Articles By H H Maa Purnananda Ji

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The Man Lost in the Web of Desires!

By H H Maa Purnananda

“Doorena Hyavaram Karm Buddhiyogaaddhananjay; Buddhau Sharanamanvichchha Kripanaah Phalahetavah.” - Sreemad Bhagawad Geeta (2/49)

Have you ever experienced the end of your desires? Leave aside desires, think about any one of your innumerable desires; have you seen the end of it? If you have successfully achieved your desire, then you want more of it, if you have failed to achieve it as yet, then you are yet craving for it. And, you have multiples of desires, on daily basis, year after year; or, life after life! In short, you are the “man” lost in the web of desires.

Life goes on in chasing the insatiable web of desires. Almost all our actions are prompted by one or the other of our desires. Vedant says that desire is the root cause of the very birth of man. It is like remaining entangled in the web of desires and running after catching up with my desires, just as the cobweb spread by the spider to catch a prey. But at least the spider winds up the web when it wants to move away to another place; man is incapable of even winding up his web of desires, for countless lives, even while moving on from one life to another!

Since desire is the root cause of birth, right from childhood, human being runs after desires. Most of the doting parents in their unawareness keep fulfilling all small desires of their children. As a result, when the small desires become big desires, even the desirer himself would not know! Stretching themselves too far to please their child, sometimes the family suffers badly, both financially and emotionally due to endless demands of the innocent child looking forward to getting all that he desires. As he grows up, the chase of desires does not stop, the only thing that changes is the type of desires. He remains completely lost in the web of desires throughout his life! This observation clearly indicates the urgent requirement to deal with this devil in us called desire.

Adi Shankaracharya in “Bhaja Govindam”, one of His most popular timeless works, says that as a child, he is engaged in playing, as a youth he is infatuated by opposite gender and as he approaches old age his mind is preoccupied in worries and anxieties, all due to desires; desire to be happy, to enjoy and to live a long and healthy life! Unfortunately, none is desirous of liberation, to get back to Brahman, one’s own True Self!

In the given Shlok, Bhagwaan addresses Arjun as “Dhananjay”, indicating the capability of Arjun as “a great archer”. An archer has to be very skilful, well focused, steady and sharp, and has to have complete understanding of archery. The Lord further says that a skilful act is not sufficient, one has to be well united with the Wisdom (Buddhiyog), lacking which, he would miss the Goal due to distractions created by his desire for the fruit of his action. So He advises Arjun to seek refuge in Wisdom, lacking which, despite being one of the best archers of his times, he would have been defeated by himself due to his disturbed mind-intellect equipment caused by attachments and aversions for his kith and kin!

It can be well understood that in spite of being efficient, man loses his Wisdom due to being lost in the web of desires for fruits of his every small and big actions. Even while performing some religious, charitable or noble acts he experiences the satisfaction of fulfilling his desire to do so; and he thence expects and desires for certain particular outcome or fruits of those acts. Thus, ultimately such acts also terminate into fetching fruits for himself, leading him to store more fruits in his already overflowing Chitt, the storehouse of fruits (Karmphal) and desires (Vasna-s).

It is therefore advisable to nip the desires in the bud. When the desire surfaces in the mind-stuff (Chitt), it is best to ignore as far as possible. If you entertain the thought of it, it will get well-settled in your mind and will force you to act upon it; it will bother you till you fulfil it. You might go overboard to fulfil it. It might encourage you to desire for more of it. If not fulfilled, it might lead you to anger or wrong-doings. So you need to deal with every desire of yours very carefully and wisely; be it big, small or even insignificant.

At the onset of the New Year on 1st January 2024, may we the human beings be blessed with the Wisdom to annihilate the ‘devil’ of ‘desires’ in us and progress towards our ever-satisfied, all-peaceful and Blissful True Self.