I wrote an article sometime back on keeping the mind pure. Link to that article is below:
This article will explain in the end why the sages told us to do that. But before we get to that here Is an interesting chat with one of my cousins. He does not believe that keeping the mind free of desire, lust and anger is good advice.
Cousin: interesting article
Cousin: but not sure if I agree with it
Cousin: keeping the mind free of desire, lust and anger is good. but if someone were to really do that, then how does that person remain a human being and not become like a robot
Me: Keeping the mind free is a means to the end of becoming enlightened. Once you are enlightened you are conscious of the universe or the divine acting through you
Think of yourself as a wave in the ocean. If you are an enlightened wave you will experience yourself as water and one with the ocean. The action of the enlightened wave will be as the ocean wills it.
You will definitely not be a robot
Cousin: but these emotions…all emotions are there for a reason
Cousin: its only when we let any of them become too much, that the problem arises
Me: The problem you are referring to is adjusting to society. Emotions are necessary for you to be a well adjusted person.
But in the end you will have to face old age, sickness and death. Only enlightenment or the quest for it can help you then.
By keeping the mind pure you are making the quest
Cousin: i’m looking at them purely from an evolution point of view. not religious or spiritual
Me: I’m talking spirituality. Emotions are a part of our evolution obviously
Cousin: desire and lust…are needed for procreation and continuation of the species. anger is needed for correcting injustices and to defend oneself. fear is a protective emotion…and so on
Me: Yes. Perfectly true
Cousin: if we were all to suppress these emotions…the species would come to a stop
Cousin: its just when people let any of these to overtake the others….that it becomes a problem
Me: Leave that to the ocean to decide. This is Kalyug and very few people take spirituality seriously
Cousin: so I suppose the thing to do is not completely suppress them…but to balance them
Cousin: I’ve not read the Geeta, but am sure these are answered there
Cousin: of whether to be totally free of these or to balance them
Cousin: I feel suppressing any emotion totally is unnatural
Cousin: striking the right balance is the right thing
Me: I cannot actually recall any relevant Shloka or teaching. Read the Gita if you want to find out
Me: Or you can post a question at Quora. Maybe some person will give an interesting insight
Cousin: Yes I’ll try that
Me: The Bhagavad Gita stresses on karma yoga as a means to keeping society going. But the emphasis is on doing your duty and not on desire to motivate your actions.
I don’t have much to say beyond this
Here is another chat today with him about the same subject.
Cousin: Because if you really look at ancient Indian mythology, it seems like the whole thing about suppressing desire and lust…are actually foreign concepts. Not there in truly original Hindu mythology
Me: I can point to the Bhagavad Gita. That is of course spirituality but it is contained in the Mahabharta which is mythology.
It is a question of skillful means depending upon what your goals are. If you are not interested in Moksha then you will not find suppressing desire etc relevant
Cousin: its not about being interested in Moksha
Cousin: see…non of the Indian Gods…were celibate
Cousin: None of the ancient rishis were celibate
Cousin: so where did this whole thing about suppressng desire and lust suddenly popup from
Cousin: besides…there are different versions of the Gita
Cousin: I feel its a corruption that crept in due to Christian influences where anyone saying that Christ was married….is blasphemed. And that Mary was a Virgin.
Me: Actually I read Gurcharan Das. He says that the four ends of life according to the Mahabharata are arth kama dharma and moksha
So yes there are viewpoints that accept desire depending on which stage of life you are in. Bhrahmacharya Grahastha and so on
Me: It was probably the Buddha (referring to Christian influence above)
Cousin: because Hindu mythology…does not have this whole thing about celibacy
Me: According to Das Hinduism needed a counter to Buddhism that stressed the monastic life with all that it implies. That is why the Gita stresses Karma yoga
Cousin: so then suppressing desire an lust…cannot be from there either (Referring to Hindu mythology)
Cousin: forget Gurcharan das
Cousin: I don’t go by these “intellectuals”
Cousin: better to use our own logic and critical thinking
Me: Yes there are four stages of life as I said earlier. Giving your whole emphasis to suppressing desire etc is only required for a monk or a person in the last stage of life that is Sanyasa
Cousin: so then using suppression of desire and lust as a universal goal for everyone to attain moksha is incorrect
Cousin: its only if you are in that particular stage of life…is it applicable
Me: Possibly. You don’t need to put full emphasis on it in other stages
Me: Interesting chat
My article wrote itself and I don’t need to add anything much. I will only say that according to Hindu philosophy our true nature is Sat-Cit-Ananda which means Existence-Knowledge-Bliss. Our true nature which is bliss is obscured by desire, lust and anger. If we keep our minds pure and free of desire etc then the reality which it (desire) obscures is revealed and we experience bliss.
I’ll end here. Please explore this site for more articles on Spirituality, Self Help and Politics. Please comment on the article if you liked it or even if you didn’t. Feedback from my readers keeps me going.