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How can I be Content?

Our entire running around in the world is because we are not content with what we have. He who is not content with what he has will not be content with what he would like to have. Embark on a journey of soul-searching with Pujyashri Gurudev and emerge a more content, happier individual

One may ask, ‘I am dissatisfied with everything. What can I acquire that will make me content?’ The saints reply that so long as you think in terms of acquiring, you will not be content. The thought of acquiring itself is the source of discontentment. Contentment lies in celebrating what you have, while discontentment is a result of desire or greed for what you do not have. Chasing what you do not possess will keep you running around forever, as acquiring everything will never be possible. Discontentment will be the sad story of your life.

Realise that you have been blessed with so much.It is only on account of your greed and ego that you cannot see it. Rejoice and value the life that you have. Be grateful for the many things you have taken for granted. Discontentment will not lead you anywhere. One day death will knock at your door and you will be taken away in the feeling of discontentment. Therefore, awaken! Live with contentment.

Contentment is Acceptance

One who is content wonders how he has been blessed with such abundance. He feels he has been granted far more than he deserves. He lives in a feeling of gratitude and this itself is contentment. It is acceptance of what is, and the belief that it is enough. This brings happiness and peace. Each day, every moment, he receives gifts from the Lord as torrents of bliss pouring in his heart.

Acceptance is the spirit of a seeker. He surrenders his life unto God like a blank chequebook with a valid signature at the bottom. He allows God to fill in whatever is necessary for him. He has no choice or desire of his own.

Acceptance is blissful. Nothing external can dampen the bliss. Where there are no pre-conditions or desires like, ‘it would be nice if this happens’; or ‘if that does not happen’, there is no choice. Without choice there are no demands and therefore, no anxiety or fear. The mind has no cause for disturbance. The seeker is at peace with whatever happens. There is no need for him to check whether any event is comforting or distressing. There is a unique indifference towards the event itself. His bliss is not dependent on any person, place or situation because he knows that happiness or sorrow, do not come from the external.

Pain of Non-Acceptance

Non-acceptance and choice cause distress. As soon as someone says, ‘I like light, but do not like darkness’, he has made a choice. When he has accepted light and not accepted darkness, he has divided everything into two. He has accepted everything in the world that has light and not accepted that which has darkness. It is as if the whole world has been cut apart by a sword into two parts. In this, he will fragment himself; he cannot escape. Life will be miserable.

Accept completely whatever you get, whenever you get it. Remain content. Have no desire for anything other than what you have. If you remain choiceless, nothing can disturb you. Unaffected by events, the one who remains blissful within is a true seeker.

Acceptance out of compulsion is not contentment; rather, it is helplessness, dependency and powerlessness. Sometimes acceptance may be out of lack of another alternative. Such forced acceptance becomes painful. Acceptance cannot be succumbing to a situation. It must become an ever flowing, natural feeling within.

Will Acceptance Lead to Inactivity?

One may question whether acceptance in all situations will make life inert. The Enlightened Ones ask the pertinent question, ‘Is the goal of your life happiness and peace or is it to keep your body, mind and speech running amok?’ If you yearn to experience absolute peace, your indulgence in the activities of body, mind and speech will certainly reduce. And from the spiritual perspective, this is a virtue. But this inactivity should be a result of active awareness of the Self.

Such inactivity is not dullness or laziness. Glad acceptance that stems from awareness of the Self produces profoundness that results in peace. It does not make you inert. Inertia is an outcome of too much activity just as someone who is running may drop to the ground in exhaustion. With acceptance, the pace of external activities may slow down but it will not bring inertia.

People associate reaching a destination with the speed with which they move. It is believed that the one who runs, arrives faster. However, this does not hold true in the spiritual world. Some spiritual destinations are such that they can be arrived at only by moving slowly. Some by going deep and becoming still. They are reached not by going somewhere but by not going anywhere; not by running around but by becoming steady.

Those in a hurry to reach somewhere, to attain something can be called the sensual ones. They want to arrive at their goal by acquiring material pleasures. Those eager to run away from somewhere are like ignorant renunciates who wish to escape the world for fear of getting caught up in it. Both wish to run. However, the spiritual one does not wish to run anywhere. He remains completely content, relaxed, peaceful and steady. His external activities are guided by destiny. He travels only wherever and as much as life takes him. On his own he has no desire to go anywhere.

Once there were three cows walking on the road. The first was being pulled by a rope tied around its neck. The second was being goaded ahead with a stick. The third was walking calmly on its own. The sensual dissatisfied one, dragged by his desires towards their fulfilment is like the first cow. The ignorant renunciate, like the second cow, is pushed ahead by the fear of being trapped in sensual pleasures and worldly relations. The former wants to reach somewhere. For the latter, reaching is not important, but he fears getting stuck where he is, and so wants to run away. The third cow strolls along. It is neither being pulled by a rope nor pushed with a stick by anyone. It is free. It walks in sheer joy with nowhere to reach. It does not want to be released from anywhere. It does not even stop en route. It is living a natural, spontaneous life. In the same way, the true seeker’s life is like a river flowing between the banks of joy and sorrow. It does not stop anywhere. He remains unaffected and moves ahead in bliss. Whatever happens, he accepts all completely, living a spontaneous life.

Feeling of Gratitude

A spontaneous life means living moment to moment. Living life completely, a life of profundity, in the now. In this, there is happiness, pleasantness and festivity. That alone is the path of liberation

Man complains only because he is not content with what he has. If he gets hurt and fractures his leg, he complains. If his leg were so important, one wonders why he failed to thank God when his leg was normal and yet reacts when his leg is injured. One day you are hurt so you complain, and for years, nothing went wrong but there was no expression of gratitude. It appears as though you are determined to remain discontent, sad and depressed. Infinite bliss has been bestowed upon you, but you remain unaware of it. If you cultivate the feeling of gratitude, you will always remain content and happy. Therefore, strengthen the feeling of gratitude.

A spiritual seeker is one whose way of thinking and living has been transformed. In whatever he sees and whatever he gets, his connection with God is not lost. His joy never disappears; instead, it keeps increasing. He does not become depressed. Ever joyful, he is content, satisfied and has no demands. He always feels blessed.

To remain content and happy is an art. It is not a gift from destiny. It is a reward from the Sadguru, the fruit of His grace. It is the result of the practice of His teachings. Whether standing, sitting, eating, drinking, one who can remain content alone receives an open invitation from the Supreme Self.

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