We grow up thinking what’s desired will always remain desired. We just learn that from experience. “Having ice cream is desirable and I will always want ice cream. Sex is great and I will always want it, as often as I can, as long as I can.” The desire may be temporarily satisfied, right after downing a pint of gelato, but tomorrow the desire is right back in me. Living in a consumption society only cements this further.
But my guru and other yoga masters have said that “All desires must be fulfilled before a soul can liberate.”
Then how will that ever come?
There is a fascinating story about a student of Swami Sri Yukteswar. The guru had seen that the young man’s life is one of discipleship and renunciation. But he could also see that the student had a long-standing unfulfilled desire for human love. One day Sri Yukteswar told him “Divine Mother will give you a blessing today.” As they were seated in a train, the guru instructed the boy to look through the window. At that time another train passed in the opposite direction, where the student saw a brief glimpse of a girl looking at him. Swami Sri Yukteswar says with that split-second encounter the disciple had forever fulfilled his desire for human love.
It’s quite a story. But if you’re like me, or pretty much anyone, you’ll read this and go “Yeah, right! Just a look and he never liked women again? Not possible!”
No, I didn’t believe this story, nor did I think desires ever go away. Until I experienced it that is, though not in such a dramatic way.
A few years ago I experienced a beautiful human love relationship with a beautiful soul. It had to end, however. Shortly after that, and following the usual phases of despair, anger, inquiry for meaning and purpose of life, I was guided into the spiritual path. I never felt that I had lost the love, even if it wasn’t on the physical plane anymore. I feel as if this was my first and last one, a love of my life, a desire that was beautifully fulfilled. I never did feel the need to add to it, or replace it with a new experience.
Most people are unable to conceive someone not having a desire for human love. The reason is simple. They have yet to experience their deepest love relationship that their soul seeks.
I myself, after feeling no interest in finding a new love relationship, worried that it might have been because I was still “not over” my first love, that I’m still attached. But now years have passed. I am certain that I’m not attached and more certain that I have no need or interest for human love. I feel that intuitively, a knowing beyond intellect.
So how has this fulfilling of such a beautiful desire occurred to me?
Today, the thought to write this blog came to me in a flash. The answer to the above question also came in a flash, within a few seconds.
In the Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda speaks of his many years of pain from losing his mother when he was only eleven years old. He tells us the story of Divine Mother’s voice one day coming to him and consoling him. “Her words brought final healing to my suppurating wounds,” he says. He speaks of a “final” healing, not the kind of temporary alleviation from pains, which most of us seek and experience. Rather than the passive and evanescent waiting-to-see-if-ego-is-satisfied kind of healing (like your mom giving you a toy to distract you from what you wanted originally) it becomes “final” with the power of active and utter conviction and internalization of this truth. The truth in that case was this: The love we receive from anyone is in reality God’s love coming through them. Therefore, what we miss in a lost loved one is in reality not lost, as we are one with the source of that which we miss. When this truth really sinks in for someone, beyond some mind idea, deep in their being, it becomes final.
I believe that a desire’s fulfillment, is just like a healing. It also becomes final if it is born of a true all-embracing realization of a truth, rather than a temporary ego satisfaction.
In most of our experiences, our way of satisfying our desires is from an ego-consciousness: bound by body, by mind, and by physical plane, like associating joy with the experience of stuffing an ice cream in our mouths. That kind of fulfilling desires never becomes final. It only prolongs the beast of a desire and reawakens even a bigger one.
I dedicate this blog to the love of my life, whose birthday is today, and whose love I’ll always have, and from which I’m forever free.