HDW 24-25. These questions were answered by Sri Chinmoy on 12 January 2006 at the Awana Kijal Golf and Beach Resort, Malaysia.

Question: Guru, you said not too long ago that it has been a very, very long time since you received a sincere smile. My question is this: is there anything at all that we, your disciples, can do to change that?

Sri Chinmoy: When we started our mission, I was quite young — 32 years of age. At that time, when there were only a handful of disciples — 50, 60, 70 or let us say even 100 disciples — I had tremendous hope and expectation. Over the years, our numbers have been increasing like mushrooms but, in general, I do not see the same intensity. Now we have got perhaps 7,000 disciples. But what has happened? I have been observing that most of the time the disciples try to branch out, but they do not want to go up, they do not want to go high, they do not want to go deep within.

One way is to go high, another way is to go deep and the third way is to serve God. If we receive something from God by going high or going deep, then we can share it with others. Again, if God asks us to do something, God will give us the capacity. That is also true.

But there are some who need to go up high, higher, highest. Some need to dive deep, deeper, deepest. Then there are others who do not go up; they do not go down. They feel that, of the three, service is easier. But I wish to say that service is not easier. Service demands unconditional surrender. On our path, we have undertaken considerable manifestation work. I have noticed that when my disciples are not successful in their endeavours, they are doomed to disappointment. They criticise themselves unduly.

On the one hand, service is very easy. You just give talks, find someone who may be receptive, this and that. On the other hand, if service is not unconditional, if the results are not placed at the Feet of God equally when you are successful and when you are not successful, then it cannot be called real service.

To come back to your question, the smiles that I receive from my disciples can be ninety per cent sincere or even ninety-nine per cent sincere; but one hundred per cent, I doubt very much. It is all my fault: expectation, expectation! Today it was in my mind to give a prayer on expectation. I had decided that I would never, never go to expectation-world. Time and again it has only pained me. That was the morning message I was planning to give. From the second floor I entered into the elevator to come down to the meditation hall. When I came out of the elevator, my message had changed. This was the message I gave:

Every morning
I prayerfully and soulfully visit
Two very special worlds:
God's Compassion-Eye-World
And God's Forgiveness-Heart-World.12

What a nice prayer! While I was coming towards the elevator, I said in my mind that I shall never visit expectation-world, never! In the elevator, it all changed. Reality always changes. The first message was reality until I entered into the elevator.

Sri Chinmoy, My Early Morning Heart-Climbing Prayers. New York: Agni Press, 2006,