Santosh – Contentment

 If even after doing all hard work, if you do not get results, we should not be sad and be content. When we are faced with difficulties all around, no one gives us respect and every one criticizes us, in such a situation, seeing someone else get glory and success, if we do not covet the same, it is contentment. Enlightened men say, in such a condition if our mind is at peace and does not covet anything, it is contentment.

 Then enlightened ones say that even if a person achieves something small, even if it is small or nothing, if he remains jovial and happy, it is known as contentment. These are signs of contentment. When we get contented, we will know our condition, without experiencing it we will not know. It is so in worldly matters as well, some people get all the glory and others only criticism and on the spiritual path as well. On the spiritual path when saints make saints out of their disciples, they go through these same stages. Then they say, those who are contented and do not get anything even after hard work, does not blame the Guru or the Lord. He makes serious attempt at completing the work he has set out to do, then whether his work doesn’t get done or he faces losses , such events do not hurt him. Maharajji says:

Udam kardeyaň ággey haar, ta jaane bhana kartar

 {Even if one loses, while doing one’s utmost, take it to be the Lord’s will}.

 We worked really hard but still lost out, then we should not blame anyone, the Lord has wished it this way, such people remain happy in that. A contented person has a great level of patience and even though he has the status and capability, he always forgives. A man came to Maharajji and said, I have made a terrible mistake, I got stuck with another woman. Maharajji said, swear that you will not repeat the mistake in future and you will be forgiven. They possess all capabilities but only forgive others. Then they explain further, that a contented man loves everyone. Everyone thinks that Maharajji loves me, but in their own places Maharajji loves everyone. He respects the learned as well and believes that imbibing their good attributes is his duty. Those who are very learned have usually not reached the Lord, but have read a lot, but he considers imbibing their good attributes as his duty.

A contented person earns his bread with honesty and the dry bread he gets from his earnings, he considers equivalent of a sumptuous spread.

Sookhi roti khai ke, thanda paáni piyve

Dekh parai chupdi, mat lalchaye jiyve

 {Eat dry bread and drink cold water, seeing someone else’s buttered bread, do not covet after it.}

 We see laborers, who eat their thick bread with raw onions or small quantity of vegetables and drinking water over it, and doing their work and also thank the Almighty. And the rich, eat all kind of rich foods but still do not have peace. Umar Khayyam says that if someone is getting bread to eat and some place to live, he is not a slave to anyone and he also not a master to anyone. Go and tell such a person that he should be happy with this and not grieve for his condition. He should be happy in the will of the Lord.

Once there was a Muslim, who used to run home immediately after his prayers. The other people in the congregation brought this to the notice of the Kazi (priest). The priest told them to stop the man the next day and ask him. When they stopped him, the man said that I have only one piece of cloth on which to pray, after I have prayed, I take it home to my wife, who prays on it. When they told this to the priest, he said that we have a lot of clothes, go and give some to this man. When they reached his home, his wife opened the door and said, we do not want any clothes, we are happy in whatever the Lord has provided us. She went inside and told her husband, you have complained against the Lord to his servants, did you not have patience. We are happy in whatever state the Lord keeps us. The Lord likes those who remain happy in His will. 

Those who are contented, never take anyone else’s money, for him someone else’s wealth is worthless. There is a tale, Maharajji used tell. There was a couple, who were very advanced devotees. They used to cut wood in the jungle and survive on that and spent rest of their time in devotion. Another devotee complained to their Guru, that they are were so devoted, why don’t you give them riches, why don’t you give them money. The Guru said, if someone doesn’t take it then? The devotee said, that it was not possible that you give wealth to someone and he does not take it – the Guru said, okay then you see it today, he put a bunch of gold coins on the way of the couple. The husband, who was coming ahead of his wife, started putting dust over the gold coins. The wife reached there then and said, why are putting dust over more dust. The man was very pleased and said, your devotion is great, I could see fold coins here, but you are much ahead of me, you saw these as only dust. I was putting dust so that you don’t see them and get greed to take them. One should not take someone else’s money. So those who get contented remain happy in all conditions. A contented person takes other’s wealth as poison. First it was said like the dust, now it is said like poison. Guru Nanak says that the rules of spirituality are the same for everyone: 

Haq paraya Nanaka, Uus suar uus gaye

 Nanak says that grabbing someone else’s right, is sacrilegious and akin to eating pork or eating a cow.

 Taking away someone’s rightful wealth is like eating pork for a Muslim and eating cow’s meat for a Hindu (both entirely reprehensible). Wealth earned through wrong means is very troublesome.

Emperor Alexander, looted so much wealth fromIndiaand took it away. When he was coming for the battle, he asked an astrologer, how much will I live – at what age will I die? The astrologer said, you will die when the sky will be golden and earth will be of iron. He thought, that the sky will never be golden and earth will never be of iron, so that means I will never die. When he was coming back from the battle, he started having high fever. He told his lieutenant that he was unwell. The lieutenant said, we will alight where there is some shade. After sometime Alexander alighted the horse as he could not continue sitting on the horse. The lieutenant spread his iron armor on the ground for him to lie and put his golden shield to give him shade. When Alexander saw above him, it was golden and below him was iron, he immediately remembered the astrologer’s words, he knew his time had come. He called out, call the doctors, save me, I know I will die, but I want to see my mother once. When doctors came, Alexander told them, I will give you half my empire, please save me, let me reach my mother once. They said, if there was a way he would have definitely saved you. Then he offered his whole empire to them and pleaded for enough time to reach his mother. When he saw nothing would work, he told his minister, why didn’t you tell me earlier that this wealth does not go along with anyone. Wealth earned out of deceit, how many people have I killed, how many women have I made widows, how many children orphans. Now you have to do one thing, when my death procession goes, take my hands out from the sides for people to see that I am leaving empty handed. Whole my life I did not have the right perspective, but at least people should understand that at death nothing goes with us. For those who are rich and want to get richer, enlightened men say:

Sahsar ghatte lákh ko uth jaáve

 {One who has thousands chases the millions, but when the end comes nothing goes with us.}

 Those who earn in thousands, chase after millions, but this wealth and the associated status are related to our body and do not go with us after death. What did Ravan, who had made a kingdom full of gold, take with himself. He could not take anything with him. Wealth earned out of deceit or by keeping enmity with someone, is very troublesome, wealth earned the right way, is beneficial. Nowadays, both men and women earn, so it is applicable to both. To understand clearly, beneficial earnings are those, which is earned ethically, that wealth produces the right seeds in us and also helps us in our spiritual pursuit. Enlightened ones say that whoever gets the wealth of Nam, gets everything. This is a subject to understand, everyone here will say that we have got the wealth of Nam. But we have not got the treasure yet. When the saints initiate us, we first need to come for Satsang, then we get initiation and we do spiritual practices. Maharajji used to say that to go the school is the duty of the pupil, after that to teach is the responsibility of the teacher. So where we need to reach, we need to work hard to reach there – real hard work. When saints initiate, they tell us the way, how we need to meditate. When we sit for meditation we see trees, rivers, mountains. We see the sky and stars in the sky, the moon and when we see a big star or the moon, we will take flight. It doesn’t happen in a day, then we will cross the moon, sun, galaxy of stars and then see the radiant form of the Guru. From here on the Guru does all the work. On a craft, on a bird, however, he please, the Guru takes the disciple to Sachkhand. When saints tell us, they tell us everything. There are shortcomings in our hard work, if we meditate two and a half hours everyday, we will benefit a lot. Those who get the Nam, get the spiritual wealth.

Till we feel contented there is nothing achieved, and those people get contented who have been initiated by saints and meditate on the same. Contentment comes only fromNam. We ask for cars, sons etc. from the goddesses, if you get these things, they are all related to the body and will finish with it, they will not go with you. There was a woman living near our home, she did not have a son. When she had a son and he was three years old, the father died. The father used to say that I will marry my son off on an elephant and he passed away. We do not know when grief will fall on us, these are all connected to our body – who leaves the body, the soul. Soul is a part of the Lord, one should repeat theNamat all times as we do not know when we will breathe our last. We should repeat theNam, twenty four hours in a day.

Ánt máta so gáta

 {Our thoughts at the time of death, determine where we go after it.}

Wherever our attention is at the time of our death, we will go there. If we remember the Lord at all times, we will go into his lap. Remembrance of the Lord is very potent. Enlightened ones say, o my children, always be in remembrance of the Lord, the repetition ofNam, withdraws the soul from all sides and it leaves the body. This hard work you need to do, that our soul comes up, then we need to meditate. Repetition will pull our attention upwards, then in meditation we see internal sights, then the sound current pulls us up to Sachkhand. Where contentment comes everything comes. Maharajji used to say, those who assume the attribute of contentment, become a mine of all godly attributes, the other attributes come to him on their own.

There was a foreigner, he was very ill and was admitted to the hospital. The doctors told him to eat meat gravy to save himself from dying. He said, he was happy to die, as if not now, I have to die sometime later, but if I eat animals and live, it is no life. He said, I want that on my funeral, there should not be cars following me, but birds, ducks, rabbits and cows should come wearing ribbons, those who I did not eat so that I could meet the Lord. Some people say that religions allow eating meat to save one’s own life, but Maharajji used to say that all of us will die one day, whether six months earlier or later, how does that matter.

Guru Nanakji says that adopt truth, contentment and forgiveness. Who can adopt these, those who meet an adept Guru and the soul which adopts these attains self realization. But people in the world assume themselves to be their bodies, and from morning to evening work only for the benefit of this body and at night sleep to give rest to this body. 

Jagan se sovan bhala, jo koi jaanesoi,

Surat shabad laagi rahen, guru se mela hoi

{It is better to sleep than be awake, if one knows the correct technique to sleep. The soul should be connected to the sound current, then we can meet the guru inside.}

It is better to sleep than be awake, those who cannot concentrate while awake, get into meditative state in sleep. Those who are contented are liked by the Lord.

Jahan daya tahan dharm hain, Jahan lobh tahan paáp

Jahan krodh tahan kaal, Jahan kshama tahan aap

{Where there is mercy there is spirituality, where there is greed, there is sin. Where there is anger, the negative power prevails, where there is forgiveness, the Lord resides.}

One who is a devotee like this, those who have earned so much on the spiritual path, merge with the Lord. The waves in the ocean are the ocean itself, they arise and then merge back into the ocean. Those who are saints, come from the Lord’s abode and go back to Him. They are very fortunate who reach such a state and also those are fortunate who meet such a great one.

Sadh santoshi sarvada, nirmal jaake bain,

Tahke darshan sampark se, jeeya upjey sukh-chaen

{The spiritually attained are always contented, their speech is pure and sweet. By seeing them and by being in their presence, one gets peace and happiness.}

Those who are engaged in spiritual practices and those who attain these attributes, always remains contented. Whatever words they speak, those who listen to then attentively, achieve immortality – they come out of the cycle of birth and death. Seeing such people, meeting them, one feels a peace inside and get unbounded joy. Those spiritually attained people who get contented, do not have any desires left within them.

Now, if we think, we do have desires. What is desire? Whatever the Lord is giving us, He is anyway giving, apart from that what we do not have, to yearn for that and be sad if one doesn’t get it, is desire. Buddha has said, become desire less. Those who are contented, do not have any desires left in them.

Chahá gayee chinta mitee, manva be-pervah

 {The desire is gone and the mind is free of worries.}

 When there are no desires, there will not be any worries. Only those people have worries, who have some desire as to how do I get a particular thing, how do I get it, they remain in such worries day and night. And those who do not have desires, their worries get over and their minds are without a care.

Jin ko kuch na chhahiye, veh shaho ka shah

 {Those who have no desires are the richest and can be equated to an emperor of emperors.}

 To think what I will wear today is not a desire, desire is asking for something we do not have and getting sad if we don’t get it.

 Án manga so atee bhala, mang leeya nahin dosh

 {Those who do not ask are the best, but even if we do ask, it is not a sin.}

 I told my Maharajji, I have to eat three pieces of bread everyday for which I have to suffer through so many barbs from people and have to work the whole day. Please tell me an ashram where I will get something to eat and can devote all my time for meditation. Maharajji said, no, it is best to stay at home, it is not good to go anywhere. One learns to swim in the water, how does one swim on dry land. When someone scolds you and you listen to it, someone says something harsh and you endure it, then think that you have learnt to swim. If you go and sit in an ashram, you will be dry, you cannot learn to swim.

Whose asking is not a sin, those who meditate for eighteen hours a day. Rishis used to ask for food and meditate the whole day, they never carried any sin of begging. If we think we can beg and eat, it is wrong. We hardly meditate and we will have to give fruits of two and half hours of meditation every time we take food from someone.

Udar asmana maang le, nischay pavey moksh

 {Those who desire for the high skies, will definitely get emancipated.}

There was a princess, she did not want to marry a prince but an enlightened man. When she did not change her mind after a lot of persuasion, the king took her along and went in search of one. After seeing a number of holy men, they came to an enlightened man, whom the princess chose for her marriage. The king married them off. When the enlightened man went to ask for food, the princess also went along with him. He ate himself, fed her and tied one piece of bread with the tree. Seeing this, the girl started crying and asked why have you done this? The enlightened man said, you are a princess, if you feel hungry again, where will I get you food from, that is why I have tied one piece of bread with the tree. The girl said, I selected you after a lot of searching, I did not know that you have this shortcoming, that you do not have faith in the Lord. One should take only as much as one can eat.

Mer jaoon maangu nahin apne tánn ke kaáj,

Parmarath ke kaáran, mohey na aávet laáj

 {I would prefer to die rather than ask for the sake of my bodily needs. But for the sake of spirituality, I have no shame in asking.}

Those who remain in company of saints, their disciples who are on way to become saints, do not like to ask anyone for anything for the sake of their own bodies. However, for the sake of spiritual pursuit, if I need to ask, I have no shame. There was king Gopichand, whose Guru first asked him to beg in his own kingdom, which he did. For the sake of spirituality, even if one has to beg, one should not feel ashamed because of that.

Godhan, gájdhan, baájdhan aur rattan dhan khan

Jab aáve santosh dhan, sab dhan dhool samaán

 {The wealth of cows, elephants, horses or a mine of jewels is like dust in front of the wealth of contentment.}

Once a Guru and his disciple were going somewhere. The Guru said, I am going to the toilet, you sit here in the meanwhile. The disciple started removing the soil with his feet, while sitting there, when he saw a bucketful of gold bars. He was ecstatic, he thought that he would become very wealthy. When the Guru came, he told him that I have become very wealthy, I have got a bucketful of gold bars. The Guru said, this is not yours, we don’t know who has kept it here, but this I know, that many will die for this. The disciple asked, how will they die, the Guru replied, you wait and see. Saying this the Guru and his disciple went away. Then four people came and sat there. They said, we are all hungry, let two of us sit here and two will go to get the food. The four of them had seen the gold bars. The two of them who went to get food, conferred that we will need to divide the gold bars four ways, it would be much better if we had to split it only two ways. The food we get, we will mix poison in that, they will die eating the food and we will share the wealth between ourselves. The two people sitting there discussed that when those two come back, we will strangle them. Whatever we think about someone, they get similar thoughts for us. When they brought food, they strangled them and when they ate the food, they died as well. All four of them died. When the Guru came back, he showed the four dead to the disciple.

Wealth earned using deceit is very painful and spoils our spiritual goals. That is why it is very good to remain contented.

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