Swami Sunirmalananda on the Concept of Happiness in Hinduism



Hindu concept of Happiness:
  • Ordinarily what we call happiness (sukha) and misery (duhkha) are relative experiences. They are termed dvandvas (dualities.)
  • We must rise above these dualities in order to discover and experience real happiness.
  • Where do we find this real happiness? It is inherent within each one of us. Where is it located? It is not located as such: it is we ourselves. Ourselves? Oh, yes, we are of the nature of bliss. What does this mean? We are bliss. Our nature is one of immortal bliss. We have forgotten this simple truth.
  • Then, what is this experience which we are calling happiness? This so-called happiness is only a faint reflection, a little spark of the brilliant sun of bliss which is hidden within. This is only a shadow of that eternal bliss that is waiting to be exposed. Our so-called happiness and misery now, are nothing but different states of mind.
In the Bhagavad Gita (5.21), it is said: ‘He who is unattached to the external world and its objects, and is attached to the inner Self, will attain supreme happiness, which is everlasting.’
  • Real happiness, called ananda in Sanskrit, is the goal of all beings. All are seeking that goal only – some ignorantly, some with knowledge.

Therefore, according to all the different philosophies of Hinduism – Yoga, Vedanta, Samkhya, dualists, non-dualists – our goal is to transcend dualities like happiness and misery and reach the state of supreme Bliss. It is in that state that we get real bliss. Until then, we are only passing through different states of mind.

In Nutshell:

1. Seek what is true and lasting.

2. The more you seek what is true and lasting, the more you go nearer to the source of supreme, everlasting Bliss, which is within you.

Swami Sunirmalananda