Chapter 10: We Are What We Do
The third was desire, lust, greed. Desire means the demand for some object. A desire for money, a desire for reputation.money and reputation exist outside oneself. There is even a more subtle desire which we do not normally understand. The sage calls it “sattva.”
A man has no desire for money, for reputation, but he wishes to be a good man - to be a saint, to be a sannyasin. This too is a desire. Although nothing will be added by it to you on the outside, yet this too is a lust - not for money but for religion. Desires are diseases. This desire, “I want to be saintly,” included; even though it is concerned with the inner.
A friend came yesterday and said, “I want to be initiated into sannyas - but the inner sannyas, not the outer. Because anything of the outside seems to be part of desire - even the outer sannyas.” The inner sannyas does not look like a desire - but it is a very subtle desire. It too is a desire. Whenever you want to become something, desire is bound to be there.
The sage says that if you get tied even with the desire for sattva, it is also a disease; even the desire to be good, the desire for inner purification, perfection, is a disease. This is interesting. These diseases need to be understood so that the inner perfection may manifest.
Now one more thing to understand: I told you about the seed; this example works to some extent, but it does not go very far. No example goes very far, and to stretch it beyond its limit creates problems. If a seed is satisfied with being a seed it will never become a tree, this is true. But that inner reality that man is, is already there. If he mistakes himself for something else he will not be able to realize this reality, nevertheless it is already there. What he is within is not something that he will grow into in the future, it is already present right now.
For example, there is a beggar who has the key to a treasure in his pocket. That treasure is available right now, the key is available right now, but the beggar has forgotten about the key, doesn’t remember it and continues to beg from dawn to dusk. He is so busy begging that he has no time to put his hands into his own pockets because his hands are always reaching out to other people. And hands which are reaching out to others can’t be put into one’s own pockets, they are always occupied in begging. His mind is always focused on others, so he finds no time to search within. Whatever time is available during the night he uses in counting and re-counting what he received from others. In the morning it is the same rush again. In the evening the same counting and re-counting.
Not only millionaires keep accounts, even beggars do it. And that is why the difference between a millionaire and a beggar is only quantitative, not qualitative; one has a small account and the other’s account is a little bigger, but the begging is the same.