Part I — Questions and answers

Question: How is it that the soul cannot make progress in the inner world?1

Sri Chinmoy: The soul makes progress, but the soul cannot achieve God-realisation in the soul’s world. Progress the soul will make, but it is like looking at a mountain from a distance. From here if I am crying for my mother, my mother hears me. If my mother is smiling at me, I can see that my mother is smiling. But only if both of us, mother and son, are at the same place, and my mother is pleased with me, can my mother give me the most delicious mango. At that time she will say, “Here, I have this mango and many more for you.”

For everything there is a particular place. The kitchen has food and the meditation room may at times have food. Upstairs rooms may also have food. Because you think that the kitchen usually has food, you may say, “The food is there. Why are we not going into the kitchen?” But I may say, “No, I want to eat on the porch.” I have selected the porch as the place to eat.

God selected this earth for realisation. He wanted to give realisation here. He chose the place, just as I chose the porch to eat and to offer food to you. If you go to the kitchen, you will get a little food there; but since I have chosen the porch as the place where we will eat, all the food will be available here. I say, “Please bring all the food here, to the porch. Let everyone eat here.” Similarly, God chose this earth planet to give realisation. We may think that realisation can be given in the soul’s world, but God says no. On rare occasions, God may do a few things differently.

The question arises, what happens when we are not in the body? There is only the soul. When the soul takes a body, it has limbs, and it also has the vital, mind and heart. Everything it has. It is like a machine that has five or six parts. The soul itself may be beautiful, but it is like a machine with only one part. Another machine may have five or six parts. When all the parts of a huge fitness machine are operating, one can do twenty or forty exercises. Again, the parts can be separated: there can be one here, one there. But if I have the capacity, if I have the money-power to buy a huge fitness machine, I shall do it. Then twenty exercises I can take at one place. Will I not buy that big machine if I have the money-power?

In exactly the same way, for God-realisation if the soul can operate through the body, vital, mind and heart, then the soul is accomplishing everything at one place.

OGT 1-17. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions at his home in Jamaica, New York, on 21 July 1999