Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 | Last Update : 05:21 AM IST
Vedanta points out that freedom from dependence on material gains and slavery to the senses alone can give us true happiness.
That which is new, ever new, fresh and elevating is beautiful. Actually, every moment is new, but if we look at it with all our preconceived notions and prejudices, then even though it is a new moment, it becomes a stale experience. Look at every moment anew and enjoy all the blessings hidden therein.
We want to live and live happily. We want our relatives and friends also to be happy. That is the reason why we wish each other — a very Happy New Year. But then, in spite of good wishes in the hearts of people, why is there so much sorrow? There is obviously something amiss with the pursuit of own happiness and our methods to make others happy. This problem can be analysed from various standpoints, but here we will consider one of them.
As long as I seek happiness in material objects and think that by giving these to others, I can make them happy, happiness eludes me. Objects are limited and people are many. People’s needs and desires change rapidly and fast. In such a situation, how can all be happy when even the means of fulfilling these desires are limited? Moreover, it is my repeated experience that material pleasures do not give me lasting happiness. What then is the solution?
Vedanta points out that freedom from dependence on material gains and slavery to the senses alone can give us true happiness. Happiness is the very nature of our real self. This is the only way to be happy and live happily.
Now the question remains: “how to make others happy?” As explained earlier, this cannot be achieved through gifts of material things alone. I may have a limited capacity to share such things, but I can love all beings without any limit whatsoever.
With my sincere love, sweet words and readiness to serve, I can make people around me happy. It is a fact that what people need most in life is true love, sympathy, compassion, consideration, loyalty, sense of security and care. These are not material things, but virtues of mind, which can be enriched abundantly by each and every individual. The more we give, the more and more rich we become. Hence, let us give love to others and make them happy. In the happiness of others, lies our happiness too.
It was this very love and compassion that motivated Swami Chinmayananda to devote his entire life to the service of humanity. The motto he coined and lived by was “to give maximum happiness to maximum number of people for maximum time”.