Today, there is an ever-increasing craze for name and fame. Most of us feel that these two are the only measures of our success or greatness. Often, we also adopt dubious means to earn name and fame. However, this is our total ignorance because our inner progress or worth has nothing to do with our external achievements. Such persons are also not able to contribute much to the society in the real sense. On the other hand, there are countless persons who have no name or fame. Yet, they are good souls who contribute to the welfare of the society without creating any envy or ill will. Once this truth is realised, the craze for name and fame drops automatically and we pay greater attention to our inner development. In the process, we also grow externally and perform better in our mundane life as well.
The above lesson was learnt by me from a book on Swami Vivekanand’s life. When Swami Vivekanand delivered his famous speech at the World Religion Meet in Chicago in the year 1893, he became a hero of the meet within no time. In the process, his fame spread all over the continent and many organisations started approaching him for sponsorship. For a moment, Swamiji got attracted to the offers for the cause of his mission, but very soon he realised that the main objective of such offers was commercial and not to serve the cause of his mission. Therefore, he decided to distance himself from them. He told his sponsors that his fame was only accidental and by no means was he a first-class yogi. At best, he fell in the category of second or third-class yogis. He further said that the first-class yogis are never known to the world in general.
They do their sadhna so silently that nobody comes to know of it. However, by remaining anonymous, they contribute much more to the welfare of the world. For him, fame was an impediment. And, therefore, he would not like to ride on it. This way, he excused himself and went on further in a natural manner to pursue his mission. Here lies the secret of Swamiji’s success. He lived only nine years after his famous speech, but during this short period he revolutionised religion. It transformed from passive dogmas to dynamic ways of living for the welfare of the human society. The message is that we grow best when we work selflessly without any craze for name and fame. It is a different matter if we get them too in due course. Our society has many such silent workers. They may not be well-known but they make a difference to things and people around them.