The desire for happiness is something we all have in common. Everyone wants to be happy. There is not one person in the world that goes through life hoping that they will be unhappy. This is one quality that we all share, regardless of ethnicity, class, nationality, religion, age, gender, etc. Because the longing for happiness is such a powerful, universal and intrinsic motivator, it is actually possible for this desire to unite us for the common good of all.
However, this is not what is happening in the world today. Our current efforts to fulfill our desire for happiness are creating immense conflict and suffering – not just for humans, but for all varieties of life on this planet. The destructive and exploitative manner in which we are attempting to use material resources to satisfy our desires for happiness has collectively become so extreme, that we are causing harm to practically every being on the planet.
Mentally and physically, we are creating widespread pollution, warfare, illness, and toxicity. It is ironic that in our misguided pursuit of material happiness, what we are creating is suffering and misery for ourselves and others.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The reason our desire for happiness is leading us to engage in such destructive behavior is because we are trying to fulfill a spiritual desire through material means. Because we mistakenly think we are the material mind and body we are wearing, we try to become happy and fulfilled through material ways. But in actuality, we are spiritual beings only temporarily wearing these material coverings.
According to the ancient yoga scriptures and other bonafide scriptures of the world, we are not the material body or the mind – we are eternal spiritual beings temporarily wearing the material mind and body. The gross physical body can be compared to outer clothes and the mind or subtle energy body can be compared to under clothes. Just as we are not the clothes we are wearing, we are not the material bodies we are wearing either.
When we spend our lives completely convinced that we are the material “clothes” we are wearing, and then we will erroneously seek for satisfaction of our spiritual needs through trying to satisfy our material mind and body. We will feel endlessly hungry for something we do not have, but no matter how much, how extravagantly, or how often, we feed our mind and body, we will remain in a state of endless hunger because we are neglecting to care for us – the spiritual self that is wearing the material clothes. We are spiritual beings, so only which which is also spiritual in nature can actually nourish us and fulfill our desire for deep and lasting connection and happiness. To be truly happy, we need to be linked up with our spiritual Source.
In the ancient yoga system, the recommended method for consciously linking up with our spiritual Source and cultivating the spiritual love and happiness that will completely fulfill us is mantra meditation. A true mantra is not something anyone makes up. It is the Absolute Truth in sound vibration. This spiritual sound vibration descends from the spiritual platform to the material world without losing any of its potency. In mantra meditation, a person hears and chants or sings this spiritual sound and thus is directly linking up with the Supreme. This has a profound purifying effect on our consciousness.
Through meditation on these sacred mantras, we begin to taste the sweetness of spiritual happiness. And with regular, sincere practice of hearing and repeating the peaceful sounds, our hearts and minds gradually become purified of material misconceptions. Thus, we experience the deep and lasting happiness that we have been searching for all our lives in the realization of our true spiritual nature and loving relationship with the Supreme.
In this way, we become actually happy and fulfilled, and so we stop seeking happiness through endless material consumption. When our spiritual needs are fulfilled, we realize that we can very easily live simply and modestly – joyfully and harmoniously sharing the abundant resources here with other living beings. As the unnecessary and destructive competition for resources created through mistakenly trying to satisfy ourselves through material means comes to an end, the various belief systems we have adopted to justify exploiting and warring with other spiritual beings also ends.
Peace and harmony can only be achieved in this way – our longing for happiness is so strong that it will keep us searching until we fulfill it. If we search in the material world, it will lead us into endless conflict and suffering. If we search for happiness where it can actually be found – in realizing our true spiritual nature – it will unite us in happiness.