There is an ancient treatise in Sanskrit called Ashtavakra Gita (song of Ashtavakra) which consists of a dialogue between Indian sage Ashtavakra and his disciple King Janaka. It's relatively brief, containing 300 two-line verses about Truth on the nature of soul, reality and bondage. The date of its origins are unknown. It offers a radical version of non-dual philosophy and has become a highly respected resource by many teachers of Advaita Vedanta. The following 3 verses are central to the thesis:
You are not your body.
Your body is not you.
You are not the doer.
You are not the enjoyer.
You are pure awareness,
The witness of all things.
You are without expectation,
Wherever you go,
Desire and aversion are of the mind.
The mind is never yours.
You are free of its turmoil.
You are awareness itself,
Wherever you go,
The Self is in all beings,
And all beings are in the Self.
Know you are free,
Free of "I,"
Free of "mine."
~ Ashtavakra Gita (translator unknown)
When you are liberated the world no longer has a hold on you. The universe, the world, people, places and things can no longer frighten you. You become radiantly happy just by being. In order for you to be happy today you think you need certain things in your life. You think if you win the lotto you'll be happy. If you have a new house you'll be happy. If you have a new husband or a new wife you'll be happy. You have an endless list of the things that it takes to make you happy. Yet you find through experience that when you achieve these things the happiness is only short lived and then you have to search again, it never ends. Yet I say to you your real nature is pure happiness, peace. All you have to do is discover it within yourself. For you are that. You have always been that.
~ Robert Adams
Your unhappiness ultimately arises not from the circumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Essentially, what the average person wants out of life is just one thing: happiness. It is this quest that he goes through life day after day in the firm belief that he will somehow, someday find final satisfaction through the things and circumstances of his world. There comes a time, however, when man gets utterly tired, physically and mentally, of this constant search because he finds that it never ends. He comes to the startling discovery that every kind of satisfaction has within itself the roots of pain and torment. At this stage his search cannot but take the turn inwards toward that happiness which is independent of external things.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
Happiness is natural. Call it the eternal gift of God.
Mind, made by the idea to create something different than the eternal, generates the experience of unhappy.
Unhappy is a temporary experience generated by mind.
Happiness is the eternal gift of God.
Get rid of mind, and know always-present joy.
~ Regina Dawn Akers
The egoless mind is happy, as we see in deep sleep, dreamless sleep. Clearly, therefore, happiness and distress are only modes of the mind.
~ Ramana Maharshi
The best metaphor about the experience of consciousness is happiness. The sense of truth, love or beauty - what do these experiences have in common? When we experience truth, love or beauty, any of those, what they have in common is happiness. Happiness is the common denominator of consciousness.
~ Francis Lucille
I am happy even before I have a reason.
I am full of Light even before the sky
can greet the sun or the moon.
we have been in love with God
For so very, very long.
What can Hafiz now do but
If only you will remain resting in consciousness, seeing yourself as distinct from the body, then even now you will become happy. Those who are unhappy in the world are so as a result of their desire for their own happiness. All those who are happy in the world are so as a result of their desire for the happiness of others
If there is peace in your mind you will find peace with everybody. If your mind is agitated you will find agitation everywhere. So first find peace within and you will see this inner peace reflected everywhere else. You are this peace. You are happiness, find out. Where else will you find peace if not within you?
If you believe that happiness is awaiting you in your future, then rest assured it will never come. Be prepared for a long wait, for that is simply an idea in your mind that keeps happiness at arm's length. Happiness is a direct experience arising from your innate nature. The origin of happiness rests completely outside the perimeters of your mind.
~ Jac O'Keeffe
Happiness is the absence of resistance to what-is. It is the highest spiritual practice. However, it is not a practice of the mind, it is the ever-present nature of Myself, Awareness.
~ Rupert Spira
Every time we let go of a bit of ego we are a bit happier.
~ Lester Levenson
To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think about the past, or responsibly plan for the future. The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets about the past or worries about the future. Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
You need nothing to be happy; You need something to be unhappy!
You don't need to be happy today. Take away the awful pressure to feel happy, for happiness is not a destination, or the result of any kind of effort. Remember this deeper happiness, in which even your sorrow has a home, the happiness that embraces you as you are, the happiness that is love, the divine Mother.
~ Jeff Foster
Realize this: one day your soul will depart from your body and you will be drawn behind the curtain that floats between us and the unknown. While you wait for that moment, be happy, because you don't know where you came from and you don't know where you will be going.
~ Omar Khayyam
When you shift your identity from your self-image to your true Self, you will find happiness that no one can take away from you.
~ Deepak Chopra
That is where happiness lies: in the re-orientation of mind which allows looking in the right direction; acceptance of what is. Your natural state.
~ David Carse
Nothing to hold on to, is the root of happiness. There's a sense of freedom when we realize we are not in control.
~ Pema Chödrön
Some of us are seeking happiness where it is and as a result are becoming happier. And others are seeking it blindly in the world where it is not and are becoming more frustrated.
~ Lester Levenson
What you are is happiness, total complete freedom beyond the concept of freedom. The physical body becomes totally relaxed, enjoying a great ease that flows as a consequence of abiding in your natural state.
~ Jac O'Keeffe
Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don't have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don't you experience it? Because you've got to drop something. You've got to drop illusions. You don't have to add anything in order to be happy; you've got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It's only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels!
~ Anthony de Mello
Happiness arises in the absence of desire. When a desire is satisfied, all outward focus ceases and there is rest, peace. Before long, mind will present the next desire and the rollercoaster of thoughts begins again. It can be phenomenally freeing to see that desire underpins the birthing of every thought of the 'personal I.
~ Jac O’Keeffe
Desire is the urge to be happy. Desirelessness is the fruit of the recognition of inherent happiness.
~ Wu Hsin
Know this: When you say ’I’. The true meaning of ‘I’ is joy, it is happiness, it is life, and it is also the witnessing of life. Enjoy what comes, but don’t worry about anything at all. Just be happy, happy, happy. Know that whatever happens in life, the final point is that everything is fine. All is fine.
When the mind is no longer cluttered with identification with thoughts, emotions and sensations . . . happiness is irrelevant. Being is 100% enough!
~ Scott Kiloby