Q&A on Santosh (Contentment) at the Satsang

The topic for the Hindi Satsang on Sunday, 16th June, 2013 was ‘Santosh.’ (Contentment).

Following is the transcript of the Q & A between the audience and Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.

Smt. Hansaji and Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra

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Q. Rising inflation causes insecurity. How to overcome this feeling?
Smt. H: Yogah Cittavritti Nirodhah – Stop thinking. Insecurity comes when there is lack of faith. Faith needs to be developed. There was one person who came to me, all worried about inflation and the future. Are you getting food to eat today?” He said, there was no problem in that. So I told him, “Then be happy.” We don’t know what will happen in the future. Learn to live in the present and that would solve the problem.

Q. Material possessions don’t make much difference to me. But I want more and more time with my husband. Is that wrong?
Smt. H: Well, ‘wants’ should go away. You just flow with situations. If you get your husband’s company, fine. If your husband is busy somewhere else, you should be happy with yourself. Santosh is the quality of God. God means someone who is happy within himself, doesn’t want anything in the external world. So we have to come to that stage. Good that you want to spend more time with your partner, but that ‘want’ should go away; just move ahead.

Q. How does one maintain consistency in the Niyamas?
Smt. H: Once you start one step ahead, you will see the benefit coming out of it and once you remember that, you will definitely put another step forward. This happens by watching what good happened today. Now a simple thing in this rainy season for anyone who comes here for the classes or who has a health problem, is to maintain dryness and immediately warming yourself up because the body temperature should not go low. So if a person who usually catches cold follows this, he will not catch a cold. So that works as a motivation.

Q. We should have Santosh of money but lack of money is the main cause of 99% of problems.
Smt. H: Lack of money in what sense? If you could live with the minimum in life, problems will not come. Gandhiji’s example – He had a pencil so he was using the pencil. With use, the pencil became smaller and smaller but still it was writing so he continued to use the same thing. But if you want a big one, you will need money. The ‘want’ is creating the problem. Make the best use of what you have. Unfortunately, we develop a lot of strong opinions, likes, dislikes and so the problem.

Q. Basically I am inclined to counting my blessings but sometimes discontentment can creep in in different forms. What should we do in that case?
Smt. H: Since you count your blessings, maybe you count your problems also, so it takes different forms. If you count your problems, compare what you have against what you don’t have. And develop faith.

Q. How do we keep Santosh intact?
Smt. H: Practice. Work hard everyday. That is why it is kept under Niyamas. Go on doing it everyday and it will become part of your personality.

Q. How can we cultivate the virtue of contentment in children?
Smt. H: Children behave how the world and their peer group behaves. If they get a new mobile or shoes, they also want it. The only way a parent can handle this is when a child comes and says “I want this,” parents can say, “Yes but not immediately, for now manage with what you have.” So what parents need to do is teach them a bit of patience, not reactions. So that little waiting period is a very good period for children to understand. It is a question of education. Adults can bring in contentment by using their philosophy and wisdom but children are still small, they only know emotions and actions-reactions.

Q. If there is Santosh, how will we even have the desire to do anything? Will there be no need to do any action?
Smt. H: Desire for anything is not what is required. What is required is having a goal and reaching towards the goal. Contentment or discontentment doesn’t come in the picture at all. We are born to progress, it is inevitable. A contented and discontented person, both are putting in effort; the only difference is that a content man is working hard in a positive state. He is happy with his life and is working hard for what is needed. He will always remain healthy, with good relationships, will not go in the wrong direction and will get what is required in due course of time. A Tamasic person is discontented, a Sattvic person is contented. Both look the same but the difference is in the internal state.
Satsang is an open meeting held every Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz East, Mumbai. It involves an interesting presentation to the public, made by the students of the Teacher Training Course. Each week, a new presentation of a Yogic concept is made in a simple way through skits and decoration for the general public, followed by a short speech from our Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.

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