make us unhappy without our consent. We are pure joy and unlimited happiness.
 

When we develop that kind of consciousness, then every little gift of nature and the love of our parents, family, friends, and neighbours can be source of happiness. Every moment in life is a moment of joy. The cool breeze in the morning, the green leaves on a tree, the blooming rose in a garden, the lovely dance of waves in the sea, the free flowing water of a river, the sun shining, the blue sky, the drizzle, the smell of earth, family sharing meals, praying together, the child’s smile etc are all endless sources of joy and reasons to be grateful. In fact, one can be happy in spite of everything and always if one decides. Would you care to be happy?
 

Happiness is a journey. It is not a destination. Let us wait for any thing to happen before we become happy. Let us be happy here and now. We can be happy if we decide to be. Happiness is a daily decision.
 

One of the simplest ways to be happy is to learn to express laughter. Laughter is an expression of joy and it creates happiness. Only a happy person can laugh easily. Anger, tension, frustrations or stress cannot co-exist with genuine laughter. Let us not be happy for any thing, circumstance, event or persons. Instead, let us be happy in spite of them. Happy persons stay calm and can take wise decisions. They accept life as a ‘Prasad ‘– gift of God. Laughter and happy attitude are the purest forms of personal spirituality. Man’s basic nature is happiness. Happiness is God.
 

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