Is there ever any virtue in desire?

I have said that if you want to enter into the spiritual life with desire, it will be disastrous. What about those who do not have desire and at the same time do not have aspiration? There are millions and billions and trillions of people on earth who have neither desire nor aspiration. They are inert, they are like dead stones. For them, desire is most welcome. They need desire, they need ambition in order to grow.

Swami Vivekananda once said to someone. “Go and tell lies. I shall be responsible for your lies." That person replied, “You are a spiritual teacher and you ask me to tell lies?” “Yes,” Said Swami Vivekananda. He did this because that person was so lazy that he never moved an inch or made any necessary effort. Vivekananda said to him, “The spiritual life is not for you right now. You start telling lies. I will be responsible for your lies. Please be active.”

Those who have no desire and no aspiration are practically dead. They have to start their journey somewhere. They have to want things. They have to care for their children. They have to think of their family. They have to have some ambition in order to grow. Through desire we enter into life. Then, when we see that desire is not enough, we enter into the life of aspiration, where we can bloom. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that if you run a thorn into your foot, then you need the help of another thorn to take it out. Once you take the thorn out of your foot, then you throw both thorns away. A life of inertia is like a thorn in the foot. With another thorn, desire you take it out. Then you throw both the thorns away and enter into the life of aspiration.

Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol. 8, No. 7, February 1973.First published by AUM Centre Press in 1973.

This is the 9075th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book AUM — Vol. 8, No. 7, February 1973, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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