Sri Chinmoy: I am the right person to answer your question! My physical body is suffering so much. There are many people who suffer physically but who make faster than the fastest progress. And again, there are many who are physically fit but who do not think of God, do not think of inner progress.
Many elderly men and women, unfortunately, are not physically fit. It is true that if you are physically fit, then you get joy, you get freshness, you get more inspiration to aspire. But if, for certain reasons, you are not physically fit, what can you do? At that time, there is only one way you can solve the problem. You have to offer gratitude to God because you are still cheerful, you are still happy, you have not revolted against God.
In your case, you can say, “Oh, I can still walk and come to the tennis ground and look at my Guru every day. Every morning I am the first person to look at my Guru when he arrives.” This is how you are keeping yourself happy. And this happiness is helping you to make tremendous progress.
But if you think, “How unhappy I am! Look at the other disciples. How they are running, cleaning, moving around. Had I been like them, I would have made so much progress,” that is not the right attitude. You do not realise that when you are walking with such difficulty, entering into the tennis ground, you are so happy that you are able to see me. You are thinking of me, praying to me and all kinds of things you are doing. But you do not know what is in the minds of the other disciples who are moving around. So many millions of problems they have. Your only problem is that you are unable to walk as fast as they do. Are you not lucky? Your only problem is that your pain is not allowing you to walk as fast as others do. But this is on the physical plane. On the mental plane, you have no idea how much other disciples may be suffering. “Guru is smiling at him because he has done something great, he has made an exercise machine; Guru is not smiling at me because I cannot make that kind of exercise machine.” And so it goes on.
People who do not have the capacity sometimes are lucky because they can make surrender — let us not call it helpless surrender, because that is very bad, but cheerful surrender. You can say, “O God, You did not give me the capacity to do something, to perform something, but my gratitude-prayer to You is that whatever You have given me, I should be satisfied with.”
So if you are satisfied with what you have, then you can make the fastest progress. There is another way you can be satisfied with what you have: just look around. You will see that there are many people who are suffering much more than you are. If you go to the hospital, you will see how many are in infinitely worse condition than you are. When you think of your suffering, think of the hospital. Then this thought will be your immediate medicine. That is what I do. Sometimes, when I can walk only with utmost difficulty, I think of some human beings who cannot walk, cannot move at all, and my suffering seems like nothing in comparison to theirs. At that time, I say to God, “O God, You are so kind to me. Still I can walk a little, whereas so many people in Your creation cannot walk at all.”
Again, why should I have to make comparison with other people in order to make myself happy? That is only a temporary solution. The first way is by far the best way. You have to say to yourself, “I will remain happy. Who can be suffering more than God Himself inside me?”
We feel that God is all Happiness. But God is everything. God is not only inside our suffering, God is suffering itself. Let me just give an example. When a little two-year-old child has got some serious ailment and is suffering, the identification of the mother is such that she suffers far more than her little child. How much a mother can suffer! A mother’s identification with her child goes to the very root of the child’s suffering.
So here, also, if we take God as our Mother or Father, we have to feel that He is suffering much more than we are. We feel that we are the sufferers. But if we love God, we will feel that inside us Someone is not only suffering as much as we are, but He is suffering much more because He has the capacity to absorb, to receive, to feel everything more than we do. In that way, the Supreme suffers more than we can ever suffer.
Again, there is a purpose in our suffering. We do not know why. So our attitude should be only cheerful surrender to God’s Will. You will definitely pray to God for better health — that is the right attitude. But, while praying to God for better health, you have to offer gratitude to God because you are still happy and you have not revolted against Him.