This weekend was different – A city which never sleeps was tucked away in complete silence. As Arnab Goswami goes on with his marathon coverage of the demise of Mr. Bal Thackeray , the TV screen looks as if someone has poked a huge beehive, as millions of people take to the streets to bid The Man a final goodbye.
Since I had lot of time today , I happened to speak with a old intelligent friend of mine, one of those few people I like to debate with – and somehow we got drifted into a mini debate about “Materialism versus Spiritualism” . In his attempt to score a run, he made a statement (good one) ...Which got me thinking --- “Every man of desire is silenced by the truth of death.”
After the call, a thought crossed my mind – Is death the end of desires, or end of desires – a death.
There was a period in my life , where I had chosen the easiest way of living – The Mode of denial . From Art of Living , to giving up colors as preached by Brahmakumaris. On comparatively lesser extremist days , I was also amongst those who would commonly misuse and abuse the word – materialistic . I did it because, it was the easiest excuse to quickly suppress any inherent need of achievement. Denial of need is denial of effort, and hence it’s one of the most popular concepts. However as I stepped out of that world, I have started to believe firmly – To desire is To Exist.
We all are pretty much a product of desire. To start with, we were born because of someone’s desires. As a child we desire love , as a student we desire marks, as an employee we desire salary hikes, as a businessman we desire profits, as a politician we desire power, as a parent we desire a “desirable” child, as a old man we desire respect . Even saints desire "moksha"....
The simplest meaning of materialism is attachment. Whether it is to money, life , urge for affirmations and admirations, performance appraisals, power, cars, promotions, business profits, it still is under the umbrella of “being material”. Now most people have issues not with being materialistic, but accepting that they are one. The reason is, we are somehow conditioned to believe – it’s not the right thing to do. The ones who condition us are also the ones who lived in complacency, fear and denials.
I asked myself a simple question - aren’t all religions of the world and spiritual schools propagated to fulfill their desire of acceptance in the world? Aren’t rallies of Kejriwal and Anna Hazare a product of their “desire” to do good for the nation? Aren’t Dalai Lama’s efforts for preserving human rights in Tibet, a desire to protect his people? Don’t we all argue to satisfy our desire to win an argument? Infact as I am writing this blog, I have an inherent desire to put my thoughts across.
Desires need not be destroyed, denied or suppressed. It only needs to be purified, accepted and be channelized for someone’s good. We all are men and women of desires and it’s perfectly all right to be so. I believe – Spirituality and Materialism is not mutually exclusive. In fact the fundamental of being spiritual is to be in “a state of awareness” and Acceptance is the first step towards awareness.
If there is a divide, it’s only of one type – The ones who can accept and ones who can escape. I am proud of my desires and for me its acceptance is existence.