Bhagawatam 226: Desires trap us in the repeated cycle of re-births

Srikrishnāya namah.

Prithu continued, “O Lord of the universe! Goddess Lakshmi has eternally been serving Your lotus feet. Now I am eager to offer those services to You. Definitely this will lead to rivalry between us. Being compassionate towards the down-trodden, You accept their trivial services considering them as highest. O Lord, being a form of completeness, You take delight in Your own original form. Why then would you need Goddess Lakshmi?

O Lord, You are beyond the activities of the trigunās. For this reason Mahatmas continue to serve You even after obtaining Self-realization. They do not seek anything apart from serving Your lotus feet. O Lord of all Lords, You ask me, a mere servant, to seek boons. Such words when uttered by You trap people into delusion. It bewilders them. Tied to the rope called Vedic injunctions, human beings repeatedly perform fruitive actions seeking some rewards”.

Entertaining a desire, performing actions so as fulfill that desire, in the process falling into difficulties, again developing newer desires so as to come out of those difficult situations, corresponding actions towards it- in this way it is an endless cycle! If at all the desire is completely fulfilled the person doesn’t stop with it. Very quickly he creates newer desires. If at all his desire remains unfulfilled, he will distance from God. He will declare ‘of what use is it to worship this God when he does not fulfill our desires’. As a result, he sinks to lower depths.

“Therefore, O Lord, please save us. Do not allow one desire after another to crop up in our minds. Please transform us such that we are distanced from these repeated desires. This is because if we entertain desires You will decide whether You want to fulfill them or not. If you fulfill them we will end up entertaining more desires. If you don’t fulfill, we will distance from You. Both outcomes are unhealthy. Both amount to ill-treating You. Therefore, it is better not to have any desire at all!”

Swamiji explains: Let us assume You decide to fulfill my desire and give me the best reward. What will You give? You will ensure that I am reborn in the home of the richest person on earth or in the home of a king or in an extremely influential family. I will be famous. So I will become totally egoistic and will commit heinous mistakes due to which I will slip. In my pride, I will forget You. I could acquire demonic tendencies due to my pride. Therefore, fulfilling my desires only leads me towards becoming even more egoistic.

Every time I get a newer desire I will say, “O Lord, this is the only desire left. I do not have any more desires”. In this way whether You fulfill my desires or not I am in trouble. Please do not even raise the possibility of seeking boons. I seek to stay away from these desires in the first place.

Why am I swimming only within these limited thoughts connected to my house, family, bodily pains, my sufferings, home tasks? I am unable to come out of them. O God, every time I ask You to fulfill desires connected to my life or my family, You immediately fulfill them. But what is the net benefit? I continue to remain trapped in these worldly bondages.

O Lord, You have come and are standing here before me only because I have performed many meritorious deeds. The strength of those deeds could pull You towards me. After You have come to me, why should I seek fulfillment of trivial desires? Anyway, when You have come to offer me something, why can’t I ask for the most supreme desire?

Unfortunately, such wisdom fails to arise. This is what Prithu is trying to say to the Lord. I am explaining the same to you in a present-day language so that you grasp.

“O Lord, deluded by Your illusion, the ignorant person distances from his original form and forgets it. Considering himself to be the body he asks fulfillment of bodily and worldly desires. There is nothing apart from that which he asks”.

Swamiji explains: ‘O Lord, I have pain in my right knee. If this pain is removed, it is equal to liberation’- he prays. Suppose this desire is not fulfilled, he will say, ‘Of what use is the prayer? You are not listening to my prayer. You are a stone. You are heartless. You are inefficient”- due to cursing in this manner he sinks into hell. Let us assume the pain in the right leg is removed. He then prays, ‘O Lord, these days my left knee hurts. Please help’.

In other words, you are not serving God/ Guru. You want God/ Guru to be at your service. When you approach Him and offer him a little money, you expect him to fold his hands and be at your service- ‘O devotee, please command me. What am I supposed to do? I will act per your command’. In fact you want Him to bow before you instead of you bowing before him. Pleased with the flowers and money you offer you expect him to use his supernatural powers and solve your worldly problems. This is nothing but trading with God. For every rupee or 10,000 rupees that is offered you expect fulfillment of one desire. You expect some problem to be solved.

There is not even one who says- ‘Wow, I am blessed to see You. I am happy that I have this chance of worshipping You. I offer back to You whatever You have blessed me with.’

Prithu says, “O Lord, the moment you ask me to seek boons, I am trapped in delusion. If I ask for a boon it will once again trap me in this world. All the penance done so far will be wasted only to fulfill that one desire of mine. Thousands of persons have chanted mantras and performed limitless penance during this Yagna. All this will be used only for fulfilling one desire. Even position of Indra is not permanent. Why should I desire it when it is impermanent? O Lord, I seek the permanent position of merging into You. I seek that ultimate bliss”.

Sadly no one prays in this manner. First they will explain all their problems and then finally conclude by asking for liberation. Even after hearing so much about it, we shamelessly seek that our problems are all resolved and then lastly we ask for liberation. Do you not realize that after one problem is resolved, another problem will lift its head? What is the guarantee that this is the last problem? What is the guarantee that this problem has a solution? What you seek is solution for a problem that cannot be solved. You are destined to go through that experience.

Falling in this trap of desires, the human being remains distant from his original form. This is the absolute truth! If not, why does he seek fulfillment of desires instead of seeking to merge into You? Forgetting all problems, forgetting all pains, at every moment one should pray, “O Lord, I seek only You. I only want to merge into You”. How many ever times you go to Guru/ God you should repeat the same prayer. O Lord, can you transform me to pray in this way?

Distancing from you, I am involved in all other activities. It is like making all the marriage arrangements, getting the bride ready, booking the marriage hall when they are yet to find a groom.

Haraye namah

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