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Happiness is possible when you try to make happy the soul. Then happiness is possible. Just like a bird within the cage. If you simply wash the cage and keep it very nice and don't give any food to the bird, then the bird will never be happy

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Expressions researched:
"Happiness is possible when you try to make happy the soul. Then happiness is possible" |"Just like a bird within the cage. If you simply wash the cage and keep it very nice and don't give any food to the bird, then the bird will never be happy"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Happiness is possible when you try to make happy the soul. Then happiness is possible. Another example is given—just like a bird within the cage. If you simply wash the cage and keep it very nice and don't give any food to the bird, then the bird will never be happy simply by polishing the cage. But this is the cage. This material body is a cage of the soul. Therefore material living being is called conditioned, or encaged. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā.

Everyone is hankering after peace of mind. Ātmā suprasa. Ātma, ātma means this body, ātma means the mind and ātma means the soul. We are in three status of life. Actually, we are the spirit soul covered by two kinds of dresses. Just like you gentlemen, you are also covered by two kinds of dresses—underwear and coat, shirt and coat. Similarly . . . actually, "I am" means I am not this shirt and coat, I am within the shirt and coat. Similarly, I, the soul, I am covered by two kinds of layers—mind, intelligence and false ego. False ego means I am considering I am this American dress, I am this Indian dress, because I am identifying with this body. If I ask somebody, "What you are, sir?" "I am American." "What you are, sir?" "I am Indian," "I am brahmin," "I am kṣatriya."

But these are the designations. This is not my real identification. The Vedic information is when I understand I am ahaṁ brahmāsmi, I am Brahman, or the spirit soul. That is my beginning of identification. Therefore in the Vedānta-sūtra it is said, athāto brahma jijñāsā, to inquire about the spirit. This human form of life is meant for advancing knowledge of brahma, brahma-jñāna. Brahmā jānātīti brāhminḥ. One who is advanced in knowledge of Brahman, he is called brāhmin.

So if we actually want peace . . . everyone is hankering; that is . . . that is our prerogative. Every living entity must hanker after happiness. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). Because by nature we are happy. By nature we are happy. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt. So as spirit soul we are naturally happy, blissful. But because we have been covered by the eight material elements—earth, water, fire, air, ether, these are gross elements—and within the gross elements, mind, intelligence and ego. So somebody is satisfied with the comfort of the outward gross elements, this body. They are called materialist. Simply sense gratification. Indriyāni parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ (BG 3.42).

First of all our conception is happiness means happiness of my body. The whole world is going on. Material world means everyone is working hard only for the happiness of the body. And some of them, they are trying to be happy by the happiness of the mind. Just like arts, poetry, philosophy, speculating on. But both of these kinds of happiness will not give us real happiness, because real happiness belongs to the soul. Basic principle of happiness missing.

Therefore simply by bodily comfort, sense gratification, we cannot be happy. And actually it is so happening. People are endeavoring throughout the whole world for bodily comforts, for sense gratification, but they're not happy. There cannot be happiness. Because . . . the same example. Suppose you have got a nice coat. If you simply soap the coat and iron the coat and keep it very nice, that does not mean you'll be happy, because you are trying to get happiness from the coat or shirt. That is not happiness. That is not possible.

Happiness is possible when you try to make happy the soul. Then happiness is possible. Another example is given—just like a bird within the cage. If you simply wash the cage and keep it very nice and don't give any food to the bird, then the bird will never be happy simply by polishing the cage. But this is the cage. This material body is a cage of the soul. Therefore material living being is called conditioned, or encaged. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā.