Human beings are always in quest of something. They run after materialistic and non-materialistic things that would help them live in the best possible way.
It does not matter what we as individuals are in search of; money, power, or relationships, our prime goal in life is to achieve everlasting happiness. All we do in our whole lives is to become happy in the ups & downs of the journey.
While we all try to adopt new activities and stuff to gain happiness, often we all feel lost despite all our possessions. Then at some point all human beings turn to the spiritual world. If we see spirituality, one of the prime gifts it offers is everlasting happiness irrespective of the situations in their life. In other words, it’s ‘Joy’.
Our planet is the home of more than 4000 religions and each regulates its own cultural laws to make the Gods happy. However, spirituality does not limit itself to religious paradigms but goes beyond them and nourishes a relationship between your consciousness and the consciousness of the higher presence. Like love, everlasting happiness is a core value of spirituality.
Religions about Everlasting Happiness:
The Buddha said that existence is suffering. Similar things have been said by the majority of religions. Hinduism deals with Karma laws which state this world life is an incarnation and sorrows and happiness are the results of one’s actions. However, if anyone rises above karma-Fal by doing karma yoga, he or she attains eternal joy. This can also be achieved by Bhakti yoga or devotion to God. The Abrahamic religions such as Christianity say that this world of suffering is a result of sin present in the blood.
All world religions describe a place where no sorrow will lie. People will be happy for eternity. Such a place or state of being is called Heaven in Christianity and Valhalla in Norse mythology.
The message is very clear & loud. One should be prepared for the grief and sorrows in this world. Through devotion or spiritual practices, one can go into a state where one will have everlasting happiness or Joy.
It is very important to understand here that all individuals have their own source of happiness. You can’t expect others to feel the same happiness as you did from a source. If a person wants to attain peace & everlasting happiness in his/her life, he or she needs to find it out by himself/herself only. They can go in different ways and find out the one that suits them.
Scientific Studies about Spirituality & Happiness:
London School of Economics and the Erasum University Medical Center conducted research in 2015 and found that believers are happier than non-believers. They are happy, and satisfied with their lives, and tackle challenging life situations with much more calmness. They are less depressed and anxious than those who don’t believe in any existence beyond this materialistic world. Religious community is the sole source of their happiness even more than any charity, educational courses, career promotions, political or community organizational activities.
Research after research has shown that mankind somehow feels happier when they have faith in the afterlife. When people hold on to the hope of getting a happier future even if not of this world, they enjoy what they have in their lives in this world.
Jesus once said to their followers,” Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for, in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “
The Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 66 says,” There is no knowledge of the self to the unsteady, and to the unsteady no meditation is possible, and to the un-meditative, there can be no peace; and to the man who has no peace, how they can be happy?”
Studied by hundreds of people, scientists now claim that religious customs make people happier. The spiritual practices may or may not be in accordance with the religion. One such Indian practice is Regular Meditation. Indian culture has always promoted meditation as the source of ultimate knowledge. From the ultimate God character Shiva to the historical figure Buddha, many have promoted meditation vastly.
Research done by Akhilendra K. Singh and published by the Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology brings forth the fact that students who were meditating regularly were more joyful, calm, and satisfied, and produced a greater quality of work.
Meditation calms your running thoughts. Through the regular practice of meditation, you win over the restlessness of your mind. You develop a better understanding of the situations and respond well.
Spirituality Shares a Sense of Belongingness:
Science & religion, both say human beings must not be alone in this world. We all need our communities. Small or large, we search for a place where we can gain love, protection, understanding, and peace. Such places offer you people and relationships. You feel emotional ties to the place & people. That’s why our homes feel so emotionally close to us.
The word Religion comes from the Latin word ‘Religio’ which means ‘to bind together’. Spiritual communities play a big role in supporting a person. Whether it is a Sunday church gathering or volunteering group or a ‘Satsang’, all of these support the ties of humanity & faith. People from these groups share a strong bond which makes them dependent on each other. They become a family.
The research conducted on U.S. adults shows that 33% of the people who regularly attend church services and have strong warm friendships there are happy and satisfied with what they have in life. Only 19% of people who go to church but have no connections there reported the same level of happiness. Thus the reports make it clear, it is not always the godly teachings but the connections that make us happy in our lives.
There is a fantastic story of Buddha regarding community support. Once Buddha sends his disciples to preach about the good and bad life. One of his followers found a beggar and started to preach. The beggar didn’t listen to him at all. The disciple then went back to Buddha and told the incident. Buddha then told him that no one listens to preaching when hungry. Bring him in there at the residence of Buddha and give him enough food to eat. The followers did so and the next incident was a beggar listening to Buddha.
Mankind is always in search of activities that would help it attain comfort and happiness in the journey. India is the home of 9 philosophies of which 8 regards this life as the home of suffering. Spirituality offers ever-lasting happiness and satisfaction through it. We all have heard it from our ancestors and might have rejected the idea. But scientific studies have shown that people who believe in some kind of non-materialistic existence, are happier and more satisfied with what they possess because they have faith in a better-quality afterlife.