Question: Some disciples seem to be afraid that their bosses and colleagues will hold it against them for following the spiritual life, and they will never get a promotion.

Sri Chinmoy: They will not hold it against you. On the contrary, if you are very strict with your own life, others will respect you for abiding by the truth that you have seen and felt. If you have the conviction that what you are doing, what you are saying and what you are becoming is right, then there shall come a time when others also will value you because you are doing the right thing. In fact, people who ridicule you or consider you useless eventually may see more true divinity inside you than you see inside yourself. I have seen this happen many times. If someone remains faithful to his own convictions, people who once ridiculed him develop faith in him — even more faith than he has in himself.

I am not telling you not to get a promotion. I am saying, do get a promotion — by working hard. Definitely you should please your boss, but only in the way that you are expected to please him. If you are supposed to be punctual, be punctual. If you are supposed to be attentive, be attentive. If you are supposed to concentrate on something to meet a deadline, then do it. There are so many essential things that you must do. But you must not discard your inner life to fulfil your outer life.

In fact, you could be infinitely more helpful to your bosses if you manifested your own divinity. Each of my disciples possesses and embodies many divine qualities that come from the Supreme. With these qualities He is hoping to manifest Himself in and through you. You have to be extremely, extremely grateful to Him for these qualities and use them in a divine way. If you can bring these qualities into your work, if you can offer your divinity through your work, then you will be able to help and please your colleagues and bosses infinitely more than you are helping and pleasing them now. Then, instead of being a good worker in their eyes, you will be a super-super-excellent worker.

Right now you are only giving them your cleverness, but your divine qualities you are not giving because you feel that you will be misunderstood. You feel others will regard your divine qualities as craziness or stupidity and take them as a joke. But if you let your colleagues and bosses see your divinity, it will immediately penetrate their hearts. If they see light in you while you are touching a piece of paper or talking to them, if they see a beautiful flower on your face and beautiful luminosity in your eyes and movements, these qualities will enter into their hearts.