Dr Swami Shankardevananda Saraswati
The one thing that most people who are sick have in common is unhappiness. Very few can accept disease with equanimity and perceive the hidden design within the illness, lacking understanding of cause and effect and the science of healthy living. Santosha, or contentment, is at the core of recovery from all dis-ease, tension, worry, stress, and ill-health. When we can view all our problems as obstacles on our path to make us strong, mature and healthy or whole, then we gain contentment or cheerfulness. We can see life as it is, and with a humorous sparkle in our eye.
Indeed cheerfulness and humour are an absolute necessity for anyone traversing the yogic or spiritual path. Too often we get bogged in the morass of seriousness, intellectualism, speculation and heavy thinking about the future, the past, or this, that and the other, so that we lose our perspective of the present and cannot live life with a relaxed and free mind. We have a tendency to take ourselves and the whole ‘trip’ too seriously, worrying about unnecessary things that never will take place anyway. The remedy for this dis-ease is humour.
Happiness – the key to good health
We should be able to see a humorous side to everything, for humour is a divine quality and happiness the key to health. It includes freedom from expectations, conditioning, desires, limitations. It is the very stuff of enlightenment. All spiritual masters possess it, and radiate it to those who come in contact with them. Their life is cosmic humour or lila. They play divine games with us and laugh at the folly of our seriousness.
Sometimes it is difficult to grasp the humorous side of a situation that we are involved with, especially since we believe that certain things are invested with importance and should be respected as such. When we journey on the spiritual path we are endeavouring to lift this burden off our shoulders, to remove the weight of life so that we can flow freely. We have to transcend our beliefs, assuming new ‘truths’ until we can transcend them. Then, when we reach masterhood the things we once saw as important and serious have become as so many pebbles or insects, and a true perspective of our priorities dawns. One of the important things that we keep foremost as of the ‘new order’ is humour and happiness, contentment with life, a cheerful attitude of mind and a positive outlook.