Albert Schwaitzer has observed people around and lived life as a pragmatic philosopher. He says: “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Happiness is a state of mind characterized by contentment and satisfaction. Sources of happiness are diverse and unique. So are the people we come across. After having talked to men and women from different sections of the society both in India and abroad, it is found that certain common factors emerge. Let us take a look at them. I call those factors that lead to happiness as the Golden Nine.
Many observant friends and colleagues of mine, both in uniform and in the civil society, have had an engrossing chat with me on the road that leads to citadel of happiness. I concurred with some and differed with others. Here I give a resume of what our common and combined operation and observations were. These nine factors have been worked out and chosen after a brain-storming session.
UNSHAKABLE BELIEF IN ISHWAR
When I need divine help, I pray for it. Believe me, the help was always around corner and came on time. Of course, I too never sat idle. I used to strive for a favourable solution and also pray to Param Pita Parmatma. There was a confluence of prayer and purusharth. This kind of confluence never goes haywire. I took the first step to the rope and climbed clumsily but I did come to know the ropeway to happiness. Thus the journey that began that way refused to stop despite clumsy attempts of second ladder of relations and friends to throw a red herring. As stated before, my wife chose to hover around me and so did the daughter. In India, blood is still thicker and stronger than water.
Spiritualism is worth looking for as a pillar of strength. There are no rituals but the belief in the Nirakar ISHWAR who is omnipresent and sees all without being seen firms up. Here is the natural reserve of strength that a supplicant may draw from as and when the need arises. Thus when a devotee has the divine strength to fall back upon, he cannot but be happy.
Positive thinking is not mere absence of negative thinking. When one ceases to think or act in a manner that causes pain and grief or a loss to others no more due to an act or omission of the gentleman that is, we may say that the said person has given up negative attitude to life and sailed to the state where he or she entertains only positive attitude to life and letters. In this kind of frame of mind, there are no commas but full stops only. An individual with a positive attitude to life cannot but be happy.
Natural way of life is a happy way of life. Be yourself and never try to put up a show. Please do not show off either because that show would be without naturalness. Happiness lives in a natural person but abandons a soul that shows off. An unnatural life or an unnatural act leads to punishment as they violate one law or the other. If you are your natural self, you are a happy man.
LAUGHTER IS LOVELY
The Reader’s Digest runs a column of jokes taken from all societies and published unedited. The jokes in their natural form are either a hit or a miss. In this case, I find that the joke was a hit and guests had gone delirious. They are all happy men and women. Laughter is a piece of evidence to prove that the man who laughs a lot is indeed a happy man.
A good laughter strengthens the lungs and prevents cardio-vascular problems. Laugh a lot and effect a tremendous saving on medical bills. A healthy person is indeed a happy person.
LIVE IN THE PRESENT
Happiness follows one who lives in the present. You feel the present and you solve the problem of the present. Those who live in the past lose touch with the present and in due course of time become incompetent to tackle the present day crises. Those who live in the future are invariably gripped with fear of the unknown. Fear is the biggest enemy of man. To overcome this, the Vedas suggest chanting a mantra and fortifying your beliefs to make your mind ABHAY – free from fear. A fearful person can never be happy. A fearless person will always be happy.
Fine Arts, Music –vocal or instrumental, painting or forming a word picture of an event or individual are various branches of culture. The culture has to be cultivated by an individual because it does not come on its own. In difficult times, one may paint or sing or play on a musical instrument and divert the mind from problems that cause unhappiness. When unhappiness or a tense atmosphere is taken care of, a relaxed atmosphere will replace a tense situation. Happiness will follow as a natural corollary.
HAVE HEALTHY SEX
The sexual attraction draws a man and a woman close to each other. They not only admire each other but also touch gently or grope into the forbidden zone. If both are adults, they proceed further in the privacy of a house or a garden and have sexual intercourse. That mutual act is indeed a source of joy. More of it gives more joy. So, having healthy sex between two consenting adult males in the privacy of the house is now legal as per a judgement of the Delhi High Court. Since sex is a source of joy, so go ahead and have more of it until you are happy and wish to enhance the state of sex-generated happiness no more.
MAN IS WHAT HE EATS
Mind is the man. The way you eat, what you eat and how much you eat will determine your mental make-up and physical body. One of the Vedic Rishis who was also a physician had recommended to both the masses and the classes all about the food intake. In a nutshell, his advice was: Eat what is beneficial to mind and body. Thus healthy diet of green leafy vegetables, no over-spiced dishes, lot of fluid and abjuring junk food was described as a source of happiness. Secondly, eat less than what your stomach can accommodate. Finally, eat food bought with money earned by the sweat of brow and not by murdering the moneyed men.
Indeed, a lot of emphasis was placed on a lean diet, a healthy diet and an honest purchase of food. Well, it is this kind of food that may be joy-generating.
HEALTHY MIND IN HEALTHY BODY
Right from childhood I have been hearing from the school counselors that a systematic daily exercise will keep the body fit and a mental exercise will not let mind be lethargic. Since everybody wishes to live long, one patiently listens to the piece of advice that is repeatedly given by both the PT instructors and other teachers. However, words are not enough to see you through. Practice and practice will make a man healthy. Health and happiness are twins. A healthy man is a happy man.
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