If any statement of Meher Baba’s is designed to send psychologists up the wall, it’s “Real happiness lies in making others happy.” Why? Because some of them think that means making someone else happy at any cost. I don’t think that’s what Baba meant.
In the first place there’s the question of what “happiness” itself means. Is it always getting our own way? Is it always being in charge? In other words, is it getting away with being a spoiled brat or a bully? Is it always making our happiness dependent on how others treat us? If that’s what we think, than it’s not hard to see we’re in real trouble.
I don’t know what Meher Baba really meant by “Real happiness lies in making others happy.” Possibly because many times we don’t even know when we’re making someone else happy. And perhaps only the Avatar and the Perfect Masters know what it means to make someone else happy in the true sense of that word. But I do know some of the things that mean “real (with a small ‘r’) happiness” to me, and most of them are connected to Baba.
Real happiness is seeing the look of years of love received and given in the eyes of an older Baba lover.
Real happiness is getting to do something for him.
Real happiness is seeing the awed look of recognition on the face of a newcomer the first time he hears Meher Baba’s name.
Real happiness is the day I realized Meher Baba had found me. And the day I finally saw him with own eyes.
Real happiness is knowing Meher Baba just got me out of real trouble because I asked him to.
Real happiness is watching a three-year old girl dart out of a crowd at a book show, come running up to a Baba poster tacked down low on the side of a bookcase, throwing her arms around it, and kissing Meher Baba on the nose.
Real happiness is opening a wrinkled piece of wax paper containing a rose from one of Baba’s 1962 garlands and the aroma is still there.
Real happiness is having been lucky enough to share in the 30 years of love and support the mandali poured out on all of us.
Real happiness is walking through the gate to Baba’s House at the Meher Center and being stopped in my tracks by an overwhelming sense of his presence. And sometimes it’s walking through the door of my own house and feeling the same thing.
Real happiness is growing old with him, and knowing the best really is yet to come.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Sporadic things, mostly, but as close as I can get to knowing what “real happiness” is. And until I catch on in some lifetime or other to what Baba really meant, they’re more than good enough.