Happiness and Joy - I

“I saw thousands of crescent suns in the shade of leaves in my courtyard while there was solar-eclipse in the sky.” …. Nancy Hadock

A sitar creates melodious waves only when its strings are under tension. The crucial thing is the tensile strength of the strings. In case the tensile strength is not up to mark, the strings would break; on the other hand strings, that are not properly stretched, are lifeless. Presence of tension is incidental and inevitable in a live and active person. A man deserves joy only in proportion to his tensile strength. A tension free situation is possible only in the absence of life.

Man has been exploring happiness since the beginning of creation. Poets, philosophers and thinkers have been proclaiming that the universe is a big festival of joy. Aristotle has defined happiness as the basic function of the soul. From this viewpoint happiness and joy are the most desirable acquisitions of a man.

But happiness has been only seducing him like a mirage. Happiness is often hidden somewhere else instead of the places where it is pursued, Quest of happiness is the most delicate one as compared to all the rest. Wise people have observed that instincts seduce a person to annihilation by offering the bait of happiness. Therefore those, seeking happiness, should be careful against indulgence. On the other hand, Rabindranath Thakur has glorified instincts; he onseves “ you may be happy and successful by not indulging your instincts, but you would have to opt to remain deprived of the joy of the enjoyment and exploration of the immense possibilities of life.”

Truth is that this quest is responsible for most of the problems and miseries of the world. This is so because quest for happiness often is distorted to smugness; because misleading indicators are used to identify happiness. Prosperity, wealth, status and health are accepted indicators of happiness. We are so much involved in the race for acquiring wealth, luxury, power and status that life of freedom, love and sharing is systematically ignored. Happiness is considered to be a function of prevalence of favourable conditions. Often people, who consider themselves happy, turn to be smug and self- centered; they want to authenticate their achievements by being rude and cold to others. Ultimately they become victims of loneliness and depression.

Our sensibilities and sensitiveness are getting numb in the modern consumerist times. We are getting devoid of justness, commitment, fulfilment and objectiveness. Therefore even the materialistic thinkers talk of looking within.

What is needed to attain happiness? Answer to this query may be the Chinese saying —“There should be someone we love, some work to do, and something to hope.” This is happiness.

Sigmund Freud was asked, What are the needs of an healthy adult person? Freud answered, - lieben und Arbieten (love and work) The formula may be explained as follows - a happy adult person is capable of making loyal and enduring relationships and he is capable of employing his talent in productive work and protecting it of paralytic inhibitions.

This is an absolutely deceptive idea that work is burden and we are condemned to bear it; and that we could be happy without it, in case our needs and desires continued to be met. Had this idea some substance, retired persons with enough wealth would not suffer depression.

Our mind is programmed by the interaction between our genes and our environment. This programming, according to psychologists, is such that a person has to remain creative and productive. Therefore remaining busy with work and total commitment become a prerequisite for happiness. You may think your work a burden of labour, but the fact remains that being able to work is really a privilege. Work means a ting that we have elected, and which needs all our talent and capabilities. It enriches our environment and surroundings as well. A person, who works, continues to remain relevant. Life instils a feeling of fulfilment.

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More by :  Ganganand Jha

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