I have heard discussions of Hinduism scriptures telling how to achieve fulfillment, divinity etc but I have yet to hear one talking about how to achieve happiness. Is this covered in Hinduism? If so, what is the procedure?
The following perspectives from Swami Sivananda (from the Divine Life Society) might serve useful in the Pursuit of Happiness, as per Hinduism paradigm.
What is Happiness?
In Hinduism, the idea of Happiness is not found in sensual objects in relation to any bodily attachments, rather, in the experience of that all pervading Self (Advaitic), or in the Kingdom of the one's personal favourite god (non-Advaitic) and in his service.
THE SOURCE OF HAPPINESS§
There is no happiness at all in any of the objects of the world. There is not an iota of happiness in objects, because they are insentient. Even the sensual pleasure is a reflection of the Atmic bliss only. It is sheer ignorance to think that we derive any pleasure from the sense-objects or from the mind.
- One must detest the worldly definitions of pleasure and happiness, which are but temporary. The real happiness is in the Supreme, or in the Self.
REAL HAPPINESS IS WITHIN
Real happiness is within you. It is in the Atman. It is subjective. It manifests when the mind is concentrated. When the Indriyas are withdrawn from the objects outside, when the mind is one-pointed, when there is Vasana-kshya and Manonasa, when you become desireless and thoughtless, Atmic bliss begins to dawn, spiritual Ananda begins to thrill.
The musk is in the navel of the deer, but it runs here and there to smell it. The chain is in the neck of the damsel, but she runs hither and thither in search of it.
How to achieve happiness? The Methods?
SENSUAL PLEASURE AND SPIRITUAL BLISS
Spiritual bliss is the highest bliss. Spiritual bliss is bliss of one’s own Soul. It is transcendental bliss. It is independent of objects. It is continuous, uniform and eternal. It is enjoyed by the sage only.
Purify the mind by Japa, Satsanga, charity, control of mind, self-restraint, selfless service, study of the Gita, the Upanishads, Yoga-Vasishtha, and other religious scriptures, practice of Yama and Niyama, Pranayama, Vairagya and Tyaga. You will then get a proper instrument for meditation, a calm, sharp, subtle, one-pointed mind. Start meditation with the help of this instrument for three hours in the morning and three hours at night. Then a new kind of indescribable Ananda will dawn in you. You will be convinced of a supersensual spiritual bliss. You will have to feel this spiritual Ananda yourself. You will have to eat it yourself. Can you explain the sexual happiness to a boy of twelve ? Can you explain the happiness of sugar-candy to a boy who has not tasted the same ? No, you cannot. The boy himself must eat sugar-candy. He must, when he has grown up, taste the carnal pleasure.
To Conclude -
In the words of Swami Sivananda, from another article 'True Happiness'.
True happiness lies in virtue and inner soul and not in earthly possessions. Man has to rise up above the world consciousness through daily meditation. He should ever attempt to enter the divine consciousness. He should manifest the divine through Sadhana or concentration. He should transform the human nature into divine nature by developing Daivi Sampat. He should cut asunder the network of desires which brings distress and misery in the end through Japa, prayer, meditation and Satsang.
Never run away from your jobs. One should do all actions in a spirit of detachment. One should leave the world and the objects of the world, as everything is perishable. Love the Lord seated in all.
All evil habits can be eradicated by constant Abhyas and absolute Vairagya. Ever feel they are the impediments in the spiritual path. Develop a strong desire for God-realisation only.
Quoting from the article - 'HAPPINESS' By SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA taken from the book “Bliss Divine”.