HAPPINESS

Everyone in this world wants to be happy forever and for attaining happiness they resort to various practices and ways of life. Happiness is a state of mind, an aim, an essence, and in fact fragrance of the life itself. Who would not like this fragrance?. Happiness can’t be achieved in isolation as it depends upon various states of our mind functions such as level of satisfaction, stability, peace, and attitude. All these attributes or mind functions may vary from person to person and hence the level of happiness also differs from person to person despite having similar circumstances.

We do search for happiness in the possessions of wealth little realizing that even the wealthiest of all in the world are more worried than the paupers. We hope to get happiness out of high authority at our command and once we get it we realize that the authority gives more pain than the pleasures. The higher you go, you will not feel cozier, instead, you will feel cooler. ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’, is an old saying and is very true. Did the great kings or rulers had sound sleep? They were always in constant fear of being dethroned or invaded.

Happiness is therefore neither in wealth, nor in power, nor in high authority or more of possessions, because with every incremental increase in all these worldly things, a corresponding dose of fear of losing them is added to our store of worries.

To attain happiness we seem to be knocking at the wrong doors and treading a slippery path. We, therefore, need to change our attitude and way of life

Since happiness depends on our state of mind so we need to condition our mind and try to keep it stable. We need to learn from those who are happier than us and explore the causes of their happiness. We could hardly find anyone completely happy. Everyone is in search of complete happiness and he tries to derive this from different sources but each source itself is temporary and anything of temporary nature can’t provide a permanent solution for permanent happiness. The only person happier than anyone seems to be a child especially an infant. He has no worries. He gives a smile the moment anyone makes an eye contact with him. When in a mood he will not bother for anyone. He will cry when hungry and will never hide or suppress his feelings. As a child, he will be happier and more satisfied with a candy or a chocolate as his wishes and wants are limited whereas we would fail to derive the similar amount of happiness even if big fortunes are bestowed upon us.

We, on the other hand, have a lot of worries many of which we unnecessarily keep firmly attached to our mind. We are too miser in passing a smile and are biased while sharing the same. We bother too much for everything little realizing that many of them are not within our control and we are worried for them as a matter of habit. We are not open-minded and suppress our feelings. We are never contended with whatever we get and always try to have more. Our wants far exceed( LIFE ) our capacity to fulfill them thus making us unhappy. Hate, prejudice, biases, greed, fear, and feelings of insecurity and the absence of someone who could support us through thick and thin are the main causes of our worries and unhappiness. We do need someone to whom we can look for help. No one will help us without a purpose or a cost. Nothing comes free in this world then how can we expect help or support free of cost or free of an obligation?

The only ONE to whom we can trust for help and support is the CREATOR ie. our UNIVERSAL FATHER. We need to completely surrender before HIS will like a child surrenders before his mother. We must have complete faith in HIM as he will give us whatever is good for us. He will never give us anything which is not to our benefit. Pleasure or pain both come from his will, then why to worry. We should possess a helping attitude COMPASSION. towards everyone without any prejudice as it gives us a lot of satisfaction and happiness.

If there is only happiness in life throughout, we will lose its value and life would become monotonous. Some moments of worries or distress make us understand the values of happiness in a better way. So, do enjoy life with full faith in the CREATOR and always keep a positive mental attitude by avoiding every negative thought. Try to inculcate the attitude of expecting less and giving more as it will keep us more satisfied and happy. We should always think of and focus more on the good things in our life rather than paying more attention to a few worries which come in our lives in a normal routine. If we sincerely count and list out good and bad things in our life we will find that the Creator has given a lot of good things in comparison to the bad things which are very few. Since we pay more heed to and remain constantly focused on the bad things because of our negative mental attitude, so we remain unhappy. On the contrary, if we focus more on positive things in life which outnumber negative ones and ignore these negative ones, we will be happier.

DEVELOPMENT: A PERSPECTIVE

Development is happening in every field around the world for making the life more comfortable for the humans. There is no end to the development as there always remains something more to be achieved. It appears that man wants to achieve complete perfection beyond which there is no further scope for any development.

In order to achieve perfection and complete satisfaction, he is restlessly toiling day and night and running after a mirage; an illusion of satisfaction. This directionless effort is, in fact, making him more and more dissatisfied thus making him wander in the wilderness.

If we just compare the development made during the last few decades, we find that lot of infrastructure such as highways, roads, airways, waterways, railways along with utilities have been developed. More houses, buildings, transport, industry, huge projects are being added to take care of the increasing human population. A lot of development has happened in the agriculture and food industry, power sector, defense, space, energy, education, and health sectors.

Despite all development, we have not been able to eliminate the miseries of this world. Still, people in some part of the world are dying of malnutrition, hunger, and lack of Medicare although there is no shortage of food, medicines, and doctors in this world. We don’t lack resources, we lack compassion and will to help others( COMPASSION ) . We live in very narrow contours of compassion and don’t share our possessions with those who are in need, although every religion of the world teaches us to help the needy.

Unplanned and excessive mining, construction of huge tunnels and roads, railway tracks, over the ground as well as under the ground have definitely disturbed the environment, ecology, and so, the balance of nature. Our planet has an abundance capacity to bear the load and shocks of development but that capacity is not unlimited. It does have a limit, and once we exceed the limit, there is bound to be some reaction and which has started happening.

Mankind is the only race which leaves no stone unturned to pollute the overground, underground, and in the atmosphere resources which in fact are beneficial for him, little realizing that the earth and the atmosphere also have the life which needs nourishment for their sustenance ( SAVE THE EARTH ). Disturbance and destruction beyond a point are bound to compel the earth to react. Why are we blind to these reactions which have started giving their signals in the form of change in weather, unprecedented floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, volcano eruptions, wind and snow storms. Have not we seen mighty mountains crumbling like mounds of sand? The breaking of mountains can cause a temporary blockage of the rivers thus creating huge reservoirs of water and which can create havoc once these temporary blockages give in to the hydraulic pressure created by the stored water. We are unmindfuly polluting the rivers, oceans, and other water bodies which are a lifeline for the entire life on this planet.

Cruelty against nature is bound to produce negative results. We do need crops, plants, water, and trees for a living but we have to keep a balance between the development and destruction of the planet and the atmosphere(  NATURE’s EQUILIBRIUM  ). In the ancient times and even at present, in some leading religions of the world, rivers, lakes, oceans and some trees are considered to be holly and are worshiped. People used to throw coins as an offering in these water bodies. The coins used to be made of copper, silver, or gold and all these metals purify water. Watering the plants was considered as Punya( Sacred deed, virtue ). The purpose of these religious beliefs was to keep water bodies clean and pollution free. Cutting certain trees such as Peepal (Banyan), plants, even their branches was considered a sin. All this was to save and protect the environment and ecology. The love and fear of God were always kept in mind while dealing with the people and the environment. Although all days are alike yet certain days of the week were fixed to be considered as more holy and sacred for special prayers. Only pious deeds were done on these designated days. The purpose was to not let the minds of people lose sight of prayers, good deeds, and to remain connected with the lord for ensuring a blissful living.

In the name of development, we have polluted the atmosphere and made the earth a fragile planet, which is not prepared to bear more disturbance and load. The human’s population is increasing whereas the number of trees is on the decrease. With more roads, buildings, houses, and other infrastructure, the area under green cover is decreasing thus making it difficult to meet the required level of oxygen in the air. It is perhaps due to this factor that the man who considers himself as the most intelligent of all species, is trying to discover life and good environment on other planets in the universe by making huge sacrifices of resources which otherwise can be utilized for making this world as a heaven.

Perhaps we have not understood the true meaning of development. Development should ensure good health for all, a tension free life, contentment, respect, elimination of bias towards anyone, good morals, and a heart full of compassion. All these will make us true human beings and deserve to be called the ‘Top of the creation’. Otherwise, we are as good or as bad as other creatures. Have we achieved this by the way we are making development? More roads, more transport has resulted in more pollution and more accidents. There are more medicines and more qualified doctors yet there are more dangerous and fatal diseases. The number of cancer, heart attacks, and other killer diseases is on the rise. Nations have become rich and strong and have accumulated heavy stocks of weapons of mass destruction. Of what use is this development? This so-called development has changed our perceptions and ways of thinking and beliefs. Corruptions, drinking, telling lies for personal gains, cheating, adultery etc. were considered as the biggest sins but with the development, these sins are considered as a way of modern life and are recognized by the society with esteem.  Real development is an evolution of a better life. We the humans are believed to have evolved from lower species to higher species through a very long period and that is the real development.

We need to divert this direction of development towards a better life, character building and values of life. The lifeline of the human race needs to be protected. All life on this earth to be respected and protected by eliminating pollution of any type. Saving the environment is not the sole responsibility of the state. Everyone has to contribute his bit to this noble cause. Trees should not be cut unless it is extremely unavoidable. We should plant five trees against the cutting of one tree. Everyone must plant at least two trees every year in order to make good the loss already done to the environment. We have to ensure peaceful coexistence between men, animal, and the environment. That will be the development in the real sense.

 

 

COMPASSION.

Compassion is an attribute of God. It is in a way a reflection of God itself. All creatures of this universe possess this attribute of God in one way or the other of different degrees. Some are more compassionate than the others and some may be less but all have traces of this Godly attribute present in them.

Have not we seen a bitch feeding the orphaned kittens along with her own puppies, although cat and dog are arch rivals?. Or a shark taking a helpless drowning dog on her back rescuing him to the shore. This is compassion which is present in all creatures in one or the other form.

Humans who are considered as more closer to God and having this attribute in abundance, but with the over influence of the mind or the Satan or the Shaitan on him, this basic quality remains overshadowed or subdued. We do feel an urge to help the needy when they are in distress or need our help and care and at the same time something takes over on our concern for others and the whole attention gets diverted from the feelings of compassion for others. This negative tendency in the humans who are becoming more self-centred and selfish in the modern times of rush for everything is the real cause for dissatisfaction, tension, and depression in life.

How alighted and satisfied we feel when we are cared for by someone. How happy we are when we are assured and are confident that someone is there to come to our rescue in case of an adversity. This one-way traffic is a sign of sheer selfishness. Can someone else also hope for our help and assistance? Are we mentally and voluntarily prepared to come forward to help others? We must; in case we want to achieve happiness and satisfaction. ‘TREAT OTHERS WHAT YOU WANT OTHERS TO TREAT YOU’ is an old adage. Love begets love and hate begets hate. As you sow so shall ye reap. It is as such completely in one’s own hands to remain happy and satisfied by reciprocating the same with others.

In case you are interested to taste some abuses or get few slaps on your cheek, go and slap someone or abuse someone and see the results. The results would be surprising, as you may get your choicest abuses showered on you as well as a volley of slaps on your cheeks to your complete satisfaction. This is an example of reaction to which we all are subjected to. We don’t have or we don’t maintain our own characteristics and qualities but our life and actions have become a  mere reaction. We always react not act and this reaction produces heat, hatred, and animosity which is a cause of frustration, dissatisfaction, and depression for us. REAL PLEASURE AND SATISFACTION COMES BY GIVING, FORGIVING AND CARING FOR OTHERS AND NEVER BY HOPING AND  WISHING TO BE RECEIVING  AND BEING CARED  BY OTHERS.

Forgive and Forget is the mantra for a happy life. In the circumstances when someone abuses and frowns upon you, maybe for any reason, and instead of reacting with double the force which is bound to create a chain reaction, if you just control yourself, force a pleasant smile on your face and beg pardon from the other person, although for no fault of yours; just feel the experience. Your opponent will feel ashamed for his behaviour towards you. Embrace him and give him a warm hug and a loving pat. It may seem to be very difficult but the results are amazing. An intellectual person has said, ” If there is one fool let there be not two”. Always try to avoid situations which result in exchanging of heated arguments and ultimate quarrels. Always try to have a compassionate feeling and attitude towards others. This makes life easier for you as well as for others.

We should never fail in our duty to help others as long as we live. Compassion turns the deadliest foes into friends. We should continue increasing our area of compassion throughout our life. This would create an atmosphere of peace all around us. Kindness doesn’t cost anything but instead, it gives us a lot of satisfaction and peace of mind. There should never be any dearth of love and compassion in our heart for anyone without any discrimination of caste, colour, or race.

No one has ever achieved peace and satisfaction by amassing wealth or by owning huge stocks of worldly materials by working day and night like a slave, contrarily he becomes more greedy in the mad race of more and more material. For doing this we sacrifice the lofty principles of life and become more distressed and dissatisfied. None in this world has ever achieved peace, satisfaction, and happiness out of the materialistic possessions as the lust for the same never gets satisfied. We become slaves of the possessions and not their masters. We should never fail in our duty to help the needy and our heart should start melting with the passion of compassion for those who need our attention and help. This feeling will burn any negativity from our mind and give us a lot of satisfaction.

A compassionate heart brings us closer to God who is an embodiment of love, peace, and tranquillity. We need to behave better than any other creature in this universe only then will we really deserve to be called humans. Only compassion and love will bring satisfaction to the hearts and peace in the world.

 

 

FREEDOM AND PEACE.

Freedom and peace are interrelated and every one including all creatures wish to have absolute peace as well as freedom. Is it possible to have absolute freedom and peace in this world? This seems to be just an illusion and a mirage and the humans since inception have been trying very hard to achieve this but have miserably failed in their mission. For attaining peace we have been fighting wars and have left no stone unturned to wipe out the entire creation from the globe. This certainly is not the right solution. The great wars of Ramayana and Mahabarta followed by thousands of wars all along the dynasties have failed to provide lasting peace and freedom to the different nations.

Peace is a bliss, it is to be felt internally by stabilizing and calming the waves of our mind. We, instead try to find peace externally by oppressing those who don’t appreciate our point of view, and for that, we choose a wrong path which results in disasters, animosity, hate, and wars. Many wars happened for the search of peace. This approach is a product of a biased, and arrogant mind. Only Peace can induce peace and wars are certainly not a solution.

Similar is the case with Freedom. It too has to be experienced. It is not something tangible. We have to identify the masters who have enslaved us. Many of them are internal such as mind, senses, anger, greed, pride, attachment etc. They keep us within their control and make us dance to their tunes. They are the mother of all evils. How can we enjoy freedom under their slavery? We are bound to our religion and there is nothing bad in it. No religion advocates hate, all preach universal brotherhood, love, and trust in one God. But is this actually happening on the ground? We become biased and lose objectivity resulting in losing whatever little freedom we have. We don’t stop at religion, we have divided ourselves further into castes, subcastes, creeds, and colors. Belonging to the same country we are divided into different regions, states, cities, areas, and even to streets. Under such a mental setup how can one remain unbiased and hence feel free?

Freedom of any type always has some limitations. Freedom of speech does not give you the right to hurt anyone’s sentiments by your words. You can’t move freely across the national boundaries unless you have proper permissions. You have to act within the limits permissible under the law of the land. For building a simple house on your own land with your own money, you need a lot of permissions from the concerned agencies. You are made to pay taxes against your will and you don’t get a job of your choice despite required qualification. Doesn’t this look ridiculous if we hope to enjoy full freedom? Sometimes we feel that the birds and animals are far better than us as they enjoy full freedom and peace. Yes, they do because they don’t have much of the bondings such as greed, lust, hate, prejudice, bias, attachment, pride and they have not divided themselves into different religions, and castes. They have not divided the earth into different countries or regions and have not drawn any boundaries. They have full faith in the Almighty and live to His will as against humans who have no control over their wishes and are always begging for more and more. HOW CAN A BEGGAR EXPERIENCE FREEDOM AND PEACE? And above all, We the humans being the descendants of THE ADAM AND THE EVE who disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit have to pay for their as well as of our own sins.

All this doesn’t mean that peace and freedom are not possible. These can be easily achieved by learning something from the birds and animals. We need to shun violence, hate, greed, bias, and all other negative attributes and respect and love all humans because we are the children of same universal Father. We need to bring an element of objectivity in our thinking process as well as enhancing the area of our compassion beyond our family to neighbors, streets, cities, states, countries, castes, religions and to the whole human race and extend it further to include animals and birds and trees. The more we enlarge our contours of compassion, more peace and freedom will surround us. We have to empower our soul which is a particle of God in us and control our mind i:e the negative power within us. Whenever we are about to make a mistake, the positive power in us i:e the soul definitely stops us, though feebly, but we ignore the command under the influence of our mind and its tricks and get involved into a conflict. The soul will always direct you to love and peace whereas the mind entangles us in the negativities. Tolerance and submission are the roads to peace and real freedom.

The greatest advocate and worshiper of peace, tolerance, and non-violence of the modern times -Mahatma Gandhi has said that in case someone slaps you on one cheek, please don’t react but instead, offer the other cheek to him. By this, he didn’t mean that you should unnecessarily keep on getting slaps on your cheeks from every tom and harry. He wanted to convey that we should not be intolerant and react to all actions. No one will unnecessarily hurt you without a reason, and when you react then he will respond and an unending chain reaction will set into motion. The only way to avoid this is to not to react. We generally don’t value our own virtues and our actions are mostly a result of our reactions towards other’s actions. Then, where are the peace and freedom? A very revered Muslim saint Sheikh Fareed has in one of his Kalaam said,” Jo te maaray mukian, tina na mareen Kum, aap nerhay kar ja ke paer una de chum”. Which means that in case someone beats you by fists, don’t react and respond by hitting him back with heavy blows but instead go near him and kiss his feet. This will bring peace and end the conflict.

Fights, wars, and oppression are not the solutions. We need to empower our soul and control the mind to achieve peace, tranquility and real freedom. Tolerance, compassion, love and objective thinking are the tools required at the micro level to attain peace and experience complete freedom in the real sense at the macro level.