Question: I would like to stop finding fault with others, but sometimes the work that I have to do — for instance, proofreading — requires looking for others’ mistakes.1

Sri Chinmoy: When you do something, you have to keep in mind your ultimate goal, which is perfection. In many jobs, it is absolutely essential to work with other people to achieve this goal. If your job in the group is proofreading, you are not trying to find fault with others or to uncover their mistakes. Only you are doing your part in helping the group to achieve perfection. Other members of the team have done what they can and now you are doing what you can. It is only through this kind of teamwork that perfection can be achieved.

Let us say that you are proofreading a speech. If the typist has made some mistake or if the speaker has made a mistake due to lack of concentrated attention, then naturally you will do the needful to make sure it is corrected. You are not deliberately looking for mistakes in other people’s work. But in doing your own job, which is proofreading, if you clearly notice that mistakes have been made, then it is your duty to fix them.

When you approach reality, which now takes the form of a mistake, what is of primary importance is your attitude. You have to know whether you are trying to show off your superior mental capacities or whether you are exercising the power of your oneness-heart to bring about perfection. If, with a oneness-heart, you feel that you are working with others in your group towards the same perfection-goal, then you are doing absolutely the right thing. You are not criticising or finding fault with the achievements of others; only you are working alongside them to achieve perfection. If you find a mistake, it does not matter whether it is someone else’s mistake or your mistake. It does not matter whether it is a glaring mistake or a minor one. A mistake is a mistake and it has to be corrected. We are all enemies of imperfection, and together we shall try to correct whatever needs correcting and bring it to perfection.

That is the right attitude, not only when we are working with others but also when we are dealing with our own lives. In our own lives we have to soulfully and devotedly try to perfect our nature on the strength of our heart’s aspiration and inner cry. Unfortunately, instead of trying to increase our aspiration, sometimes we give too much importance to our shortcomings. Let us take mistakes, which come from the unlit part of our nature, as darkness. If we are always thinking of darkness, then we shall never arrive at light or be able to invoke light. If we focus all our attention on our mistakes and weaknesses, then we will only become disheartened and angry with ourselves and we will never arrive at perfection.

So let us pray and meditate for the illumination of our mental darkness and for the transformation of our nature’s imperfections. Let us invoke light from Above to descend into our imperfect nature so that our shortcomings, weaknesses and mistakes will all be illumined and transformed. When they are finally transformed, at that time they can be utilised to manifest the divine realities within us.


  1. MUN 335. 7 February 1992.

Sri Chinmoy, My meditation-service at the United Nations for twenty-five years.First published by Agni Press in 1995.

This is the 1094th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book My meditation-service at the United Nations for twenty-five years, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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