Journey of Desire from Toys to Enlightenment (mokṣa) (23)

Summary:

Lesson 23 explains why Desire can't be eliminated, and why it's NOT a hindrance to Enlightenment (mokṣa). We also learn correct/incorrect method to MANAGE desire all the way to your last breath. You'll also see a typical timeline of a Spiritual aspirant seeking Truth – how and why one easily gets sucked into endless promises to Liberation.

TOPICS COVERED:

  1. Proper relationship with desire

    What are the 3 ways how to properly manage desires? (use below Mind-map for help)

    Please explain each of 3 methods in your own words per your own understanding.

  2. Improper relationship with desire

    QUESTION 1:

    Suppose a soccer ball is maliciously is taken away, and the victim gets angry and starts entertaining adharmic/himsa (injurious) thoughts-actions towards perpetrator.

    Question is, in light of what you've learned, what is causing victim to overreact in this manner, in hopes to gain back his-her object of Desire?

    QUESTION 2:

    Suppose Mr. Himsa loses his job and panics because he can't support himself and family anymore. So Mr. Himsa – in attempt to “help” his family, decides the easy and quick route of making money by taking advantage of unsuspecting tourists – by overpricing them on services which actually cost 10x less.

    What is Mr. Himsa doing wrong in reference to Dharma? Write out a paragraph(s) on this using information you've learned so far.


    Answer: Mr. Himsa is helping himself – at expense of cheating/scamming another – through an act which he himself wouldn't appreciate if that same act was done onto him. This accumulates Papa (inauspicious) Karma. Which produces inauspicious Effects in the future – which he will deal with sooner or later. 

    The irony is, one would gladly cheat another to gain temporary happiness… at expense of putting off permanent happiness/immortality.

  3. Why Jīva chases “things”?

    1) In your own words explain, what would one have to believe or think, which would cause him-her to endlessly chase for new experiences within oneself and in external world?

    2) What would you say to one, in order to help them see that everything is impermanent, subject to coming-going? (Including their own intensity of desire about chased Objects)

    3) How would you sell them on the teaching that what they're really looking for is PERMANENT SATISFACTION?

  4. Jijñāsu: Last path of aspirant before mokṣa (Freedom)

    Who is a jijñāsu? What is his-her interest? (use below Mind-map for help)

  5. mokṣa = focus shifted from CHANGING to UNCHANGING

    Write 1 page, what about statement means. Use everything you've learned in course so far.

    Reason for extra length is it will reveal how deep your knowledge is about mokṣa. Because above statement is why all Upaniṣads were written.

Download visual mind map of this session.

9 Oct

14 Comments

  1. Namaste
    hi Andre lm finding it hard to follow without the complete Mind Maps, l found there was no Mind Maps uploaded with Lesson 22 & an incomplete on Lesson 23. i feel l have to say essentially this is the best way to follow Advaita Vedanta -it gets a lot of the mind questions out of the way topic by topic . I leave a lot of times on a Spiritual High, lm hoping that once l catch up with the videos l can give review each lesson videos with the detail it deserves.
    Namaste

    1. Hearing needs higher concentration and more thinking on students end. Mind-maps also have danger of robbing students right to develop own capacity of “connecting the dots” of what’s been heard. Thus it’s used sparingly.

  2. Hi André,
    I am a little confused. I want to know who is the doer? Is Ishwara the doer or I the EGO am the doer in everyday life. I have read many a times that Ishwara is the doer. I know Ishwara is a facilitator of my actions. He does not control my action, but controls the effects of my action. I also know that I am the unchanging consciousness and not the changing body, mind and intellect. I do not understand why Ishwara is considered as the doer? Is Ishwara considered the doer because he controls the effects of my actions? Thanks for your answer.

    1. Doer refers to the body-mind complex which is designed to act in this world. It’s impossible to sit and do nothing. Inner pressures compel you to act.

      So when a body-mind called “Nicholas” or “Andre” is born, naturally he or she assumes, “I am a doer”.

      The “I am” in the sentence, refers to consciousness. The “doer” refers to the helpless nature of the body-mind to keep moving, talking, thinking, travelling, starting wars, formulating declaration of independence, forming babies, etc.

      “Doer” is natural. Even to write this message to you, there is a doer, in form of thinker, involved.

  3. Hi André,
    What are the 3 ways how to properly manage desires? (use below Mind-map for help)
    Please explain each of 3 methods in your own words per your own understanding.

    First : lets appreciate the desire we have for something. Having a desire is a prasadam or gift of Ishwara. This is gratitude to Ishwara. What we have may surely not be with everyone, even a desire. Others may envy us to have the same. So, it is better to appreciate the desire we have for something.
    In mithya, everything is VIKARAHAS meaning that which gets modified. That means no amount of desire stays the same. For example, a couple may be married for entire life, but the relationship (desire) between them fluctuates, and is not the same as it was in the begining. Similarly, even if we are financially good, the money is subject to inflation, which either reduces or increases the value of money. That means the desire does not stay the same, and the desire will go.

    Second : lets know that desire comes and go. Nothing stays in Mithya. It is subject to modification. Thats what we must know while managing desire.
    A couple may like each other intensly in the begining, but as time passes the intensity will decrease.

    Third : While enjoying desire that is present in our life never lose perspective of what is our highest value.
    Our body does not belong to us. They belong to Ishwara. So, develop humility and reverence.
    For example, a prayer makes us humble or develop humility and reverence. It is also important to know that whatever we have is given to us.

  4. Hi André,

    Suppose a soccer ball is maliciously is taken away, and the victim gets angry and starts entertaining adharmic/himsa (injurious) thoughts-actions towards perpetrator.
    Question is, in light of what you’ve learned, what is causing victim to overreact in this manner, in hopes to gain back his-her object of Desire?

    Answer: The victim does not have the concept of the whole. He gives vent to his emotions, which are objects or Vikarahas. He gets involved in those emotions. He does not behave as an observer of those emotions.

    By overreacting he is not only injuring the perpetrator but also injuring himself, because both belong to the whole.

    The victim could have asked for the ball a second time and if it was not returned then could have simply walked away. The victim is developing his Jiva shristi.

    The victim is attracted to the ball because on one hand it brings him happiness or complete and on the other he feels miserable or incomplete without it.

  5. Hi André,

    1) In your own words explain, what would one have to believe or think, which would cause him-her to endlessly chase for new experiences within oneself and in external world?
    We are attracted to objects to become happy. We feel misery when we do not have the desired object. We try to change our state from misery to happiness by getting the object desired. We all want to have something, even if we say that nothing in the material world can make us happy. . In other words, the JIVA is looking for happiness in these objects, because it provides us with some meaningful identity. Without the object we feel incomplete (unhappy), and with the object we feel complete (happy).

    2) What would you say to one, in order to help them see that everything is impermanent, subject to coming-going? (Including their own intensity of desire about chased Objects)
    In mithya, everything is VIKARAHAS meaning that which gets modified. A mango tree is absent in its seed, but the seed is sown, the seed becomes a small plant, and later grows into a mango tree. It then again produces more seeds, which takes over the blue print of the all the previous seeds and adds to the blue print its own experience with the environment. A baby boy is born as a baby, then grows into an adolescent, then as a yound adult, then middle age, and grows into an old man. As a young adult he may copulate with a dame to have a baby. So, everything is impermanant subject to coming-going in the material world.
    The intensity of desire for an object is high in the begining, but as time passes the intensity gradually decreases. The desire may go over to grab some other object. . That means the desire does not stay the same, and the desire will go.

  6. Hi Andre,

    3) How would you sell them on the teaching that what they’re really looking for is PERMANENT SATISFACTION?
    I will tell them that the material world is subject to change on the one hand, and on the other, the human body is also subject to change. Desire keep changing too, and desires come and go. The joy that is felt by getting the object of desire, soon is lost and is replaced by another desire seeking for another object of desire to get joy again. I will tell them that what they are seeking is permanant satisfaction or permanant joy. And this can be obtained by Self knowledge because the nature of the self is unchanging, total, complete and whole and is filled with Ananda. I will tell them to seek that “self” which is nothing but they themselves. The Ananda that they are seeking on material objects, is actually a superimposition of their Ananda (self) on to the objects.

    4) Who is a jijñāsu? What is his-her interest?
    A JIJNASU is a curious person. Out of his curiousness he enquires that if he is unlimited, whole and complete, then why does he feel limited, unhappy and incomplete ? So, he begins enquiring, and begins to read books. That is his desire (to read). But the curious person is unable to understand why is he unhappy, so he begins looking for help, a teacher (another desire). But inspite of having a teacher the curious person is unable to understand why is he unhappy, so he begins to focus on the unchanging consciousness, and not on the teacher. The teacher is there just to help him to focus on to the unchanging consciousness. Yet the person is unhappy because the desire is always present. So, this desire is transformed into sharing the knowledge of the unchanging consciousness to the people in general.

    5) Mokṣa = focus shifted from CHANGING to UNCHANGING:
    The Purusharthas are the inherent values of the Universe: Artha (economic values), Kama (pleasure), Dharma (righteousness), and Moksha (liberation). Vedanta tells us that liberation comes to those who know Brahman as that which is the origin and end of all things, the universal principle behind and at source of everything that exists, and the consciousness that pervades everything and everyone. The liberated individual as one who treats others with respect (regardless of how others treat him/her); returns anger with soft and kind words; doesn’t expect praise from others; never injures or harms any life form; is as comfortable being alone as in the presence of others; and is humble of clear and steady mind, straightforward, compassionate, and patient.
    However, to arrive at Moksha, the individual has to deal with the changing material world. He is bound to feel incomplete and unhappy from the objects belonging to the material world. He then begins self inquiry as to why is he feeling unhappy and incomplete. In the begining he reads books. Then he searches for a teacher to help him focus on to the invariable. Then he realizes that the complete, total, unchanging full, Ananda is his own self. He is the Existence, Awareness and bliss.

    1. =======
      4)
      =======
      Jijnasu: One who has already understood #3 for themselves, recognized limitation of worldly pursuits, and wants to know the nature of God and his/her relationship to God.

      Stages:
      a) Arti: Only brings God into life in time of trouble. EG: Praying for a problem to go away.

      b) Artharti: Has an ongoing relationship with God, whether life situations are favorable or unfavorable. Can be considered highly religious. Prays. Ask God for help. Communion with the Lord.

      c) Jijnasu: The mind has matured to such a level that naturally the question arises, “Who is this God to whom I’m praying to? What is His nature? Where is He? Is it a He or a She? How did He create this world?”. This person wants to KNOW. Thus his/her focus is knowledge. Jijnasu has even gone past the attraction of action. Jijnasu has recognized limitation of actions (such as asthanga-yoga, kriya-yoga). Hence naturally goes from world of Yoga (action, action, action) > self-knowledge.

      d) Jnani/Jivanmukta: Being a jijnasu, he or she eventually got connected to a teacher who revealed the big picture. Through self-reflection, and thinking about the knowledge… the jnani enjoys a growing clarity of reality until last breath.

      =======
      5)
      =======

      Moksha means freedom from limitation. It’s a cognitive understanding that my sense of limitation is seeming. Not real. It’s not about having some better experience that you’re having right now.

      Just like the space in the cup seems confined. However the space inside the cup is the very same space outside the cup, that accommodates the entire universe, that has no boundaries and stretches infinitely in all directions.

      When the cup breaks, is there any real merger between the space that was inside the cup, and the total space outside the cup? No. It was one same space all along.

      Therefore, even a jnani cup feels a sense of limitation, just like an unwise cup. Only difference is (1) the jnani cup cognitively understands, the feeling of limitation is owing to presence of the cup (body-mind), and that will remain until death of the cup, and (2) The space (consciousness) in my cup (mind), is the exact same space (consciousness) outside the cup. Therefore, despite the “feeling of limitation”, it’s only in reference to the cup, and not Me (the space which is free of all objects and no objects stick to).

  7. Hi André,
    I thought that the questions you asked in the description above to answer should be sent to you for correction. I now understand that these questions are for us to practice at home. A kind of home work.

    I misunderstood and sent you the answers so that you could correct them. I am sorry. I will be more careful in the future.

    However, I would appreciate it if you could answer my question on authorship. Thank you, André.
    Nicolas.

  8. Hi André,

    Thank you for your response.

    In fact, yesterday I finished with the 25th video lesson and I guess I understand the difference between the Ego as a doer and the Self (consciousness) as a doer.

    Ego as doer: When the “I” is bound to the body – Mind – Intellect (BMI complex), then the ego becomes the doer. In this function, each action is made with the expectations of results, mainly favorable results of the actions.

    From the 25th video lesson: A person doing actions without being grateful, doing actions while waiting for results according to what he wants, think that all he knows is all there is to know and be proud of this knowledge, does not reflect to what is real and what is unreal (which means thinking only of what changes, not of what does not change). The more the Ego does, the more it benefits. These are the characteristics of the Ego as an actor.

    Consciousness as doer: When the “I” is related to Consciousness and not to the BMI complex, then the characteristics of the person are different from above : In this case, although the BMI complex must do in the material world, the person is more a DONOR than a RECIPIENT. The person will not want the results of his action. He will perform all actions as offerings to ISHWARA and will accept favorable or unfavorable results as ISHWARA’s prasadam. The person will work in the world, without attachment, only for the purpose of redemption (saving from sin or error or evil or debt) from the world, or to share the knowledge of wisdom or to enjoy the world with this new vision of unity.

    So the choice to link the “I” to the BMI complex or to the Consciousness is in our hands. Is that right?

    Some of the answers above were written after listening to your 25th video lesson.

    Thank you André for your help and these video lessons.

    Nicolas

    1. Every subtle-body has 4 functions: I-sense (ego), mind, intellect, memory.

      a) Mind: Constantly fluctuates between “I should / I shouldn’t”. Constant state of doubting. Also responsible for emoting.

      b) Intellect: Used to solve problems. To analyze data. Also when we say “make up your mind”, what we’re saying is that person’s thought is in doubting mode, and not enough data has been provided for a firm decision to be made. Finally, when you’re sure you want to marry her, or get that job over another, then thought has gained solidity; in other words a decision has been made. So Intellect is place of decision. Also, Intellect is the DOER (EG: to think is to DO thinking, to walk is to think how to walk). Ego is NOT the doer.

      c) Memory: Used to help recollect past events.

      d) I-sense (ego): That which centralizes the experience of mind/intellect/memory to one single entity. For example, when your body-mind complex is hungry, you don’t start feeding your friend. You start feeding your body-mind sense complex. The word “you” in previous sentence refers to all 4 functions; it’s not referring to consciousness.

      All 4 functions are changing hundreds of times a day. For example, the sensation of clarity and positivity is totally gone end of the day when there’s fatigue and dullness.

      And yet, what is equally familiar in the morning, as much as is equally familiar in the evening? I am.

      Thus I am (that one who is conscious of all the changes), is NOT a doer, but merely the witness to various opinions of “I am”.

      Opinions of “I am” is ego. My opinion of “I” at an unfamiliar place is “shy, not confident, insecure”. My opinion of “I” at a place I work at is “confident, important”.

      That opinion of “I” is all attributed to the 4-functions.

      However notice that no opinion of “I” sticks onto you. If it stuck, then that opinion would even be there during deep sleep.

  9. Yes. I understood your answer to my question about doership. However, after browsing your video 24 & 25, my understanding of doership has improved, so I highlighted above another answer to the same question for your correction. Thank you, André.
    Nicolas.

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