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Overcome ego, be happy

Who doesn’t wish for happiness? Can money buy happiness? Do great achievements bring true happiness? Riches, success and achievements may bring name, fame and pride, but they do not always bring happiness.

If lack of money and success creates sorrow and suffering, their possession does not give happiness either. The question then is how can you be peaceful and happy, irrespective of whether you are a success or failure in life?

Krishna says in the Bhagvad Gita: “There is neither intellect nor bhavna (feeling for God) for the ayukta or the one who is not united, and to one devoid of bhavna , there is no peace. To the one without peace, how can there be happiness?” Krishna says, clearly, that unless a person is tuned into God he cannot have peace and without peace, he cannot be happy. Krishna also says that an un-united person does not have intellect.

So if you want happiness, unite with God. For this, you don’t have to abandon the pursuit of riches, success and achievements. God is self-knowledge and wisdom of sameness towards all beings because all are God. An egocentric person remains alienated from wisdom that is God. If you are free from ego, you look at all beings as God and so are united to the wisdom that is God. You will be free of sorrow and will attain peace and happiness.

Krishna says that we do not have right to the fruits of action and, therefore, we should perform actions, leaving the fruits to God. How can you avoid worrying about the fruit while performing actions? When a person regards the fruits of action (success or failure) as ‘mine’ and performs focused on the object, he is automatically worrying about the fruit.

Moreover, in doing so, he fails to abide the law of God, which says that one does not have right to the fruits. What you have to really do is to steady your intellect with the thought that the fruits of actions are of God. And when the fruit accrue in the form of success or failure, joy or sorrow, you have to mentally renounce the fruit to God. Since you do not contemplate the objects, you will not be attached to them. You will break the chain that starts with attachment and gives rise to desire, anger, delusion, confusion of memory, loss of intellect and death. Your intellect will become steady.

Krishna calls the wisdom of steadying your intellect by renouncing the fruits of action to God as Buddhi-yog or discipline of intellect. In this state you can be freed from constant births in different bodies. If you don’t, you are bound by actions. You lose your intellect due to attachment, desire and anger and perish, only to take another birth in a new body.

To steady our intellect we have to bring change in our thoughts. We have to remain engaged in usual actions and enjoyments as earlier but with a steady intellect fixed on the thought that all fruits of action are of God. This will free us from desire and ego, and gain eternal peace and happiness.

The same wisdom that will give peace and happiness to us will also give us Self-realisation and make us immortal. It will lead our world to a new age where we will live in peace, happiness and oneness, realising that we are in union with God.

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