Materialism vs. Happiness:
What Do Vedas Preach?
According to Vedas, life has a higher aim than merely
enjoying material comforts. Vedas preach that by merely
resorting to materialism one cannot have permanent happiness though
one may have an illusion of the same.
Vedas says that the real happiness can not be attained by indulging in
pursuit of the material gains but by living a life of purity,
goodness, self control. That can be attained by making a consistent
effort towards purifying mind, body and soul instead of trying to get
more and more physical comforts, fame and name.
However, it is not easy to pursue what Vedas preach in the
contemporary world as one is surrounded by materialistic ideas. There
is a section of people, interestingly, who take refuge in the
philosophy of Carvaka to justify their craving for the
Carvaka (Sanskrit cārvāka, also sometimes written as Charvaka) is a system of Indian philosophy that has assumed various forms of philosophical skepticism and religious indifference.[ It is also known as Lokayata (Sanskrit lokyāta).
In overviews of Indian Philosophy, Charvaka is classified as a "heterodox" system, the same classifcation as is given to Buddhism and Jainism. It is characterized as a materialistic and atheistic school of thought.
Charvaka counters the Vedic philosophy that happiness is not closely
related to materialism. Charvaka's philosophy emphasizes that the
concept of self and consciousness are related to inert matter and
there is nothing beyond that which exists. It implies that the longing
for happiness and pursuit and the pursuit for materialistic welfare
Those who favor materialism as the only source of happiness say
that to think, teach or study about God is sheer waste of time. And
it is better to enjoy the physical comforts, of life if one wants to
be really happy. However, Vedas, on the other hand preach that the
only source of happiness could be quest for realizing the self.
And one gets the real happiness when one gets 'moksha' or
'self-realization' or 'realization of God'. The real happiness,
according to Vedic literature, is a state of eternal bliss. Once you
attain that, you never lose it. You don't have to make any conscious
effort to retain it.