Question: Are the cosmic gods still cursing each other and fighting with one another as they did in the Puranas?

Sri Chinmoy: In that era, 3,000 or 5,000 years ago, evolution was at that level. Sometimes the cosmic gods, knowing well God's Will, did not listen to the highest Absolute, and they created disharmony amongst themselves. They were not willing to surrender to anyone — not even to the Supreme. But the spiritual Masters have taught us to surrender to the Will of God. Jesus Christ taught us, "Let Thy Will be done." So here is the proof that we have improved.

Also, we have to know that in those days the world was at a particular level of consciousness, and at every moment the cosmic gods had to deal with the imperfect nature of reality. Sometimes they showed their compassion aspect or forgiveness aspect, but most of the time they showed their power aspect. They used the power aspect of God right and left to exercise their supremacy — to conquer others and rule human life. They did not care for God the creation; they were ready to destroy it in the twinkling of an eye. But with power we cannot conquer anyone permanently; we can conquer someone for only five seconds or five days. It is only if we conquer someone with love that our victory lasts forever. Similarly, the joy that comes from supremacy is no joy at all, whereas the joy that comes from oneness, which is based on love, is true joy.

When America dropped the atom bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan surrendered. But did America conquer the heart of Japan? Did the Japanese love or respect America for having destroyed their country? No! By dropping a bomb on your head I can silence you for a few years. At that time I feel I am the happiest person. But eventually I realise that there are many people who are speaking ill of me, and I cannot get any joy. Everybody wants admiration from other people. If I am killing you, are you going to love and admire me? No! But if I come and embrace you with both arms wide open, then naturally you want to be my friend.

Many things they put in the Puranas only to make the stories more juicy. Then, when we read these things, we say, "Oh, the cosmic gods are also like us." Otherwise, who is going to pray for thousands of years for milk or for beauty? But the cosmic gods were ready to pray for thousands of years for whatever they wanted, including someone's death. Again, the thousand years they spoke of was not really a thousand; sometimes it was only one year. But even for one year will we pray for anything — even if it is our greatest desire? If we do not get what we want overnight, we say, "Oh, it is not meant for me." After two weeks or two months we say, "Since there is no hope, let me give up." But they continued. Even the demons or asuras did not give up so easily. They wanted to throw the gods out of Heaven, so they prayed and meditated in a most austere way for years and years. They said, "Unless and until we have arrived at our goal, we are not going to stop." These stories teach us that nothing can be gained easily; they teach us the necessity of patience and perseverance. No matter what kind of desire or aspiration we have, these stories are teaching us not to give up until we have achieved our goal.