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Yesterday, I was watching Mahabharata on StarPlus. There Durodhan puts a question that if god has given us mind to think, through which we can desire. Then why working according to our desire is wrong thing.

I could not get why he is wrong.

Can anyone please guide me the correct way.

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Before replying the main issue " Desire", it would be in the fitness of things to give some relevant information. Among few others Karma, Attachment, Desire has been the focal theme of Geeta. Almost all copies of Geeta quote around dozen shlokas under the caption Geeta Mahatmya wherein we find a beautiful analogy of lead characters of Mahabharata . There is the mention of "Duryodhnavartani ".Duryodhan symbolized as intense whorl in a vast river current. Such whorl is powerful enough to capture and destroy anything in its ambit. It in fact implies a totally unstable and turbulent mind. Given this background, the desire of Duryodhan can never be worth accepting as an ideal role model, rather it needs to be shunned and decried. To pursue a desire as done by Duryodhan shall meet the same fate as met by Duryodhan. A lot has been discussed of desire in Geeta, ch 3

Shloka 37

श्रीभगवानुवाच | काम एष क्रोध एष रजोगुणसमुद्भव: || महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणम् || 37||  

The Supreme Lord said: It is lust alone, which is born of contact with the mode of passion, and later transformed into anger. Know this as the sinful, all-devouring enemy in the world.

Shloka 38

धूमेनाव्रियते वह्निर्यथादर्शो मलेन च | यथोल्बेनावृतो गर्भस्तथा तेनेदमावृतम् || 38||

Just as a fire is covered by smoke, a mirror is masked by dust, and an embryo is concealed by the womb, similarly one’s knowledge gets shrouded by desire.

Shloka 39

आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा | कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणानलेन च || 39||

The knowledge of even the most discerning gets covered by this perpetual enemy in the form of insatiable desire, which is never satisfied and burns like fire, O son of Kunti.

Shlok 40

इन्द्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिरस्याधिष्ठानमुच्यते | एतैर्विमोहयत्येष ज्ञानमावृत्य देहिनम् || 40||

The senses, mind, and intellect are said to be breeding grounds of desire. Through them, it clouds one’s knowledge and deludes the embodied soul.

Shlok 41

तस्मात्त्वमिन्द्रियाण्यादौ नियम्य भरतर्षभ | पाप्मानं प्रजहि ह्येनं ज्ञानविज्ञाननाशनम् || 41||

Therefore, O best of the Bharatas, in the very beginning bring the senses under control and slay this enemy called desire, which is the embodiment of sin and destroys knowledge and realization

Shlok 42

इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्य: परं मन: | मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धे: परतस्तु स: || 42||

The senses are superior to the gross body, and superior to the senses is the mind. Beyond the mind is the intellect, and even beyond the intellect is the soul.

Shlok 43

एवं बुद्धे: परं बुद्ध्वा संस्तभ्यात्मानमात्मना | जहि शत्रुं महाबाहो कामरूपं दुरासदम् || 43||

Thus knowing the soul to be superior to the material intellect, O mighty armed Arjun, subdue the self (senses, mind, and intellect) by the self (strength of the soul), and kill this formidable enemy called lust.

  and ch4-19, ch 5--23, 26 ch 7 --11. In ch 7 The Lord says to pursue such desires which is in accordance with the tenets of Dharma. Various teachers have explained Dharma as do's and dont's of karma as sanctioned by society in view of time, place, period and situation. I feel this may heip sum up the question relating to desire. With Regards, Hare Krishna. 

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  • when giving scriptural reference you should include the actual shlokas in your answer. please edit your answer. – Swami Vishwananda Apr 26 at 6:11
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Need and Greed has a very thin line between them. Greed begets desire and it has no end.

I am a person with a moderate income and live comfortably with my family. Now I need a car to carry out my normal duties. I buy a Maruti-alto or an I10 or a figo and so on. My need is fulfilled.

Instead if I opt to buy a Merc500 or BMW 7 series or a RR, that is greed. To beget this car, I will indulge in malpractice to pay the installments.This success gives me courage to indulge in other luxuries. This is desire. There is no end to it other than misery at the end.

Remember,you get what you deserve and not what you desire. Enjoy and be happy with what you have and get and you will never be sad and repenting.

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Just because I have got a car does not mean that I will drive without applying breaks. It may be given to me by the founder of Ferari himself but if I dont apply breaks I will ruin my car as well as public properties. Senses are given by God does not mean we use them any way we want. If we misuse we will suffer and also cause trouble to others. Control over senses and ceiling on desires is essential for every human being. This was what I read in some book written by Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Desire brings restlessness. As far as realization is concerned,

Ishavasyopanishad says.... Hiranmayena patrena Sathyasya pihitham mukham Thathwam pooshannapavrunu sathya dharmaya dhrishtye

Meaning The ultimate TRUTH hidden behind a gold disc( symbolic of desires). You can reach there only by following the Sathya Dharma.

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  • # sw viswanand -Suggestion noted.The above referred ch 7 sloka 11 reads as Dharmaviruddho bhuteshu kamosmi Bhartarsava ! – Hare krishna Apr 27 at 13:12
  • Nice explanation – sbak Apr 28 at 7:50

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