Question: If somebody does something to you and you pray for that person not to be punished, can your prayer affect the Supreme's decision?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are developed, like our present Pope, you will pray for God to forgive that person. But how many individuals like the Pope are there on earth? Sometimes, even in a family, we see that the members can hurt each other. People can do wrong things, consciously or unconsciously. Unconsciously if we touch fire, it burns us. But then, with our prayer-life, we can invoke God's Grace. How many millions and billions of times God's Grace and Compassion have descended on earth to save individuals from the results of their wrong actions! Once you accept the spiritual life, God's Compassion descends like torrential rain.

This also applies to those who develop diseases and ailments. In our spiritual family, I know that many people would not have seen more than thirty-five or thirty-eight summers. But they are still alive. Why? Because they have accepted the spiritual life seriously and sincerely and they are doing many good things for God. Otherwise, if the spiritual life had not been in the picture, they would have gone to the other world.

Alas, sometimes the doctors will say the patient has one disease and the following week they will say it is something else. Recently, the doctors diagnosed one of our disciples with lung cancer. Then they said it was tuberculosis. When I heard the word 'tuberculosis' I got such a fright. O my God, tuberculosis was in our family! My sister Ahana died of tuberculosis in 1950. In the Ashram, only my eldest sister Arpita was able to take care of my sister Ahana. The rest of us were kept at a distance of ten or twenty metres. And others who lived in that building all had to leave. The Ashram authorities took those Ashramites away to stay elsewhere. My sister stayed on the first floor and they had been living on the second floor. Only one sister was allowed and she was dying to be of service to her younger sister.

Those who have accepted the spiritual life should be very, very grateful to God and at the same time they should be proud of themselves that there is extra protection for them from Above, from God. It is my bounden duty to be of service to my disciples when they are sick. But at the same time, we were speaking of the law of karma. How much of the law of karma can one nullify?