16. Question: Can self-denial transform the lower vital?

Sri Chinmoy: No, self-denial cannot transform the lower vital. Never! Today we shall deny the lower vital; tomorrow we shall deny the physical; the day after tomorrow we shall deny the mind; the day after that we shall deny even the heart. A few days later we shall deny the soul; and finally we shall deny God Himself. Once we start singing the song of denial there is no end to it. A day will come when we will very cleverly deny God Himself.

Self-denial is not and cannot be the answer. Acceptance and transformation is the answer. There is the higher vital that is aspiring and there is the lower vital that does not aspire at all. The lower vital we shall accept for transformation. But after acceptance, we have to know when we should enter into it. We have to wait until the hour is right. When the heart and mind are fully illumined and fully surcharged with light, only then can we enter into the lower vital. If we enter into the lower vital before we are fully prepared, then the darkness of the vital will devour whatever light we already have. Until the hour is right, we shall not deny the vital's existence or needs. We shall accept its existence, but we have to be careful. We know that right now our strength is very limited. So first we have to develop our inner muscles. Once we become very strong inwardly, then we shall deliberately enter into the lower vital to transform it, because if any part of our being — whether body, vital or mind — remains untransformed, then we cannot be complete or perfect instruments of the absolute Supreme.