An example of this, which became very popular while we discussed this topic in class, was the issues of grades in school. As hard as students try in school to achieve satisfactory grades, these grades cannot always be attained. When a student has a desire to attain the “A” in a certain class they remain in a healthy state of desire unless this is all the student think about. At this point the desire is unhealthy and the student is attached to the grade.
The student will eventually suffer when he or she fails to get this grade, and even if he or she gets this grade their attachment to it will cause them to suffer because the happiness they feel from getting this grade is only temporary.
Essentially, attachment to sensory objects leads to unhappiness in two different ways. It causes suffering once one fails to attain the object they are attached to, and it causes suffering through the fact that any happiness gained through attachment is simply temporary. As soon as this happiness is gone one is left back once again in sadness. There are principles to regulate attachment and aversion pertaining to the senses and their objects. One should not come under the control of such attachment and aversion, because they are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization.
One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects certainly deludes him and is called a pretender. On the other hand, if a sincere person tries to control the active senses by the mind and begins karma-yoga without attachment, he is by far superior.
Swaroop Vitta is a member of Divine Youth Group at Hindu Temple and 11th grade student at Hoover High School.