Everyone wants to be happy. Hence it is important to know what a happy life is like. The answer can be found in the activities of a happy person, that is, what he does, what he avoids and what is his attitude towards life.
First, what does a happy person do ? He acts like a soul that he is : Ever active ! Since the soul is encased in a gross body, such a person makes allowance for it by proper and adequate rest. A happy person uses his body as a very valuable vehicle by making optimum use of it. He does everything that is beneficial. Why is prison life so painful even in the most comfortable of jails ? Because one is not allowed the freedom to act. A happy person enjoys real freedom by acting in his real self-interest. He works very hard by utilising all the time available. Thus, he is able to achieve something special routinely, for he moves purposefully forward in life ; his life does not go round in circles or backwards.
In inter-personal relationships, he is appreciative of others, finding appropriate qualities to speak about and proper words to say them. He accepts others as they are, while encouraging them to improve, more by his personal example than by words. Such a person is widely respected and is able to receive assistance and cooperation from others, which ensures a successful life.
As far as attitude is concerned, a happy person is disciplined with his mind being well-controlled. He, thus, lives an organised life. Being a realist, such a person readily accepts the realities of life and he tolerates the inevitable pains without getting disturbed for too long. He is not generally fearful since he is connected to the Supreme Being. This also ensures lasting happiness since God is a perfectly happy person. He hardly ever panics or gets nervous. In the Bhagavad-Geeta, Lord Krishna says : “The yogi whose mind is fixed on Me verily attains the highest perfection of transcendental happiness" (6.27). Such a person loves God, as opposed to fearing, which many do.
A happy person has a serving attitude. He always tries to be helpful to others, thus ensuring his acceptability. He is confident and is in the mode of goodness. Bhagavad-Geeta describes it : "Mode of goodness is purer than others, is illuminating. Those situated in this mode become conditioned by a sense of happiness and knowledge" (14.6). This helps control the pitfalls of anger, a quality of the mode of ignorance. Mostly, such a person wishes to learn more and more and, thus, lives more and more. It is said that a person who stops learning , stops living.
What is the intelligence of a happy person ? He strictly follows the scriptures, and when in doubt does what Lord Krishna recommends : “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service to him. The self-realised souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth” (4.34). He is never whimsical, that is, he is not guided by his mind – the cause of most of the problems one faces in life. A soul, that one is, has been described in the scriptures as very small and, hence, needs guidance constantly. And, because such a person seeks proper guidance, he remains free from the bondage of unnecessary worldly attractions and attachments. He is also able to see what real pleasure is and does not get stuck with pleasures which come with heavy price-tags.
What does a happy person avoid ? He avoids ill-health by proper care. Physically, he does not abuse his body by indulging in over-eating, excessive drinking, illicit sex, etc., which an unhappy person does. Actually, these activities amount to taking out one's frustrations on one's own body. For mental health, he practices chanting and meditation. Intellectually, he develops many hobbies including reading of the scriptures. Spiritually, besides chanting, meditation and reading scriptures, he routinely listens to spiritual discourses from authorities. Socially, he maintains healthy inter-personal relationships.
Such a person is always focused and is not tempted by sensual pleasures. He can undertake severe austerities when required and considers his life to be perfect and is fully satisfied. Finally, he has full faith in God and knows that he is eternal Soul, which never dies and, hence, is very peaceful.