Question: I never meditate consciously on my soul; I only meditate on the Supreme. Is this a mistake?

Sri Chinmoy: There is nothing wrong if you concentrate on the Supreme! Perhaps the Supreme is a little higher than your soul.

How many people on a daily basis even think of their soul, let alone feel its existence, which is infinitely more difficult? Many people enter into a temple or church, but how many give importance to the altar? Some come to work there and others may move around everywhere in the temple, but how many of them even look at the shrine? The body is our temple and inside the body is our soul, the shrine. But we do not pay any attention to the soul. Most of my students, not to speak of other human beings, are not aware of their souls or consciously thinking of their souls even for one second in the day. Yet the soul is our most precious inner wealth; it is the most precious inner wealth of our body, vital, mind and heart.

Most of the time we act like crows. When the crow eats food, it keeps its eyes closed. It feels that if it cannot see others, then others are not able to see it, either. Human beings act the same way. Because our third eye is closed and we do not see our soul, we think that nobody is watching us. But somebody is watching us with his eyes wide open, and that is the soul. The soul is not fast asleep. The soul is observing us at every moment. If we have a little faith in the existence of the soul, we may say that the soul is watching us secretly. But the soul is not watching us secretly; it is watching us openly, only we do not see it.

Because we do not feel that there is anybody inside us who is watching us, we let our mind or restless vital rule us. We let our physical consciousness instigate us to do all kinds of undivine things, and we feel that only our mind or vital is aware of our behaviour. But no matter what the body, vital, mind and heart want to do in and through us, if we feel that there is a third party — infinitely higher and better — who is watching us, then we will be compelled to behave. In ordinary human life, if a child knows that the father is watching, he is reluctant to do something wrong. If he does, he knows his father may punish him. But if the child thinks that his father is in his office or out of town, then the child will do whatever he wants.

Again, it is possible for someone to make himself feel that he is misbehaving secretly and that the soul is not observing him. But he is only fooling himself. The soul is observing him at every moment, but it will not act immediately; it waits for the right moment to illumine him or punish him. Again, punishment itself is illumination.

So if we believe in the existence of the soul, then we are bound to take our outer life more seriously, for we know that we do not have permission to do certain things. And if we do not believe in the soul, if we do not feel the necessity of pleasing the soul, then there is no spiritual life at all for us.

This body will go, this vital will go, this mind will go; everything will leave us except the soul. The soul takes on the body to transform it and to manifest the divine light. Then, after forty, fifty, sixty, seventy or eighty years, the soul goes back to its own region. If the body, vital and mind have done good things, then the soul takes with it the quintessence of their achievements. But if they have not done anything good, then the soul does not take anything from the body, vital or mind. The heart usually does a few good things, so from the heart the soul can carry something. Then, after some time, the soul takes up a new body, vital, mind and heart.