Question: How can a person feel a longing for God and, at the same time, have patience? It seems like a contradiction.

Sri Chinmoy: It is not a contradiction at all. To have a sincere longing does not mean that one cannot have patience. A kindergarten student sees that his brother has got a Master's degree, whereas he is still studying in kindergarten. He has a sincere longing for a Master's degree, but he knows that time is a factor; it will take him twenty years to get that degree. But if he does not pay any attention to his studies now, then he will not pass his examination. Then how will he go on to high school and university? Right now he is the seed. Gradually the seed will germinate and become a tiny plant. Finally it will become a huge banyan tree. Does the seed think that by some miracle-power it will turn into a banyan tree overnight? No, it is absurd. There has to be an evolutionary process of gradual development. We have to progress gradually. If we lose our patience, then we lose our inspiration and aspiration and we will never reach our destined goal.

Everything that we want to accomplish, we have to do on the strength of our sincerity. If we are students, we have to study. If we are seekers, we have to pray and meditate. Sincerity is of paramount importance. If the child knows at the very start of his life that he wants to get his Master's degree, he will become sincere. Then he has to remain sincere all his life. Even after he has reached his goal, he has to be sincere in distributing the light that he has received from his goal.

If we are sincere and patient at every moment, then we will have real satisfaction in our achievement. When the child goes to primary school and high school, he will get satisfaction from his constant progress. Our present satisfaction may not be the ultimate satisfaction, but just because we have got some satisfaction on the strength of our sincere cry, we can rest assured that the ultimate satisfaction is bound to grow and evolve in us.

Sincerity and patience must go together. We start our journey with sincerity and then sincerity and patience together continue the journey. If they are separated, then satisfaction can never be achieved by the seeker. Through gradual progress he reaches his goal. When he covers one step, he has to feel that that is his goal. Then tomorrow he will cover another step. But if he wants to reach the ultimate goal all at once, it is impossible. Whenever we are sincere, we are bound to get some satisfaction. This satisfaction may be limited but, at the same time, it is most precious. Then from the limited satisfaction he will grow into boundless satisfaction.