The Secret to Happiness, According to Yoga Philosophy
“Pleasures conceived in the world of the senses have a beginning and an end, and this nature of pleasure gives birth to misery, Arjuna…”, thus the supreme lord counsels the crisis-stricken warrior in the middle of a battlefield. This solemn sermon holds the crux of the Indic spirituality of which yoga is a part, encouraging the seeker to explore beyond the limited scope of fleeting sensations. It contains the secret to happiness.
Giving up pleasures sounds like a big buzzkill but that may not be what the ancient scriptures have been saying at all! What’s implied is—if you are counting on material things and sensory pleasures to be happy, you are in for a great disappointment. On the other side of the search for happiness, there is a discipline to follow. This discipline is yoga as it directs your gaze inward. Happier people have simply learned to know how to look within.
Here is how you can muster the inward-looking attitude on the lines of Yoga Philosophy—
The tenet of santosha falls under the ‘niyama’ section of the famous eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga. At the level of intent, santosha is about performing up to one’s best capacity and blissfully accepting any result that comes. At a mental level, one must be quiet and contented. On the external level, santosha expresses through serene gestures.
This has to be a consciously founded approach towards all adversities. Be it an irritating neighbor or the death of a loved one you never want to talk about, don’t make repression or escape be your way of dealing with them. Repressed and escaped issues settle in the subconscious and manifest discernibly as stressors. Don’t set into motion such a vicious process of negative deposition in your body and being.
Accept the truth wholeheartedly. Don’t let the issues to ferment and magnify out of proportions. Rather, always navigate the scope of the problem and develop a problem-solving attitude.
There are umpteen things one can always feel happy and grateful about, most precisely, for this life we have. We are living in an abundance of happiness but most people have it on their agenda to complain rather than revel in this glory. Let’s start keeping a journal just for recognizing the beautiful moments floating all around us. When you look for it, not a single day’s entry will go empty!
Yoga is a fantastic way to express gratitude. Thankfulness must be emanated from each conscious pranayamic breath you take and a whole range of movements your body achieves. Emphasize on the Anjali Mudra of your Sun Salutation. The joining of the two hands at the heart is a gesture of acknowledgment and tribute. It also symbolizes the seeker’s connection with the divinity. This divinity does not necessarily be a godhead, but only the higher power which has architected each life so beautifully.
Observe gratitude through the Savasana. At the end of a hefty sequence, when you lie on the mat, the muscles relax and melt into the floor, not in abrogation but overwhelming gratefulness.
Awareness is essential because the fleeting nature of the universe distracts us from the eternal joy which is the natural state of every being. The habitually-unaware let this notion of joy slip and reside in all the wrong ones instead. That is why you should practice yoga — to become more aware rather than world-weary.
The thorough practice of yoga-meditation blows away the overcast veil of confusion, resentment, and ill-will, and reveals the pure light you are made of. If there are five potential versions of yourself, the practice of mindfulness will bring out the best one.
There will be awareness of sensory perceptions. Further, There will be watchfulness over your own thoughts. And there will be awareness of your speech as well as actions. Awareness will thus unfurl the best of all possibilities in you.
Meditation is a deep state. In this state, you can access the many layers of consciousness. The cliché of ‘finding your true self’ can happen through meditation, and meditation only. Sometimes we are lost, repressed, or intimidated into oblivion regarding our own truth. It could be a case of confusion as typical as over career choices or over selecting a life partner. It could be the realization of a misstep taken. Meditation helps in fishing out these lost or dubbed down coordinates from the depths of the subconscious, which are like the missing puzzles when placed into the scheme of life, happiness should be yours again.
According to the yoga philosophy, samsara is the place where souls wander back to again and again in circuitous rebirths. As long as one is chained in this cycle, sorrow will be inevitable. To break free from it, one must be a karma yogi. That is to say, this yogi has to perform selfless service, motivated only by the action and no attachment to the fruit of such actions. When the the soul completes the cycle of karma is it becomes free.
The karmic notion of yoga brings us back to where we had started from. Arjuna, the great warrior was deeply troubled and seeking counsel from Krishna, the Eternal One, in the middle of the proverbial battlefield. One must overcome this battlefield through the yoga of acceptance, gratitude, awareness, meditation, and karma to be truly happy. This is the secret to happiness
About the Author
Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.