Bishwa Nath Singh
Is happiness is not a pleasant feeling in one’s mind?
( Picture of two young person of opposite sex in very gay mood)
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Bishwa Nath Singh:
Happiness is certainly a pleasant feeling in one’s mind. When one listens good music, he/she enjoys listening it as it brings a pleasant sensation to his/her mind but the same music when a tragedy has occurred in one’s life while his/her relative had passed away and if someone plays the same music that he/she liked the most, spontaneous reaction will be to stop it as he/she hates it as the same music fails to bring joy and happiness to him/her. Thus, happiness is something which is personal—which is totally dependent on the person concerned as happiness being subjective and not objective. The same person, place or thing that brought happiness at one time, may bring misery at another. Why does this happen? This happens because we are responsible for our happiness or sorrows, and not the external objects of the world. We think that somebody brings joy, this person brings misery, etc. All this is not true. The external persons, places, and things are only stimuli. These stimuli affect the brain and bring joy or sorrow in us, depending upon our state of mind. Thus, all our so-called loves, hates, ambitions, dislikes, successes, failures, and so on are for our own sake, created by us. When we say we love or hate others, it is for our own sake. It is a truth according to Hinduism that all that we do is for acquiring bliss for ourselves. In the Bhagavad Gita (5.21), it is said: ‘He who is unattached to the external world and its objects, and is attached to the inner Self, will attain supreme happiness, which is everlasting.’ Real happiness is the goal of all beings. All are seeking that goal only—some ignorantly, some with knowledge. The happiness one gets in his/her life in our day-to-day lives, is very elementary. It is only a shadow, and the real one is elsewhere. It is only a door, which leads us to misery and pain. This may appear pessimistic, but unfortunately it is a truth. What we call pleasure, happiness, etc in this world is only an introduction to the pain that will follow. So, if we seek happiness here, we must be ready to receive the pain the follows it.We are all in a vicious circle. There should be an end to moving about in this vicious circle. That end comes when we understand that this world is not everything. We must also understand that this world is a teacher, teaching us to get what is true and real. This world is a showroom, which gives us samples only. It says: ‘This is only a sample. Now, seek the real inside.’So the world, with all its glitter and shine, is only a showroom which stimulates sensations in our mind And we think we are happy or sad. Lord Buddha had said that this world is misery. According to the Buddha, everything is misery. Birth is misery, living is misery, death is misery, world is misery. Secondly, everything is momentary. When one attains liberation according to Buddhism, one becomes extinct. But there is no permanent entity according to Buddhism. Everything is a coming together, and everything will disintegrate. All the schools of Hinduism, on the other hand, say that life is not merely miseries The external world no doubt brings sorrow according to various schools of Hinduism, true. But according to the Vedas, the sources of Hinduism, life is bliss. The Vedas say: ‘From bliss did things come into being. In bliss do they exist, and to bliss do they return finally.’ Everything is bliss. There is a wonderful mantra in the Vedas: ‘The air is filled with sweetness of ambrosia, the oceans are filled with sweetness, the plants and trees are filled with sweetness, and everything is filled with sweetness of ambrosia. Hinduism is positive in approach to life and its various aspects. It does not say this world is miserable, etc. It says that what we are enjoying is happiness, all right, but there are higher and higher forms of happiness. Go for them. Don’t stop where you are. Go forward. Go forward. There are higher and higher aspects of happiness. Get them. According to the Vedas, there is a gradual increase in happiness as we evolve in life: worldly happiness, mental happiness, spiritual happiness. In this world, we sing, dance, drink, enjoy, eat, and do everything we can. All these joys put together can be called one type of happiness. We have sufficient experience in this world of such temporary joy to understand this truth. Even in the case of heaven, according to Hinduism, after our good karma is exhausted, we shall have to return. In fact, we shall have to lead more miserable lives here after coming back. So we must seek something still higher. Spiritual happiness is when we want to know God, or when we want to know who we are, or when we want to know the Self. When we are striving for knowing it, our happiness increases proportionately, but when we attain God, or the Atman, our happiness can be equalled to a thousand billion. Swami Vivekananda says: ‘In this little life of ours, if we can bring even a moment’s joy in another heart that alone is true religion. Everything else is moonshine. This I have learnt suffering all my life.’ Bring joy to others, and you shall attain joy because the others and we are not different. We are one and the same. To bring joy to others, we must serve them. This is one of the best ways of being in bliss. The relevant message of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi is still holds good. ‘If you want peace, do not find faults with others. On the contrary, find your own faults. Nobody is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own.’ Dr.Albert Schweizer had said that“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” and Socrates that “Happiness is unrepeated pleasure.”? But then the question arises as what is ‘pleasure’? William Lyon Phelps had very rightly said that “The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world.” But don’t we all like ‘good books’? If we enjoy something, don’t we often call it ‘good’? And what if we are unable to obtain these things? Does our ‘loving of good things’ suffice to make us happy without the things themselves? Those who live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment are all too often those who have a limited life expectancy for whatever reason or who have realized their vulnerability through a narrow escape from death. Let us believe that everything is bliss, and not sorrow!
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Thank you SiR for such an article.