The strength of your happiness is measured by the adverse situations you are in. If everything is smooth, then you giving a big smile is nothing! That smile is worth nothing! But, if you can smile through any situation, through any event! So what, I’ll keep a big smile and let the world die and disappear.
This strength in you, santosha, is an attitude you develop.
There is another Mullah Nasrudin story. He used to grumble all the time. He was a farmer, so he would grumble, “Oh, there is no rain.” There was no rain in California for so many years. He’d say, “Oh, there is no rain, no crops are coming, it’s so difficult and…” He was grumbling.
And that year, there was very good rainfall, and he had great crops in his fields. People thought, this year Nasrudin will not grumble, because his crops have come on so nicely, so good, and so high.
There’s no problem. They said, “He must at least be happy.” So people went to greet him, “Oh, Mullah, how are you? You seem to be doing very well, lots of crops. Your field is simply flourishing and so attractive.” But Mullah had the same long face. He said, “Yes, now we have so much work to do. All these years I didn’t have to do anything, with no crops. But now so many crops and I have to do this, go to market and sell them. It’s a big headache!” He was still grumbling. Whether there were crops or not, his grumbling continued.
It is the same way in your life. You are unhappy about things you have and you are unhappy about things you don’t have. Isn’t it? Someone who doesn’t have a car is unhappy, because he doesn’t have a car. Someone who has a car is unhappy, because he has to maintain that car and it is such a big headache: pay the tax, do this, maybe get a ticket… I could simply take public transport and go as before. Now I have to do the cars service and keep it somewhere when I get out. If the battery goes down, do something about it. A hundred and one things!
Santosha. Develop the habit of being happy. You have to do it. Nothing else can give you that. Nobody else can do it. If anybody else or anything else does it, it will only be very temporary. You take a step!
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar