“Happy Morning” as a Salutation, Instead of “Good Morning” — Patanjali Yoga Sutras
Continuing writing about Patanjali Sutras in the original sequence of the original book and adding commentary undermines the utility of Sutras for common people. The Sutras are too crisp, concise and written in a sequence, that it makes sense to experts in the science of Philosophy, Human purpose and Spirituality. As I tried to write about the next Sutras, for the nth time, I got lost. For modern day people not familiar with science of Yoga, it is better to regroup the Sutras, combine and club them and study one concept at a time.
If someone is interested and is willing to follow the path defined in the original Sutras, there are many versions & interpretations available online. There are many forums having sessions and discussions on them. In this blog, I felt it would be better to share thoughts organized in a collective way even though they are from different sections of Yoga Sutras.
The first concept that I would like to share is about being Happy. In the modern society, people are afraid to pronounce that they want to be happy. From birth, every child is indoctrinated by society to become a successful person and happiness is not explained and taught to him.
Being Happy as a goal has been underlined and mentioned at many places in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. In fact, the ultimate goal of all Yogic philosophy is happiness. Man has evolved and is destined to seek and attain happiness and bliss. We have not seen in recent times a Society at large consisting of people who went around saying — “I am living to be Happy”.
Whatever a man does he should have the objective of happiness as the goal. Yes I want to say out plain and loud,” I am living and striving to be happy”. Will people take it at face value? Being successful should not be mixed with being Happy. Success has not given happiness to many and in this 21st century, I am hopeful more people will start saying that “I am living everyday to be Happy”.
For e.g. in the business world, Employee centric discussions are going on in the boardrooms of all corporations across the globe. Employee engagement, Employee happiness & satisfaction, Goal aligning and synergizing have taken precedence over the other management philosophies and theories.
Having material objects (House, Car, Gadgets, Memberships) is equated to being successful and everyone is trained and plans to & works to achieve success. Being Happy is not considered as a goal that needs to be emphasized, practiced and openly advocated.
Patanjali Yoga Sutras have emphasized and elaborated on the Internal state of Happiness. More importance is to be assigned to it than the external comforts. The external comforts are good to have, but they’re not must haves. While internal peace is a must have ingredient for Happiness.
Below aphorisms from the “second section” of Patanjali Sutras deal with eliminating the obstacles and establishing natural state of happiness that does not depend on external events:
Sutra 2.7 — सुखानुशयी रागः॥७॥ Sukhanushayi Raga
“Ragah (Attachment) is clinging to ideas & objects of Pleasure and Happiness”
Sutra 2.8 — दुःखानुशयी द्वेषः॥८॥ Dukhanushayi Dvesha
”Pain arises out of clinging to objects/ideas of dislike or hatred”
Sutra 2.42 — संतोषातनुत्तमस्सुखलाभः ॥४२॥ Santosh Anuttama Sukha Labha
“Contentedness of mind results in complete happiness”
Ever wondered why happiness lasts a moment but our worries seem to bother us for a longer duration?
Seeking happiness is an inborn natural mental activity. As mentioned above, “man is destined to seek and attain happiness and bliss.” Still, very few people are able to retrieve that natural, enduring state of bliss, that lies at the core of our mind. Most people confuse themselves and by chasing objects (Maya), they pursue multiple paths to being happy with poor results.
As per above Sutras, this happens because we live in limitations. We have the tendency to become attached/addicted to everything that gives happiness. We restrict ourselves to particular thoughts, situations, objects and people that make us happy. We limit the scope of our happiness to these few external phenomena. Our happiness becomes dependent upon these. With the law of diminishing returns their returns keep going down over time.
Alternatively, if we dislike or hate something, that too becomes our obsession. It acts as a barrier on the path to happiness. There are certain people, situations or ideologies we don’t like. Nurturing distaste for them preoccupies our mind and we get attached to the feeling, but this time leading to a negative spiral. Revulsions against every single thing we dislike or not agree with, disturbs our inner peace.
In light of this, it is clear that attachment with our own likes, dislikes, opinions and judgments becomes the cause of misery. It is a big obstruction that keeps us from being happy. This doesn’t mean we should not take a firm stand or opinion, but respect the fact that non agreement is acceptable. The key is to derive pleasure out of all things, circumstances and people in life, without getting addicted to them whether negatively or positively.
Further, Sutra 2.42 says that “acceptance and fulfillment help achieve complete happiness in life”. This happens when we realize that happiness is our natural mental state rather than a temporary high. We repeatedly disturb this state by trying to find ‘permanent’ happiness in transitory events.
External events are momentary and happiness derived out of them doesn’t last long. Patanjali has advised to establish happiness as a state of mind as opposed to being dependent on external stimuli. Once we are exposed to the unlimited source of happiness present within us, we will no longer seek it in the outer world; and once we cease to seek happiness in the external world, all the problems get fixed on their own.
The more we understand, we find that people or situations cannot be the source of either happiness or unhappiness. It is our attachment to them as explained in the given Sutras. A holistic and detached view on life as advocated by Patanjali, is likely to lead us towards pleasure and fulfillment.
All this relates very well to the Sutra 2.42, which says- Contentedness of mind results in complete happiness. Yoga is the tool to unlock that hidden source of happiness in our mind. Once we reach there, even if the mind is actively involved in everything objectively, it is still detached and contended as an observer but not as a participant. The mind gets into the habit of holistic views and broad vision which in turn leads to happiness.
From above explanation, we can conclude that natural state of happiness gets overshadowed by the desire to seek artificial or momentary happiness in the outer world. The key is to master the art of being happy without getting interrupted by external events.
Thus, tolerant lifestyles are going to take the lead the shift from the ‘Good Morning’ Salutation to the ‘Happy Morning’ salutation in human History. I feel blessed to be one of the rare few in advocating and blatantly accepting it on a Public Platform. Below you will find some modern research about the relation between health, happiness and success.
What makes people happy is a concept that has been baffling men for long. Research by HBR confirms what is stated by Patanjali Yoga Sutras:
The Study of Adult Development by Harvard is the longest ever research on adult life. Researchers followed life of 724 participants in the study through their college days, year after year, asking them about their work and home life, their health and relationships. They found that Happy people prosper, are healthy and live longer than those who are less happy. Full research at:
So no more ‘Good Day’ to you readers but a ‘Happy Day’ to you 🙂
I would like to be one of the first to start the habit of wishing everyone Happy Morning, Happy night and Happy day instead of Good Morning, Good Day and Good Night. I am going to try and share this thought to as many people as I can. I will start this movement to ask everyone to understand that being happy is one of the important task as a human being on this planet.
Happiness is a contagious disease and it spreads in all directions.
There should be no shame in saying that I am trying to be happy in my life.
It should become a practice, and should be implemented with so much rigour and conviction that it becomes more than just a salutation.
Starting with this post, I will come up with more concepts from Patanjali Yoga Sutras for a better understanding. The aim is to simplify the Sutra study and make it comprehensible for all types of audience. So that everyone can benefit from the ancient wisdom and improve their quality of life.
Happy Day to you all 🙂