Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The six enemies of man

Hinduism – 6

Hinduism believes that one undergoes a series of births and deaths until one attains liberation. The one, Atma (Soul) takes birth as some being and as it evolves, it changes bodies and finally reaches the stage of a human being. Desire is an important part of human nature. Man is not satisfied with what he has but wants something more or better. As he grows the object of his desire may change from chocolate to Mukti but the desire in him continues to exist. For all ordinary people, in all worldly matters, desire is a guiding force for progress. Fulfillment of desire depends on one’s abilities. If one is capable and can fulfill his desire he feels happy, if he cannot he feels sad. Man’s imagination has no bounds. Consequently his desires are also unlimited. But the tragedy is his abilities are limited. So he realizes the fact that fulfillment of desire gives only temporary happiness and that he is caught in a trap of unending desires which lead to series of births and deaths without getting lasting happiness. When he realizes his bondage to desires his outlook changes. He starts looking within and comes to know that what he desired was not really valuable. Realization about the nature of desire gradually makes him free from it.

Also read: Hinduism – 1

Desire leads one to Karma (deed). Man cannot keep quiet like a mendicant. He is action oriented and tries to do what he can. Most of his actions are aimed at earning money to maintain family and to fulfill other desires. He also has to do things expected of him by the society. Further he has to perform certain rituals prescribed by his religion everyday and on different occasions. When everything goes smoothly he is happy. But when he fails in doing things he starts thinking about the reasons for his failure and in course of time realizes that the path of desire which appeared to lead him to progress and fulfillment really lead him to misery. It does not mean that there should be no desire. The world will come to a standstill without it. The solution to this is to act on desire but be unmindful of the result be it beneficial or harmful.

Also read: Hinduism – 2

There are six enemies (arishatvarga) of man in his progress. They are Kama (desire), Krodha (anger), Lobha (miserliness), Moha (sexual urge), Mada (pride), Mathcharya (jealousy). These are very powerful and only a strong will can control them. Even one of them is enough to destroy man. Ravana was destroyed because of Moha and Dhuryodhana was destroyed because of his pride.  These six constantly challenge man’s equanimity. Keeping them under control is like walking on a tight rope and one is likely to fall at anytime at the slightest diversion in attention. Still man has to conquer these to progress spiritually. This purified environment is the way to receive divine light.

Also read: Hinduism – 3

Rajendra Singh Baisthakur
Rajendra Singh Baisthakur
Rajendra Singh Baisthakur had been a Lecturer in English. He is a poet, critic and translator. His interests are Literature, Philosophy and social media.


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