ay in and out I hear people repeatedly urge and read write-ups that tirelessly state - knowing oneself is the key to happiness. They convincingly say that self-realization and harmonization between mind and body is the secret key to endless happiness. They also talk about unconditional love, living for others’ happiness, selflessness, zero-expectations and so on. Some people even use words like moksha and karma. From their gentle words, I have also realized that this is easier said than done. Secretly, I also wonder if self-realization is possible at all. And if it is possible, do we still be happy!
Look around and you would see that most of the old people are unhappy souls. They endlessly talk about things they didn’t do in life or those they could have done better. They blame themselves and several others for everything they are at present. I think that it is the real self-realization – the bitter realization that they lived for others, to meet their expectations, attention and appreciation.
When we are young, we don’t think much. While studying, our mission is to secure best marks, admission is best college and be recognized as the best student. We want to break the records set by our seniors and be the role-model for the juniors. When failure strike us, we are agitated. Yet, we don’t give up most of the times because we want to makes “others” happy! We don’t want to fail others.
At work, we want the best rating, maximum increment and bonus. We want to be tagged as young-achiever. We go beyond our limits and push ourselves so that we are recognized.
Personally, we want to buy/build an enviable house, drive a luxury car, wear branded clothes and accessories, own best gadgets, travel across exotic places, read best-selling books, watch star-studded movies and the list is endless.
Now you can evidently see a pattern in the last three paragraphs – we strive for the best. We hunger after people’s attention. We want to be accepted. We want to be one among all. During those sullen moments, when we decide to work towards self-realization, we realize that there is no “self” anymore. Maybe we would be hating the profession we chose, yet we teach ourselves to enjoy it. We might like to lead a simple life or might prefer to visit our hometown in a remote village. But, we may not do so. Further, we may feel that the virtual world has stolen our private life and might yearn for a personal touch. That award-winning book/movie would have bored us to death. But, we might never acknowledge. Because we want to be accepted. We don’t want to be the black sheep, do we?
If that is the case, what is the true meaning of self-realization? How can we make others happy when we are unhappy? Is it worth to pay our happiness and peace as the cost to make “others” feel good? Is it a fair price? Isn’t it a pity that we live in a society where people are appreciated for the wealth they have accumulated and not for the quantum of peace of mind they have? Isn’t it a shame that we enjoy games like cricket, football, etc. and love music as well movies; yet we don’t want ourselves or our children prioritizing it over studies? Why are we tuned take up the tradition route? Why is it engraved in our minds that the time-tested rules is a sin? Why are we always forced to give up our dreams so that we live to meet the standards of wider community? Why are we nurtured in a way that selflessness becomes virtue and unconditional love become rule of the day? What is the use of love, or anything for that matter, when “I” as a individual is unhappy? What is the need for exaggeration about self-realization and self-love when “self” is killed at a tender age; when selflessness is preached?
At the end of the day, when we are fragile and dying, who would “I” be? A scarred soul, patiently awaiting the departure to eternity; death appearing as a welcome escape from the living hell?
If I can reap only happiness by sowing seeds of selflessness, what is the fuss about the “Self”? Why are we rather not taught that “others’ happiness matters over yours”?
Just look at yourself and ask – what you wanted to be and what you are now. Why are you like this and what you could have been? What stopped you from being what you wanted to be? In a scale of 1-10 rate your happiness. Don’t you think this is the best way for self-realization; everything else is just an impractical theory to make us feel more inferior - to make us more worthless!
After all, at the end of the day, the mirror called life would reflect only what we are; not what others’ think about us!