We are chasing happiness all the times. Pleasure is not same as happiness. It comes with pain and a little pleasure.
Search for happiness is our natural business. It unites us all as we all want happiness. We tent to search for outward happiness which is fuelled by an elaborate machinery by enterprises using propaganda machines and we get swept away. The promise is that if we use this product we will happy. It’s all pervasive and all our senses are consumed by this string that ties us, which enters into our thinking and consciousness then it becomes our behaviour and habit. We become slaves to these needs and this is called consumerism. There is a misconception that things give us happiness but in reality, things of this world only give us a very temporary happiness and we tire of things which we desperately wanted to acquire. Then we seek new things and the cycle goes on.
The structure of modern world geared towards this but the desired product becomes obsolete in a very short time. This is how the world is being planned, for example the latest mobile phone will shortly be replaced by the latest model, whereas 70 years ago a product will last for a long time. The chase for the latest trends creates a false conception of happiness.
Contentment is real wealth, and luxury is artificial misery. Aristotle noted that consumerism is the mother of the current environmental crisis. We cannot differentiate between need and greed. What I need is something different than what I want. We are running on approximately 130% of overdraft. We consume 30% more than what we replace in nature. If we keep doing this we will need 6 planets earth to sustain us.
What’s wrong with this model? Mental health illnesses are higher than ever and rapidly growing. Even with the rise of consumerism, we are unhappy. We place excessive importance on our personal freedom at the expense of anything else, even if detrimental to the world. Though even this is not leading to happiness and we are seeing rich celebrities commit suicide and we need to look at an alternative model.
One has to follow a protocol to become a qualified doctor or a footballer. Similarly, happiness is a science and skill that has to be learnt, and we have to subject us to a discipline and a protocol. Happiness is our real business but we do it the wrong way. The Bhagavad Gita defines happiness as our natural state but the most widely followed religion in the world is materialism.
Our life is tainted by materialistic interest which strive to maximise the pleasure of the body and minimise the stress of the body is happiness. Real happiness transcends anything of this world – so search has to be focused inwards.
Musk perfume comes from musk deers found in Himalayas. The musk deer has this secretion from his body and has intoxicating smell. He doesn’t realise that it’s coming from inside. It keeps running around trying to find the source of this smell, not realising the fragrance is inside. This is us. Running around to chase the happiness outside of ourselves, not realising that we are the soul and not this body.
The soul has eternal relation with Supreme and this eternal relation of love is equal to happiness We get very disappointed during trying to search happiness. But with this eternal love we will never feel let down. Maya is illusion that makes us believe that we are this body. Happiness is much more sublime, pure, blissful and ecstatic. We have to revive this relationship with God and then we experience real happiness step by step.