What is the secret of happiness?

What is the secret of happiness?
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Highlights

Even though we all want to be happy, not everybody is. We go up and down like a yoyo, as we experience happiness and sorrow in cycles. We experience pleasure and then pain.

Even though we all want to be happy, not everybody is. We go up and down like a yoyo, as we experience happiness and sorrow in cycles. We experience pleasure and then pain. The truth is that man hasn't understood the meaning of true happiness. He confuses pleasure with happiness. Happiness is not a product that we can buy. Neither is it a person that we can live with, nor is it a place we can go to. Happiness is a state of being. So, the moment we say, 'I want happiness', we fail to be happy. We can't become happy. We just have to be happy.

We think fulfilling a desire will make us happy, but desires eventually lead to disappointment. Our need is soon replaced by greed. We keep wanting one thing, and then another. How can we ever be happy? Further, not all desires are fulfilled which inevitably leads to disappointment. We believe that joy comes from achievement; but as long as we believe this, we will live and die with this illusion, without being truly happy. With achievement come stress and anxiety, and other problems. The joy of achievement is usually short-lived.

Those who stop chasing success and wealth; those who stop ascending this illusory peak of achievement, which is based on pleasure, attain a state of peace. Peace is the foundation of happiness. Once we start to live a life of contentment and fulfilment, we will begin to experience far more bliss and joy.

One of the primary reasons why we are unhappy is because we shuttle between yesterday and tomorrow. We live with regrets of the past and fear of the future. We don't realise that happiness is in the now. We can't be happy in a 'yesterday', because it is already gone; nor can we be happy in a 'tomorrow' - it is not yet born. Instead of being blissful and peaceful in the present moment, we lose this moment by either living in the past or the future. To be in the moment, we must tame the monkey mind. We must make it silent and still by observing it jumping from thought to thought and drastically reducing the number of thoughts that it produces.

Most of us are unaware of the Happiness Paradox. Happiness is like a shadow. The more we chase it, the further it goes away. But if we stop, we will find happiness with us, wherever we are. There is nothing wrong in seeking to be happy. But there is a way to be happy all the time. Most of us don't realise that happiness is within us, but we go on searching for it outside. We are like that musk deer who is searching for the fragrance of the musk that is inside its own navel. Ultimately, in desperation, it falls off the cliff and dies. Unfortunately, many of us in the pursuit of happiness live and die without experiencing Ananda or true bliss.

We all experience the triple suffering — physical pain of the body, misery of the mind, and agony of the ego. Those who go in quest of the ultimate peak of happiness, enlightenment, realise the truth of who we are - the Divine Soul. With the realisation of the truth, we experience an unparalleled, seamless bliss that is far beyond happiness that comes from pleasure and peace. We discover the true meaning of life and with that, live a life of eternal peace and everlasting Divine bliss as we escape from the triple suffering of the body, mind, and ego. We attain the state of Satchitananda, a state of eternal bliss that knows no sorrow.

(Spiritual leader and Founder of AiR Institute of Realization and AiR Center of Enlightenment)

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