Saturday, 27 December 2014

contentment leads to purposeful living

|| योग: कर्मसु कौशलम् ||
Desires are needed for the growth. But, what type of desires lead to purposeful life? Mananeeya Ekanthji places here a wonderful argument in front of the karyakartas. He says and appeals to make them use intelligence and be different from animistic desires :

Animals fortunately have no logical faculty. They do not imagine nor do they infer. But man, with the sovereign reason generously bestowed on him by God, misuses it and by his logic, imagination and inference finds out multifarious ways and means to satisfy his desires.

And what a wonder! With all this, he is still dissatisfied.

Man's desires and hungers of multifarious kinds have increased to such an extent that in order to find new means of satisfaction he has yoked science to serve him and thus he is making numerous inventions day by day. He has started exploiting nature in an unimaginable manner and the exploitation of man also in different ways. But the intelligence goes on inventing still new desires and, as a matter of fact, the desires of man have become limitless. There is no end to the sense of pleasure in man. The primary needs of every human being are only a few, but his desires multiply in countless forms, as the primary seven colours have a huge variety of shades created out of them or like the simple emotions expressing in hundreds of ways.

Here we remember Mahatma Gandhi saying : God is given enough for need but not for greed!

The hunger of man has multiplied and it has not remained the simple original one for food as in the childhood. His development of mental apparatus and intelligence has completely changed that one crude hunger into innumerable desires and he aspires to satisfy all of them. These desires have qualitative and quantitative aspects whereby he desires to raise his standard of living. Surprisingly enough, this standard of living is measured by the wants one has. The more one has, the more one wants and in order to satisfy his increasing wants he has to spend more. So the position of the so-called civilized person depends upon how extravagant he is, how much more he can spend.

A few clothes are just enough for a person. But in order to make an exhibition of their social position, people possess hundreds of suits and as many pairs of shoes. This is not because the body wants them, but because the person desires to parade his position and riches to the people.

And in the process, the one who wishes to have purposeful life gets into the never ending cycle of needs - desires - fulfilment - new wants - new desires.....and so on. How much is really needed? Remember the story of Leo Tolstoy : How much land does a man need?