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  • Writer's picturePremanandhan Narayanan

Swami Chinmayananda's Perspective on Happiness: The Ratio of Fulfilled Desires to Total Desires

Swami Chinmayananda, a renowned spiritual teacher and philosopher, proposed a unique perspective on happiness based on the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred scripture of Hindu philosophy. According to his discourse, happiness can be defined as the ratio of our completed desires to our total desires.

The formula he suggests is: Happiness = Total desires completed / Total desires

To illustrate this concept, let's consider an example. Suppose we have 100 desires in total, and out of those, only 10 have been fulfilled. Applying the formula, our happiness would be 10/100, which equals 0.1. In this scenario, Swami Chinmayananda suggests that we are experiencing sorrow, as the ratio of our fulfilled desires to total desires is relatively low.

Now, let's consider a different situation where our total desires increase to 200, but the number of desires fulfilled remains the same (10). Applying the formula again, our happiness would be 10/200, which equals 0.05. Swami Chinmayananda suggests that in this case, we are in a state of deep sorrow because the ratio of fulfilled desires to total desires has decreased.

Based on this understanding, Swami Chinmayananda emphasizes the importance of reducing our desires for a better life. If we have fewer desires, there is a greater possibility of fulfilling them. For instance, let's imagine we have only 10 desires, and all of them are fulfilled. Using the formula, our happiness would be 10/10, which equals 1. Swami Chinmayananda suggests that in this scenario, we would experience a state of complete happiness or contentment.

Furthermore, Swami Chinmayananda presents an intriguing concept. If we were to reach a state where we have no desires at all, the formula would suggest a division by zero, resulting in infinity. He refers to this state as the "blissful state" or a state of transcendental happiness. In this state, where desires no longer exist, the formula indicates an infinite level of happiness.

Swami Chinmayananda's teachings encourage individuals to reflect upon their desires and work towards reducing them, ultimately aiming to attain a state of contentment where desires are minimal or non-existent. It is in this state that he suggests we can experience the highest form of happiness, described as bliss.

It's important to note that this perspective is derived from Swami Chinmayananda's interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita and may not align with all philosophical or spiritual viewpoints on happiness.


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