This incident was reported by a person who was an acquaintance of a famous barrister of the undivided Bengal. This barrister was so good in his profession that he used to travel to England to represent his clients. Inevitably, he became very rich with many properties, but was not satisfied. So one day, standing at his window, he was meditating on the possible reasons for his dissatisfaction. There, he saw a priest who was taking bath at a nearby well. After finishing his bath, the priest washed and dried the clothes he was wearing and then put them on without any complaint.
The barrister grew indignant and enquired from his wife as to why he, who had everything, was so dissatisfied and the lowly priest, having not even a spare set of clothes, was so peaceful. The poor wife simply looked at her famous husband without saying anything.
Why is dissatisfaction so wide-spread even amongst rich and famous ? There could be many reasons : We feel that everything should be easier for us ; we should be the hub around which the world should revolve ; others should do more for us. Besides we think that things are happening by chance ; our luck is faulty; others are getting more than their share ; they have a grudge against us ; having enough money should be panacea, and most importantly we over-estimate what we deserve.
What is this satisfaction ? In Bhagavad-Geeta, Lord Krishna has described this as a quality of the mind ( 17.16 ). Out of the three types of pleasures - that is of the senses, of the mind and of the soul - satisfaction relates to the pleasures of the mind. Lord Krishna further states that He is the source of this quality (10.5). Satisfaction has three essential ingredients : Realism, spirituality and tolerance.
An English dictionary defines satisfaction variously : A feeling of pleasure because one has something or achieved something ; the action of fulfilling a need, a desire, demand, etc ; the state of being certain or convinced about something, a thing that gives pleasure and happiness ; and an acceptable responses to a complaint. It is also an affirmation of the arrangement of God who has declared in Bhagavad-Geeta : “The material world works under My superintendance” (9.10). What this means is that nothing happens by chance, and we get exactly what we deserve. What we presently have or the circumstances we find ourselves in, are just and fair. Lack of this knowledge is the root cause of dissatisfaction.
Satisfaction should never be confused with laziness, that is, I am satisfied with what I have and don’t need to make further endeavours. Human life is meant for making progress, to evolve. Many animals and birds appear satisfied with what they have. This is acceptable as far as they are concerned because of their covered consciousness and lack of real intelligence. Human beings must reach higher and attempt liberation by purifying their consciousness by various spiritual processes.
How does one achieve satisfaction ? Faulty thinking has to be changed or reversed. We must accept that nothing valuable comes cheap ; we are only a small cog in a giant wheel, which is this world ; and others would certainly help us if we do likewise. Moreover luck is a sum-total of all our past actions ; money does not buy everything, especially peace, happiness and sense of security ; many other things need to be done to achieve satisfaction besides accumulating wealth ; and nothing happens by chance and we are getting what we deserve.
We must also get connected to God by having faith in Him and His arrangement and by surrendering to Him. We must learn to adapt to the changing circumstances since the world is ever-changing. One must learn to live in compartments. This means, one must simultaneously tackle problems as well as try to live happily, and not keep on waiting for all the problems to cease before attempting to enjoy life. After all, problems cannot be eliminated from this material world. Setting realistic limits to one’s bodily requirements and comforts also goes a long way in achieving satisfaction. And in the end, realizing that being dissatisfied gives no benefit whatsoever, except sapping useful energy, also helps.
What are the benefits of satisfaction ? Such feeling helps one to transcend the inevitable suffering of the material world ; one can be peaceful ; one can be happy ; one can control one’s mind and senses, whereas dissatisfied person is likely to indulge in harmful sense pleasures as a way of compensation ; and one would not be jealous of others. Besides, a satisfied person would have more energy, allowing him to make progress in life. He shall be optimistic and have the feelings of love and compassion for others.
Satisfaction is a highly desirable quality that needs to be inculcated. Money making is important, but lot more needs to be done to achieve satisfaction. Otherwise, we shall only end up like the rich barrister with no satisfaction at all.