It was a fact of life. I was rich and always had been, since the day that I was born. I was brought up as a rich boy that had rich parents that lived in a massive house. That soon all changed. I was now a man not a boy. My parents are resting in peace, and I was to look after the business as expected of me. I hadn’t worked for this fortune; it was just there for the taking. Instead of building up my own empire and spending endless hours working, night and day, I had simply taken all that of my fathers. I had no need to work for a college education; there was no need for me to have a degree or diploma. And so I felt no sense or even a feeling of achievement. I was rich; I had made it normal for me to be rich. I had made it part of my nature. And because I didn’t hide my wealth from anybody, many people looked up at me. I was where they wanted to be. However there was one down fall. I didn’t have a life of happiness. With all the money that I had, I bought every materialistic pleasure that I wanted. I bought everything that I liked, and in my theory, this would lead me to happiness. I was wrong. I didn’t need half of the things that I had, but I still kept them. All I wanted was happiness. But I guess I was asking for more than I deserved. I soon realised that no amount of money, no matter how large, could buy me happiness. People looked up at me and said, He is just so lucky! In one sense they had got it right, but in another sense they had got it completely wrong.

I was so wealthy, that money became a worthless pleasure. It was of no value at all. It was an object that I could use only to make other people happy. I soon realised that people became to like me even more, because I had money. My family liked me more, calling me round for dinner every second day. I gave money to anybody that asked me, whether it was my nephew or the beggar on the street. But it soon became apparent to me that my family and all other people only loved and liked me because I had money. They began to become greedy and attached to this worthless pleasure of mine. I had to face the facts; people made me feel happy, because I thought that I was helping them out. But I was only making them become greedy and selfish and moreover I was feeding their ego.

I was feeling a false happiness, which I adored at first, but then I began to hate it; I hated what I was doing and so I put a stop to it. I stopped to dish out money amongst my family. And started to give money to those who really needed it. I searched high and low for the treasure that I needed, happiness. My search was a physical and mental one. My mental journey was deep and my physical journey took me to places far, far away. And then:

I came across an unusual gentleman. He was elderly but learned, very serious but also very humorous, extremely wise but also religious. I became his comrade and he became my idol. He had attained eternal happiness. He was always joyful and happy, never did I ever see him fall into the trap of sadness. I learned that he was a man of very few words, but any words that he did utter were meaningful, and it became apparent that a lot of thought had gone into the words that he had spoken. He was even able to give meaning the words hello and bye, because he said them with love. His words were to be cherished.

I came across him in India, in the city of Talwandi, his birthplace. I stuck with him for some time, for I as well wanted to possess eternal happiness. However I wasn’t the only person after this treasure, I was simply one of many; nevertheless, I always got time to talk to him. I questioned him endlessly, until the sun went down and the moon came up. He led a simple life. He would wear a traditional dress all day long, and wash it every morning in a nearby lake. He would go to a peaceful place twice in the day, and pray till he felt that his mind was free of all thought, and he was feeling God. He told me that sometimes it took minutes and at other times it took hours. I asked him if it was possible for him to teach me the way of life that would help me to attain that great treasure of happiness. He told me that it wasn’t easy. To achieve happiness, he said, is not a simple thing. Ask yourself this, he said, Are you ready to learn? Are you fully committed? Are you ready to live a godly life? I will not take the credit for the words that I utter now, as they are not of mine but of a person that understands life more than I do. If a man wants to learn how to fly, he must first learn how to stand and walk. Then he can learn how to fly. One cannot fly into flying. Saying this he left me to think.

I stayed awake walking all night up and down a nearby lake, asking myself if I was ready to accept this new way of life. Was it something that I could do? I thought. I kept on thinking until I saw the sun break through the clouds. I still hadn’t made up my mind, but I was also committed to attain eternal happiness. I kept on walking, and soon he came to me and asked what I had decided. I told him that I had been thinking all night. Before I could say anything else, he walked away from me. I stood still for a matter of seconds thinking whether I should go after him. I ran after him and eventually caught up with him. He said, Why are you following me? I said in a delayed fashion, I’m not sure, teacher. He laughed and walked away. I again ran after him. He turned to me and said very angrily, Why do you follow me? This time I replied also angrily, Because I want to! He looked me into the eye and knew that what I said I meant. He said with relief, This is the key to happiness, to do as you feel right, but also to do what God considers to be right. It is a very fine line. He then revealed to me how thinking is the other key, there are two ways of thinking and concentrating. One is when you pretend to think but you don’t and the other time is when you think and try to concentrate with your entire mind and heart and soul.

At first I didn’t understand but then he went into more detail. First you have to forget how to think all together. And see no difference when you think or see gold or iron. Then think of God whenever you say anything, and thinking of God all your actions will be moral thus leading to happiness, eternal happiness.

Some people find gold in the sea and call it treasure. Finding it they tell many people and cherish it. They feel happy, thus attain happiness. However I have learned that this happiness is fake, materialistic happiness. Happiness is a treasure, a way of life, and a way of thinking that gives a better understanding of life. Happiness is a privilege an honour that should be treated like gold but exposed like iron. Happiness is an art, and anybody that feels it wants more and more of it. Happiness is a drug, a treasure that all can attain, keep on trying like you have been; but only this time try harder. The way to achieve happiness is through the Gurus teachings. I will not take credit for the words that I utter now, because they are not mine: to attain happiness, you must tune 3 different things to the same frequency. Mun, Buchen, and Karam. Have a clean mind, and think of God at all times, and tell your mind what to do. Make sure that what you speak is the truth and anything else that you say is good. And accept your karam, accept what happens to you and don’t argue with God because he always wins. When you tune these 3 things at the same frequency with the help of the Gurus teachings and your Sangat, you will for sure attain happiness.

Ravdeep Singh