Question: What are the main reasons why new disciples leave after a short while?

Sri Chinmoy: They have to see something and feel something inside the older disciples. If I enter into a garden and I see that the garden is really beautiful, most beautiful, then I will spend time there. But if I see that the garden is not beautiful at all, then I will go to look for another garden. This is the main reason why new disciples leave our path.

Again, it may happen that they are not fully ready for this garden. When they see the beauty, fragrance and divinity of the garden, they may say, "O my God, my vital life! What will happen? What will my boyfriend think or what will my girlfriend think? What will my parents think?" Those ideas may come.

When I look at the pictures of seekers and accept them as disciples, I feel there are many, many extremely good seekers. I see that they are definitely meant for our path, but then they leave. So for that I have to blame the disciples. When they look at the old disciples, these new ones say, "Oh, after staying for ten years, fifteen years or twenty years, if they look like this, then I do not need that kind of spiritual life!" A few really remarkable seekers we have lost like that.

Unfortunately, when most of the disciples who have been with us for many, many years meditate, there is no sincere cry. It is only routine work. Regularly you can do routine work or you can do it haphazardly, but it is almost always done unwillingly and reluctantly. If you do your prayer and meditation unwillingly, reluctantly, how will you get the same result as those who are doing it prayerfully, soulfully and self-givingly?

So there are two groups of disciples who leave. One group feels you are too good, and the other group thinks that if this is what you have received after twenty years or twenty-five years, then it is not worth striving for.