Gita Rahasya -Tilak 114

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak



In the same way, Vidula in advising her son says: " samtoso vai sriyam hanti " " [1] i. e.," by contentment, worldly prosperity is destroyed "; and there is also a statement on another occasion that: " asamtosah sriyo mulam" [2][3] i. e., " dissatisfaction is the root of prosperity". Although contentment is referred to as a virtue in the case of Brahmins, it only means contentment with reference to wealth or worldly prosperity, according to the four-caste arrangement. If a Brahmin says that the knowledge which he has acquired is enough for him, he will bring about his own undoing, and the same will be the case with the Vaisyas or the Sudras, if they always remain satisfied with what they have acquired accord- ing to their own status in life. In short, discontent is the seed of all future prosperity, effort, opulence and even of Release ; and, it must always be borne in mind by everybody, that if this discontent is totally annihilated, we will be nowhere, whether in this world or in the next.

In the Bhagavadgita itself, in listening to the advice of Sri Krsna, Arjuna has said: "" bhuyah kathaya trptir hi srnvato nasti me 'mrtam " [4], i. e., "I am not satisfied with what I have heard of your nectar- like speech, therefore, describe to me more and more of your manifestations" ; and then the Blessed Lord has again started enumerating his manifestations. He did not say to him : " -restrain your desire, dissatisfaction or discontent is improper". From this it follows that even the Blessed Lord Himself considered it proper that One should entertain disoontent about a good or beneficial matter, and there is a stanza of Bhartrhari that : "yasasi cabhirucir vyasamm srutau " etc., i. e., "there ought to be liking or desire, but that should be for success ; and one must also have a vice, but that should be of learning ; that vice is not prohibited". Still, we must control discontent, in the same way as Desire, Anger etc., because if it becomes uncontrolled, it will clearly end in our undoing ; and therefore, the endowment (sampatti) of those persons who continually run after worldly happiness piling thirst on thirst, and hope on hope with the sole object of enjoying objects of pleasure is referred to as " ungodly endowment " ( asura sampat ) in the 16th Chapter of the Gita. Not only are the pure (sattvika) tendencies in the human mind destroyed by such greediness and the man undone, but, in as much as it is impossible that Thirst should ever be quenched, the desire for enjoyment of objects of pleasure grows continually, and man's- life is ended in the greed. But on the other hand, giving up all kinds of Thirst, and with it, all Actions, in order to escape this evil effect of Thirst or discontent is also not the pure-(sattvika) path.


References And Context

  1. ( Ma. Bha. U. 132. 33 ),
  2. (Ma. Bha. Sabha. 55.11)
  3. of : " Unhappiness is the cause of progress." Dr. Paul -Carus in The Ethical Problem p. 251 (2nd Ed.)
  4. (Gi. 10, 18)