Distinguishing desires of the mind from other desires- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:57

One’s wisdom stands firm by remaining unaffected in all situations, neither rejoicing nor lamenting whether encountering the pleasant or unpleasant. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 57  

When the mind stands unmoving in deep meditation (samadhi), union (yoga) is attained. When the mind becomes active again, this state is lost. Desires of the mind are the cause of mental activity.

Desires of the Mind
The effects of contact of the senses with their objects.

What goes into the mind gets there through the senses. We like something that is pleasant, and because we like the feeling it gives us, we desire it. These feelings are learned, but there are other kinds of feelings that are not. Distinguishing these will help us to distinguish desires of the mind from other kinds of desires.

Because of the association of desires with feelings, and feelings with emotions, many spiritual people believe that emotions must be done away with in order to do away with desires. This logic is understandable, but it is only logic, another function of the mind. Desires, feelings and emotions are related but are not the same. 


The experience of emotions.

Active configurations in the energy body corresponding to biochemical and neurological events in the physical body.


It is often thought that emotions are in the mind. The event-memory associated with an emotion may be in the mind, but the emotion is in the body.

A natural emotion is seated in the body and is something you will have as long as you have a body. Its primary purpose is survival. A natural emotion is a pure emotion.

A bear comes to the door. Fear produces adrenaline to handle the situation before you even know there is a bear at the door (the body is very smart).

A learned emotion is seated in the mind and happens in the body. Memories of events and the feelings they generated are held in the mind. The emotion this information evokes when revisited, triggered by a similar situation, happens in the body.

You are sitting in your high-chair eating an apple when your father comes in and engages in a heated argument with your mother. As an adult, even though you do not remember this event, you don’t like apples.

How to Know the Difference

When an emotion continues long after the event that triggered it, it is learned. When it goes away soon after the event is ended, it is probably natural.

Emotions remembered by the mind that reassert themselves under similar circumstances are learned emotions. Natural emotions come with the packaging, hard wired, so to speak. But there are also emotions that have been learned by the body, stored in body-memory.


The body has a mind of its own.

Desires of the body, such as its desire to survive, can generate learned physical emotions.

You live where there are bears, Uncle Henry bangs on the door, and bingo, adrenaline rush. There was no bear, but the body remembered the last time when it really was a bear and reacted accordingly.

It can be difficult to distinguish physical emotions from those that are mentally based, for when a physical emotion arises the mind will often come up with something to accompany it.

Physical emotions often happen to people during Surrender Meditation. The experience is one of having an emotion without any mental content. There is a definite knowing that the body is having the emotion apart from any mental association.

The other day, my chiropractor put his hands on my shoulders and gave me a short massage. I found myself in the midst of a physical emotion in which the body was about to cry. Looking closely at this phenomena, there was no mental content at all. The body was having its own emotional response to being touched. I was aware that the body was having sadness even though I wasn’t feeling sad but very peaceful. It was a very positive experience, and one that did not disturb the mind.

One can eventually become able to distinguish among learned, natural and physical emotions outside of meditation. The ability to do this requires experienced self-honesty and comes over time. But just knowing about it can accelerate the ability to distinguish desires of the mind from other kinds of desires by using this criteria:

Natural Emotions
Short Term, Event Related

Physical: Hard wired emotions designed in the best interest of the body’s wellbeing involving biochemical and neurological responses to real-time events.
Not related to Desires of the Mind.

Learned Emotions
Long Term Residuals

Mental: Stored memories, conscious and subconscious, of events associated with strong feelings trigger the same emotions under similar circumstances.
Directly related to Desires of the Mind.

Physical: Body-memories of past events superimposed on natural emotions trigger the same emotions under similar circumstances.
Not related to Desires of the Mind.

Desires of the Mind
All desires of the mind are learned

Because everything that gets into the mind gets there through the senses, all desires of the mind are sense-related and learned:

What feels good is desirable—positive desire: you want it.
What feels bad is undesirable—negative desire: you want to avoid it.


Most of the desires we experience on a day-to-day basis are of the mind. When a ‘want’ or a ‘like’ arises, see if you can determine its source. This is more helpful than trying to make it go away, even if you don’t find the answer. Eventually, because you are paying attention you will become distanced from the experience, and the desire itself will also become distanced, separated from you, and ultimately lose its influence.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to Truth),
Durga Ma

P.S.  When the same emotional response to the same or similar events occur traumatically or repeatedly or both, a ‘signature’ is recorded in the energy field of the body. This field is called the energy body, emotional body, or astral body. When only the physical body and mind are addressed in the process of changing ‘behaviors’ in order to change the brain, one may continue to experience great suffering. This is because the emotional signatures have not changed, and why it is so difficult to change unwanted patterns. This omission can leave a person feeling like ‘something is really wrong with me’ and resorting to denial out of desperation. The converse is also true: Just dealing with the energy is not the answer either.


This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.



When you stop chasing happiness you will know joy- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:56

He whose mind is free of the passions of desire, fear and anger is easy of mind in happiness or misfortune, and steady-minded, he is said to be a sage. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 56 

Alternate translation:

One who is not overly excited by happiness or unhappiness is free of desire, fear and anger. He is said to be a sage who thus finds his pleasure in equilibrium. 

In this one verse we are told what leads to wisdom and what can undo it.

A person who remains composed in any situation without resorting to suppression is free from the influences of desire, fear and anger, for they are the essential causes of the loss of a steady mind and equilibrium.

NOTE: The verse refers to someone who is never anxious or agitated, but it also applies to anyone in any situation in which they would otherwise be agitated and are not, without resorting to suppression. So one may have moments of wisdom without being a ‘sage’. And these moments can grow and multiply.

When you are not overly excited by happiness or unhappiness, you will not be inclined to chase one or avoid the other. You will be happy at times, and unhappy at times, but if you are not affected by either, they cannot cause agitation and your inherent joy can surface. Therefore it is said that the sage finds pleasure in this state.

Your inherent joy can arise
when you stop chasing happiness.

Being free of desire, one is free of fear and anger, for it is desire that begets these two—if there were nothing to lose, there would be nothing to fear, and if there were nothing to fear, there would be nothing to be angry about. One produces the other in serial order.

Desire is the fuel for fear and anger.

Desire, fear and anger are the Toxic Trio to the seeker of Truth. Fear appears when something you don’t want arises or threatens to arise. Anger appears when something that you have and are attached to is lost or threatened. Both fear and anger revolve around desires (wants and don’t wants). If you don’t care, you won’t have a reaction, and neither fear nor anger will arise.

Attaining Equilibrium

As long as there is a sense of doership at the core of the mind running things, one must contend with the desires of the mind. Though there may be other kinds of desires, these are the ones to look out for if we want to achieve and maintain wisdom and reach yoga samadhi.

The desires of the mind are at the root of the emotions that disturb one’s equilibrium, but it is not the emotions themselves that are the culprits, it is the agitation they can cause, and there is a way to deal with this.

I think it is fair to say that abandoning desires for happiness, and quitting fear and anger, are not easy tasks. So what shall we do?

We must place ourselves in the hands of That which is already free of such disturbances: Absolute God, Absolute Truth, the True and Absolute Self. Surrender to the Absolute in the meditation room puts us in the position of having abandoned the role of ‘doership’, and we can gain experience with this through its practice. Outside the meditation room, we can apply techniques designed to take the charge out of reactions and unwanted feelings. In time, union with God/Truth will overtake us and bring us the freedom and joy that we seek.

In the next installment, we will discuss how to go about distinguishing desires of the mind from other kinds of desires.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to That!),
Durga Ma

If you wonder how intuition fits into all this, see Simone Wright’s video on how to sort this out.


This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

Three Kinds of Happiness – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 36-39

Happiness & Inner Peace

Now hear from Me, Best of the Bharatas, the three kinds of happiness that are enjoyed through the repeated practice by which one reaches the end of sorrows.

  • Happiness (sukha) – ‘having a good axel hole’; easy, auspicious, pleasant, agreeable, gentle, mild, comfortable, happy, prosperous, virtuous.

This verse is saying that by the repeated God-practice Lord Krishna is teaching Arjuna (and us), one not only finds happiness and enjoyment, but reaches the end of sorrows.

Now He will tell us of three forms of happiness that arise as a result of this practice. In addition to the increased happiness one experiences in everyday life, it also applies specifically to the practice itself.

Those of you who are already engaged in surrender sadhana will be relieved to learn that states of unhappiness arising in your meditation are the overall effect of the purification this practice entails, and leads to a deeper, more lasting happiness. By knowing this, it is hoped that you will understand and stop worrying that you are doing something wrong, or that there is something amiss with the sadhana. Understanding this, your sadhana, and your happiness in everyday life, can only grow.  

37 — Sattvic Happiness
That which is like poison in the beginning and changes to nectar, that happiness is the tranquillity of one’s own self-knowing, and is sattvic.

Get to know yourself. You may be surprised!
Have a close look at yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised!

When in the God-practice of Surrender Meditation you begin looking inside yourself, it may be painful and even embarrassing. If you don’t experience this, you are holding yourself back from self-discovery. Even sages and seers have been through this; it is what got them where they are. But once you begin self-study with complete self-honesty, it won’t take long to get past it. Then you are on your way to realizing your True Self as divine, perfect and imperishable, and reaching that real happiness that is “the tranquillity of your own self-knowing.”

Your joy will be so much greater than your embarrassment, that you will wonder why it took you so long to get here, when this happiness is what you were looking for all along. Now you know where it is (in You), and how to access it.

38 — Rajasic Happiness

Get excited about yourself.
Get excited about yourself

That happiness which, through the union of the senses with their objects, is like nectar in the beginning and like poison in the end, is rajasic.

When your senses present you with nice things that you like, you feel happy. But this does not last, for while the Real You is eternal, all objects of sense in this physical-material world are temporal and subject to change. Even the sense organs themselves are in this world of life and death, whereas the Real You is beyond this, and eternal. So stop looking for happiness in the world, and instead, look inside.

With the regular practice of Surrender Meditation (God-practice), this will become clear to you, as your senses become introverted and separated from their organs and you behold miraculous things directly (without the aid of your mind or sense organs). This happens as a result of the passionate and exciting repetition of this God-practice. 

39 — Tamasic Happiness
That happiness which, from beginning to end, is self-deceptive and arises from avoidance and negligence, is tamasic.

One who does not care to look for the Real, and do what needs to be done in order to realize and attain it, is tamasic.

Kick back, chill out and pig-out
Kick back, chill out and pig-in.

The tamasic person never has any real happiness because he is self-deceived, a pretender, and content to remain so. He continues to avoid taking the trouble to wake up and seek Truth. He avoids this troublesome venture at all costs.

I have met a few people who have come to me for shaktipat because they had begun thinking about this, and sought to find someone who would take them to the end with one touch. No real shaktipat guru would do this. Such a thing would be a grave disservice to the seeker.

No one can take your journey for you. There is no way around it. You have to do the work. 

You may delude yourself into thinking that you already have happiness, but if you have not walked this road, you do not have happiness that will last. This is the prize awaiting you for taking this journey. It will keep you happily expectant and inspired with small bites of genuine happiness along the way. It is an adventurous journey that, no matter what arises, you will come to love. And you will thank the powers that be for getting you on this road to Happiness that never wanes.

When you have become truly enlightened, you will realize that you still have to walk the road to the finish line.

The Highest Happiness of Tamas

Another meaning of tamasic happiness for advanced practitioners of surrender sadhana is the sleep of Yoga (yoga nidra), and later, the darkness of the Absolute in nirbija samadhi. In both cases tamas has become the highest of the three gunas. (Remember that upside-down tree in chapter 15 ? This gives it a whole new meaning!).

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma