✨ A special gift on the auspicious occasion of Sant Ravidas Jayanti ✨
Happiness is a false medicine || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
3 min
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Question : Sir, what is the definition of happiness in terms of ‘mind’, ‘space’ and ‘time’?

Speaker : The details of happiness vary from person to person, but the process of happiness is always the same. You could be happy looking at one type of food, somebody else will be happy looking at some other type of food. So the details may vary, but the process is the same. What is happiness? Who will explain, in terms of the discussion we have done so far? In Who will explain that what is happiness? Yes. What is happiness?

Listener 1 : It is the opposite of sadness.

Speaker : Right. How does it arise?

Listener 1 : We feel happiness when we compare this state with the state of not being happy.

Listener 2 : When the brain realizes it in a relative scale.

Speaker : Appreciate this. The default state of the brain is sadness. The bulk of the human population is always, by default, in the state of boredom, frustration, irritation and anxiety, which are all nothing but, sadness. Are you getting it? It is the man’s lot to live in sadness. It is the way the brain is. And why is the brain always sad? Because it has nothing of its own. Do you remember what we said earlier? All that the brain has, it has come from…

Listener 2 : Past.

Speaker : So what has come from outside, can also go back to the outside. So the brain is always insecure. All sadness is nothing but insecurity. That is the default state of brain. To be always insecure, to be always sad. Because it is always sad, hence it always looking for….

Listener 3 : Happiness.

Speaker : It does not know the real happiness. The brain can never know the real happiness. So it is looking for some kind of a cheap substitute, which it finds in various objects. Position, power, performance, money, appreciation, prestige, reputation, all these things. Right? The brain does not know the real thing. What is the real thing?

Listener 3 : Joy.

Speaker : Joy . The joy of intelligence. The brain cannot know that, hence it is always insecure. And so it is looking for some kind of a medicine. What is that medicine? Happiness is that medicine. But that is a false kind of medicine. Happiness is a false medicine. Are you getting it? A substitute. A cheap, unworthy substitute for joy. What is Joy? That the brain cannot reach.

So the brain says, “Fine. Let me have some marks. I cannot get joy, at least let me have some marks. At least get me some acceptability. Let me get a girlfriend.” Something that can become a cheap substitute to real joy. Because it is a cheap substitute, hence it never succeeds. Hence happiness is always followed by lack of happiness.

Your happiness always comes as an excitement, and then subsides. It is never permanent. It comes and goes away. This lack of happiness is then called as ‘sadness’. Right?

Happiness and sadness always follow each other. It is a dualistic process. Right?

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

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