Laws of Happiness and Thought Revolution


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Our Happiness is the ……
"Total response of human personality to the ultimate Reality as we perceive it."
Vicharkranti strives to transform our consciousness !
All beings exist at different levels of consciousness and for every level of consciousness there is a definite and fixed degree of happiness.

The degree of happiness associated with each level or sub-level of consciousness is independent of external events.


There is a urge in all human beings to seek higher forms of happiness.

In order to get higher degrees of happiness one has to bring about corresponding change in one’s consciousness.

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Laws of Happiness and Thought Revolution

  1. 1. Vasant ParVa,nY,17 FEB 20 Vicharkranti : Thought Revolution : A Perspective on Happiness Sanjay Saxena, PMP
  2. 2. This presentation is dedicated to my My Gurudev & Mentor Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya
  3. 3. What we will discuss… today• Need of Vicharkranti for the happiness our Society• What is Vicharkranti• What is happiness and its economics• University Research on Happiness• Beyond Statistics … the laws of Happiness• How Vicharkranti unfolds Happiness
  4. 4. The Declaration of Independence A Transcription IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.• The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America• When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Natures God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.• We hold these truths to be self-evident, that:• all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights;• that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness;• that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; …………… • The 56 signatures on the Declaration
  5. 5. Paradox of Our Time in History is that :We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; more medicine, but less wellness.We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.These are the times of tall men, and short character; steep profits and shallow relationships.These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we have added years to life, not life to years; we have cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. - Excerpted from 1999 internet chain mailing attributed to unknown source
  6. 6. Had you fallen asleep in 1960 and awakened today … you would be awakening to:• 2X - divorce rate• 3X - teen sucide rate• 4X - rate of reported violent client• 5X - prison population• 6X - percent of babies born to unmarried parents• 7X - increase in cohabitation • (predictor of future divorce)• 10X - rate of depression to pre-WW II lavel
  7. 7. Spiritual Hunger in the age of plenty...• The accumulation of material goods is at an all-time high, but so is the number of people who feel an emptiness is their lives. – Al Gore• There is indeed a “spiritual vacuum” at the heart of American Society. – Lee Atwater, George Bush’s 1988 campaign Manager
  8. 8. Why Vicharkranti : total thought revolution• Having solved the question how to make a living, having surrounded ourselves with once unthinkable luxuries ……………… – we are left to wonder why we live ? – why run this rate race ? What’s the point ? – Why care about anything or anyone beyond myself ?
  9. 9. Why Vicharkranti : total thought revolution• While we have been surging materially and technologically we have paradoxically undergone a social and moral recession and experienced a deepening spiritual hunger – David G Myers
  10. 10. Why Vicharkranti : total thought revolution • Manifestation of Divinity in Man – (Manushya me Devatva ka udaya) • Descent of Heaven on Earth [Divine Society] – (Dharati par Svarga ka Avataran) • Man making (Vyakti Nirman) • Family making (Parivar Nirman) • Society making (Samaj Nirman) • Healthy body (Svastha Sharir) • Pure mind (Svachchha Mana) • Civilized Society (Sabhya Samaj)
  11. 11. What we will discuss… today • Economics of Happiness • University Research on Happiness • Beyond Statistics … the laws of Happiness
  12. 12. Happiness Defined• As per Webster’s Dictionary – (noun) a state of well-being and contentment; also a pleasurable satisfaction
  13. 13. The Economics• Can Money buy Happiness – The most fundamental idea in economics is that money makes people happy. – However, this based on deduction rather than evidence.• I would like a chance to find out ;-)
  14. 14. Can Money Buy Happiness• Reported happiness is positively correlated with income, but that is not a persuasive reason to believe that more money leads to greater wellbeing / happiness.
  15. 15. The paradox . Does increased income affect happiness ?• Income or Relative income – Happiness or subjective well-being varies directly with one’s own income and inversely with the income of others. • Professor Richard Easterlin, 1998
  16. 16. American’s Happiness• Since World War - II, Random Statistical samples of people is USA confirm that: – Americans were no more likely to describe themselves as happy in 1990’s than they had been in the 1940’s – Even Japanese didn’t become happier between 1950’s and 1980’s • Easterlin
  17. 17. Professor Andrew Oswald University of Warwick• Human’s by nature are envious creatures. – Even if a person’s income is rising, (s)he tends to become less happy if the incomes of other people they know are rising faster.
  18. 18. Professor Andrew Oswald University of Warwick• Human beings seem to have a sort of inbuilt need to do comparisons of themselves all the time: • This is a fundamental problem for economists because the evidence shows that while you have economic growth and country gets richer and richer, the people inside it don’t seem to get any happier. • Money can make an individual a little bit happier, other factor, can have a bigger impact.
  19. 19. Some quotes on Happiness• Those who say that money cant buy happiness dont know where to shop. • Anon.• Do you think your childrens lives will be better than your own? Probably not; nobody does these days ... In all countries there is doom and gloom, a universal sense of decay. • Norman Stone, historian.• What we call happiness in the strictest sense of the word comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction of needs which have been dammed up to a high degree. • Sigmund Freud, psychologist.
  20. 20. Taken all things together• How would you rate your own happiness with life as whole… How would you say things are these days: – Would you say that you are - • Ecstatic • Very Happy • Pretty Happy • Not too Happy
  21. 21. How would your happiness would be reported by your• Spouse / partner / significant other• Colleague • peer • boss • subordinate• Friend• Son / Daughter
  22. 22. Professor Richard Easterlin University of South California Income & Happiness: Towards a Unified Theory Economic Journal, July 2001• Self reported happiness does not change as people progress from young adulthood through mid-life to old age. • Over the life cycle, however, the average happiness of a person remains constant despite substantial income growth. • Happiness is constant, on average, throughout life span for a group of people born in a specific period of time, say 1950s.
  23. 23. Recorded happiness levels have been demonstrated to be correlated with:• 1. Objective characteristics such as unemployment.• 2. The person’s recall of positive versus negative life-events.• 3. Assessments of the person’s happiness by friends and family• 4. Assessments of the person’s happiness by his or her spouse.• 5. Duration of authentic or so-called Duchenne smiles • (a Duchenne smile occurs when both the zygomatic major and obicularus orus facial muscles fire, and human beings identify these as ‘genuine’ smiles).• 6. Heart rate and blood pressure measures responses to stress.• 7. Skin-resistance measures of response to stress.• 8. Electroencephelogram measures of prefrontal brain activity.
  24. 24. Reported Level of ...• Happiness is Highest ... among People who are: • Highly Educated • Female • High Income • Young or Old (not middle-aged) • Married • Retired • Looking after the home • Self-employed
  25. 25. Happiness is a choice• There’s no reason not to choose happiness – Life, except for the obvious physical needs, is not so much defined by external situations as by inner one. – Having money won’t change your internal makeup.
  26. 26. Why don’t we get happier when have more ?• As income rises, so does one’s aspiration level …. • This increase in aspirations [can] vitiate the expected growth in happiness due to higher income. • Prof. Easterlin, 1998• Our “wants” increase” in proportion to our income ??• Never getting ahead of our material wants and hence never getting happier ??
  27. 27. What should we do ?• Prof. Easterlin’s view is that perhaps we should start thinking of serious alternatives to the self- defeating pursuit of material goods. – Because happiness is not MUCH affected by material possessions.• Perhaps the foundation of happiness lies elsewhere; money just builds on what you had to start with.
  28. 28. What do we mean by Happiness• The term HAPPINESS being used in this discussion includes … – All forms of positive experience, from sense pleasure to the HIGHEST bliss of Brahman. – The “Anand” of “Sat-cit-anand”
  29. 29. What is Human life ?• ……… life is a disciplined search for higher dimensions of consciousness.• …. It is an intense struggle for the attainment of higher consciousness.
  30. 30. Only One question• Why are we here in this room in the first place• According to ancient Vaidic thinkers – The motive behind all actions is the pursuit of happiness.
  31. 31. Human life is ….• …. more or less a constant QUEST for HAPPINESS of some sort or other.• We want BOUNDLESS and ENDLESS HAPPINESS. BUT………………..
  32. 32. But Paradoxically ,• ……. Happiness seems to be always eluding our grasp………… why ?
  33. 33. Factors depriving us the‘boundless’ & ‘endless’ happiness • Natural factors of phenomenal existence • Scarcity of objects of enjoyment • Ignorance • Powerlessness • Limitations of the – body – senses – mind
  34. 34. Factors depriving us the happiness the Struggle of life…• Ordinary life as we see all around us is a constant struggle for existence.• Struggle of existence at • body level • mental level – ego – distinct identity/ status in family/field of work, circle of friends, social life….
  35. 35. Cause of Unhappiness ….• Struggle for the existence of the ego causes unhappiness and most of the problems of human life.
  36. 36. The Solution ..• For the problem of human existence, the solution lies in consciousness.• By word ‘consciousness’ we mean – the SPIRIT or SELF
  37. 37. Lets understand LAWS of HAPPINESS• Since the beginning of mankind there is a desire to solve the problems of sorrow• This desire led the Inquiry into the mystery of life and true nature of SELF• Solutions appeared from Deep reflection and DIRECT EXPERIENCE
  38. 38. The 1st LAW of HAPPINESS• All beings exist at different levels of consciousness and for every level of consciousness there is a definite and fixed degree of happiness.
  39. 39. Levels of consciousness• According to a ancient body of knowledge , human personality is constituted of five ‘sheaths or chambers’ – the physical sheath – the vital sheath – the mental sheath – the sheath of intuition – the sheath of bliss
  40. 40. Levels of consciousness• Each sheath represents a plane of existence and consciousness through which the supreme bliss of cosmic consciousness or SELF filters down giving rise to the experience of JOY appropriate to each sheath
  41. 41. ‘I’ - consciousness• Identification of ‘I’-consciousness with any of these sheaths determines a person’s character and temperament.
  42. 42. Identification of ‘I’-consciousness and human personalities• Gross sensualist – wholly identified with the first two sheaths – only sense pleasure derived from contact of senses with external objects
  43. 43. Identification of ‘I’-consciousness and human personalities• Intellectual man – mostly identified with mental sheath, though once in a while slips down to lower planes.
  44. 44. Identification of ‘I’-consciousness and human personalities• Higher man – Higher life begins only when one consciously tries to shift one’s center of consciousness or ‘I’ to the level of intuition
  45. 45. The 2nd LAW of HAPPINESS• The degree of happiness associated with each level or sub-level of consciousness is independent of external events.
  46. 46. Work doesn’t create happiness• Work only brings out the happiness that is already within…. BUT – the degree of happiness thus aroused has nothing to do with the type of work we do.
  47. 47. SECRET of WORK• On understanding this truth – we stop grumbling about our work. – Stop complaining about others – competition and jealousy vanish and – we get mental peace.
  48. 48. Realization of this truth..• As long as person remains at a particular level of consciousness, (s)he can get only the degree of happiness natural to that particular level, whatever be the type of work (s)he does or the circumstances (s)he is in.• Will make student a better student – he will no longer study only to pass examinations or to secure a job, but also for the joy of knowledge.
  49. 49. The Universe and INNER-WORLD• The universe is full of discontinuities and mysterious physical constants.• The INNER-WORLD of man is also full of discontinuities and constants with all pervading consciousness as the only continuous and unchanging substratum.
  50. 50. The Universe and INNER-WORLD• One such inner constant is the degree of happiness associated with each level of consciousness. – We can not increase this by any external means.
  51. 51. The 3rd LAW of HAPPINESS• EFFORT is needed : • Only to remove the OBSTACLES to HAPPINESS.
  52. 52. The 3rd LAW of HAPPINESS• Perennial flow of JOY in the depths of our being• Effort to overcome the obstacles that stand in our way to getting the happiness.
  53. 53. The 3rd LAW of HAPPINESS• Work is needed only to remove the obstacles to happiness…….. BUT ….• We seldom do our work with this idea.
  54. 54. True purpose of work (business or community or spiritual)• To help the unfoldment of inner happiness by removing the obstacles to it.• With this understanding, we look upon ‘work’ as an important aid to the growth of our consciousness.
  55. 55. The Obstacles ……..?• Wrong emotional drives – greed – hatred – jealousy – vanity etc.• egoism or selfishness
  56. 56. How to destroy obstacles ?• The best way and for majority of people the ONLY WAY to destroy all selfishness is to work for others, serve one’s fellowmen.
  57. 57. The 4th LAW of HAPPINESS• There is a urge in all human beings to seek higher forms of happiness.
  58. 58. As a matter of fact….• .. In every human being there is an urge to seek higher forms of happiness which finds expression in the pursuit of – truth – goodness – beauty and – finally in Liberation / Liberty
  59. 59. Value fulfillment or search for meaning• This undeniable psycho-social evolutionary urge that distinguishes man from animal.• This universal urge lies at the foundation of – philosophy – social service – art – religion
  60. 60. Value fulfillment or search for meaning• It is this teleological urge to transcend the limitations of biological-existence and even rational mind that is the prime mover of great civilizations
  61. 61. Classification of Happiness• We can classify happiness in the four main grades.• 1. Sense based – derived through senses, discontinuous, revulsion• 2. Self control based – the joy of self control, continuous, long lasting• 3. Devotion based – the joy devotee feels in worshiping• 4. SELF or SPIRIT – the pure joy of higher self. – Can not be obtained by mere moral life or conventional devotional exercises. It is a result of real spiritual awakening.• 5. Supreme Bliss – result of communion with cosmic consciousness.
  62. 62. The 5th LAW of HAPPINESS• In order to get higher degrees of happiness one has to bring about corresponding change in one’s consciousness.
  63. 63. Quantum jumps….. !!!• Different grades of happiness/bliss, can not be obtained all of a sudden by “quantum jumps”.• Our normal consciousness is limited by the sense-bound world.• Ordinary senses can not reveal any other state of human or divine existence.
  64. 64. Transform our consciousness• If we want to unravel the mysteries of higher planes of existence and happiness connected with them, the ONLY WAY is to transform our consciousness.
  65. 65. Our Happiness is the ……• Total response of human personality to the ultimate Reality as we perceive it.• Vicharkranti strives to transform our consciousness
  66. 66. This presentation is dedicated to my My Gurudev & MentorPandit Shriram Sharma, Acharya