Question: As your disciples, how many hours of sleep do you feel we should have each night?

Sri Chinmoy: Seven hours’ sleep is, I think, more than enough. Eight hours’ sleep is not meant for you people any more, but some of you still sleep ten hours, I know. Perhaps you sleep on my behalf. But you should regard more than seven hours of sleep as detrimental to your spiritual progress, your spiritual consciousness, in the same way that you consider taking drugs, drinking and smoking detrimental. If you put oversleeping in that same category, you will be able to discipline yourselves. Always you have to be very cautious.

I have spoken about the danger of fear and doubt. Unfortunately, we don’t take these things seriously. We just say, “Oh, I have the capacity to conquer them, for I am physically strong. And lethargy is something very feminine, very weak. If I want to, I can conquer it.” This kind of idea comes into our minds. But lethargy, fear, doubt and all the other undivine forces have tremendous power.

Look at jealousy. All the time we are jealous, but we feel that if we want to conquer jealousy, we can do so in a moment. That is our human feeling. For forty or fifty years, for all our life, we have been jealous of someone or other, but we think that if we want to conquer our jealousy, it won’t take even a day to do so. We have such confidence in ourselves! But let us try, and we shall see that it will take us another fifty years to conquer our jealousy.

Unless we have conquered something which stands in our way, we must not say that we can conquer it. First let us conquer it; then we shall see our strength. We feel that the undivine force is something very subtle and small, something that we can easily crush; but it is so powerful that it simply ruins us. Let us catch hold of the undivine force and destroy it. Then only can we say that we are strong.