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The road to happiness

The road to happiness

The whole world is unhappy. What is the reason? We are all walking different pathways of life. We are all in quest of happiness and yet we are all unhappy. The reason is that we are seeking happiness on the wrong track. What is the right road to happiness? Surely not the way of possessions and pleasures and power. Jesus said two thousand years ago some words which are not recorded in the Gospel but which we have in some of the eastern books of Islam. Jesus is reported to have said on one occasion. “Nothing in the morn have I and nothing do I have at night, yet there is none on earth happier than I.”

Jesus, the man of utter non-possessions, Jesus who owned nothing beyond the shirt that he wore, and even that, he said, did not belong to him. Often he passed it on to someone whose need was greater than his. Jesus makes this marvelous declaration: “There is none on earth happier than I.” What then is the way to happiness?

Without peace in the heart within, you will feel restless, as storm tossed boats.


We have an answer to this question, given to us in that great book which I regard as the ‘bible of humanity’. We revere it as the Bhagavad Gita. In one place Sri Krishna, while speaking to his dear devoted disciple, Arjuna, says: “Arjuna you say you want to be happy. Let me give you the prescription for happiness.” And the words that the Lord uses are “Ashantasya kutaha sukham”. The literal meaning of these words is, without peace of mind how can you be happy? Until and unless you have attained peace of mind, until and unless there is peace in the heart within you, all the wealth of the world and its pleasures and its powers, its name and fame and earthly greatness will not keep you happy. Without peace in the heart within, you will feel restless, as storm tossed boats. The secret of peace, the secret of happiness is in this one single phrase: Peace of mind, Chitta Shanti. So it is that at the conclusion of every invocation of every prayer of the great rishis of ancient India we have these words, Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Shanti is the secret to happiness. Peace of mind is the secret to happiness and the practical aspect of the problem is how to attain peace of mind?

The answer is: Forget thyself. Do you wish to get happiness? To get happiness, you must forget yourself. In our pursuit of happiness we are all selfish and greedy. Therefore happiness eludes us as a shy bird. The more we run after it the more it runs away from us. Forget yourself and you will get true happiness.

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