Struggle for Hindu Existence

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The Open Secret Of Hindu Happiness.

Hindu Happiness Index: A guide to individual and collective bliss.

~Rajiv Tuli.

Hindu HappinessHave you ever thought about how there is this one question that keeps echoing in the back of our minds more than any other question? This question is, “What is the real purpose of life?” Though this question appears very simple, it is one of the most complex questions. Rather, it is the moot question of life. Since this question is the very purpose and meaning of life, many scholars, philosophies and religions have tried to answer it in their own way and understanding.

People work for different purposes in life. Some want to be materially prosperous, a successful businessman or an entrepreneur, some other wishes to be a doctor or an engineer, someone wants to be a cricketer or a sportsperson, and someone might want to be a celebrity. Almost all of us want to be wealthy. If you ask why you want to be rich or a person of name and fame, the ultimate answer is that becoming what we wish will give us ‘happiness’.


In and through all our pursuits, we want happiness. Now, what is this happiness? What is the kind, the nature and the degree of this happiness? How can we get this happiness? We call this happiness various names like mood, joy, pleasure, happiness, ecstasy, bliss, etc. According to the hedonistic and Western approaches, we want to get pleasure and avoid pain. It is true of human psychology. The whole of modern psychology is based on the premise that we want to be in a situation we like and avoid a situation we do not like.

But, there is another view which has a different connotation of happiness. This is the Hindu way of happiness. According to Hinduism, the ultimate purpose of life is happiness. We pursue various things and thoughts to achieve this happiness.
This pursuit of happiness presupposes that there is an existing state of unhappiness. So, we want to change the existing states. We wish to change things assuming that this will give us happiness. You change your phone model to the latest version of the iPhone or from an existing model of car to a new model of car. We change places. Like, we go to hill stations to have a better feeling of happiness, or we change cities to get more happiness. We change people to attain happiness. We assume that we will be better off if our irritating boss changes. Some people divorce their partner to find happiness in another partner. We wish to change the time and circumstances to be happy, that is why we wait for a better time. If we get better and more happiness in situation B than in situation A, we pursue situation B. So we want more, better and maximum happiness.

Clearly, we locate happiness by changing the above thoughts and things, which may be relationships, time, ideas, places or places. Do we find happiness from this? The answer is a partial yes. We temporarily feel good and happy by changing our outer things and thoughts. But, if things and thoughts had been the source of happiness, then by simple logic, each thing or thought would have equally given everyone the same amount of happiness. But that is never the case. Tea may give me happiness, but some others will dislike it. Even the same tea will put me off if taken for more than the desired time and quantity. What if I am made to wake up at midnight and given a cup of tea? Would it give me happiness? No, never. A person who is dear to me may be a Dracula to you.

We endlessly pursue these objects to find happiness. It means things and thoughts are not the sources of happiness. We misconceive happiness to be sourced from outer things. Then what is the source of happiness? Are we finding it in the wrong place?

As per the Hindu view, ‘You’ and only ‘You’ are the source of happiness. So, according to Hinduism, the purpose of life is ‘happiness’. Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah (let everybody be happy) is the core ethos of Hinduism. What are the characteristics of this happiness as per Hinduism?

– Observing the basic nature of human beings, Hinduism says that the very basic nature of humans is being happy or being in bliss. According to ancient Hindu scholars, the essential nature of human beings is Sat-Chit-Anand, i.e. truth-consciousness and bliss. Hinduism makes a distinction between being happy temporarily with the unbridled pursuit of material gains of the outer world and the blissful state of existence.


– The very nature of human beings is bliss which is an existential reality. We locate happiness in the ‘outer world’. Like a new model of car or mobile may give us happiness. Hindu knowledge says that true happiness is the ‘inner world’.

– We hop on and hop off various outer things. Though they give us comfort, they do not give us happiness which is the sole preserve of our mind. Things and thoughts do not give us happiness but ascribe happiness to them, making us misbelieve that they give us happiness. If his distraction from the outer world is withdrawn and channelised towards the inner world, he tends to get a state of bliss.

– We want happiness now and forever. So, we want permanent happiness. This happiness is only attained when you get the true meaning of life and happiness.
– Our mind has three states of moods, i.e. Tamasic, which is inert, clumsy and dull; Rajsvik, which is active and moving; Satvik, which is serene and peaceful. The more you are close to Satvik, the happier you are. Peace is not the ultimate purpose of life; it is rather the basic condition to be happy.
– This happiness is not only happiness at the individual level, but Hinduism seeks maximum happiness of the maximum number.


You and only you are the source of happiness, none else. This Hindu Happiness Index is the Hindu contribution to the world’s thought for happiness.
(The writer is a columnist associated with the RSS)

The article is published in the Deccan Herald today on 29.09.2022.

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