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Yayati Story In Hindu Scripture - Desires Cannot be Quenched by Enjoyment

The famous story of Yayati from Hindu scripture proves that desires cannot be quenched by enjoyment.

People think that they will have their full share of worldly enjoyment now, and in the evening of life the mind will become without desire and calm, and inclined to study and spiritual practice. But it never happens that way. 

Our mind that has been attached to worldly enjoyment for a long time cannot suddenly turn to higher things because we have become free from worldly responsibilities. Also, enjoyment does not make the mind calm and desireless.

Desires only grow stronger with fulfillment.

Yayati Story In Hindu Scripture

King Yayati's life from the Bhagavata illustrates this truth. When Yayati was in the prime of his youth a sage, incensed by the king's behavior, cursed him to premature old age.

The king begged the sage's pardon and prayed for a remedy. The sage said that the king could remain young if someone exchanged his youth for the king's old age. The king's youngest son willingly exchanged his youth for his father's old age and the king enjoyed sense pleasures for innumerable years.

If desires could be quenched through enjoyment, Yayati would have become calm and sated after so much enjoyment. Instead, he discovered a profound truth: "Desire can never be quenched by enjoying sense objects. Like fire fed with clarified butter, it only flames up all the more." (Bhagavata Purana, 9.9.14)

Source notes taken from lectures of Swami Yuktatmananda of Sri Ramakrishna Mission