Hunger normally binds us. It creates attachment. And with every attachment, you get into bondage. Still, hunger is important as it is a driving force, the propelling energy.
Mananeeya Ekanthji tells us how slowly one's hunger makes him to move from tamas to rajas and then to satva.
Hunger is the most important instinct in man. As a matter of fact, it is the propelling energy of his life. There must be some hunger in every individual, for; even the gross hunger will gradually lead him to higher kind of hunger. A person without any hunger whatsoever is a dangerous creature in the society. A man must always be striving for something. An individual's highest desire may for the time being, appear most insignificant to others, but he moves heaven and earth to achieve the same. People may strive for affluence, power, position, and what not. Let them strive for the fulfillment of these desires for they are sure to go higher. It is a natural process and must happen. Thus hunger is a crucial factor in man's progress. Even though in the earlier stages, bread is the only goal for a person, later he discovers that man does not live by bread alone. If he were not to strive for bread and if it is assured to him, it is sure that his progress will stop there only. He does not strive and therefore does not reach the stage where he starts thinking of higher things. He will think of other people striving to earn their bread, as foolish people. But he forgets that he is no better than a dog to live only for bread. Hunger and striving definitely lead to higher ideas. If a man's hunger is to be elevated and sublimated, he must strive even for the smallest hunger, for it is the starting point. The usual Vitteshana, Putreshana, Lokeshana, and even Adhikareshana for the matter of that, may be there, but when one has amassed enough of wealth and has also enough of progeny, he naturally feels having a name, the Lokeshana, but even that may not suffice and he may strive hard for power.
Eknathji further states how his life get transformed with experience and slowly moves towards highest hunger.
Sometimes he may lose in this struggle and may become a pauper; but that is also an eye-opener; it is an experience leading to a still higher ideal. By now he realizes the futility of earthly enjoyments and turns his energies to other aim. All the faculties in a man are for satisfying his hunger only. It is the type of the hunger that decides his early or later progress. But if there be no hunger at all there is definitely a regress in human life. The person has lost all chances of progress. An unambitious man is a curse to the society. Every man must become mad after something and then only he can achieve something that may be divine or mundane. The object may be small or big, but one must strive to achieve it and go ahead. Choice of the object is essential for this madness and it is such mad men only that have brought about all-round progress in the world. Madness is unavoidable. And when all other things of the world are meaningless to you, the highest hunger seizes you and your real life starts.
Do you ask anything from your children in return for what you have given them? It is your duty to work for them, and there the matter ends. In whatever you do for a particular person, a city, or a state, assume the same attitude towards it as you have towards your children--expect nothing in return.
If you can invariably take the position of a giver, in which everything given by you is a free offering to the world, without any thought of return, then will your work bring you no attachment. Attachment comes only when we expect a return. Class on Karma Yoga. New York, December 20, 1895. Complete Works, 1. 59.
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