Desires! Why do they never leave us? And how we can deal with them?
A common question by whole humanity is HOW TO CONTROL OUR DESIRES? No matter what we get, we are never really satisfied, we want something more, something different may be something better. Children are often scolded by their parents, about their demands. They buy toys, work on them for few days and then either break them or lose interest in them. But it is not much different with adults, we have bigger and more luxurious demands. If we are capable, financially, we go for them otherwise we suppress them.
This reminds me of the story of Shukarth. Shukarth was a lean person, not very attractive. He would spend hours in the market, barefooted. One day a person asked him, why do you spend so many hours in the market looking at shops one after the other? Shukarth replied humbly, “When I look at the items in the shops, I feel glad that there are so many things in the world which I do not require.”
One of the methods which I might work in this case is, whenever we desire something or are about to buy a new item, we should ask ourselves, “Do I really require this item? Will this team add any value to my life?” Upon reflecting on these questions, we will reject most of the things.
And if we buy a new item, we should make sure we discard the old item. We should not keep accumulating new stuff without discarding the old stuff. Every new behavior or event or thing, adds a pattern or a mark in the brain which will put overhead to it. So we should keep on emptying the stuff at regular intervals. This reminds me of the story of Buddha.
Buddha was given a pair of clothes as a gift by one of his devotees. Buddha decided to give his old pair of clothes to Anand. Anand accepted the gift and passed on his gift to another sage and the things kept on circulating. One day Buddha asked to Anand, “I gave you a pair of clothes, so what did you do with older ones’?”
Anand replied, “I gave it to a sage whose robes were torn!”
Buddha asked Anand, “Then what did the sage do with his older clothes?”
Anand replied, “He gave it to another sage, whose curtains had nearly deteriorated and water and sunlight would slip into his hut!”
Then Buddha asked, “What did that sage do with his old curtains?”
Anand replied, “We use those curtains, to wash our floor!”
Buddha smiled and said, “I am glad, our monastery is going in the proper direction, we are not misusing or accumulating anything unnecessary!”
This story would give you a good idea, about how we should not accumulate unnecessary things with us.
Coming back to desires, sometimes suppressing desires does not always work. Many times if we suppress desires, too much, they at times, attack us with a higher power. So depending upon the nature of desires, we should satisfy them and then analyze them. After careful scrutiny, we need to come to the desired conclusions to not accumulate them in the future.
There are primarily two ways to control your desire.
1. Enjoy it, if it is not unethical, and satisfy it but do proper scrutiny of it.
2. Transcend to higher levels, where you will gradually be able to get rid of it.
I will give you an example of how a person was able to get rid of one of his habits. One person was addicted to drinking tea. So one day, he kept a cup of tea in front of him continuously for hours. There came a point when he could not look at it anymore. He also had to vomit once. He might have imagined all the harmful things which would have been entering through his mouth and damaging his internal organs. He got irritated by it and never touched the tea again.