By Paramhansa Yogananda
To seek happiness outside ourselves is like trying to lasso a cloud. Happiness is not a thing: It is a state of mind. It must be lived. Neither worldly power nor moneymaking schemes can ever capture happiness. Mental restlessness results from an outward focus of awareness. Restlessness itself guarantees that happiness will remain elusive.
True happiness is never to be found outside the Self. Those who seek it there are as if chasing rainbows among the clouds. Analyse, with understanding born of introspection, the true nature of sense-pleasures. You cling to them, yet know in your heart that someday they cannot but betray you.
Closer scrutiny reveals that sense-indulgence actually mocks its votaries. What it offers is not freedom but soul-bondage. The way of escape lies not, as most people imagine, down moss-soft lanes of further indulgence, but up hard, rocky paths of self-control.
As a man allows himself to depend increasingly on circumstances outside himself for his physical, mental, and spiritual nourishment, never looking within to his own source, he gradually depletes his reserves of energy.
Possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake. It is spiritual poverty, not material lack, that lies at the core of all human suffering.
It is important to differentiate between your needs and your wants. Your needs are few, while your wants can be limitless. In order to find freedom and bliss, minister only to your needs. Stop creating limitless wants and pursuing the will-o-the-wisp of false happiness. The more you depend upon conditions outside yourself for happiness, the less happiness you will experience.
Do not be the slave of things or possessions. Boil down even your needs. Spend your time in search of lasting happiness or bliss. The unchangeable, immortal soul is hidden behind the screen of your consciousness, on which are painted dark pictures of disease, failure, death, and so forth. Lift the veil of illusive change and be established in your immortal nature.
Enthrone your fickle consciousness on the changelessness and calmness within you, which is the throne of God. Let your soul manifest bliss, night and day.
Happiness can be secured by the exercise of self-control, by cultivating habits of plain living and high thinking, and by spending less money, even though earning more. Make an effort to earn more so that you can be the means of helping others to help themselves.
What is the use of spending all one’s time on things that don’t last? The drama of life has for its moral the fact that it is merely that: a drama, an illusion.
Fools, imagining the play to be real and lasting, weep through the sad parts, grieve that the happy parts cannot endure, and sorrow that the play must, at last, come to an end. Suffering is the punishment for their spiritual blindness.
The wise, however, seeing the drama for the utter delusion it is, seek eternal happiness in the Self within.
Spiritual Fair on Yogananda’s Teachings & Kriya Yoga Meditation is being held on March 19, 11 am – 5 pm, Ananda Sangha Delhi, N-100 Panchsheel Park. For details, call 9899200605, or visit https://anandadelhi.org/spiritual-fair-tools-and-techniques-for-self-transformation-2023/
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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