Questioner: What is happiness?
Acharya Prashant: The questioner, it’s important to be reminded, is the ego-self. And the ego-self lives in its own little dualistic world. In its own world, it experiences Sukhā and Duḥkha, happiness and sorrow, pleasure and pain. It knows nothing beyond happiness and sorrow, Sukhā and Duḥkha.
So it is obvious that the question cannot exceed the knowledge or experience of the questioner and the questioner, therefore, asks, “What is Sukhā? What is happiness?”
In his own esteem, the questioner is asking about the highest state of experience that can be had — Sukhā, happiness. By asking about happiness the questioner has disclosed that he takes happiness to be important, rather special, probably the most desirous and coveted state possible.
Fine! We have to give it to the questioner. The questioner is just being honest. The questioner is not asking about conceptual states. The questioner is not probing into mythical, transcendental universes.
The questioner is simply saying, “Sir, to me happiness is the most exalted state possible. What is it?”
The Rishi, the Teacher, takes it up from here. So he says, “Fine! I will tell you about happiness”, and then he says that, “Once you experience the heights of consciousness, when you realize that which remains normally hidden from you, then, upon that realization the joy that dawns upon you is called happiness.”
Share this article:
Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, Acharya Prashant is an acclaimed Speaker, Vedanta Teacher and author of over 50 books. Apart from that he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom. Know More