The search for Happiness

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Yoga Magazine, December 2020.

We are unhappy, not because we have no money, not because somebody is dead in our family, not because something has gone wrong. We are unhappy because we are searching for happiness  in  diversity.  We  are  unhappy  because  we  are  searching for happiness when it is not there. Now try to think, try to think quietly, try to think of one thing quietly within your mind. In your everyday life you are searching for happiness, and where are you searching for happiness? You search for happiness from external objects. You expect happiness from your children, from your friends, from your family, but do you get it? No. Maybe you get it for some time, or maybe you get not happiness, but unhappiness. Why is it like this? Do  you  think  that  all  the  things  of  this  world  are  real?  No, we have made a fundamental error. We have not tried to understand who experiences happiness and who experiences unhappiness.  You  experience  happiness,  you  experience  unhappiness, not from the object but from the mind. If your mind is sick, then no object can give you happiness. If you are abnormal mentally, if you are sick mentally, nothing in this world  can  give  you  happiness.  Therefore,  the  fundamental  philosophy of happiness is a healthy mind. This  is  the  basic  concept  of  yoga.  If  you  have  a  healthy  body,  then  you  can  experience  happiness  from  food  and  from everything. If you have healthy, normal emotions and a  balanced  mind,  you  can  experience  happiness  and  love  from everybody. If your emotions are imbalanced, if you are emotionally down and broken, then your beautiful children, your  good  wife,  your  good  husband,  your  good  business,  nothing can give you happiness. Please understand. The  same  thing  can  be  said  about  the  mind.  The  mind  is full of tensions. This body is full of tensions. With a tense body, with a tense mind, with tense emotions, you are trying to experience happiness, and you don’t get it, or even if you do get it, it is only for a short time. You experience happiness for a short time, then happiness finishes, dies. With a tense body  and  tense  emotions  you  pray,  but  nothing  happens.  When your body, mind and emotions are tense, your love is confused. Therefore, you try to escape. You try to escape from these tensions, but then the problem is how to make the mind healthy. Where is the way and which is the way? No religion in the world has shown the way to a healthy mind,  healthy  body  and  healthy  emotions.  For  thousands  of  years  only  one  philosophy  has  helped  mankind  and  that  philosophy is yoga. What is yoga? What does yoga do to us, and if I practise yoga what do I get? The answer is selfevident: a  healthy  body  without  tension,  a  peaceful  mind  without  tension,  and  pure  emotion  without  tension.  Therefore,  I  am  talking to you about yoga.

—26 April 1984, Heraklio, Greece, published in History of Satyananda Yoga in Greece, Volume One with Swami Satyananda Saraswati