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Santosha — the satisfaction

Indian term Santosha derives from sam («completeness», «wholly») and toṣa(«contentment», «satisfaction»). This is contentment by what you have in the moment. It sounds simple but has a deep influence on the life of every human being. It’s an important, necessary quality for yogin.

Inner contentment is a base of true calm and peace in your soul, while discontent always produces disturbance, anger, annoyance and other poorly controlled emotions. Of course when we begin to meditate with all this turbulence in our mind, we can’t have a good result, a true state of dhyana (or it can be, but will take a lot of time). Discontent is also reflected in our prana (energy), it can interfere with long-staying in stable asana and pranayama.

Does Santosha mean to be satisfied and do not grow up, not to seek further, does it mean to go with the flow (or drift)? No.

Santosha is about you do not worry when some material goods disappear, when habitual comfort is absent or something bad happened. Also you don’t lose your balance when something very good happenes, for instance, welfare is suddenly increased. The Universe or God gives us all that we need, and our task is to develop ourselves, revealing the inner energy potential, knowledge and our true nature.

Real Santosha means staying in own Self, in Atman, which nature is bliss and complete satisfaction. Atman is full by itself: by its own eternity, infinity, totality. That’s where contentment and satisfaction come from. Santosha is acceptance of the world as it is, when there is no contradiction between inner and outer.

Understanding of Santosha can be very deep. If you will meditate on this principle, you will see that it is connected not only with the state of Atman, but also correspond with other Yamas and Niyamas.

Living in Santosha means that you don’t crave for goods, money etc., being not in Rajas, thus Asteya (not stealing) and Aparigraha (non-greediness) are automatically observed.

Santosha helps to cultivate Vairagya and to be Brahmachari. Inner satisfaction supports your Ahimsa.

How to be in Santosha?

In fact it’s not easy for many people. It is necessary to remember that all you have is a gift of God, of Universe. Reality around you along with all things, good and bad, — this is your Reality that you choose yourself. It corresponds with you — with your karma, your vision of the world in many aspects. This Universe is you, indeed. That’s why it is so important to cognise yourself to understand who you really are. Because our mind often gives us false conception about our identity, about our desires and expectations. And while we stay in these inner misunderstandings (or untruth), the Universe continues to reflect us as we really are. This disbalance of inner and outer is the actual source of many human’s problem.

I want to finish this article by the sutra of Patanjali:



Contentment (Santosha) leads to unexcelled happiness (extremely favourable condition) [Yoga-Sutra 2.42]


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