Monday, April 18, 2016

Happiness defined

One day we debated on happiness. There were three of us: a rich benevolent devotee, the Master and I. The devotee had come a long way to meet the Master and was talking about his life and happiness.

I have everything that I can wish for and I am the happiest man on earth. My wife loves me, my children and grandchildren are all happy and beautiful, my house is the most opulent and luxurious you can imagine, I have many things that give me joy and I have more wealth I can spend in ten lifetimes and I share my wealth with those who are in need. My life is fulfilled and I am so blessed and grateful to life. Yet I do not understand exactly what happiness is.

The Master asked. Do you know why you are happy? The devotee eagerly replied: yes Master, I certainly do. 

As long as you know the reason of your happiness you won't understand true happiness. The day you are happy without a reason, you would realize what happiness is. Then Master looked at me and smiled.

I mumbled: I have travelled around the world climbing mountains and living my dreams.  I have friends everywhere in the world and I have been loved and I have loved many beautiful women. The entire world is my home and I live my life without boundaries. I have everything that I need and want and desire and I feel I am the happiest and luckiest person in the world. Yet I am not sure exactly what happiness is.

And the Master spoke: when you derive happiness without cause, without associating the feeling of unspeakable joy with anything else, only then would you understand what happiness is. As long as you site a reason for happiness you are simply relating to an action and its reaction. Look up at the Sun. It burns constantly and continuously without fail. Some days we find it hot and unbearable and cause of suffering and on cold days we find the same sun enjoyable and source of happiness and joy, on some days we don’t see it since it is cloudy and overcast and some days we wish for the clouds to cover it for it burns the earth. Sun is sun, it is what it is, yet the way it affects us depends upon the weather, the location from where we observe it, our own moods, the time of the day and many such factors. Sun is constant and consistent in its action, but it becomes a source of happiness or misery depending upon our current reaction to it. Pure happiness is like the Sun. Constant and consistent irrespective to the external stimulus or causes. Happiness fundamentally is an attitude and a conscious choice and has nothing do with how much wealth you have or how free you are or how many children you bred. You won’t find happiness on the top of a mountain if you didn’t already find it below even before you started the climb. To understand happiness understand the Sun.  

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