Question: But in connection with the average body, the physical body, is it possible for the body to renew itself indefinitely? To rejuvenate itself and thus last indefinitely?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is possible and it depends upon how fast the seeker is progressing spiritually. At the same time, even if he is running at top speed, still the goal is very, very far away. And at that time, we have to have unending patience.

Another difficulty at the present time, is that our present physical bodies are not responsive enough to the inner forces which are trying to express themselves when we progress inwardly. These forces want to express themselves in the outer physical being as well as in the inner being. As our inner spiritual life develops, the body could also become more luminous, strong, beautiful and divine. But the trouble is that the body tends to become rigid and crystallised as it gets old, and while the soul is trying to express itself more powerfully through the physical, the body resists. The inner being is becoming more divinely illumined, wise and vast, but the physical vehicle, the body, does not receive the vastness, wisdom and illumination. On the contrary, its growth is cramped. It is like a plant which becomes too big for the clay pot. Finally the pot cracks. When this happens, the body ceases to serve its purpose and it dies. The soul, as it were, cannot use the outer covering and it throws it off.

The situation cannot remain like this. We do not have to die. If we can make our bodies plastic, flexible, responsive instruments, sensitive to the growth of the soul, our bodies will be divinely transformed. Both the inner life and the outer life will march hand in hand. They will be the glowing and growing embodiments of a never-ending light, beauty and power. The body can be immortal just as the soul is. What happens now is that there is in almost everyone a hiatus between the progressive will of the soul and the stagnation of the physical sheath. When the outer sheath is about to be disintegrated or destroyed, it says, "I will go." And the soul says, "Go," for it knows that it cannot fulfil itself in this limited physical body. The body has become an impediment to the soul's manifestation. This is why the body dies.

But we can prolong the life of the physical body. We shall save ourselves much trouble if we do that. For our ultimate aim is to be immortal, to progress eternally in one body and work unconditionally for the Supreme.

Otherwise what happens is that at the age of seventy or eighty I die. Then after a few years when I come back into the world, I have to spend eighteen or twenty years, if not forty or fifty years, in ignorance, limitation and bondage. Moreover, during my childhood and youth, I am forced to become once more all that the ordinary ignorance-filled world is. But if I can continue in my present body and complete the game of realising the Reality, then I don't have to suffer any delay.