Suppose it is a hot summer day with scorching heat and you are walking in a city which is very new to you and you feel very thirsty. There are no shops for you to get a chill mineral water bottle just then an old friend confronts you and offers you a refreshing cold glass of lemonade. How do you feel when you see the glass? What will be your feeling then, do you term it as happiness or pleasure? Some say pleasure while other says they are happy. Though there is a link between these two feelings, there is a subtle difference between them. Sometime one stir up the other, but they are never the same.
Pleasure is feeling which dependents on our five senses and mind, while happiness is independent of the five senses and mind. Happiness is ingrained in our Self.
Many a times we get confused between pleasure and happiness. Pleasure is a good feeling that is felt when our senses are sated, to make our sense satisfied we have to depend on circumstances, objects, events and people. Happiness is not so, we need not depend on anything to attain it and also it is not something far away and unattainable. It is ingrained and an inseparable part of our Self which is veiled by our thoughts, desires and worries. The understanding of adepts down the ages has been that happiness is inherent in our Self and not something to be gained anew. All that is necessary for us to do is to realize it.
By just being indifferent to it…The story below might help understand better.
Once there was learned soul who had arrived from Himalayas. The citizens of the place mostly peasants gathered around him seek his blessings and listen to his sermon. But the learned soul would not open his eye and come out of the seat of silence for the people to shoot their questions for him to answer. Day passed by he was so very much to himself that the people thought that this learned man knew too very much and that started regarding him to be their savior and interestingly to so happened that things began to fall at place and everyone were find solace since this learned man came to that place. The news of the learned man reached the king of that province and the king came to meet the learned soul. The bowed to the learned man with reverence and asked, “O Enlightened Soul, I often wonder what happiness really is. Can you please disclose to me the secrets of happiness?”
The Learned man who rarely talked just gave merciful glance upon the King and said, “O King, happiness is like a butterfly.” The King was confused by the obscure answer. “I did not understand” said the King. The Learned Soul smiled, “Very soon, O King, it will be revealed to you.” The sage then closed his eyes and went back to his seat of silence, leaving the king perplexed about the mysterious wisdom he just heard.
A few days passed by and the King was taking a stroll along with his queen in the royal garden. His eyes fell on a beautiful vibrant colored butterfly which was resting on a leaf. As soon as he spotted the butterfly the words of the learned soul echoed to him, “happiness is like a butterfly” he went near the leaf carefully to catch the butterfly. As soon as was about to catch it the butterfly it flew away and sat on another plant. The King did not give up he was determined to catch it he followed the butterfly. Amazingly for him each time he was near to it the insect flew away and sat on another leaf, flower or a plant.
The King now took it up as a prestige issue and did not want to accept the inability to catch a butterfly that too in front of his queen. An hour passed by, the king frustrated by his unsuccessful attempts, reconciled and sat on the bench in the garden exhausted. As he closed his eyes to relax, he felt a slender itch on his arm. Slowly he opened his eyes, the same butterfly which was all the time dodging him was now rested on his arm. King was amazed to look at the creature on his arm and just then a unique realization surged forth in his mind, “Yes the Learned Soul was indeed right. Happiness is like a butterfly, for when I intensely go after it, it eludes me and when I least expect it, it comes to me and hugs me and caresses me playfully.”