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How to keep others happy? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
21 min
41 reads

Speaker: HIDP is telling us that our first and primary responsibility is towards ourselves. Then what about parents, friends and the society?

Listener: Not the society.

Speaker: Just the parents.

Listener: Parents and our teachers.

Speaker: All of that is society . Even parents are society. Anybody apart from you is?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Society.

Speaker: So there are just two, the individual and the society. You are there and everybody apart from you is society.

So what to do with them? What about them? If my primary responsibility is towards myself, then what do I do with them. I can probably see where your question is coming from. She is saying, “I want to keep my parents happy”. Right?

Listener: Yes Sir.

Speaker: All of you want to see your parents happy?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Yes Sir.

Speaker: How many of you do not want to see your parents happy?


No one. Good. Nice kids.

I too want to see my parents happy.

(Pointing towards a listener)

Sir, you want to see your parents happy. Don’t you?

(The listener agrees)

There is nobody who does not want to see his/her parents happy. Alright, do we have any parents here?

(Pointing towards the camera-man)

Omkar over here is a parent.

Omkar you always want to see your children happy?

(Listener agrees)

But are they always happy?

(Listener agrees again)


(Everyone laughs)

No, they don’t. Those who are sitting over here are kids only. If parents are there then children too would be there. Do you always stay happy?

Listeners *(in unison)* : No Sir.

Speaker: It is a wonderful situation. All kids want to see their parents…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Happy.

Speaker: All parents want to see their kids…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Happy.

Speaker: Everybody is either a parent or a…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Kid.

Speaker: Or both. You must be a kid if you are born. Surely there are parents or surely there were parents, right? Parents want to see kids happy, kids want to see parents happy and the world is so unhappy.

(Everyone laughs)

Speaker: Husbands want to see wives happy; wives want to see the husbands happy. And the world is so unhappy, the entire world is suffering. In the family there are the parents and there are the kids, both want to see each other…

Listeners *(in unison)* : Happy.

Speaker: And the family is very-very…

Listeners *(in unison)* : Unhappy.

Speaker: (smiles ) What is going on?

(Everyone laughs)

But then it is our family, it is happening close to each one of us, we can find out, we can see what is happening. Let us try to see what is happening.

A simple thing about life is that I can only give to others what I already have. I cannot give to you what I do not have. Understand this; I cannot give to you what I do not have. If I have only Rs. 20 in my pocket right now, I cannot give you Rs.100; it is impossible. If I do not have knowledge, how will I give knowledge? If I am not attentive myself, how will I draw you into attention? If I have clarity, I will give you…? ( pointing towards the listeners )

Listeners *(in unison)* : Clarity.

Speaker: And if I have a lot of confusion, then I will end up making you…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Confused.

Speaker: I can give happiness only if I am…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Happy.

Speaker: Parents want to give happiness to their kids when they do not have happiness themselves. How is it possible? Kids want to give joy to parents when they themselves are very-very miserable. How will they give any joy to the parents? But that is what you have been taught; suffer but make others happy. That is not possible. If you are suffering, you will only spread more and more…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Suffering.

Speaker: Directly or indirectly, voluntarily or involuntarily, you will end up spreading more and more suffering, if you are suffering. If you are sad, you will end up making everyone, everybody around you sad. If you are disturbed, you will disturb all the people around you. If you are calm, you will spread calmness around you. How can I tell you jokes if I am feeling tense and heavy, can I? Even if I tell you jokes they will be like, alright laugh with me.

Once a lion went to the elephant and said fight, elephant said I won’t fight. Then he went to the bear and then (sneering) Alright forget it, finally he went to the mouse and asked him to fight. Mouse said, “No, I have a cold”. Same jokes, same words, you may still laugh, earlier you laughed at the jokes, now you will laugh at me.

But the fact is, if I am not happy, how will I make my parents happy? If I do not have clarity how will I give to my parents? But you want to do the impossible. All parents and all kids want to do the impossible. They want to give to each other what they do not have. Mother wants to give wisdom to the daughter, wisdom is something that she never had but she wants to give all the wisdom to the daughter. She is adamant, “I will give all the gyaan (wisdom) to the daughter” and what is she actually giving? All her foolishness.


The father is adamant, “I will give all the practical knowledge to my son. Son, come to me, today I will teach you how to live in the world”. The father himself never knew how to live in the world, what will he teach the son? And if the father knows then he can beautifully teach, can he not? If the mother knows then she will be able to nicely give it to the daughter, won’t she be? Yes?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Yes.

Speaker: Do you see why is it important to first look at yourselves because you can only give…?

Listener: What you have.

Speaker: When you have and what you have, so first look at having it. Unless you find it within yourself, how will you ever give it to anybody? First find it within yourself and then it will necessarily, reach your parents, reach your teachers, reach your friends. But if you do not have it, nothing will reach. If you have darkness, what will you spread…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Darkness.

Speaker: I ask you a simple question. All parents have been teaching their kids to speak the truth. Yes? And what is the world full of…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Liars

Speaker: Liars. All parents have been teaching their kids to not to hurt others, to not to be violent, but what is the world full of…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Violence

Speaker: Murderers and armies and rapists, who are hell-bent on hurting somebody. It is because parents themselves do not know what they are teaching; they are telling us to speak the truth without knowing first, what is Truth. Parents have no idea what is Truth? Yet they are telling their kids to speak the Truth. Obviously it has no impact upon the child. He ends up becoming a…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Liar

Speaker: Liar. Look at the world around, what do you see? All parents want to give clarity to their kids but what do you see people around? People with clarity or people who are confused?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Confused

Speaker: Because parents are trying to do the impossible, they are trying to give clarity to you when they don’t have it, if you don’t have clarity how will you give it to me. That is the reason why the world is like this. All parents are well-meaning, their intentions are good, very good, their intentions are noble, they are coming from love but intentions do not matter much, there must be awareness, there must be intelligence. Yes, my intentions are good but how will intentions alone help? Are you getting? Your intentions might be very good but what about the Real substance, the intelligence. My intention is to give you a lot of awareness, so what? How can I give it to you when I do not have it. Yes I have good intentions, so what? So even if you want to help somebody, first help…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Yourself

Speaker: If six of you are sleeping in a room side by side and you want to wake up the other five, then what is the first condition…?

Listener: Wake up yourself.

Speaker: Yes? If you want to wake the other five up, then first of all what do you need to do…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Get up

Speaker: Get up yourself. Unless you wake up, how will you wake the others up, can one sleeping girl wake up other five sleeping girls? Is it possible that I remain sleeping but I wake up five others? Is it possible?

Listeners *(in unison)* : No.

Speaker: But that is what we are trying to do. “I am sleeping but I want everybody else to wake up”. How will you do it? Unless you wake up first, how will you wake others up? So, who will wake up first? To whom do you have your primary responsibility?

Listener: Myself.

Speaker: Good, wonderful.

Listener: Sir you say that find happiness within yourself. But how is that possible? How can we find it?

Speaker: But you are already so happy. Aren’t you? You do not have to find it. You are asking, “Sir, you said that find happiness within yourself first, only then it will go to others. How will I find that happiness within myself first?” That happiness is not to be found, not at all to be imported, that happiness is your basic nature. That happiness is something that is not separate from us. And whenever we are not happy, how do we feel?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Bad.

Speaker: How do we feel? Bad! How many of you enjoy it when you are not happy? How many of you aim to not to be happy? “What are you going to do today”? “I am going to not to be happy”.

(Everyone laughs)

Happiness is something that you want every moment, don’t you? Is there any single moment that you decide that right now I need to be very sad, I need to cry out. That happiness is essentially you, but that happiness is hidden under a lot of layers. You look at a child; he does not need much to be happy, he is generally happy without reason. Have you ever looked at a four-month old or a one year old child closely? Does he need too many reasons to be happy? He is digging soil from the earth and he is very…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Happy.

Speaker: And what does he have in his hands?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Soil.

Speaker: Soil, just soil. And he is…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Happy.

Speaker: He has seen a butterfly and he is looking at the butterfly as if the butterfly is the…? Have you ever really looked at a butterfly?

“What butterflies”? You are young men; I do not know what you mean.

(Everyone laughs)

When you say, “Yes Sir, we look at butterflies”. Which butterfly am I talking of? Wake up.

(Speaker smiles)

I am talking of the butterfly that a child looks at, not the butterflies of your kind.

(Everyone laughs)

And the child is looking at the butterfly as if it is the most valuable thing in the world and he wants to touch the butterfly and the butterfly just flies away. And the color of butterfly, yellow and pink and the child is just wondrous! What is happening? And he is very-very…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Happy

Speaker: Happy, all for a little butterfly. And there is a small toy and the toy is making some sound and the child is…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Happy.

Speaker: And sometimes just for nothing, the child is just lying down, throwing his legs about, there is nothing in the room but he is unnecessarily…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Happy

Speaker: And you will ask, “Why are you so happy”? He will say, “Are you stupid? Does one need a reason to be happy”?

(Everyone laughs)

Do you need a reason to be happy? You will say, “Yes I need a reason to be happy. First my result should come out, I should have 75% and then I will be…”?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Happy.

Speaker: And he will say, “Go away you idiot, you will spoil me as well”.

(Everyone laughs again)

You need too many reasons to be happy, that is the reason why you are…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Unhappy.

Speaker: Otherwise we are happy, sitting over here, you are already happy, if you do not want something. But you want so much, “Give me a reason, give me a target, give me an accomplishment, only then I will be happy”. You have told yourself that happiness is conditional, you have said, “Only when my conditions are met then I will permit myself to be happy. If you do not meet my conditions, I will not permit myself to be happy” Is that not so? You have told yourself that unless such things happen, I will not be happy. You watch a cricket match and just the beauty of the delivery, the in-swing, the perfect pitch, the way the bowler has released it, the seam position, the wrist, it does not make you happy. What makes you happy? Only if he gets a…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Wicket.

Speaker: And if the beautiful delivery misses the stumps. It beats the batsman but misses the stump, instead of becoming happy you become…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Sad.

Speaker: Unhappy. Now see, what is happening. It was such a beautiful ball but instead of making you happy, it has made you…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Unhappy.

Speaker: Why has it made you unhappy? Because you wanted a particular result and you have said that unless I get that result, I do not allow happiness to come to me. It was a beautiful match that you watched, six hours and at the end of the match your team loses. And it was a beautiful, fascinating match and what has happened after those six hours. You are very-very…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Unhappy.

Speaker: Unhappy. Look at this, such a wonderful match, for six hours it engaged you fully but the tragedy is, it has left you unhappy. Because you would be happy only if your team wins otherwise I do not allow myself to be happy. That is the way of our life, mere being, mere doing, just living, is not enough. “I want more, I want more” And you become happy when a soft drink manufacturer tells you, “*Ye dil maange more*” (The heart wants it more) and you say “Yes, more”. That is the difference between you and child, he does not want more and more, sometimes just nothing is enough to make him very-very happy.

You will not go out and look at that grass, the weather is wonderful today. But you will not go out, stop and look at the weather and the grass and the trees and say, “Wow” and become happy. Because you are aiming at something, even when you are walking over the grass you are aiming to reach the other building. So your mind is filled with the thoughts of other building, the grass does not matter. How can the grass make you happy? But the fact is the grass is beautiful this afternoon, you have not noticed it. This afternoon the grass is just beautiful and just looking at it can make you so happy. You will not look at it because how does grass matter, results matter, accomplishments matter, grass does not matter, that bird does not matter, the face of your friend does not matter. A friend is a friend only when he does something good to me. As they say, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. Only when in my need he gives something, only then he is a friend. Just looking at him does not make you happy.

You talked about your parents, have you really gone home and sat down with them? And had a heart to heart conversation, even looked clearly, closely at their faces? Do that and you will discover happiness. You will say, “It is there, why I am running after it. It is just here, it is just available”. Happiness is already available; there is no need to run after it. When you impose conditions on happiness, it is then that you become unhappy. Because you have told yourself, “I do not have right to be happy, I have right to feel guilty but I do not have the right to be happy”. “I have the right to feel sad, small, little, victimized”. “I have right to feel all of that, but I do not have the right to be happy”. That is how our lives are.


Why are you feeling sad? “Because there is so much to be sad about”. But my friend there is nothing to be sad about.

Oh! You are still feeling sad, why are you feeling sad? “Because there is nothing to be sad about”. “I will necessarily feel sad, I will feel sad when there is something to be sad about otherwise I am sad that there is nothing to be sad about”.

But I must feel sad. Why feel sad?

(Acting confused)

“He (Speaker) is saying correct but there is something wrong”.

(Everyone laughs)

“This thing cannot be this much straight, something is wrong. Call Sherlock Holmes, he will find out. Call somebody who can see whether there is a gap in the argument”.

“Why does he (Speaker) want to make us happy”? “Is he selling Happydent chewing gum”?

(Everyone laughs)

“What is his name? Is he really Prashant Tripathi (Speaker) or Happy Singh? Something must be wrong somewhere”.

“It is our birthright to be sad and long faced. Isn’t it? How dare you tell us that happiness is my nature? Tell me that I should cry and weep and bang my head. Tell me that life is bad and ugly and dangerous, and then you are a good man. The good man warned us, he gave us some awareness about the dangers and challenges of life. How can you (Speaker) come over and just say that life is good, life is simple, life is obvious and life is happy. No. That is not allowed”.

“Sir, good girls do not laugh much. We are supposed to be very-very modest and modesty is about being sad”.

“Sir, we have been told that you are quite respectable, how can we be happy in your presence. Sir when you pay respect we cannot be happy, right? How will it sound? How will it look? If we are laughing when we are paying respect, we must have a very serious face, very-very serious face”.

“And very seriously what am I doing”? “Finding happiness. Mission happiness. Commandos we are going to find happiness, let nobody laugh during the course of this mission. You have shoot-at-sight”.

Have you ever heard of that? We will have shoot-at-laughter because we are looking for happiness. So if you laugh, I will shoot you. We are looking for happiness, do not laugh, it is a serious mission.


“Nobody can make us happy. So many have come and left, no one could shake us”.

(A hearty laughs)

Main neer bhari dukh ki gagri…” (I am nimbus cloud of sorrow)

“Abla jeevan haye tumhare yahi kahani (O Woman! Your story of life is all the same)

*aanchal main hae doodh aur aankhon mein…*” (You carry Milk in your bosom and tears in your eyes.)

(Poem by Hindi poet Maithali Sharan Gupt)

Listeners *(in unison)* : Paani (Water)

Speaker: It appears quite nice when somebody is serious, right? When somebody is laughing, we feel, “He is a scoundrel”. But if somebody is serious and gimp faced, what do we feel? “This man has some dignity, he is a serious man”. If you are laughing, chances are nobody will take you very seriously. “He is a casual man; he is laughing all the time”. But if you are serious and some people are always serious, have you seen such people? Who are always serious, they get a lot of respect, don’t they? “Oh! He is a serious man, yes, very serious; give him a lot of respect”.


So you have learnt all these things that if you want respect, then you must be…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Serious.

Speaker: Unhappy.

(Making a sad face)

And you teach all these things to the child also. Next you know what is going to happen, when the child is laughing nobody pays attention to him, but the moment the child starts crying then everybody goes to him. “What happened?” the mother pays so much of attention. So what has the child learnt? The moment you show unhappiness, then you get a lot of…?

Listeners *(in unison)* : Attention.

Speaker: So you say alright, “I will keep laughing within”. All this cunningness starts developing and then comes a stage when you totally forget how to be happy, you totally forget. You say there must be a reason, an occasion, a particular day to be happy. “Let my birthday come and then I will be happy”. “When is the new year”?

You remember Gabbar Singh,“*Holi kabh hae, kabh hae holi*” (When is Holi) Do you know, why was he asking? He wanted to be happy on that day, so he was desperately asking,” *Holi kabh hae, kabh hae hol* i”.

That is just the way you also operate, *Chhuthiya kabh hae, kabh hae chhuthiya*” (When are holidays), then we can be happy. Otherwise how can we be happy? There must be a special day, something must happen, only then we will be happy.

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