|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - G
Unit - G03
Lesson G0315: Definition and Origin of 'Desire'
By Raja Subramaniyan
Definition of desire:
Since objects are innocent, whatever be the objects one does not have access to, should not be causing any desire. Ideally, everyone should be able to enjoy the life using the various objects available to him. However, due to ignorance, most people think of a specific object, which they do not yet possess and say, "I want this object". This is desire.
The objects in the world are converted by the ignorant as desirable objects. As a result, they expect to possess more objects that are desirable, avoid objects which they hate. The focus is on the external environment to make it favorable. However, it is necessary one should focus internally and not externally to solve this issue,
It is not possible to change the world. However, it is quite possible to change one's attitude towards the world. Here lies the key to joyful living.
Statement 26: Desire is a thought of an object with an add on "I want"
Origin of desire:
It is wrongly assumed that the origin of desire is external. It is not so. Objects in the world are incidental to the desire of the mind. Our own mind is the only origin for desire. Role of objects in creation of desire is very limited.
The objects to which we are indifferent and the unknown objects do not have any impact on our life. However, they are continuously competing to enter our life.
Example: When we go for window-shopping, we get to know of many objects that are previously unknown. We might start liking those objects to which we were indifferent earlier.
Advertisements are focused on making our world larger by converting the unknown/ indifferent objects into desirable objects.
Thus, our world is continuously growing with more and more objects that we desire. The origin of the desire is not inherent in the object.
The object does not force anyone to desire it. Due to Delusion, most people assume that once their desire is fulfilled they will live happily ever after.
Example: A person gets a job in a foreign country, which is not very conducive for living. He decides to take up a job since the compensation is very good. He plans to leave his family behind and go through the hardships of the new place alone. The reason for such a decision is instead of not getting enough money in the current job, one can earn substantial money albeit with some additional difficulty. When he comes back after five years, they can live happily ever after.
This will never happen. After five years situation would not be very different from what it is now. Money will be as insufficient as it is now. The ever-lasting happiness would have moved away to another couple of years, like a mirage.
Thus, our ignorance converts the object as a desirable object.
Statement 27: Our mind is the origin of desire
Cause of the desire.
The only cause of our desire is our preferences. Our preferences are imprints in our mind made by our past actions.
All our desires stem from our preferences.
Desire is a thought. When we see an object, we form a thought about the object. We group them as a 'desirable object', 'undesirable object' or 'neutral object'. This grouping is done based on our preferences. Those thoughts, which are grouped as 'desirable object', are converted as desire by our ego due to ignorance. The expression "There is an object" is converted by the ego as "I want this object", which is called desire.
Statement 28: The cause of the desire is our preferences.