Question: Are desires the root cause of suffering?
…When I started exploring spiritual knowledge, I came across this point that “desires are the root cause of suffering”. I have contemplated a bit on it. And I do agree that lesser the desires, lesser will be your suffering. But you know they say that final aim of a person who wants to be fully enlightened, you have to become “Unknown to desire”, now how is that possible. Desire of getting rid of desires is also a desire. Desire to achieve enlightenment is also a desire. Becoming a deity… making God as your companion, getting Jevan Mukti, getting moksha, all these are desires. So, can we really become “Unknown to desires”. Icha matram avidya, that’s what they call it.
And most important, is it possible to become desire-less human being by living in sansarik (being married and with family) world??
Now even if you attain this stage, “I want food at least one time in a day” is also a desire. I know I am bit confused about this. Please explore and elaborate on this.
Very good question for the common good!
Just observe what happens in you, become aware of that. Let yourself be the one who experiences those words.
You have a desire. Nothing wrong with that. You want to be happy. That is a desire.
You are currently not happy, because you think that happiness is some “state” that you need to achieve, some state that others have achieved and you want that for you…
Some will create a method to reach that “happiness.” Buy a big house, get a significant one, become famous, do yoga, meditate for 10 hours a day, repeat a mantra, get a Guru, etc. You follow the method, you obtain what the method says… but you are not satisfied… you have more desires.
Why are you still having desires? Because “you” haven’t achieved that “happiness.”
The “I” wants fulfillment but “can’t get no satisfaction” 🙂
The issue is not the desire. The issue is the “I” who cannot be satisfied. You could have one desire or many desires, one thing is sure; the “I” will not be satisfied once that desire is fulfilled as a “reality.”
Do you see that?
Do you want to be “illuminated”? Do you want Moksha? Do you want God? Do you want to accomplish all of those “spiritual” words?
That is the desire. The good news is that you may achieve those words at anytime. However, as long as there is an “I,” there will be no satisfaction.
Then suffering sets in. It wasn’t because of the desire; but because the “I” cannot get satisfaction.
Then, you realize: “Ah! The problem is the “I.” Let me get rid of that.”
But the “I” cannot get rid of himself.
However, there is suffering! It is that suffering and nothing else the one burning that “I.”
Therefore, when you say: “Desires are the root cause of suffering,” then I understand that desires are a very good thing for those who would like to reduce the size of their ego, their “I-ness,” but a “bad” thing for those who want to keep their ego intact or make it bigger… then for those; to get rid of desires or anything else except the “I,” is the medicine…
If you are trying to be desire-less by getting rid of desires, by repressing them and rejecting them; you will learn that your “I” will become stronger, big… your ego will blossom without a doubt. Thus, try to get rid of your desires. Invent any method. It doesn’t matter. Follow any method… It does not matter.
The important aspect is to get your ego big enough, so it is ready to burst out through suffering… then at that point and not before, you will start the journey of dissolving the ego.
When there is no ego, no “I,” then there are no desires, for who is going to have a desire? Although, there maybe desires…they are not as you used to know them. It is not that the desires have changed, but “you” have changed… there is “no –I.”
There, you could be married and have 50 children, a dog, a cat and a parrot and… there will be no ”I” to fight against the “I” of your wife, your children and your parrot.
How do we want to call that state of “no-I”?
Let me throw some neat words at you: Happiness, Paradise, Moksha, Jeevan Mukti, no-desire, Being one with God… but here is my favorite: Empty.
Your baggage is gone and so “your” desires.
All the best to you!