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  Opinion   Oped  05 Apr 2017  Mystic Mantra: Can happiness be defined?

Mystic Mantra: Can happiness be defined?

Amrit Sadhana is in the management team of Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune. She facilitates meditation workshops around the country and abroad.
Published : Apr 5, 2017, 2:54 am IST
Updated : Apr 5, 2017, 6:40 am IST

Osho says, whatever is appealing to you makes you happy, whatever doesn’t appeal you makes you unhappy.


India has never been unhappier — at least in the recent past. The World Happiness Report, 2017 initiated by the United Nations has put India down to 122 among the 155 countries. A terrible blow to the Indian ego for sure. And as if to rub salt in the wound, in the global happiness index, we are lower than Pakistan and Bangladesh. We don’t know where to look. Where did we lose this happiness bug? How come a nation that has a rich heritage of mantras has forgotten about its happiness mantra! Or is there a happiness mantra at all?

Although it is encouraging that the body of UN considers happiness to be the proper measure of social progress and that people’s well-being is at the centre of government’s efforts. The top 10 countries that rank highly on the index have all the main factors found to support happiness: caring in the hour of crisis, freedom to choose one’s own way, generosity, honesty, health and life expectancy, income and good governance. There is no doubt that there are social causes that support happiness but there are personal causes too, and that’s where the concept of happiness gets diffused and complex. This is what happened to the US. Economically they are sound but the mental illness has loomed large among its citizens. While China, in spite of its economic growth, has lost its higher place in happiness index. Incidentally, Richard Easterlin from Israel known for the “Easterlin Paradox” was in charge of the research team of the Chinese chapter. Mr Easterlin has suggested that a higher level of a country’s per capita income did not correlate with greater self-reported levels of happiness. Mr Easterlin found his own concept being materialised in China.


There can’t be any economics of happiness guys. You can do a thousand researches based on different criteria of happiness, you will never arrive at a formula like: “Ten reasons that make humans happy.” Because there aren’t any; neither 10 nor 10,000. First it is not easy to define happiness as it is not a tangible commodity. Osho has defined it beautifully. He says, whatever is appealing to you makes you happy, whatever doesn’t appeal you makes you unhappy. Simple! It is so subjective because every individual is a world in itself. What goes on within his world, no one can tell. How can you make a questionnaire of happiness and draw a conclusion based on the social circumstances? And there is no right or wrong happiness as well. You cannot say to someone, “Your happiness is wrong, my happiness is right.”


Osho’s reason for human unhappiness is quite unique — we are unhappy because we are liars. “Lies can give only pretensions of happiness; they cannot give you true happiness. True happiness is part of truth. In India godliness is defined as sat-chit-anand. Anand (bliss) is the final, ultimate core. Be true and you will be blissful, be authentic and you will be happy. And that happiness will be uncaused; it will be just a part of your being. Happiness is a function of truth. Whenever there is truth, happiness functions, whenever there is no truth, happiness stops functioning, unhappiness functions.”

Tags: osho, world happiness report 2017