Question: How can we willingly throw off our desires?

Sri Chinmoy: Right in front of you God places an ocean of light. Then He shows you that it is composed of countless tiny drops. All the tiny drops are so beautiful because they are all filled with light. A few minutes later God shows you an ocean of darkness. That ocean is also composed of countless little drops. So God is giving you the capacity to observe the countless drops in the ocean of darkness and ignorance and also the countless drops in the ocean of light and beauty. Now you have to decide which ocean you want to enter.

In the Ramayana, Ravana was the most powerful hostile force, but under him were many lesser hostile forces. The ocean of darkness is like Ravana, and its tiny drops are like all the hostile forces under him. If you enter into the darkness-ocean, you will see that each little drop is trying to devour you and destroy you. At the same time, the commander-in-chief, the darkness-ocean itself, is also trying to destroy you. And for the darkness-ocean to devour you is easier than the easiest.

But if you enter into the ocean of light, you will see that each drop is only trying to feed you. Each tiny drop is like a little child giving you food. The bigger drops are giving you nectar. And the ocean itself, like the mother or father, is feeding you abundantly. So one ocean is trying to kill you and all its children are also trying to kill you. The other ocean is only trying to feed you with affection and love.

Each thought that you have is like a tiny drop in either the ocean of darkness or the ocean of light. If it is an aspiring thought, it is trying to feed you with affection, sweetness and love. If it is a desire-filled thought, it is only trying to bind you, blind you, capture you and devour you. You have to use your wisdom, which is found inside the heart. If you do not have wisdom, then at least use your intelligence, which is inside the mind. Each time a thought comes, observe it with your wisdom or intelligence. Ask yourself, "Is this thought going to bind me or make me free? Does this thought embody purity, humility, sweetness, affection, concern and sympathy, or does it embody all the negative qualities? Is this thought going to help me make progress or stop me from making progress?" The answer has to come directly from you.

Once you decide whether a thought is a good thought or a bad thought, then you have to act. If you see that a thought is good and aspiring, if you see that it is trying to feed you with affection, sweetness and love, then follow it. Good thoughts are like a boat. If you get into this boat, it will carry you down the river of all your good qualities to the ocean of light. But if you see that a particular thought is bad, that it is filled with desire and it is only trying to capture you and devour you, then do not follow it. Just discard it.

So do not think about getting rid of your desires. These desires are coming from thoughts. Thought is always the culprit. If you can save yourself from wrong thoughts, if you can follow only your good thoughts and immediately discard all your bad thoughts, then everything that happens in your life will be positive, constructive, illumining and fulfilling.