Deceptive Desires

Sometimes by accident, sometimes by own choice and sometimes by compulsion, we come across different types of contacts. Due to want of sufficient knowledge we, very often, do not know which one to reject and which one to accept. We cannot discriminate between good and bad. For we do not know which is good and what is permanently good. Had we known ‘what is good’ we could have craved for the good, mastered the good and we would have been good. Sins and sufferings would have remained away from us. We would have been in a blissful state. But are we? A unanimous ‘No’ is the answer.

We misconstrue something as good. We chase after that only to meet with sufferings thereafter. We are deluded by illusory things, which we have taken for granted as good. But the things that are really good are lost sight of. Due to sheer ignorance, we drop the good things from our hands as if we are bound to undergo sins and sufferings.

Beings driven by desires, we strive hard to get the blessings of God and after successfully completing our tapa, we ask him for a boon. Like Bhasmasura, we pray to god to empower us to burn and destroy anything we may touch. It is because, that is what we know to be good for us. By that we ourselves get annulled by the devouring flame and thus the hard-earned boon, due to our ignorance, turns to be a calamitous bane for us. A story may be cited here to elucidate the point further.

"A tired traveller happened to meet a sage in the jungle. Being very much pleased with the good conduct of the traveller, the sage blessed him, "you will get whatever you will wish". The traveller expressed his deep sense of gratitude to the sage and took leave of him. After covering a long distance, he took rest under a tree. He recollected the boon given by the sage and wanted to take advantage of the same. He wished, "If I could get a bed, I could sleep comfortably".

Thereafter, a bed appeared before him. Then he thought, "How about a beautiful pillow and a mattress?"

The moment he thought of this, the desired objects appeared on his cot. He stretched himself on the cushioned bed, but he could not sleep.

His excruciating hunger swept his sleep away. He then thought of delicious food. Food appeared and he had it to his heart’s content. While reposing on bed he thought, "If a tiger comes!" No sooner did he apprehend this than the tiger pounced upon that wishful thinker and tore him to pieces."

The boon thus became a bane. The myopic vision of the unfortunate traveller snatched away from him everything he had. Such catastrophic consequences can be ascribed only to his ignorance or stupidity. He never cared to know the implications of such a powerful weapon, which he happened to possess. He went on satisfying his wants one after another and thus spent the uncommon boon on very common and trivial pursuits, being prompted by selfishness and sensuousness. His reins of reasoning had been shattered by the dictates of his desires.

Dibya Darshan says, "we crave for happiness but get sorrows and sufferings. That is because we don’t know what is happiness. We don’t also know the ways to get happiness."

We know that fulfilment of desires only will make us happy. But that does not happen in reality. Once one desire is fulfilled, another desire raises its ugly hood. It is said in the Bhagavad Gita that just as a fire is never extinguished by putting in more and more of oil, the flame of desire, similarly is never extinguished by satisfying the senses one after another.

The ghosts of desires slowly and stealthily smuggle into our mind through various ways.

The reasons are-

  1. The acquired impulses from previous births play important role in creating new desires in this lease of life.
  2. The desires cherished by our parents and forefathers are also handed down to us and we try to take up the unfinished work of our predecessors.
  3. Different contacts with different objects and persons bring in different desires.
  4. Desires overpower our mind due to biological necessity.
  5. Desires are also transmitted through dissemination of ideas by social, political and economic reasons.
  6. Feelings of social acceptance and distinction and our love for praises and hatred for blames also bring in more and more desires.

We are in fact chained by desires. We strive hard for the fulfilment of our desires. It is said that the desires make our Chitta (mind stuff) unclean and we go on taking births after births, until all our desires are fulfilled.

Lord Budha says, "Desire is the cause of sorrows and sufferings". Sadguru Sri Sri Arjuna analyses the above statement further and concludes that we cherish desires due to ignorance about our self. We are not aware that we are the finite expressions of the infinity. Without knowing our ‘self’, if we go on saddling ourselves with new and new desires, we shall not be in a position to fulfil those, even after several births. A long list of desires will always be carried over to the next births, which is of course subject to deletions, additions and alterations. This will be a never-ending process indeed!

How to get rid of ‘desires’ is a common question. Sadguru Sri Sri Arjuna gives a very simple reply to this. He says that when the level of consciousness changes, the nature of desires also changes. The desires in the childhood are replaced by some other set of desires in the youth. Similarly, the desires in the youth are also replaced by another set of desires in the old age, though some desires remain unaltered, until they are fulfilled.

This indicates that the desires, which overpowered the mind during childhood, lose its strength and priority during subsequent stage. In other words, with the change in the level of ‘Jnana’, some desires are automatically destroyed and new desires, pertaining to the new level of Jnana’, crop up. Within a particular framework of knowledge, mind considers something as important and something as unimportant. The more a particular thing is considered valuable, the more attracted the mind gets towards the same. Unimportant things automatically go out of mind.

When man acquires more and more of spiritual knowledge, his angles of vision are changed automatically. With limited and fragmented knowledge, he sees the universe and the mundane matters. But with higher knowledge, when he looks from a different angle, he sees the ‘infinity’. He realises that the universe is a manifestation of none other than the infinity.

As man moves higher and higher, he starts depreciating and rejecting those things, which he had been so far upholding as valuable with his lesser knowledge. In the process, he develops dispassion. He starts craving for the eternity and not the ephemeral objects. He may, by the grace of God, realise the Supreme Truth, which is ‘unchangeable’. At that height of knowledge, there is no shifting of knowledge and no hypnotisation by the senses. When truth appears uncovered, there is no question of super-imposition. The snake vanishes, the fear vanishes but only the rope remains. All delusions vanish, only the Reality remains.

Sadguru Sri Sri Arujana says, ‘you never welcome woes but your ignorance brings them to you. You are absolutely divine. Therefore, pursue divine knowledge, desire only divinity, contemplate on divinity and then only divine bliss will be bestowed upon you.’

Therefore, let us not keep on estranging ourselves from divinity, which is none other than our 'Self'. Let us try to realize our true self, i.e. our divine form as quickly as possible. That is the only panacea for all our ailments. That is the only magic wand that can dispel all our darkness, nullify all our mundane desires, which are disturbing and deceptive.