Question: If one person in our spiritual family is more aspiring, does this affect the other members?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, definitely. In a family, if you are praying and meditating, leading a very good life, then when I come home from work I get tremendous inspiration from you. I am experiencing the outside world, the hustle and bustle of life. I am seeing that people are all acting like restless monkeys. But when I come home, I can see that you are praying and meditating so peacefully. So your inspiration is affecting me and helping me to become like you. Your very presence is a source of inspiration.

Then again, in the same family, if you have a brother who is every day stealing, doing wrong things, then people will speak ill of your whole family. So he is also affecting you. One brother is very spiritual. He is a very, very soulful inspiration to you. When you are with the other brother, immediately your consciousness descends. His very presence is disturbing you because he is not leading a moral life, a spiritual life. He is doing everything undivine.

In the same way, two disciples are like brothers. One good disciple is praying and meditating, manifesting the Supreme's Love. The other one does not find time to meditate in three months. He does not come to the Centre regularly. Do you want to be like him? As soon as you see him, your inspiration goes away. It is very difficult to maintain your inspiration when you see somebody unaspiring. But when you see somebody is aspiring and manifesting and living a real spiritual life, his very presence will inspire you. While you are on the street, three persons may be walking towards you. You may not know anything about their nature, but you may immediately feel an affinity with one of them because that person has touched your heart. Inwardly your heart knows that he is doing something good to inspire the whole of mankind.

On the life-tree there are many branches. If all the branches are in good condition, you get joy. But if one or two branches are not in good condition, you do not get joy. The same applies to our body. Our human tendency is to look at the weak part. As soon as we see something which is weaker or defective in our body, it draws our attention. Human nature does not look for the bright side, the divine thing. Human nature always sees defects. So the best thing is always to move around with those people who are inspiring and whom you can inspire. Those who are not yet aspiring but wish to aspire should try to make friends with people who are aspiring. Good people should mix with better and best people, and bad people should start mixing with good people. Always we should try to mix with those who are spiritually higher than we are. Do not descend and make friends with unaspiring people. If somebody is drowning, then you extend your hand to help that person. But if you also enter into the water, who knows what will happen? You may also drown.