(Uttama Shaucha Dharma)
'Contentment is Happiness.'
The word 'Shauch' is a
compound word derived by adding the suffix 'anr' with the word 'shuchi'
to mean 'shucherbhav shauchanam'. It means sacredness, cleanliness,
to be pure, to be clean, to be spotless and to be non-greedy.
The humanitarian approach to lessen
the miseries of living beings is included in the abstention from greed of
worldly possessions. Contentment aims at putting a limit on the worldly
possessions by individuals according to their needs and desires.
Stating the characteristics of the
virtue of supreme contentment in 'Sarvartha Siddhi�, Acharya Pujya
Pad Swamy writes: 'lobhprkaranramuparam shaucham'- To discard
different types of greed is contentment.
Jo vatdi parammunri tas du dhamo
The Supreme saint who conducts
himself suppressing all desires and possesses the thoughts of renunciation
is endowed with the virtue of contentment. In 'Bhagwati Aradhana'
the erudite Acharya Shivery expresses his invaluable thoughts:
'Dravayshu mamaidam bhavmulo
vyasanopanipat sakal iti tat parityago laghvam'.
ambitious thoughts as 'objects like riches and wife belong to me' lead a
man to numerous troubles. To do away with this feeling of attachment for
worldly objects from heart is abstention or contentment. To be too greedy
is disastrous. The soul becomes impure due to greed.
Once a Seth (a wealthy man)
had been pondering for long that he would feed a Brahman at his home, if
he could find one who ate a little food. Although the Seth was
master of great property and was very wealthy, yet due to being extremely
greedy and a miser of the meanest nature he went on searching for such a
Brahman. As the Seth was known for harnessing such narrow ideas,
the villagers knew very well that the Seth was greedy to the core
of his heart.
One day the Seth chanced to
come in contact with a village Brahman. During discourse the Seth
asked him, "How much do you eat?" The Brahman replied about an oz. at a
time." Hearing this the Seth instantly invited the Brahman to take
meals at his home the next day. The Seth said to him, "O Brahman!
Tomorrow I shall go out of station to make some bargains. Come to my house
and take meals." The Brahman said, "Very well! May you be prosperous! We
always eat your food." Going home the Seth gave this information to
his wife the Sethani; and instructed her saying, "I have extended
invitation for tomorrow's meals to a Brahman. As tomorrow I shall go out
for business transactions, give the Brahman to eat whatever he demands."
In fact, the Seth was fully convinced that the diet of the Brahman
was only one oz., why will he ask for more then?
The next day the Seth went
away on his business tour. The Brahman came at his home in his absence and
blessed the mistress of the house (Sethani). The lady was not
greedy. She was a very generous, saintly, chaste and pious lady devoted to
the Brahmans. She asked, "Well Panditji! Tell me, what are your
requirements?" The Pandit said, "Five quintal wheat flour, one
quintal butter, two quintal vegetables, one quintal sugar, five kg. Salt
and two kg. Spices are my needs for home." The Sethani arranged
everything according to the demands of holy Brahman. After all these food
articles were dispatched to his home, the Brahman said to the Sethani,
"Now hastily serve the food to me as my growing appetite is troubling me."
The lady at once served the food and fed the Brahman to his fill. After
taking food Panditji spoke, "O Gentle Lady! If I get one hundred
guineas (gold coins) as my dinner gift, I shall bless you and return
home." The lady willingly offered him one hundred guineas. Then the
Brahman blessed her and left for home.
On reaching home, the Brahman lay
down in bed covering him with a sheet of cloth. He instructed his wife
that if the Seth comes here, start weeping and tell him, "Panditji
is laid up with serious illness ever since he has returned after taking
meals at your home. The worst thing is that there is no hope of his
survival. God knows, what you have fed him?" In the evening when the whole
day starved Seth came home from his business tour, he asked his
wife, "Did the holy Brahman come here and take his food?" The Sethani
said, "Yes, he did come and asked for some food stuff for his home, which
I supplied to him. Later on he ate down all the five kg. Purees
prepared for him and then taking one hundred guineas as customary gift
given to Brahmans after meals, he went away." Hearing this the Seth
After sometime when the Seth
recovered, he at once reached the Brahman's house. The wife of the Brahman
sat at the door. The Seth inquired of her, "Where is the Brahman?"
Hearing these words of the Seth, the Brahmini began to weep
bitterly and spoke, "Ever since he has returned after taking meals at your
home, that he is unwell. God knows what has happened to him. He is
seriously ill. There is no hope of his survival even. None can say what
harmful thing you fed him along with the food?" The Seth was
terrified and began to apologize to the Brahmini saying, "Don't
weep. Take these two hundred rupees and get the Brahman properly treated;
but do not tell any body that the Brahman had taken meals at my house."
Thus the greedy Seth returned home dumbfounded. The Seth had
to part with a great amount of wealth for his petty greed and had to
undergo mental torture as well. Indeed, there is no lack of such greedy
persons in this world. They are known as great sinners as well. Due to a
little greed, sometimes they lose their precious life too. It is well
Makhi bethi shehd par, rahi
Hath male aur sir dhune, lalach
I.e., A fly sat on honey, waves its
wings, repents and tosses its head to and fro to come out of it, but in
vain. In truth avarice is the root of all evils.
The Crown person of mankind, Lord
Ram had to lose his beloved wife Sita out of her greed for the golden
deer. If a wise person is possessed even with the least of greed, he also
is sure to dwindle from the right path. Ram was an extraordinary superman,
yet as a result of greed his wisdom was spoiled. Very often adversity and
allurement for others' shake even the right persons from their noble path.
Hence, Sir Edwin Arnold says:
'Give freely and receive, but take
By greed or force or fraud what is
It has been said:
Asambhavam haimmrigsya jnm
tathapi lulubhai mrigaye
Paraye samapanvipatikale dhiopi
punsan malina bhavanti