What is Happiness? Why do we seek to be happy? What is the Cause of Happiness? What is the guarantee of happiness? In and thru’ all our struggles for ‘artha’, ‘kaama’ what are we looking for? Knowingly or unknowingly, aren’t we all searching for happiness in and thru’ all our strivings? Are we really seeking happiness or fulfilment?
In a nutshell, the cause of happiness and fulfilment is commitment to our respective duties, Swadharma. Ethical and righteous conduct, quality in work for good of society, etc. are nurtured by a regular daily routine of prayers, meditations, study to determine and fix the purpose of work and life. Swadharma is thus the only guarantee of a sustained fulfilled, happy, contented, peaceful, joyful life. Unfortunately, modern systems and ideas of education, governance, parenting, sciences, etc. have totally ignored creating the good, the gentle-men. The elite and role models of society are no longer the Shrestha; they’re self-centred men focused only on artha and kaama. No one today even dares to talk of character.
Blindly aping Western ideas, no one acknowledges that people are born unequal with different characteristics and tendencies and so need different types of education, disciplines, training to make them useful members of society. Everyone need not spend 10-20 years in schools and colleges learning subjects merely to pass exams. Schools don’t teach how to build character, how to be a useful member of society, committed to our respective Swadharma, etc.!
We keep talking of the upliftment of the poor, forgetting that unless the people at the top, as politicians, administrators, businessmen, have been established in righteous conduct during schooling and parenting, and have a conviction that being ethical, working for good of society, etc. alone guarantees happiness that we seek, why will they grow towards working for good of society?
Of course, there are many who are born with good tendencies in all strata of society, irrespective of their status (Why? is a question, we don’t need to go into here), and whatever we do with them during parenting and schooling, they will be good, wherever and whatever be their status or vocation in life, high or low. But that is, in spite of schooling, not ‘because’ of!
In an ideal system Education, Parenting, Governance, must focus on character building and identifying and establishing us in our respective Swadharma. Before modern schooling focused on ABC,123 and making us Babus and Munims was thrust upon us, it was the elders and parents who looked and nurtured our character and engaged us in knowing and getting established in commitment to our duties.
They drilled in us the importance of leading a disciplined value-based life, respecting, helping, serving the elders, and guests; and instilled in us the idea of work as worship, and habit of daily prayers, yoga, respect for elders; and trained us in our respective family vocation.
Thus by and large each person in the society knew and readily accepted his position in society based on the very fact of birth, and thru parenting he grew up being committed to his duties, his Swadharma, worked hard and honestly and thus by and large people were fulfilled and content in their simple value-based lives. This was the vision and idea of our Varna vyavastha. It was because of our system and focus on dharma and clarity that the purpose and goal of life is to attain the ideal of ‘Mukti/Freedom’, and that could be achieved only if we’re established in and committed to our respective Swadharma. It was because of this USP that, India that is Bharat, has survived as a continuing civilization in spite of all attempts by foreign power and foreign social, religious, ideologies.
This vision and clarity have to explored, debated, understood, and if agreeable based on logic not emotion, it must be brought back. It must be intellectually accepted that from very birth, people are really not equal, so we all need to be nurtured differently, not like herds of sheep.
Science of Happiness: Is happiness a new product or a new demand? Are we waiting for modern science, technology to research and find ways to make us happy? Hasn’t happiness always been mankind’s goal? Let’s see how our forefathers analyse:
No object always gives happiness! So, no object can be the source of happiness. I always want happiness; so, to remain perpetually happy must be my very inherent nature, swabhava, and that is why I am seeking to regain (Latin of religion) lost happiness; re-unite (yoga) with my nature of happiness. Similarly, ‘existence’, to live, to ‘know’ more and more must be my inherent nature and that is why we seek them!
What is my nature? Can I really be the source? Is the source of happiness always within me? Where have I stored happiness? Happiness is caused by ‘contact’ between the mind, sense organs and the objects! My body, mind, brain cannot be the source as they’re always changing. When any time, for whatever reasons, our desires are fulfilled, the mind become a bit calm, and immediately, the Ananda of our Swaroopa is experienced by us as happiness, pleasure, joy, etc.
Ananda is a state where mind is calm, not restless because it is not in a state of excitement in contact with senses and desirable objects. Let’s say we’ve enjoyed a picnic with our loved ones and now are just relaxing in amenable company; suddenly someone suggests some action to be happy but we are totally content, and at that moment, we really have no desires; so, mind is contented. This is Ananda, when I have no desires! Being in my own unchanging Swaroopa is the acme of happiness.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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