Happiness and desires
- Once, a journalist asked Mahatma Gandhi how to attain happiness.
Gandhi answered, "When you don't have any desires, then you
will be happy."
Normally, you think, "When I attain God, then I will be
happy," but to be practical, you have to recognize that when you
don't have any desires, it means that you have fulfilled all your
desires, and then you are happy.
But you should also develop a sense of discrimination and
understanding about what desires are right or helpful for your
purpose. You should entertain only those desires that you can fulfill
and that are right for you. If you have developed that capacity to
discriminate between your desires, then you don't entertain those
desires that are injurious to you and drive you crazy or create a
state of helplessness. Unfulfilled desires within you will always
lead to a state of unhappiness.
You should have some desires as a human being; you cannot live
totally without desires. But those desires should be filtered by the
sense of discrimination within you. Your buddhi, intelligence, has
the function of judging, deciding, and discriminating which desires
You should learn to develop that function within yourself. Then,
decrease your desires. It is the useless desires that create problems
for you, not appropriate or helpful desires.
The Art of Joyful Living