Question: I've read that individuals take life too seriously, whereas they should not take life so seriously?

Sri Chinmoy: If one has attained a very high state of consciousness and has established a free access to the eternal Life, then he knows that there is life, then death, then after death, new life again. This knowing is not just knowing from a book. One has to realise or discover the fact that this earthly death is only a short passage, like the tunnel to Manhattan, and at the end of it there is day again. So if one knows there is something called eternal Life, then for him sixty or seventy years is nothing. For him it is not necessary to take life very seriously. This is just one point of view, for somebody who has realised the Highest.

If somebody has realised God, he may not want to go into the field of manifestation and work hard again. He may come into the world or remain in the world not to help mankind, but to enjoy — not in an ordinary human way, but as an observer. You have played your game extremely well for so many years. Then you go to Heaven, and when you come back you may not want to participate in this sort of game again. Spiritual people can say, “I’m not going to play at all this time. I will just watch.” If someone has realised something very high, if he has gone to the top of the Himalayas in spiritual height, then he can say, “Let me take rest here on earth as we take rest in Heaven.” There are some spiritual Masters who have done this. After realising God they have stayed on earth for 20 or 30 years longer, but they didn’t enter into the field of manifestation. They only watched. They ran fastest until they reached their destination. Then they wanted only to look at others to see how they are running, and to enjoy observing the speed of others. But if God wants them to reveal and manifest Him, and instead they just observe, then they are making a mistake. It is all right only if God has sanctioned them, saying, “My son, you have worked so hard. Now if you want to take rest for a few earthly years, I grant you that opportunity.”

But for those who have not yet realised the Highest and who want to realise the Highest, each second is of paramount importance. If they don’t have a goal, then they can take rest, but if they have a goal, they should take it seriously and run toward it. It you have an important destination, how can you take rest before you reach it? Each second counts. There are many people all over the world for whom there is no goal. For them every day is the same, and nothing is serious or important. But if one has a goal, then one does not want to waste even one second.

At the same time, we should be wise. If we take life too seriously without having the necessary capacity to deal with life successfully, then we will commit suicide. If someone wants to get his Master’s degree and he feels that if he does not get it his whole world will collapse, then he has taken life too seriously. At this point he has to be very wise. He has to know that there are thousands and thousands of M.A.s on earth, and if he does not become one of them, it will not be a terrible disaster. He may not get this degree, but there are millions of other people on earth who have not got it either, and who are satisfied without it. What human beings need is patience. If you do not succeed in your efforts this time, then try again later on. If the next time you also fail, then believe in reincarnation. In your next life you can start studying again. Many people have done many undivine things, many absurd things, when their earthly desires were not fulfilled, just because they have taken life too seriously.

People who have the inner cry, the aspiration to realise the highest Goal, should not waste time, but again, they should not set a date. If I have just started praying and meditating today, I must not say that the day after tomorrow I must realise God, and that if I don’t realise God the day after tomorrow, I will take my life. If I am sincere, I will say that although it is my sincere wish to realise God the day after tomorrow, I know that God is all Compassion, and at His own Hour He will grant me realisation. It is not at all advisable to fix a date, but if my desire compels me to set a date, then by that date the wisdom must dawn that it is not my choice but God’s Grace that will grant me realisation.

One has to know what kind of aspiration one has. If he has burning aspiration, then he should cherish it and must not waste one second in reaching his goal. He will tell himself, “With this intense aspiration I will try always to run the fastest. At God’s own choice Hour He will give me realisation.” This is the best attitude for an aspirant to have toward life.