Question: Can you talk about compromise? Because of the stress of our way of life, sometimes I feel I need to vegetate, although I know that is not the best thing to do.

Sri Chinmoy: This is a most significant question. From the highest spiritual point of view, compromise is absolutely wrong. If I know the highest, if I know what is best for an individual, then I should not compromise.

When two countries compromise, it is a joke. It is out of fear that compromise comes. I have been fighting with you for many years but now, because I am weak, I say, "Let us not fight anymore!" But my heart is burning, and secretly I will work to make some new weapon or new strategy to conquer you. Then tomorrow, when I feel strong, I will again want to fight. The only reason I may not attack you is because I am afraid that you also have built some stronger weapons. So the peaceful compromise that we are reaching is based only on mutual fear, not on mutual wisdom. In our heart of hearts, we only want to remain peaceful for a few years or a few months so that we can prepare ourselves for some future battle.

In the spiritual life, if you are dealing with the highest divinity in an individual, then compromise is out of the question. I have taken the full responsibility for my disciples' spiritual progress. Each time I make a compromise and let an individual do the wrong thing, I am delaying that person's progress. My goal is to take each one as fast as possible to the destined goal. If I allow somebody to delay his progress and do the wrong thing, then afterwards, when that person is in a divine consciousness, he will blame me. When he sees that Tom, Dick and Harry have gone much faster than he has, he will feel miserable. He will say, "O God, they were inferior runners. Now they have all gone ahead of me. Why did you allow me to compromise?"

It is like this: when you want to get up at five o'clock to meditate, the mind says, "Oh, it is too early." At six o'clock, seven o'clock, even eight o'clock, the mind says it is still too early. Then, when you finally get up at nine or ten o'clock, the mind says, "You fool, now it is too late to meditate! Who asked you to listen to me?"

Again, sometimes the disciples force me to compromise. I know that someone is doing the wrong thing, but out of compassion or for various other reasons I am obliged to allow it. Then I am the one who really suffers, because I have to put that person on my shoulders and carry him, since it is the Master's divine responsibility to make sure that each of his disciples runs the fastest.