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Sorrowfully happy

india Updated: Sep 07, 2010 00:29 IST
P P Wangchuk

The other day I spent quite sometime to make out what happiness is. What could be my happiness could be pain for others, particularly my enemies.

Even then, one can say that happiness is a state of mind when one is in great joy, whatever the reason, even for a brief period.

And what gives me happiness may not give you any happiness. It all depends on one's state of mind. For instance, I may be happy if somebody presents me a rose, but for a guru or a hermit in a Himalayan cave nothing may be great or good enough to stimulate his senses to make him overjoyed. I may be happy with my first million, but you may not be happy even after being a billionaire.

A definition of happiness closer to my way of thinking comes from French writer Rochefoucauld: "Happiness lies in the taste and not in the things, and it is from having what we desire that we are happy --- not from having what others think desirable."

Of late, I have been trying to find out ways to make myself stony enough to forget the joys of happiness forever. Not to fall a prey to happiness could be the way to a better-managed and stable life. Because, I believe happiness is at the root of all miseries. The logic being that if one does not know happiness, then there won't be what we call sorrow too. Since happiness is there, sorrow too follows because the two are like the two sides of the same coin --- one can't exist without the other.

The Buddha too had made this very clear. The cycle of life is such that one is bound to have a taste of both --- happiness as well as sorrow. This point is best described by David Basili:" The perfect journey is circular --- the joy of departure and the joy of return."

Actually, I am most happy when I am not happy. But then one can't escape happiness because one has experienced sorrow!