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Two steps to dropping Moha (desire complex) PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

Satsangatve nissangatvam
Nissangatvey nirmohatvam
nirmohatvey nischaltattvam
nischaltattvey jeevanmuktih

Bhaj Govindam (9)


We examined in our last column how satsang can lead to non-attachment (nissang or anasakti). Awareness is the key. Shankaracharya then says that nissang or non-attachment leads to dopping of moha (let us call it desire-complex) Let us try to understand this part today.

What is the starting point for attachment and how does it progress? Krishna has dealt with it in much more detail in verses (shlokas) to come but let us try to keep it simple here today. What brings on attachment? The link is the thoughts. You are walking along and see a beautiful girl standing by the roadside dressed in a bikini. She is just waiting for a bus. You look at her and that look is no different than looking at a flower blooming or a river flowing. But, then a thought goes by in your mind. The thought may be whatever but this is the first step to attachment. The thought says that she is beautiful. It may be a very simple and benign thought and it may be true as well. Now you are identified with this simple and benign thought that this girl is beautiful. The next thought comes in and that is ‘why not try to make a contact.’ The cascade of thoughts starts and before you know it your desires are catching roots. You are now drunk and intoxicated with the thought that you want her at any and all costs. This is moha (desire comples) at its peak. What happens next is a discussion for another column. But for now let us understand that this moha clouds the judgment overshadows the intellect. Clarity is lost. If there is obstacle in achieving this desire, anger and frustrations follow.

We examined in our last column the similarity of alcohol intoxication with the intoxication of moha. Let us try to take it a little further. The thought comes to the mind that why not have a glass of wine. A glass of red wine a day after all prevents heart disease. So far this thought is benign and is for a good reason. I get identified with the thought and get a bottle of chardonnay. I get a company and we are having fun. The wine in the bottle disappears and we get another one and then another one and so on. The mind is clouded and judgment is impaired but we go on drinking. Suddenly the alcohol has taken over. Now, I drink everyday and who cares about where the money comes from and who suffers because of it. Of course this leads to physical illness and what not. We all know the drawbacks of an alcoholic.

But an alcoholic does not understand it. He is confident that he can drive home and can drive with arrogance. There is fog outside and this drunken person is driving with his confidence. And it will be a miracle if he does not meet with an accident. This is so clear to all of us. And it is clear because most of us are not living a life of an alcoholic. But, if we were to live in a society of drunken people, these alcoholics will judge our normalcy. They will conduct a research. Ten non-drunk persons have to drive on the road where everyone else is drunk. And then the incidence of accidents will be compared. We all know what the research will show. There probably will be no statistical difference.

That is what is happening in our lives every day. We are all living intoxicated with this moha. We are all walking with a little anger, a little jealousy and a little frustration in our life arising out of our deep-rooted desires. There have been a few awakened ones like Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira, Shankaracharya, Osho and others in our lives. They have been trying to shape us up, but we instead have been putting them on our pedestals and judging from the accident rates on our parameters. We can measure body temperatures by thermometers. I wish we had an instrument to measure our intoxicated states that we live in. I went to India once from England. My son was only 2-3 years old and he could not remember the name of one my cousin brothers. He started calling him angry-face-uncle. All of us carry some burden around and that reflects in our faces. Perhaps, all children notice these faces, but most keep quiet because they have to be politically correct to survive.

Even when we are drunk by alcohol or intoxicated by moha (desire complex), there is still a little awareness that can be touched by us or these awakened people. They can shake us and tell us some techniques. And, Shakara here gives us this beautiful yet simple technique of four steps to samadhi. He tells us to start from the starting point of attachment, the thoughts. Just become aware and do not get identified. Become a witness. Bring awareness to your being. Now you are in satsang. This will lead to the recognition that you are and you always have been non-attached. The center has never been maligned. The atma is always untouched. The body may have suffered from the ill effects of alcohol or that of the desire-complex, but the atma has always remained unaffected. This recognition is great, but it is just the staring point.

Osho desciribes this technique beautifully as follows:
“The river is flowing - don't push it! There is no need. It is flowing by itself. You just wait on the bank and let it flow. If you are courageous enough, then drop yourself in the river and flow with it. Don't swim, as swimming means fighting - just float.”

Just let the thoughts flow. There is no need to get identified or attached to it. Become a witness.

By and by the effects of intoxication has to disappear as well. We have realized that alcohol was bad. There is no more drinking. But the effects of alcohol withdrawal and what not have to go as well. The desire complex has been intoxicating us for such a long time. It has been with us for many lives. It is not just going to disappear. Samskars help here. And this is where practice (abhyas yoga) helps. Keeping the flame of awareness burning works. There may be times when we fall down and go back to old habits. But, meditation techniques of satsang will help.

The other technique to witnessing is to use the same technique of thought identification to good thoughts. Instead of getting attached to a beautiful girl in bikini, we can get attached to Kali Ma (Goddess Kali). And this eventually may lead to the same place of non-attachment and dropping of the desire complex moha. This is also satsang and it works too. Who should follow which technique will depend on their personality types.

Satsang brings the recognition of non-attachment. Awarenss to the thoughts (the first step to attachment) is one way. Getting attached to good thoughts is another. They both when practiced over time lead to dropping of moha (desire complex). And dropping of moha for the first time leads to clarity of mind (nischhal tatva). We shall examine the next line of Shankara, “Nirmohatvey nischaltatvam” in our next column.

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