In Sri Swami Satchidananda’s translation and interpretation of the Yoga Sutras, he says that we attach ourselves to pleasure because we expect happiness from it, forgetting that happiness is already in us as the true Self.

Musk deerHe continues: “Happiness seems to be the basic need of everything in this world, yet rarely does anyone find it. Why?
Because happiness is like the musk deer.

The ancient scriptures have a fable about this animal, which has a scented spot above its forehead that gives off a musk fragrance. This deer runs here and there in search of the scent, not knowing the scent comes from its own forehead.
Just like that, happiness is already in us.

Wherever we go we reflect our happiness onto people and things.
Close-up of young daughter looking into dad's eyes.
When we see a smiling face and feel happy, it is because the smiling face reflects our happiness.
Just as a pure clean mirror reflects our face beautifully, certain our clean faces reflect our happiness. Then we say ‘She gives me happiness’.

In other faces , our happiness reflect a distorted way and we say ‘I don’t like this person.’
Its absolute nonsense. No one can give us happiness or unhappiness, but can only reflect or distort our own inner happiness.”

Yoga teaches us to come into the present moment and connect with our inner happiness and true Self.


18 comments on “* Happiness is Like …

  1. excellent point. we do attach ourselves to pleasure making the jump mentally that pleasure will equate happiness. I like the balance this perspective supplies.


  2. Beautiful story of the musk deer, Val. Wonderful post.


  3. Thanks Val…looking for the spot on my forehead…


  4. Thank you Don. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Val x


  5. Especially true of sustaining inner happiness.


    • Thank you for visiting Rebecca and sharing your thought. I agree – when we know its there we don’t have to put a lot of energy to find it. We simply plug in. Much easier to sustain. Val x


  6. Professions for PEACE

    Beautiful wise post Val! Such a delightful comparison to that old fable, which reminds me of the Nathaniel Hawthorne quote, that Happiness is as a butterfly which when pursued is always just beyond our grasp but if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. You’ve presented gorgeous images and wise words to help us remember… it comes from within. Blessings, Gina


  7. I had never heard the fable about the musk deer, what a great story to remind us that we can’t search for happiness in others, we have to find it in ourselves!


  8. Happiness is an inside job. 😀


  9. Your first paragraph made me stop and think: can pleasure make me happy? No. When I’m not happy, I have trouble feeling pleasure, and, if I feel any, then it evaporates quickly. Can happiness enable me to feel pleasure? Yes. In other words, pleasure is something I only really feel when happy, and feeling happy makes pleasure come from experiences with almost everything.

    Thank you for sharing your insights.



  10. Thanks, Val, for your inspiring reminder. I’ve met many yoga students who keep looking for the teacher that will bring them happiness. I’m fortunate to have been present when more than one came into the realization that they themselves were the source of their happiness – like that musk deer discovering they are their own source.
    Your guidance is wonderful.


I'd love to hear from you ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: