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How do we manage desires - Born a Hindu

Posted by Kirubashini.K on August 29, 2013 at 12:35 AM

HOW DO WE MANAGE DESIRES?

In the language of management, Dharma Shawn is the Science of Desire Management. The maxim of economics is to facilitate man in fulfilling maximum desires with the minimum or available means.

The Dharma Shastras guide us in managing desire and outgrowing them. Their maxim is to guide man to fulfill legitimate desires by them, divinize them and thereafter learn to outgrow them to attain total fulfillment.

We realize that, in fulfilling desires, we do not become fulfilled as new desires replace the old ones or the old ones get stronger. For example, the desire for toy cars in childhood is replaced by the desire for cars in youth. With a car in hand, arises the desire for a more expensive model. Limited means, limited objects and impossible unending or contradictory desires make it Impossible for all our desires to be fulfilled. For example, we have a desire to look slim and also to gorge on junk food. I desire to run a marathon when I cannot even bring myself to walk a few yards! Suppression of desires does not solve the problem as it leads to frustration and one can go completely berserk when the dam of desires breaks. Indulgence, i.e. reckless fulfillment of desires leads to loss of vitality, dependence, disease, more desires and sorrow. Then what is the solution? What we need to do is to manage desires.

To always have desires is not a very praiseworthy state. It makes one beggarly, empty and discontented. If so, it is better not to have desires. That too is not possible. We do not see anyone without desires. Desires arise unconsciously at any time and of any and every kind, prompted by our vaasanas (inherent tendencies). Therefore, we must learn how to manage desires. One who can do so attains true fulfillment.

It is said, "All actions, be they secular, spiritual, noble or ignoble, originate from desires. Any and every action of man is prompted by desire alone".

Modem Psychology too asserts the same. Our actions are satvic (noble), rajasic (selfish) or tamasic (ignoble) depending on nature of the desire that back them. Desires for liberation, to see the form of the Lord, to improve oneself, to help others etc are satvic. The desire for name, fame, wealth, power etc is rajasic. A desire for harming others or inaction is tamasic.

It is impractical to preach that one should not have any desires or that one should work without desires. That is not possible. What we need to do is to channelize our desires, divinize them or sublimate them thereby freeing ourselves from their enslaving and compulsive nature. That is desire management.

 

Categories: Hinduism Topics

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1 Comment

Reply Fazra Farook
5:34 AM on October 19, 2014 
Hm acceptable