You must have heard of the story of Yayati.
The following is the story as narrated in Wikipedia.
In the words of the story, Yayāti enjoys all the pleasures of the senses ‘for a thousand years’ and, by experiencing passion to the full, comes to realise its utter futility, saying: “Know this for certain… not all the food, wealth and women of the world can appease the lust of a single man of uncontrolled senses. Craving for sense-pleasures is not removed but aggravated by indulgence even as ghee poured into fire increases it…. One who aspires to peace and happiness should instantly renounce craving and seek instead that which neither grows old, nor ceases – no matter how old the body may become. Having found wisdom by following the road of excess, Yayāti gratefully returns the youth of his son Puru and takes back his old age in return, renouncing the world to spend his remaining days as a forest ascetic. His spiritual practices are, at long last, blessed with success and, alone in the deep woods, he is rewarded with ascension to svarga – the heavenly realm of the righteous, ruled by Indra, that is but one step below the ultimate liberation of moksha.
So what does this story have to do with the pursuit of happiness that the Americans take so seriously that they have enshrined this right in their Constitution.
According to the Hindu scriptures our true nature or Atman is Sat-Cit-Ananda or Existence-Knowledge-Bliss. All the happiness we are seeking is within us. We need not pursue it through chasing worldly pleasures.
All we have to do is to experience and abide by our true being or Atman. And that is all that is required for us to be happy.
In practical terms the pursuit of happiness boils down to pursuit of money and the experiences and possessions that money can buy. But this attempt is doomed to failure because life is suffering and the only lasting happiness is that of Moksha.
Life is suffering. If you pursue your happiness; if you act against the established order of the Universe you only make matters worse, both for yourself and the human race.
You only need to look at the threats that the human race is facing. The pandemic is only a trailer and will end in due course. But what about climate change and the fact that the natural resources of the planet will soon be exhausted due to over exploitation by the human race.
So in order to do your duty to the human race learn contentment and take spirituality seriously. Mankind can only be saved one individual at a time. Focus on your own salvation. It is not the system but we ourselves who need fixing.
The system, the engine of the economy are only made up of individuals like you and me. Only by fixing ourselves will we be able to help others.
As Jesus said in the Bible:
… first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;
and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Sorry to write a somewhat preachy article but it is the best I can do right now. I am feeling a little spaced out. A less preachy version on the same subject is available below:
I’ll end here. Please explore this site for more articles on Politics, Spirituality and Self Help. Please comment on the articles if you liked them or even if you didn’t. Feedback from my readers keeps me going.