From depression to deep happiness

Once a gentleman came to a doctor complaining that there was something severely wrong with him. He was hurting all over and was very sad but all the tests came out normal. The doctor said, “There is nothing wrong with you. Go to the circus and watch the clown there. He will make you laugh.” The gentleman said, “Doctor, I am that clown.”

It is one thing to entertain others and be humorous, but quite another to be happy yourself. Happiness does not come by a talent or skills that you develop. Unless you realize who you are, what the nature of consciousness is through your own introspection, happiness remains a far-fetched reality. The spirit of self enquiry in the true sense which leads to meditation is absolutely essential in this quest for happiness. The 6th century Indian philosopher and thinker Adi Shankaracharya has said that it is dispassion towards the ephemeral and connection with the eternal that brings true joy. In fact, he goes further and asks, ”What joy does detachment not bring?” The word for solitude in Sanskrit is ‘ekant’, meaning ‘the end of loneliness’. Loneliness cannot end by changing company, even if it is more sympathetic and understanding. It can only end when you discover your real nature for yourself.

Robin Williams, though he made millions of people laugh, could not end the deep seated loneliness inside him. This shows clearly that only spiritual solace can take you out of despair and misery. External pomp and show, wealth, admiration and adulation are not helpful in dealing with inner discontent. While alive, he made people laugh and in his death, he gave people a message to lift their eyes above the mundane towards something higher. You can bid goodbye to misery by connecting with an altogether different dimension, that I would say is solidified silence, a bolt of bliss and a glimpse of eternity, which is in you as you. You simply have to tap into it.

There is little use in having a machine which you cannot operate without a manual. Spiritual knowledge is like the manual for life. Just like to drive a car, we have to learn how to operate the steering wheel, the clutch, the brake and so on, to move towards stability of the mind, we must know the basic principles about our life force energy. This is the whole science of pranayama. When our prana or life force keeps fluctuating, our mind also goes up and down through the roller coaster of emotions.

One cannot handle the mind from the level of the mind. It is for this reason that although counseling or psychiatry seems to help in the beginning, it is not able to provide a complete cure in the longer term. Just forcing positive thoughts on oneself is not enough and more often than not leads to a relapse. Medication like anti-depressants also seem to help only in the beginning and eventually make the person dependent on them rather than free him/her from the tendency.

This is where knowing the secret of breath can really transform lives. Breathing techniques like Sudarshan Kriya stabilize our life force and consequently the mind. The inner dimension unveiled by the practice of meditation deeply enriches us and its impact slowly spills over to all aspects of life. As prana rises in the body, one starts to feel a transformation as direct experience and not as a forced mental exercise. One starts becoming happier, creative and more in command of their mind and emotions.

Another thing that can be really helpful in coming out of depression is developing an attitude of service. Thinking ‘what can I do for society’, getting involved in a bigger cause shifts the whole focus of life and can take one out of the rut of ‘what about me’. Societies where values of service, sacrifice and community participation are ingrained do not have these issues of depression and suicides. The Sikh community is a great example of this.

Life is a combination of happiness and pain. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Having a broad perspective on life gives you the strength to move forward through painful times. Know that you are very much needed in this world. With all its infinite possibilities, this life is a gift for it can become a fountain of joy and happiness not just for oneself but for many others as well.

Comments

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More Comments

  1. Ashish vidhyarthi

    My family doesnt understand my mental position.so i want to be in ashram for whole life.I am hard working.i am not married.i will pay service for this.

    Reply
  2. Radha

    I’ve been in depression all my life. Nobody has ever loved me. Even my parents have always hated me. I seriously want to die.

    Reply
    1. Sandra

      I am in the same position. My parents stole all my money and made me miserable. I just wanted to die. God help me. I’m all alone

      Reply
  3. mikel

    i feel so lonely i don’t have anyone around me i’m so depressed ,a lot of problems around me ,fighting with my fucking family, in love with a same gender
    i am just gonna try suicide again and again till i succeed with it
    i hope someone’s will gonna understand me and just stand with me i’m really feel so lonely

    Reply
  4. Elias

    Thank you for this article and your work for Global Peace and Happiness. I love your statement of “Life is a gift of infinite possibilities and can become a fountain of joy and happiness for everybody”

    Reply
  5. pradeep

    Practice yoga. Try to talk to your Mom, Dad your Aunts and Uncles about anything you are comfortable with. They will help you in bringing stability to your disturbed life. Do practice yoga each day, gradually you will be feeling good. Try to avoid watching Movies or reading topics that are not socially acceptable. Start telling truth. Doing a little good things each day at start can bring happiness to you in a couple of
    days. You will see a different and a magnificient yourself very soon. Feel free to talk to me- my email: pkmcet@gmail.com

    Reply
  6. Malar

    woderful words.. tq very much.. i need your help to solve one problem that i having ryt now.. can i get any suggestion to overcome it.. pls.. tq very much

    Reply
  7. emily

    honestly I dont know how to find myself, i know my talents and im aware of myself and my surroundings but i still dont love who i am. Could be be that im suffering from depression and anixety and constant pain that hides my true being? I’m aware of my chemical unbalance and my constant addiction to feel better than I usually do. But mediation seems hard and i can barely stay still for an hour. i need help, ive tried everything. therapy, pills, psychiatrist, physcologist, everything…

    Reply
  8. priyanka

    pranam guruji,
    I sincerely follow your words..but I am suffering from severe social anxiety.I cant carry y conversation for a long time and i hesitate to talk to people and to socialize.I need help.I am a student.what should i do in order to overcome my problem?
    thankyou

    Reply
  9. Deepak

    If you
    See inside ( introspect)
    Suicide is not a solution
    Self awareness alone is the best choice
    Silence and solitude, provides the right attitude
    See yourself, who you are = art of living
    When you get this knowledge, option is “living”

    Reply
  10. Jenny Vallesteros

    Very well said. it gave me the reason not to dwell in the valley of loneliness and tears but to put things in perspective. GOD is willing to comfort us no matter how hopeless the situation we had.

    Reply
  11. Akesh Bhatnagar

    Pranam Guruji! Thank you for addressing real-life everyday issues.
    Robin Williams’ act has left a majority in a lurch and only after reading your article today i have been able to put things in perspective – “Robin Williams, though he made millions of people laugh, could not end the deep seated loneliness inside him. This shows clearly that only spiritual solace can take you out of despair and misery. External pomp and show, wealth, admiration and adulation are not helpful in dealing with inner discontent. While alive, he made people laugh and in his death, he gave people a message to lift their eyes above the mundane towards something higher.”
    Thank you for showing us the path.

    Reply
  12. Krishna

    AAbsolutely brilliant article…this should be published in all d leading journals and newspapers so that more and more people may realise that depression has a simple and guaranteed cure..

    Reply
  13. Jacob Ezekial

    Very nice article. Actually the first I’ve seen about inner contentment (lack of) regarding the untimely & horrific demise of the comic genius, Robin Williams.

    Robin Williams was full of energy, full of life, magnanimous & free of malice.

    However, a disturbing trend we’ve been seeing is the correlation between exceeding use of anti-depressants & violent behavior. In Robin Williams case it was suicide, however, in other cases it is – school shootings, office shootings, movie theater shootings & other murders on a mass scale.

    There is something unnatural in the biochemistry when there is a slight withdrawal from these serotonin reuptake inhibitors also known as SSRI. Robin Williams supposedly had ‘Bipolar Disorder’ for which these drugs are prescribed. This definitely needs to be looked into as these cases seem endemic to the United States.

    Reply
    1. Aditya

      Yes the citizens of USA or for that matter the whole world has to ask the effectiveness of these drugs and whether they bring more harm than good. But understand especially in USA there is a whole nexus of politicians, doctors and companies, who care less of people and more of their profits.

      Reply
  14. arshad

    Well said, it’s not an art or skill, it should come from inside.
    I don’t laugh still but I m happy n cam with SO HAM..
    Thanks my teacher..

    Reply
  15. Kunal Dahasahasra

    Described in Simplest way:
    There is little use in having a machine which you cannot operate without a manual. Spiritual knowledge is like the manual for life. Just like to drive a car, we have to learn how to operate the steering wheel, the clutch, the brake and so on, to move towards stability of the mind, we must know the basic principles about our life force energy.

    Reply

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