Karm Yog – How to overcome Desire?

The human mind is designed to desire. It cannot refrain from creating desires that it thinks will bring happiness. Some of us desire for material happiness and some seek spiritual bliss.
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Date: 18th October 2014

The human mind is designed to desire. It cannot refrain from creating desires that it thinks will bring happiness. Some of us desire for material happiness and some seek spiritual bliss. In both the cases, desire exists in the mind and it is the decision of the intellect that defines where we look for happiness.

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. Quoting profusely from the Vedas, Upanishads, Narad Bhakti Darshan and other Shastras, Shri Maharajji proves this fact and lays enormous stress on the working of the mind and the intellect.

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. Once the intellect has decided, the mind has no choice but to work towards this goal. Naturally, desires that arise thereon will center around God and all things related to God. In contrast, an intellect deluded by Maya will only seek material bliss as long as its decision says that happiness lies in the material world.

Elaborating the nature of desire in the 37th verse of the 3rd chapter of The Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjun,

श्रीभगवानुवाच
काम एष क्रोध एष रजोगुणसमुद्भव: |
महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणम् ||

śhrī bhagavān uvācha
kāma eṣha krodha eṣha rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ
mahāśhano mahā-pāpmā viddhyenam iha vairiṇam

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.

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. Thus, lust shows itself in many ways—the urge for money, physical cravings, craving for prestige, the drive for power, etc. This lust is only a perverted reflection of love for God, which is the inherent nature of every living being. 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. Since divine love is the highest power of God, its perversion in the material realm, which is lust, is also the most powerful force in worldly activities.

Shree Krishna identifies this “lust” for worldly enjoyment as the cause of sin, as the malignant allure sitting within us. The mode of passion deludes the soul into believing that worldly objects will give satisfaction, and so one creates desires for acquiring them. When desire is satisfied, it gives birth to greed; when it is not satisfied, it gives rise to anger. One commits sins under the influence of all three—lust, greed, and anger. Greed is nothing but intensified desire, while anger is frustrated desire. Hence, Shree Krishna labels lust, or desire, as the root of all evil.

Knowledge of what is right and what is wrong is called discrimination. This discrimination resides in the intellect. However, lust is such a formidable adversary that it clouds the discriminatory ability of the intellect.

Cautioning Arjun again in verse 39, Lord Krishna states,

आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा |
कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणानलेन च ||

āvṛitaṁ jñānam etena jñānino nitya-vairiṇā
kāma-rūpeṇa kaunteya duṣhpūreṇānalena cha

The knowledge of even the most discerning gets covered by this perpetual enemy in the form of insatiable desire, which is never satisfied and burns like fire, O son of Kunti.

In verse 40, Lord Krishna says,

इन्द्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिरस्याधिष्ठानमुच्यते |
एतैर्विमोहयत्येष ज्ञानमावृत्य देहिनम् ||

indriyāṇi mano buddhir asyādhiṣhṭhānam uchyate
etair vimohayatyeṣha jñānam āvṛitya dehinam

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.

…to be continued in the next article.

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[…] the previous article, we set about to learn how desires could be overcome. We learnt how Shri Krishna cautions Arjun […]

Madhusmita
Madhusmita
09/08/2021 2:36 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.

Sanjay
Sanjay
09/08/2021 3:18 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.

Kiran Panigrahi
Kiran Panigrahi
10/08/2021 9:35 am

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

Bandita Pradhan
Bandita Pradhan
10/08/2021 1:58 pm

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.

Sasmita Pradhan
Sasmita Pradhan
11/08/2021 8:42 am

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

sasmita sing
sasmita sing
14/08/2021 9:34 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.

Aryan Raj
Aryan Raj
18/08/2021 2:59 pm

Great explanation of Karmyog. Thanks a lot for guiding us

Pranita Mathur
Pranita Mathur
23/08/2021 8:08 pm

Knowledge of what is right and what is wrong is called discrimination. This discrimination resides in the intellect.

Ajaya Kumar Mathur
Ajaya Kumar Mathur
23/08/2021 10:09 pm

One commits sins under the influence of all three—lust, greed, and anger. Greed is nothing but intensified desire, while anger is frustrated desire. Hence, Shree Krishna labels lust, or desire, as the root of all evil.

Prakash Sharma
Prakash Sharma
25/08/2021 11:04 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.

Padmini Nag
Padmini Nag
25/08/2021 11:08 pm

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

Ashok Thakur
Ashok Thakur
25/08/2021 11:11 pm

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

Anusaya Patel
Anusaya Patel
25/08/2021 11:15 pm

When desire is satisfied, it gives birth to greed; when it is not satisfied, it gives rise to anger.

Sibani Naik
Sibani Naik
07/09/2021 9:18 am

The human mind is designed to desire. Some of us desire for material happiness and some for spiritual bliss.

Chinmayee Bag
Chinmayee Bag
07/09/2021 6:48 pm

It is the decisio of the intellect that defines where to look for happiness.

Manasi Dash
Manasi Dash
09/09/2021 7:32 pm

It is the mind alone which is the cause of bondage and liberation.

fakirmohan behera
fakirmohan behera
11/09/2021 8:13 am

Lust is only a perverted reflection of love for God. It is the inherent nature of every human being.

Manjushree Nanda
Manjushree Nanda
12/09/2021 10:13 pm

True happiness can be found in God alone. the intellect has to make the firm decission that God is our goal.so that the mind has no choice but to work towards the goal. Kripaluji Maharaj says it is the mind alone which is the cause of bandage and liberation.

Sasmita Padhan
Sasmita Padhan
20/09/2021 10:10 pm

When desire is satisfied,it gives birth to greed. when it is not satisfied,it gives rise to anger.

Padmanav Kumar
Padmanav Kumar
21/09/2021 12:32 am

Lust for worldly enjoyment is the cause of sin.

Radhika Tripathy
Radhika Tripathy
21/09/2021 12:35 am

Greed means intensified desire and anger is frustrated desire.

UmaBag
UmaBag
21/09/2021 5:37 pm

Lust is also the most powerful force in worldly activities.

Srinibash Pradhan
Srinibash Pradhan
22/09/2021 1:59 am

The desire clouds one’s knowledge and deludes the embodied soul.

Jyotsna mayee bag
Jyotsna mayee bag
22/09/2021 8:03 pm

One commits sins under the influence of–lust,greed and anger.

Kurukshetra bag
Kurukshetra bag
23/09/2021 10:08 pm

Lust and desire is the root of all evil.

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