Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Mananeeya Eknathji on Desire

Desire is the prime mover of the entire human activity

 

It can be said that these desires which end in pleasures are the cause of all grief and joy in life. The entire growth of man, one way or the other, completely depends on desires. It is these desires which mould and shape the personality of man. We find that when a train moves, all the wheels of the carriages start rotating. But they are moved by the prime-mover to which the first motion is given by the engine.  So also the desire is the Prime-mover of the entire human activity. In lower animals and insects, we find tremendous effort being made by them to satisfy their very crude and primary desire, e.g. physical hunger. Desire can work wonders. As Israel needs food and aspires to be self-sufficient in it, it has made efforts to cultivate the crops even in deserts. Human beings are in the grip of desires. Desire by itself is not bad at all. It is only when it takes an adverse turn that it becomes a vice.  Otherwise it is as sublime as God Himself. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna declares desire as one of the distinguished manifestations of His own Self.                            

 

"Dharmaviruddhobhuteshu Kamosmi Bharatarshabha." Bhagavad Gita VII.11,

"O Best of Bharatas, in the beings, I am dke Kama "the desire" which is consistent with social order."  This desire has a most significant role to play in human life and it is a great power.

 

Just as one kind of energy can be transformed into another kind of energy or even as energy can be changed into matter and vice versa, so also one type of desire can be transformed into another sublime desire. Desire has done immense good to human life and it also has caused the greatest harm to society. Tulsidas was an ordinary man with desires and lusts but because of the scolding of his wife, he repented and his lust for animal pleasure was transformed into the highest devotion for God. It was a turning point in his life and Sant Tulsidas was born out of it.  Thus the energy was converted, just as in physics we have light changed into heat and heart transformed into energy. Desire, intelligence, strength and power are all potential energies, but if they are used to satisfy the crude desires, they deteriorate the very rationality of man. Thus, as an individual grows from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to adulthood there is a progressive growth in his desires. It is the intellectual powers that finally determine his future.

 

The need of social order: To avoid conflicts in the interests of the individuals and later to transform lower desire into higher desire

 

The selfishness in the fulfillment of one's desires becomes the enlightened selfishness' when one takes cognizance of the society. It is for the individual benefit only, but one follows certain norms of the society. There is in every society, whether civilized or otherwise, a social law and order. All individuals have their manifold desires to be satisfied and it is in order to avoid the conflict in the interests of all individuals that laws are made to govern the society in a proper way. The noble preaching of the Bible: "Do unto others what thou wouldst have done unto thee" incorporates the same principle. This social order ultimately results in the Government of a nation. All individuals in the society enter into a social contract for their mutual benefit. There is an understanding amongst the individuals and then this higher form of social order is called Dharma. God and spirituality are not the unavoidable essentials of Dharma. According to the Hindu culture, every one has to attain the four Purushartha "the principal objectives of human life". These are Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. But of all these  Kama is the first. The desire forms the primary and principal instinct of man. Next comes Artha, the means for achievement of these desires. There are desires of body and mind of the common people. When many individuals come together, a social order binding and guiding the behaviour of all of them for mutual satisfaction has to be evolved. This social order is Dharma. But it is found that after the satisfaction of the primary needs of body and mind, which is an earlier stage in human development, there arises and desires for a higher type of pleasure, which marks another landmark in human life. This is intellectual pleasure. But as intellect is employed for fulfillment of desires gradually it also notices the universe around which bring man face to face with some deeper ideas.