When I read an email or SMS that comes as advertisement, in this era of commoditization – I often wonder how a vulnerable human mind is exploited. The fundamental technique used is to touch those trigger points of desire to consume more. Yes “be consumed by your desires” is the mantra of the world of consumerism.
Simply look around, we have at our finger tips an ocean of objects to match our oceanic desires. The effort needed to indulge in them is also not so much – in a click comes the Swiggies and Zomatoes or that Amazon or Flipkart deals or those vacation packages.
Smart devices in our hands beautifully track every expression of our desires and memorize our habit patterns to nurture those desires constantly. We are bombarded with “Buy now”, “Order now”, “Indulge”, “Specially for You”, “Only few items left in stock”, “Grand sales”, “Last minute deals” – endless varieties in every dimension of our life to trigger the rock bed of desires and keep the flames nourished.
This is the new normal for the generation that has not seen life before smart phones. Indulgence in desires, letting them define our lifestyle and slog in the name of profession to fulfil and sustain such a lifestyle. Targets and goals driven by desires fill our life, do we really have time to contemplate on the purpose of human life !!
Idea here is neither to criticize the development of technology and ease of availability of objects that fulfil our desires nor to paint a picture that desire itself is wrong. Objective of this article is to contemplate together as a group of sincere Yoga Sadhakas on this scenario and probe into it in our life context.
Our tradition is an Inner Tantric Yoga tradition. Swami Rama says, in Tantra renouncing desires is not the path rather conquest and using desires as means to evolve to higher states of experiences. It is very easy to misinterpret that Tantra gives a blank cheque to indulge, but the fact is that Tantra integrates fulfilling desires in a practical approach to transcend them.
Go no further than a generation back and recall the lifestyle in our homes. Indian family life was anchored on one word called “Santosha – Contentment”. Cash may not have been the King but simplicity was. Unfortunately our society mistook simplicity to be poverty and boarded the flight of consumerism with conviction. How sad !!
As a Yoga Sadhaka, can we evaluate our lives and find out where we stand when it comes to the quality of “Santosha – contentment”. To evaluate something we should understand first what it is – so what is Santosha?
Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras, beautifully defines it as a state of mind which desires not to take more than what is necessary. In other words, a mind that is trained to live based on need. Santosha is the most important of all the Niyamas.
Now dive deep within yourself and see – how qualitative is your experience of Santosha? Be systematic, a simple scan of your – dressing closet or shoe rack or the apparel drawer or food taken past one week or the home interiors or professional ambitions – shall tell you the story of your mind.
Yes story of your mind – the endless wants, justified greed, subtle and unseen jealousy all taking you far away from Santosha. Have you ever dared to understand this story?
The challenge is that lack of Santosha is the root cause for an unstable mind, a mind that struggles to surrender, a mind that creates block for meditation and what not. Absence of Santosha in you also means absence of Aparigraha (non-possessiveness) i.e. when you are not contended, you hoard and deprive another being. Universe is a beautifully interconnected being. Each one of our emotions has a connectivity through the cosmic being to some other being.
On the other hand, Patanjali declares one who is soaked in Santosha experiences unparalleled Joy and happiness. What a paradox !! We constantly run behind objects hoping to get this very unparalleled Joy and Happiness but miss the point that it can be experienced by simply being contended.
Santosha eliminates greed, removes anxiety, prevents jealousy, gives sense of security, pacifies your mind. Just by constantly nurturing this one quality, we can make tremendous progress in our spiritual sadhana.
Not only in materialistic perspective, even in our spiritual quest, Santosha is an essential quality to flow with the natural unfoldment as per will of the Guru and divinity.
Santosha (Contentment) – A Cherished Gem for a Yoga Sadhaka. Let us together commit to develop this quality in all dimensions of our life and experience that Unparalleled Joy and Happiness our shastra promises.
Vande Guru Parampara
Ashramite at SRSD