It’s been a big debate from time immemorial that whether religion makes you joyful or it’s just a waste of time. The deniers of the religion are as old as the religion itself. Atheist don’t believe in religion, in fact they think that a religion is not even necessary. But still they found existence, nauseating. They think that the “purpose of life” is a myth, which is made by people who can not face reality of life, and hence is a way of getting false satisfaction and happiness. On the other hand there are people who are religious and believe in a religion and god/gods. They find contentment and peace in worshipping the respective lord/lords and for them life is just an examination hall. Good marks in this “exam of life” will make them go to a different world which will be eternal and everlasting, hence leading to bliss. Before discussing this we should first know that what basically happiness means and how can we get it (if we can)? Is it a selfless act or the feeling of success or winning? Some people find happiness in respecting people while some find the same in being respected. Some define happiness plainly as being rich or powerful. To someone happiness means a defeated country or winning a war, on the other hand, kicking a football may mean a world to a crippled kid. Isn’t this look sad the way we always try to define happiness and end up with almost nothing? Is this thing so hard the we shouldn’t be thinking about it or do we have this dilemma that we are happy or unhappy without knowing what exactly happiness is. Can’t we just understand and explain it, as we live it everyday.
From my personal understanding of life, to me happiness means “security”. A feeling when you know that you can not be harmed by anyone, no matter how big of a mistake you made. A feeling of surety, that whatever good is happening to you will stay and will not be snatched away from you. A scenario in which you know that you can not be defeated, or when you know that you have something so special and good that small defeats, losses, rejections can never harm you. For example, think that you are football player, you love the game like crazy and you are awesome at playing it. Some of your friends who are cricket players took you to a game of cricket and asked you to play. When you came on the pitch, a really fast and fierce bowler is about to throw his very first ball. Your feet are trembling as you know that you are not good at this game and hence may get hurt. He started his run up and you can clearly see that he is coming towards you to throw his first ball, fast enough to give you a black eye. You have no idea what to do, but as the bowler released the ball from his hand, you closed your eyes and swung your bat as hard as you can…. When you opened your eyes, you saw people cheering and praising you, as you came to know that you have hit the ball for a SIXER !!!! No Doubt you will be happy, wondering how you did that. But after few minutes, when you came out of your euphoria, a person comes to you and ask if you want to leave football and become a cricket player….what will be your answer ? will you say “YES” and leave the game of football which you have almost mastered or will you say “NO”, as you understand that hitting a sixer was just a chance and you can not leave something like football, as it is your basic game, your priority. Obviously your answer will be “NO”. Now think about the same scenario in a different perspective, like you are facing the bowler again and he knocked you out on the very first ball. Your bails and wicket flying all over the ground, people laughing and screaming at you. No doubt its embarrassing, but for how much time. An hour, 2 hours or a day at a maximum (only if you are insanely sensitive) but after a while you will not be sad at all, as you know that cricket is not your game. You are secured with football as it is your game and you are incredibly good at it.
Now keeping the example in mind, lets come back to the topic of defining happiness. Religious people know and believe that the final destination is the eternal life and they are secured with it. Short lived events in life, no matter happy or sad, which are temporary can never make them change there priority which is eternal and everlasting. Hence, making them happier in the broader prospective. At the same time people who don’t believe in religion, have no security. Death means end to them. Hence they try to do anything and everything as life seems short to them. In a process of doing everything they are unable to enjoy any of it, as the nauseating thought of death haunts them all the time. In Short they are insecure and hence frustrated.
So now if religious people are happier then what next ?
The next thing what we should do is start reading about religion/religions. Try to know about the prevailing religions and stay with one which answers all of your queries. The quest for the right religion should not be biased. No matter to which religion you belong, read every religion with an open mind. For me, Islam answered all the questions and is still answering Alhamdolillah (all praise is for Allah). Be strong and fearless in asking your queries to the scholars of the religion. They should answer all your questions if they think there religion is the truth.
I will pray for you in your quest for the true religion and God.
S M Danish