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Monday, September 5, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
We all have a mind that is responsible for all the actions that we perform. Firstly, it is the mind that constantly creates desires. The question is, why do we have desires? This is because, all souls desire true happiness, i.e. happiness associated with God. To fulfill this natural desire for Bliss, the mind constantly creates 'desires' every moment. There are five types of desires - the desire to see, desire to hear, desire to smell, desire to taste and desire to touch or feel.
The mind desires to enjoy subjects related to these five senses, and it can desire for objects only in two areas - either related to God or related to maya, the material world. Hence, this mind can either desire for God or for material objects. There is no third area where the mind can seek for happiness.
If we believe that happiness can be achieved from this material world, we will aim to fulfill our desires in this realm. If we believe that happiness can be achieved from God, we will automatically desire to attain Him. This is a natural tendency and not learnt from anyone. Not just humans, but even animals and birds have this innate understanding. The mind works in accordance with the decision of the intellect, and has to desire what the intellect thinks is the source of true happiness.
svatantraḥ kriyamāṇe vai kṛito bhagavatā vidā
The material world is readily visible, but God is not easily seen. It is the nature of the mind to desire material pleasure, as it is made of the same elements (Panchmahabhut) that constitute the material world. It is very natural and easy to get attracted to things that we can see, and we can see this material world and not God. Although the Vedas, Shastras and Puranas praise God, and the message is repeated by the saints, our mind is not able to concentrate in that direction. The mind is easily attached to material objects of pleasure, and seeks happiness in them.
Our experience of this world has taught us that there is no real happiness in material objects. Initially, we may derive a lot of pleasure, but with time, happiness disappears. We might have embraced our dear ones - mother, father, son, daughter, husband or wife thousands of times and cherished our favorite Indian sweet - rasgulla thousands of times, but we still remain tensed and disturbed. We have not achieved eternal peace or happiness from any of them. Our ultimate goal is to find happiness but our experience seems to be the opposite.
We think that the attainment of a material object or a person will make us happy. But when we get it, we no longer derive happiness from it. We get disturbed because that object no longer provides the same level of happiness as before. We have all experienced this before, across countless lifetimes. It is the intellect that must decide that the material world has been created for the body, and not to provide happiness for the soul.
surapati brāhmaṁ padaṁ yāchate
This disease of desire affects even celestial personalities. This quote above says that the king of heaven, Lord Indra desires for the seat of Lord Brahma. What about humans? We wish to earn millions or become the Prime Minister of India. This is the limit of our desires. What else we can desire? But even the king of heaven Indra has desires. Lord Indra has the ability to get whatever he wants by just wishing for it. He has Varun, Kuber and Yamraj as his servants. Yet, he has desires. Why? It is because he is still deprived of the love of God. He did not attain the happiness related of the soul.