Darshan In California On Santosha, Contentment
August 13, 1977 am
[Translated by Gurudev]
[Bapuji chants Shri Krishna Govinda]
My beloved satsangis, lovers of God and the Guru, today I will talk about satisfaction or contentment which comes within the yamas and niyamas. If we want to define contentment, it can be done this way. Contentment is where an individual has a capacity or the ability to bear with all the difficulties and problems of life, and digest them appropriately.
Here one should not forget that the contentment of a worldly person is different and the contentment of a sadhak is different. Those who lead a worldly life, their spiritual progress is much less. And this is why they have to be content about their spiritual progress. Those who are sadhaks, they do not have to think about contentment of the world, but they are discontented with their spiritual progress.
We experience happiness with contentment and discontentment creates pain. Just as we always go from ignorance to ignorance, but the latest ignorance appears to be the knowledge. Similarly, we go from one pain to the other, but the last pain seems to be the happiness. But with experience, in time we realize that what we considered to be happiness was only unhappiness.
So this is why each individual is eager, goes on living their own specific thoughts that…situations with places and also eager to have new thoughts, new places, new situations. If we minutely examine the condition of the mind, it will be revealed to us that the mind never likes old, it always like new. And this is why he is always in search of the new. So when he finds new, momentarily he feels content or happy and he is always unhappy with the old.
One who wants to grow spiritually must find satisfaction in the external world first. Really, those who are true sadhaks, they naturally have satisfaction with external life. In India, when the sacred months, like shravanah month or extra month or some other spiritual celebrations, there is everywhere there are lectures, spiritual discourses and bhajans are organized. In these, almost everyone participates.
And those who do not participate, they feel ashamed of themselves. So, because they do not appear to be out of the place, so they go and attend it to show to everyone that they are coming. When they go there, as if they are fully contented, and as soon as they get there, they fall asleep.
What a contentment. So, in order not to waste their time and to use it most effectively, they must get something accomplished. So, they fall asleep. Their presence there is almost as good as their absence… It is worth thinking as to what extent such an experiment would be successful in America, because many people have a problem of insomnia.
In India, as soon as you said, sit him in the spiritual discourse, they fall asleep. It is worth experimenting with here. Those who do not take any interest in spiritual life and those who are suffering, and at the same time suffering from insomnia, they should be brought here. We can just guess that they will fall asleep.
In one way, we can say that the contentment is very good. From a higher point of view, contentment is not that good either. So, dissatisfaction or discontentment is useful. And contentment, you know, is also useful in its right place. Individuals who are progressing materially, they progressively remain discontented.
He always intends to grow further and further. He is never satisfied with the condition which he is in. Similarly, when a sadhak continues to progress spiritually, he continually feels dissatisfied with his spiritual progress. He desires to progress further and further and he is not satisfied with the condition he is in.
This is necessary. When such dissatisfaction is there, that gives the inspiration to work hard and to grow further. So, if the train needs to go in an easterly direction, then we will naturally have to have the engine facing the east. If the train needs to go west, then the engine must be to the west. What would be the condition?
So, such people, they are very smart. So, when they want to go to the west, they put the engine in the west. But they sit in the train, facing the east. So, the smartness that we show is from point of view. It is foolishness. Another point of view is that it is cunningness.
Those were the days of the summertime. So the man was selling fans all around. Others who were selling those fans, they were selling it cheaper than him. But this man who was selling the fans, he was asking for higher price, a much higher price.
He came near the palace selling his fans. He used to tell people that, “my fans are unusual and they last for a hundred years.” He was saying, he was trying to say that the man may die but my fans will be alive.
The king heard this and he was greatly surprised. He thought, “What kind of a fan is this that would last for a hundred years?” He called the fans seller. He came to the palace, he paid his respects to the king and sat beside him. Then the king inquired, “Do your fans really last for one hundred years?” He said, “Yes sir.” Then the king said, “Let me see your fans.”
He showed his fans. When the king saw these fans, he was greatly surprised. He said that he saw it and it was just an ordinary fan that would only last for fifteen days or so. “This fan lasts for a hundred years?” “Yes sir,” he said. He said, “It cost a hundred dollars.” The king said, “This is worth ten pennies and he is asking for one hundred dollars.”
The king could not understand. So he said, “I don’t believe what you are saying.” The fans seller said, “What I am saying is absolutely true. You experiment with it.” I will come here any time you command. The king said, “You come back after one month.” After selling his fans, he left.
So, the king started using the fan personally because it was a hot summer day. He had many servants, those who usually fanned him. But, in order to experiment himself, he started using it himself. The fan was destroyed in ten days.
After a month, that fan seller came. The king said that you were appreciating your fan so much. The king said, “You were appreciating your fan so much and you were experimenting yourself, and I experimented myself and I found that it is not true.”
The fan seller said, “But perhaps you do not know how to use it.” The king asked, “Would you pleas tell me in what manner I should have used it?” I think the warranty was only with the conditions. So the fan seller
So, the fan seller said, “Here is another fan. Show me how you use it.” So the king took the fan and he started fanning himself. He said, “No, no, no, not this way.” He said, “You hold the fan like this. If you hold the fan still and shake your head, then the fan will last you one hundred years.”
So, if we are foolish like this and conduct this kind of experiment, we will never progress. Instead of fanning with the fan, if we keep shaking the head. There will be no end to this experimenting. So the experiment should be conducted properly, not improperly.
On the spiritual path many spiritual qualities are necessary. If we try to obtain all the spiritual qualities all at once, we will invariably fail. So, we must try to obtain these higher spiritual qualities one by one, starting with one at a time.
To obtain the higher qualities or to get rid of the bad qualities is one and the same thing. So, when we try to obtain any one good quality, any negative quality of the same good quality begins to go out anyway. Just as when we travel from place to the other, we separate ourselves from the old place and approach the new place.
Similarly, when we go from the evil quality to the good qualities, we naturally leave the bad quality behind and take to the higher qualities. So, apply all your effort in removing just one of the bad qualities or gaining one of the good qualities.
So it is under these circumstances it is natural to feel this satisfaction when we haven’t been able to acquire the good qualities and the manner in which we desire to see it. Just as we leave the bad or wrong qualities behind and progress towards the good qualities, at that time we will be both content and discontented, they will both continue. Without the defeat, the winnings or successes are not possible.
Those who receive one success after the other, eventually they get such a big defeat it takes care of all their ego of successes. This is why in whatever conditions, whatever progress we make, that step should be steady and firm. It is our desire to run quickly and get everything done and fast. It is natural to feel that way, but under the right circumstances, because there is always a danger of falling.
Instead of that, to grow slowly but steadily is much more appropriate. So, any person who is progressing, he must have some kind of an ideal to go towards. Whenever we have some ideal in front of us, we continuously receive some strength from it.
Just as the worldly people have different kinds of ideals, the sadhaks also have their kind of ideal to follow. The sadhaks’ progress is directly proportional to his love for his ideal. Because only love has the strength or power to create all the strength necessary to progress.
So, if we are truly prepared in this manner, we will definitely be able to progress. If we are travelling in the woods and the path is all filled with the thorns and if each step we are getting the thorns in our feet, we are sitting down all the time, pulling out the thorns, it is just obvious that we need to do that.
So, only if we have the ability to bear with the thorns and the pain of it, then only can we properly progress and carry on with the journey. We must also have the ability to choose and how to finish any accepted work. We must have the ability to discern how to start and how to finish. Just as when we want to purchase something, if we make a telephone call, the store will send it to us.
But there are some other stores where they do not deliver. You have to go there personally. If we want the satisfaction, we will have to “Phone Guru, or you may have to call the Scriptures, or God or Guru and say, “If you have contentment in stock, please send it.” And the answer will be, “We have a big stock of contentment, but you will have to come personally to get it yourself.”
So, in conclusion of this lecture, I would like to tell you that in order to get the true contentment, you will have to go towards or approach God, Guru and Scriptures. It is my blessing that you receive this contentment.
Bapuji chants, “Shri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai, Jai Ram.