Osho – Desires are many, needs are few. Needs can be fulfilled; desires, never.

[A sannyasin, an air-hostess, said that she had recently moved from her large penthouse to a small room, which felt much more comfortable and peaceful.]

Osho – That’s very good. It seems that many times we go on carrying many things which are useless, and we never think why we are carrying them. They can become almost a crushing weight. Needs are very few and a man who understands what is needful will always be happy and blissful. Desires are many, needs are few. Needs can be fulfilled; desires, never. A desire is a need gone crazy. It is impossible to fulfill it. The more you try to fulfill it, the more it goes on asking, asking, asking.

There is a sufi story that when Alexander died and he reached heaven, he was carrying all his weight – his whole kingdom, gold, diamonds – of course not in reality, but in an idea. Ideas have as much weight; in fact an idea is the real weight. He was burdened too much by being Alexander. The gatekeeper started laughing and he said ’Why are you carrying so much of a burden?’
Alexander said ’What burden?’ because really he was carrying nothing. Everything was in the head, but the head was very heavy.

The gatekeeper gave him a scale and put an eye on one side of the scale. He told Alexander to put all his weight, all his greatness, treasures, kingdom, on the other side of the scale. Alexander put all his kingdom, all his wealth, his victories, and everything there. That one eye still remained heavier than all his kingdom, so finding no other way, he himself jumped onto the scales, but still the one eye remained heavier.

He said to the gatekeeper, ’I cannot understand how such a small eye can be so weighty. What is it? Are you playing some trick, some magic with me?’
The gatekeeper said, ’This is a human eye. It represents human desire… the outgoing desire.’
’It cannot be fulfilled, howsoever great the kingdom and howsoever great your efforts. Even a single human eye full of desires cannot be fulfilled.’
Then Alexander said ’Then what is the way to fulfill it?’
The gatekeeper threw a little dust into the eye. The eye immediately blinked and lost all its weight. It was immediately weightless.

The story is beautiful. A little dust of understanding has to be thrown into the eye of desire. The desire disappears and only needs remain, and they are not weighty. Needs are very few… needs are beautiful. Desires are ugly and they make monsters of men. They create mad people. This has been a good insight for you. Remember it always, and always choose that which is more peaceful.

Once you start learning how to choose the peaceful, a small room is enough; a small quantity of food is enough; a few clothes are enough; one lover, a very ordinary man, can be enough of a lover. But if you go on asking for more and more, then thousands of men are not enough. Even the most beautiful man is finished sooner or later. Your desire goes on and on. It knows no end… it stops nowhere.

Source – Osho Book “Beloved of My Heart”