Kul Bhushan looks at the elusive search for happiness.

Couple and shadows

When you walk, your shadow walks with you. Whether you see it or not, it is always with you. You cannot be without your shadow. When you are running after happiness, like your shadow, unhappiness is running with you although you may not see or feel it. The American Declaration of Independence maintains, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

For 300 years, Americans have been huffing and puffing after happiness but have not yet found it because it is a pursuit and not a goal. And today, most poor nations follow the USA in this exhausting pursuit that brings material wealth thought to be happiness. With its negative shadow accompanying it, happiness remains a mirage. Sex can bring stress. Luxuries can bring misery as you guard them or they generate jealousy. Health becomes disease; friends turn into enemies, family transforms into anxiety.

So, how to become happy?

Happiness is not being positive all the time. You cannot eat ten cakes at one time. You need some spice and sour treats as well. After you get spicy, sour or even bitter experiences, positive experiences are all the more welcome and enjoyable.

Happiness is not owning luxury goods

Numerous surveys have found that the happiest experiences are NOT due to goods or products but experiences and relationships. Even the most expensive luxury goods cannot uplift your mood when you are sad, but a friend can do it in no time.

Happiness is not a journey’s end. Do you ‘arrive’ at happiness terminus? No. You are travelling all the time and happiness can be a stopover or a part of the journey, not its end, as life goes on, up and down.

Happiness is not drinks/food and/or sex

Not at all because there is a limit to all these passions. First, your body has a limit. Second, the aftereffects of overconsumption are serious on health. Third, overdose. Too much of any of these causes rejection. Enough! Augh!

Osho comments, “There are people who cannot understand that happiness is possible in any way other than sex. There are people who cannot understand that there is any bliss beyond sex. There are people who cannot understand that there is any happiness except in food. There are people who cannot understand that there is any happiness except in big houses, big cars, much money, power and prestige.” ¹

So what is the answer?

What is happiness?

Osho answers, “Bliss is true happiness. What you call happiness is just misery in disguise. What you call happiness is nothing but entertainment, pleasure. It is momentary – it cannot be true. Truth has to have one quality, and the quality is of eternity. If something is true it is eternal; if it is untrue it is momentary. True happiness is found only when the mind completely ceases functioning. It does not come from the outside. It wells up within your own being, it starts overflowing you. You become luminous. You become a fountain of bliss.” ²

Drop happiness and unhappiness. Only then you can attain bliss. Nothing less will do.

Quotes by Osho from
¹ The Art of Dying, Ch 10, Q 1
² The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1, Ch 7

Kul BhushanKul Bhushan is a regular contributor

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