BATURAM NAYAK inspires us to be happy by sharing a simple and doable happy man’s manifesto 

Almost every human being keeps asking himself: How can I be happy? Our minds work night and day at this one-point programme: Happiness.

But, if we venture to measure the happiness-quotient of people around us, we may be in for a big disappointment!

Being a votary of happiness myself, I keep wondering why happiness is so difficult to find. Why do people grapple with all possible routes to happiness but find it ever so elusive?

Baturam Nayak

Why are we unhappy when God blessed us with a happiness DNA at birth? Happiness is inherent to us; it’s our basic nature. No wonder then we feel disoriented and incomplete whenever we are unhappy.  

Paradoxically enough we seek this simple God-given gift in the outside world, which has a lot of alluring things to offer. The happiness that comes from external objects is good while it lasts, but soon enough, it fizzles out and we are left craving for more.

The cause of our unhappiness is really easy to determine. External happiness is so transient…it’s too short-lived to give us that lasting joy that comes from happiness found within us.

As long as we do not listen to the beats of our inner self and fail to vibrate to the beats of our basic God-given nature ― the very core of our being ― we  may fail to find the ways and means to achieve real happiness.

Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya had a revelation when early one morning, he was going to the Ganges for his daily oblations. As he heard the loud learning by rote of grammar by a student trying to memorise the rules, it occurred to him that this Divine morning moment was ill-suited to such a mundane pursuit.

The hour would have been better suited for contemplation on God ― opening up the mystic doorway to happiness.

Only a sage could have thought of turning around the unfortunate situation into an occasion for teaching. He wrote the verse:

भज गोविन्दं भज गोविन्दं, गोविन्दं भज मूढ़मते।

संप्राप्ते सन्निहिते काले, न हि न हि रक्षति डुकृञ् करणे॥

“Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, Oh foolish one!

Rules of grammar profit nothing once the hour of death draws nigh.”

We have already traversed a long way since Shankaracharya and that symbolic student along the Ganges, but we are still reciting the same grammar-of-living in the odd and even hours of our lives in a futile attempt to be happy.

Alas! seeking happiness in the wrong place and time, we have got lost in reciting the grammar of living and have bartered away our whole life for the joy that was so close to us, indeed, within all of us!

Why were we so blind and short-sighted?

Then how, when and where can we find true happiness for a meaningful and fulfilling life?

Happiness is indeed a flitting concept, more like a mirage. As one reaches there, the horizon shifts ― and happiness slips away and is gone.

Happiness is not a thing to be pursued; it simply happens as a spurt of joy, often without a reason; for happy as such we are, joyful as such we are ― at the core of our being we are like joyful children, without the need for validation from outside.

Happiness is much more ― a state of mind, a very systematic, clear cut approach to life, which is built on the basic awareness of one’s own reaches and limitations; the knowledge of what one is up to and what one deserves by virtue of one’s personal worth, so that happiness ensues as a feeling of pure joy, like a revelation from above.

Ishavashya Upanishad reveals this wisdom in these beautiful words:

“Ishavashyam idamsarvam yatkinchit jagatyamjagat.

Tena tyaktenabhunjitha magrudhah kasyasiddhanam.”

Know that all this, whatever moves in this moving world, is enveloped by God. Therefore, find your enjoyment with a spirit of renunciation; do not covet what belongs to others.

Viewed in proper perspective, the powerful words of this principal Upanishad conveys a great Truth about man and his world, so much so that it can not only be declared as the power-packed happiness mantra for man, but also the most democratic code for happy coexistence of man with his fellow-beings, here and now as well as for times to come in one’s life.

The code of happiness can be summed up in three simple principles:

1. All things of the world are nothing but God’s manifestation.

2. Enjoy whatever belongs to you with a sense of renunciation.

3. Don’t covet the things that are not yours.
Knowing this, do your job and wish to live a hundred years. I believe, this can very truly be the happy man’s manifesto, isn’t it?

Baturam Nayak, a postgraduate in economics, joined the banking sector in 1983 and retired in June 2020. He is a firm believer in simplicity and minimalism. “My faith is Oneness, एकत्वम्; that’s the way I would express myself and live in harmony with everything,” he says.

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