“How would I be happy”- This is a query invariably popping up in your mind? You need a lot of happiness to live off your life in freedom. Happiness means money, luxuries and comforts.
“But no, happiness is just a condition of mind”- Disagrees Mahatma Gandhi, father of our nation.
“Is happiness and pleasure same”- Asked a student?
“No, pleasure has a different interpretation as ‘ananda’ in Indian languages”- I replied.
“Pleasure has a transitory nature, while ‘ananda’ is inexhaustible in its source”-I explained.
I saw the students laboring hard under stress without understanding the purport behind my words.
A boy just took a bold step and asked me with a straight face-“Sex gives pleasure. Is it not ananda”?
I dashed an amusing look at his face and said-“Judge your own words. You can easily differentiate between the two terms.
I found the group merging in unusual silence.
They were pondering over the distinction in these two things. Most of the things in life give us pleasure but not true “ananda”.
“Ananda” is the true self-discovery in knowing what is real and what not”- I broke the silence.
“Just take for instance the pleasure of listening to a good song”- I asked all of them.
“Do not you feel the ineffable joy when you hear your favorite song”- I queried?
“Is that not pleasure”- I again repeated?
“Sure it is”- One of them concurred.
“What distinguishes it from “ananda”- I asked point blank?
Again the hush fell. Hung faces of the boys and girls indicated enough that it passed over their heads.
As we knew the nature of pleasure is ephemeral. It passes off as the particular object giving it is removed before our eyes.
Sex gives us pleasure. But it is merely a physical act; it would of course bring pain in due course of time.
Same is with music, that surfaces joy in our beings while we listen.
“But the important thing is we have not discovered our bond with song and music. Why we spring up in incomprehensible joy when we listen to songs which we do not even understand. The language is unknown……foreign to our ears and understanding”- I said.
“There unknowingly curiosity is born within us. We question the strange feelings of proximity within us with songs and music. How hairs stand on end when we experience and self-discover our relationship with rhythms in music”- I pushed up.
“So ananda is born when we discover intimacy between our selves and an object. That overwhelming joy is true ananda. That stays with us for good”-I concluded.
True happiness will of course come when there is self discovery in everything. While you know the bond between you and other thing, you will be certain that everything is imperishable. Loss, destruction and death are just illusions. There you gain true happiness.
Happiness is just your birthright.