Part IV: Questions and answers: University Of Maryland

Question: Is there any reason for doubt?

Sri Chinmoy: There is no reason for doubt. The only thing is that we cherish doubt because we are in ignorance. A child eats mud and dirt. What is the reason? He gets pleasure; he feels it is nourishing food. But when he grows up he will never touch it. He knows that he has to eat proper food. Like the child, we doubt because we have not seen the face of Reality. Once we have seen the face of Reality, how can we doubt? When I look at my hand, how can I doubt my hand? I may doubt a thought, a judgement, a feeling inside me, but my hand, which I see and feel, how can I doubt? But unless and until we have the vision of Reality, we will be subject to doubt.

Again, there are some people who believe in others. They may not have seen the face of Reality, but they believe because they know someone else has seen it. If a child has faith in his elder brother, he will immediately believe what his elder brother tells him. And then, when he grows up, he will see for himself that it was true.

In the spiritual life, you have to know that the act of doubting is useless. If you doubt yourself, you are consciously weakening your own possibilities and delaying your own progress. If you say, "I have done so many things wrong, I am not meant for the spiritual life. God does not care for me," then you are making a serious mistake. If you see that somebody is superior to you in the spiritual life, you should not become discouraged. Do not think that he was always superior to you. No! Once upon a time he was also a beginner like yourself. Everybody was a beginner. You do not get your Master's degree all at once. So the best thing is to allow yourself to grow inwardly, silently, with cheerfulness and patience.

When we doubt others, consciously or unconsciously we betray our own ignorance. When we see an elephant, if we doubt the elephant and say, "This is just a dog or a cat," the elephant is not going to lose anything. But we will be simply indulging in stupidity. Similarly, if we doubt God, then God will not lose even an iota of His Divinity. God will simply say that we are walking along the long road. There is a very short road and a very long road. If we walk along the path of doubt, the road is very long, arduous and, what is worse, it is constantly lengthening. There is no end to it. But when we follow the path of faith, not only do we run along an easy road, but every day the road shortens itself.

Inside us there is a white tablet of inner purity. The moment we doubt, we create a dark spot on it. If we persist, there comes a time when the whole tablet is covered with dark spots. But the moment we have faith, that tablet becomes clear and pure again, and we can write on it according to our soul's dictates. After we have written, then we can try to manifest the reality that we have seen, felt and realised in our inner life.