To live is to desire. The senses create in man diverse desires. Gratification of desires give pleasure, happiness. There are pleasures of the body and the pleasures of the mind that are harmless and there are others by their side that are harmful. Man has to discriminate between those that bring happiness and those that end in unhappiness. The chameleon changes colors frequently. When man hankers after anything and everything that senses bring to him and succumbs to the temptation of evil desires, he throws himself headlong in the scorching fire of sin and suffers like the moth that runs into a candle and perishes. Man has to liberate himself from the bondage of evil desires.
Desire in itself is not evil, says Zarathushtra. Desire is an incentive to actions and stimulant to an active life. The active life of hard work and industry is the Zoroastrian life. The prophet of Ancient Iran teaches not the extinction of desires. He teaches to regulate and moderate them. Our human nature always craves for what we do not possess. All our desires are not satisfied, all wishes are not fulfilled, all ambitions are not realized. Then, in our ignorance, we consider ourselves unhappy. Yet in this life of polarity, if we never came across disappointment and despair and never knew want and sorrow and suffering, in short, if one and all of our innocent and wise desires were fulfilled and we were all happy, we could certainly not live in this world. Unbearable would be the burden of ennui and boredom.
Man’s prime requirements to be happy are a sound body and a clear brain. The healthy mind goes hand in hand with the healthy body. The soul of a man may be daring and eager to work for righteousness and to fight wickedness within him and without. But if the body is sickly and weak, man cannot lead a strenuous life of self-sacrifice and service. Health ensures the vigorous joys of life. What avails wealth, when the health of the body goes amiss! When man is overwrought with work and wearied by his daily toil, he rests or he turns to games and sports and music and drama and a host of innocent diversions that bring him relaxation after physical fatigue and he is happy. The man who has passionate fondness for rational pursuits, seeks intellectual pleasures of the mind that make him happy. To the man of pure conscience, faithful discharge of duty is happiness.
Happiness is the harmony of the body and mind and heart. Happiness is man’s harmonious relation to his environments. The source of happiness is within man. Where calm are the passions and conflicting desires clamour not for satisfaction, there is happiness. Where wrinkles of sorrow ruffle not the smooth surface of the heart and the heart is not bowed down by the unbearable weight of suffering, there is happiness. Where the health of the body and the peace of the mind and the joy of the heart meet together, there is happiness. Sublime peace in the inner world of man is happiness.
Happiness grows in degree, as it widens and spreads among the many. Happiness, the greatest, that this earth can ever give, is his who promotes the happiness of others. It is the happiness past all thought. No words can describe it. No hand can pen it. The blessed giver of happiness unto others is lifted into the realm of spiritual ecstasy. When all his heart’s desires are met, man’s joy is heightened. He basks in happiness. He beams with happiness. His heart swells with happiness. He lives an eternity of happiness in a few such moments, when life seems to be crowded in those few fortunate moments. His memory loves to linger around these happy moments he has lived.
Zarathushtra asks man so to live that he may get great satisfaction out of living and he may be happy. An ideal Zoroastrian home is a living paradise upon earth, where happiness fades not.
When my body is ailing and my mind is aweary and my heart is aching, I pray Thee, Ahura Mazda, to apply Thy healing balm to them. Then, in Thy mercy, dost Thou cure me and I am happy. Thou art ever glad to gladden my heart. Whatever I desire is in Thee. In Thee is health and peace and joy. Thou dost always will my happiness. I owe Thee all that makes my life happy. Thou hast blessed me with a powerful physique and a healthy mind in a healthy body. My heart thrills to the rhythmical beat of my bodily organ.
My happiness in life is in Thy keeping. Thou art the strength of my body and peace of my mind and joy of my heart. Blessed be Thy name, O Blessed One, Thou that dost lavish Thy blessings of happiness on me!