Julie: Guru, Benjamin is not a fan of thunderstorms. Ever since he was little, even when I was pregnant with him, if there was a sudden noise, he would jump. He does not like loud noises, specially storms, thunderstorms. They make him very, very upset and uncomfortable.1

Matthew: He cries when it storms.

Julie: He has seen some pretty good storms up at the farm —- whole trees of ours have come down. We seek your advice to help Benjamin during a storm.

Sri Chinmoy: He gets frightened?

Julie: Really frightened.

Sri Chinmoy: When it rains?

Julie: When it gets cloudy and dark. When he sees it coming.

Sri Chinmoy: You get upset and frightened when you see it is thundering, Benjamin? Why?

Benjamin: One reason is my ears are really sensitive. It does not really hurt my ears, but the sound scares me.

Sri Chinmoy: Can you play a trick on it? Now you get frightened when there is thunder and a storm is coming. But instead of becoming frightened, try to feel, try to see, that you are the one who is making the noise. What for? Only to give joy to many, many, many children, you are the one making the noise. There are millions of children like you all over the world. Instead of getting frightened, you can feel that you are giving them tremendous joy. You are the one to give joy to millions of children.

If you give Matthew a piece of candy, you get such joy. When Matthew gives you a smiling face, you get so much joy! Do you understand? You get joy when you give him something. In exactly the same way, when this thundering is going on, try to imagine that you are the one who is making this noise and so many children are getting boundless joy.

When you are happy, you know that your father and mother are so happy. They immediately feel that they are in Heaven. And if you are sad, they also become sad. In the same way, you are giving joy to countless children of your age. When they are happy, God is also very happy. So, try to make yourself feel that you are the one who is making this loud noise. And if you are giving joy to so many other children, you will not feel that your own ears are getting hurt. When you are giving something happily, and others are accepting from you happily, then you do not get hurt. So from now on, when a thunderstorm is happening, immediately feel that you are the one who is doing it to make many, many people very, very happy.

And also you can think of the farmers. Farmers are such good people. They grow the food that keeps us alive. They need rain badly. You can also feel that you are the one to help them. So you see, if you can give joy to these farmers and to the little children, will you not make that sacrifice for them?

Otherwise, if you are frightened, then you cannot do anything. You will simply hide. But if you are happy, you are going to run, jump and fly all over the house. You have to feel that you are doing something very great to make so many people happy. By giving joy to others, you will also become happy. By not giving joy to others, you become miserable. So from now on, change your attitude. Do not be afraid. Just feel that you are the one who is giving joy to millions of people all over the world. You will see that you will be very, very happy.

Julie: Think of the farmers everywhere who need water, and the corn that is growing.

Sri Chinmoy: Benjamin, I have written a few stories for children. One day I would like you and your brother to perform some of them. Chetana, your auntie, will get you my book Gopal's Eternal Brother and Other Stories for Children. Some of those stories I wrote in India, so you will be very happy and delighted to read them. Your parents will teach you how to perform. You can do it for us one day when you are ready.

Benjamin: I was in the play Julius Caesar.

Sri Chinmoy: So many lines to learn!

[Benjamin recites one of his lines.]

Sri Chinmoy: I am so proud of you! When I was of your age, I was also in a play. I was supposed to say only one line, but I got frightened, frightened. The time came for me to say my line and I was supposed to speak, but nothing was coming out because I was so frightened. Then the prompter had to tell me the line! My line was, "I love my brother Arjuna very much." That is all. I was playing the part of Sahadeva, the youngest Pandava, in the play. The boy who was playing the part of Arjuna was looking at me. He was waiting for me to say my line. Then, very quietly, he began to tell me what I had to say. At the same time, the prompter was saying the line from the side of the stage. Even then I could not say it because I was frightened. That was my first performance!

  1. GMQ 4. Arun, Julie, Benjamin and Matthew visited Sri Chinmoy on 22 June 2005 during a thunderstorm.