Question: Is there a particular quality that your Puerto Rican disciples need to develop?

Sri Chinmoy: Not only my Puerto Rican disciples, but all my disciples need to develop mutual appreciation. When you have private meetings, please appreciate one another. If somebody has done something wrong, ignore it totally. Think that you yourself have done that stupid thing. The time that you spend finding fault with someone or that someone spends finding fault with you is a sheer waste. See only the good qualities of others. If someone has done something good, appreciate it. If you have done something good, others should appreciate you. In that way, you are going forward. Otherwise, you can never make any progress. To make progress means to see only good things in everybody. God sees only good things in us. Bad people see only bad things in everybody.

Spiritual Masters try to see the good qualities of their disciples. Unfortunately, some disciples try to see only bad qualities in their Master. They say, "Master did not smile at me, but he smiled at this fellow and that fellow." They should say, "Who cares whether Master smiles at me or not, as long as I can serve him?"

Always look for the good things in others. Bad things forget, or say, "If I had been in his position, perhaps I would have done the same thing or even worse." If somebody has done something wrong, either ignore it or simply say, "You have done this, but perhaps you could have done something better."

Always remain in the world of encouragement. Whenever I have accomplished anything, Blessings, Grace, Compassion and everything I received from the Supreme. But I have also received encouragement from humanity, including a few big shots. When Pablo Casals saw me, he was shedding tears. Leonard Bernstein and other great musicians have appreciated me. If they had said, "You are a third-class musician. Give up your aspiration to become a musician," would I have become a musician?

In weightlifting so many people have encouraged me. In my artwork, if one girl in particular had not encouraged me, would I have become an artist? So much discouragement I got. But since I started in Ottawa, one person has encouraged me like anything, and today I have become a great artist. Encouragement is necessary. If you will not encourage me because you are jealous of me, or I will not encourage you because I am jealous of you, then we will never make progress. With your jealousy and my jealousy we can never go forward.

When you were a baby and you stood up for the first time, your mother felt that she had got the whole world! When you started walking, she entered into the seventh Heaven of delight. Then when you started running, she was so happy. You made progress because of her encouragement. When you were struggling so hard to stand up, your mother did not continue cooking food or reading the newspaper, as if she did not care. She was looking to see what you were doing. That was her encouragement. As soon as you stood up, she became so excited and delighted. She encouraged you with her smile, or she came and embraced you. Because of her encouragement, you tried again and again to get up and then walk and run. Our Centres will flourish only if there is encouragement.