Happiness or pleasure or bliss is ultimate aim of everybody’s life. Some find happiness in luxuries, electronic gadgets, some in art and music, some in adventures etc. etc. But happiness from any activity last very fast. Failure in achieving another pleasure or miseries causes pain. In fact, pleasure and pain appear cyclical. There is always a search for eternal bliss.
Western psychologists have based the happiness index on various needs and activities. Maslow theory of human needs viz. physiological, safety, social, self-esteem and self-actualisation, stress on these motivational factors for happiness. Seligman’s acronym PERMA summarizes five factors correlated with happiness i.e. pleasure derived from material things, engagement in activity of interest, relationships, meaningful & purposeful activities and accomplishments & goal achievements. Whole of the western psychology revolves around meeting the needs of self. (Both theories are discussed later here.)
Modern Medical Science has found correlation between happiness and release of a few hormones such as Dopamine, GABA, Serotonin and Endorphins. The levels of secretion of these hormones are dependent on the lifestyles adopted and various factors such as positive thoughts, regular exercise, yoga, meditation, gratitude, achievements, challenge of achievable goals etc. (more details are discussed later here.)
Duration of Happiness
Wisdom of Bliss in Hinduism
Ancient rishis (scientists) thousands of years ago deeply probed and experiment the happiness more from angle of permanency & longevity and to find eternal bliss. They observed that everything (person, place, age, moment, ego, love, sorrow etc.) goes, is transient; only our consciousness & supreme consciousness (Jivatma & Parmatma) are permanent. They identified causes of pains and devised a comprehensive path for eternal bliss as under:
Medical Science on Happiness