The nature of every man is to achieve peace, happiness and freedom because it is the true nature of self/soul. However, worldly man seldom finds it within society. The concept of happiness varies from childhood to old age in a man and it also varies from man to man. Let us see how peace and happiness varies within a man and whether a man finally arrives at a peaceful and blissful state.
- Happiness of childhood. A child finds pleasure in food, parents' affection and varieties of toys. Inside the home and before parents, he plays with different types of toys. As he grows up, he realizes the falsity of toys. He moves outside and mingles with his peer group. He plays different games and gets great pleasure.
- Happiness of youth. As a child enters into the youthful stage, he learns more about society. He sees that two things can give pleasure - one is a life partner and the other is wealth. In order to maintain an intimate and lasting relationship, one has to marry, and in order to maintain a wife, one needs wealth. For this, he starts concentrating on a career, keeping aside friends and games. By pursuing a good career, he earns a lot, marries a beautiful girl and hopes to live merrily. However, his merrymaking is short-lived. He finds that the need of money is endless. Besides spending on food and clothing, he needs money for a house, for a car, for higher education of his children, for paying bills, for paying taxes, for purchasing medicines, for spending on social and religious occasions. He works hard to meet all of these expenses. In the process, he becomes diseased. Neither is he able to satisfy all nor is he able to maintain health, peace and happiness. He grows old and looks all around for succor.
- Happiness of old age. As a man grows old, he gets fed up with his family and relatives, his professional life, parties and functions, and thinks that there must be something higher that can give happiness. Something higher may mitigate his woes. He wants drastic change that may give peace, happiness and freedom. For this, he looks towards politics and religion.
- Assurance of politics. In modern days, political leaders and parties rule a state. They have different ideologies and assure people of bright days ahead, where all shall be equal and shall enjoy freedom. There shall be no financial hardship. However, the reality is that from the earliest civilization to the present, society has remained stratified or fragmented. Political leaders raise separatism, communal and religious issues and divide people in order to win votes. Common men are slaughtered, become homeless and are displaced. Governments collect revenue, but spend hugely on procurement or production of weapons of mass destruction or wars. At present, there are many terrorists' organizations that are active across the world. They fight for the cause of few by terrorizing the majority. So politics has fragmented and terrorized society, and one is fortunate enough if one is alive. Equality and freedom are only hollow words.
- Assurance of religion. At last, man looks towards religion for solace. Religious people assure people of peace, bliss and liberation but these are achievable only after death. After death, a devotee shall enter into a heaven created by God, where there is peace, bliss and freedom. There is no hunger, pain, disease or death. A fragile and sick man who can't enjoy worldly objects or a man for whom the world has become a hell, believes in these imaginary things about God and heaven. He obeys all religious instructions, reads scriptures, and prays to God, but achieves nothing. Lastly, he is confined in a room by his family, where he observes his physical and mental disintegration.
So a man who wants peace, bliss and freedom during his lifetime should try to realize his self/soul. Self-realization is God realization. The Upanishads, the fountainhead of Indian spiritualism, describes that self and not the world has eternal existence. Self (atman) is described as Brahman, the ultimate reality. When self is realized, everything is realized. So one shouldn't slip away from one's self. It is the source of life energy, bliss and the home of a being. The path to realize self is yoga. Readers may go through my articles on yoga for understanding the true nature of yoga.