Understanding Desires, Cravings, Thirst and Addiction

Desire/ Craving/ Addiction

Desire is a hunger, which can never be fulfilled. Desires direct the man towards their goals and destinations. Desires are vast like universe, deep like oceans and high like mountains. Scientifically, fulfillment of desires gives rise to particular sensatory experiences in the mind of the person which is quite pleasant to experience and hence we fall prey to our desires. Desire is one of energy levels within our body that flows continuously. Therefore we cannot put a stop to our desires; in fact fulfillment of one desire gives birth to a newer one. This is the reason why a millionaire cannot free him from the clutches of wealth because the more he earns the more powerful his desires become.

Desires can arise for anything such as for wealth, for power, for prestige or for anything else. Desires in fact are not bad because they lead the person by enticing him to reach up to their goals. However cravings and addictions are bad, they are the modified form of desire itself. When the desires take the form of cravings it can only brings sufferings and miseries to the life of the person. Experiencing the pleasure of the fulfillment of desire and applying that force in a constructive manner brings contentment but when this force becomes uncontrolled and leads to the overindulgence into that desire it can only bring misery. This is often called craving or addiction, when we cannot survive without the fulfillment of our desire. In such a situation we cannot lead our life happily because we are always finding ways to fulfill our desire, we cannot concentrate on anything else and our life becomes miserable. Craving and addiction are the extremity of our desires.

Effect of Desire/ Craving/ Addiction in our life and relationships:

Desires are very important part of a man’s life. They show the man their way to reach the destination. In fact desires are the very being of the man. A man with no desires is as good as dead. But when reached to the extremities, they become destructive and bring melancholy to our life as well as to the lives of people with whom we are associated. There is a famous Hollywood movie named Dead Poets Society. It is a story of a man who desired his son to become a doctor. His craving for it was so high that he almost neglected what his desired and wanted. He in fact neglected looking at the reality. His son lost all hopes that he could ever lead a life he desired and finally he ended up killing himself.

This is the case we often hear and see around us, but our outlook of looking at such things is completely different. We rather focus upon the one who is dead assuming that he could not bore the pressure and committed suicide. True, he could not bore the pressure, but not the pressure of the studies, but the pressure of the craving of his father instead.

Often our desires become so much important for us that we start living in a fantasy world. Cravings and addiction are the darker side of the desires. They reflect the greed or avariciousness and spoil the pure sense of the desire. They not only eradicate harmony and peace from our lives but also from the lives of our close ones. They hold us back and do not let us live our life fully.  Often we have objects of our desires, from which we expect the fulfillment of our desires and quite they are the ones who are close to us. We often put the burden of our desires upon them, and when this burden reaches beyond a certain limit our relationships starts suffering. Actually, we only concentrate on what we desire to see rather than what we possess and the problem starts creeping in when we observe the difference between the two and our relations fall prey to all this. We chastise our close for not having fulfilled our desires but actually it is unethical on our side to have burdened someone under the loads of our desires. No one in this world is so perfectly carved by the God so as to fulfill all the desires of even a single person.

Right from our childhood we notice the happenings and incidents happening in our life and in the lives of people around us. We interpret all these incidents as per our understanding and our upbringing has a major effect upon it. These labels become a concrete truth of our life with passing time. They obscure numerous creative elucidations. We should rather flow in the river of life accepting everything that comes in our way.

Desires v/s needs:

Desires are completely different from needs. Needs are the basic amenities without which survival may be difficult, desires on the other hand are our luxury requirements which are completely imperceptible and in fact life may be much smoother to spend without them. Even a naked saint is not left untouched by the needs for his survival. He too needs some food to eat, some water to drink. Even he carries a small piece of cloth to cover his body; even he feels the cold and the scorching summers. But they do not form a part of desires because without them his survival may fall in danger. It does mean that if you living in a villa, or you that you wear expensive cloths you should shun them and spend your life like a monk in order to overcome your desires. But when few cloths can serve the purpose why to fill the cupboard with numerous expensive outfits? When two rooms can serve the purpose why to take loans for constructing a huge villa? They all reflect your desires. Needs are few while desires are uncountable. Needs can be fulfilled desires can never be. The meaning of desires has been completely transformed in today’s world. We label our desires to be our needs. But we have forgotten that even few can do with us and that is need. No one can sleep empty stomach because food is need but we can definitely work without Italian or Mexican or Continental cuisines.

Causes of desires:

Desire originates from our knowledge, the knowledge about our past, about our parents past, about our friends and about numerous incidents that happen around us. This desires gives birth to determination, determination to reach the goal for the fulfillment of our desires and from this determination arises the strength, the strength to put our thoughts in actions. And finally, this strength is applied to bring our desires in action. Desire is a mechanism that energizes us and in turn it itself is being energized for our egos. Ego and desire are interestingly connected to each other and in a complex manner as well. It is difficult to analyze whether the desire arises from our ego or that our ego is satisfied by the fulfillment of our desires. Actually both of the two statements are correct and in fact we suppose both of them to be the similar phenomena.

Desires form a counter reactive mechanism. We wish if we could earn billions of dollars. Suppose that we are successful in doing so then we crave to make few more billions from them and so on. But the desires does not end here with the money comes another desire, a desire for security. We now desire to keep our money safe and so on. The sufferer of desires is generally ignorant about the foundation of his aims. In fact the shocking truth is that the foundation of the entire empire of fashion world is based upon the desire of sexual endorsement. Interestingly when we realize that we are suffering because of our desires we try to suppress our desires. However this can only take you deeper into the disease since to suppress your desire is also your desire. This means that your suppression has become as obsession of yours and this is indirectly feeding your desires.

Merits/ Demerits of desires:

It is not bad to have desires in fact it is good that you have desires. They will show you the way to success. No one on this earth can refrain from desires since they form our very individuality, our being. Not even God could resist his desire for creativity which why we are here, our friends and family is here, the animals, the plants and the butterflies are here. The entire existence is there because of God’s desire to create. If desire has done so much how can it be bad? It is not the desire that is bad rather the polluted desires which are bad, that is our cravings our addictions are bad. Our desires have only shrunk to limit to be our wants. Wants and desires are different concepts wants are selfish and self centered. Wants satisfy the ego of the person while desires are constructive and creative, that is the radiuses of the two terms are differing. While the desires are spread to serve a community or a group wants are just limited to one.

Wants chase our ego and our thoughts. Fulfillment of such wants gives a pleasure to our ego. When we wish for money, we actually are looking for power and prestige in society. Superficially, the want may seem to be for money but if we delve within it, we will realize that we are actually chasing after expansion.

Such self centered desires cannot bring contention since they form a vicious circle, with the fulfillment of one arouses the second and with the fulfillment of second arouses the third and so on. The pleasures that we obtain from the fulfillment of such wants detach us from realism and other emotions. There is a simple funda underneath it; desires exist in future while realism is all about present. We cannot live in our future and present at the same time and hence we detach. In fact we become hypocrites because we start transforming into a person who we are not rather we wish to be. By doing so, we can never lead on to the path of spirituality.

Cure of desires:

To transcend your desires it is essential to understand the nature of your desire and delve into its depths. Every action that we perform has a desire behind it, if we walk, if we study, if we play or anything that we do; we do it for our desires. The moment we stop desiring we shall tumble at the core of our individuality, which is the condition of ‘No desires’. This is however not possible to reach, we cannot stop doing anything but we can understand our desires and after understanding our desires we can act rationally. Observance is the skill to do that, whenever you feel the urge to do anything, observe your actions, ponder upon them deeply and try to analyze the source that made you perform those actions. The deeper you delve into your actions, the clearer the source shall become and you will reach the state of awareness. In this state of awareness, you can clearly understand the vicious cycle of your desires, your cravings, and your addictions. This awareness will help in your rational thinking to control your desires and to understand the differences between your needs and your desires, or your desires and your wants. Once you are successful in reaching to this state, for every action that you perform you will notice the energy being dissolved back into the source of its origin because of your awareness about the same.

Conclusion:

Surrender to your desires in order to conquer it. Suppression can only bring regression to your life. After reaching the state of awareness, you will observe karuna within you. This is because you develop great energy within yourself and this energy is transformed to take the form of compassion. This compassion brings to you contention because now what you do is not for a self centered goal but for your community. Compassion is also a form of energy but unlike desire, this is a never ending form of energy.

References:

http://www.nithyananda.org/article/desire-relationships

http://www.swamiramakrishnananda.com/yoga/tantra-yoga/what-is-desire/

http://www.osho.com/library/online-library-desire-existence-money-da90a9af-30d.aspx?p=1

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