A teacher once told her students that she had not failed anyone. A wave of cheer went round the class. She added that she had not passed anyone either, it was the students themselves who had done it.
Eknath Eswaran has said this so beautifully, “You are what your deep driving desire is. As is your driving desire, so is your will. As is your will, so are your deeds. As are your deeds, so is your destiny.”
In the case of the students, their desires were not backed up with enough will and hard work. So, how could they expect the teacher do what they didn’t deserve?
It is the sum total of our desires or vasnas that matters, since our karmas are largely dominated by our vasnas. This desire, however, should be so strong that other secondary desires lose their charm. If we have hundreds of small vasnas, we achieve nothing. But if we have one strong vasna, we get what we desire. Moreover, we qualify to deserve what we desire.
To deserve something, it is necessary to set goals and work towards them without losing focus. You cannot sail in many boats at the same time. Our needs or desires can be classified into four categories. Swami Shvender says the first type is met without much effort — food and shelter.
There are some that we get with a bit of effort like education, a clean house, etc. For some, we have to put in a lot of effort — doing well professionally. The fourth category includes those desires that can never be fulfilled — our wish to get respect from everyone.
Most of our desires fall in the first and second categories. It is the third category that takes one onto the path of progress and spirituality.