Home Spiritmails
102de Spiritmail

Ambition Versus Achievement

By Karmayogi

‘‘I wish to become the No. 1 cardiac surgeon in India. Is it a permissible idealism?'' is a question in the mind of a precocious young aspirant. It looks like a great aim. At the same time, in a society where ambition is frowned upon, it appears unpardonable. For one in that field there can be no greater accomplishment if he achieves it. It is doubly so when it is achieved without ambition. Ambition and greed are vices; aspiration, progress and endeavour are admirable. Certainly discrimination is valuable. S. Radhakrishnan, coming from ordinary circumstances, caught the eye of Sir Ashtosh Mukerjee, became Kamala Professor at Calcutta, was sent to England where he became a Fellow at Oxford. He rose to the Presidentship in India. It is a remarkable achievement. There are great names in every profession, such as Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer in Law, Sir A. Lakshmanaswamy Mudaliar in Education, B.C.Roy in medical practice, etc. All these people worked hard and achieved. It is clear that accomplishment is highly desirable. It is equally clear that ambition is undesirable. The doubt that is a festering sore in us arises because one goes with the other. When we discourage ambition in us, we lose enthusiasm and our achievements are dwarfed.

Is there a way of doing the right thing and avoiding the wrong motive? Taking complete interest in the subject and losing oneself in it will wean us away from ambitious motives. It will work for some time. After some time, ambition will rear its head. At such a juncture KNOWLEDGE helps immensely. One must think about this situation. Such a person will realise that 1. Ambition is ruinous, 2. Achievement is eminently possible without ambition. The knowledge that aspiration for a high goal that is not ambitious fulfils itself, is a great spur to progress. Thus ambition is overcome. Another method often advocated is to compete with oneself - to strive to be better than before. This way one concentrates NOT on the material gain but on the QUALITY of performance. To consecrate the goal to the Spirit is a spiritual method. Then our ego is replaced by the Spirit. Ambition in the lexicon of Spirit transforms itself into aspiration. I wish every talented Indian youth aspires like that. Those who are not endowed with talents will get TALENTS in their field by such an aspiration.

Contact: info [@] sriaurobindo.nl