We are content to wear garments made of bark of trees and you with dress made of soft material. But the contentment is alike; the difference in attire makes no difference. He whose desires are huge is indeed poor. If the contentment is in the mind, then who is rich and who is poor?
Points for Introspection:
A king told his Guru. an ascetic and a sannyasin, that he was very sad to see the Guru wearing bark of a tree which was very coarse for the skin. The king thereby requested his Guru to wear the soft and smooth silken dresses which he would humbly offer to him. This shloka is the reply of the Guru to the disciple king.
The Guru tells the King: ” O King! Just as you are happy wearing a soft silken dress, I am happy and also contented wearing the bark of a tree. Whether you wear a silken dress and I wear a bark, the happiness and contentment experienced by both of us is exactly the same. The difference in attire makes no difference in this contentment.
“Dear King! I know that since you love me and are devoted to me, you are feeling extremely sad seeing your Guru wearing a bark of a tree which is coarse and rough. You are sorrowful thinking the bark is hurting my skin. You are also greatly afflicted thinking I have been forced to wear such a garment because, I, a sannyasin, not possessing any money, have not been able to buy something better.
“You are mistaken. I am absolutely contented wearing the bark. For me, wearing a garment is for covering the body alone. I have no other desire that is should be softer, more beautiful or costlier or that I should have a variety. I am absolutely contented and extremely grateful to God that he has given me something to cover myself.
“If thought of discontent arise in the mind, like ‘Oh! this attire is not a good one; it is hurting me; I am not looking nice in this; it is looking very cheap and not costly; it is looking old; I do not have enough money to get a variety of dresses,’ etc., the mind will lose its peace. Peace will belost because the mind has got smitten with desire. Whereas one should be satisfied that he has got a covering for the body and be grateful, his mind now fosters the desire of possessing a variety of costlier and better garments.
“Dear son! Just because I cannot afford silken dresses, I am not poor at all. Contentment is my true wealth. One is rich and wealthy when one has the virtue of contentment.
“Poor is the one who is never satisfied with whatever he has got, and always desires for something more.
“Contentment is the real wealth of every human being. If the mind has no desire and is adorned with contentment, then every mind is rich whether one is wealthy or not.”
Whenever our mind is smitten by desire, and suffers from lack of contentment we should remember this shloka.
वयम् (vayam) – we; इह (iha) – here; परितुष्टाः (parituṣṭāḥ) – satisfied, contented; वल्कलैः (valkalaiḥ) – by garments made of the bark of a tree; त्वम् (tvam) – you; दुकूलैः (dukūlaiḥ) – by garments made of a fine cloth; समः (samaḥ) – same, similar; इव (iva) – in the same manner, like; परितोषः (paritoṣaḥ) – delight; निर्विशेषः (nirviśeṣaḥ) – undiscriminating,having no difference; विशेषः (viśeṣaḥ) – distinction, characteristic difference; सः (saḥ) – he; तु(tu) – indeed; भवतु (bhavatu) – be; दरिद्रः (daridraḥ) – poor; यस्य (yasya) – whose; तृष्णा (tṛṣṇā) – desire; विशाला (viśālā) – large, extensive; मनसि (manasi) – in the mind; च (ca) – and; परितुष्टे (parituṣṭe) – contented, completely satisfied; कः (kaḥ) – who; अर्थवान् (arthavān) – wealthy, rich; कः (kaḥ) – who; दरिद्रः(daridraḥ) – poor
वयम् इह वल्कलै: परितुष्टा: । त्वम् दुकूलै: (परितुष्ट:) । सम इव परितोष: निर्विशेष: विशेष: । यस्य तृष्णा विशाला स: तु दरिद्र: भवतु । मनसि च परितुष्टे क: अर्थवान क: दरिद्र: ।
vayam iha valkalaiḥ parituṣṭāḥ. tvam dukūlaiḥ (parituṣṭāḥ). samaḥ iva paritoṣaḥ nirviśeṣaḥ viśeṣaḥ. yasya tṛṣṇā viśālā saḥ tu daridraḥ bhavatu. manasi ca parituṣḥe kaḥ arthavān kaḥ daridraḥ.
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