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Be Aggressively Desperate.

There are many stories that one would hear with the same narration but with different characters. The story of Buddha would be told as the story of Mahavir or Jesus and so on. Here is one such story that I have heard multiple times in different contexts with different characters. But it does not matter, since the message remains the same, and so does it’s teachings.

Vivekananda was offering “Charan Seva” to his Guru Swami Ramkrishna Paramhans by massaging his feet. This was of course a daily ritual, as Vivekananda used to consider servicing his Master as his good fortune and his duty.

One afternoon, while offering Charan Seva, Swami Ramkrishna Paramhans felt that tears were dropping on his feet as Vivekananda was crying. He asked, “ Naren, are you crying?” (You may know that Vivekananda’s real name was Narendra). Vivekananda said, “Yes Master.” “But why?”, asked Guruji. Vivekananda said, “I have been meditating for so many years under your guidance, but I did not get God’s Darshan (God’s manifestation / Vision of the Divine) .”

Guruji said, “Ohh, is this the only reason for your agony? Come along…” He took Vivekananda to the river bank and asked him to take a dip. Guruji also walked with him to the river and as Vivekananda took a dip, Guruji held Vivekananda’s head inside the river for a while. Vivekananda was trying to come out of the water but Guruji forcefully kept pushing his head below the water surface. Vivekananda was confused with his Master’s action, he was struggling and gasping…after some moments when Guruji released him, Vivekananda rose instantly from the water with a deep sigh of relief, desperately gasping for air. He was breathing heavily for a while before he could gather himself to ask, “Wwhatt…What did you do Guruji ….and why????

Ramakrishna Paramhans smiled and asked, “What were you feeling when you were under water?” Vivekananda said, “Of course, I felt like…I felt like I will die. Every atom, every ounce, every cell of my body was desperate to breathe, and craving for oxygen.” Swamiji said, “Naren, have you ever felt the same way to connect with God?………………The day you will be as aggressively desperate to meet God as you were a while ago, your God will come running to you.”

Many a times, when we are working on something important and are struggling to get success or a breakthrough, our mind will first start finding faults with others, blaming circumstances, market conditions, growing competition, global slowdown. Slowly we start doubting and blaming ourselves . It is then that we tend to lose hope, self-confidence and self-belief.

Now that I have embarked on my entrepreneurship journey of launching our tech focused VC fund, I do understand and realise that it’s never going to be a simple  straight-line journey, instead it will be fun-filled rollercoaster ride, not all days are going to be the same….in such situations, I always look at the moon  and think –

पल में बढ़े पल मे घटे, पल मे हो वीलीन,

चन्द्र को भी दिए नहीं प्रभुने समान दिन ।

Pal me badhe, pal me ghate, pal me ho veelin
Chandra ko bhi diye nahin Prabhu ne samaan din.

Even the moon does not have all days same.

Every time I feel disheartened, depressed, disappointed, frustrated for not getting the desired result of my efforts, I remember this story of Swami Vivekananda. It inspires me, making me realize that my efforts are still not enough. It pushes me to work harder, and encourages me to ‘challenge my limits’. It serves as my ‘circle of light’.

बाधाएँ कब बाँध सकीं हैं आगे बढ़ने वालों को,
विपदाएँ कब रोक सकीं हैं पथ पर चलने वालों को ।
अटल रहा जो अपने पथ पर, लाख मुसीबत आने से
मीली सफलता उसको जग में जीने में जी जाने में ।।

Badhaein kab bandh saki hain aage badhane walon ko
Vipadaein kab rok saki hain path par chalane walon ko
atal rahaa jo apane path par, lakh museebat aane se
mili safalta oosko jag me, jine me, jee jane me.

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.
– Og Mandino

About rajivvaishnav

Rajiv Vaishnav Managing Partner Cornerstone Venture Partners Rajiv is Managing Partner at Cornerstone Venture Partners, a global tech VC fund focused on Consumer business enablers (such as Applied AI) and Enterprise / SME BI solutions (vertical SaaS, AR & VR applications, Blockchain for enterprise, etc.). Cornerstone is a Pre-series A / Series A fund, the first institutional support for promising tech ventures enabling growth and customer access in unique ways. Rajiv brings over 35 years of solid experience in building brands, developing teams, expanding the market share and building organisations from grass root upwards. He was heading the Ecosystem & Partnerships Developmentt at Jio-GenNext Hub, A Reliance Enterprise. In this role, Rajiv is responsible to evangelize the Start-Up ecosystem, identify and connect with the deserving start-ups, academia, government agencies, mentors, angel investors and VC networks globally. Since 2002 till end of 2015, Rajiv was an integral part of NASSCOM’s senior management team. He headed NASSCOM’s first regional office in Mumbai and grown to manage the membership outreach nationally. He initiated many path breaking initiatives at NASSCOM including Cyber Safety initiatives with enforcement agencies, start-up incubators with State Governments under 10K Startup programme, evangelised Animation and Gaming industry and nurtured it, lead the ISO Standards initiative to establish a Global BPO and Product Quality Framework Standards out of India. He helped establish NASSCOM’s emerge forum in its formative days. At NASSCOM, he was enthusiastic about developing new IT destinations in the country, and fostering platforms for Industry-academia interactions as he believed that these were the two most critical requirements for the Indian IT industry to maintain its globally advantageous position. Rajiv was a member of AICTE (WR) and of IQAC of the SNDT Women’s University and Trustee at Dewang Mehta Foundation Trust. With Harish Mehta, the first President of TiE, Mumbai and the first Chairman of NASSCOM, Rajiv co-founded TiE in India. He built the organisation bottoms-up and nurtured the start-up ecosystem in India since early 2000. He got early exposure to work with TiE in Silicon Valley and investors, entrepreneurs and mentors such as Kanwal Rekhi, Suhas Patil, Desh Deshpande, Sridhar Iyengar, Raj Jaswa, Shabir Bhatia, Raj Desai and many others… He has worked with Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), Franchising Association of India (FAI) and US- Environment Resource Center (US-ERC). In the corporate sector, his experience includes stints with two U.S. Freight Forwarding giants Emery Worldwide and Air Express International in sales & marketing. In 2000, Rajiv was invited by the U.S. Government to participate in their International Visitors programme on US Trade and World Market. Rajiv has administered several outward trade delegations including those to International Franchise Expo ’99, USA, Emerging Companies delegations to CeBIT Australia and Silicon Valley. He has represented NASSCOM in the International Advisors Council to the Mayor of Luwan District in Shanghai, China and E-Sports Symposium in Seoul, Korea. Rajiv is a Science graduate from Mumbai University. He is passionate about music and literature. His blog url:
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6 thoughts on “Be Aggressively Desperate.

  1. As you rightly mentioned Rajiv Sir… Yes… indeed a known story but the way you have represented it is really fantastic… Also the simile that you have brought at the end adds even more value… Congratulations for making another encouraging post…

  2. Superb Rajiv I have come to know many things about you and your organisation through this blog keep up brother I wish you all the best and wish you many more accolades in your career…

  3. Reiteration of such simple thoughts and examples, which, otherwise are so complex with majority of the people to understand and implement. Such stories are time and again so important to share that will influence and benefit a few. Thank you so very much for such a goodness to share.

  4. Thank you for sharing this blog Rajiv . A corollary , we are never tested beyond our level of endurance , but tested we are for sure .
    Keep the faith 🙂
    All the best

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