Sadhana 12: Intellectual Level – Happiness is Within
Don’t put the key of your happiness in someone else’s pocket.
The Divine Self within is the real nature of mankind. As long as one identifies with the Self, one is in the state of absolute perfection and bliss.
During one of the talks, Swami Chinmayananda described elaborately how there is no happiness in the world and he often joked that happiness is like the chutney and sorrow is the main course in the world. After the lecture, when breakfast was served to him, it was south indian breakfast with idly sambar. After the breakfast, filter coffee was given to him and Swamiji relished every sip of it and kept saying – “Whoever said there is no happiness in the coffee?” devotees present were surprised to hear this. Swamiji kept repeating it as he enjoyed the coffee more and more – “Whoever said there is no happiness in the coffee?” When he finished it, he walked up to his room and just before he closed the door, he turned and said – “but its all temporary”
Where is Happiness?
Happiness is the goal of all our efforts in life. It is therefore of paramount importance to find out exactly where happiness is located. We generally believe that the joy we experience through our sense organs lies in the sense objects our sense organs pursue; for example:
· In beautiful music for our ears
· In soothing creams for our skin
· In exciting shapes for our eyes & so on…
As we pursue this belief, we constantly try to get more and more of the objects that our sense organs crave. Many of us succeed in gathering a great amount of pleasing objects – but in time we find that our happiness is not at all greater than before. It did not grow in proportion to the wealth we gathered around us.
Wealth is by no means a measure of happiness, since joy is not to be found in the sense objects. If it were contained in those objects, each object would provide the same amount of joy to all those who came in contact with it. But this is not the case:
A man smoking a cigar after a satisfying meal in a fancy restaurant is overwhelmed with pleasure at crowning his feast with such a relaxing, enjoyable activity. However, the person sitting two tables away is going through agony, because her evening is spoilt by the pungent fumes she loathes.
If joy is not in the sense objects, then where exactly is it located? This leads us to the fundamental question: Where is happiness?
These questions were the basis upon which the ancient masters made thorough investigations into the human personality. They discovered that Happiness is a state of mind.
When the mind is agitated we feel sorrow and anxiety. When the mind is tranquil we feel joy.
Thus Happiness is measured by the tranquility of our mind. Tranquility may be at times brought about by the contact with sense objects, but that tranquility turns out to be only temporary. Lasting satisfaction comes from the mind which has become quiet because its desire has been fulfilled.
The masses run after the material world in vain. The spiritual masters of all ages have asserted that the human being has the unique capacity to quiet the mind and thus learn to enjoy real tranquility – without having to depend helplessly upon any object or thing.
- Extract from “Self Unfoldment” by Swami Chinmayananda
Watch a video of Swami Chinmayananda on Quiet Mind is a happy mind: https://youtu.be/tH1YuKwZ0M0
1. Everytime you enjoy anything, observe how the
a. Senses enjoy the temporary pleasure
b. Desire is fulfilled & mind is calm
c. Calm mind is a happy mind.
2. Tell yourself that the happiness I’m experiencing is my nature, its not coming from outside.
3. Observe how the mind gets disturbed again with the next desire. Stay as far as possible in the state of calmness of the mind.
1. Understand that the happiness reflected in a quiet mind is the Happiness of the Self. It is Ananda. Its our Infinite Nature or Brahman.
2. Suggest to yourself everytime you experience happiness through any sense-object/person/situation, that im experiencing the happiness that’s my nature as Brahman
1. Freedom from dependency on sense objects
2. Tuning up with the Happiness within
3. Contemplation on Brahman as One’s true nature.
4. The flimsy happiness that is gained through sense indulgence and sense gratification is a joy that is fleeting, vanishing as quickly as it comes, and after its onslaught there is a terrific undercurrent that upsets our equilibrium and drags into ill-reputed dissipation. This happiness lasts only so long as the sense organs are actually in contact with sense objects.
Happiness that arises from constant effort and inner self-control can yield a greater beauty and a larger sense of fulfillment. In the beginning its practice may be painful and arduous, but a person who has the necessary courage and heroism, to walk the precipitous path of self-purification, creativity, and inward balance comes to enjoy the subtlest happiness and the all-fulfilling sense of inner peace.
UNTO HIM OUR BEST