Question: How can we have more discipline?

Sri Chinmoy: There was a time twenty or twenty-five years ago when, for several months at a stretch, some of my disciples did everything right, everything good, everything positive from morning to evening. Why? Because they were disciplined! They used to get up at six o'clock every morning to pray and meditate and they used to spend their evenings involved in spiritual activities. At that time they cared only for their inner life. They said, "I will not allow myself to mix with undivine people! I will not let myself wallow in the pleasures of ignorance!" Because they led a disciplined life, their love, devotion and surrender to God became most powerful.

But over the years they have become negligent and careless; they have stopped valuing the disciplined life and what it could offer them. As time passed, the outer world has become infinitely more important than their inner life. Gradually their love, devotion and surrender diminished and left them. Now they are convinced that love, devotion and surrender are gone, that they are all in the past. In most cases they have given up; they feel it is not possible to regain these qualities or they feel they are not worth having. Either they say there is nothing in the spiritual life or they say it is too difficult now.

How can you regain your lost inner wealth? By remembering how much joy and satisfaction it gave you! When you led a life of discipline and your love, devotion and surrender were strong, at that time you had infinitely more joy and satisfaction than you have now. At that time, something was roaring within you. You had a childlike feeling. Your whole existence was like a flower. It is not that you were standing in front of a flower, but you yourself had become a most beautiful flower. At every moment you were aiming at something high, higher, highest. Constantly good thoughts were entering into your mind, into your heart, into your life.

If you can once again value most sincerely the joy that you derived from being disciplined, then you will get back that kind of life. If you value the taste of the mango that you ate, then you will do everything to regain that satisfaction. You will go to this shop and that shop enquiring, "Do you have a mango, do you have a mango, do you have a mango?" And if your cry is sincere, God is bound to give you back the thing that you are crying for. When you valued the disciplined life, God gave you the opportunity and the necessity to achieve it. If once more you value it sincerely, then once again God will give you the opportunity to regain your disciplined life, along with the joy, the conviction and the assurance that it offered you.