There is one desire which is considered to be benign, and that is the desire for moksha. A person who desires moksha wants something to change. He or she does not know what moksha is but that person has recognized ‘the problem.’ The problem being that nothing in samsara will ever satisfy one’s desire for happiness because samsara is always changing. In fact, the actual meaning of the word samsara is that which changes very well.

The desire for moksha is considered to be benign because it is the one desire which when fulfilled gives rise to no other. All other desires give rise to other desires that give rise to other desires and so on.

Happiness is one’s true nature. That’s why we want it so much. It doesn’t feel right to be unhappy. Unhappiness is inimitable to us. We want to get rid of unhappiness. The reason we want to get rid of it is because it isn’t really who we are.

The fulfillment of a worldly desire–say for an object or a situation–does seem to provide a moment of happiness. That’s why we go after those things that appear to produce these moments. But in reality those moments are actually a reflection of one’s true nature in a calm mind that is temporarily not wanting anything to be different.

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About Dhanya

Dhanya developed an interest in Hinduism and Eastern philosophy in the early 1970s. In 1973, she traveled to India in search of a guru to guide her on the spiritual path. While there she encountered disciples of Neem Karoli Baba and his teachings of bhakti and karma yoga which influenced her life from then on. She studied Vipasana meditation for some time with S.N. Goenkaji beginning in 1974. In 1991 she met HWL Poonja, whose words sparked a desire in her to understand the teachings of nonduality. Subsequently she met other advaita teachers, including Jean Klein and Sri Ranjit Maharaj, who were great sources of inspiration to her. In 2002 she met her current teacher, Dr. Carol Whitfield, a traditional teacher of Advaita/Vedanta and a disciple of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Having found a teaching and a teacher with whom she has a deep resonance and who clearly and effectively elucidate the means for self-knowledge, Dhanya now lives in Northern California, where she studies Vedanta and writes on the topic of nonduality.