Category: Teachings

We all know that our most cherished dream is to be happy. However, unfortunately, we are happy sometimes but unhappy at other times. It’s seems many people keep themselves happy by shopping all the time but most of us don’t have that luxury of buying things all the time. Some people go hunting to make themselves happy by killing animals like deer and rabbits. Some try to be happy by taking drugs or alcohol. So, there are many ways of trying to achieve some form of happiness. But all of these are temporary and are fleeting moments of joy but doesn’t last long. Besides, physical happiness such as sex, drugs and alcohol give a temporary bliss but they are not satisfying and that is why the more one indulges in them, the more one wants them. It only whets ones appetite more instead of fulfilling the desire or urge.
So, what is the best way to be happy? This is the one million dollar question everyone is asking from ordinary people to intellectuals to politicians.
The Buddha taught that the best way to achieve happiness is to be kind and compassionate. You might wonder but why does it make you happy by being kind?That is indeed a valid question. According to the Buddha, our suffering is the result of our selfishness or self-centredness. By only thinking of oneself, we are limiting our scope of happiness to a very tiny space. Just as business ventures get better turnover if they expand, in the same way, our chance of happiness also get a better prospect if we are able to expand our horizon to the plight of the multitude of sentient beings. This is because the sentient beings are the source of our joy and happiness. At the moment we find it hard to comprehend that others can be source of our happiness because we have been thinking only about ourselves and never much about others. If we examine our lives and our needs, you will find that all the things we eat, wear, drink – including the houses we live or the travelling we do are thanks to others who enable us to do those things. We couldn’t organise the planes, the roads, the hotels and the fuel for our travels and accomodation on our own. Yes, we pay money but if they have not created the accomodation and everything else, even if we had the money, we couldn’t possibly do anything. That is why, our happiness and comfort depends on the good will of hundreds of other people. Thus, they play a vital role in our happiness and enjoyment and as it were we have to understand this and care for others as we would care for ourselves. Caring for others is called kindness or compassion. When we are able to understand this phenomena and then instil it within ourselves the sense of our responsibility for the well-being of other beings and commit ourselves to alleviate their suffering as a part of our own well being, this makes others happy and in turn makes ourselves happy too. It’s our nature that the more people or animals show their appreciation of what we do for them, it makes us feel good and makes us feel a sense of satisfaction. Therefore, happiness is how we transform our attitude towards others. Until now, we have mostly looked upon others as more of a liability and with certain amount of indifference and outright hostility at worst. This has brought more rancour and bad blood and only helped to destroy our peace of mind. Instead, if we embrace others as part of our own survival mechanism, it will take away the hostile attitude and with it the hostility. When the mind is free of aversion, we are much more at peace with ourselves. Therefore, if one is genuinely wanting happiness, the way to go is try to be a compassionate person. Do good at all times but never harm anybody. This will also make us a person of good morals which is looked as good in the conventional world. It makes us feel good inside and makes us look good outside as well. This is my advice to all my friends across the world. Geshe la

Read Full Article