Can You Teach the Pursuit of Happiness Online?

By Sudip Ghosh, MD

William McDougall, Harvard social psychologist, wrote that people can be happy while in pain and unhappy while experiencing pleasure. While the philosophical and semantic ramifications of the term “happiness” are still far away from being well-defined on a universal basis, it is generally accepted that while short-term happiness are more to do with positive feelings like pleasure or victory, long-term happiness tends to be more value based and goal-oriented.

One thing is certain however: on a psychological basis, a state of happiness is popular and sought after, going by the number of university courses that teach exclusively how to be happy as part of our overall well-being. This is an encouraging trend as it indicates that progressively more and more people are eager to realize “happiness” through their cerebral cortices (in the brain), rather than through their pleasure centers in the limbic systems. Realizing the need to be happy, rather than being driven by our instincts to be happy is a significant step up the social evolutionary tree…

Young people are finally willing to formally commit their cerebral cortices to ask the big questions of life and its meaning.

(above article excerpted by demand of originating blog — see comments)

Prabhupada: Because you have forgotten. That is your natural position. You have forgotten the service of Radha-Krsna, therefore you have become the servant of maya. You are servant of maya, your senses.

“Therefore I am teaching, that “You are serving your senses, now you turn your service to Radha and Krsna, you’ll be happy. Service you have to render. Either Radha-Krsna or maya, illusion, senses. Everybody is serving to the senses. Is it not?” But he’s not satisfied. He cannot be satisfied.

“Therefore I am giving them the right information — that service you have to render. But instead of serving your senses, please serve Radha-Krsna, then you’ll be happy. Your position of servant remains the same, but I’m offering a good service. If you don’t serve Radha-Krsna, then you have to serve your senses, maya. So your service position will remain. Even if you don’t serve Radha-Krsna. Therefore the best instruction is that instead of serving your senses, your whims, please serve Radha-Krsna, you’ll be happy. That’s all.”

Bhagavad-gita 6.46-47 — Los Angeles, February 21, 1969