Question: How can our sound-life most effectively serve our aspiration?

Sri Chinmoy: Here we have to know what we mean by sound-life. If we take sound-life to mean our sense of dedication to the Supreme, the supreme Cause, then we have to know that there is only one way it can serve our aspiration. It can serve our aspiration by teaching us to lose our expectations. If we expect something in return then our aspiration will not be effective. We shall give to our heart's content, unconditionally. But the moment we expect something from the world and think, "Oh, we have done so much for the world, the world has not given us anything in return," then our aspiration will not be effective at all. Sometimes we do not expect anything beforehand. First we give and then after giving we start to expect. I give you one dollar and then I feel that since I have given you a dollar you have to give me a dollar back. Sometimes even before I give you the dollar I feel that whether I give it to you or not you have to give a dollar to me. This kind of expectation we have. And whenever there is expectation, frustration is bound to follow.

So sound-life can only make our aspiring life effective and fruitful if we do not expect anything from our dedication. We know that if the child gives his capacity of one dollar to the mother, the mother in return will give her capacity, which is hundreds of dollars. But if the child has given one cent or ten cents and expects it back from the mother, she may give two cents or she may not give at all. The mother may think that the child is only giving so that he can get something more from her in return. The mother then will tell the child to wait for the time when everything is his. She will feel that it is wrong for the child to give her a cent so that he can get five cents or ten cents in return. She will tell the child, "You give me what you have, that's all. Then it is my duty to give you what I have."