108/9: Effects Of Desire

Summary: We lose our peace of mind because of the various effects of our past and present desires. If we want to regain our ever-peaceful existence, we should try and cut the effects our past and present wants have on our life. The only way to reduce the current desires (without replacing them by a new set of desires) is to sincerely wish for their reduction and leave the rest to Sadguru!

Verse 108: Jaise ViarajaNachiye Sange, Doodhachi Aatejo Laage, Taisi Prakruti Aanga Rige, ShrushtipaNaachiyaa.

Translation: The (continuous) contact with a little bit of curd turns the milk into a solid form (curd). Just like that, the indescribable state (Prakruti) turns into this perceivable world (Shrushti).

Even if we put a little bit of curd in a pot of milk, over a period of time, it turns into curd. By becoming curd, it ceases to become milk and loses its liquidity. Exactly the same way, when the formless (Nirgun) aspect of god comes in contact with any of our expectations or wants or wishes, however small they may be, it starts taking form (Sagun).

Now, it must be noted that an example is usually given to illustrate a certain point in the argument. Using that aspect of the example, an abstract concept becomes concrete and is easy to understand. However, no example can perfectly match the argument. Hence, other aspects of a given example are not supposed to fit the argument. In Sanskrit, the word ‘ekdeshi’ (one dimensional) is used to describe this aspect of any example. To illustrate this point, in the above example, by no means we can turn curd back into milk. This aspect of the above example is not applicable to the Sagun form. There is a way to realise (which precisely means ‘go back to’) the Nirgun form once again, even after its Sagun form is set. In fact, our sadhana is nothing but an attempt to reverse the process by which the Sagun form of God has come into existence from the Nirgun form.

I therefore request the reader of this blog not to get lost in an example by itself but try to understand in what way a given example is applicable to an argument. This is a general comment applicable to all examples given by anyone in any argument!!!

As our wants (icchaa) are the obstruction to the realization of God, we must try to eliminate them from our life. At least try to limit their scope in our life. The part of life that is beyond the scope of our desires will give us a glimpse of God. Of course, one may object that wanting to see God is also a desire. Hence, truly speaking, we can never be free from desire. True. It is a very valid objection. However, the desire to realise God is different from other desires in the following way: All our other desires depend on other things or people in some way or other. While the desire to realise God has exactly opposite effect in our life. This desire reduces our dependence on other things. Therefore, we must put this desire into a separate class. Also, when we do realise the God, even this desire will fall off. In absolute samadhi (nirvikalpa samadhi), even the desire of communion with God disappears. At that time, we truly will see the nirgun form of God.

At this point, some people may say that we really do not care to realise God in our life. After all, one is not even sure that God exists! Even if one grants the existence of God, amongst all our acquaintances, there is no one who can say with complete surety that he/she has realised God. Then, how is it possible for me to realise Him? I would rather concentrate on improving my current life to the best of my ability. I would like to point out to these very reasonable looking objections that we cannot improve something when we are in it. For example, those who are lying in a gutter must first get out of it to clean it. We must find a place to stand outside the gutter and then remove its filth. Exactly the same way, we must first find a place outside our ‘normal’ existence first. Then going there, we will be able to look at our life in clarity and then try to improve things that need improvement. The place outside our normal life is nothing but the realization of God. Unless we reach that place, there is no chance of fundamentally improving our life. Without such a place, we can only shift some dirt from our life from a place to another somewhat distant place, so that it is out of our sight. But we cannot remove it entirely from our life. Therefore, even those whose aim is only to really change their current life must first find a place outside their desires and dwelling there, they must look at their life to see what needs to be changed.

Thus, the question is: How do we find a way to limit the scope of our desires in life?

This is a very tricky question. Because any effort from our side to cut down on our desires seem to change old set of desires into a new set of desires! The effort to remove current desires give rise to a new set of desires in which one of them is to remove the old desires! This is a typical Catch 22 situation. There does not seem to be any way by which we can find a place in our waking life that is beyond the jurisdiction of desires so as to be able to remove them. The closest we come to being free from desires is in our deep sleep (sushupti). So how can we replicate this stage in our waking state? Those who can do it are truly perfect yogis. May be this is why Krishna says that: A true yogi is awake where the whole world is asleep and is asleep where the whole world is awake (see Gita, Chapter 2, Shloka 69). A true yogi is asleep to all his desires.

I think that the true solution to this Catch 22 kind of situation is not to do any direct attempt at finding a solution. All it needs to be done is to remind us time and again that we must find a way to reduce the hold of our desires on us. Remind yourself that: ‘Ideally, these desires of mine should not have sway over me. If I can fulfill them, fine. If I cannot, so be it. This way of looking at my own desires, however justifiable they may appear to be, is the correct way to live my life.’ Keep reminding yourself of this fact as many times as possible. This is the ideal way to reduce your present desires without substituting them by a new set of desires.

It is the right way, because once you start saying this again and again to yourself, the Sadguru in you will come to your rescue. Then, without any apparent effort from your side, he will direct your life in such a way that the desires start looking less important for you. At that time, you have already taken the first step towards the solution of your problem. After some more time, you will automatically take the next step and so on. Each time you come closer to being free from your desires, you are coming closer to your state of pure existence. This is an existence for its own sake, not an existence for fulfilling your desires and hence its nature is that of peace and happiness. The closer you come to this state, the closer you are to the nirgun state and the closer you are to faithfully following your sadguru’s instructions. At this time, when you look back to see things you wanted to change in the beginning, they would seem to exist like a mirage and they will not demand the effort that is required to change them. Thus, you may not even feel the need to change them. At this stage, you have entered the realm of sahaj sadhana where nothing needs to be done. You have reached the preeminent position (Verse 27). That is all there is to it. Go for it.

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