Question: Until our receptivity is perfect and we know the right thing to do, it seems to me that a certain amount of time must, of necessity, be spent doing nothing rather than making mistakes. Do you agree?

Sri Chinmoy: I categorically disagree. We have to be on the move like an elephant — but not a mad elephant. An elephant goes to this side and hits a wall; it gets hurt. It goes to that side and hits another wall; again it gets hurt. But at least there is movement. Then, after some time, the elephant will find another way; there will be a door wide open, and the elephant will go out. But if the elephant just stands still waiting for the walls to be removed, it will never be free.

If a swimmer waits for the waves and billows to subside before he jumps into the ocean, then he will wait forever. Ten metres ahead he will see a huge wave and wait for it to subside. Then he will see another wave coming from twenty metres away. Like this it will go on and on. If you want to wait for the right moment, that right moment will never come — never!

It is better to make mistakes millions of times while seeking the light than to remain idle. While you are making mistakes, you are not at all satisfied. But God is extremely pleased with you because you are making the effort. You are not wise enough to know which way to turn to reach the light. But your readiness, willingness and eagerness to arrive at the destination is definitely pleasing God.

You have to start your journey, no matter how imperfect you are. Even if you cannot walk properly and are only able to crawl, do not delay. You will say, "Let me wait until I can sprint; in fact, let me wait until I can become the world's greatest sprinter." But that day will never come. You have to go the fastest, but only according to your receptivity. And your receptivity will increase only if you start. Right now you can only crawl. But if you start crawling, then God will give you the capacity to stand. You may stumble many times and fall. But, like a small child, if you keep getting up and trying to walk, eventually you will learn to walk. And then, if you aspire to go still faster — to run towards your goal — God will also give you that capacity. But if you only sit and wait until you become the world's greatest runner, then you will never even start your journey.

Receptivity comes from a constant flow of tears for God. There is no other way to create or to develop receptivity. There has to be a continuous flow of tears from your heart for God. Then only you can have receptivity. But if you are doing nothing, only waiting for receptivity to come, then receptivity will never, never come.

So it is better to start at this very moment. Do not even think of your receptivity. Do not think of the condition of your body, mind and vital. Think only of your readiness, willingness and eagerness. Your readiness, willingness and eagerness will create receptivity. God will give you receptivity according to your readiness, willingness and eagerness.

So, I do not agree with your theory that it is better to wait. Each day you wait is a day of failure. But if you start your journey, then each hour and each moment adds to the success and progress of your spiritual life.