- Religion and Philosophy»
Happiness or misery lies in the mind and not in external things or persons!
Buddha said this.
Happiness and misery lies in the mind!
Happiness and misery lies in our mind and it is not related to external things. If external things could cause us happiness and joy, a man possessing a huge palatial building or the latest car must be happier than the one who owes a small flat or two wheeler. But in reality, happiness is no way related to the large area of residence or spacious car since a man who doesn’t have such properties can still remain happy if he is content with what he has. This is the reason why many hut dwellers are happier than the man who lies in an air-conditioned home. In big metro cities, the platforms are mostly used by slum dwellers in the night for sleeping. They never bother about climate or privacy. The mosquitoes never deter him from sleeping on the road platforms! After a day of toil and sweat, he sleeps the moment he lies down! This itself is a greatest blessing! Look at the multi millionaire who possesses a cozy bed in fully air conditioned chamber! Once he finishes his dinner, he takes few tablets to induce sleep! Otherwise he will be watching the boring serials or cinema shown in the TV. This is the paradox of life. The one who lacks money is feeling alright even in barest surroundings. He is healthy enough to toil all day long. With the daily wages, he purchase few eatables like bread or bun or some snacks. He and his family will be satisfied with few bites of the bread and a little tea if they could afford! His daily earnings fills his stomach as well as his family. Whereas the billionaire has unaccounted money in bank lockers, he has many shares in blue chip companies, prime land in posh localities and other forms of wealth! He himself is not aware how much he gets every month by way of interest or dividends! He has no concerns for money and many generations can enjoy his estate which yields like vast reservoir!
Most of the rich men are never happy compared to the poor!
Both categories are living in this world but the affluent man is always concerned with his health, his business problems, the tax department, thieves and relatives who are real threat! The laborer has nothing to hoard except few aluminum vessels or sometimes mud pots. Who will care to enter his hut which has no door? Look at the huge compound wall over which barbed wire fence is embedded. There are watch and ward sentries for all the twenty four hours, seven days a week! There are many servants inside like cook, gardener, driver and other assistants who look after the house keeping, the governess who takes care of the children etc. In spite of this the rich man is not content, unhappy and loses his sleep often over many things in the business! Look at the fluctuations of the share market. His company shares suddenly rise bringing his value many crores more. A sudden slump in the stock market may rattle him quickly. The laborer on the other hand either gets Rs.50/- or nothing. If he loses, he will lose only Ra 50/- Those who are on high stories of palaces will sustain heavy injuries or fracture even if they fell down on the ground. The laborer may get little bruises if he falls on the ground!
The content man is always happy!
Hence happiness is related to the contentment of mind and not otherwise. If the mind is discontent even with billions of dollars, he is the poor man really. Once I was penniless with a family and children to take care. I lost my job suddenly. I thought that even a job fetching Rs.400/- is most welcome. But unfortunately I was without any employment for six months. I could not even move here and there for want of bus fare. I could not even buy a toffee for my children. By the grace of god, I could get back some government job, though the initial salary was just enough to make both ends meet! But slowly my position improved but I was not happy. In spite of getting a government job I was not happy or content. I was brooding that many youngsters are decently employed with nice salary. But I was in the bottom slab after serving for more than ten years in some government organization. Retrospectively, I could convince myself, it is not position or money which could fetch happiness. It is contentment which is the secret for happiness. Today I have everything for my age, still there is a vacuum in the heart. This vacuum is really a sort of ‘divine discontent’ which is natural for any human being. I lack nothing but I am unhappy. It is the mind which is the real culprit. God has really placed discontent in everyone so that he should not feel that material welfare will contribute to more happiness! This is a sort of big teaching or lesson. Slowly I understood the connection of mind to happiness or sorrow! In deep sleep, the mind is absent and we enjoy a rare serenity during that time. Otherwise in the waking and dream state, the mind is very much active and hence we either enjoy or suffer! Hence our ancestors have practiced severe penance to rid the mind! They found desires breed discontent and some thoughts turn into desires. If they could negate such thought pattern and quell the mind, they can remain happy.
The killing of mind is removal of all thoughts from the mind! How is it possible? When each thought arise in the mind, do not examine the thought but remain indifferent to it. Do not judge the thought nor react to it. If we could remain indifferent to the thoughts that arise, slowly we can cultivate ‘aloofness’ from the thought process. This is a slow process and it will take even months to practice it. The mind will not accept its defeat easily. Ignore the thoughts one by one. One day you will find that there is no more botheration of thoughts.!