It is an agreed fact that all the creatures want happiness and are afraid
of pain and grief. The question, however, is 'what is real happiness?'
What really is called happiness? The desire for happiness has no meaning
without understanding the real nature of happiness.
ordinary beings consider sensual pleasures as happiness and their attempts
are also directed towards these. According to them search for happiness
means search for pleasures of the senses. The question 'what is happiness'
does not arise in their hearts, because in their hearts they treat life
full of sensory joys as a happy life.
It is on
account of this that whenever we think of happiness and welfare, it is
considered desirable to lead a life of attachments, work hard, grow more
food and develop industries and science. The country will prosper by all
these and all will be happy. Ideals are talked of and it is said that a
day will come when everyone will have nutritious food to eat, clothes to
put on according to variations of seasons and modern residence with all
scientific facilities and then all will be happy.
We do not
want to discuss whether such conditions will prevail or not. Our question
is, if after having all these comforts, life will be happy. If yes, people
having all these comforts, should be happy even now. The countries
touching the limitations of all these comforts must, then, have all happy
and quiet people. We, however, find that all on this earth are disturbed,
impatient, unhappy, afraid and worried. It is, therefore necessary to
consider seriously what happiness really is. W cannot make true efforts in
this direction and achieve happiness without once for all deciding what
real happiness is.
thinkers go ahead and say "Happiness does not lie in objects of enjoyment;
happiness or unhappiness lies in imagination". To prove their belief they
give examples like the one following : A man has a two-storey house; on
the right is a five storey building and on the left a cottage. When he
sees right, he feels unhappy and when he sees left he feels happy. As such
happiness does not lie in possession of sensory objects, but in
imagination. They advise people to look towards those, who have fewer
possessions and be happy. If you look towards people having more wealth
and possessions, you will always be unhappy.
unreasonable to hold that happiness lies in imagination. "If you want to
be happy look towards the poor". Those poor people cannot satisfy even
their needs. Seeing such poverty-stricken people even worldly-minded
people develop pity. It is unkind to regard one happy by imagining that
one is better than the poor and the unhappy. This attitude also satisfies
the sense of pride of possessions. This can never be called happiness.
Does happiness lie in the cottage, looking at which one can get happiness
? Unless we really find where happiness lies, we cannot really be happy.
to happiness is also not correct, because here also it has not been
attempted to know what happiness is; pleasures arising out of sensual joys
have been treated as happiness. It has been held that happiness lies in
imagination. Shall we, therefore, believe the real happiness does not
exactly exist, but this would not be acceptable to anybody. It is,
therefore, clear that in fact, sensual pleasures are imaginary and real
happiness is quite different from these. The original question, 'What is
real happiness' stands.
people to do this and do that and say, "This way your desires would be
satisfied. You would get the desired objects and become happy". People
holding these views regard happiness as satisfaction of desires and
unhappiness as denial thereof.
all, it is not possible to satisfy one's desires because there are
countless desires of countless people and the material things are limited.
Then new desires arise as soon as the previous ones are satisfied. Thus
the eternal current of desires continues for ever. It is, therefore,
definite that ever changing desires can never be satisfied. Conceptions
like those of satisfaction of desires and achieving consequent happiness
are merely mirage in the ocean of the great desert of life. All the
desires are never going to be satisfied and this creature is never going
to be happy in the satisfaction of desires.
reality happiness does not lie in the satisfaction of desires. This is
like being happy by transferring the burden of head to the shoulder. It is
also not correct to say that we will be happy proportionately with the
desires satisfied, because real happiness lies in the absence of desires,
not in their satisfaction. Because we reduce our restlessness in partial
absence of desires, it can, therefore, naturally be understood that
complete absence of desires will lead us to complete happiness. It is
wrong to say that desire dies out after its fulfilment and that should be
regarded as happiness, because absence of desires does not mean their
satisfaction, but their absolute absence.
arising out of several joys are not happiness. They are, in fact,
unhappiness because they have the restlessness, which makes one unhappy.
Happiness means ease and complete lack of restlessness and pleasures of
senses do not have that mental ease. Whatever we enjoy with the help of
the senses is sensual pleasure only. It is a kind of unhappiness. It is
happiness in name only. Psychic bliss is above senses and cannot be had
from their objects. Just as the soul, being psychic, cannot be achieved
with the help of the senses; non-sensory happiness, being in the nature of
the soul, cannot be obtained with the help of the senses.
We have to
find a thing, where it is. How can we find it where it is not possible to
have it at all. For example, consciousness is an attribute of the soul,
and can be found in the sentient soul only, not in inanimate entities.
Likewise happiness is also an attribute of the soul, not of inanimate
beings. Happiness can, therefore, be had in the soul only, not in
inanimate objects like human bodies. This soul does not know itself and
is, therefore, wandering with wrong faith; in the same manner this being
attempts to find happiness in non-self objects and that is the root cause
of his unhappiness. The direction of the search for happiness itself is
wrong. When the direction is wrong, the present state will also be full of
unhappiness. For getting real happiness, we have to see within, to know
our own being, for our happiness lies in ourselves. The soul is a
depository of eternal bliss, full of everlasting joy. Therefore, those, in
pursuit of happiness should turn their efforts towards their inner beings.
Those looking for happiness elsewhere, will never get it.
happiness is a matter of experience, not of speech, not of demonstration.
It can be had only by being introvert, cutting ourselves from all the
non-self entities and being one with our soul itself. Since the soul is
full of happiness, experience of the soul is the experience of happiness.
Just as one cannot achieve the soul without experience, in the same manner
one cannot get real happiness without the experience of the soul.
ponder deeply over the question, we realise that happiness is not to be
had from somewhere else, for the soul is itself made of this happiness, is
nothing but happiness alone. That which is happiness incarnate has not to
find happiness anywhere else. Happiness is not to be possessed, it is to
be enjoyed, to be experienced. It is not necessary to torment ourselves
for getting happiness. There is no trouble whatsoever in happiness;
restlessness has no happiness. Restlessness is itself unhappiness and its
absence is happiness. As such there should be no desire for happiness, for
desires themselves make us unhappy. Absence of desires is real happiness.
questions like, 'what is happiness?'. Where does it lie?' 'How shall we
get it?' there is only one answer, only one solution and that is the
experience of the soul itself. The first and the foremost means to
achieving it is the pondering over the fundamentals of life. However, we
should remember that the real experience of the soul is born of the
absence of this pondering over the fundamentals of life. Separate
treatment is desirable for questions like 'Who am I?' 'What is soul?' and
'How is self experience achieved?'.
By Dr. H. C. Bharill