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January 25, 2024

Happy vs. at Peace: What’s the difference?

What is the difference between being happy with yourself and having peace within you in terms of spirituality?

Being happy with yourself and having peace within are both significant aspects of spirituality, but they can have different meanings and implications.

Being happy with yourself generally refers to a state of contentment, satisfaction, and joy that arises from a positive self-perception and a sense of fulfilment. It involves accepting yourself as you are, recognizing your worth, and experiencing a sense of happiness and well-being in your life. This happiness may stem from various factors such as personal achievements, relationships, material possessions, or external circumstances. From a spiritual perspective, having peace within is experienced after the attainment of your true Self. Peace prevails amidst any circumstances or with anyone.

Having peace within typically relates to a state of inner calmness, tranquility, and harmony that rise above external circumstances. It involves a deep sense of serenity and equanimity that arises from within, it is a connection with something greater than the body complex. Having peace within often goes beyond temporary feelings of happiness or external validation. It is a more profound and enduring sense of inner stillness and contentment that arises from aligning with one’s true self, living per one’s values and beliefs, and finding a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

Here are some of the core values that one abides by following the attainment of Self-realization.

A pure intent of not hurting others.

The day begins by saying this prayer at least five times, “May no living being, be hurt to the slightest extent through my thoughts, words or actions.”  When you start your day with this positive inner intent of not hurting others then no one will come to hurt you.

If you happen to hurt anyone, then ask for forgiveness (Pratikraman).

It’s important to make amends when we’ve caused harm to others, as it’s impossible to find peace if we don’t. Practising Pratikraman is a powerful way to find inner peace and happiness, as it involves acknowledging our mistakes and seeking forgiveness. To do this, we apologise to God within, admitting our error and asking for strength to avoid making the same mistake in the future.

Seeing everyone without faults.

Upon the attainment of Self-realisation (Gnan), one gains the divine vision of seeing everyone without faults. Thereafter if someone insults us, says painful or hurtful words, etc we have the right understanding of how to handle the situation without hurting the person(s) concerned thereby remaining in inner peace.

One’s willingness to adjust everywhere in life.

In life, it is important to embrace the phrase “Adjust everywhere.” This is exactly what happens after Self-realisation. Whether willingly or unwillingly, we must adjust to our surroundings wherever we go. By doing so with the right understanding, we can prevent conflicts and establish peace and harmony with those around us. Those who know how to adapt to others will not experience any pain. This naturally leads to a peaceful state of being.

Self-Realisation is the ultimate key to inner peace.

A Living Enlightened One (Gnani Purush) explains that in any situation, to believe ‘it is happening to me’ is what causes unrest. In other words, the belief that ‘I am John’ is the root cause of all restlessness in life. Ironically, we are immersed in this belief all the time. But if we happen to meet the Living Gnani, and with his grace attain Self-Realisation, we realise that really, “I am a Pure Soul”. With this, our belief that ‘it is happening to me’ also loses its hold. And that is when we begin to experience immense peace in life.

To conclude: While being happy with yourself can contribute to a positive and fulfilling life experience, having peace within implies a deeper sense of spiritual well-being and a state of inner harmony that remains unaffected by external circumstances. It is a state of being that is independent of fleeting emotions and external validation. Having peace within can be seen as a more profound spiritual aspiration that encompasses discovering one’s true Self through Self-realisation and a connection to something greater than oneself.

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