Question: Could you speak about the need for individuals to defend themselves?Sri Chinmoy: Before you defend yourself you have to know whether you have done the right thing or not. If you have done something wrong, it will be a mistake to try to defend and justify yourself. If you have done something wrong, you have to pray for forgiveness to the Supreme in the individual who has been the victim of your wrong action. But if you are doing something right and if you are misunderstood or criticised or attacked, then you will try to defend yourself. If you are attacked, you should always try to be calm, quiet and tranquil within. Peace is the greatest strength; if you have inner peace, then you have a lion’s strength.
Since you follow the spiritual life and are devoted to Love, Truth and God, you will not exploit anybody. But if somebody wants to exploit you or harm you in any way, you have to protect yourself. Spirituality is not the same thing as stupidity. You have to be wise. There is no wisdom in surrendering to circumstances and saying, “I am helpless, what can I do?” There is no wisdom in remaining silent and waiting for the person who is harming you to reap the karma of his action if you yourself have the power to take action. How do you know that God wants you to give that person an opportunity to continue committing wrong acts? That person has deceived you or done something harmful to you, and God has awakened you so that you are aware of it. So it is your bounden duty to defend yourself.
This is called a sincere approach to reality. If you remain silent, the other person will go on exploiting you. His ignorance will increase and he will never open to the Light, and he will not give you a chance to open to the Light either. You will be continually at his mercy, and your own sense of justice will disappear.
To be sincere is to defend one’s inner cause. To be sincere is to breathe in divine qualities and breathe out undivine qualities. To be sincere is to see the truth as it is, on its own level, and to utilise the truth in its own way. When a new divine thought dawns, you try to execute it, and use it to build a castle of truth.
But ignorance cleverly comes into our mind and tells us to wait, since Eternity is at our disposal. If we listen to ignorance, we are not defending truth. Truth needs immediate recognition and acceptance. We accept the truth and we try to manifest the truth. Let us live the divine truth. In living the truth we will be justifying our own existence. By living the truth, we will be accepting our own inner Immortality, which is our birthright.