Do you want to settle for what you think you want? Or do you want to have what you really want?
The flowery discourses of the ignorant proclaim delight in Vedic doctrine saying, “There is nothing else”.
Sound familiar? Our way is the only way?
Although this verse refers to the Vedas, the message is about religious absolutes in general, and also applies to ‘belief systems’, including those belief systems hidden in our own subconscious minds that were imprinted early in life and are now running on auto pilot.
Being of desirous natures, intent on heaven and rebirth as the fruit of action, they are addicted to many specific rites aimed at the goal of enjoyment and power.
Alternate translation (42-43):
The grandiose chatter of the unenlightened proclaim the beliefs of their religions to be exclusively correct. They are of desirous natures, intent on heaven or rebirth as the result of their good works. They are addicted to many specific activities and ceremonies to this end, but these actions are aimed at power for the purpose of attaining desires and the experience of enjoying them.
Spiritual paths that rely on beliefs may get you what you think you want for the short term, but they will not get you what you really want in the long term, the ultimate and lasting prize. Even Yoga itself is often misused in this way, but this is not true Yoga science.
Everyone’s primary life purpose is the same:
Union with God/Truth, liberation from rebirth, and eternal happiness.
Many spiritually-minded people are intent on the fulfillment of desires rather than union with God/Truth, which is the primary aim in life we all share (see verses 33-36 on life purpose). Many have even convinced themselves that because ‘all is God’, their desires must also be God, and that the pursuit of these desires is therefore a spiritual pursuit. But what they are chasing is just mental content. Desires are ideas in the mind acquired by the senses that have been judged as being desirable because of a corresponding experience of pleasure. Chasing them is chasing a phantom, and one cannot catch a phantom.
But one can reach union with the Absolute and endless joy. So I ask you: Why would anyone trade That for the endless task of trying to fulfill desires.
Please do not read into this that you should not have desires. Desires are inevitable. The issue is not about having desires, it is about pursuing them. In Surrender Meditation desires are turned over to God to either fulfill or eliminate.
As to power, you should understand that you already have unlimited power, so pursuing it is a waste of time anyway. If you feel powerless, it is because this is how you are experiencing life, not because you don’t have power. The feeling of powerlessness is not a lack of power but the experience of obstacles in the way of accessing it. This is also dealt with in Surrender Meditation. As to control, which is different than power, you can use self-control outside the meditation room to practice dharma.
I am that desire in humankind that is not contrary to
the Truth of how things really are (dharma).
— Bhagavad Gita
Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
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