Happiness is an eternal, innate quality of the soul. When we are focussed on the externals —— our body, roles, relations, responsibilities and possessions, we lose our connection with the inner resource.
Once a teacher and his young assistant arrived at a village where the people were angry and quarrelsome.
At their request, he gave them his blessings, and asked them to remain together in the village forever.
In the next village they met joyful people who were cooperating with one another and caring for each other. the teacher blessed them too, but asked them to leave the village, and spread out across the country. The puzzled assistant asked the teacher why he had given such different advice. The teacher said, “Those angry, argumentative people will only spread their unhappiness wherever they go. So I asked them to stay where they were. But it is better for the caring people to spread out, taking their happiness with them.. Then others will also learn to be joyful”.
Here is another story :—–One day a man from a nearby village called at the monastery gates, and handed the old monk, who opened it, a magnificent bunch of grapes saying, ” Dear Father, I have brought as a gift the finest grapes my vineyard has produced”. The monk smiled, “Thank you, I will take them to the Abbot immediately, he will be delighted with this offering”. But the villager said, “No, no, I brought them for you”. The man insisted, “Whenever I come by, you open the gates and welcome me. When I needed help because the crop was destroyed, you shared your meal with me every day”. But the monk decided to give the bunch of grapes to the Abbot, who had always encouraged him with words of wisdom. The Abbot was very pleased. He though of one of the brothers who was very ill. “I’ll give him these grapes, they may bring some joy to his life”. But the grapes did not stay in the sick monk’s room for long. He thought, ” I will give these grapes to Brother Cook, who has been feeding me such nourishing meals to help me recover”. He gave the grapes to Brother Cook saying, ” They are for you. You work so hard, take a moment to sit and enjoy them”. Brother Cook was amazed at the sight of the grapes, then he thought of the newest entrant to the monastery, who might be feeling a little lonely without his family. When the novice received them, his heart was filled with the glory of God. just then he recalled the first time he came to the monastery and of the simple old monk who had opened the gates and warmly welcomed him That gesture allowed him to feel at home in this community of people who knew how to value the wonders of life. And so, he walked to the monk at the gates. He said, “Eat and enjoy them, for you spend most of your time alone here, and these grapes will make you very happy”. Thus the beautiful and luscious bunch of grapes came back to the person who thought of sharing them with others. Happiness, always has a way of coming full circle.