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Real Happiness Is Built Into Our Innermost Selves

Real Happiness Is Built Into Our Innermost Selves – an excerpt from article titled ‘Mini Sermons To Myself’ by I.S. Madugula in 2021 issue of The Mountain Path magazine published by Ramana Maharshi Ashram.

Everyone wants to be happy, but different people have different notions of what constitutes happiness. Most people seem to settle for a momentary gratification of their desires, imagining they are happy. A few, such as saints, desire lasting and unalloyed happiness. And obviously there are many different shades and degrees of happiness in between. Thus it would seem that everyone wants to be happy in their own particular way.

Based on the kind of happiness one pursues in the material world, one will face consequences. Achieving material happiness through acquisition of wealth and possessions could lead to stress, competition, and undesirable practices along the way, unless it is accompanied by some redeeming purpose such as charity or public service. However, all such efforts are dependent on external circumstances over which we have little or no control. Real happiness, on the other hand, is built into our innermost selves, independent of any and all external prerequisites. The pursuit of this in-built happiness starts with self-control by which you squelch your wants and desires. If you don’t hanker after a possession, you don’t care if you have it or not. You will never be disappointed if you don’t possess it. In other words, if you get rid of the ego that demands material satisfaction, you are happy right then and there. This leads to the philosophical understanding that the inner self always remains happy, because that is its nature. It just is, not wanting anything. All wants arise from the ego.

When there is contact of a desirable sort of memory thereof, and when there is freedom from undesirable contacts of memory thereof, we say there is happiness. Such happiness is relative and is better called pleasure.

But men want absolute and permanent happiness. This does not reside in objects, but in the Absolute. It is Peace free from pain and pleasure — it is a neutral state.