The Art of Happiness

_“There is enough happiness in this world to keep you attached to the suffering conditions which you go through here.” – HH Radhanath Swami_ 

*This is not a religion. This is software technology:*

The body is like a computer and the mind is the hard disk. When the mind gets affected by the virus, the hard disk gets corrupted. For the hard disk to function, we need to apply anti-virus software. Right now, our minds are overwhelmed with greed, pride, lust, anger, envy, and illusion. To resolve this, the expert technicians, our acharyas recommend an antivirus software called the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. A manual like Bhagavad Gita can guide us in accessing this antivirus software. Bhagavad Gita is a practical book in clearing the various viral anarthas for the whole system of body, mind, intelligence, and soul to function in its maximum efficiency. 

For a tadpole can’t perceive how a frog is able to live outside water. Yet, he isn’t aware that he too shall be there once the transformation begins. Likewise, all of us are afraid of change. We try to project what could be the possible consequence in the future and build various kinds of preconceived impediments in kick-starting the transformation process. 

*What is happiness?*

Happiness is a state of being. It is not a physical acquisition or social prestige. 

Here is a small experiment. Can you name the last 5 noble prize winners? Or the top country in the last Olympic medals tally? No, right? We hardly store such data in our brains as they are of no relevance in our day-to-day responsibilities unless we’re preparing for competitive exams. But if I ask you to name the two friends who helped you to get through those difficult days or three teachers who taught you, most valuable lessons, or five people who inspired you to pursue your dreams, it is relatively easier. This simple exercise ultimately reveals that the people who really make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most awards, accolades, or achievements. They are the ones who care. Likewise, we can make a difference in others’ lives by caring for and serving them. Thus, the art of real happiness is cultivating gratitude and a service attitude.

*What is the criterion for measuring happiness?*

Carl Jung, the famous psychologist said, “I don’t know who is God but I know one thing. If you don’t understand God, you will go crazy.” That was perhaps the only bonafide statement he made in his whole life. Statistics reveal that 70% of American youth contemplate suicide and 33% of them visit psychiatrists. Because the patients regularly repeat to their therapists, ‘I want to commit suicide, I want to commit suicide, I want to commit suicide,’ and because of such influence, the psychiatrists have high suicide rates among all professionals. Moreover, the divorce rate there is 71% and due to stress, one in every two are vulnerable to cardiac arrest. To gawk at, there are already 4 lakh documents on the internet about stress. Practically, thousands suicide every day and there are 1 million of absenteeism recorded due to stress-related disorders. This is the state of mental health in the most technologically advanced 54 United States of America. 

*You’re not your achievements!*

Often in today’s society, one’s worth is measured by their accomplishments in life. Yet, the truth is you’re not your achievements and the problem arises when you start building your self-worth based on them. Thus when such expectations are not met, people tend to easily fall into depression. George Harrison, one among the famous four of The Beatles band, by the age of 25 was a multi-millionaire. The Beatles were ‘worth’ 65 million pounds in 1965 when the members were in their 20s. 

Can you imagine receiving a million greeting cards piled up in 7 trucks at your doorstep on your birthday? That was the effect of fame George Harrison was experiencing. After a performance, the Beatles arrived at a hotel in Seattle, and the towel George once wiped his sweat was cut into pieces and sold by the hotel owner for millions of dollars. George writes in his autobiography, that towards the late 1960s he stopped smiling because there was so much intense pressure, internal conflicts, and expectations that made the four of them like animals in cages. Then, he left to India, met with the saints there, and said, ‘ If only I could travel the length and breadth of India like a wandering mendicant, I would be willing to give away all my wealth in order to do that.’

This was the realization of the Beatles guitarist after attaining unimaginable fame. This simply is proof that achievements can’t provide true fulfillment. 

True happiness lies in selflessly giving our love to others through our acts of service to them without any ulterior motives. In giving, we receive. Such a love when given is received by us through the forms of complete satisfaction with self and fills our hearts with infinite happiness.

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