VOL101, MARCH 2010


Human beings carry within their selves the two opposing aspects of nature: good and bad. Usually, that which gives pleasure is considered good and which gives pain is considered bad. In this context, pleasure includes both pleasure of body and mind. Our bodies and minds need satisfaction at every moment from the smallest things say such as, adding a little sugar to our morning cup of tea to setting up a Sugar factory. At the mental level, a person may be inspired by the photograph of a film hero in a magazine or the wish to become a hero. All the time human beings are seeking instant gratification of the multi-dimensional aspects of their lives at the desired level and in the desired style. If we make a daily assessment of the number of physical and mental activities that gives us pleasure, then we may find that at least some of these desires never got fulfilled. That area of dissatisfaction becomes something like an area of deficit, sort of an emotional hole.

At the end of the day, some people often forget these fulfillments and remember the areas of deficit only. Let us, for instance, place all the activities of life under twelve categories, namely parents, brothers, sister, wife, children, health, job, money, property, fame, religion, God etc. With certain rare exceptions, most people want the greatest possible satisfaction in all such desires that they nurture simultaneously.

Satisfaction of the temporal status of human beings is not material in this situation because all the aforementioned aspects are human aspects and are common to all human beings all over the world. History tells us that no person on this earth, howsoever powerful or great had ever been fully satisfied in all aspects of his life. For the sake of argument, however, let us assume that someone got complete satisfaction in ten or eleven aspects of life and incomplete satisfaction in one or two aspects. Even in such a scenario, we find that this person will spend more time and energy in brooding over only these two aspects of life which he lacked. At times such deficits or unfulfilled aspects are taken too seriously. Sometimes, the waste of time and energy on the smaller areas of life are able to cripple or even destroy the other happier and vital aspects of life. Let us take the example of a person who has everything else but has a crippled body due to an accident. History is studded with examples of such people who achieved many things despite their physical disabilities. However, some of these people due to their pessimistic outlook have a propensity not only to disturb their own lives and also that of everyone around. Because of their peculiar mental state (sometimes magnified due to their imagination or selfishness) they become a liability for others. Such a state of mind often creates complex psychological condition or even adverse health condition. Many of these people even become self-destructive leading to suicide such as in cases of failure in love and exams etc. Some people consider such extreme reactions in them with a sense of idealism and believe that to remain dissatisfied is a great virtue. They are often shocked to find some other people happy even despite great adversities in their lives. Sometimes they look at such balanced people as insensitive beings or as persons who are escapists or careless.

Thus in the ultimate analysis it will be seen that the enjoyment of life depends on the level of one’s satisfaction. Life gives certain things and denies certain things to all living beings. Therefore one should not be over happy when life offers certain desired pleasures and should not break down when certain things are denied by life or go wrong in life. Shri Shirdi Sai Baba often used to tell his devotees to be happy and satisfied with whatever God has given them and to patiently watch the changing patterns of life dispassionately. This, then, is the key to a happy and meaningful life.

Shri C B Satpathy
New Delhi


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