Do we really know where our happiness lies? In the process of finding happiness, one will first have to know the answer for the question, “Where is happiness?" This is one of the important steps in solving problems.
Where is happiness?
To us happiness lies in realizing our desired ends, in short we experience happiness when things happen the way we want to. Other than this we do not know happiness per say. So solving problems to us, lies in attaining a desired end (Read 'What is a problem?')
The belief in the presence of a problem is due to the false idea that happiness lies in objects. This is because we erroneously think that objects are responsible for our happiness or finding happiness. A little reflection will reveal that the experience of happiness comes from within us.
If objects give happiness, the car, or the house or one's beloved or child that was once a desire to be begotten should be continuously giving happiness the way it did on first begetting it.
Ramana Maharshi gives a beautiful example. The sugar that delights a person cannot delight a diabetic patient. Even if a person is not a diabetic, one cannot consume a number of Jelabis in a succession as at one point it is bound to get repulsive.
Happiness thus is not an object to be attained. It is our essential nature which is why we even let go and become happy in the course of time even at the behest of losing a near and dear one, the worst case.
So there is a problem only because we understand that happiness lies in objects that we pursue, on account of which we suffer on not being able to attain it or in the process of attaining it which, we deem as a problem (Read 'What is a problem?')
The fact is that we are modelled to realise happiness outside of ourselves at a very early stage. It is hard to accept the fact that happiness is always from within. We do not get convinced easily.
Self enquiry as instructed by Ramana Maharshi aids in revealing happiness that is not supported by objects. It does not mean that one should shun worldly life. All that is required is the understanding that happiness has its source in us and not in objects.
Next topic, in the series of solving problems is, 'For whom is the problem?'