Question: How can I maintain my joy and simplicity in the midst of the mental activity that my school work demands?

Sri Chinmoy: Your school work demands mental activity, but you have to feel that while you are studying you are doing something to please a higher authority inside you, that is to say, the Supreme in me. If you were allowed to make a choice between your school studies and selfless service, dedicated service, immediately you would want to put aside your school studies and do the thing for the Centre, for the mission. But while studying you should feel, "No, this thing I am doing because I have been asked to do it from within, by my Master." The moment you feel that you are the instrument and not the doer, then you will only try to please the Inner Pilot. While pleasing the Inner Pilot, the joy that you get will always remain with you. Although you are doing something mechanical, something intellectual, or something which is absolutely unaspiring or uninspiring, just because you have been asked to do it from within, it will give you the greatest joy. You are studying, but you have to feel that it is an inner command that you are fulfilling. By fulfilling the command, you feel the greatest joy because you have been chosen to do this thing. Whom do we ask to do something? We ask only someone whom we love, someone in whom we have confidence, someone in whom we have hope. So when God asks you to do something, you have to feel that it is something that He needs and He wants. In that case, obedience itself is the greatest joy.

But if you feel that God is not involved and that your spiritual life is not involved in what you are doing, then there can be no joy. You are touching, say, mud and clay, but who asked you to do it? If your Inner Pilot, your Guru, asked you, then it is the right thing and you will get joy. At that time you are not the doer; you are only a server of the higher Reality. A sincere seeker is he who serves the inner divinity, the Source. So if you can have the feeling of serving, then there can be no greater joy. But if you are not asked from within or by a higher authority, then the problem starts. At that time you are the doer, and joy is nowhere to be found.

So feel that you are not the doer; you are just executing a higher order. Then you can get joy no matter what you do. Even if you become almost a machine itself while working on some machine, you will get the greatest joy because you are serving a higher cause. Something within you is doing something and you are just an instrument. You are only allowing the higher Source to have an experience in and through you.