A Possible Roadmap For Happiness

Each of us wants some peace and happiness in life. Still,  happiness often evades us. “Is there a simple,  straightforward roadmap to get happiness and peace in  life,” I asked Swami Paramarthanandji in Chennai. He  replied, ‘Reducing PORT is the best way’. PORT stands for  Possessions, Obligatory Duties, Relationships and  Transactions. How to reduce these?

Happiness is a state of mind; it does not come from possessions alone. There are severe limitations of happiness sought in objects. First, deep effort and some pain are involved in acquiring objects. Many waste their entire life in pursuit of desirable objects. There is no guarantee that even after getting those objects or positions, you would be happy. You may feel ‘let-down’ after spending so much of effort. You may think, ‘this is not what I laboured for’. Also, objects of desire keep changing, and so also our goal posts. The chase continues and every new possession brings with it own burden. If someone has a house with swimming pool and ten bed rooms; imagine his plight in maintaining it. He is busy all the time cleaning, fixing, protecting. Does the house serve us, or do we serve the house? Again, objects make us dependent on them. For instance, once we are used to a particular standard of living, it is inconvenient not to have certain objects such as air conditioners in our life. Hence objects usually create bondage.

Relationships are meant to make our life happy. But do they? We have to maintain some blood relations for social cohesion, but we create other new relationships, which complicates life. Every new relationship has to be maintained. You have to remember to wish people on their birthdays and anniversaries, participate in functions like marriage and engagement, or reach out in case of sickness or loss. Also you  experience sadness or pain when the person with whom you have a relationship does not reciprocate. It is said that grief is never caused by outsiders or unknown people. It is caused by people with whom you have a relationship. Depending on your attitude, your relationships might cause you more pain than pleasure.

Every possession and every new relationship creates its own obligatory duties. You have to insure your vehicles, for example, remember to send it for regular service. Similarly we have to attend to the expectations of relationships. These add to our list of obligatory duties. We cannot avoid basic, minimum obligatory duties towards the office, business, parents, spouse or children. But our optional duties also become obligatory when you maintain too many possessions and relationships. We should also be careful in accepting new roles in life just for the sake of ego-satisfaction. If you are made President or Secretary of a Society, you may feel good, but that adds to your obligatory duties also. Performance of each of these duties becomes a transaction. This way we try to cope with large number of transactions in our life, and get exhausted at the end of the day. Where is the time to be happy?

This is not to say that you should have no objects or relationships in your life. However, the idea is to be aware of their limitations and try to strike a balance. The mind will be peaceful only if you are able to discriminate between what is necessary and what is unnecessary in your life.

Reducing Possessions, Relationships, Obligatory Duties and Transactions (PORT) is a practical way to look at life and happiness. That is the PORT of call for happiness.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!



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