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Be Satisfied, Do not Chase after Desires

Do not encourage the multiplication of desires. Be satisfied with whatever you have been given. In the chapter on devotion, Krishna enumerated the 26 noble qualities which endear a devotee to the Lord. Of these, contentment stands out as one of the most important characteristics of a devotee. It means not running after worldly enjoyments. You have enjoyed so many luxuries and so many sensual things in your life but you have not gained peace and fulfillment from them. Give up chasing after them and you will gain contentment.

The heart of a person who does not have contentment is like a bamboo basket riddled with holes. If you try to draw water out of a well using such a basket, by the time it comes up, all the water will have leaked out. There will not even be a drop of water left to quench your thirst. Similarly, when you are suffering from pangs of desire and greed, all your contentment leaks away before you even have a chance to fulfill your desires. When contentment leaves your heart, discontent remains behind to take its place.

Desire breeds more desire. A person who does not have anything at all may feel very happy and contented when he gets 100 rupees. But once he gets the 100 rupees, he thinks how nice it would be if he could get 1000 rupees. If by chance he gets the 1000 rupees, he desires to have a million rupees. Then he would aspire to become a major property owner. From a property owner he would want to become a legislator and then a minister and then the prime minister. Finally, he would want to use all his status and wealth to attain the God-state. But you can never reach divinity with the help of power and wealth. As the person's desires cross all limits, he becomes discontented and his wealth gains him no inner peace at all. You must learn how to gain contentment from whatever you have, being satisfied with whatever wealth you have been given. Your responsibility is to take care of the possessions you have received through the grace of God, and be happy.