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Article LXXV: Ending Desire

Removal of desire is an important concept in Hinduism and Vedanta, and the Noble Truths of Buddhism convey that one can attain enlightenment only by ending desire. If one has no desire, then one cannot be disappointed by unfulfilled desire. With no disappointment, sorrow disappears revealing unwavering joy from within. In other words, desire binds one to the duality of transient happiness and sorrow, whereas ending desire unveils the eternal bliss of the inner Self. Removing desire is closely related to nonattachment, wherein one's bliss is independent from attachment to temporary objects or situations of the world. Detachment or ending desire allows one to exist peacefully and blissfully at all times in all places.


Katha Upanishad

The context of this scripture is a dialogue between Naciketas, a spiritual aspirant, and Yama, the god of death:

IV.1: The self-existent (God) has rendered the senses (so) defective that they go outward, and hence man sees the external and not the internal self. (Only, perchance) some wise man desirous of immortality turns his eyes in, and beholds the inner Atman.
IV.2: Children (inexperienced, ignorant souls) pursue the external pleasures (and so) they fall into the snare of the widespread death. But the wise do not desire (anything) in this world, having known what is eternally immortal in the midst of all noneternals.
IV.3: That Atman by which man cognizes light, taste, smell, sounds, touches and the sexual contacts, -- what is there unknowable to that Atman in this world? This is verily that (Atman thou hast wanted to know).

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
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