7) In the Presentation in Moksa-Marga you mention the fact that humans are not content and experience dissatisfaction even though having material abundance. Then there is the Divine discontent, Bhakti p.76. Is there a way that we can tell the difference between these two types of discontent?
Well, the first one is understandable and we always have. When you do not receive what you are expecting you are discontented, whether it is material or emotional. We can have an emotional discontent because we expect some sort of emotional response and you don’t get it so you are discontented. So this is our daily life, it is full of discontentment because we are never satisfied with what we get. It is a fundamental principle of desire and discontentment.
The other one is, as you say, divine discontentment. That is, at times, you expect something from this divine being. You do something, you pray, you meditate, you say Oh God and you expect that this prayer or meditation will give you something in return. What you are expecting is material or in the material life, not in the divine or spiritual life. I want to succeed in my exam, or I want to succeed in this interview. We want to get satisfaction and we think that the Supreme power would help us, and we might realise that he did not help. It is not that he has nothing to do with what I do. I am not contented because, I would say, that God did not help me. So this is divine discontent.
There is another type of divine discontentment. You have your own idea of what God is, what God is to you. With that concept, with that idea, you do some actions to be closer to him. Prayer, meditation, silence, whatever it is. Afterwards you realise that you did not get the satisfaction that you expected. What all your prayers and meditation gave you is not what you expected. Not in your material life, in your own view of the God, and you are discontented because you would have been happy if your prayer and mediation had given you what you expected. The mind is so subtle, that what you expect could be called conscious mind, the first layer of the mind says I want to see God like this, or my mind should be like that with the God. Then when you do it, it is something else. In India we say it is God’s play.
See, you invoke God with the picture, with the idea of the God you have, and you do get it. You may not do it again. We say it is God’s play to see you discontent so that you go deeper. We give our idea of God and this idea might not appear in our prayers and meditations. So we get a bit disappointed. That is divine discontentment.
We can do this interview and I may not be happy with it, or you may not be happy with what you got. In each case it is ours. The divine discontent will have a deeper effect than the material discontent.
Avoid spiritual discontent. I told you, you go with a peaceful mind and there you put a discontentment, that discontentment will be permanent. This is the reason we say that you should avoid the divine discontentment. Just receive what you get at that time when you pray, when you invoke, do not give already a definition of what you want. In another way it is almost making God a material object you know. Just be receptive without any expectation, without any values.