Question: What can we do with the hostile forces when they attack us and try to separate the Centre or the members, instead of feeling as one group? What can we do?

Sri Chinmoy: What can you do? First of all you have to know that the hostile forces do exist. If we say they don't exist, it will be wrong. If we say there is only day, there is no night, it is wrong. Day is followed by night, night is followed by day. This is absolutely true right now. This is the physical world, the planet earth. But again we see that when consciousness is awakened, when the consciousness is illumined with the inner light, one only sees light and delight. There one does not see the night at all. Here we have a few hours of day, a few hours of night. Again on the physical plane, there are places where you can get sunlight for nineteen, twenty hours out of twenty-four. When I was in Stockholm and other places, for practically nineteen hours or twenty hours a day there was light. When it was around twelve o'clock midnight, twelve thirty, it began to get dark. And at 3:00 a.m. it started to get light again. It was all light. I saw this for the first time because in India for eleven or twelve hours we had light. But in Scandinavia, for seventeen, eighteen, nineteen hours, sometimes for twenty hours, I was seeing sunlight. How vast is God's creation!

But let us not think about this light and night. Let us think of our inner light which is spiritual. First of all we have to accept the fact that hostile forces do exist. Then our next step is to challenge them. How do we challenge them? We challenge them not by standing in front of them. No, we challenge them by going to somebody else. We go to Light. The moment we go to Light, the hostile forces will say, "What kind of audacity do you have, that you go to Light and not to me?" And the hostile forces will come and attack you while you are in the Light. Then Light will immediately say, "What right have you if she is taking shelter in my heart? I will not allow you to stab or to take my child from my heart." Then immediately Light will fight. But if one wants to go to night and fight, thinking that if night is very bad, the hostile forces are bound to be very weak, you will find that they are very strong. They will attack you more. But the very moment one goes to Light, the hostile forces feel that it is a defeat on their part and they feel that you have the audacity to go to Light without going to them. These hostile forces are all from ignorance. For years and years we have fed ignorance and ignorance has fed us. So ignorance feels that it is its bounden duty to keep us under its jurisdiction. Light feels that once you take shelter in it, it is the duty of Light to guide you, to protect you, to help you in your full illumination, salvation and liberation.

Then every day, consciously, during meditation, first offer your gratitude to the Supreme that you are praying and meditating well, that God has given you the capacity, the opportunity to meditate whereas there are millions of people on earth who are not praying and meditating. So God has given you this opportunity and capacity. First you offer your gratitude to God, then you pray to God for protection, always for protection. Then, how will you receive God's protection? It is through gratitude. If you have gratitude, then God offers you protection. Then if you ask for protection, immediately God feels grateful to you that you are asking Him to do something. Here, on the contrary, in this world, in the human world, when we ask someone to do us a favour, we feel that that person should offer us his gratitude. I ask somebody to do something for me; why should he be grateful to me? If you ask me to do something, you should be grateful to me; why should I be grateful to you? This is on the earth plane. You have asked me for a favour; naturally I am the benefactor and you become an object of compassion. This is our human understanding.

In the spiritual life it is different. In the spiritual life, you ask me questions, I invite questions. Now here I am ready to offer you light. I beg you to ask me questions. Now when you are asking me questions, I feel that you have given me the opportunity to reveal the Supreme's Light which I have. Here in the case of God, God also is like that. When you ask God, beg God, "Give me illumination, give me liberation and give me strength and give me the capacity to save the world," immediately God becomes so happy and full of gratitude that you have asked Him, and not Satan, not the devil, not an undivine force, to be of service to you.

So God always appreciates those who ask Him for the right things. You are asking Him to give you light, illumination and not millions of dollars and not power to destroy the world. You are asking him to give you the power to love the world, to illumine the world, to fulfil the world. So each time you pray to God to give you something, God becomes really happy, really grateful, really proud of you because you are asking Him to do something significant. And when you ask Him for His service, He becomes extremely grateful. You could have asked somebody else to do the service, somebody else who is called ignorance. There are two teachers on earth, either God or ignorance. So you take the teacher God. Naturally, if you select a teacher to teach you, that teacher will be most pleased with you. The other teacher, ignorance, whom you have not selected to teach, naturally will be displeased with you. So here, we will care only for the teacher you need and that teacher is God. So when you offer gratitude, God protects you and when you ask for protection, which is a kind of light, God will be grateful to you.

And if you are in between the two shores, the shore of gratitude and the shore of protection, then I wish to say there can be no obstacle in your way and no problems in your life of aspiration.