Symbols of the world's religions

               

THE NATURE OF CRAVING

Meher Baba

 
Craving falsifies the operation of imagination and presents the mind with the option between the alternatives of indulgence and repression, which prove to be equally deceptive in their promise of happiness. However, in spite of alternate and repeated disappointment in indulgence as well as in repression, the mind usually does not renounce the cause of unhappiness, which is craving.

Hence, while experiencing disappointment in repression, it is easily susceptive to the false promise of gratification; and while experiencing disappointment in gratification, it is easily susceptible to the false promise of purely mechanical repression.

This is like moving within a cage. The gateway to the spiritual path of internal and spontaneous renunciation of craving remains closed for those who have not the good fortune to be awakened by a Perfect Master. True awakening is the entering into the path of wisdom — which, in course of time, surely leads to the freedom and abiding happiness of life eternal.

Internal and spontaneous renunciation of craving is as different from mechanical repression as it is from indulgence. Mind turns to the mechanical repression of craving because of disappointment, but it turns to internal and spontaneous renunciation of craving because of disillusionment or awakening.

The need for indulgence or mechanical repression arises only when the nature of craving is not clearly grasped. When aspirants become fully awake to the inevitable bondage and suffering entailed by craving, they begin voluntarily to disburden themselves of craving through intelligent understanding.

The question of indulgence or repression arises only when there is craving. The need for both vanishes with the complete disappearance of craving. When the mind is free from craving, the mind can no longer be moved by the false promises of indulgence or mechanical repression.

However, it should be borne in mind that the life of freedom is nearer to the life of restraint than to the life of indulgence (though in quality it is essentially different from both). Hence for aspirants, a life of strict celibacy is preferable to married life, if restraint comes to them easily without undue sense of self-repression.

Such restraint is difficult for most persons and sometimes impossible, and for them married life is decidedly more helpful than a life of celibacy. For ordinary persons, married life is undoubtedly advisable unless they have a special aptitude for celibacy.
 

DISCOURSES, 7th ed, pp. 100-101
1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

               

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