In desire I am discontented, and I will remain discontented until my demand is fulfilled. If the demand is fulfilled, then there will be contentment. So this means that my contentment is conditional; if one of my conditions is met, I will become contented. That is why a man who is full of desires is never content: his conditions are never fulfilled. By the time one wish is fulfilled, twenty-five more have been born. The fulfillment of each wish gives birth to new wishes.
The man who longs becomes content because he is contented in the first place. There is no way to make him discontented. He is happy with what he has. A longing is being born out of this contentment – to be even more content. So remember, it is being born out of contentment and when this longing is fulfilled he will become even more content.
It is necessary to take into account one more difference: desire is never fulfilled, but longing is – because the minute a desire is fulfilled, it will generate ten more, different types of desires. A desire is self-generating. But longing is like a barren woman who cannot bear children. When longing has been fulfilled it does not go on reproducing.
Understand another difference: in desire there is always a pull towards the outer, towards objects. It may be towards wealth, towards fame, towards status, but there is something outside which is pulling you. So the mad outer race is born through desire. Longing is also a pull, but towards the inner. It is also a race, but it does not take you away from yourself; on the contrary, it brings you closer to yourself.
In the dictionary they have identical meanings, but in the book of life the meanings are very different. India was able to discover a word like abhipsa, longing, because we have not had only ordinary wishes, we have wished for some extraordinary things too. That kind of wishing is exactly the opposite of desiring. That is why we have had to create a new word – abhipsa.
The sutra is:
Desire power ardently.
Desire power ardently. So it is necessary to understand the second point which relates to power. There is one type of power which is gained through outer means: you are powerful if you have wealth, you are powerful if you are armed with a sword. If there is strength in your body you are powerful, if you are wealthy you can purchase someone, armed with a sword you can make someone bow down to you. But by yourself you are not powerful. The power is in the sword, and if the sword breaks you become impotent. Power resides in your wealth and if that wealth is lost you become weak. A politician derives his power from the people who vote for him. Just by their not casting a vote his power disappears.