Following up to the article that I published last week on selfless benevolence, I would like to go out a limb and elaborate on the connection that exists between selfless benevolence and human desires. Desires are essentially self-centered thoughts that make the human being aspire to some personal gain. Benevolence, on the other hand is a truly magnanimous gesture that relies solely on human sacrifice. So in reality, how do these two pragmatically opposite concepts find a common ground? What connection exists between benevolence and desire? Today we find the answers to the aforementioned questions.
Unrequited desire is essentially a form of unrequited energy. To understand the aforementioned corollary, one would first have to cognize desire in its very essence. Desire is any thought that does not find consummation. Desires find their birth in human thoughts, which in themselves rise from the human consciousness; from the human spirit. Thus desires in one way are the unrequited expressions of the spirit. They are efforts made on part of the human spirit to find some form of satisfaction and peace within itself. Ultimately the sense of unrequited-ness which is created within the spirit itself is created due to the unresolved karmic bonds that the spirit bears with other souls. These karmic bonds leave their own mark within the constitution of the said spirit; which ultimately manifest as desires. Essentially desires act as catalysts in the law of karma; for desires in themselves at times are the motivation for certain karma; and unrequited karma on its part forms the crux of the birth of any desire.
To understand that one would have to simply look dispassionately at life. If we do that we realize that many times, it is our desires that get us into liaisons that we otherwise detest. Consider an example; a person wants to eat at a certain restaurant; but fears to do so for he knows that his ex-girlfriend works there. Yet the desire to eat overcomes his reticence and he goes to have a bite at the said restaurant. Eventually circumstances evolve in a way in which he ends up having a humiliating experience at the hands of his ex. Now the role that desires plays here is that it induces a karmic liaison between the two said persons. It induces the action, or makes provision for the reaction; now the main problem that lies before the seeker is to realize if any karma was part of the “action” or the “reaction”. Was the man meant to go to the restaurant just because he had to be humiliated at the hands of his ex? Or was the humiliation a result of his foolhardy decision to visit the restaurant in the first place?
These are the questions that plague the seeker evermore as he starts to move further ahead on the spiritual path. As the seeker begins to analyze each of his actions, he is faced with this grave problem. The karmic liaisons can hardly be comprehended, let alone be dissected by the intellect. The only thing that the seeker can do is that he can willfully try and absolve his karma. This he can only hope to accomplish through selfless benevolence. For when the seeker on his own accord, acts selflessly and takes pains for the sake of others; acting in complete benevolence, not expecting any returns, he automatically absolves his own karma. Without even interacting with anyone, the seeker can absolve his entire karmic load through sheer benevolence. That is the great power that selfless benevolence bears. Still, the seeker’s personal desires act as a deterrent in his quest to be benevolent.
However, the way to absolve the humane desires is through benevolence itself; desires are irrevocably tied to human karma; and thus are they requited with its absolution. Benevolence absolves all desires…quenching in the end the burning fires…
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Today, we finally come to the topic that has always been a great source of discussion here on The Last Pilgrimage weblog. It is indeed remarkable as to how important this factor is in the spiritual journey of every seeker. The spirtual journey is essentially an evolutionary process. The spiritual path institutes the divine presence of god in the heart of every seeker who walks it with a sense of deep-rooted determination. While many people know this for a fact, they fail to truly cognize as to what God represents. How does one classify God? The answer to that question is truly beyond the scope of explanation, but it would suffice to say that God is indeed a benevolent entity. He is someone, who exists solely for the purpose of shedding his divine grace on the rest of the world. God is kind, merciful and endearing. To put it in a single word, God is selfless; he exists for the sake of others and all that he accomplishes is for the greater good of humanity.
Humanity on its part is always trenched in the weaknesses that inherently make an individual human. Man is a self-centered beast albeit, one who is socially trained and universally accepted. Point of the matter is that man in his very essence is an instinctive animal. The very human existence reeks of self-gratification and incessant bids at fulfillment of vain desires. The fact that the human existence is infinitely recursive is proved by the fact that the desires, which are associated with it are indeed endless. Man can never end his desires through satiation, and thus every frail effort to satsify a desire ends up inflaming it even more. Thus the entire human life becomes naught but a chain of unfulfilled desires; for unrequitedness is an attribute that is always associated with desire. No matter how hard you try to fulfill them, desires will never end.
So we come to the next logical question in the chain of reasoning. How does man truly derive joy from his life? How can man truly be happy, if ever desire leads him to a perpetual sense of discontent. The answer to that question is a single word. Realization. Man can truly be happy only when he realizes the fact that he can never derive complete satsifaction through the fulfillment of his desires. He has to be unconditionally happy no matter what the situation that surrounds him. Once an individual accomplishes this, he would never remain bound to his desires.
Upon making this bold statement, many would question the motive of their lives? What would man live for, if not for his desires? People often come to a stalemate when this question arises. This happens owing to the fact that they can never even imagine a life that is not motivated by any sense of personal desire or personal ambition. However there is an alternative factor that could indeed provide the seeker with greater motivation, resolute focus and unshaken determination. It is the sense of a benevolent purpose that accomplishes that. When you work for someone else; when you strive for the happiness of others; when you endavor to change the lives of the destitute that lie ravaged on your sides, you make a greater choice that uplifts you from the misery of human existence. When you commit a selfless act, it embellishes your spirit with a great sense of bliss and insurmountable ecstasy. You will gain seamless satisfaction and contentment out of such acts of selfless benevolence; no matter how insignificant they may seem to the casual observer. The benefits of benevolence shall far surpass the skepticism that the world would throw your way…
…to be continued
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Desire is a queer thing. The more you get it; the more you crave it. In many ways, desire and not the absence of it, is the root cause of all the misery in this world. Any unfulfilled desire brings with itself a sense of incompleteness that renders a man weak. Any unrequited desire inflames the heart as the man mongers around in discontent and agony; only owing to the fact that he has a desire in his heart. This happens owing to the fact that every person hopes to gain happiness from the fulfillment of his desires. Thus when he is denied that pleasure owing to prevailing circumstances, the individual loses all sense of hope and his life subsequently becomes miserable. A person who does not let the fulfillment of his desires be a factor in the pursuit of happiness is indeed a person that could be termed as a spiritualist.
04-Jun-2007 02:35, Canon Canon EOS 20D, 3.5, 10.0mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 100
I use the word only out of necessity, owing to the large amount of prejudice that is targeted towards ‘spiritualists’ in general. Deemed as perpetual losers, the world thinks that a person turns to spirituality only owing to the fact that he cannot succeed at anything else in life. That definitely is not the case, and while there may be spiritualists who prefer to spend their life in solitude, conversing with God, there remain many who are pro-actively involved in all walks of life. Now the thing to cognize is this; spirituality is essentially a school of life that teaches you to go beyond your self-centered desires; to go beyond your conviction that life is to be lived only for yourself. Spirituality essentially teaches you to go beyond the ‘self’ and to be benevolent and selfless to others; to work for a cause; to work for a purpose. But the point of the matter still remains, that once the human being loses the allure of desire in his life, life no longer holds for him the same allure. Simply put, he develops a curious disdain for life, owing to the fact that he can no longer derive happiness from his desires; a realization that inherently makes his life empty. Thus when such a man turns towards the spiritual path, he often finds within it a calling that makes his life worthwhile. In the end, it is all about making sure that the juice is worth the squeeze; that the output you gain is worth the efforts that you put in. Thus when a man lives his life for the sake of others, and works benevolently and pro-actively to fulfill a purpose, he truly finds that his life is worth the effort that he puts into it.
In the end, it is the benevolent purpose that makes his life seem worthwhile. It is the knowledge that he is indeed instrumental in changing someone’s life for the better that gives him joy and satisfaction. Thus the happiness that he derives from such an achievement is far greater than any desire could lend him. For in the end, desires are infinite and the discontent that they bring into one’s life diminishes the joy that is derived from their fulfillment. As opposed to that, the purpose that is ordained upon a man is finite in nature, for it is derived from the karmic liaisons that the man has to his name. Thus fulfilling that purpose not only brings with itself a great sense of satisfaction, but it also results in the absolution of man’s recurrent bouts of misery. In the end, the fulfillment of the purpose leads to the complete ablation of desires; something that many people dread. However there is nothing that is more joyful than a state of no-desire; for in it there is a sense of completeness and peace.
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Image Credit: “A Benevolent Benvolence” from EyeFetch