Our Nature is Happiness
Our Nature is Happiness
As an answer to a visitor Sri Ramana Maharshi made the following remarks:
“You can have, or rather you will yourself be, the highest imaginable kind of happiness. All other kinds of happiness which you have spoken of as ‘pleasure’, ‘joy’, ‘happiness’, ‘bliss’ are only reflections of the ananda which, in your true nature, you are.” (Day by Day with Bhagavan – 15-5-46)
It must be true
Our real nature must be Happiness. Otherwise why would we seek it? No one seeks a headache! Everybody wants only happiness. So naturally, it must be true.
Why don’t we always feel it?
Then why don’t we feel it always? One reason is because we digress from our nature. We mistake fleeting pleasures to be happiness. We wander away from our peaceful nature and seek happiness in worldly objects. The pleasures are like poison-coated candy. Candy is a little fun, then the poison causes misery. The more we do this, the more it becomes a habit and obsession. We have to ask ourselves: What is the purpose of life? Is it just to go through this pleasure-pain cycle? Is there a Higher Goal in life?
Happiness is our real nature
In “Who Am I?”, Ramana Maharshi says,
“Happiness is the very nature of the Self; happiness and the Self are not different. There is no happiness in any object of the world. We imagine through our ignorance that we derive happiness from objects. When the mind goes out, it experiences misery. In truth, when its desires are fulfilled, it returns to its own place and enjoys the happiness that is the Self.”
So basically what this means is, there is suddenly a break in the mind’s natural happiness when it is disturbed by a desire or fear. It wants the desire fulfilled or the object of fear removed. When that happens, the mind returns to its natural happiness and feels it. Think about it. Isn’t this true in life? We are happy and quiet, and then suddenly we get a desire or a worry, and then the peace and quiet in our mind breaks, and we run around looking for a way to fulfill the desire or get rid of the worry. Isn’ it? In that case, how do we fix this?
Well, the solution goes by a fancy word called Meditation. In truth, it is not fancy at all. It is very practical and rational as can be. It only appears fancy and mystical because we are not used to it. Meditation is simply attending to our mind and getting rid of thoughts, so that we can regain our genuine happiness. Thoughts rush rapidly with force. This causes restlessness and unhappiness. To get rid of thoughts, or to reduce them, or to slow them down, we need practice. This is Meditation.
Or we can practice Self-Enquiry, which is a deep search within, in the form of “Who Am I?”. When we search for the “I” thought within, since it is not real, it will vanish. And the ever-existent blissful, peaceful “I” will be waiting there. This is Self-Enquiry, the direct method.
Just like we need practice for any worldly skill, so also we need to practice meditation or self-enquiry for our inner peace and harmony. If we tune our inner instrument, the music of our life will play beautifully. After all, our real nature is Happiness. Let’s always remember this.