Treatment For Excess Desires – Naishtiki Chikitsa

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
‘The starting point of all achievement is desire’ – Napolean Hill
We all have desires. Desires have been the bricks and stones of the foundation of our evolution. Healthy and constructive desires are always good. They help in individual development. But when the desires take the form of greed and lust, they become dangerous and bring miseries.   

Even greedy desires when monitored and streamlined in a positive direction can help in construction and developmental process.

‘From the first day to this, sheer greed was the driving spirit of this civilization’ – Friedrich Engels

The greed which is not streamed or monitored becomes the foundation of ‘self destruction’. Greedy desires give rise to attachment, possessiveness and selfishness. With these qualities one travels in the pathway of committing grave mistakes, sins and crimes.

‘Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power’ – P.J. O’Rourke


Upadha – Desires, the root cause for all miseries
Ayurveda has opined that the desires blended with greed i.e. Upadha as the root cause for all our miseries.
Upadha means desire. Upadha or desire is the root cause for all the miseries. Sacrifice of all the desires is its remedy.

A silkworm weaves the threads around self and gets stuck within the web of miseries which it has created all by itself. The cocoon which resembles the desires may look attractive, but they are nothing short of suicide. In the same way the man becomes victim of desires and gets trapped in the cocoon of miseries. The man weaves (just like the silkworm) around him an un-escapable shell of desires, which at the beginning look attractive and tempting but once he gets stuck within the shell of desires he gets suffocated with miseries.

At the same time, a wise man avoids the objects of senses (desires and greed) considering them as dangerous fire. He will keep himself away from worldly pleasures. In these people, the miseries can never conquer him, whereas an ignorant person will always be bounded with worldly pleasures which will lead to miseries.


Nishta – Liberation from Miseries
To escape from miseries, one needs to keep away from Upadha or desires (attachment).
Liberation from miseries is called Nishta. Since Nishta liberates you from the miseries, it is a form of salvation (moksha rupa). Naishtiki chikitsa is the treatment to attain salvation (moksha, liberation from miseries).

Since Naistiki is devoid of desires and attachment, it becomes the way for attaining the ultimate aim of the life, one among the four objectives of human life (purushartha chatushtaya) i.e. Moksha or salvation.
In short – Nishta means salvation. Naistiki chikitsa is the means of attaining salvation.


Pravritti – Attachment
When desires gradually accumulate, one becomes materialistic and gets attached to the sense objects. This attachment is addicting and injuring in long term because it gives fodder for further desires. Ayurveda explains attachment by the name Pravritti. Pravrutti i.e. attachment and Upadha or Trishna i.e. desires form a vicious combination and cycle.

Love, hatred etc are called attachment and they are the root causes for all miseries.


Nivrutti – Detachment
Detachment from the six enemies (ari shad varga) i.e.
kama (desire),
dwesha (hatred),
lobha (greed),
moha (attachment),
mada (pride) and
matsara (jealousy) is the source of ultimate bliss.

Nivrutti or detachment is ultimate peace, eternal and supreme. It is the right path to attain salvation.

 ‘Where do the evils like corruption arise from? It comes from the never-ending greed. The fight for corruption-free ethical society will have to be fought against this greed and replace it with ‘what can I give’ spirit’ – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Means to control desires

Some of the means of controlling desires –
Having good presence of mind.
Ability to differentiate between need and luxury. Before buying any product, think is it a need or is it a luxury. If it is luxury, avoid it.
Am I buying it to boost my ego or is it really needed?
Daily meditation, pranayama and Yoga – These keep the mind calm and concentrated.
Social service, donation for a social cause
Reading spiritual books such as
Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success,
The Holy Science,
Inner Engineering
Viveka Veena etc.
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) – Email / Skype

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