How to direct our desires constructively?
Desire is our greatest power, yet it is a power that often works independent of us or even against us. We find ourselves desiring things that are irrelevant or even harmful for us, as when we spend lots of time on social media or mindless entertainment.
To tap the power of our desires, we need to first clearly understand what our present desires are. If we note carefully where our consciousness goes naturally when we have nothing specific to do, that indicates our strongest desires. Similarly, if we consider what agitates our mind the most, that too points to the things we feel strongly about. By such inner investigation, once we understand our strongest desires, then we go deeper to understand what it is about them that we find so desirable.
Gita wisdom explains that whatever we desire, that thing gets its desirability from Krishna. The Bhagavad-gita (10.41) states that everything attractive manifests a spark of Krishna’s all-attractiveness. For example, we all long to love and be loved by someone; what we don’t realize is that we are actually longing for enduring love, which can be found in the eternal, eternally loving and eternally loveable divine, Krishna. Thus, we can try to perceive how the desirability of everything we desire rests in Krishna in its fullness, thereby gaining the conviction to redirect our heart towards him through time-tested bhakti-yoga practices.
When we internalize this understanding of Krishna’s ultimate desirability and externally do bhakti-yoga practices while striving to cultivate a deep longing for him, then our consciousness connects with him and we get glimpses of his supreme sweetness. Thus, our desire for him increases, thereby marginalizing other desires.
To tap the power of desire, know what we desire, why we desire it and how its desirability arises from and is fulfilled in the supreme desirable reality, Krishna.
Think it over:
- How does our desire often work against us?
- Where does the desirability of everything come from? Explain with an example.
- How can bhakti-yoga help us direct our desires constructively?
10.41: Know that all opulent, beautiful and glorious creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.