Jumbo, an inquisitive elephant was wandering in the jungle till something caught his attention. He saw Mini, an Ant busy the whole day collecting and taking grains a long distance to home.  He joined her on the way and asked
Hey dear, why are you collecting so many grains? Ant replied as she kept walking, well, I want to store it for bad weather
What is the problem if you don’t store it? inquired Jumbo unpretentiously.
Mini: I’ll be starving for food.
What’s the problem if you starve?
Mini: Ohh, I won’t be alive.
Why do you want to be alive?
Hmm. Mini wondered and gently smiled looking at Jumbo
I am approaching home. Do you want to continue this discussion
Yes, I would. So tell me why do you want to be alive? Jumbo questioned 
My dear friend Jumbo, I want to be alive for you only. Who else will answer your questions otherwise!

There is this fundamental question. What is the need to be alive and then the next need to live happy and longer? If we list down, the human needs are simply endless and at the fundamental level, they are common across the human race. It spans right from the need for acquiring a toy to the need for conquering the world.  

What is the source of these needs? I was startled to find that the answer is simple and lies in the form of universal declarations or Mantra’s in Vedas- the oldest Indian scripture.  Let’s take a simple mantra or statement “I am in Everyone”. The statements are to be treated as Truth Statements for they depict our true nature as per Vedas. A small logic reveals that the state of ” I am in everyone” can only be achieved in the material world, when everyone knows everyone else completely, thus creating an innate need to connect and communicate.  The needs are nothing but manifestations of the Truth-Statements. I was intrigued by similar other truth statements as shown in the chart below. Here is my humble attempt to create a correlation with fundamental human needs and this is subjected to personal interpretations.

The guiding lighthouse 2

There is a famous Maslow’s Pyramid in the management literature that primarily categorizes the needs as basic, psychological, and self-actualization
The pyramid presents a hierarchy or evolution of human needs from basic to self-actualization.  However, I believe that Truth statements are time-invariant and so are the human needs. People always had the innate need for food, safety, love, knowledge, and self-fulfillment irrespective of their generation.  What changed is the form and solution to meet those needs. For instance, to meet the need to Travel Faster, solutions evolved from Bullock Cart to Bicycle to Cars to Bullet Trains to Aeroplanes to Hyperloops to Supersonic jets. The work to make it even faster is in progress.

There is another important aspect. Although needs look distinct from each other, they should be managed in sync rather than in isolation.
We need to go faster but we need to live longer as well! Isn’t it?  The bundle of all the needs is the manifestation of the universal truth or expression of who we are. This essentially sets the ultimate purpose, the mission objective behind all actions.

Probing a little bit deeper, We take up actions, endeavors, and initiatives to experience our true nature.  As a result, we see things moving, evolving, changing, growing, and vanishing but these effects are only the secondary outcomes – the side effects.  

A patient holding a list of papers in a hospital went to the Doctor.
Doctor, I see a long list of complex treatments and medication prescribed.
Are there any side effects?
The doctor said, well, there is one.
It may soon leave you bankrupt!

The side effects have the power to leave us bankrupt concerning our health, peace of mind, and inner happiness.
The needs become desires in hindsight when the side effects are treated as the end goal or mission objective.

Desires create delusion and invite more suffering for individuals as well as society. A lawyer might be proficient but a deluded lawyer will end up protecting a true criminal. A  bureaucrat might be intelligent but an underlying desire may propagate corrupt practices. A teacher could be a subject matter expert but greed may lead him or her to exploit students. A CEO might be capable of achieving remarkable growth for the organization but an anxious person inside may take a toll on physical and mental health.

As the story goes, A man was given the grand offer by the king to run as much as possible till sunset.  In the end, the land area covered by the man will be gifted to him. The man ran incessantly without stopping throughout the day and finally died out of fatigue and dehydration. What a fool!

Desires devoid us from seeing the complete picture. It tends to make us restless, greedy, fearful, jealous, and anxious.

Indeed, We can’t deny our innate needs and true underpinning nature. We are here to experience it. The twist comes when desires take over and sight of ultimate purpose is lost. The ultimate purpose is like the guiding Lighthouse which keeps showing us the right direction and empowers us to make course corrections.

The other way of looking at this; is to see human needs as a subtle energy source. This is the same energy compelling the individual, community, and thereby the world to continuously move, change and evolve. This energy needs to be controlled and channelized. It can’t be suppressed only to create more problems than help.

It seems the idea is closely mirrored and applies to the grand universe as well.  Our universe is continuously expanding and accelerating like a continuous inflating balloon. The farther the galaxy or stellar object is the faster it is moving away.  This was the stunning discovery made by Edwin Hubble around 1929. The telescope evidence was so clear that Einstein had to admit his blunder of treating the universe as static. 
This effect is inferred as the presence of a mysterious energy source, so subtle that it could not be detected yet. Scientists have termed it as Dark Energy, the part of ongoing modern research.

We may not know the underlying need for the expansion of the universe but we can surely discover the source for our own needs and desires. This is going to help as we sail in the vast dark ocean carrying all amenities, staff, and equipment in our boat. We are the captain to make the voyage enjoyable and equally meaningful. The last but not the least part of navigation skills is to be wary of the steady, authentic, and guiding lighthouse.

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Tushar Kanikdale

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