Karm Yog – How to overcome Desire? (Part 2)

If we realize that the true ‘I’ is the soul, which means, ‘I am the soul and not the body’, we will automatically begin searching for happiness related to the soul. Its that simple!
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Date: 8th November 2014

In the previous article, we set about to learn how desires could be overcome. We learnt how Shri Krishna cautions Arjun about the pitfalls of desire and the nature of the senses.

How then can we overcome desire so that the mind rests in peace for ever?

The secret lies in a very fundamental error in our judgement. Deep inside our intellect, a decision lies firmly entrenched that ‘we’ are the body. All that we associate is usually with the body or the mind. Subsequently, all that we seek as the source of happiness is material in nature because we ‘think’ that providing pleasure to the body will give us happiness.

In short, we consider the individual identity to be the body. We associate ourselves with the body and consider the ‘I’ to be this gross body. This is the fundamental error.

If we realize that the true ‘I’ is the soul, which means, ‘I am the soul and not the body’, we will automatically begin searching for happiness related to the soul. Its that simple!

Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, in over 75 years of his speeches, has repeatedly mentioned this simple mistake that most of make. We associate our true identity with the body and run after the pleasures of the body.

Lord Krishna continues his very important sermon to Arjun in chapter 3, verse 42 and 43 of the ‘Bhagavad Gita‘.

Lord Krishna continues his very important sermon to Arjun in chapter 3, verse 42 and 43 of the ‘Bhagavad Gita‘.

इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्य: परं मन: |
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धे: परतस्तु स: ||

indriyāṇi parāṇyāhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ

The senses are superior to the gross body, and superior to the senses is the mind. Beyond the mind is the intellect, and even beyond the intellect is the soul.

This knowledge of the sequence of superiority amongst the senses, mind, intellect, and soul, can now be used for rooting out lust, as explained in the final verse of chapter 3.

एवं बुद्धे: परं बुद्ध्वा संस्तभ्यात्मानमात्मना |
जहि शत्रुं महाबाहो कामरूपं दुरासदम् ||

evaṁ buddheḥ paraṁ buddhvā sanstabhyātmānam ātmanā
jahi śhatruṁ mahā-bāho kāma-rūpaṁ durāsadam

Thus knowing the soul to be superior to the material intellect, O mighty armed Arjun, subdue the self (senses, mind, and intellect) by the self (strength of the soul), and kill this formidable enemy called lust.

This is explained very beautifully in the Kaṭhopaniṣhad (1.3.3-4) with the help of the model of a chariot:

आत्मान्ँ रथिनं विद्धि शरीर्ँ रथमेव तु ।
बुद्धिं तु सारथिं विद्धि मनः प्रग्रहमेव च ।।

इन्द्रियाणि हयानाहुर्विषया्ँ स्तेषु गोचरान् ।
आत्मेन्द्रियमनोयुक्तं भोक्तेत्याहुर्मनीषिणः ।।

ātmānagvaṁ rathinaṁ viddhi śharīraṁ rathameva tu
buddhiṁ tu sārathiṁ viddhi manaḥ pragrahameva cha

indriyāṇi hayānāhurviṣhayānsteṣhu gocharān
ātmendriyamanoyuktaṁ bhoktetyāhurmanīṣhiṇaḥ

The body is like a chariot. The five senses are like the horses. Wherever the horses run, the chariot goes that way. Similarly, whatever the senses perceive, the body reacts to it.

The horses can run amok if given a free hand. Disaster is imminent. In the same way, if the senses are gives total freedom, it will lead the body to no man’s land. The horses are controlled by reigns. If they run wild, they are reigned in with the ropes.

Similarly, the senses are controlled by the mind. It is the mind that wishes to see, hear, feel, touch and taste. If the mind decides against looking at an object or eating that very sweet candy, the sense organs cannot do anything but obey the command of the mind.

For ex., if you are already full in your stomach and somebody puts your favourite meal in front of you. What will be your reaction? will you devour it? most likely not.

What if the reigns are not held tight? the horses will still run wild. The charioteer is the one controls the reigns. If he is skilled and powerful, the reigns will be tight and he will lead the horses in the right direction. The chariot will automatically go on the right path.

In exactly the same way, a superior intellect controls the mind. Even if the mind runs astray, a well developed intellect will instruct the mind about the harmful effects of letting the senses go wild and prevent the mind from thinking in the wrong direction.

We have the chariot, the horses, the reigns and the charioteer. What we are missing is the passenger on the chariot. He is the silent rider at the mercy of the charioteer. Wherever the chariot goes, the passenger has to go.

So, we have a Body (Chariot), the five Senses (Horses), the Mind (Reigns) and the Intellect (Charioteer). What about the Soul?

The Soul does not perform any action but is the actual benefactor of the thoughts and actions collectively performed by the intellect, mind and the senses. Seated on this chariot, the soul (passenger) is moving around in this material world since eternity.

The Soul is but a silent passenger on the Chariot to Eternity.

The purpose of existence (human body) is to reach its final destination, God. If the chariot (body) goes the wrong way, the passenger (Soul) will reach the wrong destination and will have to suffer.

On the other hand, if a body driven by the senses is controlled by a strong mind, which in turn is governed by a superior intellect, then the Soul can reach its destiny.

If the soul wakes up to its higher nature and decides to take a proactive role, it can exercise the intellect in the proper direction. The intellect will then govern the lower self—the mind and the senses—and the chariot will move in the direction of eternal welfare. In this way, the higher self (soul) must be used to control the lower self (senses, mind, and, intellect).

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Dharmendra Pradhan
Dharmendra Pradhan
27/09/2021 9:22 pm

The human mind is designed to desire. It cannot refrain from creating desires that it thinks will bring happiness.

Kalashi Naik
Kalashi Naik
27/09/2021 9:52 pm

Some of us desire for material happiness and some seek spiritual bliss.

Sabita Satapathy
Sabita Satapathy
28/09/2021 7:00 pm

Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj, in many of his lectures, repeatedly remind us that it is the mind alone which is the cause of bondage and liberation.

Pranita Mathur
Pranita Mathur
29/09/2021 2:38 pm

An intellect deluded by Maya will only seek material bliss as long as its decision says that happiness lies in the material world.

MANORAMA DAS
MANORAMA DAS
29/09/2021 4:09 pm

It is well established that true happiness or bliss can be found in God alone and the intellect has to make the firm decision that God is our goal.

Pratyush Pradhan
Pratyush Pradhan
30/09/2021 6:42 am

The Supreme Lord said: It is lust alone, which is born of contact with the mode of passion, and later transformed into anger. Know this as the sinful, all-devouring enemy in the world.

Saswati panda
Saswati panda
30/09/2021 8:22 pm

Lust shows itself in many ways—the urge for money, physical cravings, craving for prestige, the drive for power, etc.

Lipi Mohanty
02/10/2021 3:43 pm

When the soul associates with the material energy in the form of the body, its divine love for God is transformed into lust, in association with the mode of passion.

Soumya Mohanty
Soumya Mohanty
02/10/2021 11:16 pm

The Vedas use the word kām, or lust, not only for sexual desires but also to include all desires for material enjoyment based on the bodily concept of the self.

LINGARAJ PRADHAN
LINGARAJ PRADHAN
06/10/2021 6:54 pm

Desire exists in the mind and it is the decision of the intellect that defines where we look for happiness.

Radhika Tripathy
Radhika Tripathy
13/10/2021 6:51 pm

The senses, mind, and intellect are said to be breeding grounds of desire. Through them, it clouds one’s knowledge and deludes the embodied soul.

Saswati panda
Saswati panda
13/10/2021 6:56 pm

The mode of passion deludes the soul into believing that worldly objects will give satisfaction, and so one creates desires for acquiring them.

Bisakha Pradhan
Bisakha Pradhan
13/10/2021 9:26 pm

The mode of passion deludes the soul into believing that worldly objects will give satisfaction, and so one creates desires for acquiring them.

SUBRAT PANDA
SUBRAT PANDA
13/10/2021 10:44 pm

One commits sins under the influence of all three—lust, greed, and anger.

sanjamita padhi
sanjamita padhi
13/10/2021 10:55 pm

We should never loose hope on our failed efforts, we should keep trying until we succeed.

Ajaya Kumar Mathur
Ajaya Kumar Mathur
16/10/2021 9:23 am

Shree Krishna identifies this “lust” for worldly enjoyment as the cause of sin, as the malignant allure sitting within us.

Surbhi
Surbhi
17/10/2021 5:51 pm

We have a higher purpose. We are the soul and not the body. If we practice to understand this we shall be able to control the desires that are for the pleasure of body and not the soul

sudhanalini sarangi
sudhanalini sarangi
21/10/2021 4:36 pm

Our senses obey the command of the mind. and mind is controlled by the intellect.

Gayatri Panda
Gayatri Panda
23/10/2021 11:17 am

If we realise that we are the soul,we will begin searching for happiness related to the soul.

Sushanta Kumar Mohanty
25/10/2021 8:40 am

A superior intellect controls the mind tell the harmful effects of letting the senses go wild and prevent the mind from thinking in the wrong direction.

Sushree Sangita Sarangi
Sushree Sangita Sarangi
25/10/2021 6:43 pm

The purpose of our existance is to reach our final destination,God.

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