Happiness is a state of mind

Happiness is a state of mind

A follower of Shirdi Baba had one of his depressing moments.

A follower of Shirdi Baba had one of his depressing moments.

The omniscient Baba sent him to another devotee's house with the mysterious message that the servant will solve the follower's problem.

The follower, though puzzled, acted as per Baba's instructions.

Whilst there, a melodious tune assailed his ears and he got to know that it was none other than the maid's young sister who was singing so beautifully.

When the host, as per tradition, offered him new clothes he requested him to give a new dress for the little girl too and the host obliged.

Soon after, the follower saw the little girl wearing her new dress and playing joyously with her friends.

The next day he observed that she wore her old tattered dress but had the same smile on her face and she went about her work singing as always.

It struck him that happiness could not be found externally but should come from within. The little maid had taught him in a way never before and he mentally thanked Baba for his direction.

Thus, is it material wealth, or physical health, or a propitious environment that brings happiness? From my experience, a combination of all the three is essential for the elusive abstract, termed "happiness" - but ultimately what matters is the state of one's mind.

Happiness is needed to be generated on a day to day basis, or even hour to hour basis by oneself.

One may feel surrounded by issues not exactly conducive to a cheerful frame of mind and by people who use abusive words at you.

By default, the mind dwells on the unfavorable stimuli rather than focus on the beneficial ones. So it is all in the mind, to make a hell of heaven and vice versa.

The control over one's mind and to train it to think positively is tough, but eventually leads to calmness. The need is to dwell on small things that bring us joy and reap this joy like a never-ending harvest.

In my absence a cherished rose plant had withered away with the servant's neglect. I felt dejected but nevertheless trimmed away the dried-up stems and capped the stumps with some wet red mud.

I watered the pot daily and was absolutely delighted when I saw tiny sprouts a few days later. I dwell on that particular moment and I feel the joy again, and yet again.

I often remember my grandson Rishabh's toothless smile when I made him sample a curry, and my joy resurfaces.

I am not shielded from personal sorrows or experiences but I choose not to ponder on them, as it seems a futile use of time.

My servant Manju toils to take care of an indolent husband and two growing sons. The other day I gave her some time off when she had a lunch invite elsewhere.

She returned and resumed her duty with a smile and song on her lips. My small gesture brought her that much happiness and I felt happy too in the bargain. It is that easy!

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