Question: Does obedience always begin in the mind?

Sri Chinmoy: No, obedience always begins in the heart. What starts in the mind is usually disobedience. The soul always obeys God, because it has already established its oneness with God. So the soul will not see anything, feel anything or do anything other than in God’s Way. The heart is trying to establish its oneness with God and God’s Will. Although the heart sometimes fails, at least it starts out trying to obey God. But the mind does not even start out with obedience. Spontaneous obedience we do not get in the mind. That is why the mind always has to be kept under control.

In most cases, obedience first comes to the heart and then to the mind. Only after it comes to the mind will it come to the vital and the body. But sometimes the physical and vital consciousness are much more receptive than the mind. Although the physical may be lethargic and the vital may be undivine, sometimes they unconsciously try to listen to the soul. That is because they both know that the soul and even the heart are superior. The mind is higher than the vital and body, but the mind is so arrogant! It feels that it is wiser than the soul and it doubts the soul’s wisdom. And it always thinks the heart is weak, because the heart only deals with affection, compassion, concern and these kinds of things. The mind will say these are feminine qualities. But even God has these feminine qualities; He has such affection, softness, fondness and tenderness for us. The whole world will say that the heart is better than the mind, but it is almost impossible for the mind to accept this truth. It is only when the soul’s light enters into the mind from the heart that there is hope that the mind will change.