Selfishly Contented


2752

“Contentment brings supreme happiness.”

“Always keep in your mind that nonpossessiveness, no-theft, authenticity in being, all give purity. These are not moralistic concepts for Patanjali…. When they are taught as moralistic concepts, as in the West – or in India as Mahatma Gandhi has been teaching – their total quality changes. When you say, ‘You have to be nonviolent because violence hurts others. Don’t hurt anyone. Humanity is one family and to hurt is to sin,’ you have diverted the whole thing to a totally different dimension. Patanjali says: ‘Be nonviolent, it purifies you….’ The question is not the other, the question is you. Of course, when one is nonviolent others are benefited, but that is not the goal…. That is just a by-product, just a shadow.

“If you are nonviolent because others should not be hurt, then you are not really nonviolent. You are a good social citizen, civilized, but nothing of religion has happened within your being. Your nonviolence will work as a lubricant between you and others. Your life will be smoother but not purer, because the goal changes the whole quality. The goal is not to protect the other – the other is protected, that’s another thing – the goal is to become pure so that you can know the ultimate purity.

“Eastern religions remain selfish because they know there is no other way to be. When someone is selfish, others are benefited immensely. In fact all altruism, real authentic altruism, flowers out of deep selfishness…. The flowers of altruism bloom only in a being who has been deeply selfish. To be selfish is just natural. To force people to be otherwise is to make them unnatural. And whatever is unnatural is not the way of existence…. These are not moralistic goals… these are hygienic measures. They purify you, they give you inner health….

“Finally, this purity brings contentment…. Contentment means whatever the situation is, you accept it without any complaint. In fact you not only accept it without complaint, you rejoice in it with deep gratefulness. This moment is perfect. When your mind doesn’t move from it, when you don’t ask for any other time, any other space, any other way of being; when you… are simply herenow, rejoicing, like birds singing in the trees, flowers blooming on the trees, stars moving. Everything is taken as ‘This is the all, the whole, the perfect, no improvement is possible in it.’ And when the future is dropped, when the tomorrow disappears, there is contentment. When now is the only time, the eternity, there is contentment and in that contentment, says Patanjali: …supreme happiness.

“’Contentment brings supreme happiness.’ So contentment is the discipline of the yogi. He has to be contented. If nothing can create discontent in you, if nothing can create restlessness in you – if nothing can push you off your center – there arises supreme happiness.”

Excerpted from Osho, The Essence of Yoga, #3

Commentaries on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali