Recently an ancient Suttra, or sacred writing, of early 2nd century Buddhism was discovered on the Saraguptaskilihil Province in the Eastern Southwestern part of India. The Suttra contains the precepts and teachings of an Avatar of the Buddha who is little known but very influential in the formation of international Buddhism. The Wette Blanketteaman Buddha, or the “Buzzkill” Buddha first appeared in 156 BC, directly after the invention of the Waffle Ball, the ancient ancestor of the Wiffle Ball.
The Suttra of the Buzzkill Buddha lists 781 activities that are considered to be “fun”, and thereby declares them inappropriate for any Buddhist. The Buzzkill Buddha also dictates that any thing that feels good, tastes good, smells good or looks good on you when you wear it is an enemy to one’s peace of mind and an ally to Mara, the Great Distractor. The statues and other artistic representations of the BZK Buddha usually show him sitting in an uncomfortable chair wearing corduroy pants, sensible shoes and frowning at a picture of Pee Wee Herman which is held in his left hand. Worshippers of the BZK Buddha were usually the mothers of teenagers, restaurant managers and telemarketers. Gradually, this particular avatar of Buddha faded away into obscurity, though many of its tenets lived on in modern Buddhist thought, the most significant contribution being that “happiness” is not good for you. Modern studies prove that happiness causes cancer, sunburn, and major rashes in private places.
Contained in the Abu-Dahbi-Dharma, the manual for Super Suttra advanced students of Buddhism, is a seventy five page section that discourses on the dangers of such a lifestyle choice. Recently, the noted scholar of Sanskrit, Pali and the Southern New Jersey dialect of English, Thitch Nahthh Prahnh Hanhanh , translated this section into English, and then into American. It read as follows.
“Who the hell are you kidding? Happiness is nothing that can be found, made, dug up, plucked from a tree or shot at with a rubber band gun. As to the illusion of happiness, oh sure, you can find that in spades! Every marketplace in India is full of that! Pretty much anything you can seek, find, make, dig up, pluck from a tree or shoot with a rubber band gun will contain the illusion of happiness. But here is the deal, oh mortal dumbass,: happiness fades. It goes away. It doesn’t last. It will end. Just like your life, orgasms, and pizza—usually in that order. Being happy is not a crime against the Buddha, though 99 of the 100 ways one can get happy are completely against the Buddha and he will leave Nirvana just to hate you if you do any of them. Relying on happiness is like relying on a girlfriend who wears too much make-up. Here endeth the lesson. Please do not put this suttra in any place where it can be sought, found, made, dug up, plucked from a tree or shot with a rubber band gun by a cat, dog, lemur, wallaby or a three toed sloth. NAMASTE.
OK, so I’m kidding with all that. But not by much. The search for Happiness can be the most dangerous trap on the road to Nirvana. Getting happy is only half the problem, staying happy is the other half. The Buddha’s lessons on the general mental state that can be labeled as “happy” are delicate, deep and personal. Each of us must explore these questions on our own for the lessons to have meaning. Of course the Buddha doesn’t want us to be sad, miserable or despairing. But think about it, how many times has your life veered off course because you were trying too damn hard to be happy? And in contrast, how many times have you veered off when tried to be just content or at peace? Or, have you never even tried.
You will find many allies on the road to happiness. Everyone wants a piece of that lovely, perky, flaky, pie. Lots of people want you to buy their products to get happy or to get more happy, whether you deserve it or not. But as contentment and peace of mind can only come from knowing yourself, it can be lonely, and often it must be. Contentment is not happy. Contentment is the place where you don’t need to make yourself happy. These places that seem to reject the concept of happy are strange and weird. And friends, family and enemies will take these changes in your life as a condemnation of their own choices, and some of them will hate you for it, and ask you that awful question. “Don’t you want to be happy?”
My religion began when a wealthy, married prince of a prosperous land stole away in the middle of the night in defiance of his father and his King. He had only the clothes on his back and one horse to start him on his way. Soon, he rid himself of even these things. Didn’t he want to be Happy? No. He wanted something more important. He wanted everyone to find peace. There is a difference. And he wanted you to find that out for yourself. There’s a lot to be learned here, and I am still learning. This is a beginning, find your own end, and if you meet me on your road to enlightenment, you are welcome to shoot me with a rubber band gun.