Buddha said: Have no desires!
Which I have to say over the centuries has been misconstrued by most to mean that we should be satisfied with our lot, and not want anything else nor strive for something better.
Of course this has suited the caste system in India with the untouchables at the bottom of the heap and the Brahmins at the top and never the twain shall meet. Ghandi even proposed that this was wrong and that we are all born equal!
And so it is.
However we have to leave India, whom I dearly love, to sort herself out from her own divisive devices and take a step back to look at the broader picture:
Since part of the driving force of the Universe is derived from the desires created by conscious beings and their expanding and constantly changing needs, plus the Prime Divine Directive for us all to seek and to maintain happiness, how could we possibly achieve this without having desires?
If we look carefully at what Buddha actually meant he was trying to tell us not to have any desires which would make us or any others unhappy! Do you think he included the untouchables in that sermon? You see, he was well aware of the frailties of us humans and also quite conscious of the consummate gift of Free-will given to us all, but I’m quite sure he was also well aware that some are more equal than others!
In this latter respect he never said there was a God, neither did he say there was no God and almost in the same breath he confirmed that no one should be adored. And let me be clear that he was not responsible for the adulation given to him since his death nor the gold leaf lavished by misguided pilgrims on his many shrines, stuppas and the diamond throne upon which he was supposed to have gained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, which I visited on my journey. Contrary to gold leaf, on reaching the shrine a young monk in attendance turned to us and held out his closed hands which as we responded, without a word, placed an apple in our palms! Always near to the surface I was moved to tears.
Enlightenment by the way is not that out of the ordinary since it is open to all humans to attain, but of course the first step is the acceptance and the recognition of the Logos and from thence to enter into constant communication. Not easy, does not fall into your lap through good works, but involves action of the kind of which most of us are not willing to partake.
Taking our theme one step further: Not wanting desires stretches to say a temperature in your house of 12º C, so why would you want 25º C when some have no heat at all in their refugee tent in the cold winter months?
Similarly when a tree gives you fruit why would you want to embellish the fruit or demand a sweeter fruit or a different one altogether when others have no food at all never mind fruit?
It’s a bit like saying if you are poor and illiterate back in India stay where you are, and most of the other castes will try to keep you there, but the rest of us in our warm and comfortable sitting rooms know as did Buddha and Ghandi that this is wrong!
What was meant was to be happy where you are, but try with all your energies to learn to read, to find work to fulfil your desires of being able to read and to earn money to live to feed yourself, your family and to send your children to school! In the process of this achievement you begin to enhance your own consciousness approaching the level of internal happiness, taking care to cause no harm to others in your progress.
The other side of the coin, and this is the difficult one, is that if you are rich and own 12 houses, you only need one to live in so the other 11 could be given to those who have no house at all, and as you with your wealth buy more and more houses give them also to those who are homeless.
Having said that, we humans are a funny bunch and few would accept what they would see as charity. A case in point was our first house in Spain which was expected to sell quickly, but having already bought and begun to renovate our final house we rented the first house at a cheap rate to a single father of two, hit by the financial crisis, and provided him with all the pots, pans, furniture and bedding for them all until he found himself more financially secure and could move on.
Neither Buddha nor Jesus wanted to create a religion and neither of them wished to be adored. Jesus said that he was the son of man and that his Father was in Heaven, as is the Father Lord Logos of us all, whereas Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha didn’t mention God, but his lectures were couched in such a fashion for us to exercise our Free-will and decide for ourselves if God existed or not!
Certainly neither envisaged that their followers would turn their thoughts into a religion, that they would be adored and that huge palaces and Cathedrals would be built in their names. I wonder how many of those could be given or cheaply rented to the poor? Says he and him, rattling round together in an empty house like frozen peas in a box!
Only kidding, with Love from which all else flows, Hanukah & the Angel, wishing that all your desires may lead you & yours to happiness … and have a great weekend!