'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)


MenoSundays; Life Lived Lovingly

Thank you again, to everyone who commented on last Sunday's post. It is rewarding to any writer that someone takes the time to read the work produced, still more that effort is taking to respond. This itself is an act of Love and care.

What drives Love, care and every other thought and deed in our life is KAAMA. The English language is a brutish thing when it comes to nuance of expression - as has been pointed out by this column in respect to Love. There are some eighty words in Sanskrit for different expressions of what we bundle into that one, four-letter packet. Likewise, for kaama. Essentially, it means to desire, but of course, even desire can have nuance. Many people in the West only really know this word in relation to the ancient text on matters intimate**. Here's how wrong that understanding is:
काम
adj.
kAma
wishing
काम
adj.
kAma
desiring
कमा
f.
kamA
loveliness
कमा
f.
kamA
beauty
कमा
f.
kamA
radiance
कामा
f.
kAmA
wish
कामा
f.
kAmA
desire
काम
m.
kAma
kind of bean
काम
m.
kAma
desire
काम
m.
kAma
name of Vishnu
काम
m.
kAma
affection
काम
m.
kAma
will
काम
m.
kAma
particular form of temple
काम
m.
kAma
desire for
काम
m.
kAma
wish
काम
m.
kAma
name of Baladeva
काम
m.
kAma
pleasure
काम
m.
kAma
longing after
काम
m.
kAma
stake in gambling
काम
m.
kAma
enjoyment
काम
m.
kAma
especially sexual love or 
sensuality
काम
m.
kAma
species of mango tree
काम
m.
kAma
Love/Desire personified
काम
m. {f.}
kAmakamI }
object of desire or of love or of pleasure
काम
n.
kAma
semen virile
काम
n.
kAma
desirous of
काम
n.
kAma
having a desire or 
intention
काम
n.
kAma
object of desire

The purpose of displaying all this is to highlight the variety and subtlety that is required in understanding motivation. That is to say, there can be no motivation unless there is a desire to drive it. Indeed, there is nothing which can take place in life without the seed of desire behind it.

Starting deep within us, every thought related to action is formed as a result of our desires. This includes the very basics, (beyond the biological imperatives), such as cleansing ourselves, rising from our beds, making a decision about breakfast... and here we are faced with an adjunct of desire transforming, through thought, to action. Decision-making. This is where the human species has got dominance. We have an active mind and intellectual capacity. Sadly, we are 'hard-wired' to be trapped by our senses. We let the desires drive our thoughts towards satisfying the demands of those senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch). Without discipline, application of intellectual control, we develop habits which bind us ever more tightly, and we need more and more and more. Our choices develop to always meet the cravings, whether or not succeeding in quelling the desire. Never feeling satisfied. In worst-case scenarios, some desires become so dominant, they over-ride others to the detriment of our own health, sometimes those around us and to greater society (think substance addiction as an obvious example.)

It is the lack of intellectual application, or the misuse of it, which results in values and ideologies becoming twisted and dangerous. Just because we can think it doesn't mean the thoughts are good or actionable. We need to go beyond the mere flow of thoughts, which represents the mind and utilise the critical, analytical part of our cognitive apparatus.

Bringing this down to the individual level, we have all, I am sure, felt those times when there comes an urge and we cannot feel happy until it is attended. Mostly these are innocuous things, but it is worth looking at what has become a 'need habit' in a small way and seek ways to overcome it. For me, it is tea. I love a good cuppa and have a variety of different leaves and blends. There was once a time when I didn't take anything other than water. A whole ten years. Now, I have at least one day a week (usually a Monday, but not always) where I fast and take only water or milk. This not only ensures that an awareness of the desire for tea is tempered, but is also a healthy practice for the digestive system.

The point of this is not just to control my desire for tea, but in measuring this, it can bring up what else is a desire/driver in life. Again, there doesn't have to be anything intrinsically wrong with any given desire. Where the error comes is in thinking that because there is a desire, it must be acted upon.

We let our desire drive us, rather than taking hold of the reins and driving our desires.

Self-control and discipline are almost unheard of these days in the general run of life. In fact, the whole movement of society appears to be in the opposite direction. Let it all hang out, man! Okay, so society balances itself out, and each successive generation goes through something similar. In the end, all we can do, as individuals, is to seek to be the very best representation of our species that we can be.

This does mean setting some self-control and discipline. We need to reaffirm our life goals and personal standards and work diligently to manifest them. Given that we are habit-driven creatures let old, tired, damaging or limiting habits be substituted with other habits which are enlivening and focused towards those life goals. Build a desire pool which reaches for satisfaction in healthy and productive arenas.

Now, the flow of these posts is to look at 'goodness' at a personal level. To grasp a deeper meaning and purpose in the execution of our 'good acts'. It is hoped you have gleaned from the above that even these are driven by desire. The positive kind. Usually. Sometimes the desire behind the 'good acts' is not always as cut and dried. The clues as to why lie in others of the 'shatripuu', the six inner errors.

Next week, krodha; anger.



** one translation you don't see in this list is 'lust/lusty/lustful', which is what the majority of people understand the Kaama Sutra to be about. This is not the case; it is about anticipation and expression of physical desire, but always with spiritual awareness. Sheer lust, the beast-like part of our being is part of biology. The KS aims to encourage intellectual application and rise above the carnal. It as written knowing that Mankind must address these needs and therefore, let that be with intelligence and due care. (As you might expect, there are again a variety of Sanskrit words for lust and its conjugations - including one you have undoubtedly heard... "lola"...)

8 comments:

  1. YaYa thank you for the time and effort you have put into this very interesting post.
    Hugs HiC

    ReplyDelete
  2. wonderful post ~ creates a desire to 'be' ~ for me.

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't think there a right or wrong answer to this.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
  4. while reading this I thought about the Love here that is so selfish, there are more and more people killing their loved ones and then themselves because if they can't have them no one can... they do not know the true love, which puts others ahead of ourselves... about a year ago, a man that was abusive to his wife, went into the house and killed his wife and her best friend that lived next door, drove to the church 15 minutes away, and killed the pastor who had been counseling his wife. he did not kill himself but sits in jail. he said he loved her

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    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      Yes, Sandra, that is an example of the skewed, possessive, small letter love and we see it all the time. Most folk in it don't even realise how it has gripped them until they lose reason. Of course, there are some who are just 'mis-wired', as it were, but in most cases, it is a case of 'blindness'. Yxx

      Delete
  5. Just before I sat down to read this I had smelled the bowl of popcorn in my husband's hands. I had pulled a bowl from the cabinet and helped myself to 3 handfuls. Fulfilling a desire sparked by smell, not hunger. I sit condemned. Ugh. namaste, janice xx

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  6. Hi Yam - these are deep posts ... and I know I'm not giving them justice ... but I'll try and learn something ... I need more time in life. Fascinating to see and look at your chart ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete

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