Science of Happiness
Happiness is not just feel good experience but it is cognitive experience. It is state of the mind. The source of happiness differs person to person. The person derives happiness by satisfying bodily or sensory urge or by helping others. A few other people may have sadist attitude and may derive happiness by hurting others.
In fact, happiness is embedded in the person, which reflects after seeing the favourite objects. In case, body and mind is well trained and awareness goes deep to touch the original source of happiness, no object would be required for happiness. The engineering of mind requires training so that consciousness transmits happiness without the need of objects.
When antakarana is purified and made satvika, psychic energy lifts to higher levels. This brings stability in mind and consequently happiness remains even in adverse circumstances.
(An article named as “Happiness to absolute bliss” was published on 31.08.2018 on my website-www.dnaofhinduism.com wherein principles of Medical Science, Positive Psychology and Patanjali Yoga Sutra have been discussed.)
The present article on Happiness is discussing on its determinants, levels of happiness and mind management techniques as under:-
Determinants of Happiness:
State of Mind & Happiness:
Constitution of mind may be Rajasic, Tamasic and Sattvic based past and current impressions which create traits, tendencies and cravings. This makes base level happiness of mind (Hedonic Treadmill theory discussed later).
Levels of Happiness:
As per the Hedonic treadmill, also known as hedonic adaptation theory of positive psychology, the spike in happiness or sadness due to positive or negative events in life, quickly return to base level of happiness set points. Each person has its own happiness set points. Hence, external events or objects alter our happiness level temporarily, and we quickly adjust back to a fixed emotional set point.
According to Law of Hinduism, the primary source of happiness is Atman. Parmatama is called Sat-chit-ananda (Truth-Being-Bliss) and Atman is part of Parmatama. Whatever happiness is derived, it is from Atman. Actually, Atman is electrifying the sense organs through the mind and emotions. If mind is pure and satvika; happiness from Atman descends without the requirements of activity or objects of happiness. This is the precise reason, bliss descends in Samadhi. As the purity (in thought, speech & actions), truthfulness, satvika mind enhances, the orientation of mind turns into happy state.
Mind Management Techniques:
With the advancement of technological comforts, we are gradually becoming slaves of the modern gadgets. Our wish to be happy is easily replaced by a wish for possessions, sense gratification, status, wealth and other substitutes. We develop undue desires, false pride, false ego and false hopes which lead to sufferings. IQ (Intelligence quotient) centric modern society is diminishing the EQ (Emotional quotient) and SQ (Spiritual quotient) leading to isolation, despair and depression. Relationships tend to be temporary and superficial.
Sufferings manifest in the form of unpleasant feelings (hopelessness, grief, loneliness, anguish, disgust etc.), physical pain, physiological pain (hunger, thirst, sleeplessness, itching etc.) mental suffering (irritation, anger, jealousy, envy, craving, guilt, fear, anxiety, humiliation, etc.) seasonal or chronic diseases, stress, physical & mental infirmity, etc.
The root causes of sufferings, means to remove it and evil and good tendencies have been thoroughly researched by ancient rishis which are discussed hereunder.
Root causes of Sufferings:
Rishi Patanjali researched the root causes of sufferings extensively and founded Yoga Darshan and postulated practical steps to remove the sufferings.
When the person feels deficiencies in comforts, he or she develops evil tendencies viz. Kama (Desires including sexual desire), Krodha (Anger), Lobha (Greed), Moh (Attachment), Mada (Over Pride), Matsara (malice, Jealousy), Swartha (Selfishness), Ahankara (Ego), Amanavta (Cruelty) and Anyaaya (Injustice).
Various incarnations of Narayana were to destroy the above knots viz. Shri Rama to destroy Kama (Ravana), Shri Narsingh Swamy to destroy krodha (Hiranyakasipu), Shri Krishna to destroy malice (Shishupal), Shri Varaha to destroy lobha (Hiranyaksha), etc.
Primary attachment is for Artha (wealth) and Kama (sexual desire). It is easy to leave Krodha, lobha etc. but very difficult to leave kama. Kama has instigated even wise persons. Two examples are as under:
Means to remove Sufferings:
Body of the human Being is Kurushetra where fight between Pravritti (प्रवृत्ति, tendency to do prescribe actions) and Nirvritti (निवृत्ति, cessation of prohibited actions) continues. Shri Krishna in Shrimad Bhagavad Gita elaborated means to remove sufferings and paths to achieve liberation (path of wisdom, path of Raja Yoga, Path of Bhakti and Path of Karma Yoga).