Spiritual Message for the Day – Be Free from Objects of Desire by Swami Krishnananda

Baba Times Digest© | 21 May 2014 17:31 EST | New York Edition


 Be Free from Objects of Desire


Divine Life Society Publication: - Commentary on the Panchadasi by Swami Krishnananda

1.       If we have to be free from desires, we have to first of all investigate into the basic defects of the object of desire. Desires arise in respect of things, on account of not properly recognizing the nature of the things themselves. The world is not as it appears to be; things are not what they seem. The mind’s longing for a particular object or a group of objects is based entirely on a misconstruing of the nature of things, like a moth which sees beauty in a flame and runs after this beauty; and we know what happens to that moth.

2.       There are no desirable objects in this world. Objects are neither desirable nor undesirable from their own point of view. They are Ishvara srishti, God’s creation. An impartial God has not created partial objects, where some of them are desirable and some are not desirable. God does not create unnecessary things, useless things, etc., which means there is nothing that we need not desire. Everything has to be desired at one stroke. The whole creation has to be desired, if that is the case. But desire is not generally directed to the whole of creation. It is a partial attitude of the mind in regard to certain chosen things only. No object can attract unless the present condition of the object, the structure of the object, fits in properly with the condition of the mind at that particular moment. If the mood of the mind changes tomorrow, that very same object will be an object of disgust.Not only do our moods determine whether we want a thing or not, the object itself also determines our reaction to it in different conditions.

3.       A presentable form of the object is required in order that the mind may create the idea that it is a desirable thing. Unpresentable, distorted, totally misplaced things will not attract the mind. All this shows that desire is a relative activity of the mind in respect of relative conditions of the world. Therefore, whatever pleasure we hope to have from such a kind of relative contact will be as fleeting as the lightning in the sky.

4.       Desires can be subdued only by detecting the defects of the objects of the senses. This is the moksha shastra.

5.       I understand that desire, anger, greed must be abandoned because they are active manifestations of the mind which are deliberately harmful. But what about building castles in the air, woolgathering? Is it bad? Woolgathering is a torpid state of the mind, a tamasic condition, which will one day burst into rajasic activity; and the harmful desires will reveal themselves one day.

6.       An unconscious condition of the desires is not an absence of desires. If we are unable to think properly and we are in a stasis, the mind is unable to think and it has withdrawn all its activity and adjourned its processes. When this happens to the mind, it does not follow that the desires also have gone. The potential of the desires to manifest themselves in active operation has been postponed for a future suitable condition. Therefore, manorajya, what is called building castles in the air, is also to be considered as equally harmful. It is potentially harmful.

7.       When we think of some object, there is a desire to go near it. Saṁgāṭ-saṁjāyate kāmaḥ: Nearness creates desire. Kāmāṭ-krodho’bhijāyate: Anger follows every kind of desire.

8.       The potential of the desires in the mind can be totally eradicated only in nirvikalpa samadhi. Nirvikalpa samadhi is the highest state of samadhi that one can reach, where the mind ceases to exist, getting dissolved in Pure Consciousness. But one cannot easily reach that state. Therefore, we have to attain that nirvikalpa state through the penultimate condition, which is known as savikalpa samadhi.

9.       Through the graduated steps of meditational practice as prescribed by Sage Patanjali in his sutras - by means of the stages of samadhissavitarka, nirvitarka, savichara, nirvichara, ananda, asmita, savikalpa, nirvikalpa – we have to rise gradually from the lower samadhi to the higher. Thereby, we will be able to overcome the impulsion of desires. The desires will be totally destroyed by attaining a state of samadhi.

10.   If we want to get rid of all these tamasic conditions of the mind into which it gets sunk many a time, what should we do? First of all, we must segregate ourselves a little from conditions, atmospheres which are disturbing in nature. A little bit of ekantavasa is necessary – living in a sequestered place, a place where disturbances are less and the mind does not have occasion to contemplate too much on objects of desire, and there is also a chance for our intellect to operate in a clarified manner. In that condition, where we are alone in an isolated place, we should chant Om several times. Om, Om, Om, with deep inhalation, with deep breath, we take this elongated Pranava as our guide to dispel the darkness which causes the fixity of the mind in a state of tamas and may engender the movement of the very same condition into an active rajasic state. Thus we can overcome this torpid state called manorajya, building castles.

11.   Like a dumb person, the mind will keep quiet at the time when we chant the mantra Om (Pranava) deeply, with intense feeling from the bottom of our heart, right from the navel itself.

12.   We cannot free ourselves from desire for objects as long as objects do exist – as long as we feel that the objects are there outside us, standing in front of us, to be received by us. There are no objects in this world of God’s creation because the creation of God is a universal vast extension, and it has no externality. As God’s creation is universal, it has no externality; therefore, there cannot be an object in the creation of God. The object is nothing but a concoction of the individual mind, which places the universally placed object in an externalized condition. That which is universal is considered as an external thing by the wrong activity of the individual mind.

13.   The objects that we desire are not outside us; they are connected with us. They are internally connected to everything in the world. The whole universe is an organic oneness. That is how God would look at the universe. And inasmuch as the universe is an organic completeness, there cannot be externality anywhere. No part of the body can be regarded as an object of some other part of the body. The leg is not an object of the hand. The hand is not an object of some other part. Notwithstanding the fact that we see an object, it need not attract us. Do we feel attracted to our feet, to our hands or fingers, to our nose? We do not feel attracted to them because they are identical with our organic centre, which is the body. The universe is one single organism. Therefore, where comes the necessity for an object? Who told us that there are objects in the world? They do not exist! Then the desire ceases immediately.

14.   Dṛśyaṁ nāstīti: The objects do not exist. Bodhena: Thus having the knowledge, manaso dṛśya mārjanam: the objectivity consciousness of the mind is totally obliterated. This is the great instruction from Vasishtha to Rama. Wonderful is the Yoga Vasishtha! Everybody should read it.

15.   If this state can be attained by us, we have attained moksha at that moment. The moment we feel that the objects of the world are not there, the externality of space-time also vanishes. Bondage ceases; in one instant we are in a state of liberation. The bliss of moksha is attained then and there, with no distance of time between now and afterwards.

Excerpts from:

Be Free from Objects of Desire - Commentary on the Panchadasi by Swami Krishnananda


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