Question: The other night you spoke about our plays that we perform for entertainment here on the Christmas trip. What can we do in our plays to please you more?

Sri Chinmoy: What do I know about this kind of thing? Most of the time I do not even understand your English. How fast you speak! The only thing I can say is that sometimes when you are performing, it is not strictly spiritual. If it is innocent, then you are safe. But sometimes when you sing or do things, I see that from the very, very strict spiritual point of view, you are touching the unaspiring vital. Of all the parts of the being, the vital is the one that you have to be so careful of. The mind is the worst, true. But the vital is right below the navel, and a few inches above it is the heart. The vital quite often tries to steal the wealth of the heart. The vital is a thief, but it pretends to be a saint. It has two aspects: a dynamic aspect and an aggressive aspect. Unfortunately, we human beings do not know how to differentiate between them. Sometimes when you think that you are being very dynamic, you are not being dynamic at all. It is aggression. When there is dynamism, there is bound to be light, inner light. When there is aggression, there is no light. It is all darkness. It is as if ten elephants are fighting somewhere.

The other day some of our girl singers were imitating famous singers. They know they can enter into that consciousness, but once they enter into the consciousness of those famous singers, perhaps it will take a long time for them to come back to their own original consciousness. Again, who knows? I enjoy innocent skits, but on that day the songs were not so appropriate.

You are all so talented. I sincerely mean it. But when you touch the border of the vital, it is not helpful to your spiritual life. The vital is a very dangerous place, and at the same time its territory is very wide, unlimited. It is so vast, like the ocean. If you touch water, whether it is here or one thousand miles away, you will get the vibration or consciousness of water.

On the twenty-fourth of December, Christmas eve, when the Germans were singing with such simplicity, soulfulness and tenderness, I invoked the Saviour Christ. Everything can be done either in a mechanical way or in an ultra-modern fashion or in a simpler than the simplest way. Jesus Christ was simplicity incarnate. He was a carpenter’s son. How simple, how humble he was! He was always giving us the message of simplicity and humility. Simplicity and humility cannot be separated. On that occasion, the German singers proved that you can sing these carols in a very simple way, without vital exuberance.

Most of the time when the boys’ aphorism group performs, whether others get benefit or not, I get benefit, because that is my life — this devotional way that they perform most of the time. If people are sincerely watching and not making fun, they receive so much. When that particular group performs in New York, how much devotion they generate and how much disciples who are sincere seekers can benefit. I have written so many stories and plays where devotion can be expressed.

Three things I like. The first is devotion, which is the fastest speed. Then comes surrender, which carries you to your goal. Then this devotion and surrender need a foundation. That foundation is obedience. If there is no foundation, there can be no superstructure. Again and again I am saying, never take the word ‘obedience’ lightly. If your Master asks you to bring him a glass of water, immediately you have to bring him water. Immediately if you do not bring it, what will happen? Your mind will say, “Oh, he has told me to bring him a glass of water. Let me see if there is a beautiful flower. After all, he is a spiritual man, and my devotion will increase if I give him a beautiful flower. Silly water is not going to increase my devotion.”

You can say that your today’s disobedience is very minor, negligible, but I am seeing that if disobedience starts today, then you will get the results after thirty or forty or fifty years. Even before you joined the path, your inner being often told you to do something or not to do something. Before I came into your life, you did exist. Tomorrow when I kick the bucket, you will still exist. This matter is between you and your inner guide. At the age of five if you realised that something was wrong, you cannot say that just because for twenty or twenty-five years you have been doing the same wrong thing, that means it is not wrong. Unfortunately, this is what happens. At the age of five we started doing something wrong, and then at the age of forty we say, “I have been doing it all along, so it cannot be wrong.” But no, this wrong force is only increasing and increasing in strength and power. Then when you are forty-five or fifty years old, it may act like a volcano.

Most of you joined the path at the age of seventeen, eighteen or twenty. But you have to know how many things you did contrary to your conscience prior to that. Just because you have now entered into the spiritual life, those things are not nullified. It is not automatic. For that you have to pray and meditate, meditate, meditate. You have to gain peace, light and bliss. Then only will you be purified.

If you just forget about all the wrong things that you have been doing for thirty or forty years, is it not going to tell upon your health or do something destructive in your life? Perhaps the hour has not yet struck. Perhaps the hour will strike when you are sixty years old. Let us say you started smoking at the age of ten. Then you go on doing it for twenty or thirty years, thinking that nothing is happening. When you are sixty, you will get the results of your smoking in the form of serious health problems. For forty or fifty years you may not be affected. But when you are sixty, you will see what has happened because you have been smoking for so many years. This happens in the spiritual life also. Once we know that something is harmful to our spiritual life, then we must not do it.

The difficulty is that once you have been on the path for many years, all the things that you wanted to conquer — jealousy, insecurity, impurity — if you have not conquered, then you feel it is impossible to conquer them. You have been fighting and fighting, but neither side is winning. Then you say, “All right, forget about it. Let ignorance win.” When ignorance wins, it takes away your strength. Then you become its slave and ignorance utilises you for its own purpose. All the things that you wanted to conquer — jealousy, insecurity and all kinds of wrong forces — are forms of ignorance. First we try to come out of ignorance. But when we see that ignorance is stronger than we are, we surrender. Then ignorance gets us back and we become its soldiers. This is happening in almost all cases.

Because today we are doing something wrong and afterwards nothing happens, we think we can continue. We say, “I was a fool. I thought it was something harmful. Since nothing is happening, God’s Hour did not strike.” Recently I said that the Hour of God accepts no excuses. When that Hour of God will come, we do not know. The Hour of God we have forgotten about. That is why we continue doing the same wrong thing with so much confidence. We say, “I was mistaken. I thought that I was doing something wrong. If I am really doing something wrong, then how is it that I am not being punished?”

From:Sri Chinmoy,Sri Chinmoy answers, part 28, Agni Press, 2000
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