Question: How can we increase our readiness and capacity?

Sri Chinmoy: To increase your readiness and capacity, our philosophy at every moment you have to follow: “The past is dust.” One minute ago if I suffered from insecurity or jealousy, or from tension, depression or frustration, I will not allow that problem to come to this particular moment. Always the past failures have to be discarded. Each failure is like a heavy burden, an unbearable burden. That burden we carry on our shoulders, and sometimes we enjoy it the way a camel enjoys eating cactus thorns. The camel’s mouth bleeds, but then again it eats thorns.

In our case, we create the burden for ourselves and place it on our shoulders very nicely. We say, “I am overburdened! This weight is so heavy.” Again, there is a kind of silly pleasure, an unconscious pleasure that we get by carrying the burden. But who asked us to carry this heavy failure-burden? Immediately we have to feel that it is gone, and we have to invoke only light, light, light. Each past mistake or failure we have to take as a burden, and then we have to throw it away. Then we can run the fastest.

The philosophy of the Saviour Jesus Christ is that repentance purifies the soul. Yes, it is true, but our philosophy is to repent for five minutes only. If you continue with your repentance, it will definitely, definitely weaken your subtle nerves, the nerves that help you pray, meditate and realise God. Repentance is good for five seconds or five days, but if you continue, you will be making a mistake. Let us say you have done something undivine, or you have been jealous for months and months, and then all of a sudden you repent. If you are in the jealousy-world for ten years, then will you show your repentance for another ten years? God knows how many years you will live on earth! Then the time will come for you to go to God. So, after a few days, immediately you have to give up your repentance.

We have to be so careful with repentance. To shed endless tears of repentance for our failure-life is silly. Repentance is good for a few days, or a maximum of one week. More than that if you carry your repentance-burden, then you are walking along a negative path. You will be shocked at God’s reaction. You will say, “I did something wrong, so I am repenting.” But God will say, “True, you did something wrong, but did I ask you to indulge in endless repentance? Now do something good, something positive. Go forward, go forward! Then your past misdeeds will be all washed away.”

Take failure as ink. God has given us the wisdom to use soap and water to wash away the ink from our hands. If the palm of my hand is besmeared with ink, shall I only look at the stain and suffer and suffer? No! God has supplied me with soap and water, so what is wrong with me? Why do I not wash it away? Then, let me not allow anything uninspiring to stain my hand any more.

So, the fastest way to increase readiness and capacity is to forget the deplorable past. Whether it was one year or two years or twenty years or thirty years, do not go on repenting. No! Only go forward! Again, when depression or frustration comes for some reason, counteract it with the sweetest or highest experiences of your own divinity. If the mind is enjoying self-doubt or doubting the Master, at that time bring forward the highest meditation that you had on a number of occasions. Just imagine those higher experiences. Again, all your best qualities and highest experiences you can keep in writing: when you had the highest meditation, when you had the deepest love for your Master, when you were all ready to become an unconditionally surrendered disciple. All the good qualities that you had twenty years ago or two days ago, immediately bring to the fore.

Always there is medicine for our ailments. If anything is creating suffering for us, then let us just remember that medicine is there for us. This medicine will definitely cure our sadness, frustration, depression and sense of failure. Always remind yourself of the things that you have already achieved. That is an excellent medicine. But remember that you have not yet reached your final goal. Your surrender, your love, your devotion and your gratitude: these divine qualities have not yet enabled you to reach the goal. They have to be increased in infinite measure so that one day you will arrive at the goal.

The fastest way to increase our readiness and capacity is not to indulge in the deplorable experiences of the past. Repentance is meant only for a short time. Otherwise, if we have to repent for all the bad things we have done, then we shall have to go back to our past incarnations and remember the bad things that we did then. Even since we came into the world this time, we have done many things wrong. Let us say that, from the age of four, I can remember all the bad things I have done and all the good things I have done. Now I can say, “Let me count them.” But if I start counting all my good deeds and bad deeds, then I will never pray even for a minute. I will feel that it is a hopeless case. I will say, “I am so bad, I am so bad! It is useless for me even to try. Let me not enter into the spiritual life. It is not meant for me.” Then God will tell me, “You fool!”