Is Desire the Source of All Misery?
Questioner: Dear Sadhguru, it is well known that desire is the cause of all sorrow and tension, but being a wife and a mother, I cannot get rid of these desires. What can I do?
Sadhguru: It is not because you are a wife and a mother that your desires have come. When you were nobody’s wife, you probably desired to be somebody’s wife. When you became somebody’s wife, you desired to have a child. Now that you have a child, you are saying, “It is these two entities which make me desire.” It is not true. Even if you were not a mother or a wife, desire would still burn within you because that is your nature.
You made a statement that “desire is the source of all misery.” Desire is not the source of all misery; unfulfilled desire is the source of all misery. Fulfilled desires are the source of joy. I know people have been teaching, “Unless you destroy your desires, your misery will not go.” But if you want to destroy all your desires, all you will have is a great desire to destroy all your desires! And you will remain eternally unfulfilled. If you try to play tricks with this, it will not work, because desire is not about desiring for anything in particular.
The energy that you call desire is not different from the energy that you call life. If you want to move from point A to point B, you need a desire. It is your desire that will make you eat. Desire is the very essence of your life. Desire is unending. If you fulfill one, the next one will be ready. If you fulfill that, the next one will be ready. And obviously, some desires will be unfulfilled, and those unfulfilled desires can cause much misery to you.
So, what is desire? There is something within you longing to be a little more than what you are right now. Your desire’s ultimate goal is unboundedness, the infinite nature. But because you are unaware, you are giving an unconscious expression for this longing. You do not have to destroy your desire, because you cannot. There is no way, because that is life. You have to make your desire into a conscious process. Right now, it is functioning unconsciously because your desire is not even about you. Right now, wherever you are living, if your neighbor has a big car, what is your desire? You want to have two cars like that. Even if you are living somewhere remote and your neighbor has one buffalo, your desire is to have two buffaloes. Your desire is just a reaction to the social situations in which you are living. This is so because this longing to expand is finding unconscious expression.
If you make your process of desiring into a conscious process, desire is no more a problem. It is a wonderful vehicle that will take you places. Even if you want to reach the ultimate, you need a desire. If you bring awareness to your desiring process, it is a wonderful instrument. But if it finds unconscious expression, then it makes you run like madman.
Being a mother is not a small responsibility. You brought another human being into this planet. What kind of human being you produce is a huge responsibility. It is not just about reproduction, the mothers of today are deciding what kind of people are going to live on this planet in the next generation. When you have such a responsibility, you cannot afford to live unconsciously. You must become conscious. It is very, very important.
|Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru speaks before millions annually around the globe, including to prominent leadership forums such as the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, TED, and the World Peace Congress. From groundbreaking yoga programs to projects for rural communities and the environment, Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation (www.IshaFoundation.org) serves as a thriving model for human empowerment, which is reflected in the Foundation’s special consultative status with the UN.
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