Tanha and Chanda

Among those interested in Buddhism, there is an opinion that a true enlightened Buddhist is free from desires. This is the huge mistake. A person completely free from desires is if not a soulless corpse, then at least a poor fellow devoid of emotions and empathy and in urgent need of serious psychiatric help. Moreover, Buddhists believe that the mere contemplation of the Dalai Lama helps fulfil your desires. By the way, the current 14th Dalai Lama was given the name Lhamo Thondup at birth. Palden Lhamo is the female guardian spirit that protects us from evil forces and fulfils our desires. From my own experience, I could confirm that communication with the Dalai Lama really accelerates the fulfilment of desires.
One of my colleagues could not start a large project in the centre of Moscow. Upon learning that I was going to India for a common prayer with the Dalai Lama, he begged me to take him with me. Believe it or not, this pilgrimage was one of the most difficult for me: either it was inclement weather, or there was something wrong with the plane. Still we got there in time. However, as soon as we returned to Moscow, my colleague’s mobile rang: the high metropolitan authorities invited him to the last negotiations before agreeing on the project.
“Hold on!” the broad-minded reader would probably exclaim here. “Chatvaryaryasatyani (The Four Noble Truths, the Basic Teaching of Buddhism) clearly say that desire is the cause of suffering, which every Buddhist aims to put an end to. Even Wikipedia says so! ”


Our erudite reader is certainly right. Not all desires (or perhaps even the majority) can be realized to fully correspond to your idea of ​​them. Remember the phrase from the popular film: “Do you have something like this one, only with pearl buttons?” If you can’t get it then there is resentment, dissatisfaction and other negative emotions. Therefore, one must get rid of such desires.

Let's try to figure it out. The fact is that Buddhism distinguishes between two types of desires. The one that we just talked about, Tanha is craving for sensual pleasures, for the satisfaction of one’s desires at all costs. It is a result of a false understanding of the true state of things, an incorrect perception of happiness, which does not exist. These are, if I may say so, unreasonable but very strong desires. And Christianity also warns us against such desires based on the darkest, most base passions. There are similar warnings in Islam.
Of course, a person may not harm the Lord, the Universe or the Higher Mind by satisfying one’s passions. It’s stupid to even suppose that. Indulging his passions, a man primarily harms himself, his immortal soul and his karma. One should always remember the catchphrase "beware of your desires for they may come true. So much has been said and written about this that I see no reason to further develop this topic. I will only make one more remark.
In his recent book, 21 Lesson for the 21st Century, the renowned Israeli historian and writer Yuval Noah Harari draws a seemingly paradoxical conclusion that modern people lack genuine freedom of will. At the same time, he considers free will as the conscious desire, separating it from the will as such. “It is important to understand,” he says in an interview with Vladimir Pozner, “that most desires are not our desires.”
Science (psychology, cybernetics, etc.) has now penetrated so deeply into the inner essence of man that it allows us to control and manipulate the consciousness of both an individual and entire communities. And these achievements are used by large corporations, politicians and political forces.
I'm afraid Yuval Harari is absolutely right. Next time, when you have a desire to do something, to get something, or even express your opinion on a social network, stop and ask yourself: is this exactly what I want? I am sure that the honest answer will be a shock for you. So do you really need other people's desires?
So, why did I sympathize with people without desires and kept telling you about the fulfilment of desires with the implicit blessing of the Dalai Lama? The point is that there is another kind of desire in Buddhism: the Chanda, which, as you can easily guess, is diametrically opposed to Tanha. If your desires are based on truth and good, on wisdom and the common good, this is Chanda.
That sounds a little strange, isn’t it? It sounds like “we are for all the good things”, which never ended in anything good.
After all, desire is, in essence, the setting of a goal. And if you want to achieve anything at all, you must set an unattainable goal. This is a managerial axiom.
That is why when I was called on (sorry, I can’t choose another expression) to head the run-down and crumbling FIDE, I did not talk about the need to hold ten championships a year (and then we could hardly hold one). I immediately set the goal of introducing chess into the programme of the Olympic Games (“What ?!”, said the IOC.“ Chess? What kind of sport is this? ”) And I proclaimed the motto“ One billion chess players - one billion smart people. “
No, we have not been collecting and still we do not collect membership fees at FIDE. I did not need a billion chess players to strengthen the financial well-being of the federation. I believed that humanity needs a billion smart people much more than the "golden billion" of qualified consumers. This will raise the general intellectual level of our civilization; make the world smarter, more honest and ultimately more comfortable for all of us.
None of my desires has come true yet. Shall I regret it? Well, it depends on how you look at it. We may not have a billion chess players, but according to the results of a sociological study, there are six hundred million chess players in the world.  Although chess is not included in the programme of the Olympic Games yet, but the IOC has already recognized it as a sport, so this is only a matter of time.
Yes, but what have I personally gained by these unfulfilled desires? A lot of friends, a lot of work, hefty expenses, a sufficient number of ill-wishers, and as a result, illegal and unfair sanctions of the US Treasury. Somewhere along the path of achieving the unattainable, I left behind 23 years of life and, probably, some of my health. So what? "Health does not last forever but good luck may still go my way."
And who ever said that global goals and planetary desires should give immediate results? Would it be the right thing to do, while trying to benefit all mankind, to try to grab a particle of happiness for oneself? This is somehow more like Tanha.
So, do such desires lead to disappointment and despondency? I do not know. Personally, if I were offered to live my life anew, I would again have same desires and with the same result. I do not need another fate.