--> Skip to main content

Contentment In Hindu Religion

Contentment (santhosha) is one of the five niyamas or regulations in Hindu religion. It implies absence of desire for any possession in excess of the immediate necessities or maintaining one’s life.

Contentment in Hinduism is satisfaction (sam+tus) with what comes of itself. From contentment, unsurpassed happiness is gained (Yoga Sutra 11.42). It is said in this regard that the happiness gained on this earth through the enjoyment of desired objects, or the supreme heavenly joy, is not even one-sixteenth of the happiness caused by the cessation of desires. Contentment is the highest form of bliss, as mentioned in the Mahabharata (XII.21.2).

Santhosha assumes also a spiritual content, namely full faith and satisfaction in the Absolute, as against external objects. In this context, it is rightly said that the regulations help in creating the right orientation for ishvarapranidhana (surrender to the Ultimate).

Contentment is freedom from desire (Vishnu Purana). Vijnana-Bhikshu has rightly said in his Yoga Varttika on Yogasutra – joy obtained by contentment does not result from the desire for any sensory object. It is really the mind’s establishment in its own pure nature which is joy and which arises spontaneously when desires get reduced. This joy of tranquility does not depend on any object (11.42).