Question: Sri Chinmoy, how can we become childlike in spirit?

Sri Chinmoy: In the outer life we see that when the grandfather talks to his grandchildren, if he is wise he becomes actually another child. He knows that only by acting like a child will he be able to give the children satisfaction and get satisfaction from them. We have to feel that God Himself is a Divine Child who is always playing with us. A child is ready to play twenty-four hours a day. And we have to become like a child in order to play with God.

If a boy of nineteen does not have the capacity to draw something from the world or offer something to the world, if he remains aloof, if he does not care for the world and feels that he does not need anything from the world, then he is ninety-nine years old in spirit. On the other hand, if somebody of ninety-nine wants to learn the inner language, the language of divine love, the language of divine peace, the language of inner wisdom, the language of inner Light, then he is a child in spirit. But if he wants to get only information from the world, this will not help him spiritually at all. For this kind of information is given by the mind and received through the mind. And if a person lives in the mind he will never be able to act like a child. Who cannot act like a child? He who cares more for the intellect than for the heart. He who cares more for outer achievement than for inner achievement. He who cares more for society around him than for God within him.

If you really want to become a child, then you have to feel that there is someone who is thinking of you constantly. You have to feel that there is somebody who is not only thinking of you and meditating on you, but who is also taking responsibility for you. A child always feels that his mother or his father will take care of him. All the time he feels that there is protection, there is guidance, there is assistance. So naturally he has confidence in his life. A child can rely totally upon his parents because of his child’s heart. Because he is always in the heart, he feels that there is no need which his parents will not fulfil. If he lived in the mind he would immediately think, “Oh, perhaps my father will not be able to do this. Perhaps my mother will not be there to help me.” Then he would become fearful. He would become doubtful and anxious. In the spiritual life, no matter how old you are, you have to feel that there is someone with infinitely more wisdom-light who is constantly thinking of you, loving you, guiding you and protecting you, and that this person is God. And you have to rely upon God with a child’s heart. We can have Peace, Light, Love and Bliss in infinite measure only when we feel that we are children.

When a student goes to his spiritual Master he must feel that his Master has infinitely more wisdom than he has. He must maintain his feeling of humility. Whenever we deal with somebody who is superior to us and who has more capacity in the inner world, then we become a child. If we think that our Master is either of our standard or of a lower standard, how can we act like a child? How can we have faith or confidence in him? Immediately our superiority will come to the fore. Our mind will make us feel that we know better. And the moment we feel that we know everything and can do everything, we lose our childlike qualities.

A student is always a child in the presence of his teacher no matter how old or sophisticated he may be. Always we have to feel that we are learning. In the spiritual life, we learn everything every day, every hour, every minute, every second from our Father, God. If we constantly have the feeling that we are learning in the inner worlds, there is no end to our receiving and achieving God’s Divinity. We can become childlike when we know that there is something to learn and that God is there to teach.