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How To Escape From The Pendulum Of Happiness and Misery?

Is man doomed to swing like a pendulum betwixt a smile and a tear (happiness and misery? The first lesson we must learn in this connection is that desires can never be satisfied by their enjoyment. With the attainment of one object of our desire our aspiration rises to another. The acquisition of one object only begets a thirst for more. As long as one yearning of our heart remains unfulfilled, we can never be happy. The truth that desire is the cause of suffering is as old as the world. Prince Siddhartha, the Buddha, discovered this under the memorable Bo-tree centuries ago. Thousands of our forefathers, who before us crossed through life’s stormy main and buffeted its waves of pain and misery, learnt this lesson. But it never comes home to us unless we ourselves taste of the bitter cup.

The only way to escape from the pendulum of happiness and misery is not to cease from performing action but to do one’s duty without attachment and without desire for its fruits. It is this which makes the true yogi: ‘Arjuna, shaking off attachment and being the same in success and failure, do thy work, established in yoga. Preservation of the equanimity of mind is called yoga.’ (Bhagavad Gita, 2.48)

Everything of the universe must be covered with Brahman or Bhagavan (God); thus giving up the attachment to transitory things, live and enjoy your life, but do not covet anything of the world. — Ishavasya Upanishad.

Source Excerpts from Prabuddha Bharata Magazine December 1903 – article titled ‘The Way To Avoid Misery’.