Mystic mantra: The happy gene
We spend our whole lives trying to find happiness in wealth, power and position
We all grew up listening to the popular story, Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp. There is a lot to learn from this story, in which a poor boy, Aladdin, discovers a wonderful lamp with a genie. The genie brings Aladdin everything his heart desires — great wealth, a magnificent palace, a beautiful wife and a vast empire. But with all these possessions came problems. In the end, Aladdin, yearns to return to his poor and carefree life. But the genie is powerless to grant him that wish. The moral of the story is, rather than living happily after becoming the most powerful and wealthy man in the world, Aladdin was far from that.
We, too, are like Aladdin. We spend our whole lives trying to find happiness in wealth, power and position. Through the magic of the lamp and the genie, Aladdin was able to fulfil these desires and, in doing so, discovered, albeit late, that happiness does not lie in worldly possessions and power. But unlike Aladdin, we have no magical lamp. We become so engrossed in our desires that we never bother to consider their true value or how lasting happiness can be found.
Happiness is defined as a state that is brought about when we possess that which we consider good, or that which we desire. But we have been unable to achieve happiness because that which we desire is the very cause of unhappiness. We hope to attain happiness through wealth, power and fame. We seek it through drugs and alcohol, or by losing ourselves in sensual pleasures. But all these things are fleeting, they are transitory. When they leave us, or we leave them, as we ultimately must, we are again left with an empty, unhappy, unfulfilled feeling.
English writer William Thackeray rightfully asks, “Which of us is happy in this world, which of us has his desire, or having it, is satisfied?” We are caught in the mad pursuit of whatever desires arise in our mind. And even then, once we obtain the object of our desire, we quickly tire of it and seek something new. Thus, like a dog chasing its own tail, we whirl about growling and barking, until we collapse in exhaustion or finally realise the futility of our actions.
True happiness can be achieved only when we become desire-less. Saints have referred to this condition as surrendering to God’s will. Lasting happiness can be found only within. Aladdin discovered the truth too late, but we still have a golden opportunity to reach our spiritual goal and discover divine ecstasy and eternal bliss.
Sant Rajinder Singhji, head of Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission, works towards promoting inner and outer peace.
He can be contacted at www.sos.org