Our true nature is all bliss which is far beyond both pleasure and pain and that bliss is the real state of happiness. That state is described by Lord Krishna in verse 55, chapter II of the Bhagwad Gita:
Real happiness is entirely contained in self, by self. Here is play in the word Atman, the self or soul, to express its dual nature in man -
The outer self or ego with the bodily instruments and faculties (the experience of the world of the mind without, and of the soul within) and
The inner or true self (that which is to be experienced by the self through meditation and which in turn then experiences God)
In a dreamless sound sleep, we enjoy the bliss which does not depend upon any worldly object. In meditation we have the experience of bliss. Even in wakeful state when we are fully established in ourselves, far away from any stress and strain, we are in the company of self and attain the state of real happiness which no wealth in the world can buy. This was the state of happiness of the holy sage which the victorious and most powerful Alexander the great failed to disturb with all his wealth and powers. Same was with Rocker Fellow, the billionaire of America of his time who felt miserable due to his ill health despite all his wealth whereas a holy saint of India showed him the way to attain real happiness by helping the poor and treading on the spiritual path.
Spirituality never advocates starvation. Every religion starts with stomach. It is an insult to humanity to teach metaphysics to starving people. You must not only try to achieve the necessities of life i.e. food, clothing and shelter, you must put your shoulder to the wheel to achieve the comforts and even luxuries. But be unattached. Don’t wear yourself out pursuing the deluded pleasures of the world which will never be everlasting. Nothing in this world can make you permanently happy. Everlasting joy is within you.
That joy is expressing itself in every little joy of this world. Whatever happiness you get in the world is the reflection of that joy. That joy is expressed even in the joy of stealing of a thief though it is muddled up and misunderstood. This joy of self is absolute and never becomes the victim of vicissitudes of life. The pleasures of the senses do not last long but the joy of self is everlasting. It is incomparable. It is the state of real happiness. It cannot be described but it can be felt as the heart is purified through meditation. In the words of Gurudev Shri Swami Vishvas Ji:
बगैर सूरत अजब है जलवा, के राम मुझ में मैं राम में हूँ
That man in the state of real happiness drinks unceasingly the pure nectar of bliss from the chalice of the inner or true self through meditation and spiritual actions of the ego, self.
The ordinary person is like a king who goes out of his beautiful palace and becomes engrossed in the sordid pastimes in the slums. He may feel happy in the deluded pleasures of slums but he is bound to suffer from his indiscriminate actions. He is like a deer that runs in all directions for the sweet fragrance which is coming from it. Bliss, the state of real happiness is within ourselves and we run aimlessly for the false pleasures of the world. We ought to remember that the pleasures of the world are not permanent. A worldly object which is giving us immense pleasure today loses its charm in a few days. Joys of childhood do not attract our attention when we pass the shores of childhood. Pleasures are to be followed by pain. To expect otherwise is to expect life without death. The sum-total of pleasures and pains of this world has always been the same. Since history records began, there has always been some rich, some poor, some healthy, some unhealthy, some high, some low, some happy and some miserable. You cannot raise a wave in an ocean without creating a hollow somewhere else. It has always been so with the individuals as well as with the races. All this was the same with the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans in the ancient times, as it is with the Americans today. There is no permanent happiness. Simply we push it from this side to that side and back.
After happiness comes misery, sooner or later. What we want is neither happiness nor misery. Both make us forget our true nature which is all bliss and which is the state of real happiness. Rise above both of them because both are chains, one gold and the other iron one. Beyond both is Atman, the state of real happiness which knows neither happiness nor misery. Stay in Atman, self through meditation and spiritual practices and enjoy the real happiness, the bliss.
That self the infinite source within you is an infinite dynamo continually pouring strength, power and happiness into the soul. That is why it is important to rely as much as you can upon the Infinite Source within you. Remember that the miseries of the world cannot be cured by physical help only and real happiness cannot be attained by accumulating wealth of the world. Let men have light; let them be spiritually strong then alone will they be in state of real happiness not before.