While studying “Vedas, Upanishads and Darshana” I fumbled upon one of the best articles of my life, which really made me analyze my situation differently and helped me to calm down. And I really want to share it over here with my audience. Credit goes to S-VYASA, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. (2 Ways to Stay Happy!)
Vidhu Chaudhary, Yoga Therapist & Pranic Healer
According to Indian Philosophy
- What is the meaning of life?
- What is the goal of life?
- What is the nature of truth?
The two main subjects dealt in Prasthana Traya (Upanishads, Bhagwad Geeta and Brahamsutra) are:-
- Search to get rid from Pain (दुःख निवृत्ति)
- Search of happiness (सुख -प्राप्ति)
Our activities are directed towards getting happiness. To get more and more happiness, if we cannot get happiness, then at least Dukh Nirvitti, i.e. to overcome the misery has been the fundamental drive in all of us. This instinct is not only in human beings but also in animals, everywhere. The aim of life in all creation has been sukha Prapti dukha Nirvritti, दुःख निवृत्ति, सुख -प्राप्ति.
What is Modern Happiness hypothesis?
We crave for more comforts, sense pleasure, name, fame and power all these to get more happiness. The whole of society is built on this hypothesis, that we get more happiness through sense pleasure.
But are the people really happy? NO! Absolutely NOT.
Why was it a miserable failure to create a society of happiness? Why is it that there so much of tension and stress?
Why are there such large number of psychosomatic ailments, psychiatric problems, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, heart problem, epilepsy, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome a series of them, depression neurotic-ism and so on. Thirty percent (30%) of people in United States suffer with irritable bowel syndrome & Chronic syndrome. (2 Ways to Stay Happy!)
Why there is so much of drug culture? (Mistaking the drug induction to be happiness)
Is Happiness a temporary thrill?
There must be something fundamentally wrong. We all seek happiness but almost invariably through OBJECTS of enjoyment. Its a RAT RACE.
Let us take an example, suppose we are very much fond of Gulab Jamoons/Chocolates. The first Gulab Jamoons/Chocolates gives us immense happiness. When we consume the second, this happiness is reduced. The third and fourth serving reduces the happiness or thrill. Further serving will be such that, we no more derive happiness from them. This is law of Diminishing returns.
This conclusion is valid not only in case of eating/drinking but in all cases of sense enjoyment- watching a movie, hearing a melodious song, smelling a breath holding scent, sensing a fascinating touch. When repeated thy lose their charm and saturation is inevitable.
Secondly, it varies from person to person, you may like the things I like the most! the things which you like may not be liked by other people! Likings are highly subjective. Some People like travelling but some may not, some might feel happy in just being at home. Some may like getting high by a hard drink, some may not!
The third, reason is it varies from mood to mood, the things liked by you in mood one, may be liked by you in mood two. You might not feel like have Gulab Jamoons/Chocolates, if someone wakes you up mid night, you might feel like to throw them up and get back to your cozy bed. By above cited examples it is concluded that:-
- Happiness through sense, of any object diminishes with repetitions.
- Happiness object varies from person to person.
- Happiness varies from mood to mood of that one person.
By the analysis we can see that happiness is a state of mind and that external object are just an aid to evoke a certain state of mind. Or can we say, to evoke the release certain happy hormones or some good neurotransmitter!
Our wild goose chase to accumulate more and more wealth , more and more luxurious things, to search for happiness in different restaurants, Italian food, Mexican food, Indian Food, Chinese food, Singapore food and what not! all such chase will stop if you try understand the above. Our greed to accumulate more and more wealth will reduce.
The credit card system and the super bazaars have all the things to attract us, we go there and bring all types of objects of enjoyment which go on in accumulating in the house. Within a year we find that house to be small to inadequate for those objects and we move to a bigger place, after the repetition of same process now we need a much bigger palatial house with all storage place. This goes on and on and you tend to become more unhappy. You have a beautiful car of your choice and you are not happy in that, you want to get the latest model but the thrill last for only a few days. Then again you try for new car and when we get it we lose the charm and excitement within a few days.
We have that happy hormone-releasing-gland within,
Those neurons releasing good-neurotransmitter, within,
can we have something which does not require the external trigger to stimulate them all, can we
like Aladdin, rub a gland and be happy.
Means the hypothesis has failed. If this hypothesis has failed then how to en-root happiness?
Firstly, Slowing Down is the KEY!
If we examine the process of getting happiness we miss the truth often due to ‘speed’. The whole process occurs so fast that the reality behind is lost and we grasp only the superficial. Hence if we can slow down the process and look subtly we get deeper insight.
For example when we are watching cricket in the TV, first time we may not understand how the wicket was lost but then there is a slow play back on the TV. In the slow play back we see the bowler coming with tremendous speed and now he is bowling almost 100miles/hour. When the ball comes there is a swirl and this swing, now the batsman is trying to tackle and the ball goes in between the bat and knock of the wicket and you watch and you watch it enjoying thoroughly. That is slowing down the whole process. You often get at the bottom of the secret by slowing down and unravel the things about happiness.(2 Ways to Stay Happy!)
Secondly, Happiness is in Silencing the MIND
What happens when there is an instant contact of the external object with the sense organ, that is eye, when people are watching the sunrise at Kanyakumari! At that instant of time, if we peep into the process carefully (without disturbing the state), something unique happens.
They forget themselves. Some stand like statues; some open their eyes; some close automatically. They are then unaware of the sea shore, their friends, the ocean and the horizon. They are oblivious of the external surroundings for seconds. Later they jumps joy and exclamation emerge. They are fresh and light throughout the day. The experience makes on unforgettable dent in their minds.
Now analyze what happened. Their keenness to see the ocean automatically rid them of all worries, problem and randomness of mind. When the “Visaya Visayi sambhoga” (subject-object-contact) experience occurred with eyes grasping the expansive vision of the ocean and horizon, the entire thinking process stopped. A thought free state resulted. And that is the state of happiness. This is what happens in all situations which give us happiness.
Could this state be real abode of happiness? When one repeats and stays in this thought-free state for quite a long time, what happens? Will the bliss increase?
Let us see what the ancient seers who traveled the whole spectrum of inner journey and established themselves in those deeper states say. They clearly tell us that this state of SILENCE is real happiness. Further if this experience is repeated by doubling the duration of happiness would increase more than twofold. Longer duration of stay in the state not only brings tremendous bliss, it transforms the whole person. The Upanishads are not dogmatic.
They show the direction and allow us to find out ourselves whether they are true or not. If we do not experience we need not accept. Now it is left to us all at this state to test for ourselves the truth of this inference portrayed in the Upanishads by experiencing that though-free state and dwelling in it more and more. That is the way of a scientific mind and only then will there be a real impact.
Thus if we summarize what we have analyzed, we see that happiness is a state induced normally but not necessarily always, by external objects. This state is a deep experience where there will be no thoughts.
During the sense enjoyment we experience this state for an extremely small fraction of a second. If we could dwell on it for longer duration, the bliss multiplies and new layers of the mind unfold themselves. Herein lays the secret of life, the key to evoke the tremendous potentialities hidden in all of us.
This inner bliss is so large compared to the happiness we derive from the external sense objects that the desire for sense enjoyments automatically gets reduced. Here starts the real renunciation.
Not only do the burning desires get reduced but also the usual sense pleasure appear to be so small in comparison with that bliss within. Then our system automatically chooses the higher bliss, the more lasting bliss. A new way of life emerges. Irrespective of what we have or do not have- we live satisfying, happy life. That is YOGA WAY OF LIFE. Thus, the Upanishads provide the basis for Yoga (a process to calm down the mind and quite it totally).