Question: Guru, are there any qualities that human beings consider to be virtues or good qualities which God does not consider to be good qualities?1

Sri Chinmoy: Human beings think they are good, but God does not think they are good?

Question: Or God does not think they are significant or important.

Sri Chinmoy: If human beings think something is good, God will definitely take it as something valuable. Only you have to know what kind of consciousness the individual has at that time, and how much value he gives to that virtue or good quality. Value God will also give, but perhaps God may not give the same value to that quality at that particular moment. At a particular time, at a particular level of consciousness, we may value something more than God values it. Again, God may value some quality of ours which we do not value to the same extent. But if it is a good quality, definitely God will value it. The only question is at what point and in what consciousness we see the quality. But there is no particular quality that man values and God does not value.

God will definitely value a quality if man values it. I say and everybody says that truth is a supremely good quality. Truth is always good. But if some truth is divulged that really hurts someone, it can create serious problems. If at the wrong moment some truth is divulged, that also can create such serious problems. Truth itself will not do any harm. The truth has been told many times with no bad consequences. Nothing can be greater than the truth. But if the truth is spoken at the wrong moment by the wrong person, then it can create a serious disaster.

Again, God will say that wisdom is needed. With everything in our life, with any good quality or virtue in our life, we have to use the wisdom-virtue first. There can be serious problems if wisdom-virtue does not regulate other virtues. The others are also virtues, true; but we may run into very, very serious problems if we do not use wisdom to regulate them.

From our childhood, from the very start of our life-existence on earth, we say truth is good. But there are so many truths. Spiritual Masters know millions of truths. Sri Aurobindo said that there are some truths, some realities, that it will be a serious mistake to utter untimely, or even to tell at any time.

How many secrets a spiritual Master knows, not only on the outer plane but also on the inner plane! I tell many secrets. The disciples say, "O my God, Guru tells us so many secrets!" But how many millions of secrets I hold, that God alone knows. I tell some secrets, but if I tell you ten, you will not be able to hold more than ten. Those are outer secrets. But in the inner world, if I tell the secrets that I know about the past, hundreds of years ago, or even what is going to happen tomorrow, then you may say, "Why, why, why did I have to know?"

Let us say some accident has taken place, or someone is suffering from an illness. In India, someone may have cancer, or some other ailment. Four, five or six months ago I knew about it. When the time comes, the person will go to the doctor and the doctor will tell him. But if I tell the individual about it untimely, it will only create serious, serious problems. To know the truth is one thing; but to tell the truth at the wrong moment is a totally different thing. Knowing is all right. But some people, when they know something, cannot keep it a secret. People tell secrets much faster than non-secrets.

As I said before, wisdom is by far the best virtue. Otherwise, your human eyes will convince you that what you see is true. How can it be something other than that? This balloon is blue: you see it. Everybody is seeing that this balloon is blue. That is the truth. You are speaking the gospel truth: it is blue, blue, blue. Ten persons will say it is blue. Then, if a spiritual Master says, "No, it is not blue, it is green," an ordinary person will say, "Oh no, it is blue, blue." If one individual says, "Yes, it is green," then everybody else will say, "He is just stupid! He is a fanatic. How can it be? Everybody sees it is blue. Only the Master says it is green."

That is how Sri Krishna examined Arjuna and the Pandava and Kaurava brothers. Whatever Yudhishthira and the others saw as the colour of the fruit, everybody was of the same opinion. But Arjuna's wisdom was to wait for Sri Krishna to say what he wanted to say. People would criticise Sri Krishna if he said something other than what their eyes were seeing. It was blue. Why did he have to say it was some other colour? Those people, from the factual point of view, had told the truth. But beyond truth, beyond even morality, comes oneness with the Master's will. Arjuna had that wisdom. He said, "Why shall I say if the fruit is blue or green? If Sri Krishna says it is blue, I will say the same. If Sri Krishna wants to say it is green, then it is green." Oneness with the Master's will, oneness with God's Will, has no parallel. Arjuna knew that Sri Krishna was God, and he had oneness with Sri Krishna's will.

From the ordinary human point of view, people would think that Sri Krishna was saying something absurd. Everybody knew what colour the fruit was. Why did Sri Krishna have to say a totally different colour? But Sri Krishna wanted to see how much human beings could identify themselves with his will. By saying the fruit was a different colour from what others were seeing, Arjuna was not losing anything. He was only becoming one with Sri Krishna's will. The mind was telling others something, and it was the truth. But beyond the mind is the highest consciousness, the Transcendental Consciousness, which is the Consciousness of Sri Krishna. If you can please Sri Krishna on the mental level, which is called the morality level, then you can go higher. He wants to see how much you can become one with him on this level or that level or any other level.

For ordinary people, their reality is fixed. If something appears black, it is black. If it appears red, it is red. They will not change their opinion. But spirituality is totally different. In spirituality, at this moment Lord Krishna may tell the seeker to sit down, at the next moment to stand up, and at the next moment to run. The moment after that, he may say to lie down and sleep and snore. If he says something is good, it is good. At every moment, the seeker has to be at Sri Krishna's behest.

Who is responsible for what you say and do in this case? Sri Krishna himself is telling you what to do, so he will be responsible. If you think that you have told a lie and therefore you have to go to hell, you will see that Sri Krishna will be there to welcome you! He will be the first person to welcome you, because you told a so-called lie to become one with his will.

To please the Highest, to please one's Master, one has to go beyond everything, beyond likes and dislikes. As long as we are caught in the net of likes and dislikes, we cannot do anything. We will never be able to please God, the Supreme, as long as we care for our likes and dislikes. Every second, we like something or we do not like it; we will do something or we will not do it. If we remain with our likes and dislikes, then we can forget and forget about God-realisation, we can forget about inner peace.

Inner peace comes only when we go beyond likes and dislikes. The mind's so-called peace is silly. The peace that the mind has does not last more than five seconds. The peace that the heart has can last for days, weeks or months. But the peace that the soul has lasts forever.

The inner existence is the soul. If we become one with the soul's will, then we get the soul's peace, the soul's poise. Nothing is more illumining or more fulfilling than peace. That peace we have only in the soul's world. We have to go to the right tree to get the fruit. If we go to the mango tree, then only will we get mangoes. We do not get mangoes from any other tree. Similarly, we can go to the soul and bring down peace. Of course, the soul also gets peace from a Source, and that Source is the Supreme. Then we can bring peace to the heart, bring it to the mind, bring it to the vital and to the body. Nothing can be more fulfilling than an iota of peace.

Everything on earth that gives us ordinary happiness is a joke, everything! This happiness lasts for only five seconds. Afterwards, our ordinary happiness has no meaning. After two hours, happiness is gone. Is there any happiness that keeps its power for more than two hours? Again, suppose we say we want power or something else. Two or three hours after we get that power, who knows where the intensity of our happiness goes? Like a balloon, either it bursts or it flies away. The real happiness, which is peace, lasts, lasts, lasts and lasts, if we can get it from the soul or from the Supreme.

Your question is answered?

Question: Yes, it is answered. Thank you, Guru.

Sri Chinmoy: Do you want more clarification?

Question: Guru, if you feel like expanding on this answer, I will be very happy.

Sri Chinmoy: I do not know what else to say. You have to poke from another angle! How many angles can I capture? I am ready to speak. If you ask whether there is an open road in another direction, then I will say yes, there is another open road.

  1. BLD 1-13. Sri Chinmoy answered the following questions at his home in September 1997.

Question: Guru, may I ask you about the experience of Arjuna and Sri Krishna in the story that you told? Was Arjuna's oneness with Sri Krishna such that if a balloon was blue and Sri Krishna said, "No, it is green," Arjuna's physical eyes literally saw it as green? He was not just agreeing; he was not just saying, "Yes, you are right." He literally would see it as a different colour. Was that the kind of oneness he had?

Sri Chinmoy: He literally saw it as that colour. At first he would not even say what he saw. But even if he said the object was a different colour, when Sri Krishna declared a particular colour, Arjuna would immediately see that that was the real colour, and he had made a mistake. At first, if Sri Krishna asked him, he might say one colour, or he would say, "Please tell me what colour it is." He would beg Sri Krishna to say what colour it was. Then Sri Krishna would tell him, and immediately he would see it was that colour. His physical eyes would see it that way.

In the beginning if he said another colour, and then Sri Krishna said something totally different, Arjuna would look at it and he would see exactly the same colour that Sri Krishna saw. His oneness with Sri Krishna was such that he would always see the same colour that Sri Krishna saw. In the case of others, there was no oneness, so whatever colour they saw at first was fixed in their mind. They declared, "That is the colour, that is the colour."

Very nice question!

Question: Did Arjuna realise God, Guru, in that incarnation?

Sri Chinmoy: Definitely he realised God.

Question: Through his oneness with Sri Krishna, or through spiritual practices?

Sri Chinmoy: Spiritual practices also he did — many, many, for years and years. And not only in that incarnation; before that incarnation he started. But in that incarnation, Arjuna got the utmost Grace, because Sri Krishna came into his life. The Mahabharata is not the beginning of our Indian creation, our Indian civilisation. That is why Sri Krishna said that he was this, he was that. Long before that incarnation, in his previous incarnation Sri Krishna was the sun, he was the moon.

In that incarnation Arjuna realised God. But again, realisation, fortunately or unfortunately, is not static. From that realisation he went on to many, many more. As I say, to be at the foot of the realisation-tree is a great achievement. Many people are millions or billions of miles away from the tree. Some people who are on the verge of God-realisation are only one or two or three or twenty or even one hundred miles away. Then again, some can come and sit at the foot of the tree for who knows how many years — perhaps two hundred or three hundred years. They are afraid of climbing, or Grace has not yet descended for them to climb up the tree. Others climb up, and then in many cases they do not want to come back down. They promise they will come back down, but they do not come back.

Again, there is one who becomes everything for the whole world. After he climbs up, he will become the tree itself. That is the Avatar. God wants him to become the entire tree — the trunk, the leaves, the flowers and the fruits. Others, like yogis or saints, touch the tree or go up a little higher and then stop. But when one is to become an Avatar, he has to become everything, not only the tree but countless leaves, flowers, fruits, fragrance — everything. At one moment he has to play the role of a tiny leaf, one among so many leaves. One part of him is playing the leaf, but one part becomes the trunk, which is so huge, and one part becomes the branches. Everything the Avatar has to do, everything.

Question: What is Arjuna doing now, Guru?

Sri Chinmoy: He has entered into the process of evolution. The soul has taken quite a few more incarnations. Lord Krishna gave him his entire Divinity, and he became completely merged with the Krishna-Consciousness. Krishna-Consciousness is all-pervading, but because Sri Krishna is known as the Lord, he remains the Lord. But again, by becoming one with the Krishna-Consciousness, Arjuna is doing infinite things for Lord Krishna, the way Lord Krishna is doing infinite things for mankind through Arjuna.

Question: In any of his other incarnations was Arjuna well known, when he was making further progress?

Sri Chinmoy: He was well known, very well known. Arjuna became many world figures.

Question: But not a world spiritual figure?

Sri Chinmoy: Not a spiritual figure, but many good figures. He became many world figures in a good sense, not in an undivine sense. Lord Krishna and Arjuna maintained their Divinity. They kept it.

Question: Would you please talk about the bad side and the good side of occult power?

Sri Chinmoy: In Sri Ramakrishna's day there was somebody who had occult power. He could show light from his back. Sri Ramakrishna took that power away from him. Now people may say, "How bad Sri Ramakrishna was! That occult power was somebody's possession. Why did he take it away? It was his. Why did Sri Ramakrishna grab it? He was so greedy!" But Sri Ramakrishna would say, "I am taking it away for his good. He is showing this power. He has not yet realised God, but he is showing his light. He is only creating a sensation for people, so I am doing him a favour. I took it away, I took it away." From the spiritual point of view, Sri Ramakrishna did the right thing, even though he took away somebody else's possession.

One of Sri Aurobindo's brothers left the Ashram. He also developed a kind of light. There was a dark room with absolutely no light in it. Sri Aurobindo's brother said, "Now take photographs." There was no flash, no light. He said, "For a minute or two I will illumine the room." There was no electric light, nothing; it was pitch black. He said, "Photographer, are you ready?" Then he brought light into the room and the photographer took a picture.

Then a report went to Sri Aurobindo, and Sri Aurobindo said, "Oh, this is what he is doing!" Sri Aurobindo was in Pondicherry, and his brother was in Calcutta. Sri Aurobindo took his brother's occult power away. His brother complained. He said, "What are you doing? You have so much power. Now you have to take away what is mine." Sri Aurobindo replied, "Yes, I have so much power. I am doing this for your good, for your good. I do not need your power, but by doing this kind of thing you are only drawing a crowd. Your God-realisation is still a far cry."

If my disciples develop some occult power, I will do the same. I will take it away from them. I will definitely take it away from them for their good. At one time in one of our Centres we had four or five self-proclaimed "God-realised" souls. One of them wrote to me and asked me to tell him how to use his so-called occult power wisely. He wanted me to advise him. What kind of occult power did he have? Eventually those "God-realised" people all left our path. One by one, all of them left.

Occult power and spiritual power are like the waves and the ocean. Occult power is like very, very huge waves. Spiritual power is like the ocean. Waves may frighten us, but even though the ocean is so vast, it does not frighten us. When huge waves come, then we get frightened.

Question: A lot of the time I have a crisis in my life.

Sri Chinmoy: Is there any day you do not have a crisis? A mind-made crisis! [laughter]

Question: Exactly! It feels like a spiritual crisis, but then I realise it is a mental crisis. It sometimes even comes down to the fact that it is a physical crisis. How do we deal with the physical so that it does not become a spiritual problem?

Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes from a physical crisis, we get a spiritual crisis. Now I am speaking in the third person. Suppose someone has severe pain in his leg, for example. My own knee pain is so bad; it lasts for months and months. If an ordinary person had it, he would develop doubt, doubt in his prayer-life. That person would say, "I am praying and praying to God to cure my knee." Suppose God did not cure his knee at all. Then the person would say, "Either God does not care for me, or my prayer is not sincere, because we have heard that no sincere prayer ends in vain."

Now, that person's prayer may be very sincere; but if prayer is really sincere, then it must end in surrender. Sincerely he is praying, praying, praying to God to cure his knee. But if his prayer goes to the extreme — if he offers the ultimate prayer — it becomes surrender. At that time the seeker will say, "If that is what God wants, if He wants me to suffer from my knee pain, then let me suffer."

Before that point, we may doubt God's Compassion for us, or we may doubt the sincerity of our prayers. This is how a crisis starts with the physical. From the gross physical, a spiritual problem has started: loss of faith in oneself, in the Master, in God. It can start in the physical.

Then again, when there is a spiritual problem, it can manifest down to the physical. The number one spiritual problem is impurity. All spiritual problems have a root. At the root of the hostile forces is impurity.

Impurity takes different forms, different shapes. Impurity can be in the vital, the physical or the mind. Again, impurity from the mind, vital or body can enter into the heart. Even the heart can be made impure, but not the soul. No matter how impure I am in the physical, vital, mind or heart, that impurity is never going to touch the soul. The soul is beyond impurity, but even the heart can be impure.

I have some disciples whose hearts for years and years were extremely, extremely pure. 'Extremely' is the right word. But over the years their mental impurity, vital impurity and physical impurity became so powerful that they blighted the purity of the heart. When I look at those disciples who now have impurity in abundant measure in their hearts, I ask myself what happened. From the mind, vital and physical, impurity entered into the heart.

To start with, we were talking about the spiritual. I said that from a physical problem, one doubt can come and ruin everything. From the mind, the vital and even the heart, when impurity enters — depression, frustration, jealousy, insecurity — everything can be ruined. The root of the problem is impurity, but at one point it manifests in a particular way and we call it insecurity, jealousy or some other undivine quality.

The Ganges flows here and there. At different places it has different names. Again, a train goes from here to there. Each station has a different name, but it is the same train, part of the same line. My father was head of the Assam Bengal Railway. From one point to another, there may be a few hundred stations. It is the same train, only here the station has one name, there it has another name, and at a third place it has a third name. But it starts from one source, and the source of that particular train line has only one name. When our impurity comes to one point, it is called jealousy; at another point it is called frustration; somewhere else it is self-doubt, or rivalry, or ego. The train goes to all the stations, and each one has a different name.

What happens? Every day people who take care of the line check it so that the train is not delayed. In exactly the same way, we have good beings inside us who try to protect us. Each of us has guardian angels or some inner beings who protect us, or try to protect us. Like the people who check the train line, they try to enter into the mind, the vital or the physical when there are wrong forces in these parts of the being. The guardian angels or inner beings try to illumine us and protect us. Every day they check, like the people who are supposed to check the train line.

One day, if they are not careful, on the way a serious calamity may take place. All of a sudden, the vital revolts because of frustration. The seeker says to himself, "For so many days I have been struggling, for so many months, and I am not making any progress." When the vital revolts, what suffers the most? The physical. When the mind revolts, the vital suffers the most, and other parts of the being also suffer. If one part revolts, if the mind revolts, the other parts will suffer, and the heart suffers, too. The soul can remain far beyond suffering. If it wants to suffer, it can; but usually it says, "No, I do not want to suffer. I will only throw light into the vital and into the mind."

We have a mental crisis, and then we get a physical ailment. If the ailment does not go away after some time, we start to doubt our prayers or we doubt God's Compassion. When the spiritual crisis starts, whether from impurity, jealousy or insecurity, if we do not take care of it, if we do not cure it, then revolt comes. Revolt means that we leave the path, we give up spirituality. If we do not cure ourselves of those wrong forces in the mind, then what do we do? We may leave the path, we may speak ill of the Master, we may speak ill of spirituality itself. This is how the crisis starts. Everything in us revolts. We say to ourselves, "I do not want it any more, I do not want it any more. I tried and tried for years. I was on the path for twenty-five years. If there were anything there, would I not have received it by this time? There is nothing; it is all a joke."

Is it clear? From a physical crisis it becomes a spiritual crisis, or from a spiritual crisis it can become a physical crisis. Then our physical body leaves the path. This is what happens. The crisis may start in the mind. Then it goes to the physical, revolt comes, and we leave the path.

If we do not go beyond likes and dislikes, will we ever realise the Highest? I have realised the Highest. When I lived in the Ashram, raw eggs I had to deliver in a small casket to twenty of the Divine Mother's favourites. The Mother would write the names of her favourite disciples on the eggs. Perhaps I happened to be one of those. Whenever she was pleased with me, she used to give me two raw eggs. For my name, she would always write 'Chin'. Everybody's name was written on the eggs. I had to cycle here, there and everywhere to deliver them. There was cotton or something soft around the eggs, so that I would not break them. I had to go to so many places on my bicycle!

Sometimes, when I was living in the mind, I thought, "What am I doing, cycling from place to place?" Did I enjoy it? Yet, how much devoted service I performed! Like or dislike: if you do not like it, you have to do it anyway. Luckily I never dropped the eggs! I am telling you that likes and dislikes do not matter. Did I like to take eggs from here to there? I had to do it happily, and now I have the results. You should also serve in the same way.

Question: Guru, you did it, but you did not like it?

Sri Chinmoy: The divine results came. In my case, I knew my height. In your case, your spiritual height is perhaps a little lower. Why did I do it? Because Sri Aurobindo told the Mother that I had to do it, and my love for Sri Aurobindo was like that. Sri Aurobindo accepted the Mother as his Shakti. My physical mind may not have welcomed this job at first, but as soon as I thought of the Mother, I asked myself, "Who is representing whom? She is representing Sri Aurobindo." When I thought of Sri Aurobindo, my mind stopped.

Then again, I had to go beyond everything. I had to go to the Supreme. The physical said, "I cannot do it! I find it very difficult," so I went to the Supreme. Once I went to the Supreme, my complaints were finished! Perhaps sometimes I failed; I did not do it happily or cheerfully. But the Divine Mother compelled me to do it. As a student, I may at times have failed; but luckily I was saved because my God-realisation was inside my pocket!

This delivery job I did when I was twenty-five or twenty-six years old. By the time I was twelve or thirteen, I knew well who I was and what I was. You have to know what you are first. Then you can decide to do something or not to do it. Right now, you have not come to that spiritual standard, the standard that I had at that time. This was the experience Sri Aurobindo and the Mother gave me, even knowing my standard. This is how spiritual Masters try to compel you to break your likes and dislikes.

You can do service happily, cheerfully. Go beyond your likes and dislikes! Then you will make tremendous, tremendous spiritual progress — tremendous! At that time progress becomes fast. Otherwise, it is very difficult.

My brother was a Sanskrit scholar, a great scholar. His job was to carry heavy, heavy pots from the kitchen to the dining hall, about fifty metres. They were so heavy — vegetable pots, curries and all that. His job was to carry them. He was a great scholar, and that was the job he got. Then he had to wash bananas. He and somebody else had to wash the bananas every day. At the Ashram there were so many people who had not gone to school, even, but they did not have to do that kind of job. My brother had to wash the bananas and carry heavy, heavy pots. It was the Mother's order: he had to do it. At the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, you could be a professor, you could be a scholar, and they would still ask you to wash bananas. The first thing that happened was that the Ashram changed your profession. Again I say, go beyond your likes and dislikes!

Question: I am curious about the physical, specially for women. It is as if our emotions become so crazy sometimes, and then we have a spiritual crisis.

Sri Chinmoy: Now let me tell you how you can tackle your problems. In the inner world, whenever any problem arises, whether physical, mental or emotional, only write down how many times I have smiled at you and how many times you have smiled at me. For thirty years you have been on the path, let us say — thirty or forty years. How many times I have smiled at you, wholeheartedly! When I give a powerful smile, at that time I hold the Universal Consciousness. If I give a real smile, a sweet, cute smile, inside that smile I keep solidly the entire beauty and fragrance of the universe. I am bragging! The entire beauty and fragrance of the universe I hold inside my smile.

Remember how many times I have given you a smile! And again, remember that when you give me a smile, you give me the whole world, the entire world. When you smile, I will value your smile, that one smile which you have given me for three or four seconds, more than millions and billions of dollars. I will value your smile much more than a huge amount of money, because with that smile, you have given everything. Talk about likes and dislikes! At that moment, if I ask you to do something difficult, you will immediately do it just because you have become inseparably one with me. If I tell you at that very moment to go and run, you will run for miles. Anything that I want you to do, anything that I have been requesting you to do for years, at that time you will do it. The mind will not say, "Oh no, the heart can do this, but I cannot."

When you are giving me a smile, with that smile you are giving your entire existence. All the divinity that you have goes inside your body, vital, mind and heart. If you give a little smile, that smile is carrying all the divinity in your heart, mind, vital and body. So you see what a smile can do!

What Mother Teresa said about the smile was so right. She said that the smile is the conqueror of the world! When a little, innocent child smiles at his parents, they forget the rest of the world. Again, when a child gets a little smile from the mother or the father, he does not need anything more. The whole world is nothing in comparison to smiles.

I am coming back to the point. When you are suffering, if you have an attack of depression, frustration or something like that, remember those days. Just write down: "Three years ago Guru smiled at me." Then go back to that moment. Use your imagination for five seconds or five minutes. Then it becomes reality. At our tennis court I gave you a smile, or I gave you a smile at a function, or in my house or in the street or at the UN. Nothing can be more powerful than your smile and my smile.

And remember also when you gave me a smile, not only my smile. When you give me your smile, then all the wrong forces that exist outside you, all the wrong forces that you feel between you and me and all the wrong forces that are inside you disappear. Nothing can be more powerful than your own smile and my smile. Immediately when you remember these smiles, you get the strength of ten lions to conquer your frustration, depression, and all the forces that have attacked you.

Try it, starting today! It may be difficult, because sometimes you do not want to be cured. Some Masters say to their disciples, "I cannot cure you because you do not want to be cured."

Question: Guru, you are always telling us that our souls have the capacity to punish us, and that they will punish us if we displease them. I am wondering, if our souls have so much power that they can actually do physical harm to our body, why do they not appear to have the power to inspire us?

Sri Chinmoy: They have been doing that very thing for thirty years! They have been doing that since you joined the path. Since you joined the path, from that very day, who inspired you to come and meditate? Children will say that their parents brought them. But who inspired the parents to come? Was it not their souls? If the children say their parents brought them, then the parents were brought by their souls. Again, the parents gave the inspiration to their children.

From the day your soul brought you to the path, it has been inspiring, inspiring, inspiring you — begging you! The soul is not just inspiring — it is begging, begging, begging. When you are in a good consciousness, when you have a good meditation, at that time you are bound to feel that somebody within you, some being within you is begging you: "Continue doing this, continue doing this."

The joy that you get after six months' meditation, all of a sudden one day you will receive at a function or at home. With the joy that you are receiving, at that time you are feeding your soul, and the soul is so proud. The soul will say, "This is what I want from you!" This is the actual message you will get. Nobody will be able to deny it. When you have a very powerful meditation, on that day once again you are resolved, you are determined to become an excellent disciple. You resolve that you will conquer insecurity, jealousy, inferiority, superiority or anything else that you feel is uninspiring or undivine. That very day, when you do not have obstacles to your meditation, that is the victory for the soul.

To say that the soul has the capacity to punish is true. But this very soul for years — five years, ten years or fifteen years — has been begging you. Sometimes the soul almost every day for a month or two has been trying to inspire you. Sometimes a soul may say for a week or two that it is a hopeless case. But then the soul tries again and again and again. Is there any disciple who can say that his soul has not inspired him? And if the soul has not inspired him at least to a certain extent, no disciple will stay on the path. No disciple will stay on the path if the soul has not inspired him.

The soul gives inspiration, but how much can the body, the vital and the mind accept? The mind is determined not to accept inspiration. The mind is always ready to see the truth in its own way. The mind is telling the soul, the heart, the Master and even God, "If this is not done, I am not going to go farther. If this is not done for me, I am not going to move." So what can God do? The mind has put a limit before the soul, before God, before the Master. It says, "If I do not get this mango, then I am not going to do anything. If this is not done in my own way, I am not going to budge an inch."

Still the soul continues, with the hope that one day that same mind will say, "Why should it be done in my way? Let it be your way, the soul's way." The soul is only hoping to hear this message from the mind one day because the soul is trying to convince the mind to go in the divine way, to surrender. Surrender to the Master means surrender to the soul on the strength of your devotion and your love. The mind is determined not to surrender to the soul, but still the soul is hoping, hoping, hoping.

Again, the soul sees that in the past—five, ten, fifteen or thirty years earlier — the mind did surrender to the soul. At that time the mind wanted to see the light in the soul's way. But the mind is now determined not to receive light, because the mind has become stronger than anything else. The mind has its own thought: "This has to be the way I want it." The mind has become unaspiring. There was a time when the mind used to search for light, for truth, but now the mind has become stubborn, absolutely unruly. The mind will not listen. At times even if God stands in front of the mind, the mind remains stubborn. God can use His omnipotent Power, but He can only break the mind; He cannot make the mind listen. The mind does not listen even to God — forget about the soul and the Master!

I tell you, sometimes the disciples do not listen to me at all. If the soul, even if God stands right in front of you, you may not listen. The Master is higher than the soul. The Master may not be higher than God, true; but the Master and God are one. But you cannot say, "If my soul comes and stands in front of me and tells me something, then I will listen." If you cannot listen to your Master, will you listen to your soul?

Again, as soon as you see your soul, you may say, "I thought my soul was much more beautiful than this! Is this my soul?" The soul can take any form — that is the trouble! The soul may come to you as a beautiful flower and give you the message to listen to your Master. Then you will say, "Can this flower be my soul?" Or the soul can take the form of a balloon. When the balloon tells you, "Listen to your Master," you will say, "Can this balloon have the capacity to tell me anything?"

Only the spiritual Master knows that the soul has taken the form of a balloon or the form of a flower. The soul can also take the form of a most beautiful child. As soon as you see the child, you may say, "This is a silly child. He does not have more knowledge, more wisdom, more capacity than I have." Then the story is finished! The soul, as a little child, has infinitely more beauty and more power than the mind; only it has taken this particular form. Again, let us say it takes a huge form. It can take the Universal Form. But even if it comes as a lion or an elephant and stands in front of you, still you will not listen. You will say, "How am I going to listen to this? If I do not listen to my soul, then do I have to believe that my soul will devour me?"

When the mind does not want to surrender, whichever way the soul approaches is wrong. Ask any Master! The soul can take any form. If it takes the form of a little, beautiful flower, you will ignore it and say, "This cannot be my soul. My soul has to be beautiful, absolutely solid and robust. I have formed my idea of my soul." Yes, your soul can be like that, but your soul also can be totally different. Your soul can take any form. How many times have I said that the soul can take any form. Only on the strength of God-realisation can you immediately see when the soul is talking to you; but the soul is talking, the soul is talking. Any form the soul can take.

Talking about the soul, when we started our conversation here I said, "Can you wait for five minutes?" Why did I say that? At that time the soul of one of my very first disciples came to me. The soul was right there, standing in front of that wall, under the fluorescent light. She was giving me the request, or emotional or vital demand, to grant her the fastest speed. With her we started our mission. If you want to talk about a pioneer-disciple, there is no one else, only that lady. She was dearer than the dearest to me. Then insecurity, not impurity, came into the picture. Insecurity came and she herself took a "vacation" from our path for many years. Finally she came back. Then she became old, and the story was finished; she went to the other world.

My mission started because of that disciple. She is the one who discovered it — nobody else. Her soul took the form of a deer when it was standing there. She wanted to have the deer-speed from me; she was begging me to help her go the fastest. Now I am talking to you, and also I am rubbing my nose. You are thinking that I am only rubbing my nose. But I am concentrating because I am seeing her so clearly. She has taken the form of a deer. Like a deer, she wants to go fast.

If I did not know that it was that disciple's soul, I would say, "It is just my mental hallucination. I am seeing a deer here; it is my mental hallucination." Even if I keep my human eyes open, I see the same thing that I see with my third eye. Again I am saying, any form the soul can take. Perhaps someone will tell me, "You are absolutely wrong. She did not take the form of a deer." I will say, "Fine, fine, be satisfied. But I am satisfied, because I know that she took the form of a deer."

Fortunately or unfortunately, each soul has its own kind of divinity. The soul's usual form is a most beautiful child — most, most, most beautiful. It can be three, it can be five, it can be ten years old; it depends on the soul.

There is something else, which the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Mother talked about. It is called the psychic being. It is absolutely true that it exists. That psychic being is another part of us. The psychic being is the infant. The soul may be young, or it may be mature, more mature, most mature. But the psychic being that the Divine Mother and then Sri Aurobindo talked about will always remain like a two or three-year-old child. It does not grow up. It will always cry or smile, and then the mother or father will come. It makes me think of my dog. How I wish Chela would not become old! When he jumps nowadays, he comes up to my shoulder. Previously he used to come up to my waist, but now he jumps right to my shoulder. For the last four or five days, I have been afraid he will break his legs because he jumps so high. But at the same time I get joy that he has so much strength to jump up to my shoulder.

Now I am coming back to the subject. The psychic being remains always the same. The soul has its own maturity and divinity. God's representative is the soul or the spiritual Master. Let us not talk about the spiritual Master; God's direct representative is the soul. Again, the soul also has a representative. It is called the psychic being. If you want to see the psychic being, then the psychic being always takes one form: a most beautiful child. The psychic being will not take the form of a flower or a bird or a deer or an elephant. No, it will take a fixed form. It is a most beautiful, most, most, most beautiful child.

When I came to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, it was March. In May or June, or perhaps July, I saw for the first time my psychic being. I could never imagine that a child could be so beautiful! Then again, when you realise the Highest, when you realise God, you may say that the psychic being is childish, in the sense that it is always thinking that if it cries, the mother and father will give it everything. They are bound to give it what it wants. If it is crying, the mother is bound to give it milk, and the father is bound to give it a piece of candy.

Question: Guru, do only human beings have psychic beings?

Sri Chinmoy: Animals do not have psychic beings. Everything has a soul. My chair has a soul, my throne has a soul, but my chair or my throne will not have a psychic being. Only human beings have psychic beings-no other beings.

Question: And no other beings, like Cosmic Gods, have psychic beings?

Sri Chinmoy: Cosmic Gods do not have psychic beings. They do not need them.

Question: What is the purpose of the psychic being?

Sri Chinmoy: The purpose of the psychic being is to make the mind, the vital and the physical as pure as possible, as sweet as possible. The psychic being is most beautiful; sweeter than the sweetest; tender, most tender; and delicate in everything. These good qualities that the psychic being has in abundant measure can enter into the physical, the vital, and the mind as physical beauty, vital beauty and mental beauty. All beautiful things can enter into us when we see the psychic being or feel the presence of the psychic being.

Usually when the psychic being comes to the fore, it is like the opening of the chakras. The chakras open up in different ways. When they open, it can feel like an insect or a snake crawling. They say that when the life-energy flows through the centre of the body — what we call the sushumna in Sanskrit — it may be like a snake crawling or it may be something like a frog. Like a frog it may jump, opening up these chakras. But when the psychic being comes, it is always inside the heart, inside the soul. The psychic being does not move around. The opening of the chakras can take place in the throat, in the heart, in the navel; but the psychic being does not move here and there. It is at a fixed place, inside the heart.

Sometimes when the psychic being comes forward it will be as if very delicately, very softly, very tenderly somebody is touching you. Sometimes it does not do even that. If you have not drunk nectar, even if I tell you millions of times how sweet it is, for you it has no value because you have not tasted it. Here also, if I say the psychic being is most beautiful, still you have not seen it. You will not be able even to imagine how beautiful it is. Its qualities are goodness and surrender. It cries, and then it surrenders. Then the mother comes or the father comes. Here the mother or the father means the soul.

To come back to your question, the soul has been inspiring us right from the day we accepted the spiritual life. There is not a single day that the soul does not try to inspire us. The soul will tell us to get up at 5:30 or 6:00. Once if we get up, then for three weeks we may take a vacation. Again, for three weeks if we pray every day on a regular basis, then we expect some result. For three weeks we get up at 6:00 and pray and meditate, but then we feel that our prayer has no result. We think that either God has turned a deaf ear to us or our prayer is not sincere. Then what shall we do? We may say, "Oh, my prayer is sincere, but God does not care for me. God does not listen to me. If God does not care for me, then why do I have to take the trouble of getting up at 6:00 and praying?" Then our prayer-life ends, our meditation-life ends.

Question: Guru, if you are sincerely getting up and praying and meditating, why is it that the soul does not give you enough inner sweetness or encouragement to make you feel that it is worthwhile?

Sri Chinmoy: Let us think of the farmer. When the farmer sows the seed, he has to wait for months to see the plant. Here also we have to wait. Why do we use the expression 'God's choice Hour'? We do not say 'my hour'. We are doing the right thing, but the choice hour has not yet come. We go to the village stove and we try to light it. Then we say, "I have been trying to light it every day. How is it that it does not ignite?" But when we turn it a little more, finally the flame comes.

The farmer sows the seed. Every day he is going to the field and watering, watering. Eventually he may become fed up. He will say, "What is this? If there had been something to germinate, by this time it would have germinated." This is our impatience.

But the highest prayer will say, "Perhaps God wants to give me something else. He is not fulfilling this particular desire of mine. Perhaps He has something else in mind, and if that very thing He gives, then automatically I will get my wish also." That wisdom we do not have. We should say, "He is not giving me this for my own good, but He will give me something else. When I get that particular thing, which I am not even aware of right now, then automatically my present desire will be fulfilled also."

Do we have that kind of patience? Do we have that kind of wisdom, the wisdom to be one with God's Will? No! Instead, we ask why God is not giving us what we pray for. We have to know that either we are doing the right thing, but the hour has not come, or we are not doing the right thing. Perhaps He will change our mind and tell us to offer some other prayer or do some other type of meditation. Or perhaps He will give us something which will fulfil all our prayers.

This has happened in everybody's life. In our life we will all see that sometimes one prayer or desire is not fulfilled, and we curse God! But afterwards He will fulfil another desire of ours that encompasses our previous desire. At that time He gives us much more. Some ordinary people pray for twenty or thirty dollars. They need it badly, very badly. Then what happens? They do not get it when they need it. They pray so hard to get that particular amount of money. Then, after three months or six months, although they were dying to get twenty or thirty dollars, they receive four hundred or five hundred dollars instead! God's Hour has come out of the blue in the form of an insurance policy, or somebody has returned money they borrowed, or something else has happened. It was their money, but they totally forgot about it or they did not expect it. At God's Hour it comes back. When they are in need of twenty dollars, they see two hundred dollars coming back. They had not the slightest idea that it was going to come, but somehow it came.

In your case also, this particular desire God is not fulfilling, or the time has not come to fulfil it. Your desire is to have twenty dollars, let us say, but at God's choice Hour He will fulfil your prayer in such a way that He will give you four hundred dollars. Then the first desire that you had is already automatically fulfilled.

Question: What if someone dies of starvation, so to speak, while waiting for the twenty dollars? I am not talking about physically dying.

Sri Chinmoy: You do not die of starvation! Nobody has died spiritually by praying to God. There is always inner progress towards God-realisation. Is there anybody on earth who can say, "I prayed to God, but I only starved"? Is there anybody who died spiritually by praying to God and then had to say, "God, I prayed to You, but You did not care for me"?

Indian monks, like Swami Vivekananda and others, went begging for food. They were only roaming from street to street, from where to where, from this village to that village. Did they die? Is there anybody who died while praying to God? No! God will give a dream to someone to bring those monks some bananas or milk. Again, Indian sadhus sometimes say they will not eat anything. They are not begging for food; they are only praying to God. Then God Himself, or Mother Kali or another Cosmic God, will give a dream to a rich woman, and every day food will come to them. Every day milk, food, everything they need will come. The sadhus will say, "I am praying to You, God. It is Your business. If You want to preserve my health, then preserve it." Then God sees that they are praying most sincerely, so God brings food. That has happened to millions of sadhus. To all of them it happens.

You are not talking about physical starvation. But we have to see what you are longing for, for the fulfilment of what particular desire, and whether God thinks that desire is positive. If God is not fulfilling your desire, then it is for your good. Again, if God sees that you have no spiritual capacity, no potential, then God will definitely fulfil your desire. If God does not see something inner, deeper, more meaningful, more fruitful in your life, in anybody's life, then God will fulfil the unspiritual desire.

There are many desires God will fulfil for ordinary people who have not entered the spiritual life. But in your case, God still hopes that He will be able to take you high, higher, highest, so that is why God does not fulfil certain desires of yours. But the same desires that my disciples have, God would definitely fulfil for people who have not accepted the spiritual life. About those people, God says, "Their standard is different. They do not care for spiritual progress."

But God says that you have promised something. You have promised that you are not going to be satisfied if you stay in one place. You want to go much higher. Will God believe your promise? Or will God fulfil your present physical, mental or vital desire? Your promise is infinitely higher than your desire. When you are in a good mood, a spiritual mood, your promise is infinitely higher than the earth-bound desire that you have for a few days or a few months. God knows everything. He says, "If I fulfil your little desire, then you will be caught there. If I do not fulfil your earth-bound desire, then the promise that you have made to Me, which is infinitely higher, I am going to fulfil." God wants to take you higher.

Many, many desires God will fulfil for people who have not accepted the spiritual life. But if they are spiritual people, and if there is a special promise that their soul has made, and that they themselves have consciously made to their soul, then God says, "Their goal is very high. They themselves wanted and aimed at that higher goal." Love, devotion, unconditional surrender: if that is the higher goal they aimed at, and now the physical, vital or mind wants to be satisfied by fulfilling a particular lower desire, what will poor God do?

If God sees that someone made a promise to climb up to the highest branch of the tree and then started to pray for the fulfilment of desire, God will not wait for that individual. He may say, "All right, take your time. But I want you to fulfil your promise eventually." Or He may allow the person to lower his promise and say, "No, I do not want to climb to the highest branch; as long as I can come and touch the tree, it is enough." Perhaps the seeker will even say, "If I can come near the tree, or come within a thousand miles of the tree, I will be fulfilled." At that time God says, "Then stay there."

But our promise God always wants. God wants our promise, even if we break or forget our promise. Today that highest goal is out of our mind. But tomorrow, or in a few days, God hopes that again that highest promise will come to the fore, and once again we will want to climb up. Even if right now we are giving up the promise, after some time we will once again want to climb up the Himalayas, because that is our promise that is our goal. Then God waits. He says, "All right, you fell down; you do not want to climb today. Take rest for a month or two, or even for a few years. But then, again try, try to climb up the Himalayas."

Question: The hardest thing for me is to choose between two situations that appear equal. What is a good way, if two situations or two choices seem equally good, for me to decide between them?1

Sri Chinmoy: There are two situations, and you give equal importance to both?

Question: They both seem to offer a certain solution in my life, spiritually or materially. They both seem to be equally good.

Sri Chinmoy: You feel that either way will lead you to the destination?

Question: Yes, Guru.

Sri Chinmoy: Good boy, two ways can never lead to the destination — only one way. The other one is not correct. Kindly feel that, before you start, you have to make a choice. Then, once you have started, there will be only one way. There cannot be two ways. The way of spirituality is already chosen by the divine within us.

The mind is giving equal importance to both ways. It says either way will lead you to your destination. But the heart will not do that. The heart will always choose one way. The mind says: "Oh, this way is good, and that way is equally good." The heart will not do that. The heart will always choose one way.

Then, which way is correct? How to choose? What a dilemma! For a week or so, before you go to sleep, you will meditate. Meditate! You will not think of any way, whether this way or that way. You will make complete surrender, absolutely unconditional surrender.

You are saying that you feel that both ways will lead you to the destination. Kindly pray to the Supreme and ask Him. Pray to the Supreme to choose only one way, the right way. It may take one day; it may take two days. Even if it is very complicated, in two weeks' time you are bound to get the answer. At night you will have a dream or early in the morning you will see only one road right in front of you — not two roads. Two ways cannot be of equal importance — no! There can be only one way.

And again, inside that particular way, you may find the other way to which you previously gave equal importance. Do you understand? One way you have chosen, and the other way you will find, to your great surprise, inside the way that you have chosen.

  1. BLD 14-20. Sri Chinmoy answered the following questions at his home on 10 November 1997.