Manmadha is personified desire, especially related to sensual pleasure. Madhanam in Sanskrit means ‘to churn, example: churning of curd is dadi madhanam, churning of ocean is saagara madhanam. The personified desire, manmadha churns our manas (man madhanam). 

We often fail to see ourselves separate from our manas. Whatever experiences our manas seeks for or relishes, we feel that those experiences are ours. That is why, when manas begins to churn for a desire, we also churn along with it.

What happens during the churning of manas?

When this churning goes on, you get totally immersed in the wish to satisfy the desire. The desire overtakes you and takes you away from everything else. Depending on the intensity of the churning, you may not even want to eat or sleep until it is fulfilled. You begin to enjoy even the thought of it, thereby daydreaming about fulfilled form of the desire.

The nature of a desire is to keep one in an ecstatic state; otherwise no-one will be tuned to it. Therefore, Manmadha is picturised by all that which symbolises pleasure, spring like breeze, pleasing fragrances, beautiful form, full of colours, dancing moods etc. (kamam)

If the same desire does not get fulfilled, one develops rage and frustration. If you picturise such anger, the image would show red agitated face, black eyes with fierce looks, strong and sharp teeth, fire blowing out of ears etc. (krodham)

The nature of a desire is to keep one in an ecstatic state; otherwise no-one will be tuned to it. Therefore, Manmadha is picturised by all that which symbolises pleasure, spring like breeze, pleasing fragrances, beautiful form, full of colours, dancing moods etc. (kamam)

If the same desire does not get fulfilled, one develops rage and frustration. If you picturise such anger, the image would show red agitated face, black eyes with fierce looks, strong and sharp teeth, fire blowing out of ears etc. (krodham)

On Phalguna-pournami (the day of Holi), it is said that God Shiva burnt this Manmadha into ashes with his third eye when the desire started distracting Him. Shiva did not want to be deviated from his focus, and thus he destroyed the distracting force, Manmadha. On the request of Parvati, Manmadha was brought back alive, but in a body-less form. 

Thus, Holi is celebrated symbolising desires with beautiful colours, and the pleasure filled state of manas by dancing around and having fun with friends and family. But, when these desires begin distracting you from your goal, you must also open your third eye.

I don’t have the third eye; how can I conquer desire?

Every one of you have the third eye. You all ended up disabling it because you never wanted to use it. It is called the penial gland, a vertically organised wheat grain size gland that is the centre of your brain. When you wish to use it, it gets activated and you can also be free from ignorance of the true state of the desires.

Remember, A desire can only be conquered by desiring something higher than it. Desire for something higher can only be conquered by the desire for the highest

The highest desire is that when one wishes to know about God, the nature of self, the purpose of existence, means and the obstacles to attain the purpose. This is all it takes to get your third eye opened! 

I have the desire for the highest wisdom, what is the next step?

The next step begins with a divine bond with acharya. He enables one to conquer manmadha, the normal mundane desires. He impartially ( (no eligibility requirements other than genuine desire) gives the essance of Vedic wisdom to everyone, like that of a cloud that rains. He does this by introducing you to the experience of Lord Narayana who is the manmadha of manmadha (the personified desire, manmadha himself gets churned by the mere thought of the mesmerizing form of Krishna!)

An acharya inculcates one’s interests beyond sensual pleasure to experience eternal blissful state through knowledge of God. This is instilled through mantra followed by mantra-ardha (the meaning). 

Ramanujacharya spread such highest wisdom in the form of mantra to everyone who has the desire to know. He is therefore considered the most compassionate acharya of all times. Kama-dahanam (burning of desires) is done through jnanachakshu (the third eye that looks beyond the obvious physical plane into the unseen power that drives the visible physical plane). 

This is celebrated on the day of Holi, Phalguna Purnima. The outcome of such ignorance free state is the wealth of eternal joy, Lakhsmi, the grace of whom can make one rule the existence. Her grace wipes off inadequacies or shortfalls. 

Ku:ratha:lwar, a friend, guru and sishya of Ramanujacharya therefore says,

Yasya: kata:ksha vi:ksha kshana lakshyam lakshitha:ha mahe:sa:syuhu

(it is only the grace of Maha Lakshmi that one becomes worthy of power and praise)

– From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji
– 9 th March 2020, Holi


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