Happiness, as in the context of a Hindu (a cultural, subcontinental cultural expression, rather than a narrow religious term) is something that was thought about my the brightest minds.
Essays,Books, Schools, Religions have been built and nurtured on it’s name. Avatars created, Saints glorified.
Yet, for an average human in present day world with it’s plentiful amenities and material distractions, happiness seems as elusive as before; sometimes more so. The Hindu always felt its something that comes from within, our very nature, its always there, not something that’s got from outside. Our cravings, which trouble our mind and if obtained satisfy it merely gives us temporary mental satisfaction which subsides the waves of restlessness in our Chitta (A yogic term, mind-space would be a close translation) which allows the pre-existing happiness to shine through.
A Hindu, views all material happiness as temporary and bitter sweet since all material pursuits are attaching us with action and thoughts in the direction which opens us up for Karma.
So for a Hindu, happiness is our native state which we have muddled with our desires and pursuits.
India’s tryst with Yoga is deep rooted in symbolism and runs deep into its spiritual classics, poetry, theory, ritualistic practice, grand-mother story telling and visual art forms. The pervasive, repetitive and at times outwardly silly, unreal, mythical symbolism is probably one of the factors that has prevented the pillages, marauders and missionaries from destroying what India now offers to the world. They probably thought its too silly to be having anything worth annihilating.
Breath, the Monkey mind are common symbolisms in the epic written by sage Valmiki – The Ramayana. Hanuman, the ‘monkey God’, is literally Hanu (kill) and Man (mind). He is the symbol of Yoga and since he is the son of Wind ( Vaayu-Putra) . He is also the symbolism for halting the mind, going beyond it by practicing breathing techniques and meditation which enables the union of estranged devotee ( the Sita, literally born of earth) and eternal soul (Rama, The God, literally one who charms) held apart in an Island by the forces of darkness ( habits of body, mind and the Ego )
All observing non-changing soul bound is thus dipped into the erroneous identity with the body by the chord of breath. This identity can be reclaimed by tracing its origins back via the breath, the Hanuman, and killing the mind enables the realization that one is nothing but the never changing, unborn, undying unary eternal soul.
This is union we seek. This is the union that brings peace.
To the Monkey Mind and quietening breath which kills it then ,