Baba says, ‘become a jewel of contentment‘. The power of contentment easily transforms any type of atmosphere or circumstance.
Contentment comes from a feeling of fullness, from attainment. But it has to be the right kind of attainment, the eternal kind. For half a cycle, I spent my time chasing after limited attainments- relationships, material possessions, accomplishments etc. When things worked out, I was happy, otherwise, not. And even when I was happy, it was fleeting as the goal post moved once again. Contentment was both conditional and temporary. In fact, my efforts toward being content, ironically, brought me more discontentment.
Discontentment is caused by a constant multiplication of desires. One desire leads to another until there’s never a moment when you feel fulfilled. This is the path I find myself on when I chase after limited attainments of this physical world. The traps of desires rob me of my self-respect because they compel me to think, feel and act in ways that are selfish and against my core values. I am constantly hustling, strategizing, manipulating…. or feeling anxious, worried, hopeless, wronged….these are all selfish ways and feelings that are born out of a sense of want and a consequent fear of loss.
Contentment does not come to those whose means are great, but to those whose needs are few. Contentment is the result of spiritual awareness which allows me to recognize negativity. It changes my pattern of thinking. As I tap my huge inner potential, all desires are fulfilled and I regain my peace.
Baba came and gave me this spiritual awareness. He reminded me of who I am and Whom I belong to. That awareness alone switches my thinking, feeling and doing. I realize that I had been chasing after the stones of the old world. I understand that my self-respect is attached to my sanskars- when I transform them, when I emerge my original sanskars and act based on them, I start to respect myself. I start to be truly happy with who I am because I am aligned with my core values.
And this is an important aspect to remember as I move along on my spiritual journey – taking responsibility. This is the big difference between bhakti and the path of knowledge – I realize that things don’t just happen or God doesn’t just bestow mercy on me, He teaches me. He shows me the path and I have to do the work. If I want to truly be content, I have to take responsibility and make the right choices. I have to pay attention throughout the day to my awareness, my attitude, my vision. As Baba says, it determines the quality of the atmosphere around me, how I respond to a situation, the quality of my interactions and my relationships. My vision creates my world, not the other way around. Do I see myself and others as a pure soul? Is my vision that of brotherhood?
Every morning at Amritvela, let me remind myself of my responsibility. Let me make a determined pledge to myself that I will take care of myself, that I will protect my attitude, that I will hold on to my happiness and contentment, no matter what.
And really, if I were to reflect, to a truly contented soul, everything in the world, which means the way the world is right now, is just fine. If I am a really good actor going into my next scene, will I be concerned about the other actors or the backdrop, with altering the scenery? or will I focus my full energy on performing my scene well?
Baba teaches me the art of being a detached observer. Don’t question the atmosphere or the backdrop, don’t be surprised at others’ behaviors. Focus on what do I need to do. How am I showing up. This is what Brahma Baba did. Sometimes, we can spend our entire lives looking outward and pointing fingers at the other or blaming the circumstances without realizing that neither has anything to do with how I feel.
The circumstances, the co-actors are all just fine, they are exactly what they need to be and where they need to be in the drama. If I can be mature enough to recognize this and protect my attitude, my awareness and my vision, not be influenced by others, I will be able to focus on my scene and deliver a great performance according to my values, according to Shrimat. Then, when I am done with the scene, I leave to be with the Father, I don’t linger.
I learn, I build strength of character, I build stability – qualities that make me a trust-worthy and reliable instrument of God for His task. I won’t shake or crumble, I remain obstacle free. And I automatically invite new opportunities and better circumstances because people like contented people.
Contentment is your specialty, Baba reminds me. When you have this attitude, all other powers and virtues follow.