Question: Let us return to the topic of sport. Let us say there are two sportsmen. They may fight each other, even if it is a friendly fight. It could be boxing, it could be wrestling. If both of them pray, would that be good?Sri Chinmoy: Yes. If they pray, then they will have protection from God and they will show their best capacities, but there will be no animosity involved. Suppose two boxers are fighting. Naturally, each one wants to win. On the one hand, they can bring to the fore their animal propensities, animal qualities, and destroy the opponent. On the other hand, each one can feel that this is an opportunity to transcend their own capacities. They can try to bring their hidden capacities to the fore. According to our philosophy, we are always trying to transcend ourselves, we are always trying to improve. So, while transcending ourselves, if we defeat someone, then it is not a mistake. But if we try to defeat someone by hook or by crook, by adopting foul means, then that will be a most deplorable mistake.
Question: I know quite a lot of sports people and some of them pray. They say, "Please, Father, let me win the world championship today." Sometimes they succeed. Is that prayer good?
Sri Chinmoy: That prayer is good, but it is not the best prayer. The best prayer is to say, "Let Thy Will be done." The Saviour Christ offered the entire world this most significant message, "Let Thy Will be done." I wish to tell you about another great sportsman, one of the greatest, Muhammad Ali. Everybody knows Muhammad Ali. He is a very close friend of mine. About ten years ago, before one of his fights, he meditated with me for about fifteen minutes. He is a Muslim, so he was praying to Allah and I was praying to God, but it is the same Person. We prayed and meditated together. That night he won the fight. My prayer was only "God, let Thy Will be done." Although Muhammad Ali is my close friend, I knew that whatever God wanted to do in and through Ali will be the best thing. When we offer this prayer to God, God does the best for us.
Question: It could also mean that he would have lost. That could have been the best.
Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely. In this case, God wanted him to win. That was the best from the spiritual point of view. But if God wanted to give him the experience of failure, then he would have gained a very significant inner experience in another way. Sometimes God gives us the experience of failure when He wants us to establish our inseparable oneness with our competitors. At that time, if our prayer to God —- "Let Thy Will be done" —- is sincere, then we are equally happy because we love God. The Person whom we love most knows what is best for us. So we pray to God to do His Will, not our will. Otherwise, at every moment we would pray to God, "Make me the winner, make me the best." From the highest spiritual point of view, that is a mistake. We should pray to God for His Will to be executed in and through us. That is the best prayer.
Question: I have been a professional sportsman and in my life several times I have had the feeling that I could do more than what I was actually doing. Does that sound familiar to you?
Sri Chinmoy: It has happened many, many times in my case also that I could not offer my best capacity. Many times I felt that I could have done far, far better in running, but I did not do it, could not do it. Even then, I was not unhappy because at the very beginning I had offered my soulful prayer to God, "Let Thy Will be done." My mind will say that perhaps I was forced to hold something back, but my heart will say no. I prayed to God for His Will to be performed in and through me. Whatever timing I did in the race, that was the timing God wanted me to show to the world at large. So I was perfectly happy.