Question: When we have Joy Days, what should we do?

Sri Chinmoy: First, you have to play at least two games. Everybody has to participate in the games. No matter how old you are, whether you are twenty years old or an octogenarian, you absolutely have to participate in order to feel that you are young. Then I would like you to sing the songs, “I am a seven-year-old girl” and “I am a seven-year-old boy.” Forget your age — whether you are forty-six or fifty-six — just think of seven years. One purpose of Joy Days is to convince the mind that you are young. The monkey mind has to be tamed. Just repeat, “I am young, I am young, I am young.” Then you will get joy. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that by repeating, “I am Lord Shiva, I am Lord Shiva,” you will become divine. By saying, “I am a sinner, I am a sinner,” you will be condemned to remain a sinner. If you repeat, “I am young, I am young,” you will remain young.

In cheerfulness you will get everything. Two little girls live on the right side of my house. They are four and six years old, perhaps. The other day they looked at me and they looked at my ‘best disciple’. In front of both of us, they said that my ‘best disciple’ looked older than I did. He told them that he is much younger, but they did not believe him. What they were seeing was my cheerfulness. They were feeling my childlike heart. They were feeling in their own hearts that I am of their type. My ‘best disciple’ cannot mix with them on their own level. That is why they said that I was younger.

In your case, your childlike qualities you should increase. Even if you are sixty or seventy years old, think that you are a little boy or girl. Who is dearer than the dearest in a family? The youngest child. The mother, the father, even the older brothers and sisters love the little ones best. The old ones are fossilised. As soon as the mind thinks, “I am old,” God says, “Oh, you are older than Me? Then stay behind. I cannot do anything for you.” But if you think that you are a child, God will say, “I am also an eternal child, playing in Infinity’s Garden. You are Mine.”

God Himself is all the time growing and expanding. The mind’s imagination is limited. The mind is only making us smaller, meaner and weaker. But the heart’s vastness is founded upon oneness, and oneness is always expansion.

During your Joy Days you can watch videos of the things I have done to inspire you. You will see that if I can jump at this age, you are also capable of doing many things. Anything that I am doing, I am doing for you, for mankind. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna said that after God-realisation, he did not have to do anything, but if he remained inactive, the whole world would collapse. I am active. That is why my little world — the world of my disciples — is active.

I always say it is better to be a mad elephant and move in any direction than to remain idle. You may discover, “Oh, this is the wrong road.” Then you will say, “Let me go and walk in another direction.” But if you do not do anything, if you become the emperor of laziness, then what will you be able to accomplish?

There are some unfortunate disciples who are not paying attention to Joy Days. They say, “Oh, that is for children.” In that case, I will say to them that this father likes to stay with his children, not with the grown-ups. To the grown-ups, a father says, “You can take care of yourselves in your own way.” Parents always like to be with their children because the children need them and they need the children.

So think of yourselves as seven years old, play games, watch my videos and do anything else that is inspiring. You can read together out loud, the way children do. Select a few choice passages from my writings and then read them aloud, the same way you sing together. There are hundreds of ways you can give joy to one another. Of course, meditation has to be there. There should be meditation at least three or four times at Joy Days, even if it is only for ten minutes. Also, for ten or fifteen minutes you can tell innocent jokes so that your mental fever will disappear.

You can also share good news with each other. Happy news you will share, but not discouraging news. Before the Joy Day, someone can phone New York to get some encouraging news. There was a time when I asked some of the main Centres to be in touch with New York to get good news. Now some of them have given up. They feel that money-power is more important than heart-power. But again, if you are able to get even an iota of joy, I feel that it is worthwhile spending five dollars in order to get it.

So those who are not paying attention to Joy Days should start paying attention. If you are unwilling, then do it unwillingly for the time being. Eventually you will be able to do it willingly, once you see how much it increases your joy in your own spiritual life.