Question: How can we deal with the discouragement that comes from trying to sustain a lot of activities after we get physically exhausted from the pace?

Sri Chinmoy: Why should we be discouraged? Discouragement is not something that can help us. Anything that does not help us we must not take as our friend. Let us take discouragement as our enemy. Once we take it as our enemy, we won't allow it to enter into our system. But right now we feel that discouragement is something necessary in our life. It is something very pleasant. Sometimes frustration gives us joy. Depression gives us joy. But these are all negative things.

If we are discouraged, immediately we have to feel that an enemy has entered into us. We are all God's children and we have no enemies. But we have to know that right now there are things that are standing in our way, which can make us helpless. So the best thing is to take them as enemies; in this way we will always be alert. Once we have conquered these forces, at that time they will not be our enemies; they will have no power. But right now discouragement, frustration and depression are more powerful than we are, and we have to consider them as our enemies. When we conquer them, then they become ours.

Very often our good qualities are captured by the undivine qualities. In the morning we have aspiration to get up, but then lethargy comes and we do not get up until seven or eight o'clock. So the bad forces have won. But again, if the good forces increase our aspiration to get up early in the morning, at that time even if the wrong forces come and tempt us to sleep a few minutes more, still we get up. Then lethargy is conquered.

So in the beginning we have to take discouragement and other wrong forces as our enemies, until we have conquered them. What does an enemy do? An enemy makes us alert and an enemy makes us perfect. A friend does not make us perfect; it is an enemy that makes us perfect. You have told millions of lies, true; but your friend will not point out one lie, one weakness of yours. That kind of thing your friend is not going to do. If he is really a spiritual friend, then he may point it out; but if he is an ordinary friend he will say, "No, if I tell him, then I will hurt him and I will lose him." Spiritual Masters are the real friends of the disciples. Very often they become blunt. They tell the disciples what their weaknesses are. The Master says to the disciple, "Even if I lose you as an individual, God is not going to lose you. So let God take care of you."