International Day of Happiness 2018
In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly designated 20 March as the International Day of Happiness, and Sri Chinmoy Centres around the world have been marking this day with workshops, poetry readings and cultural events every year since. Dublin and New York were just two of the Sri Chinmoy Centres that organised events to celebrate this day.
Workshop and poetry reading
This years' programme was an hour and a half long, interspersing meditation exercises and songs with poems on the theme of happiness. The audience was welcomed by Mangala Keenan from the Dublin Centre, who introduced the event with some background history of International Happiness Day, noting that the first year's events organised at the United Nations incorporated readings from the book Jewels of Happiness by Sri Chinmoy. Mangala spoke about Sri Chinmoy’s service to the United Nations for over 35 years and how, as his students, we continue to offer such events to the public.
Some of the poetry readings were by members of the Dublin Centre, including Cathy Torres, who read Sri Chinmoy's poetry along with her own composition Happiness in Silver, Gold and Diamond, which by the end had the entire audience smiling.
Panorama Cafe, in Queens, an enterprise owned by Sri Chinmoy's students, hosts regular poetry readings, music performances and other cultural events - including one to celebrate this year's Day of Happiness.
Sri Chinmoy wrote many poems and gave several talks about the importance of cultivating happiness.
Sri Chinmoy’s book The Jewels of Happiness was released on 20 March 2013 to honour the International Day of Happiness and includes writings on how we can cultivate real happiness in our daily life. It was later released in audiobook form, read out by such luminaries as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Roberta Flack and Carl Lewis.
|Audio:Desmond Tutu reads from the opening chapter, titled 'Peace' of the Jewels of Happiness|
You can listen to a selection of recitations from the book at Radio Sri Chinmoy.
“If you are happy, it will help you to a great extent. If you are unhappy, you won’t make any progress at all. On the contrary, you will be marching backwards. Real outer happiness is not self-deception. It does not come from wasting time and indulging in pleasure-life. Real outer happiness is something totally different. It comes from inner joy and inner satisfaction.”
Sri Chinmoy 1
Sri Chinmoy suggested an integral approach to happiness. Both prayer and meditation are important, but he also encouraged a dynamic approach to life - he felt happiness could be cultivated through sport and serving the world.
- A Quest for happiness by Abhinabha
- Jewels of Happiness website
- Poems on Happiness at Sri Chinmoy Poetry