Question: Do you suffer when the disciples inwardly offer you their thoughts and problems?

Sri Chinmoy: If the disciples offer me their doubts, fears, worries, anxieties, lower vital thoughts and so forth, I am very happy because I can play the role of the ocean. You are the drops. You may feel, "I am such an ugly, filthy drop." But I represent the ocean. I can absorb all your thoughts and problems. The struggle starts when you try to hold onto those thoughts.

Some people want to prove how pure they are. When they do not offer me their thoughts, it becomes much harder for me. When they give them to me, it becomes my responsibility because I am the ocean. But if the drops want to hold onto those thoughts, then it becomes more difficult.

Let us take the example of children. Some children do not want to take a shower or bath. When the hour comes, they hide from their parents. If they come near the parents, they are afraid the parents will say, "You are so dirty!" Eventually the parents force them to take a bath or shower and they do it very reluctantly. Then the children do get some joy. But the fact is that they get much more joy if they take a bath themselves than if the parents force them. Sometimes they want to do what is good, but they do not want to be dictated to. In their mind they have decided they will do the right thing, but the moment the parents ask them, they revolt. The egos of the children come forward. They do not want the parents to get the credit. So if they can do it on their own, they get much more joy than when they are forced to do the right thing.

Here also, a spiritual Master can compel the wrong forces in somebody to come forward. He can just grab the wrong forces and take them, but then you will not get the same joy. If you do something on your own, you will get much more joy.

Tagore wrote one very nice poem in which Mother Earth says to God, "God, You can do everything in the twinkling of an eye. You can sow the seed and let it germinate. Then it will become a huge plant, a tree."

God replies, "Yes, I can do everything. But if you garden, if you dig for a few hours and then put a little seed in the ground and watch it germinate in the course of time, then you will be able to tell the whole world, 'Look! I worked so hard. Now I have got the results.'"

Personal effort gives us tremendous joy. Parents can force the children to do the right thing, but children will get much more joy if they do it on their own. Otherwise, there is every possibility that they will revolt.

If somebody gives you a mango, you get so much joy. But if you know how to climb up the tree and pluck the mango yourself, you are bound to get infinitely more joy. When you do something personally, you get more joy always.

If you can get up on your own at six o'clock in the morning to pray and meditate, you will be so happy. But if your parents have to push you or your friends have to wake you up, yes, you will meditate, but you will not get the same joy because you were helped by a third party. Sometimes you may even become annoyed. On the one hand, you want to get up but, on the other hand, you do not want others to interfere.

To come back to your question, when you give your wrong thoughts to the spiritual Master on your own, it is much easier for him to help you transform them. When you hold back, he is compelled to act like a parent who is forcing the children to do the right thing, but you do not get the same joy.