The Sword of Contentment | Vibheeshana Gita

– Understandings from Swami Swaroopanandaji’s talk for Youth Empowerment Programme – 6th batch

Ees bhajanu saarathi sujaana
Birati charm santosh kripaana
Daan parasu budhi sakti prachanda
Bar bigyaana kathina kodanda

Contentment is the sword

Arrows and missiles can kill enemies far away. But, for the enemies very close to us we need something like a sword. And what are those enemies that are so close to us and attack us anytime? Anger, jealously, frustration, greed, etc are the enemies not outside, but within us. The sword to kill these enemies is Contentment. How can contentment kill these negative emotions? Let’s try to analyse this.

What is the cause of anger? Something that we desired did not happen. Cause of jealousy – We don’t have something that the other person has. Cause of frustration – Unable to satisfy the desire. Cause of greed – A feeling that what we have is not enough. In all of them, we can see that we are expecting something more than what we already have. Hence, we can say, when there’s a discontentment with what we have, such negative emotions arise. So, if there’s no discontentment, there should not be any negative emotions. Let’s check if this is true with a common example in the lives of working people.

Suppose a fresh graduate is desperately looking out for a job. He’s willing to work for any salary because his family is going through a big financial crunch. He attends many interviews but does not get a job. He’s now frustrated and angry. Finally, he gets a job in a good company with a decent pay. He is now happy, contented. But after his first job appraisal, he comes to know that his salary is not raised. He thinks, “For all the slogging and hardwork I did for the company, this is what I get? The guy who joined with me an year ago, got a salary hike three months back.” He is now angry, frustrated and jealous. However, he continues to work for another year and luckily for him, in the next appraisal, he gets a good pay-raise even more than what he expected. He’s once again happy, contented. The next day he comes to know that some other colleague of his got more percentage salary-hike than him. He spares no time in losing his contentment. Once again, the negative emotions overpower him.

We might feel that this is natural and this is the way how everyone is nowadays. We feel we have to keep changing jobs when we see better offers in the market. If a job with a better pay-package should give us happiness, then it should be able to give us happiness throughout our life. But it does not happen that way. Every job that we change is able to give us contentment only for a short period after which we start grumbling once again. So, is it the fault of every other company in the market or is it something else?

If we have a look at people in the past, who used to work in a particular company throughout their life, we might feel that they were not career-oriented. They had no dynamism or drive in their life. Their life was so boring. They stuck themselves in a company throughout their life. But, we cannot ignore the fact that they were a lot happier in their career and life than we are. In short, they were very contented in their lives because of which they were happier in their lives.

What is the basic reason we look for a job change? It is nothing but discontentment in the present one. It’s not just our job, but in our lives too, we are not contented because of which there’s no end to our wants. Luxuries start becoming our necessities. In the earlier days, food, clothing and shelter were considered as basic needs of a man. But now, we have a list of other things that have come in. A colour TV is not enough; we need the best TV that we see in the newspapers Ad, even though we know that a better TV is going to come in the market within the next couple of months. If number of desires fulfilled or more sophisticated and luxurious life gives more happiness, then there should not be so many cases of suicides and divorces in countries like USA, UK, Australia, Netherlands, etc.

One may argue that there would be nobody without desires. True. Desires are there in each and every one of us. But what is the quality of the desires we entertain? Desire to get a good education for our children, desire to provide quality life for our family, desire to do something for the society, etc. are very good and important too. However, we need to keep a check on ourselves whether our desires are positive desires for the well-being of others or it is greed? Are we losing our level of happiness while chasing comforts and luxuries? Are we forgetting to count all the blessings God has showered upon us, and instead grieving over one particular thing that we are missing in our life? Ultimately, who is responsible for the happiness in our lives – We or the Rest of the world?

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