20. Question: Why is our path so difficult?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, I do not agree that our path is difficult. I agree when I sympathise with the unaspiring disciples, but I totally disagree when I identify with the aspiring disciples. Why is our path so difficult? On the one hand, no path can be easy. On the other hand, no path can be difficult when we understand the real value of the Goal.

Why do we accept a spiritual path? We accept a spiritual path just because we feel that if we walk along the path, eventually we shall reach a destination which is flooded with all the divine qualities of the absolute Supreme. This is our Goal. The higher the Goal, naturally the more difficult will be the journey.

We have to know that we are walking along a path. That means we are doing something which others are not doing. As long as we are doing something which others are not doing, our Goal, our satisfaction, will be totally different from theirs. Also, our satisfaction will be more valuable, more lasting, more fulfilling. When we go to school and gain knowledge and wisdom, our satisfaction increases just because you have gone to school and gained something. If I stay at home and don't study, that means I want to remain a fool. Yesterday you were a fool like me, but today new light has dawned on you and you want to move ahead; you want to become a man of learning and wisdom. Yesterday you and I were on the same footing, but today you have gone one step ahead. Yesterday the satisfaction that you had, I also had. Today you have gone one step ahead in order to get a new satisfaction, a more fulfilling satisfaction.

Naturally you have made an effort to achieve your aim. When we do something new, immediately we feel it is difficult. When we were an infant who could crawl, for us to get up and take one step was really difficult. When we first began to walk we found it a little difficult. Once we could walk, when we wanted to march we found it difficult. Then, when we tried to run, that was difficult. Every time we did something new it seemed difficult. In the spiritual life also, before we walk along any path, it is quite easy for us to stay in the ignorance-sea. But the moment we want to swim across the ignorance-sea and enter into the sea of knowledge and wisdom, we find it very difficult. Any new movement in life is difficult. It is not our path that is difficult. All paths are difficult at the beginning. Path means movement and movement brings newness. Anything new is difficult because it is something seemingly unknowable. But once we have taken one step and we know we are ready to take the next step, we find the first step to have been so easy. When we have just entered kindergarten, how difficult it is to go to school. But when we complete our kindergarten course and enter into primary school, when we are well established in the primary school, we feel how easy it was to attain the kindergarten knowledge and wisdom.

Anything that we do is difficult in the beginning because it is something unknown. But what is unknown need not be and cannot be unknowable. When we enter into the unknown world, immediately we feel that we are totally lost. But that unknown world does not remain unknown forever. We become the master of it after we have stayed there for a while. Then the difficulty disappears. What is unknowable today is only unknown tomorrow. The day after tomorrow it becomes known, the following day it becomes just a fact, and finally we feel, "Oh, I knew it all along."

Today a little boy has asked me the question: "Did you know God always?" My answer was, "Yes and no." Before I realised God I felt that I did not know God always but the day I realised Him I came to know that I had known Him all along. Right from the beginning of creation I knew Him, when He and I together were responsible for creation. When you realise God, you will also feel that you and He were equally responsible partners, always together. He wanted you to play the game of sound while He played the game of silence. So He said, "Let Me stay here and you go down. I will be inside you while you play the game of sound. I will play the game of silence from here above." Before God-realisation we cannot say frankly or wholeheartedly or convincingly that we knew God all along. It would be a mistake for an unrealised person to say that he knew God always. But once we have realised God, if we say that we didn't know God always, that would be a mistake, a real mistake. It would be a kind of false modesty.

Sri Chinmoy, A God-lover's earth-Heaven-life, part 1.First published by Agni Press in 1974.

This is the 180th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book A God-lover's earth-Heaven-life, part 1, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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