Happiness is a buzz word worldwide these days. Happiness indices are being drawn up, people specializing in happiness are sought after and happiness conferences are organized at large scales.
People are looking for it in materialistic things and ways. According to Geeta it is of three types. Satvika, Rajsika & Tamsika, Tamsika happiness is what we call “ignorance is bliss” and indulgence in drinking, smoking or gambling etc. Rajsika happiness is which arises out of contact between sense organs and sense objects. But in these things law of diminishing returns comes to play. Hence even if there may be initial joy, rajsika happiness is momentary enslaving & problematic. Satvika happiness is real bliss it comes from inside, out of grace, blessings and self knowledge. It is long lasting & real happiness.
This happiness should be our primary goal. If we make happiness our primary goal, then everything else we desire will follow. Spiritual traditions have told us that if you seek the highest first, everything else comes to us. Materialism cannot give real happiness. Happiness is an internal state of real consciousness that decides how we perceive about the world and interact with it. Vedanta tells us that happiness for a reason is just another form of misery because reason can be taken away any time. To be happy for no reason is the real happiness for which we should look for. Happiness is a state of consciousness that already exists within us; we have to activate it with following keys.
1. Simplify: We are generally too busy, trying to squeeze in more and more activities in short time. To remain relaxed and happy we should schedule our priorities. But usually we priortise our schedule and keep on doing so many useless things which are never our true priorities of life. Happiness depends upon our state of mind not on our status or bank account. Quality of our life is quality of our consistent emotions. When we accept emotions as naturals, we are more likely to have a balance between head and heart. The goal should be to engage our selves in activities which are personally significant and enjoyable.
2. Be in the being domain: To be happy, be in present. Most of time we are in trans or in becoming domain, in simple words either we are thinking of something else, instead of where we are or thinking about future rather than to be in present. When you are taking bath, you are thinking of breakfast. At breakfast table, thinking about office and boss, when in office with boss you are thinking about wife and at home with wife you are thinking about girlfriend. The tragedy of modern man is that he can not even concentrate during Sex. Even then he starts thinking about other things of life. Ask yourself, how you can remain happy, to be happy, always be in present. If you are looking at a flower look as if you are looking at flower first time. No context & nomenclature is required. A flower is a flower and only a flower. So be in the being domain not in the becoming domain. In simple words live in present and be available for your feelings.
3. Decrease the denominator: Happiness is number desires fulfilled, divided by the number of desires harbored. Most of time we work towards increasing the numerator that is to have more and more materialistic desires fulfilled, In reality what we need is to decrease the denominator that is to reduce the number of desires harbored.
No. of desires fulfilled / No. of desires harbored = happiness.
A simple method to do this is to upgrade our desires and same we will learn in seventh key of happiness.
4. Drop the craze of certainty: Most of times we are unhappy because we want to get all the good things of life for certain and we keep on working very hard for that certainty which is not possible. This is just like to have all the lights on road green before starting our journey, is it possible? In reality to ask for certainty is stupidity. Life is beautiful for its uncertainty only. For example dating with beloved is beautiful because of unpredictability. He or She will say yes or will say no that is the excitement. Few days after the beloved becomes spouse, you know what happens? A certain degree of certainty creeps in the relation and makes it dull. Unpredictability of life is wow. Uncertainty in life is beautiful, relish it embrace it. So we have to drop the craze of certainty in life if we want to be happy in life.
5. Learn the art of averting double unhappiness: We could be unhappy because of double unhappiness. Suppose you are sick. This is the first unhappiness. But when you will start thinking why this sickness to me? Then the sickness of the body increases many more times. Unhappiness alone can not trouble us. Non acceptance is the point where double unhappiness begins. When we accept the unhappiness, then unhappiness, over earlier unhappiness does not happen. Let us accept the moments of unavoidable unhappiness and let it go. Simple method to do it is by asking a simple question “Can I accept it?” If the answer is yes then your unhappiness is immediately released. If your answer to this question is no; then don’t worry that, why it is negative. Then you should ask yourself a second question. “Can I accept that I can not accept this unhappiness”? Be comfortable with your non-acceptance. Accept this non acceptance of unhappiness and your unhappiness will be released instantly. Unhappiness is not avoidable in some circumstances. But double unhappiness is always avoidable by accepting it or accepting the non acceptance of it.
6. Express Gratitude and Appreciation: We often take our lives for granted and don’t express gratitude for things we are getting from family, friends and society. Instead of feeling gratitude we start expecting gratitude which is a mistake and creates sorrow. We should learn to give for our inner joy. The good thing is that gratitude is a trait which can be cultivated. So, if we want our children to be grateful, we must train them to be grateful. Also make sure that we appreciate someone or something that we ordinarily take for granted. Appreciate the true values of a person or situation that holds significance; a marriage, a holy ceremony, a person who is essential in your life or some one who is doing something good for society. It will create happiness.
7. Move from materialistic to Non materialistic needs: Human being has different needs to live a complete life. These needs have five levels.
1. Physiological needs: Food and sex.
2. Safety: It includes shelter and security.
3. Social needs: It includes need of family & friends.
4. Self Esteem: It is need of recognition and respect.
5. Self actualization: This is need of greater achievements in life.
First two are materialistic needs and last three are non-materialistic needs. Love, self esteem and self actualization are nonmaterialistic needs. We get love when we give love. We command respect when we give respect to others. In this way when we fulfill our needs we fulfill the needs of others automatically. Self actualization gives; different level of happiness and satisfaction. All great personalities of the world work for their need of self actualization and end up helping the whole society. Fulfilling of non-materialistic needs is extremely beneficial for self, society and mankind. It gives rise to greed for love, learning, and service to society and creativity, as writing book or making music. Such pursuits make the whole world a better place to live and create happiness.