Everyone wants to know the secret to inner happiness. The truth is: there is no quick, 10 step guide to inner happiness. There are many ways one can achieve happiness, but there is a difference between material, temporary happiness, such as money, cars, a dream job, etcetera, and spiritual contentment, which is perpetual happiness. When I speak of spiritual happiness, I do not mean an isolated life in the Himalayas, with your only material possession being the clothes on your back. On the contrary, it is possible to achieve inner happiness while balancing a life of family, work and the buzz of everyday life.
In an interview with Vasanti Devi Dasi (28), a full-time monk in Rondebosch, she said one of the three fundamental characteristics of the soul is Ananda, which means divine joy or bliss. Ananda can only be accomplished through regular, devoted meditation, according to Paramhansa Yogananda, author of “Autobiography of a Yogi”.
True happiness cannot be found on the outside. When we attach ourselves to money and material possessions, there is always the possibility of losing material possessions and riches. Do we really want to base our happiness on what we own? The law of karma explains why some people are happy (regardless whether they are rich or poor) and some people are not. True happiness comes when one is happy with what one has. Gratitude can boost dopamine, just like antidepressants, says Alan Korb, the author of The Upward Spiral.
Wayne Dyer once said, “abundance isn’t something we acquire. It is something we tune into”. When you are happy with what you have, then that becomes enough. So, it isn’t a happy person who is grateful, but rather a grateful person who is happy. Being grateful cultivates a relationship with a higher being. Ancient texts, like the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita, emphasize the importance of a grateful heart. “Whatever I am offered in devotion with a pure heart — a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water — I accept with joy.” – Bhagavad Gita, chapter 9 verse 26.
“Attitudes are more important than circumstances”
Happiness is determined by the quality of our thoughts. I once read a quote which said: “when you fix your thoughts on God, God fixes your thoughts.” Thoughts lead to attitudes, and with a positive attitude, you can make the best out of the worst situation. When you accept events in life as if you have chosen it, then life changes for the better. Happiness, therefore, does not depend on what you make of life, but how you take it. hector Esponda says in his book, A Spiritual Primer, that attitudes are more important than circumstances. The way you react to a situation is truly what matters.
Vasanti has practiced meditation since the age of four, which proves that anyone can meditate if they are devoted enough. Through devotion or bhakti, one renders a service to God which ultimately leads to a deep sense of satisfaction and joy.
“The best way to be unendingly happy is to be conscious of the Divine.” Divine consciousness is achieved through meditation. Seeker, the answer to true happiness lies within!