Question: Sometimes when I see my parents, they try to get me to leave your path, and other times they seem very sympathetic. I was just thinking maybe it would be better for me to break every connection I have with my parents. What do you think?

Sri Chinmoy: The thing is, you have to see where they stand. Are they totally your friends, or are they in between your friend and your enemy? If you say in between, then there is every possibility that they may go to the other side and become your enemy; only they outwardly are waiting for an opportunity.

Again, even though they may not follow our path, if they lead a spiritual life, then only you are safe. If they are not spiritual, they cannot be sympathetic. Their spiritual life need not be your spiritual life; far from it. They need not go through this kind of strict discipline. But they have to go to church or something. In the morning, if they pray or meditate, that is their spiritual life. Spiritual life does not mean that they have to go to a spiritual Master. If they pray and meditate in their own way, then you are safe.

You may feel that they are being sympathetic, but it may be because they do not want to create any disharmony in the family. But they can feel, “Tomorrow, if we propose that he leave that Indian rascal, then he will come. But if we ask today, he will simply boycott us.” This is a tricky compromise. What you call sympathy and all that I wish to say may be really just a tricky compromise. But if they themselves pray and meditate in their own way, I will not say it is a compromise. It is far more than a compromise.

So if they are not hostile to your spiritual life, and if you are of some service to them and they are consciously getting benefit from it, then I say not to break connections with them. But if they don’t consciously derive help from you, then it is useless.