What Is Desire?
Sat discusses the gradual process of freeing ourselves from desires and attachments by going beyond the mind.
Note: This audio/video is from a Center where the teachings of Sat’s Guru are presented. Each week an article is read on which Sat elaborates during a study circle. These following quotes are being discussed:
“All are happy days to a man of true knowledge. Happiness is an internal conscious experience which comes as the effect of the extinction of a mental or physical desire. The lesser the desires, the greater is the happiness. So, that perfect happiness consists in the destruction or satisfaction of all desires in the Absolute Being …
Goodness is the way to true happiness. In the ultimate analysis, there is no separate entity as goodness. It obtains only in the relative plane, where duality is transcended, no question of pairs of opposites arises … God is always with you, in you. Be happy.”
-Sathya Sai Baba
Adrienne: What is a desire? It seems like those are the times that your mind is telling you that you don’t have enough, that you don’t have what you need and you have to go do something to fulfill that. Is it when your mind is tricking you into being dissatisfied?
Sat: You see, as long as we are in duality, which all of us are, the ones that are born, the desires and attachments are two normal, habitual things that happen. You have desire because you have a choice, “I don’t like this but I would like to have that … I have this house, but I would like to have a bigger one, etc. …” It is never ever ending, and it is completely natural because our mind is divided in two: one became two and these two got divided into like and dislike, any type of pair of opposites. According to what it accepted, what it believed, the thinker is tossed between these two. This is one compartment and we put it aside.
Then there is the approach that we say we are sick of it and we don’t know how to overcome duality- pain and sorrow, joy and happiness, I want a way out. We leave that compartment alone! We start on an inner journey, as the inner journey picks up roots, we begin to discriminate when we are in duality- not that we are desiring or not desiring. When we see our mind wandering too much and becoming obsessed with different desires and different attachments, we are not after it to kill it. We see it and we say “No, this is painful.” There are some desires that are very noble: the desire to be free, the desire to give love, the desire to serve, etc. To get rid of duality is like killing the mind and the body because there is no way out; they are built, their essence is from that, they were born here. It is like saying a bird that was born out of an egg should be a lion; it is impossible. So, what do we do? We do what we are doing now. If you read the last sentence, Baba says, “What is goodness, there is only one goodness” and God is good, good is God because It does not have opposites, so we can say It is good. Here it says: “Only obtain it in the relative plane” which is here, “where duality is transcended, no question of pairs of opposites arises.”
Well, this is really tricky because it seems very easy but you have to go beyond the pairs, which means go beyond the mind, which means to keep silence. But this is a gradual growth, we cannot expect it to be overnight, to be completely uninterrupted in the silence or know exactly how to Stay. But the good news is that we are all going towards something that we did not go [towards] before in this lifetime. It is taking us closer to Home rather than taking us away. So, again, “no question of a pair of opposites arises.”
So, after all of that, Baba is really saying that goodness comes from transcending the opposites, and look, every day each one of us is practicing doing so. So, I wouldn’t worry so much about being harsh on ourselves. Like I have said before, I have been [harsh on Myself]; I had this episode in My life. It really delays your progress because you get stuck in thinking “I shouldn’t be this way … I shouldn’t think this way … I shouldn’t desire … I shouldn’t do this …” but the more quiet you are, the more you have defeated the opposites. And, also we can watch if a desire comes, you ask yourself, “Do I really need this? … is it adding to my happy ending or is it subtracting from my happy ending?” Then you use the reasoning mind through your own knowledge, through your own wisdom, that is much more effective than not wanting a desire, it is questioning the desire.
Aida: My dear Sat, I remember talking to You during the years when I worked in retail and telling You how I wanted to buy this or that. You said something that really stuck with me, that to create lack in a place where there is no lack just occupies the mind. And for me it had become a vicious cycle, the more I fed it, the bigger it got and now the more I have starved it, the more it is no longer my experience.
Sat: Of course, of course. Like Adrienne was questioning, “Is the mind giving lack?” Yes, the mind survives on lack because it makes the thinker run around with it. Just being watchful and using some reasoning and also not being harsh on ourselves and continuing your practices even if you go forward like a turtle, and if you fail just stand up and don’t give up, just keep moving forward. Eventually we will hit the water!
Radha: When you explained what goodness is it really clarified it for me, that that is God or the Self.
Sat: When the desire to be good on a higher platform goes, the habit of being bad also goes with it. Because in order to be good, you feel like you are a bad person, in order to want happiness, means you are unhappy and this is the track of thinking that has to go, it carries two. Satisfaction comes from Staying as much as we can, and if we don’t, we don’t. Remember that it’s not the end of the world, we do it another time.
Ramana says something really, really beautiful that I read. When people came to him and said, “There is too much responsibility in the family and too many wants and desires, we know what we want, we want to realize ourselves, we want to know God, with your permission we would like to go to the mountains or to the caves and just stay there.” 99% of the time he would discourage them, because he says it is the mind that is the thief not the place that you live, so if you can catch a hold of this thief, then it doesn’t matter where you live.
Another thing that I notice in My own life that helps [with] eliminating lots of desires is to shrink our bazaar; in other words, our curiosity, because once we are curious, we are mixing with other people’s mind and ideas and here we are trying to eliminate our [desires] and immediately we get bombarded with others’.
-After some talk about actions that are pleasing to Sat as guidelines for our behavior, Sat says: Who desires ice cream right now? (Laughs)
Another way to fulfill your desire is to really explain it beautifully and elaborate on it and say for example, “if I had ice cream, it would be vanilla and coffee [flavor] and I am taking a spoonful … yummm.” Honestly 99% of the time after this type of description with your heart, you lose the craving, as if you [actually] ate it, because it is all the mind.
I always had an attraction towards design, clothing, home, etc. That was one of My strong artistic passions. No, it wasn’t passion, it was just stronger than nothing. One day I designed in My mind many, many pairs of clothing, even the manufacturing company and who I was going to hire and the advertisement that went out, even down to the button of the clothing.
I was walking with one of My relatives and she got really excited about it and said “yes … we are going to go and do this … yes … the whole community can come together …” By that time My desire was completely gone (laughs) I looked at her and said “we already did that, we sold a lot, we knew how much it was, etc.” It was gone. It never came back again. That goes to show us how much of everything we do is really for the mind, and once the mind has satisfied the desire, it becomes meaningless.
-After the study circle coordinator has read the quote again, Sat reiterates the last line with much enthusiasm.
She says: God is always with us, be happy! Imagine that! Not imagine, let’s contemplate for a moment, God is always with us (remains silent). Be happy!
-After a few minutes of silence Sat says: Always. (Continues to remain silent) God is always with us. Be happy! Namaste.
-Audio ends here.