Question: When we find ourselves encountering difficulties in the spiritual life, is the best thing just to surrender to God's Will and leave it all up to Him?

Sri Chinmoy: It entirely depends on your own spiritual height, your own achievement. There are two types of seekers. One seeker is very idle, extremely idle. He has heard the idea of surrender to God's Will, so he will not lift a finger. "Let me surrender everything to God's Will and not do anything," he says. The other seeker will pray, meditate and devote his life dynamically to God. "I am offering the result of my aspiration to God," he says.

If one is sincere and really aspiring, he prays and meditates in a divine way, according to his capacity. He does what he can, and at the same time he watches all the situations, calamities and forces around him. He says, "I have done my part. Now it is up to God to free me from these undivine forces or unpleasant experiences." This is the best attitude. If we can go deep within every day during our meditation, we will become the observer, the witness, Purusha. But if we cannot go deep within every day in our meditation, the next best thing is to act like a hero. It is a kind of heroism when we offer the results of our actions to God. The result may take the form of defeat. But if we can gladly offer the result to God, we are a divine hero.

Unfortunately, most of us do not do that. We try a little, but when we see an enormous elephant in front of us, we give up. "It is simply useless," we say. And sometimes we blame God. Since we are encountering so many difficulties now that we have entered into the spiritual life, we think it would be better to return to the ordinary life. But at this point we are making a serious mistake. When we go deep within, we will realise that the difficulties we now are encountering did exist before. But at that time ignorance knew that we were absolutely at its mercy. Ignorance was our lord. We were fast asleep in the ignorance-room, so ignorance did not take the trouble to bother us much. Now that we are trying to come out of the sea of ignorance, ignorance is trying to pull us back. "Where are you going?" it demands. "You have to stay with me!" When we are conscious of the struggle, we are on our way out of the ignorance-room. The difficulties were there inside, but at that time we were totally unconscious of them. Now we are aware of them.

So if you can go deep within, please ask God to take care of you. Let your aspiration go high, higher, highest. But if you don't feel that you have very free access to God's Will, the best thing is to fight ignorance on the physical plane with your own eagerness and capacity. When wrong forces disturb you, you have to fight. If you surrender, many more wrong forces will attack you.