Question: Guru, I am a Centre leader. You told us that it is better for girls to have long hair. We were begging one girl in our Centre to grow her hair longer, but she just does not listen.

Sri Chinmoy: If somebody does not listen, there are certain things that we can accept, we can tolerate. If this girl does not keep her hair long, I cannot tell her, “You have to leave our path.” But there are certain rules. If people come to the Centre on Wednesdays wearing punjabis or shorts, then they will be asked to go home. On Wednesdays the girls must wear saris. If one person says, “No, I only wear Western clothes,” that will not be accepted.

The problem with short hair started thirty years ago. Thirty years ago some girls did not listen to me. If one girl deliberately kept her hair short, then that girl’s friends started imitating her. About that kind of thing, what can I say? We have to tolerate it.

People whom I have to tolerate can never be good disciples. That much I can openly tell you. If disciples do not abide by the requests that I have made, then they are not good disciples; they are not real disciples. That much we know. People who do not listen to me in everything can never be good and real disciples. But we have to tolerate them, because in quite a few ways they do listen.