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Transforming desire to divine aspiration, an energy transformation

Sushmita Mukherjee


Desire is the seed that grows into misery, rendering life dis-eased with its all-encompassing pains. Yet, desire is also that energy which gets us going — overcoming the inertia of lethargy and procrastination — to find and march towards our mission. So, how to distil and crystallize its positive aspect and filter out the negative? In this material plane, every aspect has inbuilt dualities, presenting a challenging opportunity to utilise them, instead of getting overawed and overridden by them. Everything, subtle and gross, a unique energy vibration made manifest, the moment, by Divine Grace, we elevate its level — evolving the consciousness — the negative transforms to the positive, losing its identity thus. Likewise, desire gets overhauled and transformed to divine aspiration, the transformation, an energy transformation.

Albert Einstein keeps echoing: all is energy, materialised. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It conserves itself, always, through its continuous transformation. Its very appearance, in material form too, is a manifestation of this very transformation — for the sake of its eternal stature, nature and propagation, which it never forsakes! It is a foregone conclusion that energy does not ever and would never forego this law, as it keeps going on and on, eternally…

As a consequence, this fact presents itself in myriad ways, and flashes at the most unexpected of times, flashing as inspirational insights, blessing with a sense of satisfaction, as also, benumbing and humbling with the Grace of revelation… striking the correlations, so simple and obvious, yet keeping themselves in hiding with a childlike joy and innocence. Likewise, the revelation too is received with childlike joy, as if a much desired toy has been given.

Ah, yes! It is about desire… its journey from a child’s desire (reflection of purity) to that of an adult to ultimately reach the heights where desire loses its identity to become something more and healthy…

Desire, bane and boon…

Desire has been identified as the cause behind many a malady and misery, and thus the seers, sages, masters, realised beings and teachers have repeatedly advised to stay away from it… and if afflicted with it, to try and get over it, transcend it. At the same time, as human beings, it is quite difficult to do either, and yet, it is a part of the process of Self-realisation – to go beyond desire. What makes it all the more difficult to keep away from and transcend desire is that, in a way, it serves as an impetus, a driving force to move through life, identifying and moving towards the goal and mission. Hence, it has also been stated, that desire, on its own, isn’t something profane. Rather, desire gets us going…for the desired…initiates and propagates our concentrated effort towards the fulfilment of our aims.

Sri Aurobindo affirms, “Desire is at once the motive of our actions, our lever of accomplishment and the bane of our existence (1).”

It is riddling, for life, as we perceive it on and from the physical plane, is relative, and hence, filled with the dualities — in fact, multiplicities. Everything has its many antonyms, as well as synonyms, acquiring an identity which is purely contextual! From ‘where’ we are coming, ‘where’ implying our level of consciousness, serves as a determinant too, as consciousness, guides our perception, so makes us receive and respond to a context… And again, it is all, the infinite Energy at play, presenting the riveting as well as bewildering displays…

Transforming desire to aspiration, an energy transformation

Reading and re-reading ‘Dissolving desire’ in the April 2018 issue of NAMAH, an enriching and affirming article by James Anderson, one guided by the teachings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo — I got led to a lot and also got led to a correlation ... an urge (do not know whether it is desire or something transcending it…) to express and share it. And as is the magnanimity of life’s mechanism —reciprocity in operation of energy — as the expressions are invoked and allowed to flow, much more comes out, gleaned unbeknownst from the One Infinite Reservoir… One Source of all and everything…the Universal Energy of Creation… the Divine…

James has beautifully presented the prudence and essentiality of dissolving desire. Instead of combatting it, one dissolves it by transforming it into the aspiration for the Highest… dissolving in the “true consciousness” (as he notes), our Truth, aspiring for the dissolution in the Divine. Forwarding the Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s guidance on the same, he has woven the article, extending the insights on what desire is, what it does, how it harms, and on ways to transform it, the transformation holding the key to transcending it…. The wisdom and guidance shared, in and through the article, leads to the correlation: “Aha! This too is an energy transformation, the journey from desire to aspiration!”

How is the transformation of desire to aspiration an energy transformation?

Yes, it is yet another reflection and manifestation of the Law of Conservation of Energy…. Everything (and every being) being energy in form and flow, nothing is actually created or destroyed (uprooted). The form simply changes – and transformation it is, when the flow of energy is upward… that energy could be in the form of an evolved intention and motivation, directing the flow of energy upward. When it is for the Divine, when the being yearns for, aspires for the Divine, it is an upward spiral, the energy resonating with and reflecting the higher levels… Energy is ever conserved… and ever serves, the way we make it serve us.

In terms of consciousness, too, it is a matter of the infinite, birthless, deathless — the journey of desire to aspiration, a gradual shift or a leap to the higher levels of consciousness. When the Universal, the Eternal, is aspired for, ‘a spire’ is scaled by the Grace of the Universal — the very aspiration, too, Grace — and the union with the Divine, attaining Divine-consciousness, the ‘true consciousness’, blesses with the experience of universality of the being, blessing with, along with, the insights and creations that are called forth through the aspiring being… the divine aspirant, the Divine’s aspirant.

Desire, like everything else, is a reflection and manifestation of a specific energy state, having its various, further subtle layers, which camouflage themselves, ‘appearing’ as an earnest wish, prayer and even aspiration. It is difficult not just to transcend and transform desire, but to even discern desire from the other garbs with which it masks itself. The discerning too happens with an elevation in the level of consciousness, brought about by Grace, initiating and sustaining the urge, the aspiration to dissolve desire by transforming it to aspiration. Aspiration, too, is another unique energy state, reflection of a much higher (though immeasurable the ‘gap’) level, and when desire takes the quantum leap to aspiration, it is an energy transformation…

Transformation is the essence of the process and purpose

This, the process and purpose of Self-realisation — God-realisation, the divinity-realisation of one’s very being — is a constant churning of energy transformations, beckoning to accept the subtle and gross reflections and projections, in the body and the mind and outside, of the various levels and layers of consciousness, and transform them, through the raising of the level of consciousness, to reside in and as, embodying, the Highest, the Divine-consciousness, the Oneness-consciousness, the consciousness embodying the Truth, Oneness with the Divine. And this, happens with, as and by Grace, emphasising the significance of the aspiration for the Divine, Its Grace.

So extols and invites, affirms and encourages, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (2)”, beckoning the aspiration for the Divine, and solely for the Divine, which is all that there is, Love Unconditional, and hence, leads to all that matters, dissolving the dualities (and multiplicities) through transcendence.

Everything incubating in itself the so-called ‘good’ and the ‘bad’, positive and the negative, the negative holds in itself the potential to reach the pinnacle of the positive. So has it been aptly stated that a photograph too is developed in the darkroom, turning the negative into the positive!

The tunnel of darkness, ignorance, leads to the Light, Truth-consciousness.

It is a matter of transformation and not destruction, as is the matter of energy, everything! Likewise, desire is not to be uprooted but transformed, causing a change in its nature. Automatically, it gets uprooted as it ceases to be desire, having transformed to aspiration — aspiration respiring as and through the very being. Same is hence with every emotion, feeling and thought… each having the potential for transformation and beckoning the aspiration for transformation!

Though, easy it is not, the transformation… desire attributed not just to the individual, as one we are with the Whole. The process is, hence, at once singular as well as plural. It calls for the Omnipotent Force that not just overcomes and overrides the downward pulls from the lower levels of consciousness of the collective that we are a part of, but overhauls them. It calls forth the giving up of the fetters of all such pulls, desire being one of them, surrendering to the Fire of Truth, invoking its complete self-immolation, to rise from the ashes, not as resurrected but purified, as aspiration. It is giving up of self, for the Self… it is dying to the self to allow the birthing of the birthless Universal Self, and can happen only by complete dissolution in the Universal, the Divine, dissociating from all impurities — of ignorance, of the superficial — every cell of being left open for Its action… every layer of consciousness opened to It, for Its action and transcendence…

Just as, “He tore desire up from its bleeding roots And offered to the gods the vacant place (3).”

Torn are thus the desires from the “bleeding roots”, ignorance – inflicting all sorts of hurt and harm – and committed to transformation, submitting “the vacant place”, the root, the root cause, the darkness of ignorance, to the Light, for lifting it up to the higher levels, and in the process, dispelling it, uprooting it, the bleeding root no more, consciousness integrated and harmonised through transformation and transcendence, and thus healed, letting the Divine Synthesis, the Alchemy to flow and glow, opened fully and wide to the Light to guide… desire disintegrated by its transformation to Divine Aspiration.

Though not easy, it is ensured. One feels lost, by even the mere thought of giving up all the superficial traits which one assumes to be one’s reality, creating one’s comfort-zone — but one gives them up, one by one, if not all at once, losing all of these to realise the All, the Universal Self. Though it might take many lifetimes, but happens ultimately, as Word it is of the Grace — that life in the ephemeral form too is. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be. The alchemy, the transformation, the constant conservation thus of the eternal stature and the infinite nature, is the purpose of life eternal, and so is the life ephemeral to realise the same, and in the process of realisation, difficulties galore come to the fore, before one is ashore, transformed, all impurities uprooted by their dissolution through transformation, through the surrender to the pyre of purification. It is an innate knowing, an uncanny and intangible driving force that drives and pushes one to the Summit… making one climb the most treacherous of climbs, in the consciousness, each step an energy transformation. It is an inexorable upward pull of Truth… “The magnet of our difficult ascent (4)”… leading through the many apparent falls and slips, to finally claw and climb to the peak, fully surrendered to the Truth, the Divine…to realise It, the Summit…and thus, even in and through physical form, meld with It — the Alchemist — … conserved… transformed…

Energy is ever conserved, as forever transforms, and when one is ‘up’ to the Root, residing at the Truth-consciousness, surrendered to the Root — surrendered the very being… and everything… humbly praying, “All is up to You”— aspiring for the Root, desire, though not intended to be uprooted, experiences its uprooting, its dissolution, in and through the transformation to aspiration.

This, the conversion of desire to aspiration, too is an energy transformation, as everything is that: Energy in a motion of transformation. And so are we, beings ever being processed through and as transformation, being led to experience and embody the liberation that transformation is, desiring no more, aspiring, forever and more, for The Endless, The Root Infinite, A Spire of Immeasurable Height ….


1. Sri Aurobindo. Birth Centenary Library, Volume 20. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust; 1970, p. 335.

2. Matthew 6:33, King James Version [Online] Available from: Accessed 6th October 2018.

3. Sri Aurobindo, Birth Centenary Library, Volume 18. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust; 1970, p. 318.

4. Ibid., p. 314.

Sushmita Mukherjee is an author and freelance editor residing in Kolkata.

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Sri Aurobindo


Law of Conservation of Energy