See the dictionary under the letter 'h' – only there will you always find happiness. In life things are very mixed up. Like day and night, life and death, you have happiness and unhappiness. Life is rich because of polar opposites. The very idea that one would like to be happy forever is stupid, and the idea will only create unhappiness. You will become more and more miserable in your greed for elusive eternal happiness.
Then who is the happy person? The happy person is not one who is always happy. The happy person is one who is happy even when there is unhappiness. Try to understand it. The happy person is one who understands life and accepts its polarities. He knows success is possible only because failure is also possible. So when failure comes he accepts it.
I remember one incident of my childhood. A great wrestler had come to my town. Everybody was interested in wrestling, so the whole town had gathered. I have seen many people and many wrestlers in my life but he was really rare. He had something of Zen in him.
For 10 days the wrestling continued, and every day he defeated a famous wrestler. Finally, he was declared the winner. That day he went around and touched the feet of all the 10 persons who he had defeated.
Everybody was puzzled about why he did it. I was a small child, i went to him and asked him, “Why did you do that? This is strange.”
He said, “It is only because of them that i am victorious. If they had not allowed themselves to be defeated, i would not be victorious. So i owe it to them. My victory depends on their defeat, so really i feel greatly thankful to them. There was only one possibility: either i was to be defeated or they were to be defeated. And they are good people, they accepted defeat.”
This is a very Sufi or Zen idea. Things are interdependent: failure-success, happiness-unhappiness, summer-winter, youth-old age, beauty-ugliness – they exist together.
Then what should the attitude be? When happiness comes, enjoy happiness; when unhappiness comes, enjoy unhappiness. When there is happiness, dance with it; when there is unhappiness, cry with it. That's what i mean when i say 'enjoy'. If you can accept unhappiness as smoothly as you welcome happiness, you will transcend both. In that very acceptance is transcendence. Then unhappiness and happiness will not make much difference to you, you will remain the same.
And sadness has something of depth in it which no happiness can ever have. Happiness has something shallow. If you want to be happy always you will become a superficial person. Sometimes it is good to fall into dismal depths of sadness. Whatsoever happens, go totally into it. When crying, become the crying,
and when dancing, become the dance. Then the ultimate happens to you. And when the distinction has disappeared, there arises something which is eternally there, which remains always there. That is witnessing.
Courtesy: "The Speaking Tree" / TOI