By now, at least once, we have all at least experienced the feeling of contentment – sometimes due to our ability to solve complex problems, or from simple and small achievements. With that, it seems like it's been a good day. But have you ever experienced universal contentment, or as the Hinduists and Buddhists call it, santosha?
According to Dr. Tim Lomas, a lexicographer in London, santosha is the Santosha (संतोष) (Sanskrit, n.): contentment arising from personal interaction, and acceptance of self and other; one of the five niyama in Hinduism and Buddhism.
The renowned Indian epic Mahabharata discussed santosha in the Shanti Parva (Book of Peace) as the highest form of heaven, the highest level of bliss:
"When one draws away all his craving desires like a tortoise drawing in all it limbs, then the natural resplendence of his soul soon manifests itself. When one does not fear any creature, nor any creature is frightened by him, when one conquers one's cravings and aversion, then is one said to behold one's soul. When one, indeed, in word and thought, seeks to injure nobody and cherishes no desire, one is said to attain Brahman (consciousness-bliss)."
It's the kind of contentment that's constant and stable. It's being contented with life over nothing. You feel fulfilled and happy with the way things are, regardless of receiving anything. This is the kind of contentment we all dream to have one day. Such state is idyllic, but maybe we can try to get a picture of what it's like across one's face: maybe a subtle or serene smile, or the glint in the eyes across the nothingness. It could also be the laughter coming from the very bottom of your heart. If you're capable of reading body language as it smiles, you might just be able to capture santosha.