Santosh (Contentment)

The topic for the Satsang on Sunday, 2nd September, 2012 was Santosh (Contentment)

Following is the transcript of the speech made by Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra on the topic.
Smt. Hansaji and Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra
These mental attitudes and these things are practically inborn. No amount of advice to remain content and not to wish for things can help because the desires are there. They require some expression. It’s only the understanding that can help. You see, while experiencing life, the understanding occurs that all these material objects have a limitation and it is much more happier to be without them, to be with whatever one has.

This is the understanding that has to come and it does not come easily. It may come very late in life, practically when we have lost our capacities to enjoy and then we have to submit and reconcile to whatever remains. The older person could have some little food which he or she can eat, a good dress can be put up but more things the person cannot enjoy. The person can’t walk, can’t run, there are no physical activities at the physical level. Mentally also they are dull, so these things reduce. So nature teaches.

But there are people who much earlier can see through the ways of life and realize that changes can occur. What pleases us today may not please us tomorrow. So these people become like good spectators. They watch, observe, but don’t get much involved and don’t run after things. They possibly in the end have seen a lot in life with a calm, quiet mind and understanding.

“For applying Santosh in life, real self-effort is needed because desires unknowingly enter us and they look very innocent and we feel, “What’s wrong in fulfilling this small desire?” This is not about a desire and finding a solution, a way of fulfilling it. It is about the personality. If one is alone, one wants to talk to someone but ends up talking negative things about others. A lady was travelling by car and saw corn. She felt like eating it so she immediately stopped the car. However, she ate just a little and got full so she said “enough.” The lady was a bundle of desires and was never satisfied.

To see good in life, first we need to see what we have with us, see how wonderful it is. So many people don’t have what we have. There is a story of Akbar and Birbal where a man comes and draws a line. He then challenges them to make the line shorter without touching it. Birbal comes and draws a longer line beside it, thus automatically making the original line short. This is the attitude and approach we should have. We have a lot compared to others who don’t have anything. A man wanted very good shoes but could not afford them. He was sad, but then he saw a man who didn’t have feet. He then realized how lucky he was that at least he had feet to walk with.

Be a little sensitive, see the world and then in our life we will be able to group things as worthless or worthwhile. Desires keep coming, but let them go. They are the outcome of emotions. Humans have one more capacity – Intellect (Vivek Buddhi), i.e. discriminative power. Use it when desires arise. Then as discriminative power increases, desires decrease even more.

The sooner we apply this in practical life, the happier we will be. So try not to immediately satisfy your desires. First sit, think, and act with a scientific mind. Contentment is the most valuable wealth. Do not expect from others. Be happy from within.

Q & A

Q. We have come from a country where Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) is worshipped and yet we regard money as evil. Why does such an attitude in people exist?
A. Dr. Jayadeva – Well, the proposition is simple, that we should respect material wealth but the other proposition has not sunk into us that material wealth is a limitation. That we have not understood.
Smt. Hansaji – The story of Goddess Lakshmi goes that she came when they churned the ocean. So it’s very clear. You have to work very hard to earn it for your use. But the money has to be pure because it is a Goddess. So it should not be black money or stolen from others or earned through the efforts of others. Negativity comes with money only if it is wrongly acquired. Desires should not come into the picture. We should work hard and money will automatically come. So if this is the attitude, everything is beautiful but if a person deviates from this, it becomes evil.

Q. There is so much happiness in my heart that I can’t handle it. What to do? (Audience laughs)
A. Dr. Jayadeva – Start helping others. Help the brick layer, the man digging on the road. Then your happiness will be cleared.
Smt. Hansaji – Good, by asking this question, you made others happy. Go on giving happiness. It will multiply and you will also know how to use it because it is also an emotion and you have to use it properly or it will go overboard.

Q. What is the ultimate truth we should be looking for?
A. Dr. Jayadeva – The ultimate truth is that we need not be looking for it at all. It is there in us. You see, awareness is there – it is ultimate. If you have no awareness, no knowledge, no understanding, then there’s nothing. So let us maintain this awareness and not sully it or dirty it by desire.
Smt. Hansaji – Just make sure the awareness remains. Keep doing your duty and the rest will come on its own.

Q. Should we have Santosh for knowledge and education?
A. Dr. Jayadeva – Well, certain amount of Santosh is necessary because knowledge is endless. One can go on reading and reading. There are millions of books that can be read. That doesn’t help.
Smt. Hansaji – Knowledge does not come by reading, nor by listening. According to yoga, knowledge comes by applying into life and experiencing. Yoga cannot be learnt by reading. So for knowledge of life, you don’t have to do so many courses. Knowledge of life comes when you pick up one aspect and go deeper into it, experience it, spread it in your day to day living. Then a stage comes when you stop reading and listening. A stage comes when you sit quietly, peacefully without thoughts and knowledge from within reveals itself.

Q. When we are surrounded by competitiveness, how is it possible to maintain contentment?
A. Dr. Jayadeva – Move out of that place.
Smt. Hansaji – The word ‘Contentment’ is greatly misunderstood. It does not mean “No Progress.” Let the world be competitive. You don’t get into the competition. But you see that every minutes you are sincere in your work. Do your best without distraction and everything will fall into place. Don’t see the result or where you are in the competition.

Q. How to keep contentment between husband and wife as both of them have different desires?
A. Dr. Jayadeva – Anyone sitting in this lecture should start and the others will slowly learn.
Smt. Hansaji – Contentment comes when you accept each other as they are. Thank God for a lovely partner and with that feeling, both together, or individually could learn to develop themselves. It does not mean you have to be after each other to improve each other.

Q. What is joy of giving?
A. Dr. Jayadeva – Have you ever given anything? If you have, you will know.
Smt. Hansaji – You can’t put it in words. It should be experienced. The feeling of being of some use gives a different joy from the joy we get from material possessions.

Q. A good desire or goal makes us work harder. For example, an Olympian has a strong desire to win a medal and that drives him, wherein the Bhagwad Gita and yoga say you should do work without desiring. Can you explain this paradox?
A. Dr. Jayadeva – Well, the Olympian who wins the medal is definitely happy, but what about the others who don’t get it? They are unhappy. So why follow that channel? Let the Olympian do the best he can. If he wins or does not win, then also he will be happy.
Smt. Hansaji – Instead of this race, if you can enjoy the game, the running, the play, that would be so much more pleasurable. Others who lose are getting unhappy, then we are creating more unhappiness in the world than happiness. One stage will come when you will lose and it will be difficult to handle because you have won a few medals before. Why get more complications in life by having such competitiveness in anything?

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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