Question : What is the best way of dealing with desires and vasanas with a view to getting rid of them - satisfying them or suppressing them? Ramana Maharshi : If a desire can be got rid of by satisfying it, there will be no harm in satisfying such a desire. But desires generally are not eradicated by satisfaction. Trying to root them out that way is like trying to quench a fire by pouring inflammable spirits on it. At the same time, the proper remedy is not forcible suppression, since such repression is bound to react sooner or later into a forceful surging up of desires with undesirable consequences. The proper way to get rid of a desire is to find out `Who gets the desire? What is its source?' When this is found, the desire is rooted out and it will never again emerge or grow. Small desires such as the desire to eat, drink, sleep and attend to calls of nature, though these may also be classed among desires, you can safely satisfy. They will not implant vasanas in your mind, necessitating further birth. Those activities are just necessary to carry on life and are not likely to develop or leave behind vasanas or tendencies. As a general rule, therefore, there is no harm in satisfying a desire where the satisfaction will not lead to further desires by creating vasanas in the mind.