Q & A with Swami Satchidananda on Finding Contentment

Question: I’m basically happy and peaceful but feel that something is missing. How can I find the missing part?

Swami Satchidananda: If you are basically happy and in peace, what can be missing? It’s a sort of contradiction. If you are basically happy and in peace, then there is nothing to miss, because you are not depending on anything for your peace and joy. If you depend on something for your peace, then that something might not last, or, you might become fearful of losing it. Peace, without depending on anything, is your true nature. There is nothing to miss. Probably, because of some past samskaras, past impressions, your own mind might create a sort of illusion that you are missing something. It will say, “Don’t you think you are missing something? Don’t you think you were happier before?” That is the trick of your mind; it doesn’t want to let you be happy. It wants to make you unhappy, so it creates an imaginary void, as if you are missing something. Don’t give room for that.

I always say, peace is my God. I have peace, and so I have God. What then should I miss? All I need, all I deserve, will come to me. If I don’t get anything, that means I don’t need it. The other day, I heard somebody talking about an affirmation. The idea is the same, just different words: Nothing is ever taken away from you without it being replaced by something better. So why worry about losing something? It just means that you are going to get something better. You’ll be even happier. You might even look for a chance to lose one thing so something better will come your way.

After all, what is there to lose? You never had anything to begin with. You didn’t bring anything with you into this world and you won’t be taking anything back with you when you leave! If you have anything, it is God given, and if you lose anything, God has taken it back because you don’t need it anymore.

If you think that way, you can always keep your peace. But the mind tricks you. It doesn’t let you enjoy the peace always; it creates some sort of vacuum. It tells you: This is not the real peace. It is nothing like having a nice big car, or big home. You are so young, you’ve come so early to spiritual life without enjoying all those things, don’t you want to go back and enjoy all that? The mind will say that to you. Your mind will ask you to go back to those things. That’s what you call maya. Maya is there to trick you. Don’t ever get cheated by your own mind. It’s a tough fight, but the greatest victory you can win is the victory over your own mind.

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