Question: How can we remain unaffected by other people's undivine consciousness without cutting ourselves off from them?

Sri Chinmoy: In order to be unaffected by the undivine consciousness of others you have to surcharge your body, vital, mind and heart with peace and purity. Peace and purity go together. The more peace you have within you, the more purity you will have, and the more purity you have, the more peace you will have. When you have peace and purity, at that time you will not be affected by others.

Now, you don’t want to be affected by other persons’ undivine consciousness and, at the same time, you don’t want to cut off all connection with them, you would like to be of some help to them. What you have to do is try to feel that you are standing on the bank of a river. The others are drowning in the river, and you are offering them your hand to catch hold of. But in order to be of help, you yourself have to remain all the time safe. If you jump into the river to save them, then you also will drown.

So first you have to concern yourself with your own salvation, your own protection. First you have to make yourself very strong, very powerful inwardly, and only then can you try to help others. If you have a big heart and want to help others and give them some inner light, but if you are not strong enough, then you are making a deplorable mistake. Not only will you fail to help them, but you will also lose what little inner light you have and end up in the same position they are in. In a school, if a teacher knows a little more than a student, he can teach. If someone has finished high school, he can easily teach the kindergarten class, because his knowledge is much greater than that of his students. But the spiritual life unfortunately is not like that. In the spiritual life, if one is only an inch higher than somebody else in terms of inner awakening, or if one has only a few drops more of inner Peace, Light and Bliss, then that person should not try to help the other person. If he does so, the other person’s ignorance will literally devour him. Suppose you have five drops of spiritual consciousness, or fifty drops or five hundred or five thousand drops, and the other person does not have a single drop. Still, you have to know that he has something else; he has five million drops of poison. So you have to be very careful. If the other person has many undivine qualities, then your little drop of love or joy or peace or bliss will be of no help to him at all. And worse, you will be devoured by his sea of poison and of ignorance. So the best thing is to make yourself as powerful and strong as possible. Then, no matter who is around you or wherever you are, you will be in a position to offer your light without being affected. That is the right way.