The second key to glorious accomplishments is – gyana, the power of thinking and acquisition of knowledge. This also happens to be one of the principal sources of happiness. It is the balance and peace of mind, the righteous flow of thoughts that enables us to be happy. When our mind is calm, everything around appears pleasant. It is the attitude, the quality of our thinking that makes all the difference. In the same circumstances one could be in a happy mood whereas someone else might get furious, anxious or depressed. For example, looking at thick dark clouds, someone might begin to panic of thunderstorm, whereas someone else sitting besides him might grin, enjoying Nature’s beauty.
Let me tell you my personal experience in this regard. I was going to Gangotri for the first time. I was climbing the Himalayas
all alone; there was horrifying solitude all around in the dark, dense forests on the way. The creeping sound of dry leaves used to scare me of a snake’s crawling. The whistling sound of wind blowing between the bushy trees was threatening me of a scream of a ghost. Even a stout wrestler would shiver of fear in that dreadful wild atmosphere. But the moment I shifted my flow of thoughts to positive side, all the fear disappeared. I found a source of inexplicable joy in the serene beauty of the Himalayas. My mind seemed to have absorbed itself in Nature’s magnificence. My journey became heavenly blissful and easy thereafter. Those of you who have read my book "Sunsaan Ke Sahachar" ("Companions in Solitude") might have shared my delight in those marvellous moments. Although I haven’t been there since long, the pictures of natural beauty of the Himalayan peaks, the springs and rivers, the blossoming green forests, etc in my room make these memories alive. You won’t find any other picture, not even of any god in my room, but the divine splendor of Nature is everywhere around. I always feel the unity with Nature and enjoy the blissful memory of my first visit to the holy mountains upon my Guru’s instructions.
So, you see! The joy of life emerges from within. If you have the positive attitude, even the daily chores of life would be full with ever-new joy for you; your wife, children, all the members of your family would give you soothing peace of mind, every activity around your home would become enchanting. If you just think how the movements on the road outside your house offer you instant diversion in the moments of tension or grief, those routine scenes or ‘mechanical activities’ on the road would also become enthusing for you. If you learn to think righteously, the godly heavens will be there for you; you won’t have to die or go searching for them.
It is said that paradise lies in the eyes of Beholder. You should inculcate the correct attitude, the proper way of seeing things. The Sanskrit and Hindi word for "Philosophy" is "darsana". Literally, the word darsana means to see from a close distance. Seeing the truth, the depth of every aspect is – (philosophical) vision. If you learn to see things this way, you will acquire the real knowledge. For example, you will grasp the essence, the knowledge contained in a book only if you look at (read) that book with this kind of focused attention.
Once you cultivate the righteous outlook, you will experience an inexplicable joy of enlightenment. Philosopher prince Darah Shikoh was immersed in this limitless ocean of bliss once he grasped the glimpse of true knowledge. His daughter Jebunnisah was amazed, finding him in a state of unprecedented joy without any apparent reason. It appeared as though he was in some different world, in the paradise of dreams; she thought it to be some kind of intoxication. But she could not help asking the secret from her father, as she knew he would never drink liquor or wine, or use any other mode of intoxication. Darah told her that it was the nectar of divine knowledge, which he found in the Upanishads of the Hindus. He said he feels as if he is flying in the sky; there is light and unalloyed joy everywhere and that he had found the real treasure of life, the key to absolute fulfillment in the wisdom and vision contained in the Upanishads.
This indeed is real knowledge, the real joy. All that is hidden within us. Heaven or Hell is nothing but reflections of our own (right or wrong) thinking. As such a book is only a print of ink on a paper. It gives you food for thought only if you have the will and capacity to assimilate its contents. Things or circumstances encountered in life are not good or bad in themselves. It is only how you look at them; how you react to them that makes all the difference. Everything is blissful in the deepest depth of truth. You just have to have the acumen to plumb that depth. It is our own fallacious thinking, our wrong attitude and ignorance that have entrapped us in the thralldom of passions, worries and sufferings. The moment you realize it and teach yourself that –– you are the soul, the reflection of ‘Thy Will’, so no sanksaras (accumulated tendencies and mental inscriptions) and nothing else could ever enslave you –– you will be free. You will then experience a divine sense of salvation in (physically) the same life.
It is said for certain species of deer (Kasturi Mriga) that it runs desperately in search of the heavenly fragrance which actually lies in the saffron hidden in its own naval. Similar is the case with us. The source of ultimate bliss is within us but we remain outwardly driven by our passions and madly run after external means and worldly possessions with our unfulfilled thirst for joy. We go to cinema, entertainment clubs, arrange picnics, parties, accumulate hoards of luxuries, grab worldly powers, and what not in search of happiness. But in that process, without the righteous thinking we end up increasing the visible or invisible burdens of life and somehow drag the breathing corpse of our own life.
If you want to live happily, change your attitude towards life accordingly; learn also to make others happy. Distribute your joy amongst your family, friends, everyone around you. Daanvir Karna used to donate gold everyday. You don’t have to do that. You should be generous enough to share your joy, expand and distribute it. This is an invaluable alms. Today’s man is starving for happiness. You can make others happy if you have learnt the secret of being happy. This is what is the true expression of knowledge – righteous outlook, enlightened thinking and its adoption in day-to-day interactions.