True luxury is when you don’t want anything to be happy !!!

So let’s start with happiness. Happiness should be sustainable but as we see it is usually not. Happiness is like a rare commodity and it is supposed to be sought after; at least that is the way it is assumed to be in our social structure in general. We try in so many ways therefore to ‘achieve’ happiness, and most of these ways in this pursuit of happiness are material or should it be said outward. But the quintessential question is – where does happiness reside so as to find it?

Such is its relevance that pursuit of happiness forms a part of the Declaration of Independence of America written as back as in the year 1776. It was considered to be a dominant principle in the way government needs to be formed and an advisory guideline to people at large to live life.

To discover where happiness resides we will have to examine the state of happiness within self and people around us. Usually people get happy when things go their way, when they get what they want. Certainly therefore, people get unhappy when things go the other way around. There are very few people who feel happy when others are happy except when these ‘others’ are their beneficiaries. To see someone happy or contended or even smiling raises eyebrows, doubts and even jealousy. So then again – where does happiness reside?

Does happiness reside in people or things? Does happiness reside outside of us? The way we strive to control everything around us it seems to assert that we believe that way only, so that things happen as we want because happiness comes when we get what we want. Such pursuit of happiness makes people control freaks probably and breeds conflict, hatred and even violence when things don’t pan out as planned or assumed.

So one should naturally be tempted to ask, is there wisdom such a pursuit?

Let us look at this from another vantage point. What is the shelf life of happiness? How long do we remain happy after we get what we want? Suppose you wanted a buy a very expensive branded watch and you did not have the budget to buy it. Whenever you would see someone wearing the watch not only would you feel jealous but also sad. People will low self-worth would even feel less of themselves in such moments occurring regularly. Then one day you are finally able to buy the watch. Now you are exceptionally happy, feel proud of yourself and may be even flaunt the watch around with a sense of pride.

The question is how long will you be able to sustain that happiness. Will not something again torment you with another bout of pursuit? How it is understood in psychology is that the reason for unhappiness earlier was that your mind was tormenting you with that thought of possessing that watch and now you are happy not because you have the watch but because you are free from that irritation of your mind.

So does that mean pursuit for happiness is wrong. Is it wrong to want things for enjoying life? No of course not. To want to grow and prosper is natural and certainly a fundamental necessity of being human. The problem is when my happiness ‘depends’ on such wants, it loses sustainability and I become a puppet in the hands of my never satisfied mind.

Pursuit for material things is alright but probably pursuit for happiness is an area which needs self-introspection. When this realisation dawns on me that happiness sought from material of outward life is not permanent and in fact can lead a void of sadness when that object is gone, this doubting contemplation should arise in a normal human being on the wisdom of this pursuit for happiness. “After till what time will I be a slave to this never ending pursuit???”

Probably one would rather be happier when the pursuit is let gone. Be happy with all you have, strive to make your life even more grand but happiness is there as a natural factory setting app inside us. Just like we cannot delete ‘My Computer’, ‘My Documents’, ‘Recycle Bin’ like functions from the computer even after formatting the device, happiness cannot be deleted as a function inside the being called human.

If at all there needs to be a goal for happiness, it has to be sustainability. For sustainable happiness one needs to first come to terms with the fact that external world including things and people are not the solution. While I live in this material world with all desires intact, I will have to discover happiness in the world beyond the world meaning inside me where probably currently happiness is clouded with the incorrect perception of the art of living.

Once I reach close to that conviction, I need to do an analysis of my self-worth because happiness is directly proportion to what I think of myself. If I will feel good about myself, I will feel in better control in all the crests and troughs of the roller coaster called life !

Bhagwad Gita repeatedly says attachment is the cause of grief. Once I am in control of myself, I will know whatever comes and goes is anyways temporary and hence I cannot base my happiness on these and that freedom from the pursuit of happiness will ensure sustainable happiness. Is that what is meant by – ­swatantrata mera janmasidh adhikaar hai?

Think about how good you felt when you helped a hungry man with some food from your plate ! Sewa with nishkaam bhav as Bhagwad Gita would say…

True luxury is when you don’t want anything to be happy !!!

Categories: Monk


Aditya Jain · June 14, 2024 at 4:11 pm

Thank you sir for such a wonderful article. Today on 14-05-2024, I was not in a good mood because of my career tension. And you sent me this article. It helped me a lot understanding the true sense of happiness which lies within me only.

Once again thank you very much for your kind support.

Aditya Jain (MCS Batch 42 Ahmedabad student)

    Anurag · June 15, 2024 at 9:14 am

    Very glad to hear you Aditya. It always a blessing to be of some use to someone !

Jaydip Beldar · June 15, 2024 at 4:48 am

Thank you sir , for explaining true nature and meaning of happiness. 😇

Raghu Nandan Prasad · June 15, 2024 at 6:48 am

हे जनक, कामना जैसी व्याधि नहीं और निष्कामना सी समाधि नहीं। गुरु अष्टावक्र ने कहा।चाह मात्र दुख है।
तो इच्छाएं शून्य करदें? आम चेतना अभी इतनी उन्नत नहीं। कुछ चाहते हैं खुद के लिए, दूसरों के लिए? जरूर चाहें और उसकी प्राप्ति के लिए पूर्ण-प्रयास (कर्मणी) करें..pursue करें, to the best of one’s ability & intention; बस परिणाम (फल) यदि चाह से अलग आए तो उससे बेशर्त राज़ी हो रहें। ऐसे सतत pursuit में रहते हुए भी सदा सुख में (Happy, as Satisfied) रह सकते हैं।

    Anurag Mehta · June 15, 2024 at 9:19 am

    सनातन सत्य, भगवद् गीता 2.47

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