Question: What is humility and how can we achieve it?

Sri Chinmoy: Humility is not humiliation. Humility is miles and miles away from humiliation. Humility is the oneness-light within us. I always say a tree becomes humble when it bears fruit. Mother Earth is really humble. A blade of grass is all-humility. If you try to possess something in a divine way, then you will become like a tree. When you really possess something in a divine way — Light or Peace or Bliss — then you are bound to offer it to the world. For you see that the rest of the world is part and parcel of your own existence.

We become humble only when we really have something; again, only when we are humble can we really have something. This is true for spiritual people. But in the ordinary life, a person sometimes becomes proud just because he doesn't have something. Human pride is so precarious. If you can't do something, you are proud; if you can do something, you are proud. It's like that. Some Indians are so proud that they don't have enough money to eat properly. They take pride in their poverty. It is not that they have money and just don't want to live a luxurious life. No, they are poor, poverty-stricken, but they enjoy their poverty to such an extent that they make everybody feel that it is the greatest blessing to be poor. Again, in the ordinary life rich people are not always humble. Far from it. What the Christ said is so true, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to Heaven." I tell you I have lost quite a few disciples after they have won a lottery or gotten a large increase in salary.