“My Lord Supreme, do You approve of my struggle-life? Do You approve of the progress that I make through struggle? I feel that I make progress only when I have struggles; only when I have to surmount obstacles do I feel that I make progress.”
“My child, you are totally mistaken. The spiritual life, the real life, does not need struggle at all. There are two kinds of struggles that originate either from inside your existence or from outside your existence. Inside you are fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, suspicion, insecurity, impurity and many wrong forces. These wrong forces at times run riot. Again, these wrong forces are also to be found outside your body-reality, outside your own existence-reality, and they come to attack you. When you bring to the fore your own wrong forces, when these forces from within come to the fore, your struggle starts. Again, when the forces from outside attack you, your struggle starts. So what you have to do is to illumine the wrong forces that are within you so that they can become positive forces. And the forces that are attacking you from outside have to be challenged, fought and conquered.
“You are saying that you make progress only when you have struggles to face. You may think that the life of struggle is an opportunity to make progress. But there may be some other factors which you do not at all see. A life of struggle can easily become a life of revolt. You struggle to receive something, to fulfil your desire; but there comes a time when you see that there is no hope of fulfilling your desire-life. Then you just give up because you are frustrated, and from frustration comes revolt. You pray so hard, you meditate so hard, you do so many things to please Me, but because I do not fulfil your desire, you feel that I am not pleased. Then what do you do? You give up. Something more you do. You become frustrated and you may revolt against My Existence. Then you will stop praying and meditating and not try to keep consciously any connection with Me.”
So I always tell the disciples to be careful. A life of struggle does not indicate a life of progress. There are many forces around you, many obstacles around you, which are unwanted and uncalled for. So do not bring to the fore your own wrong forces, which take the form of struggle. No, no, that is the wrong way. Do not add more unlit forces and create more problems for yourself. No, no, just have a childlike attitude. Be spontaneous, be happy. A child does not create problems so that he can get a smile from his parents. He is spontaneously doing everything, and from his spontaneous action he is making his parents happy. The Creator and the creation are also like that. When the creation offers a smile to the Creator, at that time the Creator is immediately fed and nourished. He feels that He has got everything.
When the child smiles, even if it is just a tiny smile, the mother feels that she has got the entire world. Similarly, when the mother smiles or the father smiles, the child feels that he has got the entire world. The mother is a beggar and the child is also a beggar. Here also, God the Creator and God the creation are equally beggars. Or you can say that they can become complete, integral and whole only when they exchange their mutual smiles.
As seekers you have to offer your smile through spontaneous action, for spontaneous action itself is the smile. So only grow in that smile. Act like a child: be spontaneous in everything that you do and say. Inside that spontaneity you will see your smile, and inside the smile you will see your spontaneity. Your smile and God’s Smile are keeping each other alive. And they will do so throughout Eternity. What God and men need from each other is a soulful smile, a fruitful smile. Inside that tiny seed of a smile the entire cosmic Life-Tree exists. So do not try to build your life through struggle. That is the wrong way. Do not follow the way of struggle: follow only the way of spontaneity, the way of spontaneous smile, which is the only nourishment, the only fulfilment for God and man.
20 July 1977, 12:15 p.m. — Sri Chinmoy Centre, Jamaica, New York↩