Sri Chinmoy: [to one of his disciples:] You are very kind to people at your job. You are organised. You are polite; when I call and you answer the telephone, your response is quite good. You are a good worker. All kinds of excellent reports I have got from one of your fellow workers. Do you have a question? I will answer it very quickly! 6

Question: Sometimes I find myself in total darkness, but you lead me back to my spiritual life. You are taking me to the Goal. How can we invoke God's Grace so we do not lose you in our spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: The answer I will be able to give you. There is one easier than the easiest way. You love me; I love you. Now, comparison has to come into the picture. You have to feel constantly — if not constantly, then every day — that I love you infinitely more than you can love yourself. First you have to feel that I love you infinitely more than you love me — that is absolutely true. And the second part of the answer is that I love you infinitely more than you can love yourself.

These are not mere words, because I am dealing with your soul. This is not your first incarnation, good boy, and it is not your last incarnation. I am dealing with Eternity. Since I am dealing with Eternity, automatically Infinity comes into existence. Eternity and Infinity go together. These are not just English dictionary words. These are realities. When I deal with the soul, it is a matter of Infinity. Unfortunately, you cannot deal with your soul, or your soul is unable to deal with you because you have a mind, you have a vital, you have a body, and there your problem starts! But I can deal with your soul. Your soul has a free access to me, and I have a free access to your soul. That means I am able to handle Eternity and Infinity together. This body lives for seventy, eighty or ninety years, and then it is finished. But the soul brings the message of Immortality.

Think of any disciple, no matter how good he is or how absolutely bad he is. There is one "famous" disciple whom you know. How many people have his heart? His vital life is unthinkable, but when it is a matter of his pure heart, I do not think he loves anybody else except me. Believe me, it is absolutely true! He is impossible in his vital life, but when I concentrate on his heart — let us not even think about the aspiring heart — I see that his heart's love is for nobody else on earth, only for me. When it comes to vital life, emotional problems, he is to be found there. He is prominent in the vital world. But when it comes to a pure heart that loves only one person, if you have to identify his heart and his life-breath, you will see that he loves Sri Chinmoy and nobody else. In his outer life, where he is, God only knows! But I know the oneness of his heart with my heart. There are a few "famous" disciples like that.

In your case, there is no comparison between you and those people. But I wish to say that you and all my disciples have to convince yourselves that I love you infinitely more than you can love yourselves. And again, I have told you that you cannot love me as much as I love you. On the outer plane, if you have ten million dollars, let us say, then poor me, in comparison I have a hundred dollars. You may be able to give me millions of dollars, but I will be able to give you a maximum of one hundred dollars. If you are pleased with me, you can give me millions of dollars in terms of outer wealth. If I am pleased with you, the maximum I can offer you is one hundred dollars. I am giving you a simple example to show that you are infinitely richer in the material world than I am.

But that is only in outer terms. In spirituality, in aspiration and dedication, I am dealing with Infinity and Eternity. If you want to give me something outwardly, you can give me so much more than I can give you. In exactly the same way, all the disciples must feel that I love them infinitely more than they can love me. The mind will say that is impossible. The mind will not allow that thought. It will say, "Oh, I have got stomach pain. Is Guru thinking of me? I am the sufferer!" Outwardly I may say, "How are you feeling?" That is like the ordinary communication between a mother and son. The mother will say, "O my God, my son has got a stomach upset." But you will see that inside the pain itself is my soul, because your soul is bringing the message to me.

Always we have to bring divinity to the forefront and say, "My Guru is dealing with my eternal life. My Guru is dealing with Infinity." Every day a disciple should say that I love him infinitely more than he can ever love himself or love me. When that feeling comes, darkness goes away! Darkness may come, but inside the darkness there will be this thought: "O my God, my Guru is there — no matter how dark it is; no matter what consciousness I am in, even if I am in hell. My Guru is there no matter how many months I have not been able to pray and meditate."

A seeker may have a dry period. Swami Vivekananda said and Sri Aurobindo said that a dry period could last for six months or even two years. But if we invoke the devotional aspect, then the dry period does not come. All the time we have to invoke the devotional aspect. I am not comparing myself with any other spiritual figures, but I wish to say that from the very beginning I took the devotional approach. Sri Ramakrishna did not go through a dry period — never — because from the very beginning he took the devotional approach. If my disciples take the devotional approach, they do not have to go through a dry period.

When it is a matter of love, sometimes you love me, but sometimes you do not love me when you have a mental conflict. Surrender comes for five seconds, but then for five days or five years surrender may disappear. But if devotion is there, if devotion is all the time alive, it becomes the bridge, the link. It connects love and surrender. It makes the connection absolutely tight! This side is love, that side is surrender. Love and surrender are connected by devotion.

Some disciples stand in front of me with folded hands, but their minds are somewhere else. Let us say you are folding your hands, and you really feel that your submission or your surrender is complete. You can fold your hands twenty-four hours a day, whether devotion is there or not. You may only be putting your two hands together. But while you are putting your palms together, if devotion is alive inside you, then no problem arises.

To you I am saying, inside darkness or inside your suffering or pain, only keep love. You and all the disciples must keep love inside your suffering. You may say, "I am suffering so much, but I am doing this service, I am doing that service." Somebody else will say, "O my God, what am I doing working in the rain? I am working in the storm, and Guru is at home sleeping." That is what the mind will say. But the heart will say, "This service I am doing in the rain, during the thunderstorm, because of my Guru's love for me and because of my love for my Guru."

Those who serve our Marathon Team races will say they do it because of their love for me and my love for them. If they do not feel my love, then they will be somewhere else. And if I do not feel their love, then they will no longer serve me in that job. It is a matter of mutual love: my love for them and their love for me. Their souls and hearts will say, "Physically my Guru is not here in this storm, and so many problems I am facing. But inside each problem, my Guru is coming to give the answer. He is coming to solve the problem." That kind of attitude the disciples should have: "I have problems, but my Guru will be there to solve my problems in and through me."

When you have dark periods, when you have problems, always feel that this is a game — the Cosmic Game. You have been watching videos of the Mahabharata. Who won the war? In the end, it was the good people, the righteous people, the Pandavas. Suffering is always there. As long as there is ignorance, we shall have to suffer. We shall be kicked, kicked, kicked. The football goes from this side to that side, and finally one party wins. The good party, the party that has light, is bound to win. If truth prevails, life prevails. When you say, "Life prevails," that means, "My Guru is with me, in me and for me." Always have this mantra, my divine child: "My Guru is with me, in me and for me." Then all your problems will be solved.

Ask one question in your life: many years ago, was there any disciple who cared for me as much as you did when I was suffering, when I was practically dying? Absolutely my case became very serious. You were the only one to know that I could not walk any more. You were always with me. You were with me everywhere. I could not breathe. For three days I could not take a normal breath. I suffered so much! Five or six people massaged me. My case became very serious. If it had continued one day more, I would have called a doctor. And what were you doing? Everywhere I went, you were there. You were the one to come if I needed something. Do you remember that? All the time, you were the only one to remain only ten metres behind me, or beside me. You were the only one going on, going on. Will I ever forget this?

You may forget. You have had twenty million problems since then, so you may forget. But I shall never forget. This incident I have told a few times. Your heart became absolutely one with my heartbeat while I was suffering so badly. I sat down and I could not breathe, I could not breathe, and you were always serving me — physically, not spiritually, not inwardly. Physically you served me. How can I forget these things?

Then again, at times when the computer takes you away from your spirituality, I say, "Now stop, stop!" Computer, internet, e-mail: for me, these three can carry hostile forces, like the rakshashas that we see in the Mahabharata. They carry so many evil things. They help people, true; but in terms of taking mankind from divinity, they are real culprits. I have been saying this for the last ten years.

Again, that one good thing that you did is stuck in my mind! As soon as I see you are doing something wrong, I say to myself, "My God, he did such service for me!" For those four or five days what you did will last eternally inside my heart, inside my life-breath. To all my disciples I am saying that when you do something good for me, I eternally remember it. You may forget, because in between your good deeds you may do quite a few things wrong. At that time you may forget that such an immortal thing you have done in my life.

You all have done good things, but you do not want to remember the good things. You only want to remember all the bad things that you have done since the beginning of Creation! Always try to think of how many good things you have done, all of you. Then the bad things will disappear. But if you want to say, "I am a sinner, I am a sinner, I confess," then you will remain a sinner. Instead you should say, "I have done this good thing, I have done that good thing." Then you will get tremendous joy, tremendous enthusiasm and tremendous inner strength to destroy your undivine qualities. Always say, "I have done this, I have done this, I have done this!" Then the divine forces that worked in and through you will come to your rescue.

This was supposed to be my short answer! Always think of how many good things you have done for me. If you think of how many good things you have done, then the wrong things cannot stand against you. Do not identify with any of the bad things that you have done or that you may do in the future — forget about them! Only think of the good things, the good things. Then the good things will get the strength of ten lions. If you give importance to the bad things, each one, even if it is like a goat, will turn into a devouring tiger. Never give importance to the things you have done wrong. Only think of the good things that you have done, or the good things that I have done.

You can even think of how many times I have scolded you! If you can remember those scoldings, then you will see whether I scolded you for my good or for your good. It was for your good. But eventually who gets the benefit? I get the benefit! If I can help you turn into an excellent instrument, is that not my benefit? In the meantime, you get the scolding, but you will see that it is for your good.

For a short time, a very short time, you got from me a "vacation" from our path, for your illumination. Who suffered? I suffered infinitely more than you — "infinitely" is the right word! When you got the vacation, I suffered infinitely more than you suffered. Then the darkness was over. Now you are in the light, in the effulgence. People never realise that when they suffer because I become strict with their life and I take some outer action, I am the sufferer in and through them. Then again, when an individual comes back to light from darkness, he values my strictness.

But sometimes people can do stupid things! They feel that they have to go to darkness in order to appreciate light. That is absolutely the wrong approach. Our philosophy is to go from light to more light, to abundant light, to infinite Light. We now have abundant light, and we are aiming at infinite Light.

BLD 23. Sri Chinmoy answered the following question at his home on 1 May 2002.