Venus, through millennia, has been the epitome of human desires.

A Zen story.

A young novitiate seeks the counsel of a much elder monk. ‘Sir, sensual desires plague me. I seek good food, though i know that a monk should live on unappetizing food. I seek a soft bed, though i know i must sleep on a hard floor. But, sir, these are insignificant compared to the lustful thoughts that keep me awake at night. It is not hunger or the hard floor, but the visions of beautiful women that keeps me awake. How do I overcome this lust and focus on my inner energy?’

The elder monk looked thoughtful. He scratched his beard and finally said, ‘Look. I am only eighty. I am still plagued by lustful thoughts. Perhaps, our abbot who is a hundred and twenty has some solutions!’

When seekers ask philosophers and scholars the same question, they are not as honest as this Zen monk. They pretend that they have solved this problem and tell us to look for the roots of desire. When you find the roots of desire you shall have no more desires, they tell you.

They lie.

We stop desiring when we stop breathing. Till then we desire to live. Till we breathe and til we live, we desire all that the mind body is naturally programmed to desire.

For many years, i along with thousands of others followed a man who said who had conquered all desires. We left this guru when we found that he was a fraud. There is no living saint who lives in his body mind, who has conquered desires.

Desires are the root of karma. How then do we overcome them?  Can we control desires?

We can’t.

We have two options. The first is to keep desiring and finding that they never get fulfilled. We can keep experiencing the pains and pleasures. This is the normal way.

The alternative is to realize the impossibility of realizing all desires. There are no good and bad desires. There are only desires that can be fulfilled and those that cannot be.  We can work towards these desires without expectations of success or failure.

This is the Way of Tao. This is the message of Krishna.

Desire, since you cannot not desire. Act, since nature programs you to act. Act without being obsessed by results and you shall not incur karma.