The reason for all the chaos is not the outcome of doings of unintelligent or unemotional people. The real hindrance to happiness is that we have forgotten how to live content with what we have.
Contentment is like a precious pearl. Whoever procures it at the expense of 10,000 desires makes a wise and happy purchase. In the Kathopanishad Yama tells Nachiketa that both the preferable and the pleasurable approach man.
The intelligent one examines both and separates them and prefers the preferable to the pleasurable, whereas the ignorant selects the pleasurable that chains him to unlimited desires.
Gautama Buddha in his four noble truths declares that there is suffering and misery in life and the direct cause of it is desire or craving.
Desire works in one of two ways. Once a particular desire is born there are only two possibilities: either desire is not fulfilled or it is fulfilled.
If our kama or desire is not fulfilled, we're angry. When anger or krodha takes over, frustration comes and then we feel frustrated. Matsarya or jealousy makes us feel terrible when, for instance, someone known to us has something that we don't have.
If our kama is fulfilled, then there is the emotion of pride or mada for having what others do not have. This pride makes us feel that we are unique and all that we have is ours. It makes us forget that all the things of the world belong to Providence.
When we attain what we seek, we develop an attachment for them. This is called moha.
Moha or attachment makes us greedy and this is called lobha. In an effort to fulfil greed one often tends to take refuge in untruth and unlawfulness.
People with passionate qualities are never satisfied with their position or possessions they always seek to accumulate more and more and enjoy flaunting what they have.
In this way they lose the power of thought and power of emotion which are the two important parts for the integral way of living.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asks Krishna what impels a person to commit sin against his will. Krishna replies that desire and anger, born of passionate quality, are enemies that eat our atman. They obfuscate wisdom like smoke covers fire.
They have their presence in the sense, mind and intelligence. By covering our wisdom they delude the soul, hence one should control them from the beginning. They are destroyers of wisdom.
The Self is greater than intelligence, which in turn is greater than mind. The mind is greater than senses which are greater than material objects. Krishna tells Arjuna that by knowing the One beyond intelligence, that is, the Self, desire is killed and so anger vanishes.
Aristotle says, "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." Desire is unquenchable. Once desire is born, it knows not how to die.
Desire, when transformed into aspiration, helps life soar into the highest liberation, and supreme salvation does not seem so out of reach, after all.
All people desire what they believe will make them happy. If a person is fully content with Self, we can only conclude that he is engaged with another, more eternal state of happiness that is called Bliss.