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Question: Question is in two parts:
One: What is the difference, the essential difference between any two human beings?
Two: Why does everyone want happiness?
Acharya Prashant: The difference between any two human beings can be taken in two ways. One way the world looks at it. One way is the way the world looks at it.
The world looks at A and B, two human beings, in terms of what they have. And that’s how it differentiates between them. What you have is external to you. If the world has to look at two persons, A and B, it will distinguish between them in terms of what A has and what B has. So the world will say: ‘Alright, how much is their bank balance? How much money do they have? To which religion do they belong, which caste?’ And all of these are things that they have. Are you getting it?
‘How much respect do they command? How well are they networked? How much knowledge do they have? What is their nationality? What is their gender?’ That is the way the world looks at any two human beings A and B and distinguishes between them.
There is another way of trying to see what is the difference between any two human beings. And this maybe an intelligent way. Go into it. The first way says: ‘Show me what you have’. The second way says: ‘Show me what you are’. And this way of looking at a human being is far more intelligent. Not what you have but what you are.
All of our life we want to just accumulate in order to increase what we have. We want to add degrees, now we have degrees. We want to have a job, now I have a job. You want to have money, now we have money, now I have a family, now I have things. A car, a bungalow. Having, accumulating, positions. No, that’s not the way to look at a human being.
Want to look at a human being? Look at his essence. Look at what he is, not what he has. Not what he has but what he is. And what is meant by what he is? ‘Does he understand? Is he sensitive? How does he relate to everything? Can he look at his own mind? Is he a slave of his emotions? What’s the utter quality of his being?’ Not how many possessions he has. Not how many degrees he has. The quality of his being, that is the way to look at a human being. And that is how you distinguish between A and B.
Yes, that’s the first part of your question. The second part was: “Why does everyone want to be happy?” And it’s a beautiful thing to ask.
If there is one thing common between all human beings who are, who have been, and who would be it is that all of us are chasing happiness. We may be chasing anything but ultimately we are chasing happiness, right? You will want a car. But you want a car because a car gives you
Acharya Prashant: You may want anything, but ultimately you want it because it gives you happiness. You may want something for somebody else but you want that something for somebody else also because it gives you happiness. Right? So even if you say that I’m doing something for my parents you’re doing it for your own happiness. You may say ‘But Sir, But sometimes people sacrifice their happiness.’ No, even that they do for themselves. Even that is done for themselves. For example, I am sacrificing myself for my family. Whose family?
Listeners: My family.
Acharya Prashant: Do you sacrifice yourself for your neighbor’s family? No you don’t. So ultimately it is for yourself. Right? Whatsoever we do, ultimately there is something for our self, a sense of happiness that we want to have. The truth is obvious. It means that it is our nature to be happy. And if that happiness is taken away from us then we become uncomfortable and restless. We want that happiness back. We say ‘Give it back to us.’ It is something very very dear to us. It is so close to us that it is our essential nature. Joy is what it is called. It is called joy. Our essential nature.
You may be close to death. You know that in the next two minutes you are going to die but even then in those two minutes you want to be happy. You want to do something that will satisfy you. You’ll say, ‘Please bring that person, let me have a word.’ And why do you want to have a word with him? You say, ‘Because so that I can die happily, so that I can die in peace.’ Even in the moment of dying you want to be happy. You’re chasing happiness from birth till death in all possible ways. It is our nature, joy. It is our very nature, joy.
So, a beautiful statement comes to us:
Joy is the nature of intelligence. Only in intelligence is there joy.
Are you getting it? Our essential is joy. And essentially we are also intelligent, right? We said that is our ultimate possibility, the Buddha. We said that is our ultimate possibility, to be really intelligent. And this joy is also our nature. So intelligence is joy. There is joy only in intelligence. Yes, we all are chasing happiness but we are all stupid so we don’t get it. Only the intelligent man gets joy.
In all our stupidities there can be no happiness. Running about here and there, keeping distracted, gossiping, worrying, we would never be happy, never be happy. Only in a deep intelligence is there joy. Joy is not for stupid people. These are the essentials of life, please remember.
Joy, freedom, love, these are not for stupid and mediocre people. These are for the brilliant one who is really shining within himself, free and independent; the intelligent one. These are for him.
Watch the session video: How do human beings differ and why do all want happiness? || Acharya Prashant (2013) The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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