Finding Sustainable Happiness
Chapter 5 Be Happy & Make Others Happy

Happiness that comes from making others happy.

There are two types of happiness - of taking and of giving.
A child enjoys taking things. This is an infant happiness, the want to possess. You take children to a toy shop and that’s it! They would want to bring the whole toy shop home. They would like to grab everything. This is infant joy.
Then there is a happiness that is more mature, and that is the happiness you get from giving. It is the happiness of your grandmother or grandfather. Say your grandmother is at home all by herself, she will not make 4-5 dishes and have a big meal. But when her grandchildren are coming, she prepares so many varieties of dishes and takes joy in feeding them. This is a mature joy which comes from giving because there is a joy in giving.

You will many people around the world who always enjoy giving. Why do they give? They give because giving gives them more joy, it gives them a satisfaction which is unparalleled. Giving gives you happiness which is unparalleled. A successful person is one who has tasted the joy in giving and goes on giving. This is the sign of success.

Happiness and success, both depend on your ability to give. This ability to give is in your consciousness. And it is not the object that you give that matters, but the attitude of sharing.

When you give and contribute to people who need you more than you need anything else, that also gives you the strength to move through those moments when you cannot smile.

From "What About Me" to "What Can I Do for the World?"

One thing that can be really helpful in coming out of depression is developing an attitude of service. Thinking ‘what can I do for society’.
Getting involved in a bigger cause shifts the whole focus of life, and can take you out of the rut of ‘What about me’. Societies where values of service, sacrifice and community participation are ingrained, do not have these issues of depression and suicides. 

We should think about two main goals for ourselves in life:
#1. What is it that I want to achieve in life.
#2. What do I wish to give or contribute to society before I leave this planet.

Both these goals should go hand in hand. See, you can have a goal for yourself, and you can also change it after sometime. But you should also think about what you would like to do for the world, and how would you like the world to be. How would you like society to be? Have a goal in mind towards a bigger cause as well. This is Prayer.

I want to be happy, but where do I start from?

There are techniques that can help you discover yourself as the Source of Happiness:

At the core of every living person, there is a longing for happiness. The problem is that we usually seek happiness in things outside of us and in the future. Happiness is really here right now. It is one thing to understand that happiness comes from within, and another thing to know it and live it. This is possible only through meditation, where we get in touch with the core of our existence. But this again is easier said than done.

How do we bring our mind to the present and get that experience of deep, silent meditation?

Sudarshan Kriya

After teaching meditation for many years, Gurudev found people were having a hard time quieting their minds. For this reason, he created the Sudarshan Kriya - a powerful breathing technique that effortlessly takes people into a state of deep meditation, right from the first session. 

Through Sudarshan Kriya and other spiritual practices, as well as service projects, wisdom and celebration, Gurudev and the Art of Living Foundation work towards the vision of bringing an unshakable smile onto everyone’s face.

The Happiness Program: Our Core Workshop

Sudarshan Kriya is taught in The Art of Living Happiness Program, where you also learn a mix of yoga poses, breathing exercises, and practical wisdom to help us unlock the joy and freedom within. 

Research Result Highlights


Gurudev's New Year (2012) Message - Be happy and make others happy



Q: Gurudev, what is the secret to happiness?

The secret to happiness is in being without desires, and in focusing on how you can serve others. The more you serve, the more happiness you will get.

Having this feeling, 'I don't want anything for myself, I am contented', bring happiness. And the third thing that brings happiness is wisdom. Without wisdom, there is no happiness in life.

Q: What is the ultimate and greatest truth of life? Is it to be happy, or to make one’s family happy, or to serve humankind, or to reach the Divine?

The ultimate journey starts with one step. Just do not sit and dream about the ultimate. Instead, begin your journey towards the ultimate.
Take small steps towards the Truth; towards this inquiry into life – “What is the goal of life?” This very inquiry can take you far. Everything has some significance in life.
Just eating alone is not the goal of life. Yet eating is essential for sustaining life. Isn’t it? Similarly, sleeping is not the goal of life. But can you discard sleep altogether? No, you cannot. In the same way, you have to be happy and you also have to make others happy. This is the journey towards the Ultimate.
What is the ultimate Truth, or the ultimate purpose of life? I tell you, one who really knows will not tell you, and anyone who does tell you, simply does not know. That is the secret.

Q: My wish to go out and serve people, is that the source of happiness?

It is the result of happiness I would say. It can be both: the path and the result of happiness. When you are content; when you are happy, you want to share it. 
The nature of joy is to share with others. Joy has the tendency to spread, and whenever a person is genuinely happy and joyful from within, they want to just share it with the whole world. 

Q: What would be your best memory of happiness?

Happiness is when you want nothing, and you want to give. Where the wanting and desires end, and the sharing begin, happiness is exactly there. Memory is not happiness. When you are happy, you forget everything. It is when happiness is gone that you dwell in its memory. 
In the world, people are either dreaming of happiness or remembering happiness. That is either being in the past or the future. But happiness is that which is in the present. And it is your very nature.

Quotes on Be Happy & Make Others Happy

"If you hold on to the past, neither can you be happy, nor can you make others happy. Live like a child, in the present moment." GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
“When you see your happiness in the happiness of others, that’s when you will be truly happy.” GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
“If you are a taker of happiness you get misery, if you are a giver of happiness you get joy and love.” GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
“Have a larger goal, serve and be useful to others around you, then you will find that only happiness flows through your life.” GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
“Happiness and success, both depend on your ability to give. This ability to give is in your consciousness, in your mind. And it is not the object that you give that matters but the attitude of sharing.” GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR