What Does Bhagavad Gita Say About Happiness?

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most ancient religious scriptures of the world and it provides a scope for deep thinking and perspective of life.

What is the purpose of our life? What do we want to achieve? What is it that we crave for?

It’s happiness.

We may be keen on performing certain actions and indulging in certain activities because those, we think, will make us happy. But, are we aware of the true meaning of happiness? Lord Krishna enlightens us about this elusive concept through his conversation within this ancient scripture.

We often associate happiness with a number of external factors. We often spend all our effort in the gratification of our senses i.e pleasure. However, the happiness that is derived in this manner is only temporary happiness and becomes intertwined with cycles of sorrow.

There’s a difference between pleasure and happiness.

True happiness can only emanate from a peaceful mind that is not dependent on any external agents and remains unperturbed in every situation.

A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires—that enter like rivers into the ocean which is ever being filled but is always still—can alone achieve peace, and not the person who strives to satisfy such desires. Bhagavad Gita 2:70

One can derive true happiness only by achieving a peaceful state of mind.

To conclude, the ancient scripture summarizes and classifies the three types of happiness.

  1. Pure happiness: One that arises from the spiritual intelligence of the embodied self. In the beginning, it seems like poison but in the end, it’s like nectar
  2. Result-oriented happiness: One arises form senses and sense-objects and is like nectar in the beginning but poison in the end because of its dependency on results and external entities.
  3. Slothful happiness: One that arises from excessive sleep, sloth, and irresponsibility and deludes the self from beginning till the end.

Happiness, then, is the state of being independent of the need for pleasure. Such a human is neither perturbed by sorrow nor goes bonkers after happiness. The human simply is happy.

Bhagavad Gita is about the search of happiness, but of a permanent kind—that’s only inside.

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