The Asian Age
Man has always craved happiness. All material sciences and fields of activity are geared towards achieving this one goal. Whatever we do, or even what we renounce, is meant only for happiness. But despite the goal being one, happiness still seems to elude us. It is not that we lack comforts in life, we do have moments of happiness; all is not misery and sorrow. Despite experiencing and knowing moments of happiness, there is no contentment, peace or fulfilment in life. We say that we have pleasures and comforts, but something is missing and not knowing very clearly what we want, we go through nameless sorrows.
If we want to be happy in life, the first prerequisite is good health. If we are unhealthy, weak or suffering from some pain or disease, any joy of life means nothing. Then there are our addictions, whether smoking or drinking. People drink to someone's health and destroy their own! Can we say that such people really love their bodies or care for them? The Bhagavad Gita says that the practice of yoga or meditation becomes a happy experience for a person who is moderate and disciplined in his habits of eating, sleeping, exercising and work. Such a person becomes a happy man.
We know prevention is better than cure, but generally we destroy the body first and then reach out for all kinds of medicines, cures, psychiatric help and so on. They say, "please take rest". It means that nobody will give you rest. The world is bent upon making you restless. You have to find the time for rest on your own. We need rest, but we also need work. We require feasting, but we also require fasting. There has to be discipline, moderation and the understanding that I alone am responsible for my own health.
The second important thing in life is wealth. However, in India, earning money is considered as a sin. Everybody wants money, but they think it is immoral. Without money, how can you live in the world? If you lead a hand-to-mouth existence, can you really be happy? You will be worried all the time. But that does not sanction making money in any way-- corrupt ways will end only in sorrow, not happiness. We must understand the importance of wealth in life. If we ourselves are poor, how can we help others? So, wealth is required. Do not ignore it, but let it not become an obsession.
In order to acquire health and wealth, discipline is required. People erroneously believe that discipline is bondage. When we are punctual and disciplined, we have more time to achieve what we want. Indisciplined people are always busy, catching up with or finishing pending work. They are unable to do anything on time and are often under stress. There are some people who have a wrong notion that they function more efficiently when under stress. They only end up having a nervous breakdown.
Krishna emphasizes in The Bhagavad Gita: "The one whose mind and senses are under his control, meaning, who is disciplined is a happy person." He then talks about a person who is indisciplined and disintegrated. Such a person has no peace. Where is happiness for the restless man? These two things cannot go together. He is one whose mind, intellect and sense organs re not integrated with each other. Our intellect is convinced of something great, but our mind has different cravings. The senses are extrovert and this conflict is going on in our life between what we know and what we do. In this world, there is sorrow, not because we lack knowledge, but because we do not put it into practice.This is disintegration.
There are some who have oneness in thought, word and deed, but they are wicked through and through. We are not referring to such people. Here the reference is to how our thinking, words and action should be full of sweetness. This is called oneness of thought, word and deed. He who has this is peaceful and happy and other people around him are also at peace and happy with him.