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.”
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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’.
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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

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