Radiant Divinities! Desire is the enemy of peace. Desire is the greatest problem of the human psyche. Desire is the most vexing of problems. Desire is indeed a great satru (enemy). Therefore give up all desire. Vihaya kaman sarvan (abandoning all desires), jahi satrum mahabaho kamarupam durasadam (slay thou, O Arjuna, the enemy in the form of desire, which is hard to conquer), kamat krodho’bhijayate, krodhat... smritivibhramah (from desire arises anger, from anger loss of memory). So repeatedly it is said, become nishkama (without desire), become nishkama. That is the admonition.
But, nevertheless, we have to carefully understand the import and implication of teachings. Become nishkama—give up all desires. It means all desires that stand in the way of your fulfilling the central purpose of your human existence, all desires that stand in the way, divert your attention and hold you bound down to a lower level of gross human consciousness, earth-consciousness. Such desires are to be given away ruthlessly. They have to be found out by daily introspection, inner self-analysis, keen scrutiny; and they have to be uprooted, given up. They have to be destroyed and eliminated.
But part of the process of overcoming this array of desires is to generate a great, all-consuming desire for Divinity, a strong desire for perfection, a strong desire for Self-realisation, a strong desire to make one’s life sublime, ideal, holy, sacred. This is the starting point of the process of overcoming everything that stands in your way to Divinity, to God, to atma-jnana, liberation, perfection.
Therefore, Vedanta says that the entry point in this awakening and in this process that ultimately leads to liberation in life, the very first stage, is subheccha (good desire). It is desire, iccha, and it is necessary. If a thorn has pierced your foot, the only way of getting it out and relieving yourself of pain is to take an equally sharp, or maybe even a sharper instrument in the form of another thorn or needle, and through it remove the thorn that has embedded itself in your foot.
This iccha is divine desire. It is God manifesting in the human heart. It is God’s grace expressing itself in the aspiring heart of the individual soul. It is indispensable. This subheccha starts a right-about turn and the determined movement in the right direction. It is a changing point in life, from human to Divine, from the limited, confined, finite life towards Infinity.
And to confirm this, the Supreme Lord goes out of His way to tell us: “I reside, O Arjuna, in the form of such ennobling and liberating desire in the hearts of those who are wedded to dharma, whose life does not deviate from dharma, who have a great love for dharma in their hearts. Dharma is the basis and I add this new dimension. I come into their life as a desire that takes one beyond dharma to the very source of all dharma, God Himself, the Cosmic Being Himself.”
God, His Cosmic Being, is the origin and source of all that is good, all that is beautiful, all that is of the nature of truth and discipline, all that connotes dharma. “And to those who are thus established in dharma, I appear in their hearts to take them into a new and higher dimension, into the spiritual dimension. I manifest as holy desire, spiritual desire, and thus liberate. Dharmaviruddho bhuteshu kamo’smi bharatarshabha (I am desire unopposed to dharma, O Arjuna).”
It is this holy desire, this great hankering, this longing, this yearning, this great fiery keenness, mumukshutva, that sparks off within you all that is auspicious and blessed brought over from a previous life, in the form of good samskaras, spiritual samskaras and vasanas (subtle impressions and desires). Until and unless this igniting spark of good desire comes into contact with these latent samskaras and vasanas, they remain in a state of dormancy only. They are not active. You are richly endowed, but the riches are not invested, the riches have not started to yield anything because they have not been awakened, they have not been put into circulation. The factor that ignites them, makes them blaze forth and starts them into dynamism is subheccha, a holy desire, a pious desire, a keen longing.
The individual soul must have a keen longing: “Wonderful thing I have received; I must put this to the highest use; I must not allow it to be wasted away. It is to me like a precious jewel in a velvet box that has been presented to me. I must guard it carefully, I must be vigilant. I must take keen interest, and with great fervour and enthusiasm, with tremendous zeal, I must see that this is enhanced, this is multiplied.” Thus one must realise the precious value of this gift of human status.
Subheccha, satsankalpa, jijnasa, mumukshutva, good intention, desire for knowledge, longing for liberation—all these imply a certain inner mental condition. They all point in the same direction. They are a certain positive and creative mode of the mind which is the secret of successful spiritual life. It is the inner power that impels the soul higher and higher, day by day, towards the Goal Supreme. Therefore, to create within oneself this great longing, this great auspicious desire is very vital, very necessary in order to make our good samskaras and spiritual vasanas yield fruit.
May the Divine endow you with this keen desire for Divinity! May Gurudev’s benedictions enhance your inner being, antahkarana, with this keen desire, this subheccha, with this great yearning and longing for the attainment of supreme experience, achievement of the great Goal! God bless you in this quest!
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