Question: What should one's attitude be towards things that one did before, when one's higher mind, knowing it was wrong, was not in control? What should be one's attitude towards guilt resulting from these former actions?Sri Chinmoy: One's attitude at that time should be that the past is buried in oblivion. You have done something wrong. If you cherish the idea of guilt, "I have done something wrong," you are being sincere, but thinking of your mistake, having this sincerity, does not help. Yes, you have done something wrong. But by having a guilty consciousness, you do not get light or wisdom. You have done something that is not right. Then, try to do the right thing, the divine thing. This second, this minute you have used. You could have used it either for a right purpose or a wrong purpose. All right, you have used it for a wrong purpose. Then use the following minute for a divine purpose, and if you use it for a divine purpose without thinking of the previous minute when you did something wrong, then what happens? Your positive strength, this Willpower you have used to do the right thing will then have the power in entirety, in fulness. But, if you think of the past minute with a sense of guilt, that you have done something wrong, and then you think that the following minute you are determined to do the right thing, half of your power is again lost in darkness and only half can be utilised for the following minute of right action So, I tell my disciples to try to bring to the fore their full power in the following minute and nullify the previous mistake.
If one cherishes or broods over misdeeds, then one is again strengthening one's own guilt unconsciously. I may think, "I am repenting." But why should I repent? I have done something wrong. I am a hero; I am ready to face the consequences. If I have done something wrong, then I have the capacity to do the thing right. Again, by focusing all the attention on the right thing, we are adding to our positive strength.
The sense of guilt, the constant feeling of self-reproach is, unfortunately, all-pervading in the Western world. If my Source is God, the Absolute infinite light, if I know that it is from there that I came, then some day I must go back to my Source. During my stay on earth I got, unfortunately, some unhealthy, unaspiring and destructive experiences. Now, I have to get rid of these unfortunate experiences. I have to get fulfilling experiences in my life. So for that I have to concentrate only on the right thing, the divine thing which will fulfil me, and not on the things that have stood in my way.