“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” - Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of Eden The book which is relatively self-contained, presents a fairly short introduction to happy life which might serve needs of those seeking real pleasures and which might be of interest to the general reader. In 41 chapters the author has tried to explain ways to happiness which is in real sense of the term important . The author within the limitation of space set happiness within the general framework of making life worthwhile . “No medicine cures what happiness cannot.” ― Gabriel García Márquez Life goes on ….whether you choose to move on and take a chance in the unknown , or stay behind locked in the past, thinking of what could have been. “ The author has tried to extract from scriptures what spiriualists have to say about life and its meaning and communications something that amounts to consistent.
Published by Jain Vishwa Bharti, Ladnun (Rajasthan)
To start with Gita's take, in chapter 2 it makes a very strong distinction between these two definitions. It specifies that material/sensual pleasure (definition b), is temporal and cyclical (with sorrow) in nature and is not 'real' happiness. It is dependent on results and external agents and is different from happiness that puts the mind at peace - in a permanent tranquil and serene state. Such happiness that results in true mental peace, is internal and independent of any external agent. Gita then specifies that it is not possible to attain such happiness without being in full control of your emotional and intellectual faculties and meditating on the ultimate truth. Mental peace (both intellectual and emotional), the Gita claims, is a pre-requisite (if not congruent to) to true happiness .In chapter 5, it explains how to attain this tranquil serenity using a two pronged a approach. The first part involves renouncing the fruits and results of all actions while residing in the material world . It also involves freedom from the burden of considering yourself to be the doer of any action or the cause of any results of action (ego regulation). The second part involves operating with a sense of detachment, when dealing with material sense pleasures and sense objects. It also involves focusing our faculties (physical, emotional and intellectual) to regulate and streamline our internal consciousness to reach a blissful state . In chapter 6, it explains that once a person is in full control of his/her faculties and has experienced unity of internal consciousness with the ultimate consciousness (e.g. through meditation, action etc.), one breaks the cycle of pain and pleasure . Such a person reaches a blissful state of happiness that is unparalleled by any sensory experience. To conclude in chapter 18, Gita summarizes and classifies the three types of happiness. Satvik or Pure happiness is one that arises from the spiritual intelligence of the embodied self. In the beginning it seems like poison (due to the intellectual, emotional and physical disciplining of the intellect, mind & body that is required) but in the end it is like nectar . Rajasik or result-oriented happiness that arises form senses and sense-objects and is like nectar in the beginning but poison in the end (because of its dependency on results and external entities) . Tamasic or slothful happiness is one that arises from excessive sleep, sloth and irresponsibility and deludes the self from beginning till the end .
Behaviour is a mirror in which every one displays his own image.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe In Chapter 26 the author say like outside world there is something inside us . And that is a world of ideas, felling and behavior. “If life is a bowl of cherries, what's inside of it?” Sometimes human being is seen as peaceful , full of forgivenes, sometime anger , audacity . These mixtures of opposites are inherent in mankind. In such cases mindfulness is driving force which one can achieve with positive thinking. “Our life stories are largely constructed and without mindfulness can prove destructive.” ― Rasheed Ogunlaru In Chapter 4 the book refers to discipline. Here the author has cited”Without duty and discipline the deity of democracy shall be hung to death and destruction.” ( p93) Here the question arises “Why does Krishna teach Arjuna the three paths of discipline in action, knowledge, and devotion?
Arjuna is being given choice by Lord Krishna. Arjuna represents every individual who is striving to understand the meaning of life and Krishna is basically providing different routes to the same destination. Bhakthi is the path of blind faith - the qualification required is very little (i.e., it does not require intellectual capabilities such as the path of knowledge). It can even be argued that intellectuals are incapable of Bhakti since they question everything and hence they cannot have "blind" and total faith. There are numerous examples of Bhakti in Hindu Religion such as Meera, the Gopis etc. Karma is the path of action. This addresses the average householder who has to go to work, earn a living, take care of his family etc etc and so simply does not have time to separately allocate for prayer. Krishna says here that Work done with the proper attitude is Worship. Then comes the most difficult option - the path of knowledge. Here, the seeker understands that he is really no different from the Lord himself. He is a part of the same creation and like a droplet of water goes back into an ocean and then is no different, so too every human being goes back into a macro cosmos. In the final chapter of the Gita, Krishna also says, it does not matter which path you follow and it does not even matter whether you know you follow a path. If you are ready to completely surrender your ego (individuality) with me and have complete faith, you will still achieve realization. According to Scripture , far from being a dirty word, discipline is evidence of love. When you consistently disci¬pline your child and do it with the right attitude — compassionately, under control, with consistent boundaries and consequences, and focused on the child's best outcome — you are expressing love exactly as God sometimes expresses His love. It may seem uncom¬fortable both to you and your child at the time, but in the long run, it's the most selfless, compassionate thing you can do to set your child up for happiness in life and fruitfulness in God's Kingdom.
The Bible's perspective on discipline is affirmed by what many psychologists and sociologists are now learning about child development: that children left to themselves will do what all people left to themselves in a fallen world will do. They'll make bad decisions that produce pain and turmoil in their lives. Relationships won't work right, money will be mismanaged and debt will pile up, conflict will erupt both within and without, and long-term goals will never be realized. So God tells the Hebrew Christians that the adversity they face comes from His loving hand, not because they're bad, but because He wants the best for them. That's our motivation as parents as well. So in chapter 1 the author refers to gaining victory over worldly desires thereby paving a way to become happy. Here knowledge which dispels darkness. “Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.” ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” ― Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself In Chapter 21 the author refers to need to be free from wordly desires. “To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” ― Federico García Lorca, Blood Wedding and Yerma “Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.” ― Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman ...Desire, a function central to all human experience, is the desire for nothing nameable. And at the same time this desire lies at the origin of every variety of animation. If being were only what it is, there wouldn’t even be room to talk about it. Being comes into existence as an exact function of this lack.” ― Jacques Lacan “Desires to which we cling closely can easily prevent us from being what we ought to be and can be; and on the other hand, desires repeatedly mastered for the sake of present duty make us richer.Lack of desire is poverty.”― Dietrich Bonhoeffer