Question: What if someone dies of starvation, so to speak, while waiting for the twenty dollars? I am not talking about physically dying.

Sri Chinmoy: You do not die of starvation! Nobody has died spiritually by praying to God. There is always inner progress towards God-realisation. Is there anybody on earth who can say, "I prayed to God, but I only starved"? Is there anybody who died spiritually by praying to God and then had to say, "God, I prayed to You, but You did not care for me"?

Indian monks, like Swami Vivekananda and others, went begging for food. They were only roaming from street to street, from where to where, from this village to that village. Did they die? Is there anybody who died while praying to God? No! God will give a dream to someone to bring those monks some bananas or milk. Again, Indian sadhus sometimes say they will not eat anything. They are not begging for food; they are only praying to God. Then God Himself, or Mother Kali or another Cosmic God, will give a dream to a rich woman, and every day food will come to them. Every day milk, food, everything they need will come. The sadhus will say, "I am praying to You, God. It is Your business. If You want to preserve my health, then preserve it." Then God sees that they are praying most sincerely, so God brings food. That has happened to millions of sadhus. To all of them it happens.

You are not talking about physical starvation. But we have to see what you are longing for, for the fulfilment of what particular desire, and whether God thinks that desire is positive. If God is not fulfilling your desire, then it is for your good. Again, if God sees that you have no spiritual capacity, no potential, then God will definitely fulfil your desire. If God does not see something inner, deeper, more meaningful, more fruitful in your life, in anybody's life, then God will fulfil the unspiritual desire.

There are many desires God will fulfil for ordinary people who have not entered the spiritual life. But in your case, God still hopes that He will be able to take you high, higher, highest, so that is why God does not fulfil certain desires of yours. But the same desires that my disciples have, God would definitely fulfil for people who have not accepted the spiritual life. About those people, God says, "Their standard is different. They do not care for spiritual progress."

But God says that you have promised something. You have promised that you are not going to be satisfied if you stay in one place. You want to go much higher. Will God believe your promise? Or will God fulfil your present physical, mental or vital desire? Your promise is infinitely higher than your desire. When you are in a good mood, a spiritual mood, your promise is infinitely higher than the earth-bound desire that you have for a few days or a few months. God knows everything. He says, "If I fulfil your little desire, then you will be caught there. If I do not fulfil your earth-bound desire, then the promise that you have made to Me, which is infinitely higher, I am going to fulfil." God wants to take you higher.

Many, many desires God will fulfil for people who have not accepted the spiritual life. But if they are spiritual people, and if there is a special promise that their soul has made, and that they themselves have consciously made to their soul, then God says, "Their goal is very high. They themselves wanted and aimed at that higher goal." Love, devotion, unconditional surrender: if that is the higher goal they aimed at, and now the physical, vital or mind wants to be satisfied by fulfilling a particular lower desire, what will poor God do?

If God sees that someone made a promise to climb up to the highest branch of the tree and then started to pray for the fulfilment of desire, God will not wait for that individual. He may say, "All right, take your time. But I want you to fulfil your promise eventually." Or He may allow the person to lower his promise and say, "No, I do not want to climb to the highest branch; as long as I can come and touch the tree, it is enough." Perhaps the seeker will even say, "If I can come near the tree, or come within a thousand miles of the tree, I will be fulfilled." At that time God says, "Then stay there."

But our promise God always wants. God wants our promise, even if we break or forget our promise. Today that highest goal is out of our mind. But tomorrow, or in a few days, God hopes that again that highest promise will come to the fore, and once again we will want to climb up. Even if right now we are giving up the promise, after some time we will once again want to climb up the Himalayas, because that is our promise that is our goal. Then God waits. He says, "All right, you fell down; you do not want to climb today. Take rest for a month or two, or even for a few years. But then, again try, try to climb up the Himalayas."

Sri Chinmoy, Beyond likes and dislikes: illumining questions and answers.First published by Agni Press in 2012.

This is the 1597th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Beyond likes and dislikes: illumining questions and answers, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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