Question: What happens if after practising spirituality for a while, you decide you want to take a rest and then continue your journey at a later time?

Sri Chinmoy: In the ordinary life, after you have covered one mile you can remain where you are for a while and take rest before continuing on your journey. But in the spiritual life it is not like that. In the spiritual life, once you take rest, doubt enters into you, fear enters into you, suspicion enters into you. All kinds of negative forces enter into you and destroy all your possibilities. Your potentiality remains the same; eventually you will realise God. But the possibilities that you once had, the golden possibilities, you have lost. If you stop meditating and leave the spiritual life, the progress that you have made will be destroyed. People will not receive a good vibration from you; nobody will get inspiration from you; you won’t be able to give your soul’s smile. You will fall back into your old ways and be lost to ignorance.

However, the essence of the progress that you made will remain inside the soul. The essence is never lost, even though in your outer life you cannot use it. The quintessence of the progress that you made will remain inside your heart, and after five or ten years, when you want to meditate again, or in your next incarnation, this quintessence will come to the fore. If you pray to God most sincerely to enter into the spiritual life again, your previous progress will loom large in your life.

So always be on the alert and run as fast as you can towards your Goal. Do not stop until the race is won; otherwise, the pull of ignorance will take you back again to the place from which you started.