Thursday, September 17, 2015

True Happiness By Sri Swami Chidananda

Swami SIVANANDA the Guru of Swami Chitananda
True Happiness

Desire and want which arise from the prime delusion, destroy all peace of mind.
In a mind devoid of peace how can there be happiness? Happiness depends upon peace of mind. It is in a calm, tranquil state of mind alone that happiness arises, for essential true happiness is your inward spiritual state. 
Fortunately, or unfortunately, the only media through which, it can be expressed are the intellect and the mind. If these two media are thrown into such a state of agitation that they cannot serve as proper channels for the welling up of this inner happiness, then their condition becomes unfit and unfavourable. It is only when there is peace and serenity in the mind and intellect that inner happiness makes itself felt. The robber of your peace and serenity is the sense of want and desire which arise out of your prime error that happiness depends upon objects. That is the error in which you start your life. In childhood one is taught that to have a good time means going to places, or doing things, or getting objects and so children grow up in this delusion. The adult that is produced is at the mercy of things which are outside of himself. The grain of proper understanding of this world, as it really is, instilled into young people would grant a rich harvest in terms of happiness and joy.

Sri Swami Chidananda
Try to evaluate objects as they really are. To lead a proper life here on earth, one has to assign a limited value to objects. Certain objects are indispensable for the maintenance of life. For that purpose and to that end they should be utilised, but let them not assume an undue prominence in your life. For, instead, of serving as the proper sustenance, they may become the veritable tyrants sapping life of all true contentment and satisfaction. Your happiness may become mortgaged to these objects. No longer of limited utility, they seem to be of utmost importance. Therefore, they come to have a stranglehold upon you and tend to dominate and enslave you. A proper understanding and a right evaluation of objects as they are and for what they are worth, is of prime concern for the human individual. “Thus far and no further”—you must say, when they try to invade the interior kingdom of your life.

Simplicity of life is the true secret of happiness. Unhampered experience of joy which lies within comes out of simplicity. Your life should never be complicated with too many things. Due to too many things, due to too many desires, modem man unfortunately has missed this. The religious man always sings. He always dances. He is comparatively care-free and filled with the happiness of simplicity and contentment. We envy and even try to imitate him, at least for the time being, by leaving all distractions. It is unwillingly that modern man allows his life to become so complicated. He knows that simplicity is the secret of happiness. “But I can’t help it” saying thus, he weeps. He takes tranquillisers. He goes into a saloon or a bar. He does something—anything—to make him forget the total inadequacy of his present condition. Man has the key to happiness in simplicity.

Have contentment. Have the capacity to derive joy out of whatever situation you may find yourself in. Assert: “The situation has not the power to alter my experience. My experience is alterable only to the degree to which I allow it to be altered. If I say ‘no’, then I can have the same peace and happiness within, no matter how the situation changes. It can change every hour, yet I can be changeless.” So much blessedness will come if you have simplicity and contentment. You will find, of all things, that you are free from debts. This nightmare of instalments (of credit plans), that comes month after month, year after year, will be gone. Some people do not have any freedom. They just slave away for those various companies to which they owe instalments. Right to the end of their lives they go on paying instalments on the house, on the car, on the radio, on the TV, on the refrigerator, on the washing machine, and so on; heaven knows how many gadgets have been invented!

A simple and contented life depends more upon God-made things than upon man-made objects. There are hundreds of things that can fill you with happiness if you only have the eyes to see. When you get up in the morning, you can step out of your room and look at the dawn and be happy. When the sun rises, still more happiness. When you hear the birds warbling, even more happiness. When you feel the cool breeze blowing, again happiness. Well, there is no end to happiness. Know the technique for deriving happiness from these simple things—from the dawn, the sunrise, the birds, the laughter of children, the beautiful blue sky, the white clouds slowly sailing like majestic ships, little dancing flowers. They can inspire you if you only know how to derive joy. If you discover this secret there will be no end to your happiness.

Learn to experience joy from the happiness of others. Instead of envy, become filled with joy whenever you see others in happiness. Feel happy by beholding the happiness of others. Train yourself to derive happiness out of bringing happiness into the lives of others. Learn the technique of joy by making others joyful. Your happiness will become a thousandfold. At the present moment it is circumscribed by the experiences undergone by yourself alone. But if you begin to get joy from all others, then perpetually you will be happy. Everyone’s happiness will become a part of your happiness and will go to multiply and add to it.

Try to derive joy out of the beauty of all things, not only from those things which you possess. In this way you will develop an impersonal capacity for happiness. Without touching a cent in your pocket you will realise an illimitable treasury of happiness which lies strewn all around you and everywhere about you. When we realise the things that God has given for which we have reason to be happy, the whole day will not be long enough for us to be thanking Him. Untold treasure He has given. Just consider your own body, your own self. You have two sound eyes. Supposing someone says; “All right, give me one of your eyes and I will give you twenty thousand dollars.” Which person in a sane condition of mind would comply with such a request? Supposing you are offered one hundred thousand dollars for your tongue; would you give it? So, that means that you have things that are worth millions and millions of dollars! And yet there is moping and fretting for a few things which we don’t have, not realising the untold worth of the precious things which we already have. There are some people unfortunately deprived of these things. If you simply reflect how much God has given, then your whole vision of life will become changed. Know these little secrets. They are little but they are very important. They can mean the whole difference between darkness and light.

Learn to accept the experiences that come through life. There is no use fretting and fuming and making yourself miserable over them. You, perhaps, may just add more misery to the misery which these experiences already bring. Have calm and wise resignation. There is one Supreme Intelligence that is guiding the lives of men here and these experiences that come from that Source, learn to accept like human beings. Endure the little troubles that come through life. If there is a little sorrow, endure it and learn to take away its sting. Thus you may enrich your life out of those very experiences which you find painful and unpleasant.

Be friendly to all. Towards your superiors, have an attitude of complaisance. Do not be full of fear and timidity and nervousness in their presence. That can also rob you of your joy. Be serene. With your own equals, be friendly. Feel oneness with all. With those who are inferior to you in status, in health, in strength, in beauty, have an attitude of kindness, love and compassion. To those who are troublesome, wicked, unpleasant and nasty, be indifferent. Do not work yourself up into a state of irritation or annoyance or unfriendliness or hatred. Just ignore them. These four attitudes will provide you with a means of not being put out of your happiness—complacency towards superiors, friendliness and brotherhood towards your equals, kindness and compassion towards those who are inferior to you and a perfect indifference towards all those who are inimical to you, who are troublesome, nasty, evil or wicked. All these four categories are bound to be present.

Above all, do not give way to anger. Anger, more than any other single factor in this world, destroys happiness. It can totally wreck the entire happiness of a home. If one member of the household has a temper and gives vent to his anger, he can destroy the happiness of all members of the home; even the neighbours may be affected.

Maintain a rational restraint over the senses. The urge towards carnal enjoyment is the natural part of the human being, but it pertains to the mental and physical part of your nature only. We have to recognise this as such. However, it is the prerogative of every individual, being endowed with a high intelligence, to hold a reign over the senses. By that way they cannot destroy happiness. If they are allowed to hold a sway over you, then while you are thus unrestrained, you cannot have any happiness. This is the Law of the Universe.

Base your life upon virtue, upon Truth and upon purity. If purity is always your guiding rule, guilt complexes and neuroses will go and psychiatrists would be unnecessary for you. Happiness fills those who base their lives upon virtue. Virtue is a direct emanation from the Divine, just as happiness is the quality of the Divine. Although it may be difficult in the beginning, yet how many headaches would you save yourself if you would base your life upon virtue and Truth! If you tell a lie, to support it you have to tell a chain of lies. Sticking to the Truth takes away from you all anxiety and a thousand pin-pricks. A life of Truth and purity is a life devoid of many of the factors that contribute to the misery and unhappiness of the modern world.

Even more important, keep close to the Great Inner Source of all happiness, all joy, all bliss! Call It by whatever name you choose—I do not want to give It a name. Make That the centre of your being. That is the Eternal Thing that supports your life, which is your alpha and omega, your all in all, your supporting substratum and your destination and goal. Keep close to It by developing love. Love the Supreme. Always remember the Supreme. Great Ones who have immersed their lives and become absorbed forever in the supreme blessed state of happiness and bliss have told us one great secret which provides us with an unfailing method of attaining happiness. That secret is the Divine Name. They said: “Practise the Divine Name. The Name of the Supreme and the Supreme are not two but they are one. If you have the Divine Name within you, you have the Supreme within you.” This is a .great spiritual Truth. This is a great fact. If you remember this fact and try to make the Divine Name your own, if you are always repeating the Divine Name, always invoking the Divine Name, always filling yourself constantly with the current of the Divine Name; then happiness and blessedness will be present with you always.

Happiness, in the truest sense of the term, is that changeless experience right within you. It is that awareness which being present enables you to derive sweetness out of all other things, and which being absent, deprives you of all the sweetness from anything. That is the most important fact.

It works like the figure ‘1’ in mathematics. If ‘1’ is there, you may add to it any number of zeros and each zero progressively increases the value of the number enormously and the zeros have tremendous significance. If this ‘1’ is not there, all the zeros are just ciphers without any value of their own whatsoever. 
Similarly, all things gain the capacity for giving happiness only in the presence of this One Being. Make Him the centre of your life. Make Him the most important and paramount Thing in your life. Then you will never be taken away from your happiness even for a single second. No one will be able to take you away from it, for you are yourself that happiness. When a fish is taken out of a little bowl and released into the ocean, it swims about anywhere and always remains in the vast ocean. So, out of the tiny bowl of deluded life where we have paid this undue attention to external objects, let us lift ourselves out and enter into that vast Truth.

In God lies happiness and within me He is and He and I are One.

Within lies the perennial fount of eternal happiness. May you live your life in this Truth. Then I assure you that your life will become a stream of happiness. May your life thus flow forth not as a vale of tears but as a perennial stream of infinite happiness. This is my prayer. May God give you the strength and the inspiration to blossom out into that simplicity and contentment, that shining and radiant virtue, that serene state of detachment, that friendliness with all beings, out of which this great gift that is waiting to be bestowed upon us will become our own. 

May your life become radiant with joy and happiness.

Supernal Happiness—may That be yours!

extract of his book Bliss is Within

Peace, Love, Harmony