idamadya maya labdhamimam praapsye manoratham |
idamasteedamapi me bhavishyati punardhanam || 13 ||

 
This has been gained by me now, these wishes I shall fulfill. This is mine, and this wealth shall be mine later.
 
idam : this
adya : now
maya : I
labdham : gained
imam : these
praapsye : fulfill
manoratham : wishes
idam : this
asti : is
idam : this
api : also
me : mine
bhavishyati : will be
punaha : later
dhanam : wealth
 
In India, when a young boy gets the news that he has gained admission in the engineering college of his choice, a desire automatically pops up in his mind. Once I get through my gruelling 4 year engineering course, I will be happy. As the 4 years come to a close, another desire comes in. I need to get into a good masters program in the US. When that happens, he feels that he will he happy when he gets a US visa. Once he arrives in the US, he wants a green card. Then he wants a wife, a big house, car and so on. Each time he thinks he will be happy, another desire is waiting in line to be fulfilled.
 
Shri Krishna wants us to examine our own outlook and find out the level of materialism in it. So in this shloka and the following two shlokas, he uses the first person to drive this point home. Here, he wants us to inquire into what we think is our ultimate goal, our destination, our objective in life. Most of us will come to a similar conclusion that it is accumulation of wealth so that we can take care of our material desires as well as those of our family.
 
But this line of thinking has a flaw in it. Desires are bahushaakha, they multiply infinitely, as we have seen in earlier chapters. Each desire contains the seed of several other desires. If any of those desires is unfulfilled, we invite stress, tension and anxiety into our lives. Now it does not mean that we should not harbour any desires. It just means that we need to apply some system, some framework to ensure that desires are managed and do not get out of hand.
 
The four stage aashrama system (brahmachaari, grihastha, vaanaprastha and sanyaasi) prescribes the duties of an individual based on their stage in life. When duties are given importance, desires automatically manage themselves. For instance, if one is a householder, then one focuses on what is the essential set of desires for fulfilling one’s duties, rather than deriving joy out of adding more and more desires. And even if some desires are unfulfilled, they do not agitate the mind because the goal is the duty, not the desire.

Advertisements