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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, 

Be happy! 


Desire and aversion are of the mind. 

The mind is never yours. 

You are free of its turmoil. 

You are awareness itself, 

Never changing. 

Wherever you go, 

Be happy. 


For see! 

The Self is in all beings, 

And all beings are in the Self. 

Know you are free, 

Free of "I," 

Free of "mine." 

Be happy. 

~ 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.

Dear companions,

we have been in love with God

For so very, very long.

What can Hafiz now do but

forever dance!

~ Hafiz


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 

~ Shantideva 


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? 

~ Papaji 


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! 

~ Mooji 


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


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.

~ Mooji


When the mind is no longer cluttered with identification with thoughts, emotions and sensations . . . happiness is irrelevant. Being is 100% enough!

~ Scott Kiloby

Be Yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just Be.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh


It doesn’t always seem easy because we are so conditioned to oblige ourselves to external ideas and expectations, but the truth is, our souls purpose speaks to us through our heart. It’s only when we listen to this, and follow this, that we feel truly happy. And this is not a selfish quality. In the end it is the most selfless, because our heart always leads us to be our truest self, and to give the gift of ourself to the world. 

~ Isira


Nearly all mankind is more or less unhappy because nearly all do not know the true Self. Real happiness abides in Self-knowledge alone. All else is fleeting. To know one’s Self is to be blissful always.

~ Ramana Maharshi


Nothing can make you happier than you are. All search for happiness is misery and leads to more misery. The only happiness worth the name is the natural happiness of conscious being.

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


it’s god’s will

it’s god’s will

Only reality exists and you are that.

Only consciousness exists and you are that.

Only love exists and you are that.

If you only realized who you were you would be the happiest person

that ever lived, and I mean happy, totally happy, unchanging happiness.

Is there such a thing? Yes there is.

Unchanging peace. Unchanging love.

~ Robert Adams 


Happiness arises from within. It is a quality of your innate nature. Thoughts distract you from consciously abiding in and enjoying your innate nature. Thoughts create all desires and desires can be all-consuming. Your mind can convince you that attaining a particular object of desire will make you happy. The truth is that when your mind is still, a natural feeling of happiness arises within you. Your true nature is causeless and living causeless happiness is your natural state of being. When a desire is satisfied, the desire subsides and mind rests for a period. The absence of desire, the absence of thought, allows what is within to be experienced.

~ Jac O'Keeffe


Happiness is simply to allow everything to be exactly as it is from moment to moment.

~ Rupert Spira


Everybody is in the same boat. You’re always trying to be happy, and you end up being miserable. You’re always trying to get away from pain, and you get more pain. The mind can’t make sense of this. How can you be happy if you don’t try to be happy? But that is the problem—that you want to be happy. If you want to be happy, you are already operating from the perspective of pain. It is a truth most people don’t like. It seems it would be much better if it were otherwise. It would be much easier if you could get happiness by going toward happiness, and if pain would go away when you tried to go away from it. It seems as if this would be wonderful. But you need to look at the reality, whether you like it or not.

~ A.H. Almaas

Happiness is permanent. It is always there. What comes and goes is unhappiness. If you identify with what comes and goes, you will be unhappy. If you identify with what is permanent and always there, you are happiness itself.

~ Papaji


It is difficult to find happiness in oneself but it is impossible to find it anywhere else. 

~ Arthur Schopenhauer

Yet only when we go within, do we discover that all happiness is there. The only place where we can feel happiness is right within ourselves. That is exactly where it is. Every time we attribute this happiness to something external, to a person or a thing external, we get more pain with it than we do pleasure.

~ Lester Levenson

Why is man unhappy? No animal is so unhappy, no bird is so unhappy, no fish is as unhappy as man. Why is man so unhappy? – because man desires happiness, and the birds are happy right now, the trees are happy right now. Man desires happiness – he is never happy here and now. He always desires it, and goes on missing it, because happiness is here. It is happening all around you. Allow it to enter within. Be part of existence. Don't move into the future. Existence never moves into the future, only the mind does.

~ Osho

If those who seek happiness would only stop one little minute, they would see that the delights they really experience are as countless as the grasses at their feet or the dewdrops sparkling upon the morning flowers.

Yet how few persons I meet realize this wealth of joy! It is a marvel and a sorrow to me to observe how far afield they go in pursuit of happiness. They look for it in the strangest of places. They visit kings and queens and bow to them; they seek happiness in travel and excitement; they dig for it into the depths of the earth, thinking that it lies in hidden treasure. Many others rob themselves of joy by superstitiously fettering their intellect for the sake of religion or convention or party policy. Most pitiably are they blinded, deafened, and starved when all the time there is within them a world of sweet wealth ready to bless their hearts and minds.

~ Helen Keller

Your unhappiness ultimately arises not from the circumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind.

~ Eckhart Tolle


If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. 

~ The Dalai Lama


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