Question: How can we help someone who is very upset about something?

Sri Chinmoy: When somebody is upset, first try to invoke peace into that person’s system or into yourself as quickly as possible. It may be extremely difficult to bring peace into him at that moment because that person is angry and upset. At that time he does not want to take the medicine he needs, which is peace.

But you yourself have, let us say, limited peace. You have to invoke the Supreme to increase your peace-power — whatever peace you have within you — even if it is only the smallest quantity. I always say that if you have a little life-energy, then only will the doctor give you an injection. Otherwise, if you are already dead, the doctor is not going to give you an injection to increase your life-energy.

You definitely have a little peace — that is why you are able to observe that the other person is so upset. Right away invoke a very large amount of peace to descend into your entire being. You will try to become the ocean of peace. Then, like a mirror, just go and stand in front of that person. His anger will be nothing in comparison to the peace which you have invoked.

That is one way. Another way is to make yourself feel that you are the culprit, even though you are not. Somebody else has caused the person to be upset; you are not the culprit at all. But you have to make yourself feel most sincerely that you are the one who has offended the person in question. Make yourself feel absolutely helpless and guilty. Feel that you are the guilty party, even though you have done nothing wrong. Then, inside you, on the strength of your sympathetic oneness, invoke the consciousness of the actual culprit. The real culprit’s undivine consciousness at that time you are borrowing for a few seconds. Then, once you become the culprit, surrender to the victim who is now so mad and furious. Become absolutely helpless. Feel miserable that you have caused the person to become so upset.

When you act like a helpless human being, all the victim’s anger and frustration will go away. She will say, “All right, she is an object of pity. She has done something wrong. Now she fully realises it, so I have to forgive her.”

This is a very, very clever way of calming someone who is extremely upset. Many times it happens in an affectionate family. I have seen it, especially in India. The culprit is somewhere else, but an affectionate mother or sister or brother makes themself feel that they are the real culprit. They are not actually the culprit, but by feeling this way, they bring into themselves the consciousness of the actual culprit. Then the victim sees the remorse. When he sees that the culprit has real remorse, real sadness, he feels that he is now on a higher level and that it is up to him to forgive.

This second way is on a very practical level. On the spiritual level, you can try to invoke peace into the system of the person who is mad and furious — which is really difficult — or to bring more peace into your own system. If the person is facing an ocean of peace, he will see that his anger is nothing in comparison to that peace.