Question: How can we find joy in strict discipline?

Sri Chinmoy: The mind calls it discipline. The heart calls it a process to achieve something, to gain something. The soul does not call it even a process. The soul feels that that very thing not only embodies but is Reality-Delight itself. Whenever we want to do something, immediately the mind vetoes it. Even if the mind wanted it two days ago or two years ago, if we sincerely try to get it, the mind vetoes it. It does not want it anymore. It says it is much too difficult, or it is not worth having. This is our tricky mind. Even if it wanted something yesterday, today the mind will take away its conscious willingness. With your heart or your vital if you want something, the mind immediately says, “No, don’t take it.”

Discipline, in our ordinary life, is like punishment, nothing short of it. You people have not suffered from malaria, and I do not want anybody to suffer from it. In India we do suffer from this disease. I suffered. You cannot imagine how painful malaria is. All the subtle and gross nerves start dancing with pain! You may not know any acrobatics, but as soon as you get malaria you become an expert. All kinds of acrobatic exercises you will do because pain compels you. Now, the only medicine for malaria is called quinine. It is extremely, extremely bitter. No other medicine is as bitter as quinine. But quinine is the saviour. You have to take it if you want to be relieved from this pain. If you do not take it, unpleasant as it is, then how are you going to get rid of the fever?

Now ignorance lords it over us. Ignorance has become our master. We do not want this master, so we need something stronger than this present master in order to overthrow him. Ignorance is our master, but we want knowledge to be our master. So if ignorance is the disease, discipline is the only cure. We have to consider discipline as our new master, new guide, new saviour. If we take discipline, then we can be cured from this ignorance-disease. Right now discipline is something we are facing like a kind of punishment. But if we think of it as our help, our guide, our inspiration, our aspiration, our realisation even, to conquer the undivine in us and around us, then it will give us joy.

Think of discipline as a new master who is helping you to learn something new, meaningful, soulful and fruitful so that you do not have to be under the domination of the old master anymore. The old master was lethargy, darkness, ignorance and all negative forces. Give discipline the utmost value. It embodies light and it is more than eager to offer you light. Then only will you not be afraid of discipline. Think what it is going to give you, or what it has and what you do not have. When you make a comparison, you will see that right now you are swimming in ignorance-sea and discipline is telling you, “Poor girl, why are you suffering? I have boundless light, delight, peace and bliss. Come and get it from me.” Discipline is your guide, your saviour.