Question: Although I am a human being and not an animal, sometimes it seems almost impossible for me to purify my vital life as you say I should.

Sri Chinmoy: We see that animals are full of passion and desire and that we do not act the way animals do. Although we are still half animal, we feel that we are superior to animals. But when we go deep within, we see jealousy, doubt, inertia and anxiety inside us. Therefore, spiritual people do not look down upon animals or other human beings. They say, "Ten or fifteen years ago, or in a past incarnation, I was also obscure and unlit; I also had all kinds of desires and passions."

A spiritual Master sees his own past, present and future. He consciously knows that once upon a time he was also in the same difficulties that his disciples are in now. He is conscious of his weaknesses of two or four or six incarnations ago. He knows that for his disciples, desires are very difficult to overcome, and he shows them compassion on the strength of his identification with them. But his compassion will not wait indefinitely. His compassion will act dynamically. He will tell his disciples, "Look, here is the path. Hundreds of years ago I started aspiring and now I have reached the goal. Now you people also start aspiring. You will also reach the goal."

A Master will not ask his disciples to do something that they cannot do. If he tells a disciple, "You have to control your sense pleasure; you have to put an end to the sense life," he knows that this disciple, despite his worst propensities, has the capacity to do this. He knows that this disciple is really ready to enter wholeheartedly into the real spiritual life and attain Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.