[This article was written by Late Kishore V Sonpal, in 1966, when he was 28. He recently passed away on 12th June, 2020. He was the father of my classmate Hetal. He was a beautiful soul, a spiritual seeker, follower of Sahaj Marg path & more. My friend Hetal wanted to remember him on Father’s day and shared his old writings. With his permission, here I am sharing one of his beautiful articles which was never published, to honor his father. May his beautiful words inspire us.]
Every human being wants to be happy yet in the real sense very few have achieved happiness. Happiness is not a thing or a commodity that can be purchased in the market, nor it can be created artificially. One has to accept that happiness for which one is struggling to acquire from outside is within oneself. The mentality of the present generation is to watch for the door which is closed, to open but never to use the door which is open. That is to say, man will not enjoy what he possesses but waste his entire precious time in trying to achieve what others are having.
One will naturally be eager to know how to enjoy real happiness which is within oneself. The first and very important thing that requires to become happy is to be simple. You can achieve everything if you are simple. Simplicity in life is the very first step to lift you to heavenly happiness.
If you are simple, you will not crave for things mundane and you will not have jealousy towards those who possess more and better things than you. This will make you free from the madness of possessing things. Kindly keep in mind that happiness does not lie in possessing things but in enjoying what you have. A landlord may have ten buildings but he can enjoy only where he is staying. If you are simple, your requirements will be minimum as compared to others’ hence, you will not have to struggle endlessly like others to obtain things.
The second thought that comes to the mind is how to be simple. By simplicity, I do not mean being simple merely in matters of dress, food, etc. Simplicity should pervade each and every sphere of human activity. This can be obtained only if you have contentment in life. Even a person who possesses ten lakhs of rupees may not have even one-tenth happiness of the beggar who sleeps on the foot-path if the former has not contentment in his possession, however large it may be.
If you have achieved a sense of contentment in your life you will always concentrate on what you have rather than what you have not and this will finally allow you to enjoy eternal happiness which is within you.
Who then, will have contentment in life? I have seen many businessmen arguing that if they were to rest content with what they had, how could they earn more. Unfortunately, this mode of thought is regrettable because true success in human life lies not merely in earning money but more so in achieving peace of mind.
In other words, contentment can be obtained more easily if you inculcate a spirit of service and sacrifice and come to realize that the pleasure of things is not in their possession but in their use for others. Unless man serves others instead of enjoying things himself, he will not know how much happiness he can obtain instead in the process.
For example, say you are very hungry and have two chapatis in your plate; suppose just then a hungry dog comes along and you give him one chapati, and you do with one, just see the happiness and satisfaction you derive and actually feel even though you have not had your fill. How much happiness you will enjoy, eternal happiness. To achieve contentment in life, one must develop the habit of giving to others, enjoying what you have with others, and seeing others happy.
This habit of serving, sacrificing, and sharing what you have with others can be only obtained if you have a sense of detachment. Detachment of worldly materials is a very fundamental need for service to others. One must know that when he was born in this world everything was there and after his death also he has to leave everything and go. You have not brought anything when you were born and will not carry a single tiny thing when you leave this world. In short, you should have a sense of detachment from worldly life. Bear in mind, nothing is yours.
You are the “NIMIT” instrument of God and remember always that even one leaf cannot move if His Will is not there. Finally, his Will will be done. You should have the sense of realization that you are separated from the Creator of this world and that your aim should be to reach Him. You have to perform your each and every activity with sincerity and with your full ability, with an awareness that you are doing according to His Will and with a sense of detachment.
If you have detachment or have at least a spirit of detachment, you will have serving and sacrificing nature which will give you in turn, contentment of life. Once you have achieved contentment in your life simplicity will be at your disposal and finally, you will enjoy the fruit of eternal happiness for which you were struggling and starving and which you were trying to obtain in material things when in fact they were within you.
The Almighty’s blessings will always be with us if we have a sense of detachment, service to others, contentment, and simplicity in our lives.
HARI OM TAT SAT
Article By: Kishore V Sonpal