Question: We try to live the spiritual life and then we feel that the forces of the world seem to act apart from us and try to drag us down. When we give in to those forces, something happens and then we lose our contact with the Divine. We get mixed up with the things of the world. We have desires, passions, and we ask God for material things. Then when we try to go back to the spiritual life, we find that we do not deserve it.

Sri Chinmoy: The thing is, first of all, that we are making a great mistake, a serious mistake, when we say that we don't deserve God. If you don't deserve God, who does deserve Him? God-realisation is your birthright. From whom did you come? From God and nobody else. And where are you? In God. When you go back, where will you go? You will go back to God. God-realisation is your birthright. So the first thing is to annul the idea that you don't deserve Him. You do deserve Him. We came from God and certainly we should be an exact prototype of the Father, the very image of God. And we deserve Him because He is deep inside us and we have come here to express Him, to reveal Him. So we fully deserve God-realisation.

The thing is that sometimes we sleep. What you say, that you have entered into the ordinary world, you have forgotten God and that you harbour these ugly forces like passion, anger, fear and all that — let us take that as sleep or rest, conscious rest. Now sometimes, instead of sleeping for eight hours, we sleep for twelve hours. Why do we sleep? Sometimes the body needs rest but sometimes out of laziness or mere whim, we are inclined to sleep more than our due. Similarly our outer being wants to take rest, or sleep, for a few years. It has meditated for so many years and it could not keep up the continuous prayer and meditation, the mounting cry which I always speak of. The flame of aspiration, consciously or unconsciously I can extinguish. The flame is extinguished and then for some time, I sleep. Then after four or five years, ten years, again I light the flame. Then my aspiration mounts.

Now the truth is that we don't lose anything. God is in this room. You have been trying to come here from the other room. There is a passage and you are about to knock at the door. Instead of knocking at the door, you stand in front of it for few hours or a few days. You changed your process of entering into God's room.

You felt either that you were frustrated in the world, frustrated with the world, that there was no God, or that in the material world God was there but in desire, in fear, in passion. In whatever you were doing, you discovered that God was there. Here, however, you are making a mistake with your human mind. Certainly in everything there is God, but we have to find out where precisely God can really illumine us. God is in dirty water as well as in pure, distilled water. But what do we want? We want pure water which will give us new life and not dirty water which will make us sick. Similarly we should not try to find God in the most ordinary, obscure and impure activities and foolish desires.

But what is the opposite of desire? It is aspiration. It is like the obverse and reverse of a coin. When we are on one side, it is desire; when we are on the other side, it is aspiration. What do we want to do with that aspiration? We are trying to bring down Peace, Joy, Light and Bliss, all these things. So we can go on living in this world. It is like two brothers: one brother is desire, the other brother is aspiration. If we enter into aspiration's side, we see in everything the living face of aspiration. The chair is aspiring because in that chair there is a soul. The world is aspiring because in the world there is soul. We have to see with the eye of aspiration and then everything is changed.

So to come back to your point, Agni, you have not lost anything. You have not lost anything. In the Gita, it is mentioned that, if, owing to circumstances, a man could not stay on the spiritual path and adopted a path of enjoyment, he would not necessarily come back in his next incarnation as the most ordinary man, but that he would again enter into an aspirant's family. Suppose a man for twenty years has meditated and practised the spiritual life. Then for ten or fifteen years, he enters into the world of enjoyment. Then, what will happen? Does it mean that he will never regain the spiritual life? No, he will get it either in this life, in the evening of his life or in his next incarnation. Again he will be given the opportunity to enter into the spiritual life. God will give him another opportunity to enter into the family of a spiritual seeker. So he will lose nothing.

The only thing is that the sooner you can come back to your inner life, by emulating the aspiration of others, the better it is for you. By observing the aspiration of others, you get inspiration again to start treading the path. They will inspire your own aspiration. That is what a spiritual person does. He does not speak. When a disciple has lost aspiration for a month or two, if he is sincere enough, he will just come and look at his Master and then just by looking at his face, he will get back his long-forgotten aspiration. In your case, I am elaborating on your personal question, so that if there is any further question on this, you please tell me.

It is very clear. Thank you.

Sri Chinmoy: So nothing shall we lose, nothing shall we lose. The only thing is that if we are wise, we can get back our own wealth sooner by seeing true aspirants. And there is also another process which is the process of devotion, which is difficult in the West. In the West, devotion should grow a little more. First of all, in the West they do not know the meaning of devotion. They think that showing me devotion means that if I am the Himalayas, then you are just a hill. No, devotion actually means that you are showing loving care and service to your own Highest. When you look at me, if you show devotion, it is not to me that you are showing this loving concern, but it is to the Highest within me and that Highest abides within you as well. The moment devotion comes, you have to feel that you are showing devotion to your own Highest which you consciously want to become.

Now you know that you have a highest and a lowest consciousness. We are living, most of the time, in the lowest consciousness. The highest consciousness we don't see, but at the same time, we want to become it. How can we become our highest? Only when we see someone who is constantly trying to bring forward that highest and that is the Guru or the Master or the illumined Teacher. And that Teacher is not, even for a second, separated from you, because his Highest and your Highest are the same. Only he is conscious of the fact that he has free access to that Highest and you are not. Otherwise his Highest and your Highest are the same. So in the West, if the westerners cultivate more the soil of devotion, they will grow faster. In the East, in the Orient, there is devotion, but at the same time, the East is lethargic. In the West, there is dynamism, but this dynamism is used as restlessness. So again, when you are acting like a restless fellow, you are misusing your dynamic faculties. When we are not aware of devotion, we cannot identify ourselves with the Highest. Devotion immediately becomes one with the object of its love. Like this it comes and it touches and it becomes what I am, what I stand for. 'I' means your own Highest.

When you lose faith in yourself or faith in God or faith in your own achievement and fulfilment, the best thing is to bring forward your own devotion which is here in the heart and let it come out and grow. As the inner devotion starts growing, your outer life will also start blossoming. This is the first, fundamental preliminary step, without which one can never, never realise God.