Question: One of the disciples told me that the longer she practised spirituality, the worse her bad qualities got. How is this possible?

Sri Chinmoy: Some of the disciples on our path say, "For the first year or two after I joined the path, I was so full of love, devotion and surrender. At that time, I was trying to conquer jealousy; I was trying to conquer insecurity. If any weakness appeared, I tried to control it. In every way I was trying to be divine." But after practising spirituality for twenty or thirty years, these unfortunate disciples come to believe that these weaknesses are part of human nature. They feel, "If I have not conquered my jealousy, insecurity and so on in thirty years, why should I believe that I will succeed after another thirty years?"

What is worse, in some cases these negative forces have grown stronger with passing time. Some disciples feel that they have more jealousy, more insecurity, more impurity than they had twenty or thirty years ago. How did this happen? One reason is that relaxation entered into their life, and they are no longer on their guard against these forces. Also, in some cases the disciples have given up and surrendered to these forces. When we surrender to the hostile forces, naturally they become more powerful.