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Be Happy for 24 hours PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

We are treading the path of Nishkam Karma, which is one of the biggest contributions of Krishna. Many people believe that if they do not worry about the result, they are doing nishkam karma. That may be true for them, but to me nishkam karma is much more. It is a positive phenomenon. The biggest question is as to whether it is possible to do karma without any desire or motivation? Krishna believes that when there is no desire or motivation, then a pure karma arises from man and that is what nishkam karma is. Nishkam karma is spontaneous and is an overflow of his energy manifested through nishkam karma (unmotivated act) in a person.

We shall explore this as we go along. But in order to be able to understand this better, let me request all of you to try this simple technique, “Be happy for 24 hours.” This will help us get an insight of this nishkam karma which will be much more authentic than just a theoretical exercise. Just make a sankalp (resolution) that you will be happy for the next 24 hours. Ask your friend or family to join in. Make a group sankalp if possible. Just for 24 hours.

How do you do that? How do we be happy? Let us understand unhappiness a little. We have made and maintained a system to be unhappy. I am not talking about people who are happy all the time. This experiment is only for those of us who realize that unhappiness is our state of being most of the time. This is what Buddha calls dukkha. So, we maintain a circle of events that will keep us unhappy. You come home and find that your wife did not smile. You say something sarcastic and before you know it there is an argument on. The house is full of wrong vibrations; subtle but they are there. And even without your knowing every one in the household has spent tremendous amount of energy because of this simple act of not smiling. Some people believe that the Mahabharata happened because of a subtle laughter by Draupadi on Duryodhana and her comments of blind son of a blind father. These incidents happen all the time, they happen at work, at home and on vacations.

We shall try to change our behavior only for 24 hours. We shall try to conserve the wasted energy and also change the quality of vibrations around us for 24 hours. Just 24 hours. Let us leave the desire alone. We can handle it later. So, let us go along our life as we normally do. The only thing to do is to accept the result as it comes. Do your work like you have been doing, when the result comes that is your expected result. In our example above if the wife does not smile, just expect her not to have smiled. And, suddenly you do not have to be sarcastic. And the cycle is broken. I am not suggesting an inappropriate response. Somebody dies in the family. Tears flow. Let it flow. Accept it. In fact you can show respect and responsibility to your wife by saying nice words for a change. That may not generate a happy response from her, but accept that as your expected result. I made a bad judgment in my office recently. I got help from someone who had left our office and had upset many of our staff and also my wife. I got her back for a few hours help in the office. It was a bad decision. And what do you expect. It could have been a mini mahabharata, but I was in the mode of, “Be happy for 24 hours at that time.” And things did not get that bad after all. That is when I decided to share this technique with my readers. If something works for me, it is possible it will work for others as well.

Try this for 24 hours. If it does not work out, that is ok as well. Just accept it and move on. It is easy to extend it in 24 hours segments as well. All we have to do is to accept life as it comes. That is our expected result. And this eliminates frustration. The energy that is normally wasted in arguments and what not is conserved. The vibrations all around us changes. And before we know it becomes infectious. We can remain happy all the time. With a little abhyasa (practice), this can be normal state of affairs. It all sounds like a wishful thinking, but it is possible.

So far we have talked about change in behavior. But, this can become a meditation. All you have to do is bring awareness to the whole process. Different words have been used for meditation. Buddha used vipassana (witnessing) and J. Krishnamurthy uses the word attention. Whenever you act with awareness (dhyana) it is meditation. And meditation is and should not be a one-hour affair. It should be a continuum. Even when we do the one-hour thing, the idea is to maintain it until the next one-hour session. So, bring the awareness to this “Be happy for 24 hours” and suddenly you can see the energy saving and feel the vibrations. Most important of all, you can for the first time feel the conserved energy rising by itself and when it manifests, it manifests in karma, and that is the nishkam karma, karma pure in itself.

Krishna is a happy person. He is happy all the time. I am not talking about going in the morning to a garden and having a laughing session. That is good but is different. I am pointing to an inner state of being, a being of utter satisfaction and happiness. Krishna will be happy to see us try to be happy for 24 hours. Moreover, it will help us understand Krishna fully, conserve wasted energy, spread good vibrations and even use that conserved energy. Let us meditate and move on.

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