Question: What is the difference between disobedience and weakness?

Sri Chinmoy: It is infinitely easier for a Master to deal with weaknesses than to deal with disobedience. Weaknesses can be strengthened, weaknesses can be illumined, weaknesses can be perfected. Although disobedience itself is a weakness, it is much more difficult to perfect than other kinds of weaknesses. It is like a huge bundle of thread full of knots. To untie all these knots and make one straight, long thread is most difficult.

The best way to deal with disobedience is either to hate it or to be afraid of it. If you hate it, you have to hate it so intensely that you will not want to keep it inside your being. You will feel that it is something dirtier than the dirtiest and just throw it out of your system. Again, if you are afraid of it, then you will be careful not to allow it to enter into you in the first place. If you feel that it is like a snake or a ferocious tiger ready to devour you, then you will stay far away from it.

But weaknesses you have to deal with in a very prayerful, soulful way. Weaknesses can be in the vital, in the mind or in the heart. You have to think of them as something that you can shape or mould. You have to regard them as something very weak and tiny that needs strengthening — like a helpless little dog that is just a few days old. If you give a tiny dog a little bit of food or energy, then it becomes strong. The food that you have to give your weaknesses is light, an iota of light. Each time you see any kind of weakness inside your vital, mind or heart, try to feel that you are bringing light into it.

Although a weakness may be small, it has tremendous power in a negative way. You can think of jealousy and insecurity as tiny insects, but they bite and bite you ferociously. So do not try to discard your weaknesses; it is impossible. Just try to turn your weaknesses into strengths by using light in a positive way. If you are weak and unable to do the right thing, if you cannot pray or meditate soulfully because of insecurity, jealousy, impurity or some other weakness, just take your weakness as something very small and unhealthy. Then try to use light to make your weak parts grow strong so you can become a good, perfect instrument of the Supreme.

This light comes usually from the silence-life, from peace. And peace comes only when the mind is silent and the heart is pure. The mind's silence and the heart's purity go together. When the mind is absolutely silent, the heart automatically becomes pure. Again, when the heart becomes really pure, then the mind becomes completely silent.