We have either read or heard of this:
‘Happiness is a state of Mind. It is not in the external objects, but is an Inherent Quality of Every Soul’
Still we associate our happiness to external objects and even hand-out our happiness’s remote control to others!! try so hard to be happy!
If we closely observe our thoughts / reactions to external situations or people, we can figure out what makes us happy / unhappy / hurt / angry / jealous etc.. A few sample scenarios are listed below. Try to imagine yourself in that situation and write down your thought / emotion / reaction before reading further:
- Your kid gets admission to an esteemed university -> <Your Emotion>
- Your neighbor informs you about his promotion and shows you his new car -> <Your Reaction>
- You hear that one of your friends / relatives is not feeling well –> <Your Reaction>
- You read an article about one of your acquaintances getting rewarded for a charity work done for the neighborhood / locality –> <Thoughts running in Your Mind>
- You have someone in your circle who finds fault with everything you do –> <Your Reaction>
- You have a friend / a relative who has a bad habit –> <Your Plan of Action>
Hope you have jotted down your reaction to each of the situations above. 🙂
Let us consider scenario # 2 from the above list. Broadly, you can have one of the following reactions. Each reaction and its impact on you are listed below:
- You felt genuinely happy for your neighbor and wished him well –> In this case, your mind will be at ease as your happiness for your neighbor was real. The effect is good.
- You congratulated him on the outside, but you were feeling jealous inside –> Your mind is running a train of thoughts thinking how you could better his achievement and show off. You have become restless and continue to be in that state.
- You played down his achievement either by not showing interest / saying not so nice things about the car he has purchased –> Along with souring the relationship with your neighbor, you aren’t at peace with yourself.
Our scriptures have given us behavioral guidelines. I am quoting a Sutra / aphorism from Patanjali Yoga Sutra that tells categorically how to deal with Happy, Miserable, Virtuous, and Sinful people / situations. This is the 33rd Sutra in the first section, Samadhi Pada of Patanjali Yoga Sutra:
मैत्री करुणा मुदितोपेक्षाणांसुखदुःख पुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातः चित्तप्रसादनम् ॥1.33॥
maitrī karuṇā mudito-pekṣāṇāṁ-sukha-duḥkha puṇya-apuṇya-viṣayāṇāṁ bhāvanātaḥ citta-prasādanam ॥1. 33॥
Maitri => friendliness / pleasantness
Karuna =>compassion / empathy
Mudita => goodwill / cheerfulness
Upeksanam => indifference / imperturbability
Sukha => happy , comfortable , joyous
Dukha => pain , sorrow , misery
Punya => virtuous
Apunya => non-virtuous
Vishayanam => regarding those subjects
Bhavanatah => by cultivating habits , by constant reflection , developing attitude
Citta => mind, spirit, energy
Prasadanam => undisturbed , peaceful
Meaning of this Sutra is: The Mind Becomes Purified By The Cultivation Of Feelings Of Friendliness , Compassion, Goodwill , and Indifference towards Happy, Unhappy, Virtuous, and Sinful creatures.
Maharshi Patanjali has delivered behavioral guidance in a short verse! I would say this is the real Emotional Intelligence / Quotient!!
Let us take a few minutes to digest this and apply this Sutra to the scenarios listed above. Now, compare your pre and post responses. Did you find any changes? How did you feel? Let us know by providing your comments. 🙂
Wishing you all safety, health, and happiness… Bye for now…