Today, if we observe the people around us, we find them engulfed in sorrow, anger, dissatisfaction, jealousy, discontentment, depression and the like. Smile is gradually disappearing, and in most of the cases when someone smiles, people get apprehensive of some malicious intention. The moral values witness a new low with every passing day. A woman, irrespective of her age, does not feel safe to lead a dignified life. According to a recent UN study, home is the most dangerous place for a woman (Source: The Indian Express, as accessed on 27-11-2018). Besides, violence is all-pervading, corruptions are rampant and pollution has not spared any element that supports life on this earth.
Though it is normally said that “Human being is born equal”, we seldom mean it. On the face of rampant inequalities world over, today every human being is deprived of some or the human rights. Governments formulate and implement various plans and programmes to ensure the basic human rights to the citizens. But perhaps something has gone terribly wrong in identifying the problem. Let us first understand the types of human rights. There is a set of quantifiable basic human rights like food, clothing, shelter, physical health and education. There is another set of human rights, like equality, independence etc. though cannot be quantified, but can be ensured to the people with proper formulation and enforcement of law. There is still another set of human rights which are intangible and cannot be ensured by any external means on this earth. They are “peace” and “happiness”. Needless to say that once we achieve peace and happiness, all other aspectsare automatically taken care of. However, the reverse is not necessarily true. But ironically, peace is generally defined as the absence of war and happiness is measured in terms of mundane possessions.
Today, if we observe the people around us, we find them engulfed in sorrow, anger, dissatisfaction, jealousy, discontentment, depression and the like. Smile is gradually disappearing, and in most of the cases when someone smiles, people get apprehensive of some malicious intention. The moral values witness a new low with every passing day. A woman, irrespective of her age, does not feel safe to lead a dignified life. According to a recent UN study, home is the most dangerous place for a woman (Source: The Indian Express, as accessed on 27-11-2018). Besides, violence is all-pervading, corruptions are rampant and pollution has not spared any element that supports life on this earth. In such a situation, is it really possible to ensure peace and happiness, the real human rights that make a person’s life truly meaningful with the mere help of law enforcement? Is it not a fact that we often focus on curing a disease after it has manifested itself? Are we doing anything for the prevention of the disease before it actually occurs?
Let us see the efforts in a global perspective. The United Nations have devised one mechanism to measure the global state of happiness. They bring out a publication titled “World Happiness Report” since 2012 whereinthey rank various countries i.e. from most happy to least happy nations.The index takes 14 areas within its core questions: (1) business & economic, (2) citizen engagement, (3) communications & technology, (4) diversity (social issues), (5) education & families, (6) emotions (well-being), (7) environment & energy, (8) food & shelter, (9) government and politics, (10) law & order (safety), (11) health, (12) religion and ethics, (13) transportation, and (14) work.The present article is neither about the critical analysis of the methodology adopted nor to compare and contrast various nations as per their happiness indices. Though the parameters chosen and indicators calculated are based on global agreements, the only thing needs to be highlighted here is that, many of the aspects are subjective in nature which can never be compared across international borders, nor even within a country. In this regard, New York Post observes, “You’d be wise to ditch the idea that happiness is an objective trait that can be compared across borders. And even measuring happiness within a single country over time may not yield much” (Source: https://nypost.com/2017/03/22/that-world-happiness-survey-is-complete-crap/ accessed on 27-11-2018).
Most often, happiness is tried to be quantified with the facilities I enjoy and the worldly assets I possess. This means, my happiness is not independent of the external things which are always subject to change. I will be happy when everything goes in my favour and everyone dance to my tune, and I will be sad and discontented when any of these factors is not in my favour. Is it the same happiness we have been searching for? Certainly not. My peace of mind, my happiness has to be something permanent, unconditional and eternal.
Now, what can be done to ensure unconditional and permanent happiness? First and foremost, we must realize, happiness is not something associated with this physical world. Had it been the case, the richest must have been the happiest, and the poor should never be happy. But, this is not the reality. We have seen poor people sleeping peacefully in their dilapidated hutments and on the other side, even billionaires require sleeping pills in their huge mansions to ensure an hour’s sleep. A poor man sports his beautiful smiles after sharing his only bread with his family and on the other side crores of rupees cannot ensure a happy meal that makes one contented. This proves, happiness is something internal. If I’m contented with whatever I have, whoever I’m around, then nothing can snatch my smile. Now, where lies the key? How can I be contented with whatever I have? This is only possible through soul consciousness. Instead of identifying myself with the mundane possessions whatsoever, I must realize that I’m not a body but I “have” a body. The Supreme Father, the Almighty is the father of all the human souls. My original nature is peace and happiness. Only through the journey of life I acquire certain vices and in the process, my virtues get hidden. I have the potential to reverse the process. With my connection to the Supreme Soul again, I can empower myself to get rid of these vices and emerge my original virtues of peace, purity, love and happiness. That will be real empowerment. Then only we can ensure human rights to every individual human being on this earth in its truest sense.
By BK Dr. Padarvind