Joy is like a butterfly that comes and sit on our hand but can never be grasped or held. Instead Loving kindness practice, remembering to be grateful to self and others for every little boon and even for difficulties, consciously letting go of grudges help displace the sludge that builds up around the heart and keeps joy away.
According the Upanishads and the Shaiva and Shakta Tantras, Ananda is unison with God. Same association of joy with divine experience in Sufi poetry, in the Kabbalah, and writings of Christian mystics can be found.
When Mudita deepens, and it becomes our entire field of experience, we find ourselves in touch with the most profound level of joy: Ananda (Bliss) but in reality bliss is too ordinary to convey what Ananda in reality is.
Ananda is ecstasy, the rapture, a joy that comes up on its own from the very depths of the universe and connects us instantly to the vastness of pure being. Ananda is the divine power in the form of happiness. When someone touches it, he knows it he has touched the deepest level of reality.
Practicing Santosha calms the mind, there’s a good chance that the next level of happiness Mudita (Spiritual Happiness) will sneak through.
Mudita in its purest form is the joy that comes from out of nowhere, like a message from our deeper self, which has the power to change our state in an instant. It gives rise to feelings, such as gratitude, exaltation, equanimity, and the capacity to see beauty even in things we rarely find beautiful.
Mudita can be cultivated, and it aims much of spiritual practice at generating this kind of joyfulness.
The simple yogic antidote to this problem of the endless chase after the mirage of permanent pleasure is to go to the next level and cultivate Santosha (contentment)
Practicing of Santosha is essential, because it is the fastest way to decrease the agitation which comes from frustration, discomfort, and unsatisfied desire.
Santosha is being OK with what we have, accepting what we are, without feeling the need for anything extra to make us happy. Santosha is not having the desire for anything other than what we need. Thus we can achieve real contentment only when we will give up striving for what is out of reach, to stop expecting more from life than it can give us, and to let go of the mental patterns that destroy our satisfaction like comparing our skills, character, possessions, and inner attainments with the surrounding people.
In Sanskrit, there are basically four words for happiness
Sukha (Fleeting pleasure), Santosha (Contentment), Mudita (Spiritual Happiness), and Ananda (The Bliss)
Sukha is inseparably linked with its opposite: Dukha, or “suffering.”
This pain-pleasure dichotomy is one of the basic Dvandvas (Conflicts), the pairs of opposites that plague our lives as long as we live in the feeling of being separate from others and the world. Like hot and cold, birth and death, and praise and blame, Sukha (Pleasure) and Dukha (Suffering) inevitably follow each other because when our well-being depends on external conditions, it will always come and go. This problem Buddha noticed, which led him to formulate the first noble truth.