Philosophy: Santosha

In this current materialistic world almost everyone is striving for more. We always want more of everything. More money to buy this, more money to buy that. And in order for us to have more money, we have to work longer hours, not necessarily smarter but sometimes just to show the boss that we are working long and hard. Some may even resort to trickery and falsehood just to be ahead of others. Missed meals will be a common occurrence and over a period of time, diseases will manifest and the end result will be a non productive worker. Non productive = lower income and the moment the health chart is on an uptick, the cycle will start all over again. When a person is always wanting more, always comparing himself to others, always wanting to be more successful and accomplished than others and even after achieving whatever original goal he has set from the beginning, he will never be satisfied and from here on discontentment sets in.
Will there be an end to all our material cravings?
The opposite of discontentment is contentment. Contentment comes from not comparing oneself to others. Contentment comes from being satisfied with whatever resources one has at his disposal. Contentment is gratitude and appreciation for whatever we have without wanting more to gratify our senses.
Somehow in my years of travelling I have always found that the poor are happier. Their smiles are genuine as they smile with their eyes. Perhaps their senses have not been contaminated by the trappings of the affluent. They are ever so willing to share a simple snack in their humble abode but not so for the rich. I remembered attending a lavish wedding in a 3rd world country where the feast lasted for 3 days amidst a palatial setting. Outside beggars were hanging around just hoping of scraps of food be to tossed in their direction. I made a remark to the patriarch: you must be a very contented man as you have almost everything. To which he replied: O no, this is nothing. If I have more money, it will be better. More money will make me very very happy.
It got me thinking. If this particular man is not contented with all these material trappings and a 3 generation family to boot, what then is contentment?
To a certain degree I have been practising Santosha for a good number of years without me realizing that this has been done by the yogis thousands of years ago. I have never compared myself to others because once I start, I know that my mind will start playing tricks on me and it will become very unsettled, bringing me undue unhappiness, resulting in restlessness. I do know that being contented with whatever I have will bring me inner peace and happiness and Santosha will be my guiding light.

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