Susegad State Of Mind
By CHARUDUTTA PANIGRAHI
CHARUDUTTA PANIGRAHI exhorts us to adopt this quintessentially Goan concept for a happy and productive life.
Being content doesn’t mean being under-ambitious or being short on aspirations. It means all-round harmony: with life, ecosystem, environment and more significantly, one’s own self. In all ‘assessments’, it is peaceful living which curtails avarice, restlessness and anti-nature instincts. Doesn’t this usher in positivity and lead to a healthy life?
With more per capita happiness, the nation will become a happier place and a happier nation would be more creative, energetic and diligent. Despite technology, human contribution to productivity needs constant enhancement. It’s time we realise and nurture our great legacy — Susegad. It is a gift from Goa; a gift that encompasses contentment and physical de-stressing.
‘Susegad’ means a de-cluttered mind, and pure obeisance to the flow of life. It reflects one’s union with life. It is no surprise that the word ‘susegad’ has many meanings in Konkani and has no direct English translation. It is derived from the Portuguese word sossegado meaning ‘quiet.
Susegad – It is the most coveted possession of life, one that Goa shares with the rest of the world.
In our tumultuous times, the practice of silence carries immense potential to be exported to the rest of the world. Albert Einstein had once said, “I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.” A Chinese proverb puts it beautifully, “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” We find ultimate divinity in Susegad — the divinity that lies in our submission to nature, a life lived in gratitude, a deep joy without which everything appears hollow. Today, our insecurities result in debilitating stress that affects our society. It poisons our families, relationships, work-life, productivity, our mental health, and consequently our country. Research shows that chronic stress can become a national epidemic for all genders and ages, particularly those in 25-35 years age group. The causes and solutions to chronic stress are a complex mix of socioeconomic, environmental, genetic, physical, and spiritual factors.
Chronic stress depresses the immune system, alters our moods, and damages our professional and personal relationships. Just as, on the positive side, yoga has been shown to lengthen the protective caps at the ends of our DNA strands called telomeres and keep us more youthful, ongoing stress can actually change our DNA for the worse. It doesn’t let us be ‘ourselves’, as a result of stress, we also change for the worse.
The Susegad way of life can be the answer to the huge loss to the national economy and productivity (both in quantity and quality) because of stress, burnout and discontentment. Susegad can help save us from unhealthy impact of healthcare costs on productivity, performance, and of course, attrition at workplace. Susegad will not only prevent symptoms that decrease employee productivity, but will also improve overall performance of the economy. Eventually, it will be much more effective to the nation’s growth. In 2014, scientists studying the effects of stress observed that the effect that stress has on us can last up to two generations.
Susegad helps you drop the mind and become a witness. Eventually, you become a pure witness, seeing, watching, but not getting ‘attached’ to anything. In this non-judgemental witnessing, all questions dissolve. The mind melts, rather it evaporates. You are left as a pure being — a breath; a beat of the heart, rested firmly in the moment with no craving, restlessness and hence, no stress.
A state such as this helps build individual character and collectively, the national character. This right-mindfulness or the relaxed awareness is the need of the hour, and it is quintessentially Goan. It’s time we correct ourselves — Susegad is contentment and not laziness as some believe it to be. Laziness and being contented are completely different. We all know people who suffer from misfortune, yet are happy and satisfied deep inside. They radiate happiness and gratefulness. Susegad is the way of life, the thinking, the tendency to be pleased with what we have. Susegad is so life affirmative that it helps the mind to counter negativity, which comes easily to the mind. Osho had once said that “it is very difficult for the mind to say yes because once you say yes, the mind stops, and then there is no need for the mind.” When the mind stops, fears, insecurities, challenges, inner fights come to a dead stop. If this happens at an individual level, with susegad reaching out, the entire society can be transformed. It is simple, yet powerful.
Modern mindfulness or contemplative centering is a rare quality of life that can be sustained through susegad, and maybe someday, just like Bhutan, Gross Happiness Index of our country — born out of a widespread susegad influence — would supplement the Gross Domestic Product.