Monday, September 21, 2015

Contentment (Santosha) - A Weapon to Destroy the Domination of the Senses by Swami Chidananda

Santosha or Contentment
A Weapon to Destroy the Domination of the Senses and the Sense-appetite
by Swami Chidananda

Now you always identify yourself with your body, this sense or that sense, identify yourself with the Cheshta (Endeavour; effort; activity). of every Indriya (sense), identify yourself with the condition, the behaviour and the demands of one or the other of the senses, instead of breaking the identification and standing aloof and saying, “No, I will not listen to the urge of the senses. I will not give in to the sense-appetite, because this sense-appetite is not the expression or manifestation of my real nature, because I am different from these senses”. 
Instead of saying that, if a sense-appetite vehemently demands its satisfaction, you think yourself one with that state and immediately set about doing things that are necessary to satisfy that sense-appetite. Why? Because, you do not know of yourself as other than that sense-appetite, as distinct from that sense-appetite.
You are immediately prepared to think of that demand of that sense-appetite as your own want, as your own desire, as your own need, as your own demand; so you set about initiating a line of activity in order to immediately appease that sense, immediately satisfy that demand of that sense-appetite, because you and that sense are in a state of oneness, are in a state of unified consciousness, are in a state of identification. 

That thing is your Samsara. That thing is the root cause of your suffering. That thing is your state of bondage and Patanjali seeks to liberate you from that state of bondage, and as long as that state of identification continues, the senses will be constantly harassing you. They will be constantly tormenting you, because they are always on the rampage; they are always actively wanting to manifest themselves.

So, one poet writes how creatures belonging to different species come to grief by the activity of but one sense. The moth becomes destroyed by its sense of sight. The elephant gets into captivity by giving in to the sense of touch. The fish gets hooked by succumbing to the sense of taste. The bee is entrapped in the lotus by the sense of smell. And the deer gets caught by yielding to the sense of hearing.
And here is the human individual, an animal in which all the five senses are centralised! His fate can well be imagined! He has all the five senses turbulent, all the five sense-appetites active and demanding fulfilment.
So, that keeps him always in a state of turmoil, always in a state of discontentment, always in a state of dissatisfaction. As long as he identifies himself with the senses and the sense-appetites, he is always in a state of agitation, because these senses are always making demands upon him, always agitating, always clamouring for satisfaction. 

Being a witness and affirming your true nature

 So, Patanjali says: “No, you must end this state of things. You must break this connection between you and the senses and you must determinedly start saying ‘No’ to the senses. You must deny the senses”. 
Being a witness and affirming your true nature. That is possible only if you develop the awareness that you are different from the senses.

You must boldly declare:“I am sufficient as I am. I do not need to be fed by the senses with their sense-satisfactions, because they are different and I am different. I do not need their support and their supply of sense-satisfaction. I am sufficient as I am. So I shall seat myself upon the supreme seat of contentment. I do not require anything more. I am full as I am, complete as I am; I am sufficient as I am. I am not the senses, I am apart from the senses. I am enough”. 
That is how you have to develop contentment (Santosh), supported by Sakshi Bhav (being a witness). The psychological state of contentment (Santosh) is supported by the metaphysical awareness of being a witness (Sakshi) of the senses, of not being one with the senses. 

Being a witness means standing apart, being unaffected. You do not give in to the demands of the sense-appetite, because you are not the senses.

Affirming your reality and rejecting your false personality. You are the Purusha (Supreme, Being, Atman, pure consciousness). The senses belong to Prakriti (Nature). And therefore, you as the Purusha (Atman, consciousness) who is apart from Prakriti, (Nature, Maya) assert your independence of Prakriti and its manifestations.
In this manner, upon this metaphysical basis, you refuse to give in to the clamour of the sense-appetite, and say, “No. As I am, I am quite content, quite happy”. So, contentment(-Santosh) is a state of the psyche, is a state of the inner man, where the inner man is no longer prepared to give in to the clamour of the sense-appetite. You refuse to give in to the sense cravings. 

That is the psychological part of it. And you do this upon the metaphysical basis or the philosophical basis of affirming your reality and rejecting your false personality. You say: “This false personality is untrue (Asat), is only an appearance. My reality is my divine Purushahood in which I am Paripurna (Fullness), in which I do not require the petty satisfaction of sense indulgence, in which I do not require the Vishaya Bhoga (pleasures of the world) for my happiness and joy. My happiness is complete by itself, without the need of any addition through the avenues of the senses”.

Now, that is the full implication of the Sadhana Santosha (Practice of contentment). You should not think that it is merely an ordinary qualification or a quality. It has much deeper roots and ramifications, much deeper roots and implications.

Santosha is a psychological discipline and also a metaphysical discipline. Santosha is both. It not only helps to liberate you from the present condition, but also helps you to become more established in your permanent condition, in your permanent state.

But, Santosha is not easy. The senses that have been pampered for ages will not immediately listen to your new vision and your new approach and attitude. They will not give in. They will rebel and revolt, because they have become crystallized into instinct in your nature (Svabhava). The constant and continuous repetition of a certain pattern of activity, where you always gave in to the senses, always satisfied their appetite, has crystallized that pattern of appeasement of senses as part of your Svabhava. 

So, it is not easy to liberate yourself in a trite, even though you may be much enlightened. You may know of yourself in a new light through the study of the philosophy of Yoga and you may be aware of the necessity of applying a new technique, a psychological technique, to raise your consciousness. Yet, in spite of this, because of their age old instinct, the senses insist upon asserting themselves. 

So, there is need for a more fiery, more determined and stronger technique, stronger Sadhana, to counter the instinctive nature of the sensuality in you, because the roots of action lie in the spring-source which is the great accumulation of Samskaras (impressions) and Vasanas (subtle desires) lying in the Chitta (subconscious mind). They go on continuously rising to the surface of the Manas (sensory-emotional-thinking mind). These are the Vrittis (thought waves or mental modifications) that goad you to specific patterns of activity. And your Vrittis and Vasanas are Sattvic as well as Tamasic, Daivic as well as Asuric, and they keep on coming to the surface, due to Prarabdha Karma ( The portion of Karma that determines one’s present life).

Therefore, in order to go to the very root of your human problem, of your earthly problem of Samsaric Bandhana, Patanjali declared the very process of Yoga to be Vritti-Nirodhana (control of vrittis; also restraint; suppression; ddestruction of vrittis).

Vritti (thought wave or mental modification) is nothing but the manifest expression of Vasana (subtle desire)  and Samskara (impression).

So, Vritti-Nirodhana is the central process of Yoga. But to make this Vritti-Nirodhana easier, why not try to bring about a change in the very nature of the Vasanas and Samskaras? Why not try to bring about a transformation of your psyche—upon your psychological level? Why not try to have a psychological rebirth? If you can do that, it will be a helpful complementary process. Therefore it is that the Yamas and the Niyamas have been instituted by Patanjali in his overall scheme of Raja Yoga.

Yamas and Niyamas are the two first steps or limbs of the eight steps yoga ( Astnanga Yoga) of the Raja Yoga Patanjali.

READ MORE ABOUT THE the eight steps yoga ( Astnanga Yoga) of the Raja Yoga Patanjali:
Peace, Love, Harmony