Birth of Desire, Misery & Maya – A Yogic perspective

Have you ever wondered what brings us misery?  Why do we so often get disheartened and become sad and even go into depression and have sleepless nights?  Many of us get dependent on some pills or anti- depressant, drugs or even suffer from insomnia. Let us try and look into and understand the root cause of all the miseries which we all go through from time to time and generations after generation.

In order to understand this we need to understand what MAYA is. Maya is the conditioning nature of the personality, character, mind, emotions and body. Everything that has form, quality and name is an offshoot of maya. Maya is the controller of the created multiverse.

As individual beings, we identify with this aspect of maya through our senses. The sense object represents maya and the senses represent us. Senses are responsible for action and sense objects responsible for the creation of DESIRE. When the association takes place between our sight, our vision, our sensory organ and the object, a desire takes birth at that time. For example: Our eyes see a flower on a plant, the eyes are one sensory faculty and flower is one object. As association takes place we wish to acquire that flower and many times in that drive we will go pluck the flower from the plant. Therefore, sense object outside represents the desire and the senses represent our effort and connection with sense object.

Whether human or animal, insect or reptile, in all life forms the senses interact with sense objects continuously. There is always a movement, of desire and an effort to fulfil that desire which crops up and becomes predominant in the human mind. Desire in action, sense objects and sense always go together.  Desires are continuously pregnant. Desires give birth to Vrittis: something which comes continuously to our consciousness and evokes a particular response, behaviour, mentality within us. This craving, this desire, influences the entire behaviour of the mind and creates an imbalance in the mind.

The identification with desires and sense objects lead to MISERY in form of frustration, sadness or anxiety, in simpler words: When a man thinks of the object, the attachment to them arises, from attachment desire is born, from desire anger arises, from anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from the destruction of discrimination he perishes.

The world is only a place of sensory gratification. We can go to cinema to please our eyes and ears and go to the restraint to please our taste buds. While watching a movie we identify with the actors, we cry and laugh with them. This is sensory pleasure. This is maya- the way of the world. Sensory gratification only leads to restlessness, confusion, disorder and dissatisfaction all finally leading to misery.