This is a continuation of the Happiness series. We have previously discussed how selfishness leads to unhappiness and how empathy is a symptom of spiritual growth. We briefly examine this truth in light of the massacre of innocent people at two mosques in Christchurch two days earlier.
Then we explore the joy that comes from doing something for someone else (even a small thing) and consider the example of Mother Theresa. She was able to live in poverty but be full of joy. Caring and sharing actually begin to awaken the eternal nature of the soul itself and give us a small taste of real spiritual happiness.
We reflect on how the nature of the soul is to love and that caring/compassion is the seed of love. I quote two verses from the Bhagavad-gita and an instruction from the great spiritual personality Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
A person is considered still further advanced when he regards honest well-wishers, affectionate benefactors, the neutral, mediators, the envious, friends and enemies, the pious and the sinners all with an equal mind.– Bhagavad-gita – 6.9
He is a perfect yogi who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress, O Arjuna!– Bhagavad-gita – 6.32
One who has taken his birth as a human being should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people. It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with his life, wealth, intelligence and words. By his work, thoughts and words, an intelligent man must perform actions which will be beneficial for all living entities in this life and the next.– Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
Auṁ asato-mā sad gamaya
tamaso mā jyotir gamaya
mṛtyor māmṛtaṁ gamaya
Auṁ śānti śānti śāntiḥ
Oh Lord, Lead me from illusion into the eternal reality,
from darkness into the light,
from death to the nectar of immortality.
Let there be the peace of spiritual enlightenment!
– Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28