Desire means greed for more and more. Desire means discontent, discontent with what is, discontent with the present; hence you seek contentment in your hopes for the future. Today is empty; you can live only by the hope of tomorrow. The tomorrow will bring something...although many tomorrows have come and gone and that something never happens, but you go on hoping against hope. Only death will come.
Desires are never fulfilled. In the very nature of things they cannot be fulfilled. The wakeful person looks into the desiring mind and laughs. The desiring mind is the most stupid mind, because it is desiring something which cannot be fulfilled in the very nature of things. Just as you cannot get oil through sand -- you can go on and on working on the sand, but you will not get oil out of it, it does not exist in the sand, it is impossible -- exactly like that, desire is just a deception.
It keeps you occupied -- obviously, that's its whole purpose -- it keeps you occupied, it keeps you hoping, it keeps promising you. Desire is a politician: it goes on promising you, "Just wait -- five years more and everything is going to be absolutely right. Just five years more and the world is going to become a paradise." And the politicians have been saying that for thousands of years. And look at the unintelligent humanity: it still goes on believing in the politicians. It changes politicians; when it becomes tired of one, it starts listening to another. But that is not a change at all. One politician is replaced by another; hence democracies live as two-party systems.
One party remains in power for five years; according to the promises you go on hoping, then you are frustrated -- nothing happens. Things get worse than they were before. But by this time, the other party that is not in power starts promising you. And the stupidity is such that you start believing the other party. You bring the other party into power; for five years it will deceive you. By that time the first party that has deceived you before has again become creditable; again it has attained credit, again it has criticized the ruling party and again it has gained respect in your eyes. And AGAIN it has stirred your hoping mind. And people's memories are very short; hence politicians go on deceiving.
Desire is a politician. One desire keeps you occupied for many years; then, frustration in your hands, you are tired of it, weary of it, you drop out of it -- but immediately you enter into another desire. Another politician is waiting for you. You were after money; then tired, you forget all about it and you start rushing for power or for fame.
Desire is so cunning that it can even take the form of religion, it can become religious. It is ready to have any mask. It can start thinking of heaven and heavenly pleasures. It can give you the idea that this life it is not possible, but next life you are going to be in paradise, and in paradise all kinds of fulfillments...wish-fulfilling trees. You just sit underneath the tree, you wish, and it is fulfilled. What are you going to wish for? Your wishes will be stupid because they will come out of your mind. What pleasures are you going to seek in heaven? Just one day think that you have reached heaven: now what do you want? You will start asking for a hotel, for a moviehouse, for a woman, for a man...what else? The same things! And the same frustrations will follow.
DESIRE NEVER CROSSES THE PATH OF VIRTUOUS AND WAKEFUL MEN. Buddha says: I call that man virtuous who has become utterly aware of the deceptiveness of desire and hence desire never crosses his mind. His mind remains desireless. The only way to be desireless is to be wakeful, watchful. Watchfulness creates a light in you, and in that light the darkness of desire cannot enter.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol-2, Chapter-5