Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi - Should we Suppress or Satisfy the Desires and Vasanas  (Read 6546 times)

ramana_maharshi

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Question : What is the best way of dealing with desires and vasanas with a view to getting rid of them - satisfying them or suppressing them?

Ramana Maharshi : If a desire can be got rid of by satisfying it, there will be no harm in satisfying such a desire. But desires generally are not eradicated by satisfaction. Trying to root them out that way is like trying to quench a fire by pouring inflammable spirits on it. At the same time, the proper remedy is not forcible suppression, since such repression is bound to react sooner or later into a forceful surging up of desires with undesirable consequences.

The proper way to get rid of a desire is to find out `Who gets the desire? What is its source?' When this is found, the desire is rooted out and it will never again emerge or grow. Small desires such as the desire to eat, drink, sleep and attend to calls of nature, though these may also be classed among desires, you can safely satisfy.

They will not implant vasanas in your mind, necessitating further birth. Those activities are just necessary to carry on life and are not likely to develop or leave behind vasanas or tendencies. As a general rule, therefore, there is no harm in satisfying a desire where the satisfaction will not lead to further desires by creating vasanas in the mind.


Source: http://bhagwan-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.com/2009/02/ramana-maharshi-should-we-suppress-or.html


Subramanian.R

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Dear Prasanth,

Nice post.  Forceful suppression of desires and vasanas will spring forth
more virulent desires and vasanas.  The best way is to constantly question
"To whom these, to whom these?"  Devaraja Mudaliar once asked Bhagavan:
I have some desire, which is a good one, like wanting to eat mango fruit.
Is it bad?  Bhagavan Ramana said:  "When the fulfilment comes of its own
accord, you enjoy it, no harm.

Perhaps my understanding is that simply desires like eating an ice-cream
is not producing any vasanas.  Only desires that sow the seed of vasanas
are dangerous.  But these vasanas are only in respect of morbid desires,
like stealing someone else's money, unlawful sexual indulgence etc.,


Arunachala Siva.
     

Japo

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The proper way to get rid of a desire is to find out `Who gets the desire?
Should one then turn within and inquire: 'Who am I?' or should one try to observe the relationship between the desire and the I?

and one more thing, are desires essentialy thoughts?

ramana_maharshi

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Japo garu,

I think in this forum Udai and Subramanian garu discussed in great clarity regarding types of thoughts.

I will past them here for your interest.

Different types of thoughts(Vritti) according to Scriptures

Vritti means thoughts.

Mind has two faculties [or read it thoughts are of two types] : ahamkara Vritti, idamkara vritti.

Ahamkara Vritti means "I" thought and related modifications.Ahamkara vritti is identification with a particular notion in mind.

Suffering is Ahamkara vritti.

Idamkara Vritti means "This" thought. So when i see a rock, i get this thought.

Idamkara vritti is modification that just shows what is.

Example: If i see a tree the corresponding thought arises in mind. This is idamkara vritti.It just tells us what is.

Pain is idamkara vritti.

Ahamkara vritti's non presence is required. but idamkara vritti is basic necessity for us to function, talk, speak etc.

Pure Ahamkara Vritti is there even in Jnanis (suddha manas) because,idamkara vritti is not possible without Ahamkara vritti.

More Over Ramana Maharshi says

Small desires such as the desire to eat, drink and sleep and attend to calls of nature, though these may also be classed among desires, you can safely satisfy. They will not implant vasanas in your mind, necessitating further birth. Those activities are just necessary to carry on life and are not likely to develop or leave behind vasanas or tendencies. As a general rule, therefore, there is no harm in satisfying a desire where the satisfaction will not lead to further desires by creating vasanas in the mind. (Day by Day with Bhagavan, 12th April, 1946)


ramanaduli

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How we can justify whether the desire may not lead us to vasanas. Eating and drinking is unavoidable because we have to keep this body alive. But sometimes
a small desire may turn a stuburn desire which becomes vasanas.
So while eating also we should practice the vichara marga then we can observe the different in between necessity then which becomes habit and becomes a
desire then slowly it turns vasana. Many times the desired smell makes happy on the other hand the smell we never likes makes us unhappy.

Ramanaduli




ramana_maharshi

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Yes Ramana Maharshi says to eat without ego.

Also moderation in food is very much necessary and as far as possible likes and dislikes towards particular food should be avoided and better to avoid salt,garlic etc which increases passion.

As known ramana maharshi used to make a ball of the vegetable, chutney,soup, etc. and then mixes it with rice and eats. In the course of the conversation one day, he said, “It would be more tasty to eat the rice with only one dish instead of so many.

On another occasion he said, “What is taste? It is what our tongue tells us. We think that taste is in the food itself, but it is not so. The food itself is neither tasty nor not tasty; it is the tongue that makes it so. To me no taste is pleasant or unpleasant, it is just as it is.” Although Sri Ramana was an excellent cook, took great care in the preparation of the meals and did not tolerate any carelessness on the part of the cooks, the pleasure of eating seemed to mean nothing to him.

More Over in Bhagavad Gita it is written

Ch18 Text 51-53

Being purified by his intelligence and controlling the mind with determination, giving up the objects of sense gratification, being freed from attachment and hatred, one who lives in a secluded place, who eats little and who controls the body and the tongue, and is always in trance and is detached, who is without false ego, false strength, false pride, lust, anger, and who does not accept material things, such a person is certainly elevated to the position of self-realization.


amiatall

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If there is a fasting of the mind, anything other does not matter.
Avoiding this or that is from where? Where does all the "do this and to that in order to be this" comes from?
All is the mind. Thus, if mind is not given food*, the necessity for controlling externalities will cease.

*food - the sense of controller, thoughts.

Subramanian.R

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prasanth and others have given detailed replies.  Hunger and thirst have to be
satisfied.  But here, Bhagavan has said moderation is the key word.  Regarding
sex, Bhagavan never recommended compulsory celibacy, without marriage.  One
can marry, and live happily.  No harm.  Only excess in anything is abhorred by
Bhagavan Ramana.  Annamalai Swami was asked to distribute the sweets brought
by someone.  Everyone took one piece, including Annamalai Swami.  Finally Annamalai
Swami found one piece remaining and he went aside and took it.  Bhagavan knew it
and chided him.  The second piece of sweet is desire and it happened due to hidden
vasanas.

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Yes. What srkudai says is correct.

In the Hill, once Bhagavan and a few devotees who were with Him, had some cold rice.
One devotee said that it would have been better if they had some salt.  Bhagavan
Ramana said: Today you ask for salt.  Tomorrow you will ask for a piece of onion or
green chilly.  Third day, you shall ask for a pickle.  There is no end to mind's
asking more and more tasty food.

Arunachala Siva.   

ramana_maharshi

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Yes Subramanian you are right.


Whole incident goes as follows :-

19th August, 1946

“When I was in Virupaksha Cave, Sundaresa Iyer used to go out into the town for bhiksha and bring us food. At times, there used to be no curry or chutney. People to eat were many while the food obtained was limited. What were we to do? I used to mix it into a paste and pour hot water over it to make it like gruel, and then give a glassful to each,and take one myself. Sometimes we all used to feel that it would be better if we had at least some salt to mix with it.

But where was the money to buy salt? We should have had to ask someone for it. If once we begin to ask for salt, we would feel like asking for dhal, and when we ask for dhal, we would feel like asking for payasam and so on. So we felt that we should not ask for anything, and swallowed the gruel as it was. We used to feel extremely happy over such diet. As the food was satvic, without spices of any kind, and there was not even salt in it, not only was it healthy for this body, but there was also great peace for the mind.”

“Is salt also one of those things that stimulates rajas,(passion)?” I asked. “Yes. What doubt is there? Is it not said so in one of the granthas (books)? Wait, I will look it up and tell you,” said Bhagavan. “Isn’t it enough if Bhagavan says so? Why a grantha?” I said.

Not only do we not give up salt, but we always feel that chillies also are necessary for taste. That is how we have our rules and regulations about our eating habits. Great souls eat to live and serve the world, while we live to eat. That is the difference. If we eat to live, there is no need to think of taste. If we live to eat, the tastes are limitless. And for this purpose, we undergo ever so many trials and tribulations.

Source: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam VOLUMES I, II & Letters from and Recollections of Sri Ramanasramam By SURI NAGAMMA Translated by D. S. SASTRI