The Happiness within.........
Human activities are directed towards acquiring joy and happiness. The acquisition and enjoyment are the two motivations of human actions. We avoid sorrow by acquiring material objects and court joy by containing the objects of pleasure. We are acquiring this material wealth with the belief that we can enjoy it later. We acquire wealth as a preparation against sorrow and actually contacting the object with a belief that we get pleasure out of it.
In this pursuit for happiness, our mistake is that our pursuit for happiness is always in the external world. We are seeking happiness at the wrong end. The quest for happiness in the external world is unending.
So long as we are seeking happiness in the external world, we will never find it. Seeking happiness in the world is like seeing mirage thinking that there is water available.
Arthur Schopenhaur, a German thinker, crystallized this idea as follows: “It is difficult to find happiness within one’s own self, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else”.
Examine your life. Is there happiness in the external world? Does the world provide happiness? Carefully analyze what we are enjoying in this world. A man takes a glass of whisky and believes there is joy in it. The same whisky is an object of abhorrence to an orthodox Brahmin. To a chain smoker, who is prevented from smoking for a long period, a cigarette may give lot of happiness, but for a non-smoker the same smoke is detestable.
The object is the same, but for one person it seems to provide happiness, and to another person it gives sorrow. If you say there is happiness in whisky, or in the cigarette then it should provide happiness to everybody, but that does not happen.
What gives happiness for one person, the same gives unhappiness to someone else. Therefore, happiness is a state of mind.
John Homer Miller presents the ideas as follows: “The greatest weakness of many people is that they do not realize their own strength. Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life, not so much by what happens to you as by the way you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”
Happiness is what you make out of your own mind. It is not what happens to you that agitates you but your response to what happens to you. You cannot tailor make external situation but you can tailor make an attitude to suit the situation. We cannot control the tragic things that happen to us, but we can control the way we face up to them. Yet people try to escape from the situation with the delusion that the world is producing mental agitation. They try to run away from the challenges.
Remember, you cannot escape from the problem by merely changing the situation or the environment you live in. You have to face the situation squarely.
On certain occasions in India, some mischievous street children have a peculiar way of entertaining themselves. They tie a tin to a donkey’s tail and they let-off a cracker near the donkey. The panic stricken donkey runs dragging the metal tin. Even after the cracker’s noise has stopped, the donkey continues to run because it hears the noise caused by the tin dragging along the ground. As it runs, the donkey believes that the noise is following him. What should the donkey do? The donkey simply has to stop, the noise will abate and the problem is solved. But the donkey believes that the problem is following him and runs until it gets exhausted and collapses.
Similarly when there is a problem, one set of people tries to escape from the problem, while the others try to solve it from the wrong end. The more you run away from the problem, the more will the problem seem to follow you. Just pause and take a peep into your own self. The moment you believe that there is a problem in the outside world or if you believe there is happiness in the outside world, you will be in trouble. Seeking happiness or solutions in the external world is an unending chase. An Indian thinker views this interestingly “Looking for happiness in the outside world is like a blind man looking for a black cat, in a dark room, which is not there”.
Those people who believe that the problem is in the outside world, face the problem squarely. They do not run away from the situation. They meet the challenges with courage, but they start from the wrong end. They believe that the problem is outside and seek the solution externally. That is where they go wrong. They never succeed in trying to solve the problem from the outside. The more they try to seek the solution outside, the deeper they get into the problem. Then they take refuge in the belief that “when trouble comes, it comes in battalions.” The external solution for an internal problem is but creation of new problem.
There is a third group of people who understand that he problem has nothing to do with the external world but everything to do within one’s own self. They understand that the wrong mental attitude and their approach to the problem is the problem. They understand that the problem is not with the world. The world is a projection of their own mind; it is a reflection of their own thoughts. The right mental attitude gives the right approach to solve the problem. They focus on the inner self and try to rectify it within. Thereafter, they find that the world is perfect.
In the Mahabharatha, there is an interesting parable. Lord Krishna requested Duryodhana to find the most righteous person and bring him to the Lord. Duryodhana sets out on the mission. Krishna then called Yushistira and told him to bring him the wickedest person in the world. Yudhishtira also set on his mission to find a wicked person. At the end of the stipulated time, Dhuryodhanan came back stating: “Oh, Lord, I am so sorry I could not find’lord, I am sorry even one righteous person in the world.” After some time Yudhishthira came and said: I am sorry, I cannot find one wicked person in the world.” Yudhishtiran being Dharmarajan (king of virtue) could not find even one wicked person. Duryodhanan being wicked could not find a righteous person. The parable tries to convey the message: “as your mind, so the world.” Dhuryodhanan could only see wickedness in everyone while Yudhishitran could only see nobility everywhere, yet both searched in the same world.
Therefore, what needs transformation is, your mind and intellect. Vendata helps in rehabilitating your inner personality. It is a knowledge that restructures your inner system. There is nothing wrong with the outside world, let the world remain as it is. You need to bring the light of knowledge within. You will then know how to steer your way though the challenges of life.
The Happiness within.........