Levels of Happiness

A fresh fruit and vegetable store, just two minutes from our house, sells yummy cherries for as little as Rs 150 a Kg. Despite this, we went on an hour long drive to Solan to experience cherry-picking.

Sonu Nigam, the legendary Bollywood singer performed at Chandigarh last Saturday evening. I love his songs. We could have spent a relaxed evening at home and listened to his wonderful music from our CD/MP3 collection. Instead, we spent quite a bit of money to attend his live concert.

What motivated us to make our decisions in both cases?

Let’s take a closer look:

1. Eating cherries makes us happy. Finding the cherries on the trees and plucking them on our own gives more joy.

2. Listening to recorded music is not a bad idea at all, but listening to live music gives us extra satisfaction.

Perhaps, it’s that extra satisfaction that boosts us to go an extra mile.

cherries
Cherries (how satisfied my heart feels for I captured it).

On the same lines, growing a cherry tree in the backyard ourselves, watching the fruits bloom, plucking them when they are ripe, and eating them would give us even higher degree of satisfaction than cherry picking at Solan(HP). Similarly, in performing arts, watching others perform does make us happy. But if we attain a level where we can perform on the stage or create a phenomenal piece of art that we can exhibit, it would be a result of many years of practice, effort and endurance. The amount of happiness we experience then would be immense.

Happiness comes in many levels. In Sanskrit, each level of happiness has its own name – ananda (happy), aatmaananda (very happy), paramaananda (very, very happy), brahmaananda (extremely happy). The general population usually feels contented with just ananda. A few take an extra step for aatmaananda. It’s very rare that people take extra effort to experience paramaananda or brahmaananda. Very few blessed ones perceive them, and persevere to attain them.

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