You are as Happy as you Want to be Print E-mail

Swami Rama Tirtha said, “If you are not happy as you are, where you are, you will never be happy.” Yet everyone is waiting to change one or two things in life to be happy. You suffer from the JATC Syndrome – you believe that happiness is Just Around The Corner! You achieve that one thing and another comes in its place. This goes on all your life.


Happiness is your choice. You can choose to be happy in the worst of circumstances or be miserable with the best in the world. Happiness is a state of mind. When the mind is tranquil, free from agitations, you are happy. However, you are in a constant state of unrest which arises from a feeling of inadequacy. Vedanta helps you to change focus to your abundance. When you look at the millions of things you enjoy you will be grateful for the bounty conferred on you. Then the few things you do not have will cease to bother you.


The mind gets turbulent when it is full of unfulfilled desires. You carelessly entertain desires without realising the havoc they cause and the sorrow they breed. All religions warn against the perils of unabashed pursuit of desire. Yet modern life encourages us to desire more, have more, and consume more. When desire mounts to levels that are no longer sustainable by legal and ethical means people cross the line and enter the murky areas of crime and destructive behaviour.


Vedanta gives a unique formula for happiness. Happiness is the number of desires fulfilled divided by the desires harboured. You are in the mindless pursuit of fulfilling desires, focussing on the numerator. This will never make you happy. As you fulfil a desire more pop up. The denominator increases, reducing your happiness. Instead shift your attention to the denominator. As you reduce desires your happiness increases. Eradicate desires and you reach infinite Happiness.


The first step to eradicating desire is to examine it with the intellect – is it in your interests to pursue with the desire? Is the desire in line with your life’s goal? If yes, fulfil the desire. If not, press the delete button on it. The next step is to reduce desires by upgrading them. A mother willingly sacrifices her desire for chocolate when her child enjoys it. A student keen on a PhD gives up physical pleasures as well as the safe haven of her home to venture into unknown terrain. When you are inspired with the spiritual goal all desires fade away. You become all-blissful. Give up desire and objects of desire come to you. Seek the Spirit and the world will be at your feet!


At times you may be happy but that happiness is dependent on everything around you being just right. Vedanta promises happiness completely independent of the world. The world is unpredictable, is constantly changing and is a mix of pairs of opposites. To depend on such a world is like expecting to earn a steady income from gambling!


Inner enrichment is inversely proportional to dependence on the world. A spiritually evolved person needs little from the world to be happy but has the capacity to command the resources of the world. He may need only a one-bedroom modest home but have a luxury penthouse apartment. He may be happy commuting by public transport but have a high-end car at his disposal. The surplus he has over his needs puts him in heaven. A less evolved person needs much more from the world. Ironically he lacks the capability to gain them. There is a huge gap between his needs and his income which makes life hellish.


Vedanta helps in two ways. It helps leverage your talent and energies to attain success and prosperity. It also develops you spiritually by which your dependence on the world reduces. You are in bliss!