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Happiness versus real happiness

Everyone wishes to get his desires and hopes fulfilled and thereby gain happiness. But haven’t we found that after the fulfillment of a desire, one soon feels that it has not yielded the happiness that one had hoped for? Sometimes they also feel cheated even in attainment of their ambition, since they had not visualised the fulfillment to such details. He again sets up another goal of happiness and, yet again, the achievement is not as pleasing as desired. And in Shakespearean language ‘thereby hangs a tail’. Why does one not feel satisfied with what he had desired?

In fact, the feeling of happiness depends on two major factors i.e. the nature of the object/achievement hoped for, and secondly, the relevance of such achievement in one’s practical life. If the desired goal relates to material objects, our happiness is likely to be short-lived in that proportion. This applies to our social and professional relations as well. Secondly, if the goal has some lasting impact on one’s life or the future hopes in the coming years and lives, one is likely to gain lasting happiness. Is that not for this reason that people worshipping various deities remain hungry or travel long distances on foot and yet feel happy?

Most people believe that the spiritual attainments and efforts lead to real happiness even if that happiness is realised in some distant future.

In any case the real happiness, call it bliss if you like, is attained through selfless efforts and with an intention of benevolence for humanity. Generally such endeavours are with human touch of love, peace, tolerance and other such divine virtues. It is also often found that the universality of a desire and ambition also corresponds to one’s happiness. Certain wishes and hopes yield happiness to a larger section of humanity. For example, people try to remain contented even in the periods of paucity or they try to attain equanimity both in joys as well as sorrows. The happiness of all such people is likely to be more real than the fulfillment of some material gain or benefit.

Most people believe that the spiritual attainments and efforts lead to real happiness even if that happiness is realised in some distant future. It is for this reason also that people in the prime of their lives or with all luxuries have left the world to lead the life of a sanyasi. Being in one’s true spiritual essence helps one to understand the true meaning of life. And that seems to yield real happiness.

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) is an international non-governmental organisation, which intends to help individuals re-discover and strengthen their inherent worth by encouraging and facilitating a process of spiritual awakening.


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