Question: I have had the experience that, when we try to help others, sometimes a kind of barrier builds up in ourselves and also in those we try to help. Could you speak about this.

Sri Chinmoy: Our world still is not the ideal world. At times unconsciously, if not consciously, the world takes away some divine qualities from us. It is not that we do not want to share our divine qualities; but it is just that the world exploits and misuses them. So I feel that there are times when we have to be careful. We are generous. We have come into the world to aspire and, at the same time, to illumine the world. But we have to know who is worthy and who is unworthy. Just because we are all God’s children it is very easy for us to feel that everybody in the world is worthy. But let us take it in this way: who is ready and who is not ready? Many times we have observed that there are some people who are not ready. When we try to awaken their consciousness, when we try to help them or serve the divine in them, their vital immediately feels a great resentment. And this resentment takes the form of a wall between them and, let us say, our searching mind or struggling, striving vital. Our searching mind has found some truth inside the heart, and it wants to offer this truth to others. Our vital is striving, divinely striving, to give them the light that we are entrusted with. But just because most people are not ready to receive, we feel that there is a strong, solid barrier between our realisation and our self-giving.

When we see a partition in ourselves, it means that we are not always one hundred per cent consciously one with our Source. We are of the divine and for the divine; we are of the Supreme and for the Supreme. But it happens many times that, even though we are very sincere and devoted, when we give we expect something in return: either recognition or progress in the persons we have served. Even if they do not recognise or acknowledge our self-giving, we immediately expect some success, or let us say, some kind of gradual progress or growth in their life of inner aspiration. We are giving, giving, giving; but if we do not notice the world receiving, then at times we are frustrated. We feel that earth does not deserve us. We may wonder if we are doing the right thing, since these people are not making any progress. We may even doubt our own sincerity.

But these thoughts are wrong. We are doing absolutely the right thing because we are inspired and commissioned from within. Earth will eventually receive our light, but right now earth is not ready. If the Supreme tells us that someone needs more sleep, that we shouldn’t awaken him, then we shall not approach that particular person. But if the Supreme within us tells us that we have to serve the Supreme in someone even though that person is sleeping, even though he is unwilling and reluctant to receive our light, then we shall do that too, because we are His instruments. Every day we have to think of ourselves as a little child of five or six years old. If we are asked by our Eternal Father to offer something, then He Himself will tell us whom to offer it to.

The human heart sometimes makes us feel that it is so big that it is ready to help everyone. But this is absurd. There is something called God’s Hour. God’s Hour need not and cannot be the same for each and every person. Today it is my Hour, tomorrow it is yours, the day after it is time for somebody else. It is not that some people are bad, or that God does not like them. No! He loves all equally, but for some the hour has not yet dawned.

God is progressing in and through us. On the one hand He is Transcendental; He is all Divine and absolutely Supreme. On the other hand, at every moment He is progressing in and through that particular moment and through each individual life during that moment. In the finite, He is singing the song of Infinity, His own Infinity. Now, in the process of evolution, He is trying to perfect everybody. But He knows His own development best; He knows how much He wants to achieve in and through you today and how much He wants to achieve in and through me. We cannot expect the same kind of treatment or same kind of light for each individual, because God Himself has not created the same capacity and receptivity for everyone.

God is trying to divinely and supremely enjoy Himself. But if we try to increase somebody’s capacity or receptivity by virtue of our own will, we are doing the wrong thing. Let us become God’s Will; let His Will flow through us. And then He Himself will tell us who is the right person to help. In this way we shall go to the right person today and go tomorrow to someone else who will be the right person then. If we approach the right person timely, then we will see that there can be no barrier or partition, because the right person is always ready to receive us and welcome us. But if we go to the wrong person, he will not welcome us and there will be confusion; and in this confusion frustration will loom large. So, let us try to approach the right person at God’s choice Hour, and then we will see that God is fulfilled, we are fulfilled and the world of aspiration is fulfilled in and through us.

Again, sometimes we feel a barrier or a wall in ourselves because at one moment we are identified with the soul and the next moment we are identified with the mind and vital. It is like this. The soul and the heart are one side, and the mind, vital and physical are the other side. Between them there is all the time a barrier. At this moment we call the mind the sole reality, the next moment we call the vital the only reality, and the following moment we regard the heart as the only reality. These are all realities, but the only real reality is God, and the direct representative of God’s Reality is the soul.

Now, just as the soul is the representative of God, the heart is the representative of the soul. The heart and the soul are trying to perfect the mind so that it can represent the psychic being, the soul and the heart. Then, when the mind becomes illumined, the mind will have the vital as its representative. Similarly, the vital will have the body as its representative, and when the body becomes pure and the physical consciousness is aspiring, then the body also will become a perfect instrument.

Reality is a most complicated experience in ordinary earth life, but in the higher planes it is most simple and most fulfilling. When we enter into the lower plane, or the physical plane, there the reality is very uncertain. There the reality is just what we see with our own eyes. Let us say that we are seeing a flower, and that this flower is the reality for us. But as soon as we go a little deeper within, or come into a higher level of consciousness, we do not see the flower as such. The reality is no longer the flower, but the fragrance of the flower or the beauty of the flower. Here on the physical plane, the flower is the reality and the fragrance, which is the inner reality, we can’t appreciate. And the beauty, which is still higher, we do not notice at all. So the thing that is reality on the physical plane need not and cannot be the same kind of reality on the inner plane.

Again, there are many things which we see on the physical plane as real which are absolutely unreal. When a thought comes from the mental world, in our everyday life it is absolutely real and concrete for us. But when we go deep within, immediately the thought vanishes; like a drop, it melts into the ocean of the Will. So what is a reality on the physical plane, such as a thought, is not at all a reality on the inner plane. On the inner plane, the reality is Divinity, Immortality and Perfection. On the outer plane, things that are real to us may not or need not be eternal. But on the inner plane, only what is eternal and fulfilling is real. So there is a great difference between reality on the physical plane and reality on the inner plane.

The outer world has a very mighty weapon, doubt; and the inner world has a most powerful weapon, faith. If we remain in the outer world more than the inner world, its doubt-weapon attacks us. Even though our own existence and our own powerful faith-weapon are inseparable, when we live in the outer world doubt fights against our faith and weakens us.

Now when we feel a barrier between one reality and another reality, between our mind-reality and our heart-reality or between what we have to offer and what we try to give, our spiritual life becomes a barren desert. Not only seekers, but almost all spiritual Masters have gone through this barren desert. Even spiritual Masters of a very high order, like Vivekananda and others, used to confess that they went through periods when they could not meditate at all. They entered into the world arena and offered their Peace, Love, Light and everything they could. But then they felt a kind of frustration because their Light was not accepted and the progress they expected from humanity was not achieved.

Here we are all seekers. If we find ourselves in a barren desert, if we find that multifarious thoughts or ideas are entering into us and making it impossible for us to meditate, we can do one thing. We can offer our gratitude to the Supreme, to the Inner Pilot. We can offer one minute of soulful gratitude that the Supreme has given us the divine aspiration to be of service to mankind, to the Supreme in mankind. If, even for a fleeting minute, we can offer Him our soulful gratitude, then immediately the barrier that exists between the mind and the heart in our inner being disappears. For the power of our gratitude immediately makes us one with God’s Reality. And there is no power either on earth or in our inner existence which can ever be as powerful as our soulful gratitude.

When we look for the word “gratitude” in the mind, it is something dry, silly and unnecessary. When we look for the word “gratitude” in the vital, immediately we see that the word does not even exist. And in the physical, gratitude is all the time dormant. But if we live in the aspiring heart and can become one with the Supreme on the strength of our gratitude, then there can be no dry periods; there can be no wall, no barrier, no undivine forces that delay our progress. When we have gratitude, we are like a flower that petal by petal is blossoming in the Heart of the Supreme. This flower is full of fragrance, and its fragrance constantly illumines, energises and fulfils the human in us, the divine in us and the Supreme in us.

When our gratitude-flower blossoms, the dormant, sleeping humanity also begins to blossom, because our gratitude will have entered into God’s choice Hour. When we enter into God’s Heart with our gratitude, He expedites His own Hour for His children, for He feels that some of His children are more than ready to serve and please Him in His other children who are still sleeping.

Everybody cannot be a chosen instrument. Everybody cannot play the role of a king, true. But everybody can serve God according to his own capacity. When God has given someone the capacity to illumine others, to serve Him in others in abundant measure, it is that person’s duty to clear the way if there is any obstruction, if there is any thorn on the road. And we can easily free the rose from the thorn when we see gratitude growing inside our heart.

The Supreme has made you the chosen instrument to illumine and increase the aspiration of hundreds and thousands of people. If you play your role as a conscious instrument, then in your conscious awareness you become a river that is flowing with all its light, love and dynamic energy towards the sea of Enlightenment. When you and the rest of humanity have become one, and when you enjoy this oneness divinely, there can be no partition, no barrier, no desert. It is all ever-increasing Bliss and ever-transcending Freedom.