In this world nothing is gained without action. Through action we produce, providing a conducive and comfortable atmosphere for living. The Bhagavat Geeta says that through action, we can even attain liberation. But to do action enthusiastically we need Motivation, Dynamism and Perseverance. Where can these be attained?
The Rishis have openly declared that each one of us have infinite potential. However this potential expresses itself through dynamic action only when there is a motivation such as a need, desire or a goal.
Needs are the essentials required for our survival such as food clothing and shelter. To fulfill his needs man struggles and develops his capacities and skills.
Desire is an unsatisfied longing to possess or attain something I feel I do not have. It arises from a sense of incompleteness and a hope for happiness in the future and constitutes that by which we derive pleasure and enjoyment. But gaining a desire provides only short – term gratification. Desires can be positive or negative, and may or may not be essential for living. It is to fulfill his desires that man pants away with hopes, anxieties and tensions, sometimes excited, sometimes disappointed, at times joyful and at other times miserable.
A goal is that which gives long term benefit and helps to transform. The results of gaining it are long lasting. Goals are a source of inspiration and they give life a sense of purpose. The higher, greater, and nobler the goal that man is inspired by, to that extent man is able to break through his limitations and achieve things beyond comprehension.
Nature has provided us with the ability to fulfil our needs. Even animals can fulfill their needs. However in a competitive society, man has to struggle a bit more and certainly develop some skills. But when his needs are fulfilled, like any animal who has filled its belly, all that one does is rest.
For desires however, one has to strive and struggle. Moreover, since the results are limited and short – lived, one goes on in circles trying in vain to get satisfaction. Man monotonously does the same actions again and again to get the same unsatisfying pleasure and remains in the unending cycle of birth and death.
Fired by a goal, a person strives with great enthusiasm ready to make any sacrifice, even sacrificing many of his own personal desires. As the mental energies are no longer being dissipated in the pursuit of so many desires, the mind becomes more and more focussed and single pointed. Just as the scattered rays of the Sun cannot set anything on fire by themselves, however, when they converge through a lens, they can not only set paper on fire but even a log of wood.
If you look at the lives of all great people in the world, most of them started off just as ordinary people, but once they were fired by a goal and put in their tireless efforts, look at the dynamism that manifested from them. A giant arose out of their latent personality not only to make a difference in their lives but also in the lives of many for generations to come.
All of us may be ordinary, but there is a great potential in us waiting to be tapped. It is triggered off when one develops a goal and becomes dedicated to it. Pujya Gurudev often gave the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a lawyer when he was thrown out of a first class compartment of a train because of the racial discrimination prevalent in South Africa during that time. Being a young man he was frustrated, hurt and insulted, so he made a great hue and cry and was able to stir a few people to stand up against racism. But the whole endeavour was crushed by the police and Mohandas returned to India no doubt proclaimed a hero, but in reality, a failure.
When he returned to India some of the great stalwarts of the freedom movement recognised the potential in the young man and approached him to join them in their struggle for freedom. The young Gandhi who at that time was only thinking of getting a job and earning some bread and butter for himself and his family at that moment lost heart and wondered if such a freedom was ever possible from the mighty empire. He was asked to travel through the country and when he saw the sufferings of the people he set aside his own needs and desires and took up as his life goal to free the millions of his brothers and sisters of the country.
Tirelessly, enthusiastically, in spite of all the obstacles and difficulties and even failures, he strove for the goal. From that little young man with an almost squeaky voice rose a roaring giant who when he spoke, the British empire trembled. And when he picked up a pinch of salt to challenge the Empire, it crumbled. All of this he achieved by holding on to his principle of non – violence.
Narendra went around asking saints ineloquently if they had seen God and whether they could show it to him. Shri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa saw the potential in this young man. Gave him knowledge and insight. But his glory manifested when at Kanyakumari he discovered for himself his special purpose and set for himself the goal of spreading Vedanta to the West. After that, in spite of all the difficulties and insults that he had to endure on his way to Chicago, once on the platform of the World Parliament of Religions he astounded the gathering of hundreds of learned listeners with his very first statement; “My dear Brothers and Sisters….” The roaring eloquence of Swami Vivekananda echoes even today.
Our own Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda searched for answers to the many questions he had regarding the blind beliefs of society due to which many crimes were being perpetrated in the name of religion. He took to a life of great austerities learning Vedanta at the feet of Swami Tapovanji Maharaj in the Himalayas. Having attained his own satisfaction and fulfillment he got inspired on the banks of the river Mother Ganga to spread this knowledge logically and scientifically to the modern educated skeptic masses as well as to teach the knowledge of the Truth beyond all blind beliefs, superstitions and dogmas.
Today, that Lion amongst Mankind, even after his physical body is no longer manifest, through his mighty work and mission still majestically Strides On.