I asked him, “What is the reason for this anxiety? Do you have a strong urge for the divine and that is why you are in anguish? Do you feel pained missing the only meaning in life, the only goal of life? Do you feel life is useless unless it is achieved? Have you tasted its flavor and that taste is haunting you, pulling you, calling you again and again? Have you seen the divine through some window, either close by or maybe from a distance, and now you find it difficult to forget, and again and again, repeatedly, you remember that opening and think of how to reach there?”
He replied, “No, nothing like that. When you can achieve it, why can’t I? When Ramakrishna can achieve it, why can’t I? And when Ramana Maharshi can achieve it, then what is wrong with me? I am disturbed when I listen to you people. I have neither a taste, nor any urge, and I am not even sure whether the divine exists or not!”
So it may not be visible to you, but the sage’s prayer is correct: May we hold no envy. We should not begin our search because of the jealousy we hold for others or because we are afraid of lagging behind.
We are all in competition with each other, not only for a house or furniture, but even to realize the divine. If a hundred names were removed from the history of mankind we might even forget the idea of God. Those hundred persons provoke jealousy in us. One Buddha is born and our life is in difficulty: If this man has achieved, how can I lag behind?
So at first we try in every way to deny his achievement; that is our strategy, our self-defense. First, we make every effort to deny his achievement. We think, “One day I saw this man looking so angry, once I saw him eating delicious food, one day I saw this man full of ego.” First, we console ourselves in every possible way that he has not achieved, so that we may avoid this problem of envy or jealousy, so that this feeling of competition can be avoided. But a person like Buddha does not consider or care about us. He goes on living in his own way.
Then slowly slowly we get disturbed realizing that he has achieved something. We try him in every way, but he does not care. It seems that he has got something. We test him by throwing stones at him, by giving poison to him, by crucifying him; we test him in all kinds of ways, and then a suspicion grows. One day we feel that yes, he has got it. And then immediately our struggle begins to achieve the same.
It is difficult to conceive that people will begin even the search for truth with jealousy, but this is the reality. Even there, jealousy exists. We neither tolerate the other being rich, nor being wise. We cannot tolerate the feeling that the other has achieved something which we have not.
So the sage prays: May we hold no envy.