Question: What is the greatest stumbling block for most seekers and how can it be overcome?

Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual life there are quite a few obstacles: fear, anxiety, impurity, jealousy and the feeling of unworthiness, but the greatest obstacle is doubt. In comparison with doubt, all other obstacles pale into insignificance. We doubt the existence of God or we doubt ourselves. We may say, "Oh, I have prayed and meditated for so many years. If God existed, if there really were a God, by this time He would have come and stood in front of me." When we feel that it is high time for us to realise God, but still God-realisation does not dawn, we immediately say, "No, there is no such thing as God." We doubt God. Or we may feel that we don't have the capacity to realise God. We say to ourselves, "I have done so many things wrong in my life. Why should God come to me?" If we do not pray or cannot pray, we simply say, "It is impossible for me to realise God, so let me give up all hope."

This is our self-doubt. But if we have wisdom, we will say, "There are others who have realised God. If they have realised God, how is it that I have not realised God? They eat and breathe just the same as I do. They do practically all the same things that I do. They also have two eyes and one nose and two arms. If they have realised God, how is it that I cannot realise God?" By saying this we can conquer our self-doubt. Doubting is like taking slow poison daily. Today we doubt God, tomorrow we will doubt ourselves, the day after tomorrow we will doubt the existence of everything. Then we will not be able to do anything. We need faith in ourselves and in God. In faith we build ourselves, and in doubt we destroy ourselves. God is all faith. God is all joy. When we meditate on God, we challenge doubt; and in the sea of peace and self-assurance, our doubt dissolves.