Swami Niranajananda Saraswati wrote about happiness, the first Yogic Yama (restraint). Parvati asked Shiva, how one can remain happy. There was so much unease and distress in the universe. What could her children do? Parvati and Shiva are the eternal couple and parents of the universe. Parvati’s ongoing concern is that her children should remain happy and at peace.
She is all knowing, yet she asks these questions so that we can understand them with clarity. Shiva is also aware that Parvati knows the answers. He responded by saying that there are methods and practices by which we can overcome pain and suffering. However the best way to manage distress is to remain happy. Therefore happiness became the first yama. Any negative state of mind can be managed by smiling and treating it lightly. Then when you find that you are unhappy, and you raise the question to yourself, how is it possible for me to be happy.
Your natural state of mind is happy
You come back to your natural state of mind which is happy. You do not have to think of a spark to make you cheerful. Look at children. They remain unhappy for a very short time. I work with children who live on the pavement with their parents. They are joyful to come to us. Sometimes they come crying because their brother or mother has slapped or scolded them. Then they come in and they are smiling. It is a natural state for them to revert from anger to joy.
You know what the reason is that it is their normal state to be content and not brood. I will add a rider, their thoughts are not affecting them. As we develop from childhood, adolescence to adulthood, we come under the influence of pratyahara (external stimulus). So now we have to withdraw our sensory perceptions, become neutral, and revert to being happy without a cause. If you keep nibbling on the irritants and let them bully and crowd you, you forget your natural state of happiness. If you can allow yourself to progress into the state of positivity without fear then you follow the Niranjana challenge.
Remain happy for 12 hours from your waking hours. If you can do so then you have attained peace.
Aim Hrim Klim