Question: Is it necessary to suffer or feel sorrow in order to make spiritual progress?

Sri Chinmoy: Let us say that my goal is the Supreme. The Supreme is my Eternity's beloved Father and I am His son. Suppose He is ten metres away from me and I want to go to Him. Do you think He wants me to cut off one leg so that I can say, "Look, in spite of my suffering, I am coming to You?" If I go to him smilingly, cheerfully and lovingly, then He will be much more pleased. But on the way to Him, if there is an obstacle or hurdle that I have to cross, then I may fall down and break my leg. If the hostile forces attack me, what can I do? Only I will not give up. I will go to Him and bring my suffering with me, but I will not deliberately create suffering in order to prove to my Father Divine how much I love Him. It is absolutely unnecessary! God does not become more pleased with us if we cherish suffering.

Our Indian realisation runs thus: "We came from infinite Delight. We grow in infinite Delight. And at the end of our journey's close, we enter into infinite Delight." This kind of Delight we don't experience in our day-to-day life. During the course of our multifarious activities we encounter lots of problems, and we suffer. But on our own, we must not cherish suffering. That would be a deplorable mistake.

If others are suffering, naturally we shall sympathise with them. If they are sick or if someone in their family has suffered a catastrophe, we shall sympathise with them. This is a different way of expressing or embodying suffering. But we shall not welcome suffering with the idea that it will help us to make very fast progress. Suffering as such is not at all necessary for spiritual progress.