Happiness is an internal (rather than external) state.
A great Indian prince had anything his heart desired. However, he was not happy. He possessed money, palaces, servants that made his life comfortable, entertainment…But he did not enjoy life. One day, he decided to find a solution to his problem and consulted his wise men.
-What should I do to be happy?
-Nobody is happy. Your Highness is asking for the impossible.
The prince was left in sadness. Soon one of the wise men approached him and offered his advice:
-If Your Highness wishes to be happy, Your Highness must put on the shirt of a happy man.
Straightaway, the Indian prince started the search for a happy man through his entire kingdom. But everyone offered excuses:
-I do not have enough to feed my family and I am sad.
-I am unhappy.
-I feel tired and ill.
Everybody seemed to lack something and the happy man could not be found. Rich and poor, young and old, men and women…, nobody was happy.
One day, the Indian prince walked by a cave, the dwelling place of a hermit. He had nothing, lived eating whatever he found, and spent his life in contemplation and meditation.
-Are you happy?-Asked the Indian prince.
-Completely happy!-was the answer.
-Then give me your shirt-said the prince.
The hermit looked tenderly into the prince’s eyes and said:
-I would gladly give it to you, but I am so poor that I do not have even one shirt.