The feeling of a need to work in order to gain happiness is the misery of miseries.  How can there be pleasure or removal of pain so long as it continues?

Only those who need not engage in action, are happy; they are perfectly content, and self-contained, and they experience happiness which extends to all the pores of the body.

A beggar in the street labors as much for happiness as a mighty emperor.

Tripura Rahasya 1.42, 46, 50

These are some of the thoughts Parasurâma had before returning to his guru, Dattatreya.  What he realized was that we are constantly looking for things to bring us happiness but as soon as we gain the thing, we find that we’re still unhappy.  We love that “new car smell” and it makes us feel happy but it quickly fades away and leaves us dissatisfied.  There is literally a “New Car Smell” air freshener for this very reason.

Parasurâma also recognized that this constant longing is common to the beggar, the emperor and everyone between.  He says that, “Only those who need not engage in action, are happy . . . .”  He isn’t suggesting that the path to happiness is to be idle.  The key word in shloka 46 is need.  One who doesn’t feel compelled to engage in action to be happy, the one that doesn’t need to find new and exciting things to bring joy into life, that is one “who need not engage in action.”

Such a person engages in action because the action in itself is needed.  They may even find peace, happiness, and joy in the action but they find the same peace, happiness, and joy in inaction as well.  The action isn’t the source of the happiness, they are the source of the happiness.

Why is such a person content and without a need to go hunting for something?  They are “self-contained.”  They know themselves to be whole, full, and complete within themselves.  How will you recognize such a person, you will feel that same contentment when you are with them, not because they cause you to feel contented but because their presence allows you to feel your own source of contentment.

This sounds extraordinary, like something reserved only for great souls.  It isn’t, it’s exceptionally ordinary.  What makes it seem extraordinary is that so few people recognize this within themselves because they’re so focused on getting something outside of themselves.

You are that which you have always been seeking.

Jai Bhagwan