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Question: Sir, I understand that the work we are doing these days will help us. But, mostly I get the feeling that everyone in Advait has become too ambitious. They say do this, get that done. The office seems so much like a corporate.
Speaker: You do not know ambition; all you know is some petty desires. All that you know is desire for some petty limited sum of money, some possessions, some this and that. Because, ultimately whatever you want is quantifiable, is just a number. Even the highest that you can think of, is just a number.
You do not really know ambition. Ambition in its purest form means Immensity. Ambition in its purest form means desiring only the Highest; desiring right till the end of desire; desiring That which will bring a full stop to the desire. I have repeatedly said that the saint is not a renunciate. He is the most ambitious man, he is desiring the Highest. But you have a stereotype. You think that the spiritual mind must have nothing to do; you think that the spiritual mind has no relationship with the world; you think that the spiritual mind simply does not care what is happening around.
The spiritual mind is deeply deeply ambitious. The worldly man, with all his limited cravings, can never really know the ambition of a saint. The worldly man will keep thinking that the saint does not want anything. The fact is that the saint wants That, which is the only thing worth wanting and gets That. The saint wants the highest and gets the highest. The worldly man wants all the worldly things, and does not get even that much.
That’s the thing about desiring rightly. Desire the highest and you get the highest. And desire anything except the highest, and you won’t even get that. Highest is achievable, the others are never achievable. When you want the highest, then you cannot remain yourself. The highest will not be contained within you. You will have to go. When you want something lowly, then you want only for yourself, because you will remain. What you are wanting is so small that it can be contained in your boundaries, it can be contained in yourself; so all your limited things, you can want for yourself. But the highest you can never want just for yourself. When you want the Highest, it is so big, that it will shatter all your limits, all your boundaries.
It has to spread. And this spreading is called compassion.
What do you think that Buddha had nothing to do? He was more busy than your corporate CEOs. Today if your CEOs fly they will say, “We are flying so much and we are frequent flyers. And we are collecting all the flying miles.” Do you know how much did the Buddha travel? And he was traveling all the time. He died at the age of 78. Even till his last day, he was moving. Can your CEOs match that? And he had raised a huge organization. He was the CEO of that organization. And the organization was running with its rule, with its discipline, with a goal in mind.
It is just that, when you have an organization like that, to be a part of the Buddha’s sangha, you need to first have something of the Buddha within. Otherwise, your laziness and your self-centeredness will make you feel, “Why am I doing all this for others? My reading is alright, but why should I give something to the others?” If your reading is alright, that only means that you are operating from your petty and miserable ego. Had you really attained even a shadow of immensity, you would have immediately wanted to radiate it, to give to others. And if that requires setting up of an organization, a sangha, if that requires having an entire army of Bhikshus, the Buddha will do that. Even if that requires setting up an order, having rules and discipline. Do you know how difficult it was to gain an admission into the Buddha’s sangha? There were clear guidelines, you will have to be an apprentice, and intern for a very long period of time. And you will have to abide by these rules, clear these tests. Only then you can enter. Getting into your corporate is so easy, getting into the Buddha’s sangha was difficult, more difficult.
That is real ambition, when you want to get into the Buddha’s sangha; that is real ambition. And that is more tough than getting into any of these mainstream corporate companies. From where do you pick all these notions? Do this, do that. Yes, do this, do that and what you are doing is highly insufficient. Do more. Do twenty times, fifty times, a million times more. But you will not be able to do a million times more, again if you are doing it for your little self. You can do it, only when you are not yet obsessed with yourself. If you are all the time licking your own wounds, then how will you give medicines to others? Your entire attention is towards your own wounds, and you are nursing them, caring for them, licking them. How will you ever pay attention to the suffering of others? How will you ever realize that you have a bleeding world in front of you and it needs help?
But to you spirituality probably means your own deliverance. It does not happen that way. You are disappointed and you will keep getting more and more disappointments. There is nothing called individual emancipation. Do you remember we said that you cannot change without allowing your environment to change? And then you said, “Yes Sir, it is true. You cannot change without allowing your environment to change.” Are you blind that you cannot see that the world itself is your environment? Can you be at peace when the world is in turmoil? You easily understand that I cannot change, if I do not change my friend circle. You understand that much, right? Now, extend the whole thing a little, see that the entire world is your environment. Can you escape the world?
When the world is burning, how will you be at peace?
Listener: But Sir, it is the exact opposite of Self-education, that first change yourself and then the world will change.
Speaker: So, change yourself. How will the world change? On its own? When you change, then you become the agent of change. Or does self-education says, “Change yourself and then do nothing to change the world.” Self education says, “Change yourself and the world will change.” Now, connect these two statements, change yourself – first, the world will change – second. How does two follow one?
Listener: One has to change.
Speaker: But you are saying, “No, if we do that then we are being ambitious. If we do that then we are being a corporate.”
Listener: Sir, I am not saying that we shouldn’t do that. But I think, the amount of intensity we are putting in is too much.
Speaker: Yes, Love is intensity. What do you mean by too much? There is nothing like too much. Ambition is only when it is little. When it is too much, then it is not ambition. Then it becomes devotion. When your desire is of the limited, then it is called ambition. When your desire is of the unlimited, when it is too much, then it is called devotion. Do you understand this?
You can be ambitious only about the little, “Let me earn five hundred crores”, which is just a small sum. What is five hundred crores? Nothing. That is ambition. But when you want the ultimate, that is devotion. You are not stopping anywhere. Yes, do this, do that and then do a little more.
I am repeating this, the saint can know the ambition that the worldly mind can never know. Never know. The Bodhisattva ideal in Buddhism says that, “Here is the river of the world and deliverance lies on that shore, the other shore. And I am standing on this shore with the entire world. The boat is available to me. I can cross over anytime. I can get my individual deliverance anytime. But I realize that there is nothing called individual liberation. So I declare that I will be the last one to cross the river. I will not cross the river, till even the last blade of grass has crossed the river. I will stay here with the world, till even the stones are liberated.”
Only petty minds think of receding to the hills, sitting in their nice and comfortable rooms, all by themselves, and saying that I am done. I wanted it for myself, I got and that’s all. If you say that you wanted it for yourself and you got it, and that’s all, then you have not gotten it even for yourself. When you get it for yourself then a thousand ways emerge through which it radiates from you. And when it radiates from you, the ways are mysterious. From a Ramana Maharshi, it radiates even as he sits in his ashram. He didn’t go anywhere, but sitting in his ashram he was helping the entire world. From a Krishnamurti, it radiates as he travels the entire world.
The ways are different but one thing is certain, when you have it, it reaches out to all. And when it reaches out, you yourself cannot became a barrier, you cannot say that so much of intensity is not good. When there is a Sun burning within, obviously there will be an intensity in the light that emanates from you. How can you stop that intensity? Now that the sun is burning within, how can you stop that intensity in your eyes? You are powerless. You cannot help it now.
What you are seeing is just the beginning of ambition. You will see more and more ambition as time passes on. There will be no limits. Advait is not there to talk to these thirty people alone. Or do you think you are somebody special? Do you think that the rest of the world does not deserve to listen to what is being said here? Or do you think that there is some private or reserve about these teachings?
They need to reach everybody and we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that these reach everybody. Are you getting it?
~ Excerpts from a Shabd-Yog session.
Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi: A spiritual man is a really ambitious man
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