tantra

I acknowledge this cartoon from cartoonstock.com.

In this verse, the 51st dharana of the Vigyana BhairavaTantra, Shiva says:

Be content

Settle the mind in contentment

Realize the bliss of Shiva

Our human nature rebels against contentment. If one is content, there will not be any desires or expectations. One will learn to accept events and situations as they arise and be satisfied with whatever happens. One will flow with life and be in the zone accepting whatever life gives as appropriate.

Unfortunately, we do not live our life in this manner. Every breath that we take in is a reflection of the desire to live more. This desire to live longer and better breeds more desires. This is why Buddha called desires to be the root of all the suffering in human life and nature. Let go desires, Buddha said, and you will be liberated. Such liberation is a long way away for most of us.

In the tantric description of chakras, the energy centers, our desires are based in the root centre, the muladhara chakra. These desires provide for us the reason to live and survive. As one travels upwards through the energy centers, one encounters other emotional seats such as those of fear, anxiety, attention need, envy, ego and finally discontent. At the energy centre based in the crown of our head, the sahasrara chakra, one encounters the residual discontent of all that we have till them overcome. When this discontent is also overcome what we realize is sheer bliss.

Let’s view this in a really rational and analytical manner. Take a piece of paper and write on the left side all that you can be grateful for this life. These are your assets in your life’s balance sheet. Be sure to include that you have all your sense organs, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, body and whatever else, are all in working order. Express gratitude to that universal energy of which you too are part for this mercy. Now list other things such as your life partner that you have, the children that you have, the support system of family that you have, the home that you have and other accessories that add value to what you think is life. Even if you do not have some of these, there will always be something that makes your life worthwhile living. Do list all such factors.

On the right side of the same page list all the things you still want. If you look at this list on the right side, the wants, you will soon find that none of these is essential for your life. They are not the needs that make your life worthwhile living, but ones that you borrowed by observing other people and their lifestyles. The more you fulfill such wants, the more such wants will arise.

If you observe what you wrote on the left side of the paper as your assets with what you have written on the right side as liabilities, very quickly you realize how much you need to be grateful for what you have today. This understanding and the expression of gratitude for what you have now will remove your residual discontent.

Every day, morning and evening, think about this, the overwhelming positivity of what you have to be really grateful for as against the inconsequential wants that you chase. Then, express gratitude to the energy above and around for making your life worth living.

You will realize Shiva.

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