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We all know that happiness is an positive emotion and being sad is a negative emotion in general.

In Geetha, Krishna says that we should consider both happiness and sadness, equal. (Chapter 2 verse 15,38) Does it mean we should not be happy?

Is happiness a forbidden feeling? Being sad is not a good thing. But I am confused why staying always happy is not encouraged and why it should be taken to be equal to sadness?

If I want to spend my life with full happiness, independent of the events occurring, then is it not correct to do so, according to Krishna?

Does Krishna say anywhere to always live with happiness?

  • No, He is not saying not to be happy. He is saying not to be sad. – Vipul Hadiya Dec 15 '15 at 18:55
  • Krishna's philosophy of Geeta is to make Arjuna stoic i.e. indifferent to pleasure and pain. By being so he could forget difference between my and yours and can see everything as merely supreme being GOD. – Mr. P Nov 23 '16 at 11:13
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The whole purpose of Gita is to know how to be happy. The human mind is tricky, it does not want to be sad, here Krishna says let sadness come too. It will go away after a while anyways. Everything changes.

Chapter 4 Verse 22: यदृच्छालाभसन्तुष्टो द्वन्द्वातीतो विमत्सर: | सम: सिद्धावसिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते || 22||

yadṛichchhā-lābha-santuṣhṭo dvandvātīto vimatsaraḥ samaḥ siddhāvasiddhau cha kṛitvāpi na nibadhyate

Content with whatever gain comes of its own accord, and free from envy, they are beyond the dualities of life. Being equipoised in success and failure, they are not bound by their actions, even while performing all kinds of activities.

Here is my interpretation of the verse: @hanugm said that he wants to 'spend his life with full happiness'.

When Lord Krishna mentions says 'tolerate duality' and 'be equipoised' he is saying that when sadness comes, do not suppress it, be equanimous about it. Sadness is also a part of life as much as happiness.

  • You should cite sources for your answer on this site. – The Destroyer Nov 15 '15 at 8:25
  • I will cite what the dictionary says: equanimity |ˌɛkwəˈnɪmɪti, iː-| noun [ mass noun ] calmness and composure, especially in a difficult situation Equanimity does not mean 'not being happy' – Amit Saxena Nov 15 '15 at 9:10
  • By sources i mean Hindu Scriptures. Here it would be Gita or commentary by notable sage. You can quote specific verse from BG and you can explain its meaning in your own words. You can see this page hinduism.stackexchange.com/tour . – The Destroyer Nov 15 '15 at 9:35
  • Thanks Anil! bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-04-22.html Here is my interpretation of the verse: @hanugm said that he wants to 'spend his life with full happiness'. When Lord Krishna mentions says 'tolerate duality' and 'be equipoised' he is saying that when sadness comes, do not suppress it, be equanimous about it. Sadness is also a part of life as much as happiness. – Amit Saxena Nov 15 '15 at 9:38
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    You can edit your answer by adding this comment. Specific verse can be added in answer using block quote. – The Destroyer Nov 15 '15 at 9:45
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The questioner quoted the following 2 slokas from Srimad Bhagavad Gita:

यं हि न व्यथयन्त्येते पुरुषं पुरुषर्षभ।

समदुःखसुखं धीरं सोऽमृतत्वाय कल्पते।।2.15।।

O (Arjuna, who are) foremost among men, verily, the person whom these do not torment, the wise man to whom sorrow and happhiness are the same he is fit for Immortality.

सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ।

ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि।।2.38।।

Viewing alike, pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, you should get then ready for the battle. Thus you will not incur sin.

We have to remember/understand, at least theoretically, the background of the Gita and higher concepts of Spiritualism.


The duals like pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, etc, will occur in a person's life, according to the prArabdha (stored merit of early births).

Some wise people compared the above mentioned duals to ups and downs of waves of a sea and some more wise to oscillations of a pendulum of Clock.

That what goes up has to come down (in the case of waves of ocean) and that what goes to one extreme has to necessarily move to other extreme.

Again happiness on various occasions are only temporary as in the case of sorrow.

Happiness obtained through winning an examination, getting married, gratification out of sexual intercourse, begetting children, etc, are all temporary.

If they are permanent, can a person after begetting children be happy forever? No. The upbringing of children will engulf the same person with lot of tensions, pressures, etc.


Even if a person try to avoid sorrow and be happy all the time, his prArabdha will not allow him to be in that happy mood. Whether a person is interested in doing some work, which will engulf him with lot of pressures and worries, he will be dragged into doing so by his prArabdha.

Again, whether he asks for happiness or not, his prArabdha will drown him with happy moments and luxuries.


So Sri Krishna is advising the spiritual aspirants in general and Arjuna in particular to view the events, which are only a passing clouds, with equanimity, which state is also known as sthitapragna, and which will also result in mOksha or liberation or elimination of rebirth.

  • Did you mean prArabdha (instead of prArabha)..? – sv. Nov 15 '15 at 4:28
  • @sv: yes. It is a typographical error. I will correct it. – srimannarayana k v Nov 15 '15 at 4:32
  • Do you know if one of Rama or Hanuman, is sthitapragna, or both? Any verse from Ramayana mentions that quality for either of them? – sv. Nov 15 '15 at 4:53
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    @hanugm: I already answered this in my post. You can not "Always allow happiness and ignore/ eliminate sadness" unless you reached equanimity. Even in that case also that HAPPINESS is not present happiness. That HAPPINESS is ETERNAL. – srimannarayana k v Nov 15 '15 at 5:21
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    @sv.: There are some slokas indicating that Sri Rama had conquered his senses and stable mind. Consider the following: धर्मजज्ञः सत्यसन्धश्च शीलवाननसूयकः | क्षान्तः सान्त्वयिता श्लक्ष्ह्णः कृतज्ञो विजितेन्द्रियः || २-२-३१ "Rama knows all righteousness. He is true to his word and has good character. He has no envy. He has patience. He consoles those who are in troubles. He speaks good words. He has gratitude. He conquered his senses ." मृदुश्च स्थिरचित्तश्च सदा भव्योऽनसूयकः | प्रियवादी च भूतानाम् सत्यवादी च राघवः || २-२-३२"Rama is soft natured; has stable mind, always an auspicious man, – srimannarayana k v Nov 15 '15 at 5:54

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