Mrs. Tripathi: As you mentioned, we are all seekers in some way or another, in our own little fashion. But how does one know if one is making any spiritual progress?

Sri Chinmoy: It is so easy. We are all aware of our limitations — jealousy, insecurity, misunderstanding, impurity and so forth. These difficulties, or you can say shortcomings, every day are disturbing our mind or haunting us. We have to know how many times today we doubted others, how many times we suspected others, how much purity we had in our mind today, and in how many ways today we tried to be of service to mankind. Then let us make the comparison between today and yesterday or between today and a few months or a few years ago — what we were and what we are now.

Let us take doubt, for example. If we doubt others, we become the losers, and if we doubt ourselves, then we are making a Himalayan mistake. If we doubt others, we are in no way helping them. Again, in no way will we bring them down from their standard in their inner life or their outer life. From our doubt-experience or doubt-invasion, they are not going to lose anything. We are only lowering our own consciousness.

When we doubt ourselves, that is the end of our spiritual life. God is within us, growing and glowing at every moment. Every day He is inside us as an ever-blossoming Dream, or we can use the term 'Vision'. If we doubt our capacity, that means we are belittling God's Dream that is trying to blossom in and through us. If we doubt ourselves, we are only seeing the light through our own limited, absolutely limited, vision — not with God's omniscient Light.

To come back to your question, how do we know that we are making progress? We know how much happiness we have. If we doubt someone or have impure thoughts and ideas or wallow in the pleasures of ignorance, we will not feel happiness. Happiness comes the moment we sacrifice ourselves for a higher cause. Again, in the highest philosophy, there is no such thing as sacrifice. When you do something for your children, it is not sacrifice. When your children come to you for your affection, love, concern, sweetness and fondness, it is not sacrifice. It is a mutual bond — your love for them and their love for you. In the world of love, there is no such thing as sacrifice. But when love is missing, then whatever I do for you is an act of sacrifice, and whatever you do for me is an act of sacrifice.

So we can make progress provided we want to conquer our limitations. We have come into the world to expand our consciousness, to expand the divinity that we have or that we embody.