5.Self-Restraint and the Nature of the Self : 4.
The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita :
Secondly, there is anxiety attending upon the desire to enjoy or possess the objects of sense. There is restlessness of mind before one comes in contact with the object of one's longing, distress regarding the possibility or otherwise of one's success in obtaining one's objective: "Will I succeed, or will I not succeed?" This is the agony and the anguish that attends upon the desire to come in contact with an object. But once the contact is established and there is a conviction that the object is under one's possession, there is another anxiety – namely, "How long will it be with me? I may be dispossessed of it." Because subconsciously we know that no object can be possessed by us for a long time, much less forever, there is a subtle, distressing feeling at the root of our personality, even during the process of the so-called enjoyment of the object of sense. So there is no unadulterated happiness even when we are apparently enjoying the so-called imagined happiness by contact of the sense of sensory objects. There is sorrow at the root of all things, even at the base of this apparent, momentary satisfaction. Such a joy is compared sometimes in our scriptures to the cool shadow that we may enjoy under the hood of the cobra. It is cool no doubt, and we also know many other things about it; such is this world. There is anxiety before, and anxiety during the so-called possession of the object, and we need not mention our condition after we are dispossessed of the object; we are in hell. "Oh, there is bereavement, there is loss and there is destruction. I am done for!" So, we were not happy earlier, we are not happy in the middle, and we are not happy afterwards. So in past, in present and future, desire keeps us in tender-hooks, though there is no joy in this world. Ye hi sparshaja bhogah dukhayonaya, parinama tapa.
There is also samskara-dukha, mentioned by Patanjali in one of the sutras. The impressions created by the fulfilment of a desire will be enough to cast us, hurl into rebirth, because the samskaras, vasanas, or the grooves formed in the mind by the erroneous notion that joy is in the object. These grooves will become conditioning factors of the future destiny of the individual, and they will go on playing the same tune like a gramophone record, so that we will never forget an earlier enjoyment. They will be harassing us even in our dream, and they can persist even after the shedding of this body. Rebirth is caused by unfulfilled desires. The frailty of this body and the fickleness of our social relationships are such that all desires cannot be fulfilled in the short span of life. Hence something always remains as a residue unfulfilled, which rockets forth our subtle body to that particular condition in space-time, where these unfulfilled longings can materialise; this process is called rebirth. Thus, the agony continues even in the future life – samskara-dukha.
To be continued ...