FROM TEACHING OF AADISHRI ARUN: The pursuit of Happiness is a basic goal of all humans. Whatever we may desire and however varied our desire may be, the essential fact is that all of us desire nothing more than to be happy. The difference between the goals of different people is that different people desire different objects in their pursuit of happiness. Some people pursue wealth to be happy. Some people pursue, power and prestige, some may pursue fame and acclaim and some will pursue happy relationships. The objects of desire may be different but the basic urge-to be happy- remains the same.
This is how most of us spend our entire life-chasing those objects that we think will make us happy. For a farmer the definition of happiness would be an abundant crop. For the businessman, it could be a good profit and a booming business, for a student it would be to get good marks, for the bachelor it could be to get married. Yet there comes a time in life that after we get what we desire, we find that we are still unhappy. It may also happen that the object that we pursued turned out to be a double-edged sword. I.e. it gave us sorrow as well as happiness.
This becomes crystal clear when we study the life of those who are able to achieve what they desired. Celebrities are a case in point. We see that even after achieving their goals and having the love and admiration of millions of people, they are unhappy. Many of them kill themselves. Take the case of Pratyusha-of the “Balika Vadhu” fame. Or the case of Michael Jackson the great pop singer. Both died unhappy. Thus we observe a common pattern-that even when many of us reach our goal, we find that we are still unhappy. The pleasure we thought we would get on achieving our goal doesn’t come to us. We find ourselves still hankering for more. “What next?” is the question in our minds at that point.
What is the solution to this dilemma? How can we be truly happy and not end up chasing mirage after mirage?
The answer is that happiness is not a state of body but a state of mind. Our happiness does not depend on how rich or successful we are but on how satisfied we feel with our lives. Essentially happiness is a state of mind and not of achievement of an external goal. Therefore to be happy, one has to understand the functioning of one’s own mind.
Chances are, unless we have studied and trained in teachings of Aadi Shri Arun ji, we probably know very little about the different types of mind, we would know nothing about how thoughts of happiness and sorrow are generated and what impact they have on our lives. It is quite difficult for most people to recognize states of mind as they arise and especially to distinguish between those that are virtuous and those that are non-virtuous. Moreover, we are often at a complete loss as to how we might cultivate the former and abandon the latter. What does understanding the mind have to do with creating a happy life? The answer is that Happiness and suffering are both merely states of our mind. When results match our beliefs and expectations, we feel happy and when they don’t we feel unhappy. We never question our basic belief/ expectation. Therefore to truly be free from suffering and enjoy happiness in every moment, it is imperative that we possess a thorough and profound understanding of the mind and our desires and how to maintain control over them.
What is the mind? It would be better to ask this question personally to Aadi shri Arun ji since the answer is not only complex and is also the key to happiness but in this article, I will describe it in brief from what Aadi shri has told me.
The Mind is simply a tool that helps us achieve what we desire. If I think a good education will lead me to be happy in the future, the mind will put all its force to help us achieve this goal. The problem is that having an external goal in order to achieve happiness is itself a wrong concept. This is like catching a train to Mumbai when what we really want is to go to Varanasi.
The fact is that nothing external can ever make us happy or sad. It is only our perception of external events and how they impact our goals that makes us happy or sad. Thus a non-virtuous goal is that goal that makes us dependent on the objects of the external world to make us happy.
What then is a virtuous goal for the mind? It is that goal that takes the spirit away from the external world and into the inner world.
Thus the secret of happiness lies in building a strong inner self that no trial or hardship can ruin. Happiness for anyone—man or woman—does not come simply from having a formal education, from wealth or from marriage. It begins with having the strength to confront and conquer one’s own internal weaknesses. Only then does it become possible to lead a truly happy life.
Happiness has one more important characteristic. It doesn’t exist in the past or in the future. It only exists within our state of life right now, here in the present, as we face the challenges of daily life.”
Happiness is not a life without problems, but rather it is the strength to overcome the problems that come our way. There is no such thing as a problem-free life; difficulties are unavoidable. But how we experience and react to our problems depends on us.
Aadi Shri Arun teaches that we are each responsible for our own happiness or unhappiness.
It is within you, yourself. However much you try, you can never run away from yourself. And if you are weak, suffering will follow you wherever you go. You will never find happiness if you don’t challenge your weaknesses and change yourself from within.
Happiness is to be found in the dynamism and energy of your own life as you struggle to overcome one obstacle after another. This is why I believe that only that person who is active and free from fear is truly happy.
The challenges we face in life can be compared to a tall mountain, rising before a mountain climber. For someone who has not trained properly, whose muscles and reflexes are weak and slow, every inch of the climb will be filled with terror and pain. The exact same climb, however, will be a thrilling journey for someone who is prepared whose legs and arms have been strengthened by constant training. With each step forward and up, beautiful new views will come into sight.
This kind of satisfaction is to be found in consistent and repeated effort, so that we can say, “Today, again, I did my very best. Today, again, I have no regrets. Today, again, I won.” The accumulated result of such efforts is a life of great victory and happiness.