Love of worldly riches and ranks lies at the root of our sufferings. We are engrossed in pursuit of material gains and dedicate ourselves to the teachings of the material world. Thus we come to forfeit our spiritual heritage and flounder in the morass of gross materialism. Everyone wants to be happy and to lead life of pleasure. Many people try to increase their bank balance to be happy. Others believe in talents to be the source of pleasure. One which does not want pleasure is either a God or a Mad man. Though this wish for pleasure is a universal wish, yet only a numbered persons are fortunate enough to be perfectly happy in life. Different people suggest different ways to be happy. Nearly all the people in general believe that wealth is necessary to be happy. But we see that even Kings and millionaires are found to be unhappy. The true meaning of happiness is to be fully satisfied with what we have got. There should be internal and external happiness and we should never groan for having more and more.
We are not completely happy because we choose to be guided by the aim of rising higher and higher on the social ladder and the more we succeed in doing so the more the chances of happiness escape. In fact excessive attachment to the world deprives man of the essential conditions of happiness. Actually we do not understand the real meaning of happiness. Many of us fail to differentiate bet ween pleasure and happiness. Pleasure is short-lived whereas happiness is permanent. Happiness is the essence of soul.
Different ways of getting happiness
People have their own conception of happiness. Some attach importance to wealth and some believe in minimizing their wants. Others suggest that we should not be jealous of those people are better placed and are richer than we. All religious teachers have emphasized the ideal of simple life. Christ Buddha. Gandhi-all believed in simple living. Gandhiji wanted to reduce himself to zero to get perfect happiness in life. Some people are in favour of good health but to have only health is nothing. There should be something more for happiness. A group of people believe that to lead a moral life is the source of happiness. Religion is morality and without morality there can be no happiness in life. We generally see that those who are immoral are unhappy. But sometimes, this theory also proves to be wrong as generally we see in the society the immoral, corrupt and dis honest persons to be happy. But actually they do not have inner happiness.
My conception of happiness
While considering my conception of happiness, I remember a beautiful poem composed by W. H. Davis:
“My walls outside must have some flowers,
My walls within must have some books:
A house that is small, a garden large, And in it leafy nooks.
A little gold that is sure in every week,
Lovely wife and gentle too. Contented that no eyes but mine,
Can see her many charms, nor vice,
To call her brauty fine.”
The poet concludes his poem:
With this small house, this garden large, This little gold, this lovely mate, With health in body, peace, in heart, Show me a man more great.”
I believe in the ideas of the poet. Health, a little wealth and a beautiful wife gentle too are a few things to keep me happy. Again man’s uninterrupted union with nature is one of the acknowledged conditions of happiness. This means that people should live under the open vault of the sky-in the light of the sun and fresh air. But the people climbing higher and higher on the ladder of worldly fortune are deprived of these things, During their movements in the world, they are divorced from nature. Material prosperity ruins a man’s union with nature.
Thus Another undoubted condition of happiness in my opinion is work-voluntary and physical. Physical work produces sound and restful sleep at night. But men occupying important stations in life have little physical work to do, with the result that they fall a prey to all manners of diseases. As such these fortunate persons are deprived, of this condition of happiness because they are wedded to the teaching of the world.
I attach some importance to the family also. A good family is also a good condition of happiness. Big and rich persons are deprived of the happiness of family. They hand over their children to the servants to the strangers and private tutors. They save themselves completely from the responsibility of bringing up their children. In return for it, the children always desire for their death in order to inherit their property. I think that family life is also a source of happiness.
The next condition of happiness is a frees amicable intercourse with the whole mankind. For peasant and poor men, there are greater chances of mixing with the people of the world because their number is great. For the rich and prosperous persons, the circle of friends becomes limited. I like to be poor and ordinary in order to enjoy the intercourse with the people of the world.
I think that a man will be happy if he makes his aim of life serve others and to do good to all. We must serve others without thinking to earn money. My saints in India never cared for money and served other human beings. They were happier than others. we develop a sense of looking the good in everything and in every one, we shall be happy. Excessive work should be avoided to be happy because it spoils our digestive system which becomes a source of trouble for us.
If we want to be happy we must not be attached much to worldly things. Happiness can be felt only from within and cannot be derived from worldly possessions and riches. It is our duty as human beings to lead a life devoted and dedicated to God, We must recognize that the two greatest godly qualities are truth and love. We must believe in the principles of truth and love and this will keep us happy.