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FIRST CHAPTER of The Happy Raj: The Kingdom of Happiness

March 21, 2014

THE HAPPY RAJ: The Kingdom of Happiness

By Nihal S. Dissanayake

ImageDescription: THE HAPPY RAJ is an award-winning novel about happiness, and suffering. Meditation is the cure-all regime installed by billionaire Prof. Happiraja in his KINGDOM OF HAPPINESS in the beautiful sunny island of the Happy Raj. .

The Happy Raj is a religious and a self- development novel, which uses Buddhist philosophy to analyze human behavior patterns and the resultant feelings of happiness and unhappiness.

THE HAPPY RAJ is the first award-winning novel in THE HAPPYRAJ SAGA SERIES, which will roll-down into the fifth novel by the end of the year.

Billionaire Professor Happiraja is determined and committed to help you move up the happiness ladder on your journey towards eternal happiness levels, by providing you with all the facilities you need, for life, at his own expense.

Sotapatti Meditation Program is his star program to push the happiness-hungry masses to enter into Eternal Happiness levels, which is receiving world attention. In the words of Lord Buddha, Sotapatti level is higher than that of being a World King.

The plot: Billionaire Professor Happiraja creates a beautiful environment for stress and mind refinement exercises in an island. His ultimate objective is to help the happiness-hungry masses realize Eternal Happiness levels offered through his Sotapatti Meditation Program. His project is derailed when one of his supervisors, Deva, dies mysteriously and his partner, hermaphrodite Cicci jumps into the burning funeral pyre in an attempted suicide.

Dada, the former owner of the island, a rich factory owner, destituted by a tsunami wave, is invited by Prof. Happiraja as his guest, and becomes the first target and beneficiary for his happiness operations.

Appearance of a ghost in his old cottage sends 72-year old Dada into the Medical Centre with a heart problem. When Dada is discharged, Happiraja presents him with a powerful notebook computer, which makes Dada, a designs engineer, dreams of bouncing back into active life.

When Rev. Aloka arrives in to cleanse the island of the ghosts, Dada gets interested in meditation. Two of top Happy Raj executives join the Sotapatti Meditation program in t search of Nirvana, on the day of the inauguration of the Kingdom of Happiness.

Dada also dons the yellow robes in search of Nirvana, and is appointed as the Trustee of the Temple of Happiness. A tsunami wave batters the island immediately after its inauguration, destroying almost all buildings and takes hermaphrodite Cicci with it

Professor Happiraja plans to rebuild the Kingdom and plans to commence a special section for women mediators immediately.

CONTENTS

1: THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF IMPERMANENCE

2: WHAT IS HAPPINESS?

3: AKURA ENTERS THE HAPPY RAJ

4: DEVA IS DEAD

5: WHAT IS SUFFERING?

6: WHO KILLED DEVA?

7: DADA GOES HOME

8: LETTER WRITING MODE

9: THEY ARE COMING FOR LUNCH

10: DADA GOES BACK TO HOSPITAL

11: A FORMULA FOR DADA

12: CHANTING PIRITH TO CHASE OFF THE GHOSTS

13: HOLY MEN INVADE THE ISLAND

14: THE TEMPLE OF HAPPINESS

15: A TSUNAMI WAVE STRIKES THE HAPPY RAJ

CHAPTER ONE

THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF IMPERMANENCE

The fluorescence of the hidden tube lights faltered flickered and disappeared eclipsing the room with a thin cloud of darkness. The shadows hiding like ghosts under the tables, chairs, cupboards, computers and stools, changed their positions, sizes, and lengths to extend their tentacles looking for new areas for control, after suffering several hours under the unfriendly rays of the fluorescent tubes. When a new source of light emerged, creeping stealthily into the room through the narrow openings in the red and yellow curtains that protected the office room of the President, the shadows readjusted their areas of control.

The murmur of the air-conditioners faltered and faded off reluctantly to a premature death. So were the hands of the electric clock that was fixed on to the cream-colored walls of the office of the President of the State Polytechnic, Professor Happiraja. The UPS attached to his computer screeched desperately asking for help and guidance. Embarrassed by the unfriendly disturbances to the serenity of his room, darkened by the sudden failure of the power supply, Professor Happiraja extended his long and fleshy left hand, covered with a white long-sleeved national costume, and used his plump thumb to ensure complete silence in the room. He thought that the power failure could be due to the political forces operating in the country. He jerked his head that was pivoting at the top of a tall and a slender body to look at the hands of the clock that had lost its indefatigable desire for movement. Its hands told the retiring chief that the time was 9:34. Exactly twenty-six minutes more for his last meeting with the members of the academic staff who were getting ready to say GOOD BYE to their beloved boss.

Professor Happiraja stood up, pushed back his heavily upholstered chair running on five castors, with his knees, and moved towards the window covered with red and yellow curtains to allow some fresh air to reduce the warmth of the room. That window, opening to the playing fields of the State Polytechnic permitted a new current of fresh air, impregnated with the sweet smell of the youth playing a game of football, to rush in to the room to pacify the head of the President, disturbed by the sudden breakdown of the main power supply.

He was suspecting sabotage. When he looked out of the window, his eyes met with a huge banner that was hanging from the branches of the strike tree. It said in very bold letters THANKS FOR GOING. He could see groups of students playing football, and another group watching the game or discussing how they would continue to practise for the scheduled championship fixtures during their holidays they were getting on that very day. “That is youth,” he said to himself and slumped again on to his leather-upholstered chair. His long left hand extended to push a button on his telephone and inquired, “How long will it take for the stand-by generator to be activated?” A subdued voice murmured, “Within a few minutes sir.”

Intrigued by the sudden loss of life in the institution, he cursed Faraday for midwifing a baby that had lost control of his own creator’s wishes. The thought that penetrated into his head was, “Can the world survive without electricity?” He argued that the civilized world would slowly stop if the power supplies were disconnected or disrupted for a day. No food, no cleaning of what you wear; no water, no telephones, no transport and there will be no production of any other thing. He justified his decision that he would use solar energy as the standard source of power in his island, and a diesel generator would only be used as an auxiliary source. Why should you spend money on fossil fuels when the rays of the sun are available freely for any person?

It is life, argued the Professor. Everything is subject to the laws of change; and impermanence is the universal law. The power supply is no exception. This inability to accept the changes in the world we live in is the main cause of unhappiness. When you buy a new car, you are happy. If it gets involved in an accident, you are very unhappy. It is the same with the human body and human relations. When two lovers meet, it is a world of dreams, happiness, and eternal love. But if it breaks off, some people commit suicide. When a member of the family dies, whether he is two years or one hundred, everybody grieves. When you fall sick, you are unhappy and when you are old and lose control of your own body, you become helpless and very unhappy.

He came to grips with the incident, and decided to stop thinking about it. You cannot be happy until you realize that the change is constant and no one has the ability to change that rule. To be happy, you have to come to grips with the reality; everything in this world is subject to change. And no one can stop that change, whether he is powerful, rich, or wise.

When the normalcy had returned to the institution after the power supply was restored, Dr. Haritha was the first person to enter into his room while he was re-adjusting the curtains he had opened. Dr. Haritha as the President of the Staff Association was the one who had organized the lecture on the day Professor Happiraja was retiring. It was the unanimous choice of the entire staff that they should get him to talk about happiness, a subject that he had been writing about to the newspapers and magazines. Dr. Haritha had come to accompany the guest speaker to the auditorium where they had already gathered.

The auditorium of the State Polytechnic designed to accommodate 400, did not have more than 100 heads although almost all the members of the academic community had gathered to say Good Bye to their boss who was retiring prematurely in search of inner tranquility.

He was loved by all as a sincere friend, and had won the respect of everyone including the rebellious student groups. The student community loved him because of his candor, accessibility and his ability to understand the problems of the youth. He had developed the institution to a very high level during his three years as its head.

Dr. Haritha, the President of the Academic Staff Association rose up to invite their incumbent President to deliver the lecture on the invitation of the academia, his last lecture at the institution, to its academic staff. Dr. Haritha, a short and a plump person with bulging cheeks was in his early forties. He went up to the podium, adjusted the microphones to suit his height, without disturbing the beautiful flower arrangements, focused his eyes first on the chief guest of the morning, seated gracefully wearing a flowing white national dress, and said in a very subdued tone:

“Mr. President. Friends.

“I consider it a great privilege to preside over this small meeting, which has two important objectives. First is to bid farewell to our beloved President, and the second, is to invite him to talk to us about a subject he had written a lot during the past few years. We thought we wanted to listen to his thinking about happiness, because it is the most important objective of all our endeavors. We are interested in listening to you, sir, because most of us think that we are not that happy.

“Before I invite you sir, to come to the podium, may I take this opportunity to thank you, personally for the invitation you had extended to us all, to think and suggest to you of a suitable name for that beautiful island where we had spent a very happy week-end two weeks ago.

“At first we were skeptical about the levels of happiness we could experience there, as there was a restriction on the import of any foods or drinks into the island. However, the absence of liquor, on your request was a blessing, because we had sufficient time to walk around, climb the hill, take a dip in the fresh water swimming pool inside the flowing stream, and enjoy the luscious fruits in the orchard. I must mention that, it was the first experience I had in walking into an orchard, decide what I wanted to eat, and select the fruits of my choice without any restrictions what so ever. There, I experienced the curse associated with plenty, where my requirement was only a few grapes. That was how we quenched our thirst while trekking about in the virgin island. I thank you very sincerely, sir, on behalf of our brothers and sisters, for the invitation you had extended to us to visit your beautiful island and the treatment we received there as if were from the royal family.

“Please permit me sir, to talk a few words about that island in which we had spent a week-end and enjoyed it in a way that we had never thought we could enjoy as a group, with diverse views and tastes and ages. What I loved most in that property was the range of colors of the plants, which ranged from pale yellow to thick dark green; and on the other side from pale pink to scarlet red. And I also noticed tropical flowers of all kinds and colours and decorative plants with leaves of all sizes and colours ranging from green leaves of the plantain bushes decorated by the yellow fruits that had no takers and the pink tender leaves of the na trees around the bungalow where we spent the night.

“I would summarize the beauty of the island this way. If I had visited that island while I was helping the National Horticultural Gardens to improve its fauna and flora and its general layout, I could have made a bigger contribution with my knowledge I gathered from your island.

“Sir. We considered your invitation to think of a good name, a suitable name for the island, and we are unanimous about three simple words. The ladies will explain the logic behind their selection of The Happy Raj as the name for the island. There was the second name. Our second choice was Kingdom of Happiness.

“It is such a beautiful place, with all kinds of exotic fauna and flora, rabbits, giant tortoises, large crocodiles and smaller iguanas, and birds, both local and migratory. In my opinion, it is ideally suited for the purpose for which you are giving up this high office at this institution, which you had developed to a very high level, and therefore we have been able to attract international students as well.

“The combination of the colors, both of plants and flowers in that idyllic environment, in my thinking, would form an ideal place for those who need to enjoy peace and tranquility of their harassed minds while working in the concrete jungles of the big cities. I am so impressed with the beauty of the flora of the island, I really do not mind making my services available to you, sir, without any fee whatsoever. Most of those who visited the island have expressed their desire and willingness to visit it for the second time, if we can get another invitation.

“Without taking much of your time, sir, may I invite you to talk to us about happiness.”

The outgoing president, with a tall and a slender figure had a symmetrical face that could fit into the book on international beauty standards of the human face, rose gently from his chair, went up to the podium, adjusted the microphone, and surveyed the audience before he spoke. First, he decorated his face with a beautiful smile, which, if Da Vinci could see, he would have studied it before he made his final touches to the Mona Lisa smile.

Professor Happiraja spoke in a very soft voice with lot of authority.

“Mr. President and friends.

“We have been listening to the botanist in Dr.Haritha. Thank you Dr. Haritha, for the very kind words about The Happy Raj. I accept your suggestion as a fitting name for the island and invite you all, once again, to come there during your holidays to spend a few more days. This is in appreciation of your contribution to find a suitable name. Can I also ask you for a small favor? When you are visiting the island next, I am inviting you to bring along with you a small plant each, to be planted there so that I could remember all of you. My consultants who studied the natural vegetation of the island had mapped out six unique natural vegetation zones within the island.

“What Dr. Haritha said here a few minutes ago can be an ideal beginning to our discussion. The Happy Raj has been able to create very beautiful and pleasant feelings in Dr. Haritha and made him very happy; if not for that, he would not want to go there once again and offer his services free.

“Usually the signals that you receive through your eyes can give you three types of feelings. The first is happiness, and the second is unhappiness. The third is a neutral feeling. In this instance, the things that Dr. Haritha had seen or his eyes have come into contact at The Happy Raj had created very happy feelings in him. Those feelings of happiness have got fermented in his head during the last few weeks. That is the second stage, and had entered a third stage or the action stage. We saw Dr. Haritha moving into the third stage when he offered his services free to The Happy Raj, and I have accepted his offer to work free and if he is willing, for life.

“If I do not accept his kind offer, that feeling of happiness, would turn into a feeling of unhappiness. That in turn, would or could, transform into a feeling of enmity, anger, or hatred, during the process of its fermentation. This is the theoretical model and not what Dr. Haritha would do. Now, as I have accepted his offer that should once again create a new level of happiness in him, to visit the island for the second time and improve the attractiveness of the place.

“A feeling of happiness can be created with the signals received by us from any of our sense organs: the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, and the body. The mind plays an important role in making us happy or unhappy and is the forerunner, in making those contacts and acts in collaboration with the other organs, or sometimes independently.

“There are three independent institutions that combine together to make a feeling, whether happy or unhappy. One is a part of your body, say your eyes. It is internal, because it is you who see with your eye. The second is an external object, say when Dr. Haritha went into The Happy Raj, he saw a dancing peacock. It is external to your body. When your eyes see that external object, your mind’s eye called chukka vingnanaya coordinates the function of seeing and helps to record it. Your eye has a wide-angle lens. Of all the things it can see, you select one for you to fix your eyes on it and enjoy its beauty. The important thing is that the contact the eyes make is with the dancing peacock.

“When the eyes get entangled with an external object, the view is accepted by the mind and is recorded in the memory system. If that feeling of happiness gets fermented into a very high level like the one that Dr. Haritha was caught, we use the term upadanaya, which has the meaning that we are clinging onto the object and would crave for it, either to own it or share it, once again with the objective of reaching a higher level of happiness. If we are not successful, then the thinking would be to get angry. Feelings like anger, hatred, and jealousy could be generated to react to what you have failed to get. If I did not accept the proposal of Dr. Haritha, he would not say that, but any other person could say, it is good that he is leaving.”

There was a loud burst of laughter, which made the Professor to purse his thin lips and wait for a few moments to continue with his talk. Then he continued:

“Ladies and gentlemen, let us now get onto the subject. Before that, I would like to introduce you to a few words, which I think would help you to understand without getting confused. The basic words are happiness, unhappiness, suffering, stress, dukkha, and eternal happiness.

“What is happiness? Let me begin with a quotation from Lord Buddha: santhusti paramang dhanang . It means Happiness is wealth supreme. Happiness surpasses all other forms of wealth and is ranked number one in the value structures. That was the reason why thousands of very rich and powerful persons, kings and queens and ministers had left all their wealth and power to don yellow robes to join the order of the holy men during the times of the Lord Buddha, in search of happiness. And it still continues.

“For all of us who are enjoying a life of abundance and luxury, living a family life along with a good collection of happy assets, it is different. For us happiness is in collecting and owning and using those status symbols such as large mansions, expensive vehicles and living with 365-day party lives. For most of us, it is difficult to understand how we can enjoy a life without the luxury of ownership of those things we have collected during our lifetime.

“The question becomes how we can move into a higher level of happiness while clinging on to these happy assets. I am still not clear in my thinking when Dr. Haritha said that he would work for me free, whether he is planning to leave his family, the castle that he had built on the top of that hill, and all his belonging, to join me. If that is so I would hug him with great joy.”

They all laughed once again. The Professor continued.

“The negative side is what happens when the nature of those assets change. Men and women get old. Vehicles meet with accidents. Houses need repairs and maintenance. Where will your happiness be if you discover that a major portion of your house is invaded by white ants?

“I think happiness is the accumulated results of a series of strategic decisions taken by you during your life time. It is like a castle that you build for you to live in, in accordance with the life styles you treasure, with the life style you want to enjoy or are comfortable with, by incorporating all your likes and dislikes. For this castle you can make use of the architectural designs of the middle ages such as a deep moat right round, and another strong wall like the Great Wall of China to wade off all the evils, or trouble creating elements, that could disturb your planned happy life and tranquility inside.

“Strategic considerations for modifications such as draw bridges like in the castles of the medieval period to prevent disturbances to your tranquility and safety to your life and to all in your family can also be incorporated.

“Next, is suffering. What is suffering? Before I answer this let me ask you a very simple question. How do you define your life style as at today? Are you suffering a lot? Or are you happy? Or both? One might say of the 31 days last month I was suffering for 29 days, and I was happy during the two days I spent at The Happy Raj. You suffer not due to any fault of yours, but due to the fact that you were born into this world with five insatiable monsters. They are the sense organs such as the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, and the body. The struggle of life is our struggle to keep these insatiable monsters satisfied or gratified. Every few hours we have to feed something to our system to prevent the worms inside our stomach from harassing us. We find it difficult to keep our eyes fixed onto one object even for a few seconds; they like to go in search of better sights. It is the same with the ears. In the morning, we saw how every one of us was complaining that we were not comfortable when the power supply was stalled.

“Then there are a few things which you cannot control. Whether you are rich or powerful, no person can help you to stop the process of aging. I can see, the majority of you are wearing eyeglasses. It was the result of your eyes getting old. In ten years time you might not be able to sit like that for one hour without moving out. Even now, I can see some of you are adjusting your body positions to be more comfortable, or to reduce your suffering. That means the joints have aged. Or a sickness has struck the body. Last month we attended the funeral of one of our students. His family was extremely rich. But they could not stop him from dying, in spite of the fact that his mother was a specialist doctor. That type of suffering, no person has the ability to stop.

“Now let us compare happiness with suffering. Suffering is like the darkness that is there in this planetary system. It is eternal, and can only be reduced by the appearance of the sun for a few hours of the day. When the sun rises, darkness disappears to come back once again after a few more hours. Whereas happiness is like the sunshine. It comes and goes off. When there is a full eclipse of the sun, the darkness returns without giving us any notice.

“Happiness is a positive thing that you have to cultivate. If your philosophy of life is solid and the strategies are sound in building that castle of happiness, you will be able to live a happy life.

“Now I will take two samples to explain to you what happiness and suffering are. I have selected these samples with care so that you have no difficulty in trusting what I say. The first sample is my teacher, Lord Buddha himself. For six years, he suffered in the jungles to reach Buddhabood or Enlightenment to enjoy that happiness which we describe now with the adjective, eternal. If you need a simple explanation, eternal happiness is the happiness that is enjoyed by the Buddhas, Prathyeka Buddhas and the Arahants, who have given up all their worldly belongings, went in for serious meditation and managed to get rid of all their cravings and all other defilements. Their happiness cannot be disturbed.

“They all had done enough meditation and mind control to come to that noble stream where they have ended the cycle of suffering or attained Nirvana. Now I am going to give you a story that comes in the Buddhist literature.

“Lord Buddha had the practice of moving into forests and caves to relax or meditate. One day, he went into a forest and sat by the side of small lane. He was meditating. It was there the second sample–let us call him Bharadwaja, entered. He was a poor agriculturist who had been looking for his lost herd of cattle in the forest. When he saw Lord Buddha, he was very happy to see someone who was well composed, happy and was relaxing. He noticed the happiness on his pleasant face, in contrast to our Bharadwaja who has been roaming the forests in search of his lost herd of cattle for the seventh successive day.

“He approached the yellow robed monk without knowing that he was Lord Buddha, saluted him, and started talking. Unlike Lord Buddha who looked very happy, much-harassed Bharadwaja explained the level of his unhappiness. He explained that he had been a successful farmer and had seven daughters and he had given all of them in marriage before the drought started several years ago. He explained to Lord Buddha:

“You know that the present drought has continued for seven years. Within the first few years, my stocks had come to an end. But the drought continued. When the stocks had ended, I had to borrow from the rich people in the village with a promise to pay them later. Now the rains have not come and the only income I have is from this herd of cattle. They did not have sufficient grass to eat, they had entered the forest, and I could not find them for the last six days. In addition, all my seven daughters have come home with one or two children each, because of various reasons. To maintain that big family I have to borrow from out. Now there is no one who could help me.

“The situation in my home is unbearable. As we do not have any grain in the stores, rats and other rodents have taken shelter in the stores and make a big, very big racket during the night. They don’t allow me to sleep. In addition to that, the old mat that my wife gives me to sleep is infested with house bugs and they start sucking my blood as soon as I lie down on that mat.

“My wife has no any respect or sympathy for me now. She comes early in the morning, kicks me to wake me up, and tells me to leave the house before the creditors could come in search of money. Even yesterday, I did not have a good meal and I had to leave home today on an empty stomach. Now I am an old man. I am tired of walking for six days in search of my herd, without any success.

“Why I wanted to talk to you is to find out how you look so happy, when I am suffering like this. Can you please get me to join your group so that I also can enjoy a carefree happy life like you?”

“Lord Buddha had agreed and ordained him. Early next day he was asked to come with his bowl to go on collecting alms. That day Lord Buddha had visited the King’s palace for his alms. He got the new monk to explain his problems to the king and the king settled all his problems immediately.

“This story explains the two extremes and we are always in between.

“The other definition is very simple. According to this definition, happiness is the dividend that accrues to you for your investments to make others happy. These investments could be made either in thoughts or in words or in deeds. When you start doing the metta meditation, you normally radiate the feelings or your good wishes of love and well being or sympathetic joy towards others. They are your thoughts.

“Then let us look at how you can use your words to make others happy. The cliché, I love you is the most popular. The best is to use the words that could make the other person happy.

“The third is by deed. A large number of people keep on sharing their wealth with the deserving poor without expecting anything in return from them. We use the word Dana. I will explain a personal experience. When I take my walks through all alleys and lanes, once I noticed a beggar woman sitting by the roadside with her plastic bowl that had a few coins. When I looked at her face, it was so unhappy; I used to avoid that side of the road to avoid her. Once I thought she deserves something, and I bought her a very cheap dress from the area where she used to sit and gave it to her. I could still remember the change in her face. All that unhappiness, I had used to avoid in her face, changed, and immediately it was transformed into one of extreme happiness.

“When you invest either your time or other resources to make others happy you increase the stock of total happiness in the globe. You also can chip a small slice of it to add to your happiness account. It is only that account, with both debits and credits that you take with you when you are asked to leave everything you own and everyone you love. It is not only for this world but for your next birth as well.

“Now ladies and gentlemen. It is the question time. To make things easy, I am circulating a copy of my full lecture along with a blank sheet of paper. Please use the sheet of paper if you have any questions. Write your question carefully and send it. I will look at all the questions, and decide to answer the ones that I think are more important so that we can be within the time allocation. The uncompleted part of my lecture is in the note that is circulated. You can also read the entire thing in the website I have created. The address is also there. I have done this to save your time and to take you to the dining table without any delay. This is to make you happy and to reduce your suffering.

“The first question is: What is eternal happiness?

“Some psychologists and psychiatrists believe that happiness is a place, to go like The Happy Raj, for you to visit. They make the distinction between visiting and living. But in my thinking, we are making arrangements to develop The Happy Raj as a place for you to visit as well as to live. Eternal happiness is that happiness enjoyed by the Buddhas and the Arahants who have stopped their samsarik pilgrimage in the sense that they have stopped the process of birth and, therefore have managed to get rid of or eliminated all suffering. As they have eliminated all their cravings and therefore are able to live a life of happiness and tranquility which we describe in Buddhist philosophy as Nirvana. At that level, you are highly matured in your thoughts and in your actions. You can remain neutral or we use the word equanimous. You cannot be disturbed by anything, at that level. It is also referred to as eternal happiness.

“There is the second: How do you position happiness with that of suffering?

“Suffering is there from the time you are born up to the time of your death. It is there. No person can transfer his suffering to any other person or stop you from suffering. You can only suffer. Greed and craving are the causes of all suffering. But happiness is a thing that you have to plan for, cultivate, and achieve. Eternal happiness as I have explained to you is the end of all suffering, and can be enjoyed only by the arahants. So in our case we have to build our castles of happiness on a foundation where you bury your greed and craving without allowing them to surface to make you unhappy.

“The third is: How do you explain your great renunciation? Why are you leaving this high office to go and live in a wild island?

“The question is wrongly worded. The great renunciation refers to what Prince Siddartha did. It was a fact that he left behind his wife, his child and his three palaces and the right to be the king. He was leaving to spend a life of a recluse. That was the great renunciation. But in my case, it is some sort of a renunciation. Renunciation is the tacit abandonment to a right or to a position and practice. If you become a vegetarian, you give up eating or consuming meat, fish, or eggs. We can use the word great only in the case of Lord Buddha.

“To tell you the truth I was forced to take this decision with the death of my father. He was a billionaire, very rich. When he died, he did not take a single cent with him. When those billions got collected into my accounts, which were also very heavy, I asked the question why I should collect money and assets if I am not taking them with me. By this time, I have been looking for opportunities to help people to live happily. I had an opportunity of visiting some of those camps where the displaced people have been living for as long as two decades. When I started studying the Buddhist philosophy, this idea of a Kingdom of Happiness came into my mind. I employed a team of consultants to look into its feasibility and they said it was a great idea. I consulted several Buddhist monks and they encouraged me. It was after spending so much of time and money that I had decided to buy this island and move there. I will use this island to help people who are not so happy to find out how they could move into a higher level of happiness. That is all.

“Next one: Why do you say that happy assets, as you call them, don’t contribute to make you happy, but make you suffer? Increase your level of stress?

“Yes. That is true. I’ll take one happy asset as an example. Let’s say that you build big a mansion. Don’t look at Dr. Haritha. The one he had built was not a mansion, but a castle.”

There was laughter once again. When it decreased, he continued with a happy smile.

“Now you see, you spend a lot of money, if necessary, borrow some more and work over-time running up and down to see that the contractors don’t cheat you. When you move into the new house, you are very happy. When days go by, spiders spin nets inside the rooms that are not occupied. Rats creep into nooks and corners. With the smells of emptiness invading some rooms, ghosts also move in. You also have to spend a lot of time and money to maintain it. In the process the time you spend is–how do you define it? Happy? Or unhappy? I’ll take another example. You are not very happy if you are alone. And you decide to get married. When the first child comes, all the problems start. I don’t have to explain it to you. This was explained by Lord Buddha in his very first sermon. He has said, birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, and death is suffering. And that is life.

“Now I will answer the next most probable question.

“I can imagine it coming from you because I know you all very well. The island doesn’t belong to me now. It is transferred to a trust along with all the assets of my father. There is a board of trustees to manage it. They have to invest the funds and work according to the trust deed. I don’t have to suffer much in looking after that island.

“I think we have come to the end of our time schedule, and I promise to answer all the questions you raised within the next one week through our forum, a special website I have already launched. The address of the website is in the note that I have circulated. You can make use of that forum to keep in touch with me or ask any question that is bothering you.

After a long vote of thanks, they retired to the dining room where a sumptuous vegetarian lunch was being planned.

© 2011 Nihal S. Dissanayake

ISBN: 1453645357

EAN-13: 9781453645352

Selected Chapters of The Happy Raj: The Kingdom of Happiness can be read at Amazon.com.

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