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Ambition for Material Success

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

11 May 2022

Let the mind expand. When the mind is organized and is qualitatively enriched, your physical and objective performance will be automatically elevated. Good performance proceeds from a good mind. Excellence and Efficiency belong to the mind, not to the body.

Q1: Many of us young professionals have been conditioned from a very young age to be ambitious and strive for material success. As such, we have an increased pull from the attraction of worldly objects. How do we manage this drive for success as we progress through our own spiritual quest?

PS: You have used the word ‘ambition’. Do you know what instantly flashes into my mind? I had studied Shakespere’s Julius Caeser in school. Brutus, after having slain Julius Caeser says: “There are Tears for his love; Joy for his fortune; Honour for his bravery but Death for his ambition.”

You know decades have passed but I still remember these words – “Death for his ambition”.

My dear Youth, ambition of any kind has a disastrous effect. You can strive for excellence. In our culture, there is a beautiful phrase, “Ati Sarvatra Varjayet”— Avoid excess everywhere. Even nectar in excess will cause indigestion.

Moderation is the watchword for every one of you. Krishna says the Yoga of Bhagavad Gita will become relevant and effective, provided we are moderate. Eat moderately, sleep moderately, exert moderately, listen to moderately and speak moderately. Everything should be in moderation. Then you will find the quality of evenness, equipoise, gets established and it will become your culture.

Actions are designed in the mind. Mind alone executes the action, making use of the body and senses. So, in the human personality, mind is the fulcrum for everything. If you want to perform well, the focus should be on the mind. Let the mind be flexible. Acquire whatever skill and merit you want. Everything in the human world is mento-intellectual. Your performance will be better when the mind is enriched and the intelligence is enlightened.

My dear Youngsters, I want you to go sky-high, but ambition is not the way for it. You may have discreet aspiration.

Let the mind expand. When the mind is organized and is qualitatively enriched, your physical and objective performance will be automatically elevated. Good performance proceeds from a good mind. Excellence and Efficiency belong to the mind, not to the body. To be able to perform excellently should be your objective. When the mind becomes excellent and the intelligence enlightened, we are able to apply the necessary will, wish, coordination, etc. So, cast aside the thought of ambition. You can have moderate, discreet expectations. But never be ambitious at all.

– Vicharasethu–Apr 2022

“My dear Youngsters, I want you to go sky-high, but ambition is not the way for it. You may have discreet aspiration. ”

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