Three significant questionsThe following questions were asked by Nemi on her birthday, 24 December 1976.
Question: How can I be sure that I won't have any regrets at the end of my life?Sri Chinmoy: Regret is a very peculiar thing. Some people regret the very beginning of their life’s journey. They blame God and they curse themselves for taking human incarnation. Again, some people regret as soon as they have ended their desire-life, vital life, emotional life. Although they have now entered into the aspiration-life, they feel miserable that they enjoyed or had to go through desire-life and vital life. They feel that if they had not gone through desire-life, if right from the very start of their journey they had entered into aspiration-life, then by this time they would have realised God and achieved boundless peace, joy, light and bliss.
Some people, at the end of their journey, regret that they have not accomplished what they wanted to accomplish in life. If they are spiritual, they feel miserable that they have not accomplished what they were supposed to accomplish for God. If they are unspiritual, they feel miserable because even now, when they have one foot in the grave, their desires have not been fulfilled.
Sometimes we achieve something that we have really worked for, but we regret it because the time, the energy and the money-power that we have spent to achieve that particular thing could have been utilised for something infinitely higher and better. Regret can assail human beings at any moment. No matter what we achieve, regret can plague us. We feel that we could have got something else, far better and superior. Regret is constantly coming to us in the form of subtle temptation, but we unfortunately do not recognise that inside regret temptation is looming large.
All this I am saying from the subtle philosophical point of view. In your case, if you are consciously and devotedly doing everything that you are supposed to do — prayer, meditation, selfless service — and at the same time if you are not expecting anything either from the Supreme or from yourself, then you can have no regret. At every moment you have to convince yourself that you do not need yourself. You as a human being do not need anything from your life, and your life itself does not need anything from you — from your physical body, your earthly existence. But at the same time you have to know that there is someone who does need you, and that is the Supreme.
Now the question may arise: are you ready to fulfil the Supreme’s Need? If you feel that you have not fulfilled His Need, you cannot fulfil His Need, and you will not be able to fulfil His Need, then again you may regret. At this time you should feel that what you have done has been to continue your preparation, which you started at the age of eighteen. You have to feel that when you entered into our path, you began to do what God wanted you to do in God’s own way. From the day you entered into our path, the day you accepted me as your Master, you have to count your life as the life of Eternity. The day you accepted our path was the day your earth-bound life entered into Eternity’s road consciously, soulfully and devotedly. You are now walking along Eternity’s road on earth. Forty, fifty, sixty, seventy years is nothing when we think of Eternity. You have to feel that this earthly life is traveling on that Eternity’s road and it has blended with Eternity.
Once you begin to walk along Eternity’s road, there is only one way to travel. You have to remember that it is not a two-way road; it is a one-way road. On a one-way road you cannot return. You may go very slowly; you may at times enjoy sleep, but the road itself will carry you, because the road is like a straight escalator. It is not an escalator that is going up or down; it is going always forward. Eternity’s road is like that. Once you are on that road, the road itself will take you to your goal. If you are conscious, then you know that you have a destination and you are going there. If you are unconscious, then you will go toward the destination, but you will not have the satisfaction, real satisfaction, of reaching your destination.
At the time of your departure from this world, which will take place after many, many years, do not think of how much you have achieved or how much you were supposed to achieve. Many spiritual Masters and many, many great figures have said, “So much to do, so little done.” From the poetic point of view and from the philosophical point of view this is correct. From the spiritual point of view it is only to some extent correct. At the end of your life’s journey you have to feel only that whatever the Supreme wanted to accomplish in and through you in this incarnation, He has accomplished; and whatever more He wants to accomplish in and through you, He will accomplish in your next incarnation. Once you know that the Supreme has brought you to His own Eternity’s road and that He has given you His escalator to take you to the goal, then there is no regret.
Do not take each second away from the hour. Do not take each hour away from the day. Try to connect each day with the sun, the life-giving creative force, but do not take the planet sun away from the universe or from God’s Infinity. Do not separate the limited from the unlimited. Your life here on earth, the short span of your human life, is limited. But do not separate it from the unlimited, from Eternity or Infinity. Take the drop as one with the ocean. Take the finite, the fleeting second, as a portion of Infinity and Eternity. If you accept your life in that way, then at the end of your life you will have no regrets. Regret is only in the limited consciousness. When we remain in the limited consciousness, we always feel that something else would have been better for us to achieve. But when we remain in the unlimited and eternal consciousness, there is no cause for regret, because if we have not accomplished something today, we know that tomorrow we will be able to accomplish it; therefore, we will have no regrets.