_Question:_ What is the difference between aspiration and desire?5

Sri Chinmoy: When we desire, we try to increase our capacities in order to challenge others, in order to defeat others, in order to lord it over others, and in order to make the world feel that we are a few inches — if not a few miles — ahead of it. Desire wants to say, like Julius Caesar: “Veni, vidi, vici — I came, I saw, I conquered.” I came into your domain, I saw you and I conquered you.

Aspiration is not like that. When we aspire, we cry not only for our own perfection but also for others’ perfection. Aspiration will say, “What I have, I wish to share with you. If I have a good thought, I wish to share it with you. Again, if you have a good thought, I wish you to share it with me. Let us share our capacities and our realities with each other.” Aspiration plays the role of oneness, which is nothing other than perfection itself. Oneness is perfection; perfection is oneness.

Desire enjoys the sense of separativity: “You stay where you are, I will stay where I am, and I will try to show you that I am infinitely more powerful than you, infinitely superior to you. In every aspect of life I will show you that I far surpass you.” This is the message of desire. But aspiration will say, “If I have anything good, I will share it with you. If I have beauty, I will give it to you. If I have power, I will give it to you, because I am always eager to sing the song of oneness.”

Aspiration is always trying to establish its oneness with each and every individual, and to see only the good, divine, supreme qualities that each individual has and is. If aspiration discovers that I have an unlit quality or capacity, it will try to illumine it. It will never give it to you. My difficulties and imperfections, aspiration will not hide. It will try to illumine them, but it will never offer them to you. When I am aspiring, I will pray to God, my Heavenly Father, to inundate me with light so that I can illumine my imperfections, limitations and undivine qualities.

Desire, on the other hand, secretly or openly will try to throw into you only bad qualities. If I have any wrong thoughts or wrong ideas, if I have anything that is undivine and destructive, openly I can’t give these things to you. But secretly my desire will try to inject them into you so that you will also bear the burden and suffer, so that you will carry the heaviest possible load and not be able to surpass me in any way.

Desire binds us; aspiration liberates us. Desire wants to lord it over others. Aspiration always wants to be one with others. Each time desire achieves its goal, another goal looms ahead; so desire is never satisfied. First it wants one house, then two houses, then three houses, and at the end of the road, frustration looms large. But when we aspire, even if we get just an iota of light, we are satisfied, for we know that eventually we will be inundated with the infinite ocean of Light. Right now we are wanting in receptivity. Once we get more receptivity and our inner vessel becomes large, larger, largest, at that time we shall definitely see and grow into infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. These are not mere words or ideas; these are realities that will one day be at our disposal.

The following questions were asked after Sri Chinmoy's talk "Hope" in Honolulu, Hawaii on 15 March 1980.

From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol.II-6, No. 5, May 1980, Vishma Press, 1980
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