Our desires have to be understood. Likes and dislikes are a fundamental trait of all living beings. Just because you like something you should not keep indulging in it, till it harms you and ruins you. There are objects that are pleasure giving. But we can not blindly pursue till they hurt and ruin us. If we are in our senses we stop when pleasure starts leading to pain.
A foreigner descended upon a small village that was simple and did not boast of a factory or any of large machines . It was simple and poor but quite happy, peaceful and content.
The foreigner gathered to gather the villagers and spoke to them about their nearby town, where the people worked together in a large factory and earned good wages. Some of these men went to pubs and enjoyed drinks. Liquor was tasty. He made a few to actually drink it and inquired if they liked it and gave more. Some consumed a lot of alcohol and were dizzy. Later they went away He kept up this “introduction to alcohol sessions” on and off . And very shortly many in the village became alcoholic. The foreigner made money. This is the power of allowing desires to have free run. Controlling these deep seated urges, instincts, needs rigorous work. The understanding and deep effort to stop these instinctive desires like for food, for drink, for sex, is not easy.
By repeated practices and deep insights one begins to recognize and control them. So often in old writing they talk of person immune to heat and cold, pleasure and pain etc.
Suka, a young boy passed through a pond full of unclad young girls, frolicking and bathing. Suka does not even bother to look at them, but looks ahead to reach a very wise man, Janaka, to learn about spirituality! That was his upbringing.
Published in the November 2010 edition of Yoga & Total Health Magazine