Question: Now that I have entered into the spiritual life, I have more problems with desires. Is the Supreme giving me these extra desires to strengthen me?Sri Chinmoy: When we have entered into the life of aspiration and spirituality, the Supreme will not bring extra desires and impurities into our mind or life. It is He who has given us aspiration, so why should He give us desire, which is directly opposite to aspiration? No. He will not deliberately impede our progress in this way. These desires seem suddenly to appear, but they are not really new to us. They existed before in our life, but we did not notice them so much because our life was totally enveloped in myriad desires.
Before we entered the spiritual life we were all unconscious; the tiger in us was sleeping. But when the tiger sees that we are trying to leave its domain it says, “Where are you going? What right have you to leave me? I will devour you before you leave me.” As long as the desire-tiger is confident that we will stay with it all the time, it does not feel the necessity to threaten or frighten us. But when we start trying to come out of our bondage-cage, the ignorance-tiger tries to prevent us. It attacks us most vehemently with doubts and other undivine forces as soon as it feels that we are threatening to leave it.
While we are in the ordinary life there is no intensity. Today we have one desire, tomorrow four and the next day ten or twenty. But we are rarely intense even in trying to achieve and fulfil our own desires. Our desires are mere wishes. We do not have the capacity or the willingness to work to fulfil them. We want to be rich or famous or great or brilliant or beautiful, but far from working to achieve these desires, we will not even pray sincerely for their fulfilment.
When a seeker enters into the spiritual path, if he has not wholeheartedly accepted it, or if he is not far advanced, then during his meditation the same desires may come forward. He will begin to think, “This person is very rich, this person is very beautiful, this person has some good qualities which I do not have.” While he is praying for Peace, Light and Bliss, one part of his being may be consciously and deliberately cherishing the desire to become a multimillionaire. At that time, the intensity of the seeker’s meditation meets with these earthly desires. Then what happens? The intensity enters into the desires and makes them much stronger than they previously were.
It is through the unillumined mind that desires try to approach us even after we have entered into the life of aspiration. The best thing we can do is never to allow any impurity in the form of desire, doubt, anxiety, jealousy or any unaspiring thoughts to enter our minds during meditation. If a desire comes to us while we are not meditating, it is not good to cherish it; but it is infinitely worse to cherish it during meditation. If we cherish desire or any impure thought during meditation, then we are simply strengthening the power of the negative forces and making our own spiritual journey more difficult.
When desires come into our life of aspiration, we must not be afraid of them. We must take them as hurdles. It is true that if there are no obstacles or impediments in our way, we will run faster. But if there are impediments, each time we cross one hurdle we get additional strength and encouragement to try to cross another one. If we have no hurdles, we are fortunate. But if we do have some because of our long association with ignorance, we should feel confident that we will be able to transcend them because we have aspiration, the inner impetus to pass all obstacles and reach the Goal.
If we go deep within, we can see each difficulty as a boon. Formerly we were alone with our difficulties. Now we have become conscious aspirants, so God’s Grace has entered into our lives. God’s Grace is constantly helping the seeker. It stands between the difficulty and the seeker. If one sees millions of difficulties when he sincerely enters into the spiritual life, then he can see them also as millions of blessings, because God’s Grace is in them, illumining them. The sooner difficulties appear before us the better, because then we can surmount them right away. We should not be ungrateful to God, nor should we curse our fate when difficulties appear. We should be grateful that God has brought out all our impurities to be illumined and transcended as soon as possible. We have to face and conquer our enemies either today or tomorrow. By making ourselves worthy of God’s Compassion and Grace, we will easily be able to overcome our difficulties.