Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual life we use the term ‘inner awakening’. If one is awakened, then naturally that person will run towards his Goal. When you are ready, when your hour has struck, you will get up and run towards your Goal. Then after a while somebody else will be ready and he will run towards his Goal. The spiritual life is not like the military life where all are forced to go in the same marching formation. No! There is no compulsion; there is no force. The spiritual life is voluntary; it is a matter of your own choice. Accept God or reject God at your own sweet will.
But we have to be wise. If we accept God, then we feel that sooner or later we will really be fulfilled. If we do not consciously accept God today, then there will come a time when He will compel us to accept Him because He will not allow us to remain unfulfilled and unrealised; for the very purpose of God’s creation is fulfilment.
I will tell you a story. Two sons are standing in front of a lake and the mother is observing them. One son is very good and obedient; he wants to please the mother. He knows that if he goes into the water his whole body will be refreshed; he will have a sense of purity. So he jumps into the lake and he is clean and fresh. But the other son is lazy. The water is very cold and he is afraid of it. He is waiting, waiting, waiting. The mother waits for some time, and then she gets annoyed and just pushes him into the water.
The first son was obedient and knew the necessity of taking a bath, so he did. In the spiritual life also, those who are awakened — the obedient children, the spiritual children — will naturally do what is necessary to please their Inner Pilot, God. They know that by pleasing their Inner Pilot, they are accelerating their Godward march. Others who do not feel the necessity, who are afraid and reluctant, will keep God waiting for a few years, a few hundred years or a few thousand years. Then God will compel them because God, like the mother, knows the necessity of cleaning, purifying and illumining the soul.
The spiritual life is not like a race, where everyone starts at the same time and from the same starting point. When you are ready, you will have your starting point; when I am ready, I will have my own starting point. But the Goal is always the same. You may start your journey a few hours or a few years ahead of me, but when you reach your destination and when I reach my destination, it will be the same place. But this is true only if it is the ultimate, the highest Goal. Otherwise, your goal may be just to have an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss. So, when you have come to that place, you are satisfied and you don’t want to have anything more. On your way to the ultimate destination you will reach some partial goal and perhaps think that this is the final Goal. Then you will stay at your goal for some time, because your inner or outer being does not want to go farther, higher and deeper. But when I reach that goal, which I will also have to attain, I may want to go farther. While you are walking down the street you see a beautiful tree with flowers and fruits. You stop and enjoy the fruit and think you have reached your Goal. But on my way to the Goal I may say, “No. There is something more beautiful, more powerful, more meaningful than this.” Then naturally I will go farther and cover more distance. When I reach my goal, I will see that it is not a mango, but a diamond and at that time I will be satisfied. You will also go higher and farther after reaching your goal, because the ultimate Goal has to be won. But when I reach my ultimate Goal and when you reach your ultimate Goal, it will be the same, for everyone’s ultimate Goal is the same.