“All of one’s life is spent in preparing to be happy someday in the future,” says the global humanitarian and spiritual master, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who founded the International Association For Human Values, “It is like making a bed all night, but having no time to sleep. How many minutes, hours and days have we spent our life being happy from within?”
Stay with this question as you read this insightful and thought provoking commentary by Sri Sri on how to stop the delusional chase for happiness and how to start living it. Is it easy…to stop this mind that is in a constant chase for something it is not even aware of? Find out!
1.’To be happy, we seek something’
“Every living creature wants to be happy,” says Gurudev, “Whether it is money, power or sex, you get into it for the sake of happiness. Some people even enjoy misery because it gives them happiness!”
The widely followed Art of Living founder also shares, “To be happy, we seek something. But despite getting it, we are not happy.” This Gurudev explains with the help of a very relatable example, one many of us are guilty of engaging in- “A school-going boy may think that if he goes to college, he will be more independent, free and therefore happy. If you ask a college-going boy whether he is happy, he feels that if he gets a job, he will be happy. Talk to somebody who is settled in their job or business, you already know what he will say! He is waiting to get a perfect soul mate, to be happy. He gets a soul mate, but he now wants a kid to be happy. Ask those who have children if they are happy. How can they relax until the children have grown up and have had a good education and are on their own. Ask those who are retired, are they happy? They long for the days when they were younger.”
“All of one’s life,” Gurudev shares,”is spent in preparing to be happy someday in the future. It’s like making a bed all night, but having no time to sleep. How many minutes, hours and days have we spent our life being happy from within? Those are the only moments you have really lived life. Those were perhaps the days when you were a small kid, completely blissful and happy or a few moments when you were surfing, swimming or sailing or on a mountain top, living in the present and enjoying it”.
2. ‘There are two ways of looking at life,’ Gurudev says.
“One is thinking that, ‘I’ll be happy after achieving a certain objective.” The second is saying that “I am happy come what may!” Which one do you want to live?”
Gurudev points out that life is 80 per cent joy and 20 per cent misery. “But we hold on to the 20 per cent and make it 200 per cent! It is not a conscious act, it just happens. Living in the moment with joy, alertness, awareness and compassion is enlightenment. Being like a child is enlightenment. It is being free from within, feeling at home with everybody, without barriers,” Gurudev says.
3. “Fear is an intense sense of isolation.”
“Whatever they think,” Gurudev explains, “it is not permanent. Your own opinion about things and people keeps changing all the time. So why worry about what others think about you. Worrying takes a lot of toll on the body, mind, intellect and alertness. It is like an obstruction that takes us far away from ourselves. It brings us fear. Fear is nothing but lack of love. It is an intense sense of isolation.”
This can be handled, he suggests, by relaxing and doing some breathing exercises. “Then you will realize that you are loved, that you are part of everybody and that you are part of the whole universe. This will liberate you and the mind will make a complete shift. You will then find so much harmony around.”
4. “Whenever you are in love and feel joyous, your mind is in the present”
“To find harmony”, Gurudev explains, “it is not as if one has to physically seek it by sitting somewhere for years and practice. Whenever you are in love and feel joyous, your mind is in the present. At some level, to some degree, everybody is meditating without being aware of it. There are moments when your body, mind and breath are all in harmony. That’s when you achieve yoga. The art of living lies in the present moment.”
About The Author
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an international humanitarian leader and a spiritual master who is the global rallying voice of this generation’s collective call for peace.
Named one of the “Seven Most Powerful People in India,” by Forbes, his world-renowned meditation techniques helped end the 60-year conflict in Colombia. He has been credited with bringing opposing parties together to facilitate meditation and peace talks in Iraq, Cote d’Ivoire and India.
Founder of the Art of Living Foundation and International Association for Human Values, Sri Sri is leading the way toward peace and tolerance through meditation and humanitarian efforts. Over 35 years, his programs and initiatives have touched the lives of over 370 million people in over 150 countries.
“Sudarshan Kriya,” the meditation technique introduced by Sri Sri is backed by research and implemented in schools, corporations, prisons, refugee camps and retreat centers around the world. As a spiritual teacher, Sri Sri has rekindled traditions of yoga and meditation that have helped millions of people achieve personal and social transformation by relieving stress and discovering inner peace in daily life.
If you want to live and experience what peace is, even if for a few minutes in your day, here is a short guided meditation led by Gurudev, for just the right start of your day or may be the mid-day boost of Prana (life force) that you need for your day.