Realizing Desires

Realizing Desires

Excerpt of "Oriental Medicine Seminar by Masatoshi Takeshita"

There are two paths in religious teaching; the path of desire and the path of abandonment. You need to recognize that realizing your desire belongs to the former and corresponds to the preparatory stage for the latter, true religious teaching.

It is considered to be a virtue to have a big dream, make efforts and realize it. Now the importance of having a clear goal, which motivates students to improve academic achievement, has been talked even in education. However, from the viewpoint of religion, this way of thinking is definitely wrong. Nothing is more important than right recognition. You have to realize that truth can be attained only through love and it is not the purpose of life to achieve social status or fame, to say nothing of wealth. Only people who have this recognition are recommended to have clear and specific goals so that they can have their talents blossom and make the best use of them for society.

To take an example, if a certain person’s desire to “become a doctor” comes simply from social or economic reason, it cannot be a true desire. If such person should become a doctor, he/ she would give priority to management of a hospital instead of human life. I have to say that it would be an unfortunate thing not only for the individual but for the entire society. It is necessary that we closely examine whether our dream is based on just self-centered desire or for some greater cause.

There are not many people who have a clear goal in life and make assiduous efforts to accomplish it. Needless to say, almost no one has a goal which is not based on self-centered desire. Many people don’t know clearly even what they really want to do. The first thing people who are eager to have their talents blossom and make use of them for society should do is to accumulate virtues. Some can make it, and others cannot make it, though they have clear goals in life. It depends on, in a word, whether they possess virtue or not. A person who has accumulated virtues can get help from others, but a person with no virtue will bump into a difficulty caused by limitations of self-reliance.

When it comes to accumulating virtues, you might think first of being involved in volunteer activities or making donations for people in need. It is the most basic attitude in the meaning of accumulating virtues. On top of that, I’d like to recommend you should practice Yama and Niyama (ethical rules in yoga). Anyone who always observe these rules in daily life can be called a “virtuous person.” Practice of Yama and Niyama is the royal road to accumulating virtues.

Just keep on accumulating virtues for three years, and something mysterious will start occurring. Even a person with no specific goal will get to naturally find out a desire asleep deeply inside him/her. And more and more people will gather around you to help you. In this way, your dream will gradually come true without effort. During this process, some of you might get to set a clear goal in life. In that case, I would recommend you should pray to deities. How should you pray? You may give a verbal prayer or have an image where your desire is being realized. What matters is to expand your consciousness by raising such words and images heavenward at the end of prayer so that your prayer could reach the deities. This is the easiest shortcut to realizing your desire.

Almost forceful ways to realize desires by image training or visualization without accumulating virtues are often introduced. You should not depend on such method so that you could avoid accumulating unnecessary karma.

If you can make a living by doing what you like and delight others with such work, it would be wonderful. I’d like you to make a life plan based on Yama and Niyama to lead such a life.

Masatoshi Takeshita