Consuming happiness versus Cultivating happiness

Acharya Prashant
4 min readMar 29, 2020

You have never enjoyed happiness in full freedom, little man. That’s why you consume it, why you take no responsibility for the preservation of your happiness. You haven’t learned (you never had a chance) to cultivate your happiness with loving care, as a gardener cultivates his flowers and a farmer his wheat. You consume your happiness.

~ Listen, Little Man!

Happiness is a glimpse, glimpse of what? Glimpse of absence of suffering. That’s why we like happiness, that’s why everybody says I want to be happy.

Why do we say we want to be happy?

Because our default state is of suffering.

And man suffers much more than any other being in the world. No being is capable of suffering as much as man is. Man is a suffering animal. Other creatures have pain but not so much suffering, to suffer you require a consciousness with depth. Man has that, other beings have that only in a limited way.

You could say man is born suffering and man is born to suffer, that is the arrangement his physical apparatus has ensured for him, suffer.

Trapped in this body, you want great things to happen to you, suffer. Confined to little stretch of time, little expanse of space, you want everything to be limitless, now suffer. That which your consciousness wants militate against everything that your body has arranged for you. It’s a very peculiar situation, you could call it tragic.

That which your consciousness wants is not at all what your body is configured to give you.

So the body gives you one thing and what consciousness wants is not merely different but dimensionally different so man suffers. Because we suffer therefore we are always hungry for happiness, that’s why in the world of homo sapiens, happiness is such a precious commodity that everybody wants it without exception. Happiness sells, it doesn’t matter what is being sold and where. If you just probe a little, you’ll find that happiness is being sold. Happiness is valuable for the human being because he’s suffering.

Now there’s a glitch, what’s the glitch?

The normal, common happiness as we get it is just a by-product of suffering.