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Yoga Sutras
Sutra 2.42

santoṣād anuttamaḥ sukha-lābhaḥ

By contentment, supreme joy is gained.

Translated - Swami Satchidananda

Contentment is the state of being satisfied and at peace with what is, embracing the present moment without longing for external desires or conditions. It is not complacency or resignation, but rather a conscious choice to find fulfilment within ourselves, irrespective of external circumstances. When we practice contentment, we free ourselves from the endless pursuit of material possessions, achievements, or approval from others. We release the constant craving for more, recognising that true happiness does not lie in the accumulation of external possessions, but rather in the richness of our inner being. We realise that we have the power to create our own joy by shifting our perspective and finding gratitude for the blessings that already exist in our lives. Contentment is not about denying ambition or growth but approaching them with a sense of inner peace and appreciation for the journey itself. We strive for our goals with enthusiasm and passion, yet we are not attached to the outcomes. We learn to savour the process, finding joy in every step we take toward our aspirations. In the pursuit of contentment, we liberate ourselves from comparison and competition with others. We recognise that each individual's path is unique, and our journey unfolds according to our own pace and purpose. By releasing the need for approval or validation from others, we find freedom and authentic self-expression. Supreme joy arises as we align ourselves with the present moment, fully embracing life as it unfolds. We let go of regrets from the past and worries about the future. Instead, we immerse ourselves in the beauty of the present, finding wonder in the simple pleasures of life.
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