Desire always leads to frustration, The Dhammapada, The Way of the Buddha, The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5
Desire always leads to frustration
Marx says: man is in suffering because of the economics structure of society. The responsibility is thrown on the economics structure of society. Hegel says: Man is suffering because of a wrong history, a wrong past. This is throwing responsibility on the god named “History”. And for Hegel, history was almost God: he used to write History with a capital H – for him history is the most determining factor. And to Freud, the unconscious is responsible. What can you do? You are utterly helpless.
All these people are saying that you are utterly helpless, you cannot do anything; you have to be the way you are, this is the only way you can be. You are a victim of great forces, against which you cannot win.
Buddha says: You can be victorious, but take the responsibility upon your own shoulders. It is your desiring mind that has been creating your lives. This wheel of life and death is your own creation. When for the first time you realize this, you are shocked, shaken-shaken to the very roots. But slowly slowly, you start seeing a great freedom in it. You start rejoicing that, “If I am responsible, then there is a possibility for me to change the whole pattern.”
It is desiring, always desiring, projecting yourself into the future, that is creating your wheel of life and death. And you are crushed between these two rocks: life and death. You have to be free from life and death.
That is Buddha’s meaning of nirvana: to be free from life and death, to be free from desire. The moment you are free from all desires… remember, I repeat, all desires. The so-called religious, spiritual desires are included in it, nothing is excluded. All desires have to be dropped because every desire brings frustration, misery, boredom. If you succeed it brings boredom; if you fail it brings despair. If you are after money there are only two possibilities: either you will fail or you will succeed. If you succeed you will be bored with money.
All rich people are bored with money. In fact, that’s how a rich person is known to be really rich – if he is bored with his money, if he does not know what to do with it. If he is still hankering for more money he is not yet rich enough. If you succeed, you are bored, because the money is there but there is no fulfillment with it. All those illusions that you had carried for so long – those illusions for which you had suffered so much, struggled so much, staked so much… Your whole life has gone down the drain because of those dreams that when you have money you will be fulfilled. But when you have it suddenly see the pointlessness of it: the money is there but you are as poor as ever – in fact more, because, in contrast to the money, you can see your poverty more clearly.
If you have money, you will know the misery of it; if you don’t have money, you know the misery of not having it. Either way you suffer. Desire brings suffering – success or no success, desire brings suffering. But you go on desiring in the hope that it may not be so with you.
Remember, life allows no exceptions: its rules are universally valid. Whatsoever is true for me is true for you, whatsoever is true for Buddha is true for you. Truth is the same! You cannot bribe truth, you cannot persuade truth to be a little different for you. Truth is neutral; it is not a respecter of persons. It is like gravitation: it does not care whether you are rich or poor, famous or notorious, known or unknown. If you go against the law of gravitation you will have a few fractures. Gravitation will not consider that you are the president or the prime minister of a country, or a beggar; it makes no distinctions. And the same is true about inner laws.
Buddha discovered one of the most fundamental laws: that desire is always frustrating. Even though you succeed in achieving your goal, you will be frustrated.
It is because of this that America is now the most frustrated country in the world. They have succeeded: they have created affluence, they have created richness – about which humanity has been dreaming for centuries – and they are more frustrated than the Indians.And India is poor, starving, yet India is not in such frustration as America is. And the reason is, when you are poor and starving you can hope that tomorrow things will be better, but when you are rich and you have all that you can imagine, you can’t hope. Tomorrow can’t be better – it is already better! Seeing that you have all that you need, what more can happen tomorrow? At the most you will have a little more money – but if this much money cannot help, a little more is not going to help. You have two cars – you may have four: the changes are going to be only quantitative, and quantitative changes are not real changes.
The poor person thinks, “There will be qualitative changes when I am rich.”He can hope, and through hope he can desire.
Hence I say again and again that before this world can become really religious it has to become very rich. It is not an accident that Buddha was the son of a king. All the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas were kings, and all the avataras of Hindus – Rama and Krishna… were kings. It can’t be just coincidence. Why only kings? Why have beggars and poor people not become buddhas? The reason is simple: the poor person can still hope, the rich person has no hope.
When hope disappears, desire is seen in its nudity. Hope keeps on hiding desire in beautiful garments
Buddha says… this is his first statement after his enlightenment. The moment he became enlightened, the morning he became enlightened, with the last star disappearing, this was his first utterance, tremendously pregnant. He looked at the sky; the sun had not yet risen and the last star had just disappeared. He was as empty as the other sky. And this was his first declaration to existence – not to anymore in particular.
He says, “I have seen the secrets of desire. It is desire that has been creating new bodies, new minds for me, new bodymind mechanisms for me – and I have seen it. Now it will not be possible for it to create any more trouble for me.”
The moment you see the cause of your trouble, the trouble disappears – and the cause too. Seeing is transformation. To know is to be liberated.
Osho, From the book ‘The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5’