Part IISCA 884-888. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 23 December 1999.
Question: Guru, could you please tell me what is standing in the way of my reaching my goal?Sri Chinmoy: How do you know, or why do you think or feel, that there is something standing in your way as you try to reach your goal? How? Why? First of all, do you actually think or feel that way, or has somebody secretly or openly told you that something is standing in your way? In which way do you feel that something is standing in your way?
We can say that something is standing in our way if it is preventing us from running the fastest, let us say. Otherwise, in life, every day, every hour, something can stand in our way. The morning can start with frustration if you cannot get up on time to meditate. Then that frustration is standing in your way. Again, if you feel that some people do not think highly of you, if you think of someone and feel that that person is criticising you, finding fault with you, and if you are paying attention to that criticism, then you are standing in your own way. Before we do anything, we can pray to the Supreme that nothing should stand in our way. Early in the morning you can pray to the Supreme, "Now I am praying to You, please do not allow anything to stand in my way. I want to run the fastest, I want to run the fastest!"
Again, every day, every hour, every minute, even every second, a thought may come and enter into you either to govern your life or to take you away from your own happiness. In your case, on the practical plane, in the previous two places on our vacation you were very, very happy. Your whole being was absolutely extolled to the skies. But this particular place has not made you happy, or something inner is bothering you. Either it is frustration, or you are expecting something more from your life than you have. You have all the answers. But the easiest and most effective way to encounter all the problems in our life is to have an adamantine will in our outer life and also to have a cheerful and constant surrender to God's Will.
Now, you may say, "I do not know what God's Will is." You do not have to know what God's Will is. Before God-realisation, nobody knows what God's Will is. Sometimes we brag and say that this is God's Will and that is not God's Will. But how do we know? Sometimes our mind or our heart will tell us, "This is God's Will because I am doing something for humanity." It may be a very good thing that you are doing, but who knows? Perhaps what your mind or your heart is telling you may not be the right thing at that particular time. Perhaps at God's choice Hour, after two months or three months or a year, it will be the right time for you to execute that action. All the time, the only thing to do is to pray to God to let you know what God's Will is. To know God's Will, you have to pray and pray and pray, and at the same time continue doing what your heart makes you feel is the right thing to do. Anything that gives innocent joy and happiness also creates progress. If you are happy with your life, nothing can stand against you. Your volcanic will-power will not allow anything to stand in your way.
Again, if we are unhappy, everything can disturb us and destroy our inner poise. Right now it is raining. If we had the intention of going out on the last day in this place to do last-minute shopping, then we will find fault with nature. But before we find fault with nature, if we use our prayer-life, our meditation-life and our life of oneness with the rain, then we will say, "Oh, this is the golden opportunity for me to learn a few songs, or to learn a few poems by heart." Or we can feel, "Nature is very pleasing now, so this is the golden chance for me to enter into my highest." So, things that stand in our way can be surmounted with our wisdom. The rain can prevent us from going outside; that is the advantage the rain has. But we can say, "I have so many more advantages! I can read spiritual books, I can pray and meditate, I can learn songs, I can do so many things!" So, anything that stands in our way can be surmounted if we use our heart's wisdom-light.
In your case, you have to know, of all the things I mentioned a few minutes ago, which one is predominant, which one is standing in your way. But again, I must say, we do not have to go that way, to see where our enemy is. Shall I look this side and that side to see my enemy? Shall I look to see if my enemy is in front of me or behind me or beside me? No! I have no time to look at anybody. My goal is ahead of me. If anything stands in front of me, then with my adamantine will-power either I shall illumine it or I shall destroy it. But when we destroy something, this destruction-power does not last, whereas when we illumine something, the illumination lasts for a long, long time.
Let us say that this moment you have conquered one evil thought. The next moment it may come back. It may even come back again after four or five minutes. But once you illumine the undivine, uncomely thought, it does not remain any more a negative force. That illumined thought helps you. It becomes part and parcel of your positive life, your life of illumination. When we destroy a thought, we actually do not fully destroy it. It comes back again after five days or five months. But when we illumine it, it takes our side. Because it has received illumination, it does not remain in darkness. In the tug-of-war, it comes and takes our side, the side of light. Illumination is like that. That is why our highest philosophy says, "Do not destroy anything; illumine it." If we illumine someone, then that person will become one more added soldier in our troop.
Then comes the question of imperfection in one's own life and in others' lives. All the time we cannot focus our attention on our chosen subject or object, or on the Supreme. If we look around, sometimes, in spite of our best intention, the mind acts like a monkey. It goes this side and that side. Only by prayer and meditation can we tame the mind. Again, sometimes we have to enter into the inner world to do the needful. Some people have the philosophy, "Mind your own business." I always say, "Mind your own business" is not for spiritual people. I will mind my own business in the sense that, if I am doing something wrong, if something is standing in my way, then I will tell my Inner Pilot, the Supreme, or my Guru. And if I see that somebody else is doing something wrong, at that time I will not say that he should mind his own business and it is not my problem, that only his realisation will be delayed, his perfection will remain a far cry. No!
As you are responsible for your own inner perfection, if you see that somebody else is doing something wrong, your own thought, your own idea can stand in your way. Again, you may think that somebody else is standing in your way — your friend, a member of our spiritual family or even an acquaintance. If you see or hear or even if you inwardly feel that something is wrong, even if you have not seen or heard something wrong in that person's life, at that time you have to pray to the Supreme to illumine your thoughts, your ideas, your formulated feelings.
For a seeker, there will always be something standing in his or her way. But again, there comes a time when we arrive at the sunlit path. That is also true! The sunlit path does exist, but to come to the sunlit path is not a matter of a second or a minute or a few years. You have been on the path for over thirty years. Thirty years is nothing, nothing when it comes to walking or marching or running or sprinting along the sunlit path. The sunlit path is ahead of us, but to start our journey on the sunlit path may take time. It may take many years.
Again, everything depends on our intensity. Sincerity we can have, willingness we can have, readiness we can have, even willingness we can have; but then, along with those things, we need intensity, intensity. How desperately, how sleeplessly, how breathlessly do we want to arrive at our goal? Readiness can be lukewarm, willingness can be lukewarm — everything, even eagerness, can be lukewarm. But if we have intensity, then there is a burning cry inside our heart, absolutely a burning cry that says, "I must arrive at my goal as soon as possible, sooner than the soonest!" At that time we feel that the car is going one hundred miles per hour, the roads are quite good and our life is safe. Or we can think of a plane. It is going eight hundred, nine hundred or one thousand miles an hour or more, God knows; but we feel quite safe inside it.
In your life, always try to see which way you can run the fastest. Always run the fastest, run the fastest, run the fastest! If you see that there is an obstacle on one way, then immediately give up that way and go another way, another way. We always say there are many roads that lead to Rome, so we have to choose. Let us say that you have chosen one road, but now, unfortunately, you feel that that road is not quite satisfactory to you. Then choose another road, another road, another road! There will be a road that will definitely take you to your destination, without fail.
Now, nothing specific is standing in your way, in your personal life; but our philosophy is progress. Progress means "increase, increase, increase!" Your happiness you have to increase — not by hook or by crook, but by all means, inner and outer. Anything that increases your happiness, you must do. Happiness also has its own degree. There is a little happiness, abundant happiness, infinite happiness. You know how happy you are today, let us say. Tomorrow, by virtue of your will-power, if you can increase your happiness, then you will see that there is nothing formidable standing against you on your way. The day after tomorrow, again increase your happiness. When there is happiness, even if there is an obstacle, that obstacle does not remain as powerful as we thought. Happiness immediately unnerves or weakens the opposition party that is standing in our way.
Always try to cultivate happiness. If you have happiness, then your mind's frustration, your mind's own way of thinking, will surrender. There is no other way to bend the head of the mind than to be happy, and this happiness is strength, strength, strength! Happiness is the strength of a lion, the power of an elephant. Nothing can stand against happiness, inner happiness. Again, you may say that there are many things that bother each individual every day on a regular basis. I say that is also true, but again, there are ways to avoid these things or escape from them or challenge them. Unhappiness has to be conquered by happiness. Unfortunately, the power of unhappiness on the outer plane is much stronger than happiness in the outer life. But again, the inner happiness is infinitely stronger than the outer unhappiness. If you have peace of mind, if you have happiness in your heart-consciousness, in your psychic consciousness or your soul-consciousness, then you will see that the outer unhappiness is no match for the inner happiness.