Attempts to deal with desire range from the uninhibited revelry of Greco-Roman cults, the ‘desire is good’ approach, to the strict asceticism of old-world traditions such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, the ‘desire is bad’ approach.
These two approaches still exist today.
For example, The Law of Attraction encourages the pursuit of desires and teaches that whatever you want, believe, and focus on will manifest. On this path, be careful what you wish for. If your desires are not dharmic (aligned with your nature), they may either fail to manifest or fail to bring the satisfaction you imagined.
The ascetic approach aims for a desireless, egoless, and selfless existence. Asceticism views the body and its appetites as separate and inferior to the spirit and prescribes transcendence of the body. To succeed in the ascetic life, the seeker needs a particular temperament, the right environment, conditions, and training. Who of us can truly give up desire? Even the intention to surrender desire is a desire. When desires arise, the ascetic may feel they have failed at spiritual life.
There is a third approach that balances the extremes. More suited to the contemporary seeker, the yoga tantra approach regards both desire and desirelessness as equally important. Yoga tantra forges a conscious connection between dharma, desire, and transcendence. This enables seekers to fulfill their desires in a balanced way while striving for spiritual growth.
We teach the yoga tantra path at Big Shakti.