Sri Chinmoy answers, part 26

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Part I

SCA 883-900. Every year at Christmas time, Sri Chinmoy and his disciples spend about two months visiting two or three different countries. All of the questions in this book were answered during the December 1999 - January 2000 Christmas trip.

The Christmas trip2

The Christmas trip is a golden opportunity for disciples to make progress. Every day is an opportunity, but the Christmas trip is a golden opportunity. Happiness is progress and progress is happiness. The happiness that you people get on the Christmas trip is innocent happiness. Innocent happiness embodies true cheerfulness. Here people are moving around, looking at things and going on excursions. This is all innocent happiness. Innocent happiness and progress always go together.

Here you are getting a rare opportunity — for two months you can see your Master for hours and hours and hours every day. And your Master also gets the golden opportunity to be of supreme service to you because he is directly in front of your face, in front of your outer existence. So it is a great opportunity both for the Master and for the disciples — an opportunity for the disciples to receive and for the Master to give. With your physical, earthly eyes you can see that I am doing everything for you and you also are doing everything for me. You are doing everything for my happiness and I am doing everything for your happiness.

Again, there are people on the trip who are right now doing other activities. They are absolutely doing the right thing because they are happy. Their innocent happiness is making me happy. Their happiness is not coming from their pleasure-life. The happiness of the pleasure-life is destruction. But anything that makes you soulfully happy, prayerfully happy, is your progress, and your progress is my progress.

Our Beloved Supreme has given the opportunity for me to be available for so many hours for you all. I used to see my Master four times a year for three or four seconds each time — not more. Here, in our case, this opportunity is given to both the Master and the disciples. Do not waste, do not misuse this opportunity. Do not miss this opportunity — do not, do not.

Some of you make such progress in these two months that, even if during the entire year you do not make any progress, there is no harm. It is like depositing a very large amount of money in the bank. Even if you do not earn any more money, you can withdraw from the bank because you have deposited such a large amount of money. Some of you make such progress that, even if for the rest of the year you do not make any progress, you can just think of the happiness that you gave me and the happiness that I gave you.

You can think of the progress that you made by singing soulfully for hours and hours and hours. My philosophy, my spirituality, my yoga can never, never be separated from my songs or from my writings. They are part and parcel of my own divinity, my own reality. Everything comes from a very deep source, and this source is all divine.

To come back to the point, some of you make unimaginable progress during the Christmas trip. This is why I beg and beg people to come, especially those who have money-power. But some of my disciples have other things to do. For only one week or ten days they will come, because they have other appointments and engagements.

Right from the beginning, spirituality is a matter of faith — how much faith you have in me and how much faith I have in you. When faith dwindles or disappears, or when the faith-boat sinks, everything goes wrong. It was faith that brought you to me, to our path. Your faith told you that I had realised God. And my faith in you gave me the message that I would make you a fit instrument to realise God. Your faith was that I had realised God and I would be able to take you to God. That burning faith should remain with you from the very day that I accepted you throughout your entire life, to your last breath.

Happiness, happiness, happiness! Happiness is progress. There is no other way to make the fastest progress. If you do not make inner progress, it is not like running a marathon. If you have covered seven miles in the marathon, you can wait for fifteen minutes or half an hour and then again you can continue. But the spirituality-race is never like that. Once you start, if you stop at a particular place, a magnetic pull will bring you down to the starting point — not only to the starting point, but much lower, because some divine forces become so disgusted. They say, “Why did you not complete the race? Why did you not go to the destination?” It is all because you have another destination. Then again you have to start, far below the original starting point because you deliberately lost your opportunity.

I am begging all of you who have money-power never to miss the Christmas trip. To those who do not have money-power, what can I say? Either you can borrow or during the year you can work very, very hard for extra hours to pay for the trip or to pay back what you have borrowed. Then there are those for whom money-power is no problem, but their mind-attraction is somewhere else. Their mind is roaming somewhere where they think they will get more joy, which is in the pleasure-life. What can I tell them?

I want happiness for all of you who have come here for the Christmas trip, and happiness also for those who did not come or could not come. There are all kinds of happiness. You have to know which happiness you really want in order to make progress. Vital pleasure we do not call happiness. Destruction begins the day we start enjoying our pleasure-life, for pleasure-life is nothing but feeding the unaspiring vital.

Again, there are some people who are really poor. I really and truly sympathise with them. But my inner being says that if somebody really wants to come, then throughout the year he can work very hard and he can make it even for a short time.

When you come for the Christmas trip, please feel that it is a golden opportunity to make the fastest progress. And if you want to continue making progress when you go back to your respective Centres, you can. Your faith will tell you, “My Master has not only infinite concern but constant concern for my progress, for my happiness, for my fulness.” Again, your happiness makes me strong, stronger, strongest, and my happiness also should make you strong, stronger, strongest.

SCA 883. Sri Chinmoy gave this talk about the progress that his disciples make on the Christmas trip on 13 December 1999 at the Hotel Sao Moritz in Nova Friburgo, Brazil.

Part II

SCA 884-888. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 23 December 1999.

Question: Guru, could you please tell me what is standing in the way of my reaching my goal?

Sri Chinmoy: How do you know, or why do you think or feel, that there is something standing in your way as you try to reach your goal? How? Why? First of all, do you actually think or feel that way, or has somebody secretly or openly told you that something is standing in your way? In which way do you feel that something is standing in your way?

We can say that something is standing in our way if it is preventing us from running the fastest, let us say. Otherwise, in life, every day, every hour, something can stand in our way. The morning can start with frustration if you cannot get up on time to meditate. Then that frustration is standing in your way. Again, if you feel that some people do not think highly of you, if you think of someone and feel that that person is criticising you, finding fault with you, and if you are paying attention to that criticism, then you are standing in your own way. Before we do anything, we can pray to the Supreme that nothing should stand in our way. Early in the morning you can pray to the Supreme, “Now I am praying to You, please do not allow anything to stand in my way. I want to run the fastest, I want to run the fastest!”

Again, every day, every hour, every minute, even every second, a thought may come and enter into you either to govern your life or to take you away from your own happiness. In your case, on the practical plane, in the previous two places on our vacation you were very, very happy. Your whole being was absolutely extolled to the skies. But this particular place has not made you happy, or something inner is bothering you. Either it is frustration, or you are expecting something more from your life than you have. You have all the answers. But the easiest and most effective way to encounter all the problems in our life is to have an adamantine will in our outer life and also to have a cheerful and constant surrender to God’s Will.

Now, you may say, “I do not know what God’s Will is.” You do not have to know what God’s Will is. Before God-realisation, nobody knows what God’s Will is. Sometimes we brag and say that this is God’s Will and that is not God’s Will. But how do we know? Sometimes our mind or our heart will tell us, “This is God’s Will because I am doing something for humanity.” It may be a very good thing that you are doing, but who knows? Perhaps what your mind or your heart is telling you may not be the right thing at that particular time. Perhaps at God’s choice Hour, after two months or three months or a year, it will be the right time for you to execute that action. All the time, the only thing to do is to pray to God to let you know what God’s Will is. To know God’s Will, you have to pray and pray and pray, and at the same time continue doing what your heart makes you feel is the right thing to do. Anything that gives innocent joy and happiness also creates progress. If you are happy with your life, nothing can stand against you. Your volcanic will-power will not allow anything to stand in your way.

Again, if we are unhappy, everything can disturb us and destroy our inner poise. Right now it is raining. If we had the intention of going out on the last day in this place to do last-minute shopping, then we will find fault with nature. But before we find fault with nature, if we use our prayer-life, our meditation-life and our life of oneness with the rain, then we will say, “Oh, this is the golden opportunity for me to learn a few songs, or to learn a few poems by heart.” Or we can feel, “Nature is very pleasing now, so this is the golden chance for me to enter into my highest.” So, things that stand in our way can be surmounted with our wisdom. The rain can prevent us from going outside; that is the advantage the rain has. But we can say, “I have so many more advantages! I can read spiritual books, I can pray and meditate, I can learn songs, I can do so many things!” So, anything that stands in our way can be surmounted if we use our heart’s wisdom-light.

In your case, you have to know, of all the things I mentioned a few minutes ago, which one is predominant, which one is standing in your way. But again, I must say, we do not have to go that way, to see where our enemy is. Shall I look this side and that side to see my enemy? Shall I look to see if my enemy is in front of me or behind me or beside me? No! I have no time to look at anybody. My goal is ahead of me. If anything stands in front of me, then with my adamantine will-power either I shall illumine it or I shall destroy it. But when we destroy something, this destruction-power does not last, whereas when we illumine something, the illumination lasts for a long, long time.

Let us say that this moment you have conquered one evil thought. The next moment it may come back. It may even come back again after four or five minutes. But once you illumine the undivine, uncomely thought, it does not remain any more a negative force. That illumined thought helps you. It becomes part and parcel of your positive life, your life of illumination. When we destroy a thought, we actually do not fully destroy it. It comes back again after five days or five months. But when we illumine it, it takes our side. Because it has received illumination, it does not remain in darkness. In the tug-of-war, it comes and takes our side, the side of light. Illumination is like that. That is why our highest philosophy says, “Do not destroy anything; illumine it.” If we illumine someone, then that person will become one more added soldier in our troop.

Then comes the question of imperfection in one’s own life and in others’ lives. All the time we cannot focus our attention on our chosen subject or object, or on the Supreme. If we look around, sometimes, in spite of our best intention, the mind acts like a monkey. It goes this side and that side. Only by prayer and meditation can we tame the mind. Again, sometimes we have to enter into the inner world to do the needful. Some people have the philosophy, “Mind your own business.” I always say, “Mind your own business” is not for spiritual people. I will mind my own business in the sense that, if I am doing something wrong, if something is standing in my way, then I will tell my Inner Pilot, the Supreme, or my Guru. And if I see that somebody else is doing something wrong, at that time I will not say that he should mind his own business and it is not my problem, that only his realisation will be delayed, his perfection will remain a far cry. No!

As you are responsible for your own inner perfection, if you see that somebody else is doing something wrong, your own thought, your own idea can stand in your way. Again, you may think that somebody else is standing in your way — your friend, a member of our spiritual family or even an acquaintance. If you see or hear or even if you inwardly feel that something is wrong, even if you have not seen or heard something wrong in that person’s life, at that time you have to pray to the Supreme to illumine your thoughts, your ideas, your formulated feelings.

For a seeker, there will always be something standing in his or her way. But again, there comes a time when we arrive at the sunlit path. That is also true! The sunlit path does exist, but to come to the sunlit path is not a matter of a second or a minute or a few years. You have been on the path for over thirty years. Thirty years is nothing, nothing when it comes to walking or marching or running or sprinting along the sunlit path. The sunlit path is ahead of us, but to start our journey on the sunlit path may take time. It may take many years.

Again, everything depends on our intensity. Sincerity we can have, willingness we can have, readiness we can have, even willingness we can have; but then, along with those things, we need intensity, intensity. How desperately, how sleeplessly, how breathlessly do we want to arrive at our goal? Readiness can be lukewarm, willingness can be lukewarm — everything, even eagerness, can be lukewarm. But if we have intensity, then there is a burning cry inside our heart, absolutely a burning cry that says, “I must arrive at my goal as soon as possible, sooner than the soonest!” At that time we feel that the car is going one hundred miles per hour, the roads are quite good and our life is safe. Or we can think of a plane. It is going eight hundred, nine hundred or one thousand miles an hour or more, God knows; but we feel quite safe inside it.

In your life, always try to see which way you can run the fastest. Always run the fastest, run the fastest, run the fastest! If you see that there is an obstacle on one way, then immediately give up that way and go another way, another way. We always say there are many roads that lead to Rome, so we have to choose. Let us say that you have chosen one road, but now, unfortunately, you feel that that road is not quite satisfactory to you. Then choose another road, another road, another road! There will be a road that will definitely take you to your destination, without fail.

Now, nothing specific is standing in your way, in your personal life; but our philosophy is progress. Progress means “increase, increase, increase!” Your happiness you have to increase — not by hook or by crook, but by all means, inner and outer. Anything that increases your happiness, you must do. Happiness also has its own degree. There is a little happiness, abundant happiness, infinite happiness. You know how happy you are today, let us say. Tomorrow, by virtue of your will-power, if you can increase your happiness, then you will see that there is nothing formidable standing against you on your way. The day after tomorrow, again increase your happiness. When there is happiness, even if there is an obstacle, that obstacle does not remain as powerful as we thought. Happiness immediately unnerves or weakens the opposition party that is standing in our way.

Always try to cultivate happiness. If you have happiness, then your mind’s frustration, your mind’s own way of thinking, will surrender. There is no other way to bend the head of the mind than to be happy, and this happiness is strength, strength, strength! Happiness is the strength of a lion, the power of an elephant. Nothing can stand against happiness, inner happiness. Again, you may say that there are many things that bother each individual every day on a regular basis. I say that is also true, but again, there are ways to avoid these things or escape from them or challenge them. Unhappiness has to be conquered by happiness. Unfortunately, the power of unhappiness on the outer plane is much stronger than happiness in the outer life. But again, the inner happiness is infinitely stronger than the outer unhappiness. If you have peace of mind, if you have happiness in your heart-consciousness, in your psychic consciousness or your soul-consciousness, then you will see that the outer unhappiness is no match for the inner happiness.

Question: In the outer life, when you have a goal, you can imagine it. But in the inner life, sometimes it is hard to imagine what the goal is. Sometimes I look at you and say that you are my goal, but then I see that you have all kinds of problems and physical suffering.

Sri Chinmoy: It is a matter of inner faith. If your own inner faith is strong, then you will see that I am not the body. You have come here not to see my outer body or my outer suffering. You have come here to see if you have a vivid feeling that I have realised the Highest or that I have become the Highest itself. When we recognise the Highest in someone, we are bound to feel that that person is the Highest itself. When we realise the depth of an ocean, our realisation becomes so inseparably one that we become the ocean itself. At that time we are not fooling ourselves. We sincerely feel, completely feel that we are the ocean itself.

Everything starts with faith and continues with faith. If you see that outwardly I am an invalid, how will you think of me as someone who will give you indomitable life-energy? If that were the case, all the spiritual Masters would have been failures. Think of Sri Aurobindo. Think of Ramana Maharshi. Think of Sri Ramakrishna. All of them suffered from physical ailments. Now let us think of the Saviour Christ. When people think of him, when people look at his picture or at the crucifix, they are only seeing what he was inside. He was an Avatar, absolutely, so we remember only what he was in the inner world.

Think of yourself. When you have had a good meditation, are you the same person as you are when you are in your ordinary consciousness? When you are in an ordinary consciousness, you feel that you are most common. But when you have a very high meditation, you feel totally different. You feel that your mind is as vast as the sky and your heart is larger than the Pacific Ocean. You feel peace, Infinity’s peace. At that time outwardly you are still five feet four inches tall, but in the inner world, your height is limitless. When you are in an ordinary consciousness, you are subject to wrong forces, uncomely forces, but when you are in your highest consciousness, you see that these thoughts are silly monkeys near you or you see that you are far, far beyond, where there is nothing — no monkeys, no donkeys, nothing to disturb your poise.

When somebody realises the Highest, he becomes one with the Highest. Then again, there comes a time when he feels he is the Highest. It is not like Muhammad Ali saying “I am the greatest” or Julius Caesar saying “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Here it is a different attitude: “I came, I loved, I became.” I came into one particular family. There my parents and the other members of my family were my dearest ones. Gradually, gradually my consciousness expanded and the whole world became my responsibility, my concern.

The outer appearance of a spiritual Master can be very, very deceptive. If you try to judge the Master from his outer life, you will be totally lost. Only try to see what he is doing in his inner life. In the outer life you see that I cannot walk. But if, by God’s Grace, you could enter for even five seconds into my inner life, you would see how many serious matters I am dealing with. In one minute perhaps you would see that somebody is dying and I am there; somebody else has got serious problems of the worst type and I am there; something else and something else.

The physical is very limited; the physical has to be limited. Again, inside the physical sometimes God wants to do some things. How many spiritual Masters can lift up hundreds of pounds on the physical plane? In no way am I bragging; I am saying you have to look beyond the physical. Beyond the physical is the spiritual Master’s real consciousness.

A spiritual Master or a saint may be eating the same food as others eat. But while he is eating, he feels that God Himself is eating in and through him. There is a famous Indian story about the sage Durvasa. Durvasa saw that Draupadi was feeding Lord Krishna and immediately he felt that the Highest was being fed in and through Lord Krishna. The higher the divinity you can see in your Master, the quicker will be your progress. Outwardly if you see my suffering, my pain, that I cannot solve my own problems, that I have so many defects in my body, you will ask yourself how I can be of any service to you. It is true that outwardly I cannot be of any service to you. But again, if you have faith in yourself, in your own spiritual life, your faith will tell you that inwardly I am dealing with the entire universe. My body is nothing, nothing, nothing — a silly bag of dust in comparison to my soul’s reality, which is universal and transcendental. So wise people will always go beyond the physical. Beyond the physical is the universal, the transcendental, the ultimate.

Do not think of what I am in my outer life or even what I am doing in my outer life. After God-realisation, everything is regulated, everything is manifested according to God’s Will. God’s Will is operating in and through me at every moment. That you have to believe. That your soul once made you feel. That is why you joined the path, why you are still on the path — not to see my outer body, not to feel my pain. Yes, you can identify yourself with my pain. If you identify yourself with my pain, you will see that my pain is not due to my karma. My pain only represents my love for humanity. I love humanity, and I have to prove that I really care for humanity.

If I have understood your question correctly, you are asking how can you imagine that I can be of service to you when you see I am suffering. Not the body, but the soul can be of service, not only to you, but to each and every human being in the world. And not only to the ones that are already here. There are many millions and billions of people who will come into existence. You people will also come and go, come and go. But if you keep a connection with me, then I will be fully responsible, no matter how many incarnations you have to take. Your physical body will last only for a few more years, but your soul will have to continue its journey along Eternity’s Road to reach Infinity and Immortality.

Question: After we have been on the path for many years, all the things that we have to do for our spiritual progress start to become just routine. How can we regain the same intensity that we had when we were new disciples and we thought that we could reach the goal very quickly?

Sri Chinmoy: When you enter into any new field of activity, there is enthusiasm. Then afterwards it becomes monotonous, boring, and frustration starts. Now, think of a plane. When the plane takes off, it makes so much noise. It gives us the feeling that it will absolutely destroy everything around it. Once the plane is high in the air, its speed is much faster than when it was taking off, but we hear practically no noise. And if the plane has a good pilot, will he not reach the destination? We have to keep in mind that the same Pilot who gave us the inspiration to hurry up and come to the airport, who put us into the plane, who made so much noise when the plane was taking off, is still piloting us to our destination.

Always in the beginning there is tremendous joy, inner energy, because we are entering into a new field. When we come into the spiritual life, we have sincerity, eagerness, intensity — everything that is necessary to make the fastest progress. Is there any disciple who entered into the spiritual life and said, “Now I do not have to conquer my insecurity, my jealousy, my impurity, my undivine qualities”? Only to conquer our imperfections everybody joined the path. Again, most of you, if not all, have lost that intensity. Insecurity, jealousy, impurity, negativity — all the things that you wanted to conquer twenty or twenty-five years ago — now you feel that they cannot be conquered. Then what is happening? Since you feel they cannot be conquered, you allow yourself to be conquered by them.

To come back to your question, nothing is boring if we have the right attitude. Every day if we pray to God, God gives us new inspiration. Every day the sunlight appears. If we have inner will-power, we will see the beauty, the purity, the divinity — everything that is normal and natural — inside the sunlight. In the same way, every day you are meditating, every day you are taking exercise, every day you are running and doing so many other spiritual things. The mind will always make everything old, fossilised. For the mind, after one month or one year everything becomes uninspiring because the mind believes in age, while the heart does not. If you can remain in the heart, if you can feel always that you are a seven-year-old child, as I have been begging all of you to do, you are bound to feel at every moment new inspiration, new light, new hope, new promise. For a seven-year-old child every second is a new opportunity and a new happiness.

The other day when I was answering someone else’s question, I said that every day she has to feel that she has taken new birth. The answer to your question is the same. Every day think that you were born only today. Never think that you are forty-five or forty-seven years old. Now my mind is telling me that I am sixty-eight — I am ancient! But if the heart is our reality, then the heart will say that we are seven years old, and if wisdom is our reality, then wisdom will say that just today we were born. Every day presents itself to us as a new opportunity if we can think of every day as a new beginning, a new birth.

If you enter into a gymnasium to take exercise, the mind will say, “You have been doing this for years and years!” The mind is telling you a reality that is true on the outer plane. Again, the same mind is so eager to discourage you: “You are doing the same stupid thing. For years you have been dying for a seventeen-inch bicep and still you are struggling with fourteen inches!” But the heart will say, “No. Just today I have started.” Then tomorrow when you come, you will have the inner promise that you will make yourself stronger and stronger.

Take every day as a new day. Do not take it as a continuation. If you think of your spiritual life as a continuation, then the mind will say, “Oh my God! Twenty-five years I have been on the path, and I have made no progress!” But you have used the mind in a wrong way. You have allowed the mind to exercise its supreme authority. Use the heart. The heart is ever-new, ever-blossoming. The heart will say, “No, I am blossoming petal by petal. I am an ever-blossoming flower, a most beautiful flower.”

If you can remain in the heart, you will never even think of the fact that you have been on the path for twenty-five or thirty years. But if you are in the mind, then after ten years your mind will again cry for newness: “Oh, there is so much discipline. I have to get up at six o’clock every morning. I do not have any freedom. I cannot move around as I wish.” But that very thing — the outer freedom — you wanted to surrender. That is why you entered into the spiritual life. Spirituality means inner freedom. The inner freedom you get when you identify yourself with something vast. God’s Will is vaster than the vastest. On the strength of your prayer and meditation you are trying to identify yourself with God’s Will. God’s Will is infinite, like the ocean. When you look at the ocean, you see huge waves. If you are using your heart to look at it, even with your ordinary naked eyes you will see that it is ever-new. But if you are using the mind, you will say, “Oh, it is the same thing — the same kind of waves.”

Never use the mind. After one day, the mind will make everything seem old, ancient. The mind will take away your joy because the mind will make you see everything, every day, in the same way. But the heart will make you see everything in a new way, a better way. It will bring new joy and new satisfaction into your life.

Most of the disciples who have been on the path for over twenty years have descended. Why? Because they are using the mind that says, “It is boring. Every day it is the same thing. There is nothing new.” But instead, use the heart of a child or feel that just today, early in the morning, you were born — a new cry you embody. You are crying, crying, crying, but your parents are smiling and smiling. Each time we offer our heart’s cry, we can see the Smile of God, of our own highest Divinity. Here the aspiring reality is crying and the descending Divinity is smiling.

Do not use the mind. If you use the mind, you cannot conquer your problems. The mind only creates problems. The mind has never solved any problem. The mind thinks that today it has solved a particular problem, but tomorrow another problem will arise that will be infinitely more difficult to deal with. The problems of the mind never end — never, never! The heart sees only one problem: has my love of God increased? Has my devotion to God increased? Has my surrender to God increased? Only three words the heart knows: love, devotion and surrender — how much I love God, how much I am devoting myself to God, how much I am prepared to surrender my existence to God. If the mind uses the words ‘love, devotion and surrender’, it absolutely ruins everything. The mind takes the beautiful heart-flower and starts tearing off all the petals one by one. But when we use the heart, immediately the heart-flower that we see is only blossoming and blossoming.

Take every day as a new beginning. A new beginning will always have a new hope, a new dawn. We have been here on the Christmas trip now for some time. Already some people are thinking, “Oh my God! I have been here for twenty days. Now everything is boring!” Some people were extremely happy for the first ten or twelve days. Now their happiness is going away. They are not doing the right thing. They should feel that instead of today being the 23rd of December, that it is the 4th of December — the first day of our trip.

Always if the mind is creating problems, challenge the mind with your wisdom. Discard the mind that says, “I have been here now for eighteen days. Now my enthusiasm is waning.” Use the heart that says, “No. I came here on the 4th of December, so now it is still the 4th for me.” You are not fooling yourself. You are only illumining the mind. You know that there is something called ever-increasing happiness. You are trying to become that ever-increasing happiness on the strength of your oneness with God’s Will. Every day is a new beginning. When there is a new beginning, there is new hope, there is new promise. But if you count the days, then you will be miserable. After a month you will be desperate to go back home. There you will see that more frustration awaits you.

Always, after a few days we change our goal. But if we choose our goal with the mind, then even when that goal arrives, we do not get happiness. If the heart chooses a goal, then like a flower, that goal is constantly blossoming, blossoming, blossoming, no matter whether you are here in Brazil or in Africa or somewhere else. If we are spiritual people, we have to feel that our real existence is the heart. Others can exercise their mind and make it vaster than the vastest. But no matter how vast the mind is intellectually, philosophically or in any way, if the mind does not enter into the heart, it is absolutely impossible to get happiness. Someone can be the world’s greatest pandit, but where is happiness? Immediately he will feel that if somebody else has said something, that somebody else has more wisdom. Then he becomes miserable.

If you use your mind to look at your body, immediately you will say, “Oh my God! I thought I was the most beautiful person. Now I see that somebody else is infinitely more beautiful!” Your pride is smashed. But if you use the oneness-heart, first you will see and then you will feel that you are that person with boundless beauty, that there is no difference between you and that person. You will see and feel that you are the only beauty. When we use the mind to see anything, the mind immediately makes a comparison and then we become miserable. The mind will say, “I thought that I was the greatest scholar” or “I thought that I was the most intelligent.” Then somebody with more knowledge or more intelligence comes and we have to touch the dust of his feet.

The aspiring heart is a stranger to imperfections. The aspiring heart is only increasing its beauty, its light and its power. When we look at anything, the mind makes a comparison but the aspiring heart only feels oneness. Again, this oneness can be fed only by newness. Every day we have to not only think of newness but also become newness. Then only we will be satisfied. Where does newness come from? From Eternity’s Home.

All those who have been on the spiritual path for a long time are suffering from the same disease — “it is boring, boring, boring.” Do not keep a link between yesterday and today or even from one moment to the next. If you keep a link, you will be miserable. Yesterday you had such a miserable day. Today you are carrying the same dead elephant again. No, feel that yesterday did not exist for you. Feel that the only thing that exists is here and now, the Eternal Now. Then nothing can be boring.

Every day feel that you have taken new birth. If you feel that you are an infant, only a few hours old, then you are bound to feel that there is somebody who will take care of you. The mind always says that we have to take care of ourselves. But the heart says, “No, my father is there, my mother is there. They have infinite affection, infinite compassion, infinite fondness for me. They will take care of me.” This is so true. God is both our Father and our Mother. God is only for those who feel that they are true children. Others think that they are grown up, that now they can enjoy their freedom. Little children are happy because they listen to their parents. If their parents say, “Do not go there. That is fire,” then immediately they do not go. But when somebody is seventeen, eighteen or twenty and his parents say, “Do not go there. That is fire,” he will think, “It is not fire. Let me go there and see. I am sure it is nothing.” Then he touches it and burns himself. When a little child sees fire, he remembers, “Mother said, ‘This is fire. Do not go there.’” Then the child comes back. The little child’s obedience saves and illumines him, while the older child will challenge his parents’ wisdom. As soon as disobedience comes into life, destruction follows. Obedience is all safety. The obedient child is in the heart of his parents.

The spiritual life is always the life of inner obedience. From within, from your prayer and meditation, you will get the inner message, “This is good; this is not.” The things that you feel are good, always do. Obedience, obedience, obedience. The day we lose our obedience, that very day is our spiritual death. Physically we die at a particular time, but spiritually we die when we exercise the power of our mind, which is disobedience. By nature the mind wants to find a new way, its own way — which is all darkness. The heart feels that there is somebody who has already found the way, our father, our mother, our spiritual Master or God.

The spiritual life is not boring, no matter how many years you follow it. It is only a question of how you utilise the spiritual life. I always say that with a knife you can stab someone or you can cut fruits and share them. Every day you have to take as a new beginning in Eternity’s Now. Each day embodies new hope and new promise. Never think of how many years you have been on the path or of how much progress you have made. Again, those who are still on the spiritual path often do not value what they have. When their parents are alive, often the children do not pay any attention to them. Then when the parents pass behind the curtain of Eternity, the children say, “Oh my God! What we have lost!” When we have something, we do not value it. When we lose it, then we value it. If you leave the spiritual life tomorrow and if your soul or your inner cry comes to the fore, immediately you will see what you have lost.

Again, if we do not have newness, then everything will disturb our mind. While the mind is disturbed, it will try to bring that disturbance into the heart, into the vital, into the physical. From the beginning to the end, the only answer is the heart, the heart, the heart. If we use the heart or become the heart, the aspiring heart, then for us there is no such thing as a stagnant pool. Our life is a murmuring, running river, entering into the vast ocean of light and bliss.

Question: What kind of smile does God give when we ask Him for instant God-realisation?

Sri Chinmoy: When a seeker asks God for instant God-realisation, God smiles for two reasons. On the physical plane, God says, “You are such a rogue! You have not yet started yoga seriously. You have not yet embarked on the spiritual journey, and already you want God-realisation!” Many times I have told the story about the seeker who practised yoga for so many years. Then he asked the sage Narada to ask Lord Vishnu how many years it would take for him to reach God-realisation. When he heard that he had to take a few more incarnations, he became disgusted and gave up the spiritual life. Another fellow who was a drunkard asked the same question. The reply came, “As many leaves as there are on the tamarind tree, you have to take that many incarnations before you will achieve God-realisation.” This fellow was so happy — he was dancing with joy because one day he would realise God. It might take twenty million years, but he was so happy that at least he would get God-realisation.

On the one hand, God laughs because on the practical plane, the seeker has not even taken the spiritual life seriously, sincerely or intensely. On the other hand, God smiles because even though the seeker has just embarked on the spiritual journey, he knows what the ultimate Goal is. He knows that God-realisation is absolutely the highest. He is like a child who has not studied even the ABCs, but he is talking about his Master’s degree and Ph.D. God is amused that although the seeker is still in kindergarten, his goal is to reach the highest, to get the highest degree. He knows his ultimate Goal; he has got a glimpse of that Reality even at this stage. So on one hand, God is showing His amusement: “You idiot! You have not yet started!” On the other hand, God is so pleased: “Even though he is an idiot, he knows what the ultimate Goal is.”

Question: Could you say something about the ancient people in India called the Dravidians?

Sri Chinmoy: We call them Aryans. Now there are different theories. Some scholars say the Dravidians entered into India from outside, while other scholars are of the opinion that they were in India before. Whom to believe? You have to dive deep within to know which theory is correct.

One theory says that India has everything; we are self-sufficient. In India they say, Ja nai bharate, ta nai tribhuvane. It means that whatever is not found in India is not to be found elsewhere. The other theory is that India cannot be complete unless it embodies Australian consciousness, African consciousness, Chinese consciousness and American consciousness. On the one hand, you can say, “I am complete; I am self-sufficient. I have a home. I have my food. I have a car, this and that.” On the other hand, you can feel that you are sufficient in your inner existence only if you have embodied the consciousness of the entire world. So at one moment Indians will say that this ancient culture that we had was self-sufficient — that they did not have to get things from outside — while others say that they came from outside and they made us very great.

Now some will say, “Our ancestors were primitive. They worshipped animals and all kinds of things.” Others will say, “No, they were wise. They saw divinity inside animals.” Each person may have a different opinion. Some say the Vedic seers were silly. When a cloud or a flight of birds was passing by, they worshipped it. If they saw a little flower or a leaf, they worshipped it. Any object they were ready to worship. Others say, “No, they saw divinity inside each flower, inside each leaf.”

I always say we have to value both God the Creator and God the creation. But usually once people realise God, they do not go out to be under a tree or in front of the ocean or on top of a mountain. They get inspiration and aspiration wherever they are. Buddha sat under the Boddhi tree. Sri Ramakrishna had five trees where he meditated. The whole world was there for him to see, but he did not go away from there. Sri Aurobindo reached his highest inside a room. They all said that God the Creator and God the creation are one, but in practice, they did not even go out to see God’s creation. So some people feel that they are sufficient with what they have, while others feel that they are sufficient only when they see the whole world.

We have to offer our appreciation to the ancient people. If you do not appreciate your grandparents, then where did your own achievements come from? Let us say that my grandfather wrote one poem. Perhaps my physical father wrote thirty poems. Now I have written thousands of poems. I can laugh at them and say, “Oh my God! I have written thousands of poems. Look at my father — he wrote only thirty poems, and his father wrote only one. Perhaps before him nobody wrote anything.” But perhaps the one poem that my grandfather wrote came from the Highest, from God. Because poetry was in my family, now I have written thousands of poems. Like that, the Vedic seers had spiritual power and occult power. But now spiritual figures are descending to earth whose spiritual power and light will be infinitely greater than that of the Vedic seers.

I rendered Sri Aurobindo’s Bengali story Kshamar Adarsha (The Ideal of Forgiveness) into English iambic pentameter. There you can see how much power they had. In the last few lines, Sri Aurobindo says these spiritual figures are coming and the capacity of the previous ones will pale into nothingness.[fn:: SCA 888,6. The lines referred to:
But from above yet greater souls unmatched
Over our Ind imperishably shall lean.
The might of seers antique shall fade away
Before the souls to come with Light new-born;
And she shall sit on splendour’s throne in the world._] On the one hand, we have received inspiration and aspiration from the past. That is why we are going forward. If we do not adore and admire those who have gone before us just because we have expanded our light, our consciousness, and in the process we have far surpassed them, then we are so ungrateful. If you do not first get a drop, how will you get the ocean? You can say that the achievements of our ancestors were only like a drop. But because of their one drop, we have now been able to get two drops, three drops, four drops, five drops. Then, in the course of time, we can become the ocean. If someone did not write one poem, how could I have written thousands of poems? The ancients we have to take in that light. We have to give them due value. The father may be illiterate, but the father’s will-power, money-power and heart-power may send his son to school. Then the son may become a great scholar. So the past and the future have to be united. Sri Aurobindo had two theories. At times he said that the spiritual development of the past has to be honoured. At other times, he said that we do not belong to the past dawns; we belong to the future. Outwardly these two appear to be contradictory. On the one hand, he said that we have to give due value to our ancestors. If there had been no seed under the ground, then suddenly how could there be a tree? Again, he said that we do not belong to the past dawns; we belong to the golden future. True, the past has given us inspiration and aspiration. That is why we are going forward. On the other hand, if we think of the past, either we think, “Once upon a time I was so good, so great; now I am nobody,” or “At that time I was useless, so how can I go forward?” Whichever way we think of the past, it will be a waste of time because we will feel miserable. The best thing is not to think of the past. Has the past given you the Highest? No. The best thing is to say to the past, “I am grateful to you for whatever you have given me, but let us part here. I want to go forward. Infinity’s Light is beckoning me.” We have to see what we can assimilate at our present development of consciousness. The spiritual light of the past we _do want to assimilate. But if we are stuck in the past, even with all its glories, we will not be able to go forward. And if we think of our past failures or defeats, then again we will not be going forward.

Every day we have to think, “I was born just today. I am only two hours old.” If I feel that I am two hours old, then I will feel that I have my parents, I have my dear ones, I have my relatives who will take care of me. Our parents represent a higher force that is guiding us. Otherwise, always we think that we are doing everything, that we are responsible. That is not the case. A higher force is working in and through us. Only if we are aware of that higher force can we create receptivity so that higher force can work in and through us most effectively.

Each individual should think that today is the very first day of his life. Then hope comes from everywhere. Promise comes from everywhere. If you think, “I am sixty-eight years old; sixty-eight summers and sixty-eight winters I have seen,” then all your hope will disappear. If you can convince yourself that just today you were born, then for you everything will be new. Every person will be new. Every thought will be new. Every incident will be new. Then you can make the fastest progress.

The past achievements of the ancient Vedic seers were very great. But again, if you see their height and the height of the present day spiritual Masters and Avatars, there is no comparison. Today’s spiritual Masters have far transcended them. Again, we have to be grateful to them. If they did not build the foundation, how could we now have the edifice? Because of their foundation, today we have gone higher than they did. Gratitude has to go to the source. But again we have to know where their inspiration came from. Who gave them the inspiration to build the foundation? It came from a higher force, from God. So our gratitude has to go to Him. First we have to give gratitude to the ones who first received the inspiration and then to the supplier of the inspiration, which is God Himself.

Part III

SCA 889-900. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in Curitiba, Brazil on 24 December 1999.

Question: Is there any good quality in gossip?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to separate gossip from humour. We all enjoy humour. Even God enjoys humour. But sometimes it is hard to differentiate between humour and gossip. In God’s creation, everything has its own value. Darkness is there, but we should not enter into darkness. If we enter into darkness, we will be in serious trouble. Gossip can be taken in that way. By enjoying gossip we are in no way helping others, not to speak of helping the person about whom we are gossiping.

We have to be so careful at every moment. We have to act like a real miser. We have to protect our inner wealth — aspiration, dedication, love, devotion and surrender — the way a miser does not spend money lavishly. A miser feels that if he goes to a market and buys something, then his precious money-power will go away. Here also, when we enjoy gossip, we are getting momentary pleasure, and we think that we are not losing anything. But it is not true. We may feel that we are enjoying gossip at the expense of others. Someone else has done something bad and we are spreading the wild news. We feel that it will not affect us at all. But everything has a magnetic force. Not only good things, but bad things also have a magnetic force, like a contagious disease. The forces that made the other person do something wrong are like mosquitoes. Today they came and bit some people. Tomorrow, when they see that you are enjoying gossip about those people who were bitten, they will come and bite you. Then you will become a victim to gossip. After enjoying a few minutes of gossip-pleasure, you will mix with serious destruction.

Gossip is only helpful in a negative way. When people are enjoying it, they have to feel that they are lowering their consciousness. If something helps us in a positive way, we will go forward. But if anything stands in our way, we can also say it is a great help. We have an Indian cosmic god named Shani. He exists, but we do not want to approach him. To every other cosmic god we pray, “Please, come and bless me.” But to him we pray, “Please, do not be near me.” Why? Because his is the way of renunciation. Who wants renunciation? Will ordinary, unaspiring people renounce their earthly pleasures or attachments? Shani grants renunciation, but we misunderstand his boon. That is why most people pray to him, “Please, do not come near me.” All the gods we invoke to come and bless us, but not this one.

Shani is the planet Saturn. His day is Saturday, which we call Shanibar in Bengali. There is a traditional Indian theory that if you go somewhere on Saturday, then some calamity will happen at the place you have visited or when you come back. There are many villagers who will never do anything auspicious on Saturday. That is our Indian theory. How much truth is behind it, God alone knows. Personally, I do not agree with this theory.

Question: Your physical mother in this incarnation comes to see you quite often from the soul's world. Do your mothers from other incarnations ever come to you?

Sri Chinmoy: No. This particular mother has been my mother for many, many incarnations. In our family, all the members have been together for quite a few incarnations. And also one of the disciples has been with us in our family for quite a few incarnations. Our family has taken birth in different places, but we wait for a long time between incarnations. Spiritual people do not have to take incarnation after six years like ordinary people do. For ordinary people, it is a cosmic law — in six years, Heaven has no room for those souls. They have to vacate the hotel. Other souls can take twenty or thirty years or even longer. Again, if they want to, spiritual Masters can keep some ordinary souls in Heaven for a longer time, but normally they try to please the authorities in Heaven.

Question: Has she always been your mother, or has she been related to you in other ways?

Sri Chinmoy: No, she has been my mother. Over the centuries, most of my family members, especially the boys, have been fortunate to be blessed by the Avatars and great spiritual Masters. Some of us came with Sri Krishna, some with Jesus Christ, some with Sri Chaitanya and some with Sri Ramakrishna.

Question: Could you speak about ways to cultivate intensity when you want to conquer obstacles to reach a goal?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways we can use. The first approach is through prayer. We have to pray to the Supreme, “Please, please bless me with intensity. Please give me abundant intensity.” This is the first way. For a few days or a few months you can try this way.

The second way is to enter into your highest meditation. When you reach your absolutely highest meditation, just for two or three seconds utter the word ‘intensity’ with utmost will-power. When you utter the word ‘intensity’, like a bullet, intensity will enter into you. Not only will it enter into you, but it will also go out of you. Then this intensity will act like a miracle in your life. But ordinary meditation will not do. It has to be your own highest meditation.

In your case, you give more value to perfection than you do to intensity. Since you are aiming at perfection, crying for perfection at every moment, do not separate perfection from intensity. Try to have two wings in your spiritual life. If you care only for perfection, perfection, perfection, then there will be only one wing. You are aiming at perfection, but that perfection may be only according to your way of thinking. Somebody else may say that what you call perfection is nothing but imperfection. When you are aiming at perfection in your outer or inner life, since that is what you prefer, try to unite that goal with the eagerness you have for intensity. You already care for perfection. Now you should also care for intensity to the same extent. Where there is intensity, then the sense of perfection will automatically be there.

Question: When we are giving meditation classes, how can we make it clear to new seekers why there is no mixing of boys and girls on a true spiritual path?

Sri Chinmoy: It is a matter of consciousness. Our entire philosophy is founded upon consciousness. If you want to remain in an undivine consciousness, then you will always be a beggar. Already spiritual seekers have enough problems, but if they start thinking of girlfriends or boyfriends, then they will descend and descend. When we enter the spiritual life, God becomes our mother, our father, our wife or our husband. God has and God is all the relations. We have to ask ourselves if we want to go forward at the speed of an Indian bullock cart, which is so uncertain. For some time it goes forward. Then the fellow who is driving the cart disappears or something else happens. Like India’s five-year plan, some people join the spiritual life and stay in the spiritual life for forty or fifty years, but their speed is so slow. When our inner speed is slow, it is as good as spiritual death.

In the spiritual life, the mixing of boys and girls, the lower vital, emotional life is as useless as India’s bullock cart. You will take one step, and then you will be filled with uncertainty. You will feel that there is no goal for you. The slower you go in anything, the more uncertainty assails you. The goal remains a far cry. But the faster you go, the more you feel that the goal is right there, only one metre away.

Spirituality without consciousness is nothing but a joke. We have to know at what point consciousness goes up and at what point consciousness goes down. If a boy starts mixing with a girl, his consciousness will become lower than the lowest. He will become a victim to all the lower vital forces. Even if you do not mix physically, the mind is all the time operating. Already you are a victim in the mental world. Are you a fool? Spirituality is not meant for foolish people. One Master said he was ready to be on top of the snow-capped Himalayas, he was ready to be in the Sahara Desert, he was ready to be under the ocean, but he was not ready to mix with fools. If we want to practise spirituality in the purest sense of the term, then we must not be foolish. The goal is not fixed. Today’s goal is tomorrow’s starting point, and today’s goal is still far away. With greatest difficulty, after ten years or twenty years I may reach my goal. Then a new beginning starts. Will I ever reach my first goal if I deliberately put a solid wall in front of me?

If you want to go slowly, if you want to say the goal is there and in God’s Eternity you will reach your goal, then you can do it. But those people who are wise, those who have joined my path or any spiritual path, have felt the supreme necessity of realising God, the supreme necessity of achieving light, delight, peace and bliss. Otherwise, there are millions and billions of people on earth who have not accepted the spiritual life. Why did you accept it? We say that we chose spirituality, but if we are very sincere, we will say, “No, God chose us.” Sri Aurobindo once said, “He who chooses the Infinite has been chosen by the Infinite.” You can say that you have sent your application; you are the one who chose. But I wish to say that my universal being chose you. That is why you came to me. Otherwise, there are countless people on earth who have not been chosen. That is why they have not appeared.

Question: Sometimes if I have a wrong feeling, I have trouble offering it to you. I sometimes keep things inside instead of offering them to you.

Sri Chinmoy: Why? Just because you cherish and treasure that wrong feeling? Or are you so sympathetic to me that you say, “Oh, how can I give it to him? It will hurt him”? I have told you many times that I am the garbage collector. If you have dirty, filthy things in your house, what do you do? You throw them in the garbage. Here also, with your bad thoughts, you can do the same. My universal consciousness will be able to take whatever wrong thought you throw into it. To feel that these things will hurt me is stupidity. Perhaps you are afraid: “What will Guru think? He will think that I am so bad!” If you are hiding something, it is because you feel you will be exposed. I am begging you to give to me everything — good or bad. If it is a good thought, then I will keep it inside my heart-safe. If it is a bad thought, immediately I will throw it into the universal consciousness.

Question: Sometimes when I am trying to approach important people, there is a wall of resistance. Is there anything we can do inwardly to remove these obstacles?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, you need the power of tenacity. You have to stick to it. There are some who never accept failure. Even if it takes ten years or twelve years, they will not give up. In your case, you lose intensity, eagerness, willingness and readiness after some time. So that is not good.

Then, when you approach important people, you have to fully prepare yourself inwardly. You have to be armed with aspiration. Prayer and meditation are of paramount importance before you approach someone. In the inner world you have to create a bridge between yourself and the person you are going to approach. You have to feel that you are going to him and he is coming to you.

Sometimes you are overconfident. Again, you should not be hesitant or timid. Some people are even afraid of success. They are crying for success, but when they imagine the success, they feel that it will be something beyond their control. For weeks and months and years they are aiming at something and then, when success is looming large, the enormity of the success frightens them and they give up. I have seen so many cases. Even before they have completed their task, they make a comparison: “If I do this, then I am sure somebody else will surpass me.” They have not yet reached their own goal and they are thinking that somebody will take away their glory by doing something greater! Do not allow this kind of stupidity to enter into your mind when you are about to do something.

Question: If we are the object of gossip, how can we not be affected and remain in a high consciousness?

Sri Chinmoy: Simply think of yourself as an elephant. Vivekananda used to say that it is like an elephant going to the market. The elephant’s goal is bananas. Dogs are barking and barking, but the elephant has no time to pay any attention to the dogs. The elephant goes to the market and there he gets bananas and eats to his heart’s content. Here also, your goal is to dive deep within or to do something to manifest God. If people are saying unkind things, why do you have to pay attention? Just go forward, like the elephant.

The thing you have to develop is poise. Your Guru has many good qualities, but his best and by far the most important quality is poise. If I did not have poise in my inner world, by this time I would have gone to Heaven thousands of times. You cannot imagine the amount of suffering that I carry inside my heart. But inside me there is a shield, and the name of that shield is poise. It is because of my inner poise that I am still alive. Is there anybody who does not need poise? Again, some people mistake callousness for poise. In their dictionary callousness and poise are synonyms. But in my dictionary, callousness is not synonymous with poise. It is something else.

Question: After we pray and offer it to you, is there anything we can do on the outer plane to create more harmony in a situation where we are in charge of something when there has been gossip or criticism?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, you have to make yourself more humble than a blade of grass. The second thing is to feel that you are not indispensable for this project. The responsibility for its success or progress depends on God. The feeling that you are indispensable has to go, and you have to feel that if you do not succeed, in no way will I blame you or delay your God-realisation — far from it! Anything that you are involved in, you will try your best, but then you have to say, “This much I can do. O God, give me more Grace so that I can do better.” The easiest way to create harmony is to discard the feeling of supremacy. As long as supremacy looms large, there is no harmony. Today, America is suffering because of its feeling of supremacy. When there is a feeling of supremacy, you can forget about harmony.

Another way to create harmony is to offer others appreciation. If someone has done something wrong, just say to that person, “If I had been in your position, I would have done something infinitely worse.” This is not false modesty; this is the way you can lift up the other person. You know for sure that you are not going to do such a stupid thing or bad thing. But to make that person happy, you will say, “In your circumstances, I would have done something infinitely worse.” By saying this, you will have already raised his standard high. He will be getting joy by thinking that he is not alone in making the mistake. Then you can play a trick. You can say, “I do not think I have the capacity to do it any better, but I strongly feel that you have the capacity to do it better, and you will succeed.” In a clever way you will be turning a sinner into a saint. You can call it cleverness or wisdom. I call it wisdom. You are using wisdom to change the life of someone and help him turn over a new leaf. You will never say that he is bad. If you say that he is bad, then you are creating one more enemy in your life. If you want to help anybody, if you want to raise someone up, there are two ways. One way is to offer advice, but who is going to listen to your advice? The other way, if you really want to lift someone up, is to bend. If you want to lift someone on your shoulders, do you keep your body erect? No, you bend. When you bend, you lower your own height so that the other person can climb on top of you. When he is high on your shoulders, in terms of height he is higher than your head, but whom will people appreciate? People will appreciate you because it is you who lifted him up. Once you lift him, you get the credit because you are so strong.

Question: It seems that as life goes on, responsibilities multiply. Is there a point where a job, a house and all the other things become a burden on our aspiration?

Sri Chinmoy: No. Always think that each responsibility is an opportunity to please God. If you take responsibility as a heavy elephant on your shoulders, then you are doomed. You will feel that your responsibilities are killing you. Always we have to use wisdom. If you have ten responsibilities, then you have to feel that you have ten opportunities. If you can please God, our Beloved Supreme, in ten different ways, will He not be happy?

If you think of responsibility as a heavy burden on your shoulders, you will be miserable. You will say, “Others are better off. They do not have any responsibility, but they get the same smile from Guru. They do nothing, nothing. I am going to another city to lead a Centre and doing so many things that prevent me from being in Guru’s physical presence. Then he is smiling at others in exactly the same way.” These kinds of thoughts will torture you.

If you take responsibility as opportunity, you will say, “I am so lucky to have this opportunity. Who cares what others are doing? They are not qualified in this field. That is why Guru is sending me to this place and that place. If he has confidence in me, then I should also develop confidence that I can please him in his own way.” Every time a new responsibility comes, take it as a golden opportunity. When you say ‘golden opportunity’, then you are bound to get joy. Opportunity carries a sweeter than the sweetest feeling, whereas responsibility can carry a bitter feeling.

Your name means progress, faster than the fastest progress. How will you make faster than the fastest progress? By taking responsibility as such? No. Always take responsibility as opportunity. In my case, at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram I had only two or three responsibilities, but in the beginning that was enough to destroy my joy. To somebody I had to go each day and give a rose from the Mother. At first I did not like to do it, but later the divine in me took it as an opportunity. Then I had to distribute raw eggs from the Mother. It was my responsibility not to drop and break the raw eggs. These were the kinds of responsibilities I had. Now, daily hundreds of responsibilities loom large before me. I take them all as opportunities because the Divine in me really takes them that way. Similarly, in your case, take each responsibility as an opportunity. And if you have the capacity to please the Supreme in ten ways, why do you have to restrict yourself to only one?

Question: I wanted to see beauty in myself because that is what my soul's name is. I felt like my soul told me, "If you want to see me, then you have to see beauty and goodness in other people." Is that a legitimate experience of my soul?

Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely. But do not take others as separate from yourself. Take them as an extension of your own being, your own earthly existence. When you look in a mirror, you can see any part of your body. You can hold up your little finger and see if it is good or beautiful. Then you can hold up two, three or four fingers. If they are your own fingers, you will always see them as good. In the same way, take each individual that you are encountering as a limb of your own body. If you take them as a third person, it may be very difficult to see beauty in them. A third person can be a friend or he can easily be an enemy. My little finger is not my enemy. My thumb is not my enemy. Any part of my physical body is not my enemy. They are my friends. In a machine, we need all the parts. In the same way that you take your body as one unit, you have to take each human being as part and parcel of your own reality. When you can feel this, it is very, very easy to see good things. If you want to appreciate yourself, easily you can because you are under no obligation to listen to others who may say, “Oh, she is not beautiful.”

Always take the whole world as part and parcel of your own existence. Do not take the world as a third party. If you take the world as a third party, then competition comes forward. Always see the world inside you — not before you, around you or behind you. See the world inside your own heart, inside your own divine reality. This divine reality is all beauty. Beauty is blossoming sleeplessly and breathlessly inside your heart.

Question: Before I do anything, I always weigh the pros and cons. Is this a bad habit?

Sri Chinmoy: You weigh the pros and cons because your mind is so powerful. Luckily your mind surrenders to your heart. Definitely it surrenders to your heart, but it gives a brave fight before it surrenders! In some cases, the heart loses in the battlefield of life. In your case, the heart wins eventually. Always what we need is the heart’s intensity, the heart’s feeling of oneness with the Master’s will. Recently I asked you to do something. You knew what I wanted, but you were giving the excuse that you did not have enough money. But if you use your heart, then money comes out of the blue because your oneness with me is bound to work a miracle. When anyone identifies himself with my heart, then my heart can create constant miracles.

If God asks me to do something, that means He has given me the capacity to do it. I could not have done anything that I have done for the world if God had not given me the capacity. Similarly, when I ask someone to do something, I am absolutely sure that God has given that person the capacity. Otherwise, I will not open my big mouth. No, no, no. If I ask you to do something, rest assured that the capacity is given, even more than you need, because it has come from the highest Source. A mother knows whether her child will be able to lift up one pound or two pounds or five pounds. In exactly the same way, when God tells us to do something, He knows how much capacity we have. At that time, God will not ask us to do anything beyond our capacity. In almost all cases, our problems can be solved in a better way if we use the heart instead of the mind.

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