Question: You have gathered around you in Jamaica, Queens a very special group of souls. One thing always impresses us: every one of your students that we meet is completely committed to the spiritual life. It's a wonderful change from some of the semi-seriousness that we see in other groups. How do you see that little enclave of aspiring seekers gathered near you? They're out on their own, but also nearby, although not in your ashram or home. I don't think there's another group like it.

Sri Chinmoy: It is most kind of you. If we want to become better citizens of the world, we feel that we have to grow together. My disciples have accepted me as their spiritual father and I have accepted them as my spiritual children, so we belong together. I have implicit faith that my students are willing and eager to walk, march and run with me along Eternity’s Road. Again, they have faith that I will be able to help them, guide them and lead them to the destined Shore. So everything is based on mutual faith.

I give them what I am and what I have. They also give me what they are and what they have. This is how I am with them individually and collectively — not only in Jamaica, but in various parts of the world. I tell them one thing: see always the good things in others and try to increase those things. If I give importance to the dawn that breaks early in the morning, then my whole consciousness will be flooded with light. Again, if I want to think of the darkness that precedes the dawn, then my mind will be enveloped by darkness.

I always tell my students to see the positive aspect of life, not the negative aspect. I tell them to love others and try to bring forward not only their own good qualities, but also others’ good qualities. I say, “If you see that someone has two good qualities and one bad quality, appreciate and admire him for his good qualities. Then he himself will be embarrassed to have that bad quality and he will try to get rid of it. But if you go and tell him, ‘Oh, you have that bad quality’, then he is not going to change. You are only making yourself into his enemy.”