Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Santosha - Contentment


I find that people often misunderstand the yoga principle of santosha (contentment), believing that it means giving up their will to change. I get students who say, “I don’t want to be content, because if I am content then I won’t get anywhere in my job. I need to want something. I've got to be on the cutting edge in my profession”. They don’t understand that santosha is not inertness. Rather, santosha means being content right now, even as you are changing your life.

If you are a yoga teacher, you may find that many people actually fear contentment. They worry that it will make them lethargic and lazy – that life might prove boring. Without it they see themselves as exerting and energetic. However, I’ve noticed that contentment never makes anyone idle. It is a sattvic virtue that propels you towards peace. It gives you strength of mind and checks unnecessary and selfish exertions. It calms your mind and opens your inner eye of intuition. If you are a contented person, you seem to be more able to work energetically and peacefully, with a one-pointed mind. All the dissipated rays of your mind are collected and available for use.

I'm planning to be in London for the entire month of September.

with best wishes
Swami Saradananda

Santosha is this month's subject on the Yama-Niyama e-course.
See: www.flyingmountainyoga.org/text/e-course.shtml

"From contentment comes supreme happiness".

- Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.42

1 comment:

  1. OM - I received an interesting comment from Yoga Sutra scholar Salvatore Zambito: "I find that people confuse complacency with contentment. These definitions that you quote are closer to a fear of complacency".