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Question:

One of yesterday’s Yoga Vasishtha knowledge points and homework, that you gave was ‘not to seek and just be and live effortlessly through whatever transpires because of Sanchita karma.’  How do we differentiate seeking from ambition?  Or are they the same? One usually has an ambition to grow in one’s career, ambition to become someone, ambition to start a business, etc…  We tend to put a lot of efforts in our ambitions, often without knowing what the outcome might be. Would that be seeking because it is aiming at something that is not here yet – it is a self-initiated thought?

I guess the question can be extrapolated to how to acquire the skill to live in this society where one has to move along with it to provide for the family which relates to ambition to ensure you have a job till you retire, fulfill the duties of being a father, mother, son, daughter, business leader, etc and yet be in knowledge all the time.

Answer:

Yes bitter as the truth might be, ambition is seeking . Whenever there is a feverishness in the mind, you are not living effortlessly without seeking. You are not being with what comes unsought. A wise one recognizes that this seeking has been given a wonderful name ‘ambition’.

Lord Krishna advises Arjuna, you become desire-less and do your Dharma. Say bye bye to every desire that arises. Seeking is nothing but a desire. Ambition is nothing but desire. Prajhaati yada kaamaan sarvaan partha manogataan – Bid adiu to every desire from all sides/angles/ types.

One very essential thing to understand is that this strong belief of the mind that “I am doing something, it is happening because of my efforts’ is a false belief. It is the tendency of the mind to delve in fairy tale stories and the most effective story is “I am doing”.

This doership is a false notion of the ego. When this is observed continuously [Sakshi] while making incessant efforts to drop the ego, again and again is called Purushartha.

The constant nagging of the mind thinking that it is the doer and therefore leading to feverishness, ambition, competitiveness, greed, ego, etc is your Daivam.

Now it depends on the intensity of your commitment whether your Purushartha wins over your Daivam or not. If your Purushartha wins over your Daivam, you reach a peaceful place of serenity where this feverishness quietens down and desires die down like a fire without fuel. You will still get what must come to you, it is just that now you are not feverish and you still receive 😉

If you let your Daivam win then the feverishness only leads to creation of more raaga and dvesha which in turn lead to Agami karma creation.

Choice is in your hands! Where do you want to see yourself at the end of this lifetime? Still caught up in the Karma cycle because you were so interested in accumulating the wealth/relationships/things/name/fame that you had to leave behind? OR Do you want to be free of this Karma bondage?

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3 Comments

  1. Nehal Shah

    Ambition is seeking a particular goal, be it money, power, designation, recognition. It is negative if you get what you want or dont get what you want.
    If you achieve it, your pride and ego will increase, that with your effort you achieved it. You will become proud, guile and boastful. After all it was your plan that succedded, you have to be somebody special!!!
    If you fail, you will get upset. Get angry at the world for getting in the way of your best aid plans.
    Either way, the ambition and subsequent results will be harmful in spiritual dimension.

    Reply
  2. Kanika

    Didi,

    I am still confused on this aspect. Yes, when we do effort (whether in any job or own work) we accomplish things. I agree that we shouldn’t let doership inflate our ego. However if we don’t do anything, we may mess our karma (towards family). I have been having this duvidha. I am trying to stay with flow (I lost my job in this quarantine and even though have experience and skill, am not finding another one). I am staying with what is and doing my karma (of a wife and mother) however that I am not employed does come back to me (directly or through subtle remarks from my family). Then I get in rage and loose my control. Then when I calm down, one thing I think is that maybe because I have no ambition/motivation that is why I am not successful in a career I did for 20 years. Maybe I should take one on one with you. I feel I get one step ahead one day and then 16 steps behind. I am stuck at Level 2 or 3 per understanding (Level 1 – All good happens because of me. All bad happens because of other people . Level 2 – All good happens because of God, all bad happens because of people (religious-1). Level 3 – All good happens because of God and all bad happens because of me (religious -2). Final state – All good and bad happens because of God. I should do my duty and give it to God without expectations).

    Reply

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