Question: Guru, I work in a hospital and sometimes there are people who are terminally ill. What is the best way of dealing with those people?

Sri Chinmoy: Just try to be more compassionate and more loving. What you are doing now is absolutely right, only try to do it more. Feel that you are not doing anything wrong. You are doing the right thing. You may be criticised, but when you are doing something right and people misunderstand you, then what can you do?

There are two ways to serve mankind, the inner and the outer way. There are two ways of serving patients. One way is to talk to them and mix with them very compassionately. The other way is to offer good will, love and concern inwardly. If you feel that the inner way is not effective, then you are making a mistake. I do not work at the hospital, but since necessity demands, you have to work there. You should try not to spend more time in the hospital than necessary. Suppose a member of your family is sick in the hospital. Then you have to go. But if you go to the hospital and spend hours and hours there with the idea that you are becoming a great philanthropist, that you are helping mankind, then God will say, "How do you know that is the thing that I want from you?" It is good to help, to give five dollars or ten dollars to the poor, the needy. But charity may not be God's Will for you at a particular time. It is good to go to work at the hospital. But if you feel that that kind of philanthropy will make you realise God, you are making a mistake. There are millions of doctors and nurses, and thousands of hospitals. God alone knows how many incarnations the doctors and nurses will take to realise God. You don't have to be indifferent. But at the same time you must not forget your goal.

Sometimes it happens that outer things demand so much of your attention that you cannot do the inner things. At that time, when you meditate, like a miser you meditate only for yourself. You cannot give the hospital patients even an iota of peace inwardly during your meditation. At that time they don't exist. The outer absorbs so much of your attention that you cannot do anything inwardly for the patients. But when you are finished with your meditation, then you think of your friends and dear ones.

If you have to work at the hospital, please be nice and kind, but do not go out of your way, for if you do it will be difficult for you to maintain your own spiritual life. Generally, the terminally ill are not divine. They are people who have one foot in the grave. What can you expect from them? They won't accept the spiritual life consciously. If you want to help them, then be kind, more kind. But do not go out of your way.