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How to Find Lasting Contentment in a Discontent World?


I am sure we all have at some point of time in our lives or are currently been whipped with thoughts like: I wish I had more money... I wish I was more beautiful... I wish I had a better life... I wish I had that fancy car or bike... or maybe thoughts like: If I had more money I could have bought that bigger luxury apartment? If only I was a little thinner I would look more attractive?   A lack of true contentment is the seed-bed in which sins like covetousness, lust, anger, hatred, and a host of grosser evils are bred and cultivated. Advancement of material vision or material civilization is a great stumbling block for spiritual advancement. Such material advancement entangles the living being in the bondage of a material body followed by all sorts of material miseries. Such material advancement is called anartha, or things not wanted. These anarthas are inordinate, ungoverned, selfish and passionate desire that leads us away from God and corrupts our relationship with others. We live in a culture where we’re conditioned to believe that more is never enough and our success is based on how we’re doing in comparison to others.

But the truth is, this kind of thinking only results in dissatisfaction and disillusionment.

In the present context of material advancement one over endeavours for money, riches, wealth, name, fame, false prestige, one splurges on harmful intoxicants like hard drinks, cigarettes, etc. failing to realize that just like the smoke emanating from the cigarette, their precious lives too are being consumed by and vanishing into oblivion due to such anomalies. There are so many unwanted things which are all products of the material conception of life. By diverting attention to so many unwanted things, human energy is spoiled without achievement of spiritual realization, the prime necessity of human life. The attempt to reach the stars, other planets and galaxies is another example of spoiling energy because even if one reaches other planets, the basic or real problems of life will not be solved. 

If happiness is the ultimate goal of life, one must be satisfied with the position in which he is placed by providence. One has to perceive happiness by the supersenses. The supersenses are not the senses of the material elements. Our senses are now covered by material elements, and because of ignorance we consider the material senses that cover us to be our real senses. The real senses, however, are within the material covering. Within the covering of the material elements are the spiritual senses. When the spiritual senses are uncovered, by these senses we can be happy. When the senses are engaged in devotional service to the Lordships, then the spiritual senses are completely satisfied. Without this superior knowledge of sense gratification, one may try to satisfy his material senses, but happiness will never be possible. One may increase his ambition for sense gratification and even achieve what he desires for the gratification of his senses, but because this is on the material platform and is temporary, he will never achieve satisfaction and contentment.

The devotees of the Lord are called akiñcanas because they have practically no material assets. Such material assets are all products of the three modes of material nature. They foil spiritual energy, and thus the less we possess such products of material nature, the more we have a good chance for spiritual progress. One should be satisfied with whatever he achieves by his previous destiny, for discontent can never bring happiness. A person who is not self-controlled will not be happy even with possessing the three worlds. One who is satisfied by that which is obtained by destiny, by God's arrangement, is fit for liberation from this material existence.

Therefore, the key to finding lasting contentment in a discontent world is to curb the mundane desires to over endeavour for sense gratificatory objects which pull us towards illusion. Rather, we must dovetail our vital energies towards making spiritual advancement, by engaging our mind and senses in chanting His holy name and serving the Divine. We must constantly remember that the hardest times are an opportunity to find contentment in God’s grace, which is the sole destination to experiencing peace, joy, His love and eternal bliss. 

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