Question: How can I become more sincere in my spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: You can become more sincere in your spiritual life just by feeling that sincerity gives you tremendous joy. Suppose you are about to say or do something wrong. Immediately stop and think, "How can I do this undivine thing? It will take away all my joy." Then you will not do it. You will find that by abstaining from some undivine activities, you are getting infinitely more joy than if you had allowed yourself to do something undivine. So it is joy that will always help you do the right thing. But you must distinguish between joy and pleasure. If you do something wrong and feel a kind of joy, then that is not real joy; that is pleasure. But if you do the right thing and then you get some joy, that is real, divine joy. Joy and pleasure are two different things. Pleasure is followed by frustration, but joy is followed by more joy, abundant joy, infinite joy. The real in us is joy; other things are all false. So if you don't do the right thing, the so-called joy that you get is nothing but undivine pleasure. But if you do the right thing, then you will get abiding, eternal joy.

Suppose you have told lies and you have not been caught by any human being. Still your conscience has caught you. Your conscience has caught you even before you told the lies. Then what do you do? On the one hand you are caught by your own conscience, so you feel miserable. On the other hand, you get tremendous joy because you have been caught. It is like hide-and-seek. When children play hide-and-seek, the one who is caught also gets joy. His motive is to hide, but when he is actually caught, he is so thrilled. In the spiritual life also, when you are caught by your divine qualities, you should be so happy that at last you have become aware of the tiger inside you. Previously you thought that inside you there was only a deer running very fast. Then, all of a sudden, you see inside you a tiger with all kinds of animal qualities. When you discover that you have a tiger inside you, you should be very happy. For only then will you be able to control the tiger. Otherwise, the tiger will come and devour all your good qualities.

In the spiritual life, if there is no sincerity, nothing can be achieved. And to whom are you being sincere? You are being sincere to yourself. You have a higher reality and you have a lower reality. When you become sincere, immediately you pull your lower reality up to your higher reality. Just like a magnet, your higher reality pulls up your lower reality so that it can take shelter in the higher reality.

There are times in your life when you are really happy. Why are you happy? Because you are really sincere about jumping into the sea of spirituality. Again, you are unhappy when you are hesitant. At times you say, "Oh, if I jump into the sea of spirituality, there will perhaps be some water animals there, and these water animals will devour me." But instead of worrying about what will happen, you should say, "If I just jump, if I dive into the sea of spirituality, then I will be able to get the most precious gifts from the sea."