Question: But do you think that a person can go on like this and not have to come back and stay in the physical plane? I mean, can he stay in a state of joy?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, a person can easily stay in a state of joy and, at the same time, remain on earth. There are many levels of consciousness. In one particular level, if you can retain that constant joy, you can stay there, while at the same time your other parts are remaining on another level. Realised souls, when they get news of suffering, say the death of their parents, for a time, suffer as intensely as ordinary people. At the same time, there is another part which is detached, completely detached. There it is all joy, all delight. On one plane, they are suffering like ordinary human beings and on the other plane, they are completely detached. So a human being can retain the consciousness of joy and at the same time, can operate on the physical level. It is quite possible. One can function on two different levels at the same time. That is what spiritual figures do.

Is it clear to you, Akuti? It is quite possible. Even in your meditation, if you go and enter into the place of Peace and Bliss, you retain a higher level of consciousness while you are doing your daily work. Even though you are involved in thousands of activities, you can consciously retain that beautiful state of Bliss. Although you are talking with your friends and are involved in physical activities, you are retaining the consciousness of Peace and Bliss.

In our Mahabharata, India's greatest epic, the mother of the Pandavas used to pray to the Lord, Sri Krishna, to give her pain and suffering so that she would think of God all the time and pray to Him. "O Lord, give me pain, give me suffering, so that I can always think of you." But in this evolved world and in our society, this should never be our attitude. We should pray to God to go towards the Light. "Give me Light so that I can think of You all the time in Light, in Joy, in Delight." But she prayed for pain. "If I am in joy, I will forget You", she said. That should not be our attitude.

On another human level, there are many people who cherish suffering. They feel that if there is no suffering, the day is not complete. There are many couples who feel that the day has ended properly when they have some calamity in the family among the relatives or friends; the day has played its part. But that should never be our attitude. Our attitude should be to invoke Light and to grow in the Light because God Himself is All-Light and All-Joy. Very often we invite suffering and pain just to justify and prove that we belong to this world. God does not want that kind of suffering and pain.