EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK ON STRESS MANAGEMENT AND HAPPINESS AUTHORED BY Sh. AJAY SHUKLA, MEMBER TRAFFIC
Happiness is not something that someone or something gives you. Happiness is something you give to yourself. But what do we try to give ourselves ? We strive for money, material possessions, social status & position, physical comforts and pleasure. We search for happiness among such things, to the extreme extent that possessing these things becomes an end in itself. We chase these things, as if it is our only and final goal, and in the process we incur stress, lose peace of mind and attain only unhappiness. We forget that these things can at best be only a means to the ultimate end called happiness.
I am not saying that material possessions or social status is not important. They certainly are. The question is, to what extent are these important ? I would quote from Ishavasyopnishad :
taintyaktainbhunjitha ma gradahkasyasviddhanam ( 1 )
“ Whatever exists in the universe is pervaded with God. Keeping God with self, enjoy the existence with abandonment, do not get attached. To whom can the worldly treasures belong.”
In brief, it means that there is no harm in enjoying the possessions of the existence till such time you are not attached to them ( dependent on them ). If you link your happiness with any worldly thing, because of the temporary nature of worldly things, you are likely to remain unhappy much of your time. And you would keep losing your peace of mind in the effort to gain them.
So it is not the worldly possessions that is bad, but the attachment to them.
Further, I am also not saying that worldly possessions and happiness are mutually exclusive, and that you cannot have both at the same time. You can be rich, powerful and happy at the same time. It depends how you maintain a balance between various things. If you feel money is more important than peace of mind, then so be it. The question is only of priorities. In fact, life consists of a wide choice of priorities. You can remain possessive about material things and make yourself miserable, or you can have a detached outlook, and be free of mental strife. This is a matter of attitude, or outlook. Look, you cannot get everything in life. So you have to set your priorities depending on your own nature. But do think about your self and then set your priorities. How you decide your priorities is often your fate.
It all depends on your outlook
We have to understand that there is no one true picture of this universe.Similarly, there is not one angle from which life can be viewed in totality. There are many ways of looking at a thing and there are several facets of every situation.However, because of our own internal fears we have a very limited vision. We do not develop the attitude to take a holistic view of the situations. We want to see every thing from one angle only. This is because of that intense survival instinct in us that often restrains us from taking a complete picture.