We all seem to be working much harder than our ancestors, but are perhaps

not happier. We work hard so that we may enter good educational institutions,

which in turn, would help us get high paying jobs enabling us to buy what

money and power can. This would make us feel good. Ultimately it is all

about being happy, but how much time do we spend introspecting on how

to achieve this goal? We are too busy climbing the steps and seldom think of

where they are leading to. Whenever we desire something and we get it, we

do feel happy, but for how long! Very quickly, we get used to the new car,

the new house and to vacations abroad.

The sum total of times of such happiness forms a very small percentage of

our lives. A couple with whom I stayed for some time, got excellent jobs

after graduating from the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad.

They had a beautiful fl at near the sea, a nice car and were earning so much

that they could go on expensive vacations to different parts of the world.

Every morning, sometimes even on Sundays, they would be up early, rush

to offi ce and come home late at night looking a little spaced out. The TV

would be switched on for a little while and one or both would sit in front of

it like zombies. After that they would go to sleep and the next day would be

the same as the previous one. Yes, once a year, maybe, they would take a

lovely one week vacation to the Bahamas or wherever! They had what most

young people aspire for, but shouldn’t one spend some time thinking: is this

what one should really aspire for?

It is important for all of us to ponder a little about where we are heading.

The pressure of the times, however, prevents us from doing so. It is in the

interest of big companies to make persons refl ect as little as possible about

things other than that associated with their work. They therefore give big

pay packets and buy off the thinking process of the individual. You make

the person work from 9 to 9 and more, leaving him with little chance to

fi gure out which way he is heading. This often leads to depression, because

intuitively he knows he is stuck. To treat the depression, external support is

sought in the form of psychiatrists, pills, etc. which further enslave him.

On the other hand, if he is ready to accept a job which provides less

material benefi ts but gives him more time for himself, he could experiment

with different ways of extending his periods of happiness and increasing

Chintan 44

their frequency. He could also build up his internal defences to deal with

depression that hits each one of us periodically. Our ancestors did just this

and found out that a little meditation every day gives us much more than

what money can buy.

So many wonderful methods of meditation have been developed to suit

different temperaments. They help us attain equanimity by linking us with

our inner selves. Peace and longerlasting happiness are the direct results. As

one becomes adept at the practice, bouts of depression diminish in frequency

and intensity. Also our ability to handle these periods improves.

Beginning with at least 15 minutes of meditation of the form most suited to

you a day is recommended. It must be done daily. Missing one day puts you

many days behind. One of the lesser benefi ts of meditation that is tangible is

that it concentrates our thought processes, making our mind more focused.

We are therefore able to see more clearly, which way we are heading and

can hence take timely corrective action. Classical music and dance are

excellent meditative techniques. SPIC MACAY is trying to bring a large

number of youth from all over the country closer to these and other forms

of meditation during its annual conventions every year.

–Dr. Kiran Seth