Imperience - Centre for Research and Training in P.A.M

Pujya Babuji Maharaj Birthday Celebrations 2006 Talks - Contentment by Sri J. M. Sarma


My dear Pujya Sir and brothers & sisters,

My humble pranams to all of you. On the auspicious day of Pujya Babuji Maharaj Birthday Celebrations, I would like to share the views expressed by Master about ‘Contentment’.

Let us understand the views expressed about Contentment by our Master.

1. Pujya Sir says, "Contentment is the greatest form of wealth." Contentment and acceptance of the situation should never be confused with complacence and indifference. Cultivating contentment means learning to appreciate what is given rather than focusing on what may be missing. "I am satisfied" is not the same as "I do not mind even if I do not have." The commandments 5 and 7 of the Master requires us to develop the attitude of 'radical acceptance' which implies unconditional Maitri (friendliness) where openness and love are such as that we are prepared always to receive with gratitude all that happens to us. Such a life of contentment has no barriers to the being and any and every one finds a place in our heart even if we do not like what they may think or do. Contentment really means that we have the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, having the courage to change the things that can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference between these two.

- Determination and Contentment (- Bodhayanti Parasparam Volume III)


Here, we should understand that the attitude of ‘radical acceptance’ is developed only when we truly follow Master’s commandments of 5 and 7.
Here, we should understand the dependence on God that is ‘BANDHA’ (a person bonded to the Divine) and accept everything as Divine blessings for our own good and be thankful to God. Master says, miseries are the rebukes of the Lord which are to be understood as an opportunity for the individual to remember Him all the time.
Miseries help us in getting into an attitude of acceptance and remembrance of God so that one can get back to Him.
When we are totally dependent on upon Him, it does not matter much what happens to us. There is neither misery nor happiness. So all the happiness and misery has to be accepted as something of a Divine gift, because we are dependent upon Him. Master says, take miseries as Divine blessings for our own good and be thankful. But, how? Only when we have the consciousness that Divinity knows what is best for us percolates through every pore of our being, we can accept every misery as something of a Divine gift and we will also be thankful because God is making us remember Him more and more.
When one develops such an understanding, then one can appreciate and acknowledge the love of the Divine who is ever willing to help us in this endeavour. This results in developing gratitude.
Our Pujya Dr.KCV gave us beautiful example. He says the lessons in life are taught by the Lord very systematically. He loves us so much that every opportunity is provided for us to grow. When we ask for strength, He provides us difficulties to make us strong; when we ask for prosperity, He gives us the brain and strength to work; when we ask for courage, He causes danger to overcome; when we ask for love, He sends us troubled people to help; when we ask for wisdom, He gives problems to solve. The way instruction of the Lord is difficult to understand but when we understand, the joy of awareness of His love has no boundaries. The lesson of truth that we learn is very great and what a loving teacher we have!
Here, we should understand that every thing that happens to us has come to us because of our Karma. No other person is responsible for what is coming to us except ourselves.
Truly speaking we ourselves are the makers of fate. When we do some thing by applying our head and heart we form impressions thereof at the base, which remain there in seed-form till they are washed off by the effect of Bhogam (the processes of undergoing the effects). The Bhogam is thus essential and indispensable.
The agents who appear to have caused misery to us then are in fact friends and the attitude of revenge becomes alien to this situation. This is a matter of knowledge gained through imperience.
So, dear brothers and sisters, the attitude of ‘‘radical acceptance’ which is very much essential for Contentment is developed only when we truly follow Master’s commandments of 5 and 7. Then only, we can lead a life of contentment which has no barriers to the being and any and every one finds a place in our heart even if we do not like what they may think or do. Contentment is the core of happiness. If we develop this attitude we would see how Master is so kind to all of us.

2. Further Pujya Sir says, “Contentment or Trpti is one of the important attributes of a spiritual person. Contentment is defined as "happiness with one's situation in life". A person is contented if they are "satisfied or showing satisfaction with things as they are what so ever they are. So contentment seems to involve having an accepting attitude toward whatever is occurring. A prerequisite for contentment appears to be a willingness to let things be: rather than trying to make them be different. It is a state of nonattachment to outcomes, having no expectations for how things "should be. This is essentially what yielding to the Divine Will would mean.”
Divinity is a play and the Divine the way (Bodhayanti Parasparam Volume IV)
3. God has willed that all should be happy and contented; it is only we with our attachments created problems for ourselves.
Soul - Clarifications – Bodhayanti Parasparam Volume II
4. One thing that we should learn in life is to be grateful and then count the blessings we get from our Lord. This attitude helps us to be happy and also develop contentment.
Salient points in Sadhana-Clarifications - Bodhayanti Parasparam Volume II
5. 'Enough is enough' is the philosophy of our land and could easily be the philosophy of the human race. The constant striving for more and more exposes that satanical sacred discontent which is now getting globalized.
When out of reality we become Satan - Bodhayanti Parasparam Volume III
6. Our challenges are very many. Our lives are complex in that everything seems to involve an ever-changing balance between opposites: good and evil; pain and joy; health and sickness; and so on. We feel like a ball being batted by too many players. How do stop being the victim of this "back and forth" pressure? Contentment is the answer.
When we are not contented?
One is that we are unhappy due to an ego-based expectation of how things should be…yet no one is truly being abused. In this case no action is required.
The second possibility is that we are discontented because we perceive harm is being done to ourselves or others and we feel we must set boundaries and fight against such a wrong.
The Commandments of the Master have given sufficient clues to deal with these problems and it is the illusory Ego/Self that is the cause of discontentment. We should discern the source of our discontent. The experience of our Masters teaches that we should learn to listen deeply to inner wisdom which gives us the Divine Will in the matter and subordinate our will in its favour.

With all this if there were to be a case for conflict and action against some one or some purpose. How to be contented then? To my mind I (Pujya Sir) find the answer in the great wisdom teaching, the Bhagavad-Gita that addresses exactly this situation. We can choose to be grateful to Life for bringing us this perfect opportunity to discern wisely and act from love. We can dedicate our action to the highest and best outcome for all concerned. What we cannot do is to walk away. Master says that it is not wrong to fight for just cause. However the point is, is it for personal good or universal good that we are taking up the swords?
Thus we take action when it is needed. We take it decisively. And then we let it go. We release the outcomes to the Universe.
And through this attitude of mind and heart we can remain content in the midst of all things. Content while doing. Content while not doing. Content in good times and in bad. We can strip away our attachments to what is unimportant. And we can act appropriately on what is important. We can feel the energies within us rise and fall. We can discern when to move and when to wait. We can act from Love and Inner Wisdom. And then we can let it be. And all the while we can smile.
How can we learn to hear this inner wisdom? We can develop this ability by dutifully aligning our will with that of the Divine Will. That is a stand point where the individual is totally null and it is only the Divine that has its way. That enables us to learn to live with "the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the courage to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference".
Divinity is a play and the Divine the way - Bodhayanti Parasparam Volume IV
7. Pujya Babuji Maharaj says, a true devotee is one who loves Him not for any favour or worldly interest but merely for love's sake. He always remains in a state of complete resignation to His will. He is perfectly contended with all that is bestowed upon him whether good or bad, joyful or unpleasant. Joy or sorrow is meaningless to him. Everything is a boon to him from his Beloved. Such complete resignation and unquestioning attitude in all matters is the highest form of devotion. Resignation does not, however, mean that he should remain idle, doing nothing himself and depending all the time upon God, thinking that God will send him all that he requires if he so wills. God helps those who help themselves is a common saying which is literally true. We are failing in our sacred duty if we do not exert ourselves for the discharge of our responsibilities pertaining either to this or to the next world. The only thing which should be borne in mind is that we work in accordance with the will of God and feel contented with the result whatever it might be. When we come up to this level we may rightly think ourselves to be true devotees of the Supreme Master, and hence on the right path leading to reality. Reality is not a thing to be perceived through physical organs of sense but it can only be realized in the innermost core of the heart. We have, therefore, to go deep into it to solve our problem of life.

Goal of Life - Reality at Dawn

Finally, we should understand that Contentment means "happiness with one's situation in life" and “a willingness to let things be: rather than trying to make them be different”. Contentment should never be confused with complacency.

I would like to express my sincere thanks for providing this opportunity to share Master’s views regarding Contentment.