In Search of Happiness

by Dr. Pran Rangan

Once, a rich man, who is very unhappy with his life, decides to find out the secret of happiness. He also makes a decision to give that person a lot of money and gold, who tells him how to be happy. So he carries a bag full of money and gold. He is very careful about it lest he might lose it.

He goes off to different places, meeting many people in his search to find out a practical way to achieve happiness. He can't find even a single person, who can show him how to achieve it.

Despite the failure of his efforts, he doesn't lose heart. He still continues his efforts. One day, he reaches a village and finds a strange looking man at its outskirts.

He asks him: "Gentleman, can you help me find out someone, who can tell how to achieve real happiness?"

The man can't understand what he actually wants. So he tells him: "There is a wise person, who has answers to every question, in the next village. His name is Mullah Nasrudin. You meet him; I am sure he will definitely help you find the answer."

The rich man goes to the next village, looking for Nasrudin. He finds him sitting under a big tree in its shade."

The rich man asks him: "I have come from a far-off place to find out how to achieve happiness. Showing him the bag, he says if you can tell me, I will give you this bag full of money and gold."

Nasrudin keeps musing for a while and suddenly snatches his bag, and starts running towards the village. The man also begins running after him but can't catch him because Nasrudin is physically fitter. At last, Nasrudin succeeds to hide somewhere in the village. The man tries his best to find him but doesn't succeed.

Then he comes back and sits under the same tree. He is overtaken by despondency and keeps worrying why he has come to this place. He has lost all the money and gold. He shouldn't have believed that strange looking person.

He keeps blaming his fate for more than an hour. Then, all of a sudden, Nassurudin comes back to him and returns his bag. The rich man is so happy to get his bag back.

Nasrudin asks him: "How do you feel after getting back your money and gold?"

He replies with joy: "I am very happy to get them back. I am so thankful."

Then Nassurudin tells him: "Now I will tell you a secret of happiness. We are never thankful for what we have. We don't realize the value of something as long as it is with us. Paradoxically, we understand its value when we have lost it. There is nothing wrong in desiring more, which we may or may not get. Above all else, we must be grateful to the Almighty for all that we have viz. home, family, friends, relationships, education, assets, money, gold etc. Unless we develop the attitude of gratitude, we can't achieve happiness."

The rich man was happy to know the secret. He didn't forget to express his gratitude to Nassurudin before leaving. He left with a promise that he would never forget his valuable advice.

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