Thursday, May 10, 2007

Source of HappinessSource of Happiness

People’s happiness is analogous to that of a very tall man spending a bitter cold night on a balcony with only a short blanket to keep him warm. When he tries to cover his head, his feet get cold and when he tries to cover his feet, his head gets cold. Such is the happiness of the world. Misery is the figment of one’s imagination; it does not exist in reality. For example, if a person imagines that he will derive enjoyment from eating jalebi (dessert), he will find happiness in it. And if he imagines that it will make him miserable, then he will experience misery. Therefore things are not exactly as they appear to be. Whatever one calls happiness should be accepted as such by everyone: It should be a universal truth. But where one sees happiness, others see intense misery.
There are two ways to live peacefully in this world. Firstly, one needs honesty. If one cannot have complete honesty then he must at least have partial honesty in any worldly interactions. Secondly, one should practice non-violence. No living being should be harmed even in the slightest extent. Even in situations where someone insults you, if you retaliate, you will perpetuate a relationship of animosity with him, which will continue in your next life. So if you do not want to prolong such a relationship, then bring it to an end. If you want happiness in life, then you should constantly give happiness to others in whatever way you can through your mind, speech, and conduct.
By making others happy, you will bind punyas and in return you will receive only happiness. By hurting others, even in the slightest degree, you will bind paap and as a consequence, you too will become miserable.
By hurting someone, not only will you obstruct his liberation, but yours as well. You can never expect to be happy by hurting others. Your only concern in life should be to give happiness to others.

Daan (alms donations) means to give happiness to other living beings, whether it be humans or animals. The ‘reaction’ of giving happiness to others, is your own personal happiness. When you give happiness to others, happiness will immediately come to you without any effort! So all you have to do is to continue giving happiness to others. You can give food, clothing, or a little money to those in need. Giving a little solace to others will bring you peace of mind; that is what all worldly interactions are about. One should not give importance to the external conduct of an individual, because God resides within that individual and everyone else. That is why we should do all we can to help people. And in helping them, we too will benefit.
If someone gives you misery, you can do the same to him if you are prepared to suffer the misery yourself. You should assess your internal strength and decide whether you have the capacity to endure more suffering. Some people have the attitude of ‘an eye for an eye’, and for such people it is not a problem because they do not suffer any misery.
When there is a wedding in a family, people distribute sweets to friends and relatives. Why do they distribute ten sweets to one family and five to another? It is because of tradition. The same favor will be returned when there is a wedding in one of the other families. So this is a practice of giving in order to take back. It is taking happiness by giving happiness and taking misery by giving misery. God’s law is to give to other what you would want for yourself.
When a farmer sows a ton of seeds, he reaps thirty times as much crop. Similarly the reward of you giving happiness to others will be considerably more. It is because of your karmic account from your past life that someone gives you miseries. So when this happens, credit your account and do not react in the same manner towards him, otherwise a new account will be started.
All these religions are worldly in nature. They help one with worldly dealings. Even the worldly religions tell you not to give misery to others.
The Real religion is the nature of the Self. It is the religion of Soul. It is one’s inherent nature, in which there is eternal bliss. Happiness lies within one’s Self. Happiness is itself, the Soul, so when one acquires the Soul, he acquires happiness. To acquire the Soul, one has to find out who he really is. Eternal happiness is acquired when one finds the answer to “Who Am I” from a Gnani Purush (Omniscient) and then abides by his instructions. Thereafter, one will experience permanent happiness.
In conclusion, the only two things worth knowing in this world are: firstly, one should give happiness to others if he wants happiness. And secondly, if one wants liberation, then he needs to know the answer to ‘Who Am I?’ The purpose of all scriptures is to know these two things.