Question: Referring to your talk on Illumination, I want to ask: In our daily life, when frustration and adversity attack us, how can we orient ourselves so that we know what to do about it?

Sri Chinmoy: Let us not bother ourselves with frustration, suffering and all that. Yes, they are all here, but let us try to bring down God's Grace. If He Himself wants to carry our frustration, we will be making ourselves happy, happier. If God does not take our pain, however, we can still let the flow of His Grace and Compassion descend into us; then immediately it will illumine everything, illumine all our suffering, frustration and adversity. Then let us use another process. This process is to see God's existence in everything. God does not give us pain, first of all. He does not give us suffering either. It is we who make mistakes in our day-to-day life or in our attitudes and ideas. But if we have frustration and suffering, let us enter into that frustration and suffering and see there the existence of God. So when the adverse forces attack us, they will not be able to do so fully because behind it, we are seeing the existence of someone who is all Love, all Affection, all Concern for us. And we can easily enter into that person to be saved.

It reminds me of an incident many, many years ago. In India at the time of the British occupation, an English soldier with a bayonet was about to kill an ordinary innocent man. That man immediately cried aloud without fear but with a soulful emotion, "You, too, are divine." When he said, "You, too, are divine," he actually saw in the bayonet the existence of God. The soldier did not kill him because at that moment he did not see in the innocent man anything aggressive or destructive, anything to feed his own aggression. Through the intercession of the Divine Grace, the soldier also saw something luminous in the man and was struck by it. Here also when suffering comes, if you say to the suffering, "You, too, are divine; in you, I am seeing the existence of God," then immediately the wrong forces of suffering which are disturbing you will also leave you.

What you are now doing is that you are separating God from the suffering. Suffering we do not invite; far from it. But if it comes, we have to see in it the existence of God. If you do not separate God from the suffering, then your own life-breath and God's Compassion will meet together. Otherwise you are not allowing God's Compassion to touch your life-breath, you are not seeing God's existence in everything. We say that God is everywhere. If God is everywhere, is He also not in suffering? Is God not in frustration? Or is God so weak that He has to be only in Heaven and not in our painful earthbound existence? When we suffer, God is there. We have to see His Face and not the face of the suffering that tortures us. So if we can do that, if we can see God's Face in pain and in everything, then we will see that suffering and frustration cannot exist. They have to be transformed into joy, constant joy, because our sweet Father, our affectionate, compassionate Father is there in everything to protect us and save us.