Question: If we are trying to give up something undivine and want to make a promise to our soul to lead a better life, are there certain auspicious times when we should do it? In other words, if we make a promise to ourselves, will the promise be stronger if we make it on a particular day?

Sri Chinmoy: Every day is not the same. When I am meditating on a disciple on his birthday, let us say, this is his golden opportunity to renew the inner promises he has made to the Supreme or to his own soul. If someone made a promise ten or fifteen years ago that he will try to be a most devoted, surrendered disciple, his birthday is his golden opportunity to renew that promise. Even if the disciple has not pleased the Master for ten years, he gets the opportunity to please the Master on that special day.

You cannot make a promise every day; otherwise, it becomes mechanical. But if you do it on certain auspicious days, then the force behind the promise lasts for a long time. A special day surcharges your inner promise with extra strength.

My father and my maternal uncle were very close. When my maternal uncle was alive, he used to beg my father not to smoke. Still my father used to smoke two or three times a day. He could not give up this bad habit. When my maternal uncle died, my father shed bitter tears and made a vow never to smoke again. He said, "When you were alive I could not listen to you. But now I give you my solemn oath that I will never smoke again." My father lived for four or five years after that, but he never smoked. So that kind of thing can happen when you take a solemn oath on a special day.