Cultivating Santosh or Contentment

Santosh or contentment is a very important characteristic of a sound and balanced mind. In the Bhagavad Gita, contentment is mentioned as one of the qualities of a man of steady wisdom, ‘sthitapranja’. In the second chapter of the Gita, Sri Krishna, in reply to Arjun`s inquiry, says; “ O son of Pritha, when all desires of the heart have been abandoned and one remains content with oneself, then one is spoken as a person of steady wisdom.” In the twelfth chapter of the Gita it is said, “One of the characteristics of an ideal devotee is that he is ever content and contemplative (santushtahsatatam yogi).”

Santosh or contentment is included as one of the five niyamas-qualities to be cultivated-by Sage Patanjali in his Yoga sutras. Sage Vyasa, in his commentary on Yoga sutras, defines it as ‘having no desire to acquire anything more than one has already has.’ This means to remain satisfied with what little one has-not to have any desire for more, or to change the situation, or to feel envy.

We should get over the minor desires by a little fulfilment and discrimination. But major desires need to be renounced by discrimination alone without attempting to satisfy them. One can also cultivate the value of contentment by holding in the mind the feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction one gets by satisfaction of a desire.

Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda


About drmcpanda

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S.,M.D. Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Cultivating Santosh or Contentment

  1. I have referred the article ’Cultivating Santosha or Contentment’ published in the monthly journal ‘The Vedanta Kesari’ in its Vol. 103, No.1 in drafting my above article.

  2. Thanks for referral. Santosh or contentment is different from “Sthitprgya” “O son of Pritha, when all desires of the heart have been abandoned and one remains content with oneself, then one is spoken as a person of steady wisdom.” Steady Wisdom or sthitpragya is a state which is not shaken by fears, lures and worldly charms. The person is driven purely by “his Karma” or his duty at that particular situation. “Karmanyevadhikaraste ma faleshu kadachan” meaning thereby that man has a “Right to work but he should never worry/ desire results”. A contented person is happy with whatever he has been able to get/ achieve, but anybody who is not contented with his present will always be unhappy. Hence contentment is “Piece with belonging” while “Sthitpragya” is “Detachment from effects of results of Karma”. Both are important aspects of a “Happy Mind”.

  3. V Chandra Sekhar says:

    Namaste Dr.Panda,

    I have read with great interest the article on CONTENTMENT & SANTOSH. It is worth noting that Sage Patanjali had included contentment as one of the Niyamas in his yogasutra. Also, the statement made by Dr. Madan Goyal in his comments that anybody who is not contented with his present will always be unhappy is very true.

  4. Dr.Binod Bihari Naik says:

    Respected Sir,

    Santosha or contentment has vast innermost significance, one can’t be able to express even if spiritually progressed to a distance destined to abode of God but definitely feels the same and being broadened with love forecasts to surrounding. As a whole penumbra of love follows with person with contentment He sways all beings coming in contact with him and situation and environment become ambiance. This is the power of contented person. My impression that Santosha or contentment is a powerful spiritual energy.

    With Regards
    Your Divine Brother
    Dr.Binod Bihari Naik
    Bargarh Odisha

  5. Sir,

    A nice article related to Bhagavad Gita. Santosha is such a thing which is completely related to mind by the wish of Almighty. A good environment is highly essential for a good mind to be Santosha. In briefly we can realize this from the two lines of Aadi Kabi Jagannath Dash, Writer Oriya Bhagabata :-
    If the God is happy and Santosha by the dibya gyana of man,then I think that for santosha we must be accrued with the Dibya Gyana. So it is a difficult task for the men of this environment to be able for accruing Santosha. It requires only the divine path of God i.e Yoga and Spirituality.

    Kedarnath Sahu
    Science Teacher
    Sohela Bargarh,Odisha

  6. Prakash Padhan says:

    I am happy to read santosh or contentment according to Gita. I feel sthitapranjamala of 2nd chapter of Gita is most important part of Gita . In kosli there is a proverb “ahuri hau ahuri hau, khusar upre chanuri hau” that means human wants unlimited. Our birth is sufficient, we should not desire more.I appreciate you that you (doctor)gave up desire of earning money after retirement.

    Prakash Padhan
    SBCC manager
    Kala-azar elimination project-India

  7. Purnima Panda says:

    Pranam kaka,

    A nice article related to contentment which is the most valuable wealth one can cultivate in its lifetime. These things are practically inborn. No amount of advice to remain content and not to wish for things can help because the desires are there. They require some expression. It’s only the understanding that can help. While experiencing life the understanding occurs that all these material objects have a limitation and it much more happier to be without them , to be with whatever one has. For applying santosh in life , real self-effort is needed because desires unknowingly enter us and they look very innocent. This is not about a desire and finding solution, a way of fulfilling it. It is about the personality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s