Is the common approach towards happiness correct?
What drives man to achieve, is his hunger for happiness. All his wants are fundamentally directed towards attaining satisfaction and contentment. He wants to attain self-sufficiency through wealth. He wants to insure security through friends and relatives and through indulgence. Man engages in acts of self-indulgence through titillation of his senses and as a result, gets habituated to performing these acts, which at times may be termed, explicitly immoral.
Is it wrong to look for happiness, joy, satisfaction and contentment?
No, is the obvious answer. However, what makes these pursuits futile and even dangerous, is that man is largely ill-equipped, in his current condition to recognize the means to get there. He is, quite strangely, searching for the right things at all the wrong places. Why do the wise implicate man’s endeavors? It is vital to understand the premise of this view, before the mystery can stand unraveled.
Mind creates experience
The mind, is that single tool, the single-most human-appliance through which experience of the world becomes possible. A jaundiced man sees everything around him in hues of yellow. Does this mean that the world is painted yellow? The answer is that in his diseased condition, everything shall appear the way, because the appliance namely eyes and brain project it so. It becomes necessary to look at the condition deeply and fix the problem, if he were to experience the world as it appears to other normal people. The condition of jaundice, if treated, shall do the trick. This is the fix.
Similarly when an average mind, sees and understands the world, he looks at the world through the inherent distortions of the mind. When he sees rich people, he sees them moving around in expensive cars, donning classy apparel. Everything that is reflected by his senses, understood by his mind, becomes his view.
Maya means illusion
But alas, the mind makes him believe magically that everyone who is blessed with wealth is happy. Everyone who is indulging in the senses, going to parties and enjoying with friends, is joyful. Everyone who is able to relish palatable foods is contented. This view is based on the projections of the mind. It is based out off the mind’s inability to decipher truth from fiction.
It is inherent in the mind to jump to such conclusions. In the Vedic Parlance this very view is called “Maya” which literally means that which is not or that experience which is not true, to say the least. We shall talk about the solutions in upcoming posts.