It is said that being happy is my natural state of existence, yet happiness seems to be mostly elusive. I may curse my unfulfilled desires for this despite knowing the fact that there are a lot many which have become reality too. Every time, I was happy when I attained what I had aspired for but it lasted just till the moment l got desirous of something else. The cycle makes me feel as if my life is entrapped in the web of an unending wish-list.
Saints have declared that our real joy lies in the freedom from our cravings and not in their fulfillment because fulfilling one will lead to the next coming up. The demands keep varying with time and also a thing may be desirable for me but not for others. So, it is not any object but inclination of the mind that breeds desires. Therefore, mind needs to be constructively rationalized to set ourselves free. It implies making happiness desire proof i.e. keeping it intact whether a desired situation comes or not. In the book Steadfast Wisdom, extracted from Bhagwad Gita, Acharya Vinoba Bhave has enlisted a few ways to achieve that-
Diffusing the individual desire to encompass the welfare of a group- persistent endeavor in this direction would gradually transmute the personal interest into common interest. Such a pursuit is always a source of inner joy.
Determining the most important thing that is needed at a point of time- leaving all the other things aside, concentration on fulfilling one particular want, many of the remaining wants vanish naturally. Thus, a desire itself trains the mind to filter out.
Shifting the center– when a desire (vaasna) is directed towards Divinity, it becomes a prayer (upaasana). Eating food after offering it to Lord takes the form of Prasadam, a holy sharing. Coarse decoration of the body may be replaced by the yearning to adorn the soul with nobility.
Self-judging – all the negative urges must be checked to ensure that no harm is intended for anybody around.
Controlling the sensual impulses- The objects of senses turn away from the embodied soul who abstains from feeding on them through knowledge and perseverance
However, by practicing extreme inhibition, the man may fall prey to the same very faults that he seeks to correct. For that reason the ultimate refuge is to be taken in Lord as faith delivers when our efforts exhaust their capacity. The heart which is replete with Godly thoughts is never assailed by the outer stuff of pleasure and sorrow.
On that note, may we all be blessed with an everlasting ‘desire proof’ happiness!😊