Question: I know that frustration and feeling sorry are wrong forces; yet I feel sad quite often.

Sri Chinmoy: First of all let us deal with frustration. Frustration is undoubtedly bad. Any kind of frustration is a precursor of destruction. It is not frustration that is destroyed, but frustration that destroys. If frustration were destroyed, then we would again have the life of cheerfulness. But that is not what happens.

Now the feeling of sorrow. Suppose we think about a person in our family who has passed away. For a few hours we feel sad because we miss the person who loved us or whom we loved. We feel that in our sad, sorrowful mood we are intensifying our oneness with that particular deceased person. This feeling is not bad because first we are intensifying our oneness and then we can bring down peace, light and bliss. But again, if we can maintain our oneness with that person's soul wherever it is, and feel its presence within us, then we need not feel sad even for one minute.

There is another way in which the spiritual Masters approach this case. When Sri Ramakrishna's nephew passed away, Sri Ramakrishna cried bitterly. Why was he so sad? Sri Ramakrishna felt sorrow not actually for the loss of the person but for the failure of that person to accomplish what he came on earth to accomplish. This soul had something to offer but could not do it because of the intervention of wrong forces.

Very often when we help others, when we become one with others' sorrow, we get a kind of joy. This is a very tricky thing. When somebody is sad or suffering, we try to help that person. But inwardly we may enjoy his suffering and have a glorified inner feeling that we have been of some help to him.

First we feel a little sorry; then we get joy because we feel superior. We think, "I am not suffering he is suffering. I am at the top of the tree and he is at the foot of the tree." This wrong idea very often enters in into our mind. If we identify ourselves with someone who is sad and depressed, if we are just enjoying his sadness, we are not helping him at all.

In the Pandava family, Arjuna's mother, Kunti, knew that Lord Krishna was a great spiritual Master. She knew that Sri Krishna was God Himself. So she used to pray to him to give her sorrow and suffering all the time so that she would think only of him. She believed that only if she lived in suffering would she be inspired to think of God. This idea is not good at all. Just to think of God we need not invoke extra suffering. This is a wrong approach to the truth.

The right way to approach the truth is through joy and light. The soul is full of divine joy, and from the soul joy wants to come forward and express itself through the vital. If the vital does not want to become one with the soul's joy, the vital consciously and deliberately resents this joy and stands in its way. At that time this unaspiring vital prefers suffering because it feels that by expressing suffering outwardly it draws the sympathy, affection and concern of the world. Despite the vital's suffering it is actually getting a subtle Joy in a negative way. Very often we think that if we become a victim to sadness, there will be somebody to console us. This is a wrong idea. God does not approve of this idea. Today we will be sad and our mother or father or friend or somebody will console us. This consolation and attention gives us joy, so tomorrow we will feel sad with the same idea that somebody will come and console us. But tomorrow perhaps others will be tired of consoling us and we will be disappointed. In God's creation there are some people who are always sad because they feel that when somebody comes to console them they will get real joy. They feel that the best way to get attention and affection is to tell the world that it does not care for them or that they are totally lost. But even if they sincerely feel that they are totally lost, the world is not going to take care of them forever if it is not the Will of God. God's Concern always runs in a positive direction.

Very often psychic joy wants to express itself directly, without the vital and even without the mind. But when it is about to express or it has expressed itself, the depression of the vital and the doubt of the mind enter into the joy of the heart and soul. Then the vital's depression and the mind's doubt immediately act like a devouring tiger. When they see this joy, they take it as a fruit and devour it immediately. After several times, the soul sees that its joy is being devoured by the mind and vital, and the soul becomes cautious. It does not want to express its joy quite so often. It waits for the vital to be purified and for the mind to be free from doubts.