—- (continued from Blog 6)—-
Though likes and dislikes and the consequent desires are the root cause of vices like lust, anger and greed; they are not evil in themselves. But the problem starts when one gets carried away by them.
Likes and dislikes for any object are inherent in the very senses which experience that object. This fact has clearly been brought out in shloka 3.34 wherein it has been stated that for every sense, likes and dislikes are fixed with regard to the objects of that sense. But, one should not come under their sway because both of them (likes and dislikes) are his waylayers, a stumbling block on the path of his spiritual growth.
Thus, to like or dislike something or someone is a natural phenomenon. But the atmosphere gets vitiated when one becomes a slave of these likes and dislikes ; and starts working as per the impulses created by them and not according to his buddhi, the understanding.
Similarly, the fact that desire as such is not evil has been stated in shloka 7.11. While describing his own manifestations, Krishna states that in all beings, he is that desire which is not contrary to law (dharma). In other words, a righteous desire is a driving force towards spiritual attainment.
The desires have thus the potential of lifting us to glory or throwing us into the dustbin of misery.
The importance of keeping the likes and dislikes under check has also been stressed in shloka 2.64 wherein it has been stated that a self-controlled man can attain the purity of spirit if he even while experiencing sense objects keeps senses under control and free from likes and dislikes.
As long as one is alive, the demands of the body for sense gratification and the consequent desires would continue to arise. Shri Krishna taught that only he who remains undisturbed by such desires, can attain peace; and not the one who is swayed by them. This concept has been explained in shloka 2.70 by giving an analogy of a sea who remains motionless even while all the rivers are entering it. Similarly, it is stated that only those who remain unmoved by desires can attain peace, and not the slaves of desires.
Further, in shloka 5.23 it has been stated that the one who becomes strong enough to keep the impulses created by lust and anger under control, he alone can attain real happiness, the happiness from within.
Thus, the challenge before us is how to keep our likes and dislikes and the consequent desires under check so that they do not degenerate into lust because lust is the source of all vices, including the anger and greed.
…. to be continued …