One hundred and one unanswered questions, part 1

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Question: Before we act, something in us judges whether or not it will be time well spent. Is this productive?

Sri Chinmoy: If we are about to do something that is ordinary and mundane, then it is advisable to determine in advance whether or not it would be time well spent. But if we are about to do something serious, something inner, something deep, then we must not think about whether our time will be spent properly or not. If it is a divine matter, then we must not bring in the mind to judge whether the action is good or bad.

Again, we should not waste our time thinking about what the outcome will be. The outcome is not our goal. Our goal is to see how willingly, lovingly and self-givingly we can enter into the action itself. Our goal is to throw ourselves heart and soul into the action and do our very best. Then the results we have to place at the Feet of our Lord Supreme cheerfully, lovingly, devotedly and self-givingly.

Question: Many spiritual people steer clear of world-acceptance because they fear world-bondage. How does one avoid additional attachments while serving God in His creation?

Sri Chinmoy: After climbing up the God-realisation-tree, some spiritual figures feel that if they do not come down to the level of humanity and teach others how to climb, then it will be impossible for others to climb to the highest. So they come down and become spiritual Masters. Again, some spiritual figures of the highest order, after climbing the tallest tree, do not want to climb down. To them God says, "If that is what you want, then you have My Permission. You have worked so hard to climb up the tallest tree. Now if you want to devour most delicious fruits to your heart's content, you may do so."

Some do not want to come down out of fear that they will be attacked and caught by world-bondage and ignorance-night. They are afraid that they will again be entangled by the world-snares if they return to the level of humanity. But this theory is wrong. If they come down, they will never be caught; they will never lose their God-realisation. I have not lost and I am not going to lose even an iota of my God-realisation by entering into the field of manifestation. God-realisation is not something that can be taken away by some hostile forces. No! God-realisation will only be strengthened in boundless measure when one enters into God-manifestation.

Nevertheless, one will have a very hard time in God-manifestation. A spiritual Master who is brave enough to climb down the tree may not be very successful in kindling the flame of aspiration in ordinary human beings. Some of his disciples will climb up just a short way and then become tired and want to rest. Others may climb up a little higher and then take rest. Very few seekers want to climb up to the highest. So if humanity is not receptive, the Master may have a very difficult time manifesting God's Light. But as far as his God-realisation is concerned, it will not suffer in the least.

If a God-realised Master pays more attention to some individuals than to others on the outer plane, the human mind thinks it is attachment. But this is a Himalayan blunder. After God-realisation, there cannot be attachment; there is only compassion, or you can call it affection. This kind of compassion or affection is for everybody. In some ways you can see it in the Master's outer activities. Again, if you can at all feel the Master's heart in the inner world, then you are bound to see that it is inundated with affection, love, kindness, fondness and sweetness for each and every human being.

Someone may say to the Master, "Why are you not showing me the same kind of compassion that you are showing to so-and-so?" But you have to know that a spiritual Master has a different way of dealing with each individual. When the Master shows extra concern, extra affection, extra love to certain individuals, there can be many reasons. Perhaps those individuals in their previous incarnations were extremely, extremely close to the Master. In this incarnation they may show tremendous promise to run faster than the fastest. They may have extra receptivity; or if they do not have it, God may want the Master to create receptivity in certain souls.

Again, the Master may see that the divinity in some individuals is either fully blossomed or about to be fully blossomed. So that is why the Master blessingfully offers them extra concern, affection and love. He is only expressing God's Will. He is using his compassion and affection in a divine way that ordinary people can easily misunderstand. If you use your human way of judging or understanding the Master, it can mislead you very, very badly.

Someone may say to the Master, "When I pay attention to someone, you call it attachment. But when you pay attention to someone, you call it something else. What is the difference?" Someone recently said to me, "Is it not attachment when you show so much affection and concern for someone's entire family?"

There are many, many inner reasons why I deal with somebody in a particular way. Definitely it is not attachment to an individual or to his family members. But it is not possible to understand my divine way as it is expressed on the outer plane. An individual may have a very, very, very close connection with me from previous incarnations. Also, each individual in his family may have a very, very deep connection with me.

Sometimes Sri Ramakrishna acted so pitifully towards his dearest son, Vivekananda. Others might have said, "It is his wilder than the wildest attachment." In fact, when Vivekananda got special affection, concern and blessings from Sri Ramakrishna, he himself misunderstood his Master. He said, "What are you doing? I come of an ordinary family. I know how limited and ordinary I am, but you are saying I am this and that. Do you not know about King Bharat in Indian mythology? Because he used to think all the time of his deer, in his future incarnation he became a deer. If you think of me all the time, will not the same thing happen to you?"

Sri Ramakrishna said, "All right, let me ask my Mother Kali." He asked Mother Kali and She said, "Definitely that will not happen. You see the divine in him; you see him as divine. That is why you are so fond of him. Otherwise, you would not pay him any attention." Sri Ramakrishna was not showing attachment; with his affection and fondness he was executing the express Will of Mother Kali. When we execute God's Will in God's own Way, the world is ready to ridicule us and find fault with us. But a spiritual Master listens only to God and not to human beings, who pronounce judgement according to their unimaginably limited light.

Question: It seems to me that one's own soul is the most strict, then comes the Master, then comes God. Do you agree?

Sri Chinmoy: To a certain extent, it is true. Let us take the soul as the mother or father of the individual. When the children do something wrong or undivine, the parents become very strict. Then comes the Master, who is like the grandparents. The grandparents are not as strict as the parents; they show much more indulgence. And if the great-grandparents are alive, their attitude is nothing but indulgence. If neighbours make serious complaints about the children's misconduct, immediately the parents will punish the children. The grandparents, to some extent, will say, "All right, all right! It is not so bad." And the great-grandparents — in this case, God — will say, "They are My creation. When the time comes, I will turn them into good children." You people do not believe me when I tell you the kind of strictness that your souls want to show to your human body, vital and mind. So many times your souls want to punish you most powerfully, but I do not allow them to do so. And, of course, the Supreme also does not want it.

But the story can be reversed. Sometimes it happens that God is extremely, extremely strict. Sometimes other spiritual Masters of the highest order, with utmost affection, demand that I be more strict with my disciples. While I am holding meditation, their affection for me is like a boundless ocean. Point-blank they say: "This one is misbehaving. That one is misbehaving. Why is it that you are not strict?" The Highest also wants me to be very strict. But I know that the particular individual will burst like a balloon if I execute the Supreme's Will. Again, the Supreme says, "I am telling you to do this, but it is you who are on the physical plane and can see the physical condition, vital condition and mental condition of the individual. So you decide if being strict will do any good or if it will only create more problems."

Sometimes the Command comes from the Highest: "Throw this one out, throw that one out! They are ruining the Mission. Forget about their past contributions and past achievements. Just throw them out of your boat!" But in my case, as soon as I see just one exceptionally good quality in that particular disciple, that good quality comes and stands right in front of me. Then, God knows, all the bad qualities seem to hide or disappear; the one good quality looms large and all the person's bad qualities are eclipsed by it and pale into insignificance. So, I am totally helpless and I cannot do anything.

Again, if I see that the Supreme is very serious about being strict with someone, if I see that it is His absolute Command, His express Will, then immediately I surrender. So there are definitely times when God can be infinitely stricter than the Master or the soul.

God's Vision may want something done in the twinkling of an eye. But, from Above, God is dealing only with possibility. The Command comes from the Highest, but God Himself is dealing with possibility. Certainty is one word that cannot be used. Certainty comes only by feeding, feeding and feeding our divinity. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second if we can feed our inner divinity, then certainty comes. Otherwise, there is no certainty in human life. We can go on to the very end, and at the last moment, if a gust of wind comes, then we are gone. The wrong forces can attack and destroy us even at the very last moment. Unfortunately, we human beings do not always feed our divinity; there are days when we do not feed our divinity at all. So human life is all possibility, not certainty.

If the Master is strict, he very often is not successful. If he is lenient, again he may not be successful. Spirituality means patience, nothing else. The disciples have to have patience and faith that the Master is doing the right thing. And the Master has to have the patience and faith that one day his disciples will really become good and divine and understand why he is acting as he does.

Of course, spirituality is not a matter of understanding; it is a matter of jumping. We cannot stand at the shore and try to understand the spirituality-sea. No! We have to jump into the sea of the unknown and the unknowable. The unknown or the unknowable is not going to devour us. We have to think of spirituality as a divine adventure. We must not worry about what will happen; we must not think of the outcome. If we are really meant for spirituality, then we have to jump and say, "Whatever happens, I am going to make my unconditional surrender to God's Will." Once we jump into the ocean of the unknown and unknowable, we will see that there are no dangerous creatures there to threaten us, but only divine experiences in boundless measure.

Question: We know that our souls want the experience of life, no matter how brief and painful. But this is small comfort, especially where pain is involved. Is there any knowledge that is palliative?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not knowledge, but wisdom that is needed. There are quite a few ways that we can view suffering. One way is to feel, "I am suffering because of the law of karma. I did something bad yesterday or in my previous incarnation, so now I am suffering."

Another way is to feel, "I did not do something wrong, but I am taking the karma of my loved ones because I am more advanced. My soul is full of compassion and love for the members of my immediate family, so my soul is taking on their suffering. I am not doing it consciously, but my soul is thrusting it upon me." This happens very often.

Still another way is to say, "I am not suffering because of anything that I did. I am suffering because God wants me to have this experience. He wants me to identify myself with suffering humanity and take humanity's suffering as my own. If right now I can consciously become one with the suffering of the rest of the world, because that is God's Will, then tomorrow or the day after tomorrow God will give me another experience: the experience of His Ecstasy and Delight."

The fourth way requires wisdom. We have to be able to say: "I do not know and I do not want to know why I am suffering. I do not want to know whether the immediate past is involved or not. Only one thing I know: that I am willingly and cheerfully accepting this suffering because it is Your Will. I came to earth only to please You and fulfil You in Your own Way. I have no idea whether I am pleasing and fulfilling You, but that is my goal."

If I say, "Let Thy Will be done in and through me," then immediately I will feel that God is having the experience of suffering in and through me. If I can maintain that wisdom, then it is a great advantage. The very feeling that God's Will is being executed in and through my body, mind and vital means tremendous progress. If I feel that nothing can happen in my life without God's express Knowledge, Permission, Approval and Concern, then that feeling itself represents tremendous progress on my part.

Question: It seems that when things are going well, we get into all kinds of mischief. Could a life of ease, from a spiritual point of view, be a dangerous kind of life?

Sri Chinmoy: A life of ease does not have to be dangerous or detrimental to the spiritual life. But you have to know how far you can go. For a life of ease, let us use the word 'indulgence'. You can be indulgent to various degrees. One kind of indulgence will take you lower than the lowest, but another kind of indulgence will take away the pressure from your mind and give your physical nerves a certain sense of ease.

When you watch slapstick humour and all kinds of innocent, funny things, that kind of relaxation is not lowering your consciousness or taking you down to the lowest levels of self-indulgence. It is absolutely innocent fun. There is a great difference between television shows like "The Honeymooners" or "Monty Python" and soap operas, which I am sorry to say some of my disciples enjoy very much. When you watch the stupid, absurd things that Monty Python does, in a very short time all your depression, frustration and mental fever go away. Again, in two or three minutes how easily a soap opera can take you to the abysmal abyss of consciousness!

For entertainment, you can invite your friends and dear ones to your house for spiritual discussions, singing and similar activities. Again, you can go to a bar and drink to your heart's content. That is also entertainment. But you have to see which kind of entertainment is relaxing your mind while still maintaining your divinity, and which kind of entertainment is taking you into perfect hell. When it is a matter of relaxation or entertainment, you have to use your wisdom to see how far you can go before your consciousness starts descending.

Entertainment, as such, is not bad. All the spiritual Masters entertained their close disciples, because they knew that they were not in any way creating problems for their disciples. I have written so many humorous books. Kalatit, you also have written so many funny, funny things! Whose consciousness will descend because of your entertainment-books? They are only helping the disciples who are suffering from depression, frustration and other mental diseases. But if you start writing unbearable novels and untouchable stories, you will only be helping others descend to the lowest.

Question: Though patience is a virtue, it is hard to see exactly what patience can accomplish. Are patience and one-pointedness ever compatible?

Sri Chinmoy: In both the spiritual life and the ordinary human life, patience is of supreme importance. Every morning we pray to God for many things. We ask Him to give us Light, Compassion and Joy, or we ask Him to remove our anxieties, worries, pride, jealousy, insecurity and so forth. But just because our prayers are not fulfilled today, or tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow, we shall not stop praying. If we continue to pray, we know that one day our prayers have to be fulfilled — even though it may take centuries.

The mind says, "Since I am so sincere, my prayer has to be fulfilled today, or at least tomorrow." But God has His own Time. Our sincerity God is definitely recording on the tablet of His Heart, but He has fixed an hour for us. At that hour only He will remove all our negative qualities and inundate us with good qualities.

But patience, in and of itself, is not enough. Patience has to be helped by will-power and one-pointed concentration. Nothing can be accomplished if the power of concentration disappears. In proper concentration, there is not an iota of thought. If we want one-pointedness, we can get it only by concentrating on an object smaller than the smallest — like the tip of our thumbnail. The smaller the object we concentrate upon, the stronger becomes our will-power.

If patience is supported by one-pointedness, then one day this earth will be transformed into Heaven, or Heaven will descend to earth. When one-pointedness enters into patience, it expedites everything. It shortens the time we have to wait for something. Also, it strengthens and illumines patience in such a way that patience feels that it has been waiting just a short while. Even if we have been waiting for twelve or thirteen years to get something accomplished, one-pointedness makes us feel, "Oh, I just started exercising patience."

Question: Until our receptivity is perfect and we know the right thing to do, it seems to me that a certain amount of time must, of necessity, be spent doing nothing rather than making mistakes. Do you agree?

Sri Chinmoy: I categorically disagree. We have to be on the move like an elephant — but not a mad elephant. An elephant goes to this side and hits a wall; it gets hurt. It goes to that side and hits another wall; again it gets hurt. But at least there is movement. Then, after some time, the elephant will find another way; there will be a door wide open, and the elephant will go out. But if the elephant just stands still waiting for the walls to be removed, it will never be free.

If a swimmer waits for the waves and billows to subside before he jumps into the ocean, then he will wait forever. Ten metres ahead he will see a huge wave and wait for it to subside. Then he will see another wave coming from twenty metres away. Like this it will go on and on. If you want to wait for the right moment, that right moment will never come — never!

It is better to make mistakes millions of times while seeking the light than to remain idle. While you are making mistakes, you are not at all satisfied. But God is extremely pleased with you because you are making the effort. You are not wise enough to know which way to turn to reach the light. But your readiness, willingness and eagerness to arrive at the destination is definitely pleasing God.

You have to start your journey, no matter how imperfect you are. Even if you cannot walk properly and are only able to crawl, do not delay. You will say, "Let me wait until I can sprint; in fact, let me wait until I can become the world's greatest sprinter." But that day will never come. You have to go the fastest, but only according to your receptivity. And your receptivity will increase only if you start. Right now you can only crawl. But if you start crawling, then God will give you the capacity to stand. You may stumble many times and fall. But, like a small child, if you keep getting up and trying to walk, eventually you will learn to walk. And then, if you aspire to go still faster — to run towards your goal — God will also give you that capacity. But if you only sit and wait until you become the world's greatest runner, then you will never even start your journey.

Receptivity comes from a constant flow of tears for God. There is no other way to create or to develop receptivity. There has to be a continuous flow of tears from your heart for God. Then only you can have receptivity. But if you are doing nothing, only waiting for receptivity to come, then receptivity will never, never come.

So it is better to start at this very moment. Do not even think of your receptivity. Do not think of the condition of your body, mind and vital. Think only of your readiness, willingness and eagerness. Your readiness, willingness and eagerness will create receptivity. God will give you receptivity according to your readiness, willingness and eagerness.

So, I do not agree with your theory that it is better to wait. Each day you wait is a day of failure. But if you start your journey, then each hour and each moment adds to the success and progress of your spiritual life.

Question: When I achieve something, I get joy; but it isn't long before I realise that, for many others, that very thing is easy. Does God want each of us to try and do everything, or would it be better if we left some things to His "specialists"?

Sri Chinmoy: If I achieve something, it is quite natural for me to get joy. But I must not compare myself with others. If others find it easy to do the particular thing that I did, I should not let that take away my joy. I have achieved something according to my capacity. I did it by virtue of my skill, plus God's Grace. If others are superior to me in this field and if it is easy for them to do what I did, I should not let this enter into my mind. Comparison, in this case, is hurtful.

There are some people who are of the opinion that instead of being a jack of all trades but master of none, it is better to pay attention to only one subject and achieve mastery in that. Others want to be like a gardener who gets joy by having many types of flowers in his garden. Some of the flowers may attract the attention of many people, while other flowers may attract the attention of very few. But if the gardener himself is satisfied with all the flowers, then why should he not give himself joy by having flowers of many different types?

In my case, many people ask why I do not remain confined to the field in which I excel, which is spirituality and yoga, instead of entering into so many other fields as well. But my Beloved Supreme does not want that. He says, "You do not have to be the greatest musician, you do not have to be the greatest artist, you do not have to be the greatest athlete or the greatest in any field." He wants me only to express in and through my life the things that He tells me.

True, I am not the best or the highest in anything; nobody has to remind me of that. But if my Inner Pilot is satisfied with whatever He has achieved in and through me, then I shall continue. I realised God many, many, many, many years ago — long before this incarnation. But if He wants me to enter now into other fields, which are also expressions of my spirituality and divinity, why should I remain in only one aspect of my life?

As a spiritual figure, I am infinitely, infinitely higher than as an artist or singer or musician. But that must not prevent me from entering into other fields. Perhaps someone can be good in twenty subjects and excellent in only one subject. But that is no reason for him to pay all attention to the one subject and ignore everything else. Our philosophy is the acceptance of life. While accepting life, we enter into quite a few fields. If in one of these fields we can do extremely well, that is wonderful. But just because we can do very well in only one area, we must not ignore the other capacities that God wants to manifest in and through us.

Question: Jesus spent very few years with his disciples. Even considering the circumstances of his passing, do you ever consider him fortunate?

Sri Chinmoy: When I am in my human consciousness, when my disciples compel me to swim in the sea of frustration and despair, I consider the Christ fortunate that he lived for only thirty-three years, whereas already I am double his age. But when I am in my divine consciousness, then I will say that God Himself was fortunate and happy to have such a supremely choice instrument as Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ died at the age of thirty-three. Swami Vivekananda was thirty-nine. Lord Buddha was eighty, and Sri Aurobindo was practically eighty. Sri Chaitanya and Sri Ramakrishna did not reach even sixty years. So if God was able to fulfil Himself in and through these spiritual giants without paying any attention to the earthly calendar, then I am very happy. In my case, whether I have to live on earth a few more years or quite a few more years in order to serve and fulfil God is entirely up to Him. In His Happiness is my happiness.

The real question for us as spiritual seekers is how sincerely and devotedly we can pray to God so that we can realise Him as soon as possible and then take away some of His burdens. If I see that my father is suffering badly because he has to shoulder the full responsibility for the family, then I will go to school, I will get a degree and I will get a job so that I can help my father with the family affairs. In exactly the same way, the sooner we can realise God, the sooner we can relieve our Creator of some of His responsibilities.

Question: I am happiest when I am creating. When I offer my creations to the world, however, I am rejected and become despondent. Is it best to create for creativity's sake and leave the rest to fate?

Sri Chinmoy: When I was thirteen or fourteen years old, I wrote a poem that said, "When I write poems, I am so happy." When I wrote the poem, I was very happy. But when I showed it to others, all my joy went away because they criticised it ruthlessly.

One of my teachers told me, "You fool, if you write poetry for others' appreciation, then you will never become a good poet. Once you are satisfied with your achievement, do not worry about what others say. If you have to show your poems to others and they criticise you, then do not lose your balance. You write only for your own sake. You write to please God inside you, and not others."

Nobody will ever become supremely great if he has to depend entirely on the opinion of others. Today someone will speak ill of you for something you have done and tomorrow he will appreciate you for that very same thing. Once the editor of a particular magazine criticised one of Tagore's poems mercilessly, mercilessly, to say the least. Then, in two weeks' time, Tagore got the Nobel Prize, and the same editor used that very poem in his magazine and extolled Tagore to the skies. So the fate of the poem was changed practically overnight!

When you do something well, especially in the spiritual life, there will always be some so-called friends who will inwardly attack you with their jealousy-arrows. They may not be successful outwardly, but inwardly they will get malicious pleasure in saying and feeling that next time you will not do well in your achievements.

So, we should create only to please the Inner Pilot, according to our capacity and receptivity. According to our inner receptivity, He gives us the power of creativity. There is a saying: "God for God's sake." Creativity also should be for creativity's sake. Creation itself is joy, and our joy should not depend on others' proud comments. If we do something that we feel is good, then we should keep our happiness inside us and not surrender to world-criticism. The only thing that we need, and that God needs, is our happiness.

Question: We sometimes ask God to respect our privacy, which He does immediately and graciously. Then, when we invite Him back, He seems nowhere to be found. Have we hurt His feelings?

Sri Chinmoy: We cannot hurt God. It is our undivine part that is hurting the divine in us. The divine in us is sad because the undivine is not responding to the light. When we are in a divine consciousness, we say, "God, come, come!" And when we are in an undivine consciousness, we say, "God, do not come, do not come!" So we are exercising our sweet will and trying to turn God into our slave. God never gets hurt, but we should not treat Him that way.

We have to be wise. When we are in a divine consciousness, let us invite God to come and give us more capacity, so that we can please Him more. And when we are in an undivine consciousness, instead of asking God to remain farther than the farthest from us, if we are wise we shall pray to Him, "Please, please come and save me, illumine me, so that I do not make the same deplorable mistake again." Always we have to invoke or invite God — either to come to our rescue when we are doing something undivine, or to give us more capacity to please Him when we are in a divine consciousness. That should be our attitude.

Question: In India they have an ancient spiritual tradition of feeding mendicants. Here, it seems to me a renunciant could easily starve. Do you agree?

Sri Chinmoy: To be a mendicant is not a crime. The mendicant is praying and, in his own way, trying to get joy from his life. He is not committing theft or doing anything undivine. So if people in ancient India were supplying him with morsels of food, they were doing absolutely the right thing.

In the West, we have the feeling: "If I make ends meet by the sweat of my brow, why should this fellow remain lethargic and wallow in the pleasures of idleness?" So here, unfortunately, non-acceptance of the outer life, or renunciation, is misunderstood. If people do not pay attention to earthly life or do not accept earthly life as such, they become objects of ruthless ridicule. Again, if someone with a wife and children all of a sudden wants to give up his responsibilities and leave his family in the lurch, then he is making a most serious type of mistake.

But what the fakirs and monks are doing in many parts of India is not wrong. If they are devoting themselves to God, if they want only to pray and meditate, then I feel they should be given the utmost opportunity to fulfil their inner life. If we are wise and spiritually evolved, then we should only feel oneness with them and say, "We have entered into earthly bondage and now we cannot get out. These people who were able to give up everything and escape from earthly bondage should be our ideals and idols."

So if we see that some people want to depend only on God to meet their outer needs, then definitely we should help them. We should feel at that time that God Himself is acting in and through us. We are not making them rich, richer, richest. No! We are only helping them meet their basic needs so that they can remain on earth and continue praying and meditating. We should feel that we are serving God in and through them and that it is our bounden duty to help them.

Question: Many times during our meetings, souls from other realms visit us. In the future, if someone has opened his third eye, will he be able to see these beings on the videos or photographs taken of our events?

Sri Chinmoy: Why do you have to wait for the future? Spiritual Masters who have opened up their third eye can see the soul in anything — even in videos or photographs. When seekers who want to become disciples send me their photographs, it does not take me more than two or three seconds to accept them. Doubters will say, "What is this? Is it not a joke?" Again, those who love me and have faith in me will believe that inside these pictures I can see an eagerness, which is being fed by the seekers' own souls, only waiting for my approval. When I look at a seeker's picture, it does not take me more than three seconds to feed the soul and do whatever must be done. Five seconds I may need in some complicated cases. So if I can see the soul in a photograph, on a piece of paper, do you think there will be any difficulty for me to see the soul on a video?

Two or three years ago I was watching someone whom I know well on television. His soul was telling me that he had a serious problem in his eye. Afterwards, I had the audacity to tell that individual to go to the doctor. The doctor confirmed that I was right. My friend could not believe it! I saw clearly the problem on the television screen.

From time immemorial, spiritual Masters have had the capacity to see the soul. So, if your third eye is open, you can see the existence of the soul anywhere you want to. Nothing is excluded from videos or photographs.

Question: They say that when a person has gained a certain notoriety, the world comes calling. In the case of real spiritual figures, however, it seems that "Mohammed must always go to the mountain." Is there an inner reason why this is so?

Sri Chinmoy: Sri Ramakrishna used to say that if there is a beautiful, fragrant flower, then the bees will naturally come to it, so there is no need for the flower to go anywhere. But the same Sri Ramakrishna went to visit some Bengalis who were great figures in different fields because he saw divinity in them, and wanted to bring this divinity to the fore or increase it.

I take the attitude of a mother towards a child. If the little baby is crying on one floor and the mother is on another floor, then is it not the mother's bounden duty to come to the child and give him milk? If I know that I have the capacity to be of service to someone, then why should that person have to come to me just because I am on the top of the Himalayas? In this matter I have been misunderstood even by my disciples. They say, "Why does Guru have to go to Africa and Australia and Japan? If seekers there are spiritually hungry, they will come to New York." Definitely the seekers are hungry, but they may not have the means to come to New York. Or they may not be hungry enough that they are willing to buy a plane ticket and come. But my purpose is to increase their hunger, and if God gives me enough money to go there, then I will go.

My whole purpose on earth is to increase spiritual hunger or to create spiritual hunger. Thousands and thousands of people over the years have come to our Peace Concerts. I do not expect them to become my disciples; that is not even in my wildest dream. But if I am able to create an iota of aspiration in them, or increase their inspiration and aspiration by an iota, is it not worthwhile? With the inspiration that I have given them, if they want to lead a better life or go to some other spiritual Master, then I am more than satisfied. If I have something that will inspire others and also have the means to bring it to them, then how can I not go?

Mohammed was in no way inferior because he went to the mountain. On the contrary! Easily his pride could have come forward and he could have said, "All right, if the mountain does not want to come to me, then I will not go to it: tit for tat. It is beneath my dignity to go there." But he did go to the mountain and he gave it his inner light. Because he went there, the mountain — along with Mohammed — has become immortal.

Question: Often people in a group cannot work together without criticising or correcting one another. Sometimes instruction is needed. How can this be done while maintaining a harmonious atmosphere?

Sri Chinmoy: In a group, each individual will have his own opinion. But you have to see who has the most light. That person may not have infinite light or even abundant light; but if he has more light than the others, then he should be the leader or the guiding figure. If he has real light, he will not lord it over the others or exploit them. And the others should gladly and cheerfully listen to him. Then everyone can work together harmoniously.

Each time there is a Peace Concert, I make somebody the leader because I know that person has more light or more wisdom or more capacity in general than the rest. The others may be killing themselves postering and doing this or that, but this person has the capacity to organise and mastermind the whole thing. Yes, you may have more wisdom than the leader does on one day, but still you should abide by his decision. If you do that, easily you can create a harmonious atmosphere.


Editor's preface

Prefacing a request for new spiritual questions, I heard Sri Chinmoy remark that although he had answered thousands, he was quite sure there were many, many more that had never been proposed. Now, normally, during the course of my day — and I am sure that this is true of others as well — countless confusions occur in me which are inwardly directed to and illumined by my Master; but right there on the spot, we were all dumbfounded.

So, therefore, did I take it upon myself to transcribe the more appropriate of these perplexities, and I am thrilled by the thought that now, by my Master's kind attention, a few pieces might be added to the great puzzle of life.

- Kalatit

Editor's note

The questions in this book, which were submitted by Kalatit, were answered by Sri Chinmoy on 4 and 7 April 1998.

Translations of this page: Italian , Bulgarian
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