The Fine Line Between Need and Desire
(Excerpts from Satsang of Pujya Sant Shri Asaramji Bapu)
Every creature gets the objects it needs, the required nourishment and satisfaction quite naturally. The needs of all life forms are easily satisfied and satiated by the Nature. Your body requires food, clothing and shelter; but your own needs are satiation, peace and bliss. All beings, without exception, crave for the above three things. Despite all the bodily requirements being fulfilled, if one does not feel satisfied, one goes dancing in clubs, drinking liquor and performing many other undesirable acts in order to satisfy oneself. This gives not peace, but restlessness, not satisfaction but dissatisfaction. The object of desire is Anitya, whereas what one actually needs is Nitya Tattva .
Nourishment and satisfaction are the basic needs of everyone; nourishment of the body and cheerfulness of the mind i.e. Satisfaction. Divine Providence has made adequate arrangements for the effortless fulfilment of these natural requirements of all beings. Therefore, one gets the required nourishment and satisfaction almost effortlessly. But the inclination of man towards luxury and futile thinking has overshadowed the importance of nourishment and satiety in life. When a child is born the mother?s body naturally produces milk for its nourishment. And even if, for some reason, the mother cannot breast-feed her baby, there is no dearth of alternative arrangements. Another mother, perhaps, will offer her help. In any case the child receives the required nourishment and remains satiated as well. And often it expresses an innate joy through its innocent gestures. Does the baby owe its happiness to a movie, or for that matter, to anything else? No! It is satisfied in itself.
The happiness one feels on attaining a desired object is not satisfaction but a sheer joy resulting from the gratification of Vasana. Desire leads to vain thinking, which gives rise to a craving for luxury, which in turn leads a man astray. The basic needs are effortlessly fulfilled, it is the element of desire that creates the problem, and more often than not we tend to believe the desires to be our basic needs.
Driven by desire we engage in inappropriate actions. Scriptures ordain that one should not eat during Pradosh Kaal, at Sandhya times and late in the night. One should not indulge in sexual intercourse during Pradosh Kaal. What then is the Pradosh Kaal for having sex? Sandhya time, Ekadashi, New-Moon day, Full-Moon day, eighth lunar day, birthdays and other auspicious occasions and festivals. Sexual intercourse is strictly forbidden during the first five days of the menstrual cycle.
It is not that you are ignorant of all this. You know what is right and what is wrong but become helpless under the influence of desire. When you indulge in some improper action, you are fully aware that you should not engage in this action but the lure of gratification overpowers you and makes you disregard your knowledge.
Paan-Masalas, cigarettes, liquor, etc. are harmful; sexual indulgence is extremely detrimental to your vigour, intellectual faculties, lustre, health and longevity you are well aware of all this, but still indulge in these vices because your mind has become extroverted and your intellectual faculties have been stunted. When the intellect is unable to exercise control, the mind drags the intellect towards its vain pursuits of seeking sense pleasures. The perversion of the intellect is the root of all vices and the resultant miseries. It is the desire to gratify the senses that leads us into misery; our needs, otherwise, are easily fulfilled.
You light a lamp. It requires oxygen to keep aflame. Does it have to fetch oxygen from somewhere or clamour for it? No! The hot air around the flame continues to rise automatically and the consequent vacuum is instantly filled by fresh air containing oxygen. When the blood supplied to the brain is less than normal, you automatically yawn, which helps increase blood flow to the brain. Eyes require the eyelids to blink every few seconds; it happens automatically and involuntarily.
The Almighty Lord, the Creator of the universe, has made such convenient, worthwhile and delightful arrangements that our needs are met with ease and we attain satiety quite naturally. The needs like enlightening knowledge, meditation and satsang; are easily available too. Whereas we have to pay for cultivating kusang.
Generally satisfaction is experienced on the mental, emotional and intellectual planes. These three types of satisfaction come and go; but there is yet another kind of satisfaction that is, by nature, supreme and we feel internally inspired for its quick attainment. One gets this insight by pondering over the points like, All I get, all I enjoy; all high offices I hold and all the power I wield, even if I become a chief minister or the prime minister, -is but actually meaningless and will come to naught sooner or later. Indeed, whatever we come by, including the body, we have to leave behind one day. Our real requirement is attainment of the Supreme Bliss.
The body requires food, clothing and shelter. The mind requires happiness. But you require something infinitely superior to all these; for you are the Eternal soul. You cannot be satisfied until and unless you attain the Eternal Bliss. So long as you don't attain the Eternal Bliss; you will continue to search for happiness through one means or the other. And how is Eternal Bliss attained? Of course by knowing your true divine nature and by reposing therein. OM bliss' OM peace'