Question: How can you conquer attachment when you have a large heart and want to help people?

Sri Chinmoy: If you have a big heart and you want to help hundreds of people, you have to remember to whom these people belong. They don't belong to you; they belong to the Supreme. Since they are His possessions, you have to make sure that the Supreme wants you to help them. If you want to help them just to show your outer capacity, the only significant result will be an increase in your pride and vanity. But if you are commissioned by God, God can give you the heart and the capacity to help not only a hundred or two hundred people, but millions of people at a time.

How can you be detached if you have a big heart? If it is God's Will that you should help and He has given you some capacity, some illumination, some inner wisdom and light, then you will easily be able to be detached. But if your desire to serve the world is not God's Will, if it is coming unconsciously from your vital, then you are bound to be attached. If your desire to help others is coming consciously from the vital, then you will know that your wish to help people is only for appreciation, admiration and fame.

Very often people do not know the difference between the heart and the vital, because the vital is near the heart. The spiritual heart is in the centre of the chest and the vital is at the navel and below. From the navel the consciousness flows upward, and people think it is the consciousness of the heart. The emotionally and physically impure vital consciousness flows outward and people think that it is the heart's consciousness purifying and illumining the whole world. The vital emotion always creates attachment, but people are convinced that this is their heart's concern. Attachment is killing them, but they do not understand what it is. They think they are suffering because of their heart's concern for others.

Unless one aspires, it is very difficult to know the difference between vital attachment or vital love and true psychic love or the heart's divine love. The capacity for discrimination comes through gradual spiritual progress. Spiritual Masters can tell the difference and sincere seekers who have made considerable progress can tell. But others will always make a mistake. On rare occasions they will recognise their vital emotions, but most of the time they will feel that their pure heart is making them suffer.

Sometimes when we feel that we are more than ready to go and illumine the world, our readiness is not readiness at all. What we call readiness, in God's Eye may be our egotistical way of imagining our own greatness. At that time, we will go from one end of the earth to the other offering our light, but this light will not be real light; it is all human ego coming directly from the vital world. So we have to be very careful. Real readiness is there only when God tells us to do something, for God can see when we are really ready. When we are ready, God will speak through the Master and tell us that we are ready. Only then can the wealth of the heart be offered to mankind in a divine way.

So always go deep within and wait for the inner light or the Master to guide you and command you. You will be making a mistake if you think that you have the capacity to serve the world divinely but that you are not getting the opportunity to use it. Use all your capacity first to realise the highest Truth. When you have realised this Truth, you will find deep within you One who will tell you when the time has come for you to spread your light by helping the world. At that time you will never be attached. You will feel that you are consciously becoming one with your other part and you will have the capacity to grow into this larger part. As long as you do not have this capacity, when you give to somebody else you will always feel that you are superior, that he is a beggar and you are a prince. But when you are illumined and have been commanded by God to help others, you will see the other person as your own extended self. There will be no sense of separativity at that time, only oneness and expansion. When there is total oneness there is no attachment. It is the feeling of duality that creates attachment. In the infinite ocean there are millions of waves, but these waves are all part and parcel of the ocean. The millions of waves are the expression, the revelation, the manifestation of the ocean. There is no duality, no attachment here; it is all oneness.