What Is Happiness? Are You happy?

Dr. JANKI SANTOKE says that when we go through sorrow or happiness, we need to watch our own mind – Speaking Tree, 25th Dec 2015

We have heard ad infinitum that happiness is within. But it does not mean one feels it within. It means happiness is generated from within. We experience happiness only when we meet situations, circumstances, and people that we like. Without this external stimulus, how can we experience happiness? What we come across in life is not always to our satisfaction. Everything cannot be the way we would like it to be. This is regardless of how much money or resources we may have. Life will give us experiences that are not to our taste. This is where the concept of internal happiness comes into play. Human beings are the only beings who can be happy in the absence of happy circumstances. They are also the only ones who can be unhappy in spite of happy circumstances.

This ability is denied to animals. Give a dog a bone, it is happy. Give a cat a fish, it is happy. But humans! It’s complicated! Looking at unhappy circumstances with a different perception can make us feel better. For instance, the weather is very hot and we are feeling miserable about it.As humans we have options. We can go elsewhere,we can use gadgets or we can change our perception.Perhaps, we can remember that change is a fact of life. The worst of situations pass. This heat is not permanent. The weather will change shortly. We can try to be patient while we are going through a difficult period, instead of grumbling. It is much more peaceful than being grumpy about our problems. So ‘happiness is within’ means that one has the option of making the best or worst of any situation.

If you can control the vagaries of the mind, you can make yourself remember the knowledge of the scriptures and you can develop equanimity in the face of adversity. What makes us miserable in any situation, good or bad, is the mind, not the situation. The mind can be trained to remain poised no matter what circumstances it meets. But the unruly mind resists this training and agitates itself! Besides that,we can also learn to make better choices so that our future is less susceptible to sorrow. When the mind is controlled, happiness is found within.