Baba says, ‘become ignorant of desire‘. As long as I am chasing after limited desires, I cannot be content.
For half a cycle, I forgot who I am and lost my inheritance to the vices and bhakti. When I lost all my self-respect, I tried to find it in limited things – roles, relationships, wealth, possessions. And sometimes, I did find a little bit of fulfillment when something did happen to go my way but by definition, limited accomplishments lead to limited fulfillment and so my chase continued.
Sometimes, it is the desire to be recognized, to be applauded. I seek approval from others, appreciation, a promotion. I did a good job, I think I deserve to be recognized and when I don’t, I feel disappointed. I did the work and my superior took the credit- that’s unfair. I am more intelligent, better qualified than him and yet, he is the one that gets all the praise. My contentment is conditional.
Sometimes, I seek satisfaction from a specific role or achievement. If I get this right, I will be happy. If I can achieve this milestone, I will be happy. My happiness inside is dependent on my achievements outside. Even after coming to Baba, I wait for someone to give me a written job description of what I need to do – ‘what is my role?’
Become ignorant of desire, says Baba. Your role is to be a peaceful soul.
You are the child of the Bestower, you have to be a donor…not a taker, He says. It is like I have become a beggar for approval and appreciation, for roles, it holds the power over me. My happiness is based on outcomes- if things don’t go my way, then I am not happy. I am constantly in a battle with the Drama- trying to ‘fix’ it.
One of the symptoms of discontentment is when I see myself engaged in chronic criticism of everything and everyone else -this job is not right, these people are wrong, the center is not being run correctly, this instrument is not right, the world is not right etc. I always find someone else to blame for my own discontentment. And yes, no one or no job or center is perfect- there are indeed things that are wrong but if it is a chronic criticism and judgment, then it is worth checking what it is in me that makes me feel the way I do?
Often it is the lack of deep spiritual attainment. When I lack a deep experience of God’s love, then I find myself looking outside for contentment. I am worrying about petty, mundane things- finding things and people wrong. I try to control everything because it is what is feeding me.
Nothing temporary can fulfill my deep desire for fulfillment or respect or belonging. Only permanent things – God, His knowledge- can fulfill me. That which is permanent is true. And so He says to me daily, ‘consider yourself a soul and remember Me alone‘. Remember who you are, whom you belong to and what you are here to do – you are a world server, He reminds me. And one who serves cannot be entangled in limited desires. Become wise to your own truth, He says and ignorant of desire.