Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
Do we live because we desire or do desires arise only when we live? It is wrong to think that we cannot work without desires.
[ The devotees present: Hari from Thrissur, Sudhir from the village, Nisha and Bharat from USA, Ramaswamy from Muscat, Prabhakaran from Kolazhy and Mā and Naya Swamiji.
After the pushpa-samarpanam, the verandah lights are switched off, and all the devotees sit near Swamiji’s feet spreading their āsanas. Swamiji, eyes closed, bathed in the golden light of the rising sun, recites an Upanishadic verse with a deep ‘ancient’ note. He then makes others recite it following him quarter by quarter. Then he starts speaking, his eyes remaining mostly closed. ]
मनो हि द्विविधं प्रोक्तं शुद्धं चाशुद्धमेव च ।
अशुद्धं कामसङ्कल्पं शुद्धं कामविवर्जितम् ॥
mano hi dvividhaṃ proktaṃ śuddhaṃ cāśuddhameva ca ।
aśuddhaṃ kāmasaṅkalpaṃ śuddhaṃ kāmavivarjitam ॥
This verse is from one of the minor Upanishads (Brahmabindu Upanishad: sloka 1). It says that the mind can be of two kinds — pure and impure. An impure mind is full of desires, and the mind rid of desires is verily pure.
Desires are the impurities of the mind. As the mind gets freed of desires, it gains purity. People doubt whether one can live without desires. Do we live because we desire or do desires arise only when we live? It is wrong to think that we cannot work without desires. Desire need not be a motivating force at all if one learns to live naturally. Does the earth need any desire to go around the sun? Do the trees grow and blossom motivated by any desire? In fact, desires hinder our natural efficiency and perfection.
It is possible to rid the mind of impurities through keen observation and practice. The mind, by sheer habit, gets involved with the objects of the world. Never does it look at the Subject within. Right from birth, it is given to looking outward. This age-old habit of constant involvement with objects is the cause of desires. Making the mind desire-free will mean making it reflect the Subject constantly.
A pure mind, transparent mind, reflects the world as well as God, the only Truth behind the world. That is why it never gets affected by the world. Like the space, it remains untainted. Such a mind is verily Brahman itself.
Blissfulness is the natural state of our mind. But we do not perceive it because of the dross of worldliness. With purity the mind becomes lighter and transparent. It expands to embrace everything, without being bound by anything. Finally the ego drops; the feeling of ‘I’ as separate from ‘others’ vanishes. Yet the ‘individuality’ remains.
Hariḥ Om Tat Sat.
9th December 1996
– From the book Prabhata Rashmih Volume – 1
“Desire need not be a motivating force at all if one learns to live naturally. Does the earth need any desire to go around the sun? Do the trees grow and blossom motivated by any desire? In fact, desires hinder our natural efficiency and perfection.”