Namaskar. There are variety of different experiences in human life. Human emotions can vary. Sometimes people feel a great deal of pain, sorrow, suffering; other times they're very happy, and in the span of your lifetime, you are bound to experience both pain, sorrow, grief, fear, love, joy, well-being, and happiness.
Everyone wants happiness. The deer in the forest wants happiness. The cat wants happiness. Even the plants in the garden want happiness. And all people want happiness. This is the natural inclination of human life to search for happiness. The struggle of life is the struggle to find happiness, whatever form that takes for you.
Having the basic needs met for food, clothing, shelter, that's the primary happiness. If people do not have basic food, clothing, and shelter, if they do not have their basic needs met, it becomes very hard for them to contemplate God. It becomes very hard for them to contemplate the universe because their minds are taken up with meeting those basic needs.
But once those needs are met, once you feel you have the food you need, you have shelter, then you come to the place where what you need becomes more subtle. Your emotional needs come to the surface. Your need to secure yourself in the world. Your need to have friends, have family, have love, have a position, have work that you love—those needs become dominate when the basic needs of survival are taken care of.
And finally the need to find something greater, something larger than yourself; something more important than just your own life. Living to accomplish, to achieve, to be able to build a monument to yourself becomes not enough after a while. And there is a desire to find happiness in something larger, something lasting, something greater than yourself.
And so, when people reach this point where just satisfying ego needs is insufficient, then they become self-actualizing. Then they become able to see something greater than themselves and begin to actualize the love that they feel in their life. When you feel you have real love in your life, when you feel that you have something you want to give in the world, a purpose that you have, a reason for being in this world, then life takes on meaning. Many of the sorrows and difficulties of life come because of the lack of meaning, the lack of purpose in life. Once you feel that you have true purpose, once you found your dharma, your reason for being here, your purpose of what you are to do in this world, how you can help others, how you can help the plants, the animals, other people, how you can help society; once you find your passion and your place, whether it's healing, art and music, organizing, whatever the work that you have if the purpose of that work is not only to promote your own welfare and to promote your wealth, your prestige—if it's for others, if it's for humanity, if it's for living beings, then that work begins to take a purpose greater than yourself.
And to fulfill that purpose the passion of life and the source of happiness becomes not in finding just something for your own pleasure, for your own accomplishment, but finding something that gives happiness to others, that brings welfare to those in need. This becomes a great joy, seeing the happiness that others have and being able to give something of need of another.
So if you feel discouraged in life, if you feel that life does not have meaning for you, go out and do something for someone else—feed the homeless, work in the cook kitchens, work on the land, take care of animals, take care of plants—do things that help others and that will make you begin to forget about your own troubles. Realizing the far greater troubles that some others have and your ability to make a difference in this world, your ability to bring joy to others, to help the land, to help the animals, to help the people—when you find this joy then it's a very great joy in life.
And as you do your sadhana and you begin through meditative practices to realize the depth of your own connection to the whole—that you live in all beings and they live in you, and that the divine light, the divine love, lives in you as well as all others—then you begin to realize that there is a very special connection that you enjoy with all living beings, with life itself. A very special connection where you are in relationship to divine being. You are in relationship to life, and you can give your love to others and they can give to you.
When you realize that you are in the web of life, and the divine love is flowing all around you and through you, then that love becomes your shelter in the storm, your way to the heart and real happiness, deep happiness where you are always sheltered, you are always safe. You are in the arms of the infinite. You are one with eternal being. You are the aware consciousness that is everywhere. It is in you and in all beings - the same consciousness. You are not limited to the little body. You are not limited to the small identity.
When this understanding comes, it brings freedom and great joy and that joy is where you can find your home and your shelter in the storm. Namaskar.