Desires Are The Root Cause Of Pain And Suffering
At some point or the other, in life, we all may have experienced how desires are so dangerous. And if we are attached to these desires, then the pain and suffering that follows knows no bounds.
Desires are a ‘fire’ that burns us!
The deeper the attachment, the greater the burning and its suffering will be.
This is an established law of Nature. If we put our hand in fire, it is bound to burn you – that’s how it’s nature is! One who invokes desires, be it anybody, he is bound to undergo immense suffering. So, if we invoke desires, we are bound to suffer. There’s no power in the world that can save us then!
Attachment itself is pain. We may have heard numerous lectures on this, and hence, we very well know that we should not have desires, we should not have attachment towards any desire as they cause enormous pain and suffering; yet these lectures do not release us from attachment.
But yes, our experience can!
Whenever we experience some sweetness within, we like it! As we like it, the attachment begins. So now, we long to experience that sweetness again and again. A desire arises that this sweetness should remain. This desire keeps us constantly fearful, “I wish this sweetness does not go away, I hope something bitter does not come my way.” And this is utterly painful. It’s because attachment is there.
So you see, at the root of attachment, there is only pain and pain, immense pain and suffering! We learn this best when we experience it.
There is attachment and yet there is no pain – such a thing can only happen when :
the ‘I’ who is attached, and
‘the person, thing or situation’ with whom I am attached to,
both remain permanent forever!
But the fact is that none of these remain forever.
To that which I say is ‘mine, mine, mine’ and I get attached to, does not remain with me forever; it goes away in some time; and when it goes away, it gives rise to lot of pain and suffering! To that which I say is ‘I, I, I’, that too does not remain forever; it dies in some time. This separation is bound to come.
Whatever I believe is mine is bound to part, and when it parts, I suffer because I had the desire for it, because I was attached to it. As much is my attachment towards what I believe to be ‘mine’, that much severe is the pain and suffering that comes to me at the time of parting with it.
And whatever I believe is ‘I’, at the time of death, when that ‘I’ is about to part, I greatly suffer. As much is the attachment towards what I believe to be ‘I’, that much severe is the pain and suffering that comes at the time of parting with it.
Further to the above, the Enlightened One explains the subject by giving some more examples:
When we feel like itching, we itch, and on itching, it pains. We again itch, then again it pains. We keep itching because we feel like, we have a desire to itch. We know it is painful, we understand it is harmful, yet we continue to itch. Thus, desire is the root cause of pain and suffering. And, the desire that, ‘I want to maintain attachment towards my desire’ enhances that pain and suffering.
Another example is that of our desire to be always right and our attachment towards being right. Suppose, we believe that, ‘whatever I think is right’, and hence, are greatly attached to our thinking. Now, if someone were to utter a single word against it, it will make us furious. We don’t understand that, ‘I have worn red glasses, and therefore, I can see everything red’. The attachment towards our thinking (red glasses) makes us hurt people. This is the reason why difference of opinions and ensuing clashes happen; which add to our suffering.
Thus, desire in itself causes great pain and suffering; and if we are attached to the desire, then depending upon how severe our attachment is, it causes pain and suffering of that severe magnitude.
To be free from this clutch of the desires and the attachment towards our desires, the only way is Self-Realization. When we know ‘who am I’, we realize that ‘I am a Pure Soul that is permanent’, the attachment towards the temporary ‘I’ automatically begins to fade away. Then, the attachment is towards the Soul (the real ‘I’), and the instruments (the Enlightened One who enlightens our Soul and gives us the right knowledge) that enhance our experience of the Soul.
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