“I do not wish to work under someone. I want to run my own business. For that, I need capital and experience. So I am working as a sales representative in an organization. But in this profession, I have to go from house to house; organization to organization. In order to meet a person, I have to wait for hours together. Even to get an appointment to see someone, I have to visit the place several times.
Many look down upon me as a ‘nuisance’ and treat me so. Because of this, my self-esteem has suffered severe blows. Sometimes I feel why at all should I get into any business. Why can’t I get employed as a clerk in a company?” – A young man from Thanjavur, a temple town in the State of Tamil Nadu, once wrote to me like this.
Before attempting to answer his question, let us view an incident that took place in the life of Buddha.
A young man came to meet Buddha. But he was not aware that He was the enlightened Buddha. He was so enamored by the brightness and beauty of His presence, he asked Him…
‘Are you a Celestial being?’
‘Have you descended from the heavens?’
‘Then are you from this earth?’
Now the young man lost his patience and said, ‘Then, who are you?’
‘Oh! Son, you could have asked this question at the very outset!’ said Buddha.
‘I am a clean mirror, just reflecting what is.’ Please note that what is reflected does not pollute the mirror. If our consciousness can be like a mirror, then the life will have a different flavour. This is a famous saying of Buddha. It has a very deep meaning.
When someone praises us as `capable, clever,’ what do we think? ‘This person says I am intelligent. He thinks I know a lot. He calls me clever. He compares me with Chanakya. He feels that I am highly skillful. He is astounded at my intelligence ‘ In this manner, we create a heap of a thousand words of praise from a single word of appreciation.
Similarly, if someone calls us a fool, we add on a thousand words of insult and feel depressed. But if our mind is like a plain mirror as Buddha said, then we would reflect only on the word spoken by the other person. We would not look into every possible interpretation of the word, and create meanings where none exist!
Now let us look at the question posed by the youngster from Thanjavur. I am not going to tell him directly what to do and what not to do. I am only going to relate an incident in the life of Madan Mohan Malviya. Let him receive what he can from this incident!
Madan Mohan Malviya was the founder of The Banares Hindu University, in North India. While he was trying to build the university, he had to overcome many difficulties and barriers. He worked with determination to start the University.
There was a funds crisis; but he did not get disheartened. He went from town to town, met many rich men and traders to collect donations. He went to the Nizam of Hyderabad to request him for funds. The Nizam was furious, ‘How dare you come to me for funds… that too for a Hindu University?’ he roared with anger and took off his footwear and flung them at Malviya.
Malviya picked up the footwear and left silently. He came directly to the market place and began to auction the footwear. As it was the Nizam’s footwear, many came forward to buy it. The price went up. When the Nizam heard of this, he became uneasy. He thought it would be an insult if his footwear were to be bought by someone for a pittance. So he sent one of his attendants with the instruction, ‘Buy that footwear no matter what the bidding price be!’
Thus, Malviya managed to sell the Nizam’s own footwear to, him for a huge amount. He used that money to build the Banares Hindu University!
I only wish to tell this to all those young men who are without an ideal or goal in life.
Do you know what prevents a person from succeeding?
It is not his lack of skills or qualifications. It is his predetermined conclusion that the doors of opportunities are closed for him.
It is not what you have, but it is how you use what you have which makes a difference in your life. Do not give up under the impression that “Opportunity is Nowhere!” Take that sentence in the right spirit that “Opportunity is Now Here!” and move forward in your life!
-Oh, Life Relax Please! by Swami Sukhabodananda.