Question: Please explain if a desire to live can keep a body alive even though the body is diseased.

Sri Chinmoy: It can, but determination must be present as well as desire. Desire is good; but behind desire there should be determination and behind determination there should be the soul's power, the soul's will. Otherwise, just by desiring, it is not possible to prolong one's life. There are many people who are suffering from diseases, and who do not want to die. They have an intense desire to live. But desire alone is only the first step. A further step is the determination to fight up to the last moment. "I won't die, I won't die, I want to stay, I want to stay on earth. I cannot die." This is to be done with determination. Now beyond determination is the soul's Willpower. At this point you say, "I know I am not the body. I am the soul. How can I die?" With that soulful attitude, you can easily succeed.

But we can start with desire. Desire is the first step. The second step is determination. The last step is the soul's Willpower. Normally, people do not want to die. Everybody wants to live. Then why do they die? I explained at great length why people die. The physical body is unable to make further progress. Instead of becoming a pliable instrument of the soul, the body hardens and breaks down. It is full of defects and limitations, and these defects and limitations increase as the years go by. Finally, when the body can no longer support and manifest outwardly the wishes of the soul, it dies. At the present time, we may not be able to divinise our human bodies by bringing into them the divine light, peace and power. But if we draw on the soul's Willpower and utilise it, we can prolong our lives. It is for the soul alone that we should and must live. When we meditate on the soul, we help our bodies with the soul's divine Energy and Will.