What is that you truly desire?

Sometimes the smallest of the things makes us think in a way we would have never thought of and makes so much sense in life, when we encounter such instances, we end up realizing that there wasn’t anything unknown yet shines a bright light. Recently, I read the book “The secret of the Nagas” by Amish Tripathi. It is the second part of the shiva trilogy, it is mythological fiction. The story takes place in the imaginary land of Meluha and narrates how the inhabitants of that land are saved from their wars by a nomad named Shiva. This is the smallest bit of the story; it is an interesting read. The last two pages of the last chapter have a beautiful text which blew up my mind: “Philosophies blames desire for everything. Desire is the root cause of all suffering, all destructions? Yes, because desires create attachment. Attachment to this world and, when you don’t get what you want or get what you don’t want, it leads to suffering. This leads to anger. And that to violence and wars. Which finally results in destruction. But the Rig Veda, one of our main sources of philosophy, says that there was nothing except darkness and primordial flood at the beginning of the time. Then out of this darkness desire was born. Desire was the primary seed, the germ of creations. So, in a sense, desire is the root of creation as well. How can desire be the source of creation as well as destruction? If we think about it from a different perspective, is it possible to destroy anything that has not been created? No. On the other, is it safe to assume that anything that has been created, has to be destroyed at some point of time? Yes. That is the purpose of desire. It is for creation and destruction. It is the beginning and the end of a journey. Without desire there is nothing.” After reading this, suddenly everything I did up until now, everything I was anxious about, everything I was doubtful about made so much sense to me. The greatest of the wars were fought due to people’s deepest desires, their desire to gain the ultimate power or wealth, on the contrary, the most successful people in this world have been successful due to their desire to gain the ultimate knowledge and their desire to work hard and make a difference. But it turns out, the desire of being powerful is not bad, everyone wants to be powerful. But the scenario changes, only when we put light on which kind of power do we want? Which kind of powerful person do we want to become? Sometimes the desire of being successful or just progressive takes people to a greater, peaceful, and successful place in life. Just the will of not giving up on your goals. If you think about it differently, it is not the desire which causes destruction but too much of it, the extremeness of acquiring something which you cannot obtain. We humans throughout our lifetime run behind so many realistic as well as unrealistic inclinations and aspirations without even realizing where it is taking us. We always go to the extreme extents: severe anger that might end up destroying everyone and everything, extreme admiration for someone that the possessiveness emerging through it becomes the cause of ultimate hate and destruction, extreme happiness and pride which in time can turn into great arrogance, etc. The point is, if we really think about it, your desire drives you in doing what you do, but your character (your heart and brain) brings out the good and bad from your desire. Ultimately character of a human being defines his/her actions. In Mahabharat, King Dhritarashtra was affected more by his psychological blindness than his physical blindness. He was furious when his half-brother Pandu was given the throne of Hastinapur despite being the younger one due to his blindness, but eventually, he ascended the throne consequent to Pandu’s death. When Dhritarashtra came to know about his late brother Pandu’s sons especially his elder son Yudhishthira he was worried that Dhritarashtra’s elder son Duryodhana might not be the future King. Dhritarashtra is said to be very much attached to his sons and his attachment made him commit all the wrong he did, and we know the rest of the story. The war of Kurukshetra took place due to Duryodhana’s desire to acquire the throne and everything he did to fulfill his desire.  Here if you concentrate, Mahabharat was not only the result of the desires of so many different people but their different attachments and insecurities as well, even Pandavas fought the war due to their desire for justice and to seek vengeance for Draupadi’s disrobing. All I could learn from the text is that it is up to us what we want, which path we want to take in life, and desire according to it. Our insecurities and attachments should not drive us to an erroneous path.