Attachment To Desire

A second post by Dipanshu Mansingka from Hyderabad, India

As a student one is getting 4th rank in the class every time. While studying in the class one day this person gets a thought to come first next time. This desire to come first gives a pleasant sensation and he starts rolling into those thoughts to get more pleasant sensation, while the teacher is teaching. I will get a first rank, Principal will felicitate during annual event, I will get a bike as a gift from parents and then go along with my friend, etc. etc.

Now this person comes out of this rolling of mind into thoughts and starts working hard, concentrates in the class. When exams are over and the result is out, this person comes 2nd in the class instead of 1st. But this person does not find himself happy in spite of he being coming 4th in the class and 2nd at this time. This person had a desire and got attached to that desire, suppose he developed an attachment of 4  on a scale of 0 to 5, then this attachment makes one miserable equally on the scale of 0 to -5. If one does not look internally and observe sensation, would not be able to realize it.

Hence if one has a desire and works towards that desire/goal without attachment, would be able to do better gradually and enjoy the success gained, else one may succeed but may not be able to enjoy that success. The other harm which attachment to the desire can do that is one may start taking wrong / immoral path to achieve the desire. My father works as an electrical contractor, since year or two he is the assistant teacher and balanced his life with conducting one course every two months and sit one course for himself in a year. Many times he applied for government tenders and one has to be good in the calculations and the rates quote. Many people will quote 20% to 30% below tender price and then struggle to finish the work and make profits. This is where then one starts doing wrong or immoral things. If one knows to watch the sensation of his own, would realize I may be making profits and living, but internally I am not a happy person at the deepest of my mind, which does not allow the fountain of love/compassion to spring within.

Once I was listening to the interview of one of the biggest industrialist in India and owns a TV channel, also following Vipassana for more than 20 years. The question asked was to him that your channel had been 2nd in TRP and business, making good profits, what are your plans and will you make an effort to take it to 1st. He replied I need not have to be emotional about being 1st, if my channel is 2nd and consistently continues to be at 2nd, I would be happy with it.

In Nov/Dec of 1996, when the temperature is freezing in New Delhi, I had served a course within Tihar jail. There were about 100 prisoners, some drug edicts and some had been terrorist. There was pond with water in the center of this part of jail, where we lived along with students attending the course. By the 6th day of the course they used to feel so much of heat within that early morning 4 am they used to take bath with freezing cold water and come and say that we are not feeling cold. Neither they had fever, it was all the heat accumulated within due to past actions. During course they are not giving no new input to the mind, living in the closed campus and following silence with co meditator. As they were practicing Vipassana the thoughts due to old actions were coming at the surface and causing similar sensation, when that act was done, while the act was done, they were not knowing to look within. This realization makes one to unwind oneself and come out of the old habit pattern. By 7th and 8th day they felt guilty and started confessing in front of the teachers.

In 1997-98 I had a chance to serve the course in juvenile jail no. 5 of Tihar. Three courses of 3 day each were conducted for the inmates. At the start of the course the warden of the part of this jail mentioned to the teacher that he knows how to handle these kids and nothing is going to help them. After the course we returned back and the local teachers kept on visiting them from time to time for regular practice. The very same warden after about a year started mentioning that he could see the difference in them.

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