Let me first introduce my friend Sahil, to you, a story bit in flashback. Please do not take it otherwise but his life story has a deep relation with the title at hand (Index of Happiness). He was born in a middle class family, a small town guy who always was never satisfied by his credentials while yearning for the best in life. Things like AC in bathrooms, lavish life, cars, helicopters, ride in aeroplanes, shimmering glass buildings et al- he craved for all these. He planned to become an engineer. He qualified almost all the entrance exams except for the prestigious The One. He dumped all other institutes since only The One could give him the happiness he wanted. Ultimately, he got through. But after sometime, he started cribbing again. Now his destination was US of A.
Again, after sheer hard work, he landed in his dream country. He got hitched to one of the most beautiful girls and married her. Air conditioned house, swanky cars, money, shimmering buildings, and a beautiful wife- life was set. But he was not happy! Subsequently, his wife left him. In fact, two of them, since he married again. He was stepping up the ladder of success on professional front. But, something was missing. He married a third time. Now he is a family man, has loads of money, well settled, but his quest never ends.....happiness is still elusive.
So, what do we have from above? For one, happiness cannot be marked by a permanent benchmark. As we grow, whether in age or status- physical, mental, or spiritual- our happiness benchmark is set at a certain point. Take for example, a child. He craves for a toy. He gets that toy and is happy. But after sometime, that toy loses its attraction. He wants another toy or a game. Similarly, for a poor man, his happiness lies in getting his essentials for the day, month, year...Then a small house, a tension free life and settled job..and the list goes on. Similarly, for each one of us, in whatever we seek in life, we set a benchmark and strive for it. As we achieve what we desired, we are happy, albeit for a short time. We again seek happiness and in pursuit of it, we set a new goal for ourselves. Life goes on in achieving and striving for more. For even after achieving the unimaginable, we are not happy. Our lust for happiness drives us forward, we might be contented but not happy.
Happiness is ephemeral, transient. It is an instant when we are happy. There is no permanent state of happiness- that panacea which everyone should crave for. Indian philosophy speaks of ‘Maya’- illusion- a spiritual concept connoting "that which exists, but is constantly changing and thus is spiritually unreal". The quest for happiness can be variously termed as the eternal search for personal ‘Maya’. For everyone is longing for the absolute, but no one appears to have achieved it to one’s own contentment. The interminable hunt is on incessantly.
In the meantime, all the very best for your chase. Hope you achieve all the happiness in the world, or whatever you always pined for.Be calm and peaceful in advancing act upon much more what you have achieved, stay blessed