Manag­ing De­sire

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

There are some peo­ple who do lit­tle, but make oth­ers do a lot. Brahmn, the pure Con­scious­ness, too, is ac­tion­less — but in Its pres­ence, ev­ery­thing else works.

Ob­serve an in­fant. It does lit­tle other than kick about, cry and laugh but it spurs ev­ery­body into will­ing ac­tion. The mere pres­ence of an in­fant brings joy. What makes a baby so lovable, a source of joy for all? The an­swer is sim­ple but pro­found: a baby is free of de­sires. It has bi­o­log­i­cal needs like hunger and thirst but, other than th­ese, a baby has no de­sires. Its eyes re­flect its state of free­dom from de­sires. The great scrip­tural texts have ex­alted the state of de­sire­less­ness as the ul­ti­mate state. Be­sides ba­bies, only one other kind of be­ing has eyes that re­flect to­tal de­sire­less­ness: the re­alised per­son.

Man be­gins his life with­out de­sire (as an in­fant), goes through life’s tribu­la­tions and, even­tu­ally, through spir­i­tual evo­lu­tion, once again be­comes free of de­sires as a man of re­al­i­sa­tion. The first as­pect of life man­age­ment is de­sire man­age­ment. De­sire per se is nei­ther trou­ble nor a cause of bondage, but when it in­creases in quan­tity and de­creases in qual­ity to un­man­age­able lev­els, it can de­stroy us.

The scrip­tures di­vide life into four stages and at each stage, there are spe­cific rules to be fol­lowed. If each stage of life is lived by its found­ing prin­ci­ple, de­sire man­age­ment will be spon­ta­neous. We move through dis­ci­pline, spirit of ser­vice and self-en­quiry to abid­ance in the Self, and achieve the tran­scend­ing of de­sire to reach the state of de­sire­less­ness.

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