In the Buddha philosophy it is called nirvana. Nirvana means make zero, sunyavadi. But we cannot remain in the sunya. That is not possible. Sunyavadi-nirvana means to give up material desires. It is not possible to give up desires. That is not possible. To give up desires means I am dead body, a stone. If I have got life, if I am not a stone, there must be desires.
Where is the living entity who has no desires? That is not possible. If we kill somebody to make him desireless, that “If you are killed, then there will be no more desire,” no, the desire will continue in the subtle body. Even one is finished, this material body… Sometimes they commit suicide out of frustration, that, “This desire is not fulfilled. Let me commit suicide.” No. That is ignorance.
Desires continue in the subtle body, mind, intelligence, and ego. And to fulfill the desire, Krsna will give you another body. If we make a desire, it must be fulfilled and Krsna will give you facilities. Bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya [Bg. 18.61] Desire is so strong.
So how to make it zero? That is not possible. To make it zero means no more material desire. That is to make zero material desires. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170].That is more lucidly explained in the Narada-bhakti-sutra. Desire means we should give up the desire of this bodily designation: “I am Indian; you are American,” “I am Hindu; you are Christian.” These are all designation of the body.
When we change the platform and we simply desire how to serve Krsna, that is desirelessness. Otherwise not that desirelessness means I become zero. That is not possible.
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Honolulu, May 17, 1976