Free Press Journal

Life is all about ‘being happy’


Humans, who wish to be happy, should share their moments of happiness and joy and not their woebegone moments. By the law of nature and the universe, happiness would grow manifold, writes Ravi Valluri.

Promos of an upcoming television serial are currently being aired incessantly by a TV channel. The plot seems to revolve around a young girl hailing from a family of bureaucrats, jurists, police officers among others, who merely wishes to be ‘happy’. Her academic performance is way below par in fact on the verge of failure in comparison with illustrious family members. When confronted about her future plans by an unsettled family, she retorts by saying that her only desire in life is to be ‘simply happy’.

Health is not mere absence of pestilence, it is something much beyond. So is the case with happiness. It encompasses a whole range of emotions where in an individual is not just ‘not’ unhappy, but radiates infectious joy which uplifts not only himself but those around too.

A person assumes a human form and arrives on planet earth. He or she grows up, gets educated, then the family and the individual in question is in pursuit of a high-ranking job (preferably with several perquisites attached to it).

On securing the job the person is married off into as pretentious a family as possible and soon begets children. Surely enough he plans for the upbringing of the off-spring, their future….

This perennial cycle continues in an undisturbed manner.

Whenever questioned as to when he would choose to be happy, the answer is that upon the successful completion of the next task or event in the sequence, he would unfailingly find time to seek happiness. Finally, in the winter of his life, sitting in the garden of a colossal bungalow and now surrounded by grandchildren, however with failing health, the nonagenarian is in quest of happiness. In the sands of time, leading a frenetic schedule being happy had been overlooked. It is the nature or chitta of human mind to postpone happiness.

Contrast this with the emotions of a child, who is happy every moment, be it the prattle or jibber-jabber, winking at the mother or devouring a piece of chocolate with relish. The child is in the present moment as compared to adults who live in the past or keep thinking of the future.

 A Zen Master would be accompanied by his pet dog on his evening stroll. The Master would throw a stick and point to it for the dog to fetch it which it did routinely. One evening the Master invited his brightest tutee to join him. The student though perspicacious was always doleful and gloom-ridden. He was confronted with what he perceived to be contradictions in the teachings of Buddhist doctrine.

The teacher compassionately explained that words are mere signposts and symbols for the seeker. They should not act a road block in the spiritual progress and happiness of the student. To the illustrate the point, the Master asked the dog to fetch the moon shining in the sky. The dog merely looked at the Master’s finger, and the teacher explained that the spiritual progress and happiness of the canine was limited to certain symbols, whereas the tutee needed to transcend the symbols; and discover the eternal truth which is nothing but happiness.

This Zen state could be achieved by wading through the swathes of words and symbols by being happy, radiant and joyous from within. And this happiness ought to have a spiraling effect and encompass the lives of others.

To be in a cheery state, an individual should eschew misery from his cognitive framework. Misery signifies a state or feeling of great physical or mental distress or discomfort.

Normally in the hunt for treasures, humans forsake the precious wealth of relationships. When the sole objective of life is only acquisition and not building polyphonic relationships; we become robotic in nature and in the bargain fritter away priceless moments of life. Certainly money is important for sustenance and decent living, equally so is an emotional bank balance of healthy relationships. Of what value is the happiness of the nonagenarian when his entire life has been wasted by not pursuing his passion but postponing it to the final days of life.

Several individuals become highly hypocritical and pretentious by not revealing their true identities and masquerading their emotions. No harm would befall if we do not reveal our true nature. To begin with individuals would not be intellectually dishonest. And taking risks and plunging into unchartered territories would be a profitable exercise.

Humans who wish to be happy, should share their moments of happiness and joy and not their woebegone moments. By the law of nature and the universe, happiness would grow manifold. Sharing gloom only magnifies despondency among the individual and people surrounding him. Over a period of time, he would become a loner, lost and friendless.

Individuals as a habit realize that crestfallen moments in life are infinitesimal in comparison to the problems confronting the world. And by undertaking acts of seva, people can overcome their gloom-ridden moments and augment happiness. Enlightened masters emphasize that performing service transforms our inner self which deepens the quality of meditation. And meditation leads to contentment and increased joy.

It is important for individuals to take full responsibility for their actions and also inaction. Taking up responsibility empowers us and ignites the spark of happiness and joy, and as a test case we can measure the emotional quotient of our mind by not taking up responsibility. Invariably the mind becomes crestfallen. Therefore, it is sagacious to take up responsibility.

‘Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony’ rightly said the Mahatma.