Since ancient times, people have wanted to become happy; it is the ultimate goal of any human endeavor. Happiness has been sought through education, religion, and hard work. In spite of this, however, how many of us are really happy? Most people have lived in circumstances that were generally unhappy, and have finally left this world without knowing the true joy of fulfilling their dreams.
Is it then so difficult to attain true happiness? To this question I would like to answer “No!” The basic requisite for living happily is that a person has, first of all, to be freed from the three great negative conditions – disease, poverty and conflict. However, as a well-known proverb points out, “It is easier said than done,” and most people resign themselves to one or more of these.
Everything that occurs has its cause and effect. This applies also to happiness; therefore, we should begin to resolve the issue of unhappiness by learning its true cause. As long as we are ignorant of this, there can be no possibility of attaining happiness, however hard we may try to do so.
What, then, is the cause of unhappiness? The ancient saying, “What you give to others comes back to you,” is an eternal truth. Understanding this and thus seeking to make others happy is absolutely required in order to achieve happiness for ourselves.
However, there are too many individuals in this world who think only of attaining happiness for themselves, without giving thought to the unhappy states of others. This is a truly foolish attitude because, in trying to reap the fruits of happiness, they are sowing the seeds of unhappiness.
Christianity teaches forgiveness and Buddhism teaches compassion. In either teaching, the true objective is to implant in one’s mind a love for others, a desire to work for the welfare of others. It is as simple as that; but even such a simple principle as the law of cause and effect is very difficult for a human being to understand. This is why God has effected the appearance of various spiritual teachings, has provided standards of proper thoughts, words, and deeds, has offered knowledge of the existence of the invisible, and has guided ministers or priests to devote their lives to leading people to true faith.
However, it is quite difficult to awaken even one person to Truth. This is because people in general have had a belief in materialism implanted firmly by their education, which has taught them to believe only in the visible and tangible. Therefore, in most cases, they will not give any attention to spiritual teachings. Prisoners of this delusion, they wander about in darkness, suffer constantly, and then finally depart from this life. What an empty life that is!
If there is any way by which we can experience true joy and delight while on this earth, can live with peace of mind, can enjoy longevity and can attain true happiness, then, this world will be a paradise, a place worth living in. Most of you may have resigned yourselves, thinking that such a happy life is impossible in this “veil of tears.” But we say positively that there is one sure method of attaining such happiness, and I offer these articles to convey that method to you.
December 1st, 1948