By Niraj Bidawatka
Everyone wants to be happy because that is the nature of the soul. We are all spirit souls, who are residing within this body just as a pilot is seated within the airplane. The pilot is a living entity whereas the airplane has no life. Only if the pilot occupies it, can the airplane fly. Similarly this body will work only if the soul occupies it. The soul is full of life whereas the body is devoid of any life. Therefore, when the soul leaves the body, it is called a dead body. The soul, which is occupying the body, is our real identity. We are spirit souls and not these bodies. But under the influence of the illusory spell of Krishna’s external energy, i.e. maya, we are thinking that “I am this body”. This is called the bodily conception of life. As long as we shall remain in this bodily conception of life, we shall never attain real happiness.
The nature of the soul, in its original state, is ānandamaya, full of happiness because the soul is a part and parcel of the Supersoul, or Krishna. But due to contact with the material world we are in a state of misery. The material world is compared to a prison-house, where no one can remain happy.
Our problem is that do not want to let go of this illusory world. We want to stick to our professions, jobs, properties, relatives, well-wishers and so-called “close” friends, in the false hope that they will provide us some sort of happiness, if not now, then at least some time in the future. But we are so foolish that we do not realize that in spite of sticking with these self-professed paraphernalia of happiness, we are not experiencing any substantial happiness. We are still in a miserable state and still seeking after perfect bliss. And whatever little bliss that we attain in the company of our friends and relatives, is short-lived and makes us even more miserable later on.
So the bodily concept of life means identifying oneself as the body and accepting the relatives of the body as one’s own. As long as we remain in the bodily concept of life, we do not accept or believe that Krishna is our REAL and DEARMOST friend. In the bodily concept, we remain attached to the body and to the relatives of the body, i.e. our friends, kins, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. and therefore there is no question of attaining happiness.
So, if we want to become really happy we have to go back to Krishna, Who is an ocean of happiness. Unless we surrender to God, there is no question of attaining real happiness. God is a Person and He has His own personal planet in the spiritual sky. The entire process of chanting Hare Krishna is aimed at transferring ourselves to the planet of Krishna at the time death. If we transfer ourselves to that spiritual planet at the time of death, we attain everlasting happiness because there is no death, old age and disease in the spiritual world.
In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna beckons everyone to His supreme abode. The process of transferring ourselves to that abode is very simple. If we regularly chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra we can easily go back to home, back to Godhead. Mantra means “that which delivers the mind.” We are unhappy because the mind is disturbed. So if we chant, we become happy within this world itself and go back to Krishna in the next life.
[This write-up is based on the teachings of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness]