Is Anyone Happy?

The Dalai Lama has a smiling visage that would lend itself to believe he was truly happy. Anyone that can radiate the kind of peace and joy that only a Dalai Lama can manage surely, but surely, must be at peace. If you are the doubting sorts, let us turn our lens to perhaps the contours of the face of a Tom Cruise or a Warren Buffet or even Bill Gates. Heck, the last one in the list Bill keeps getting richer even despite giving away Billions of Dollars. Surely he must feel like he is in heaven on earth if ever there was such a place. If you still think there is something amiss, maybe the Buddhist monk who has given up everything and has no physical attachment is happy. Even a doubting Thomas would find it hard to find fault with the last example. How could the monk not be happy?

Before we seek answers, let us define happiness. Is happiness the absence of all worry? Or is happiness the ability to be happy no matter what the current state of your life? If it is the former, even Bill, Tom, Warren or even the venerable Dalai Lama cant be free of worry. They have family, children, interests in business or social causes or a country that they are fighting to protect. If it is the latter, isn’t that an oxymoron? How can you possibly be happy in a state where your life is full of worries? Isn’t it true that all of us without exception worry about something? So much so that when there is nothing to worry about, we worry about why we don’t have anything to worry over. Does this mean that the Buddha was right – life is full of Dukkha, and we cant ever be happy? Is true happiness just a mirage? What do you think?


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.