|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - G
Unit - G03
Lesson G0316: Effect of 'Desire'
By Raja Subramaniyan
Desire is the main motive power of all our actions. Firstly, the desire itself is a thought. It multiplies and grows into many more thoughts depending on the intensity of the desire. Then we are talking about our objects of desire more. This process makes our desire stronger. Finally, all our actions are focused to fulfill our desires.
The process of being caught in the cycle of desire - action - desire enslaves humanity and prevents them from reaching their own goal of joyful living.
For example, we like comfort and dislike poverty. Therefore, we get involved in continuous action to earn more money.
Whether we gain the object of desire or not we end up in misery.
Example: A man wants to change is car since it has become very old.
Until this is done, he works hard with anxiety and stress. He feels jealous about his junior in the workplace who managed to buy a new car. He is constantly worried whether he will be able to buy a new car.
If someone or something (price rise for example) comes between him and his goal, he becomes angry and get irritated.
If it cannot be done, he ends up with frustration and low self-esteem.
If the new car is bought, the happiness does not last for long because now he has a new desire, to buy a house. Thus, the whole cycle starts again.
Thus the desire whether fulfilled or not results in misery. One never gets complete fulfillment on obtaining any object. There is always a feeling of inadequacy.
We need to understand the objects in the world do not have any capability of giving us any happiness. In the absence of the knowledge, we continuously develop desires for the objects resulting in world dependent life.
Thus, the effect of desire is to make the life miserable.
Miserable life means any life in which the possibility of getting negative emotions (Anger, jealousy, hatred and such), is very high. Most people are helplessly depends on the objects of the world for their happiness and sanity. As opposed to the miserable life, Joyful living means that there will only be positive emotions (Love, affection, kindness and such) without any possibility of ever having negative emotions.
Statement 29: Desire prevents us to live joyfully.