Sadhana Sangama Trust

SANTOSHA (CONTENTMENT) – A CHERISHED GEM FOR YOGA SADHAKA

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

Vijayasarathi

Ashramite at SRSD

3 responses to “SANTOSHA (CONTENTMENT) – A CHERISHED GEM FOR YOGA SADHAKA”

  1. Savitha says:

    Santhosha or happiness is the most important aspect of life is well defined and inter-related mind corruption thoughts are interestingly articulated.

    When we go with actual need base way will be away from desire satisfying cycle…..the feeling of contentment which is the fountain of life can do wonders in the inner journey!

    Training ourself to simplicity and indifference with need and desire is the challenging aspect here.

    Thank you Vijay for enlightenment upon core aspect of Santhosha bhava.

  2. sudendra kulkarni says:

    Santosha (contentment) is the highest heaven, santosha is the highest bliss. There is no higher experience than santosha. When one draws away all his craving desires like a tortoise drawing in all it limbs, then the natural resplendence of his soul soon manifests itself. When one does not fear any creature, nor any creature is frightened by him, when one conquers one’s cravings and aversion, then is one said to behold one’s soul. When one, indeed, in word and thought, seeks to injure nobody and cherishes no desire,Santosha or ‘contentment’ doesn’t mean idly sitting back and relinquishing the need to do anything. It simply means accepting and appreciating what we have and what we are already, and moving forwards from there in non-attachment or ‘Vairagya’ and appreciation of our true selves.. jai guru dev.

  3. N Narayanan says:

    The article, without ambiguity, conveys the difference between need and indulgence. It also makes it clear that one who embarks upon the inner journey should stay away from indulgence. Spiritual sadhana does not advocate poverty. All are protected and provided for in divinity’s creation. This experience will happen only when we learn to simplify our lives.
    Thank you, Vijay, for giving life to the word ‘contentment’ through this article. Well narrated and articulated. Keep up the good work. Let more such thoughts flow and guide the seekers.
    Jai Gurudev !

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