Aspiration And Contentment

Aspiration and Contentment

Janki Santoke. 13th May 2011.

A great dichotomy of our times is the paradox of contentment verses aspiration. Is one the price of the other? Does contentment retard our growth? Does aspiration retard our peace? If so, which ought we to choose? To choose either would be to be left feeling unfulfilled. Who does not want the feeling of success, the satisfaction of material comforts? And having all of that without peace…. That too doesn’t seem right. So where do we stand? Or should we get little of both? Work for the week and rest on the weekend? Compromise a little on both? No ambitious person will be willing for such a sacrifice, yet there seems to be no other way.

Vedanta gives a solution. It does not require one to give up either or compromise with a little of both. One must have unending aspirations and limitless contentment. How do we acquire both?

The method is simple. One must develop the capacity to be content with what one has and then aspire for more. There is no restriction in any acquisition or enjoyment. One can aspire for the moon. The problem comes when we pitch our current happiness to future results. Why can we not be happy with our Maruti 800 and aspire for the Merc. Why not be happy with my fat and aspire to be slim. Why not be happy with my flat and aspire for a bungalow? Why not be happy with my 100 crore turnover and aspire to 5000. To aspire to grow is good. But to believe that I can be happy only when I reach there is asking for a life of agitation. At any stage of life we will be able to see more and want it. If we have to wait till we get something, we will never be happy. Any time we acquire anything, we will see the next thing. ‘Peaks on peaks arise’ says the poet. Conquer one peak you will see the next. At any given point, we feel this is all I want. We must realise we are asking for the infinite! There is no end. We work because we have to. What else shall we do? To not work is laziness. To work without a goal is directionless. To work without contentment is stress. Lifelong stress!

But how do we do it? How do we aspire with contentment? What makes us lose our contentment is our mind. When we develop a powerful intellect it controls our mind. Mind is the seat of emotions likes and dislikes, irrationality. Intellect is discrimination, reason, judgement. Knowledge of Vedanta develops a strong intellect. Comprehensive and systematic knowledge of Vedanta is available in the book Vedanta Treatise by Swami Parthasarathy.

Study and reflection on Vedanta gives one a powerful intellect by which one is able to be completely happy with ones current state, and aspire for the next. And keep doing that till the very end.

1 Response to Aspiration And Contentment

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