In India two languages have existed in the past. One was called Prakrit – prakrit means the natural, unevolved, raw, crude, used by the people – and the other was called Sanskrit. Sanskrit means refined, cultured, evolved, deliberate. That was used only by the intelligentsia, by the brahmins. Hence Sanskrit has many significant clues. It is rooted in great insights.
For example, this same word being used for both desire as such, and for sexual desire, has a tremendously important message in it. All desire is basically sexual desire; that is the message in it. Desire as such has the flavor of sexuality in it, and you can observe it. This understanding is based, rooted in great observation. A man who is mad after money – watch his behavior, his being, look into his eyes, and you will be surprised that he loves money in the same way somebody else loves a woman or a man.
Now psychologists have performed a few experiments. They have made a deck of cards, one hundred cards, ordinary playing cards. Inside the pack there are just two or three cards of naked women. They give you the whole pack, shuffled in such a way that the psychologist himself is not aware where the cards are which contain the pictures of naked women. But he goes on watching the eyes of the person who is looking at the cards, who goes on looking at cards. When he comes to a naked woman his eyes suddenly change. His pupils become big; that is automatic. He is not aware what is happening, but immediately his pupils become so big, they want to take in the naked woman as much as possible. They open all the doors.
The same happens with people who are mad after money, money maniacs. Seeing a hundred-rupee note their pupils become immediately big. They may not be interested in a woman – and women are aware of it, hence so many ornaments, beautiful saris and all kinds of arrangements for these foolish people. They may not look at the face of the woman but they will be immediately interested in her necklace. They may be immediately interested in her earrings, her hair clip; if it has a diamond, a big diamond, they become interested in the diamond, and via the diamond they become interested in the woman.
Their sexuality has become perverted, it has become focused on money. This is also the case with power-hungry people, those who are after political power, those who want to become presidents and prime ministers and governors. Just seeing the chair of the prime minister is enough and their whole being is in a state of ecstasy, in a state of orgasmic joy. Just seeing is enough. That is their goal.
Buddha is right to use the same word for both. Hence, the misunderstanding in translation. The translator has thought that he is talking about women, so he translated kama as: While a man desires a woman, his mind is bound as closely as a calf to its mother. In fact, Buddha does not mention women. What he is trying to say is: While a man desires, his mind is bound as closely as a calf to its mother. Any desire is a bondage.
Desire as such is a bondage, because when you desire, you become dependent on the other, on the desired object. Whether it is a woman, money, a man, power, prestige, it does not matter – it is desire, and desire brings bondage. Why?