Sri Chinmoy: No, the body need not always be an obstacle, a hindrance to God-realisation. The body is unconscious right now, true. But it need not always be so. An infant is unconscious, but that does not mean that he will not grow into childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Let us regard the body as an unconscious child. The child will grow through the inner nourishment it gets from the soul on the strength of our aspiration. When a child goes to school, he gets knowledge. He also gains inner wisdom day by day. Similarly, when we pray, concentrate and meditate, we are invoking Light inside us, and this Light tries to permeate our whole outer existence.
You are absolutely right when you say that the body is a hindrance. It is a hindrance for a long time, until the Light of the soul comes forward and takes charge of the body. But if you say that the body will constantly and eternally stand against the soul, then you are making a mistake. If the body were to stand permanently against the soul’s possibilities, then nobody would be able to realise God. For God-realisation takes place only on this planet, only on earth.
In the beginning it is absolutely true that the body stands against the soul’s progress. But there comes a time when the soul comes to the fore and compels the body to become its faithful, perfect instrument. This achievement represents the victory of both the body and the soul. When the soul consciously makes the body feel what it should do, and when the body is willing to listen to the dictates of the soul, then the body and the soul run together. At that time, realisation, revelation and manifestation become inevitable. When we are advanced, when we are nearing our Goal, we see that the physical consciousness is totally merged in the psychic consciousness, and we see the body in its transformed luminosity. The soul and the body become part and parcel of the one Truth, and that Truth is God the infinite.
There is a piano and there is a pianist. Both are equally needed to produce music. If there is no instrument, how can the player play? And again, if there is no player, the piano cannot function. Similarly, the soul needs the body in order to fulfil its highest mission. And the body needs the soul to give purpose to its existence, to realise the Highest.