Happiness is a state of mind, ranging from various pleasant emotions to contentment in life and also gratitude. It is imperative that you be happy because it has considerable influence on how you live your life. You must work with joyful interest and enthusiasm.
You have a duty to be happy. A person who is always sad and grief-stricken about the situations around, is hardly making any progress. He is in fact generating negative karma by being sad and affecting others and the environment.
Whenever you waste time, your happiness is lost, peace is disturbed. Irrespective of what you may have, the moment you are not smiling or wasting time, your happiness vanishes.
When you see someone suffering, it is hard to empathize with the person without internally suffering too. A Guru empathizes out of kindness and does not agonize. He acts accordingly to extend comfort. You must learn not to brood over issues, else your ability to help the other person or yourselves diminishes.
Circle of Influence and Concern
There is a circle of influence and circle of concern. When someone needs guidance and you help, it implies that his need is in your circle of influence. In a group, your area of influence increases. Consequently, your area of concern reduces. Influence of an individual, family and a group expands, as you expand the group.
For example, at first Mahatma Gandhi’s point of concern (swarajya) was not in his area of influence. He worked in the area of his influence, in his own capability and slowly the concern came under his influence and he accomplished what he wanted. So, first apply your capability in the area of your influence. Manage to address the needs of a few people around you. Spread happiness into your family. Take help of the group. Then, you can radiate more. What is outside your influence, would slowly come inside, if you keep working.
Excessive concern leads to worry. If you only worry and not work, your influence minimizes. If you keep complaining that this person is dishonest, world is not fair, etc., your influence only shrinks. It may shrink so much that you may not be able to do what you were able to accomplish otherwise.
Hence, work in the circle of influence and expand it. Slowly, your concern would come within your circle of influence. Group is an opportunity to expand the circle of influence. Your limitation is not the limitation of the group, teaching, Spiritual Teachers and Supreme God. If the purpose is clear, though it may take time, it will gradually come under the influence. Progress will take place. There may be a lag time.
Sorrow and Suffering
Say, your friend might have to undergo a surgical procedure. You may be feeling sorry that the friend has to go through it, but you also recognize that surgery is intended for his good health. Therefore, even if apprehensive, you will consider it essential. Similarly, all sorrow and suffering are like a dangerous growth, which require surgical removal.
We can use techniques of erasing to get rid of unwholesome thoughts and undesirable emotions and also inner reflection to recognize and eliminate them. We must lift to a higher emotional state using various techniques, such as, Rhythmic Yogic Breathing, Forgiveness Sadhana, Planetary Peace Meditation, Metta Meditation, Great Invocation, OM chanting, erasing, Inner reflection, healing, etc.
Much of the sorrow of the world is not due to the past actions, but it is the result of your perception. You may think that something unjust or wrong is happening to you or others. For example, you frequently allow yourself to be hurt or worried. You are ready to get triggered for small things and get affected with what others say. These things repeat many times. So, stop getting offended or triggered again and again. You must modify your viewpoint on these matters. This is very important.
Bishop C W Leadbeater has mentioned that may be 10% of the suffering is due to the past actions, rest is due to your attitude. So, do not keep thinking that this is your destiny or God given fate. God cannot give you anything different than what you are entitled for. You have created your own present by your actions and perceptions! What you have done recently or what you are doing now is important as that creates or modifies your future.
Endeavour to Change
If you keep perceiving and acting in the same way, then the same situations will repeat. You must bring change in your thinking, feeling, speech and action now. Let go of the past tendencies. Utilise the time and opportunity, do service, help others and make your future. It is difficult to know the future, it is easy to make the future!
In order to be happy, most people surround themselves with the company they enjoy or go to places for fun and rejuvenation, and so on. This is good; however, external happiness is not permanent. You must learn to be happy within yourself. Nonetheless, for many lives we have lived with this attitude of finding happiness in external things and circumstances. So, it requires effort to remove such a tendency. It is possible still. But many hardly attempt to change.
If you find yourself getting offended or triggered very easily and so dejected or upset, then you must work to change this behaviour. Instead, you might find faults with those who offend you, and hold them responsible for your misery. This inability to forgive and forget can lead to uncomfortable relationships. You may lose life’s enthusiasm this way. And these people offending you might be very much like the rest of the world. Your emotional state depends upon your attitude towards others’ behavior.
Remind yourself that “irrespective of what the other person thinks or how he/she responds, I will put effort not to take it personally or get offended. I will practice instant inner forgiveness and try to get back to a peaceful state as soon as possible.”
Instead, if you allow yourselves to be affected by it, you will experience lot of pain and anger. But if you are able to empathize with the other person in such a situation, you will save yourself from getting offended and can maintain your happiness.
For example, when driving on the road, someone trying hard to overtake you, finally goes past you and gives a stare or says something nasty. It may not be actually intended for you. He might have done this with anyone on his way as he was in a hurry. It is up to you whether you get triggered, take it personally and carry that pain for a while, or empathize that he was in a hurry, so forgive him and return to your happy state soon, even if you were somewhat disturbed.
Such incidents show us our trigger level. In 90-95% of the cases, it is others’ nature or their attitude that they speak or react in a certain way. It is not personally directed to you. Understanding this can help you overcome the pain and get over it faster.
How do we practice what is just said?
In order to master any teaching, knowing is important; then you must remember it when the situation entails it; next, practice the teaching; and finally master it! So, know, remember, practice and master it!
1. Accept people as they are! Open your heart. Green mango is green! Accept it. It will become yellow one day. Allow it to ripen. Have patience and tolerance. Remember that every yellow mango was once green.
2. Another way of being happy is to work for the Divine plan, the plan of the Logos. You will not be affected with what others say or do as you will be busy and focused on your work.
This is like an athlete who is focused on his target when running, in spite of so many people shouting. He is not distracted by the audience, whether they encourage him or otherwise. He gives his best.
In the same manner, do your work and do not get bothered with who is praising or who is criticizing you. Your focus must be on your work. So, work for the Divine plan. This is the easiest way to be happy.
For example, if working for Great Vision of Yoga Prana Vidya (to bring Peace on Earth), make a target that every day you are going to teach two people to do breathing exercises, help people around you to come to a higher emotional state, make them practice Forgiveness Sadhana, do Planetary Peace Meditation, etc.
When you are engaged in the work and are busy, you have no time for sadness, worry or complaints.
3. By being happy and maintaining heart chakra bigger, you can generate good karma. If you are busily engaged in pouring out good thoughts, wishes, strong currents of goodwill to all around you, most of the time, you will generate great good karma.
4. You can practice inner reflection and erase objectionable thoughts and unpleasant emotions by touching your Ajna chakra (centre of the eyebrows, activating the Will aspect) with the fingers of the left hand, being aware of the Crown chakra (top of the head, entry point of Divine energy) and erasing with the right hand using Divine energy. Replace them with positive affirmations so that there is no room for any disagreeable tendencies to come up.
For example, you plough a field. You clear the ground and make it clean. Then you put desirable seeds so that there is no space for the weeds and unnecessary plants to grow back again. With less space, only a few weeds may come up. You may have to de-weed and also focus on the crop that you have planted. But if you plough the field clean and leave it without putting right seeds, then again, all the weeds, grass and unnecessary plants may grow back. Therefore, after erasing, you must replace them with desirable positive affirmations and good thoughts. This is inner reflection and firm resolution. So, keep some positive affirmations handy for this purpose.
This discussion on happiness will continue in the next article!
Reference from the books –
- Light on Path by Mabel Collins
- Talks on the Path of Occultism- vol. 3, A Commentary on “Light on the Path” by Annie Besant and Leadbeater.
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