My Desire to Become Desireless

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In almost all spiritual traditions, desire is seen as an impediment to happiness, the cause of suffering and illusion. Giving up desire is extolled to such a degree; it feels that enlightenment is nothing but achieving the state of desirelessness. But not wanting any desires, isn’t that a desire in itself?

I desire to become desireless. Isn’t this the grandest desire?

Every desire has a reward at the end of it. So ultimately, my being desireless equates to this: I tried fulfilling myself with desire, but since that didn’t work out, let me see if I can fulfill myself with desirelessness.

Take the example of Clare (name changed). Clare has been frustrated, miserable and unhappy with her material way of life. But she goes to an enlightened wise master who promises a state wherein there is peace, bliss and all her problems will finally melt away. To top it all that state is permanent. So she now desires to reach that state, the ending of all problems, the state of enlightenment or Nirvana.  To reach this state, she has to practice being desireless, as desire is the root of all suffering. And therein lies the trap.



It would be ironic if it wasn’t tragic enough to have kept seekers running in circles for years. Wanting a particular state of mind, be it desireless or becoming insanely rich, amounts to the same thing, moving away from what is. It’s an escape into a fantasy land. Every want is a movement from what is to what can be. Acceptance of the now and understanding that you are pure awareness can open the doors to profound wisdom and bliss.

I struggled with the concept of desirelessness for many years, trying to live a basic life, denying myself simple pleasures, hoping to find the ultimate state of enlightenment. Then one day, it suddenly dawned on me.

Desire has to be understood. Not shunned. Not repressed.

You have to be aware of it, without acceptance or rejection.  The silent observation of desire is like an explosion into eternity. Life is in the here and now. I was looking too far away, into the non-existent realms of desirelessness. In that very moment the conditioning of years came crumbing down. There was no more wanting to be desireless and no more wanting desires. With understanding comes peace.

Life is simple now. The division between “a better future” and present has dissolved. The present is the “blissful enlightened future” I was looking for. In this wonderful present awareness everything dissolves and only silence remains.

5 Responses


    Every word is true. I too am leading the simplest life possible without entertaining any desire and its fulfillment. What you said is correct. Desire has to be understood. Not shunned. Not repressed.You have to be aware of it, without acceptance or rejection.

    I am eating only the basic food, keeping only minimum possessions but find full satisfaction in the way I lead my life fully content. The desire to be a Self Realised person and its achievement itself is enough for this life time.

    • Rajiv Agarwal

      Anbukkarasi, leading a simple life in itself is beautiful. Your contentment is the direct result of your understanding your desires.

  2. WideAwake

    Wow, just wow. I know something is profound when I can physically feel it. This is one of those occasions.

  3. Jaswant Kaur

    “Desire is a want or something which we are seeking”.

    We as human beings have never ending desires. The mothers desire is always to keep her family happy. The rich people wanting more and more, the scientist in the research lab inventing and researching more and more things. Ministers, lawyers, doctors, CEOs, the middle class and the poor people, all are trapped in the cycle of Desire.

    What will happen to this desire of ours when we die? All burnt to Ashes.

    I think desire should be limited. Unhappiness is the result of desire and attachment to material things. A person can only be happy if he or she understands how to stop the desire, and that cessation will ultimately lead to what I call meditation, which can be seen in a real spiritual person

  4. Deepa Chawande

    I agree with all of you. First we have to understand where we are standing. When we will understand that we are walking on wrong path then only we can find or we’ll search the right path and we’ll get the right path only by meditation.

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