What is real happiness?


Jayapataka Swami: Everybody wants to be happy. But it seems so elusive for many of us. So in the Vedas, it is said that there are different types of happiness. There is sensual happiness. There is happiness when you are young, especially it is a peak time to try to enjoy sensual happiness. The problem is that the senses not only give us happiness, it also gives us suffering. And we use all our lifetimes only going after the sensual happiness and then we miss out on the higher spiritual happiness.

There should be a balance between sensual and spiritual happiness. Ultimately the spiritual happiness is pure and does not have any suffering with it. Like in sensual happiness, if you eat too much you get a stomach ache. It causes suffering. If you are feeling thirst, you drink something that quenches your thirst and you think I am happy. Really the sensual happiness is just a cessation of suffering. So spiritual happiness is the happiness that the soul experiences. When the soul experiences happiness then the mind and the physical level, all are happy, everything is happy from that, from the innermost part of you to the external part. So you have happiness on the physical level, mental level and finally on the spiritual level. Say when somebody has prepared for you your favourite meal, your favourite pizza and just as you are about to eat, you come to know, your mother has passed away, then your mind is feeling bad, you loose your taste and you feel that the whole world is empty. So that is why we are trying to bring people up to a higher level of happiness. Krsna says in the Bhagavad Gita, to develop a higher taste of happiness based on spiritual bliss, spiritual existence, and that is fully satisfying to the self, fully satisfying to the mind and body as well.

HH Jayapataka Swami
Question and Answer Session
Polish Woodstock Festival, 2002