Desire – Good or Bad?

Discussions about desire are at times quite animated and even emotional. In these discussions it is often forgotten that desire is a source of our power and inherently neither good or bad. In his ‘Thought for the Day’ Shri Easwaran has some very useful comments about desire and its role in our lives. I have inserted his comments below.

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JUNE 12

I reached in experience the nirvana which is unborn, unrivalled, secure from attachment, undecaying and unstained. This condition is indeed reached by me which is deep, difficult to see, difficult to understand, tranquil, excellent, beyond the reach of mere logic, subtle, and to be realized only by the wise.

– THE BUDDHA, ON ATTAINING ENLIGHTENMENT

The Buddha is sometimes quoted as saying that desire is suffering. A more accurate translation is that selfish desire is suffering – in fact, the source of all suffering. But desire itself is simply power, neither good nor bad.

Without the tremendous power of desire, there can be no progress on the spiritual path; there can be no progress anywhere. The whole secret of spiritual transformation is turning selfish desire into selfless desire, transforming personal passions into the overwhelming desire to attain life’s highest goal. This is not repression; it is transformation.

The Thought for the Day is today’s entry from Eknath Easwaran’s Words to Live By
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