Three strangling sisters: fear, jealousy and insecurity
Part I — Fear
Fear of the spiritual lifeWhen you are uncertain about the spiritual life, when you are not sure whether you will be able to enter into it wholeheartedly, then you become afraid. But one day when you have had a very good meditation, ask yourself, "Has the outer world fully satisfied anybody?" Then try to identify yourself with others who are not aspiring, with your friends and the members of your family. At that time you will have a real magnet within you, so just pull them. You will see that what they have is all frustration. Some may be very rich and prosperous, some may have big families, but their life is all frustration. And you will see that you do not have thousands or millions of dollars, you have no friends or family, nothing; yet you are the happiest person. What has made you happy? Your aspiration, your meditation. Everybody is crying for one thing: happiness. A child wants to be happy; an old man wants to be happy. You have to ask why this child and this old man are not happy. The answer will come to you that a child will not be happy even if you place before him all the toys and dolls in the world. Immediately he will look sad and then he will just throw them aside. In the case of the old man, millions of things he has wanted; ten or twenty things he has received. Some old men have got from life everything they wanted, but even then they are not at all happy. Perhaps God has fulfilled ten thousand desires that they had, but they are still not happy because there is no end to their desires.
Another problem once you have accepted the spiritual life is the fear of rejection. You are afraid that although you have accepted the Truth and the Light, they have not accepted you. This is your main problem. You have accepted this path; now has the path accepted you or not? You have accepted me as your Master; yet you are not sure whether I have accepted you wholeheartedly as my true disciple. You appreciate my spiritual qualities; do I appreciate your spiritual qualities? Now, you have to feel that I do appreciate your good qualities. That is why your good qualities respond. Because I have accepted you, I show you my concern, love and blessings; and in turn, you are showing me your love and concern. Just feel that acceptance came from me first, not because you came and saw me, no! It was destined. It is not who comes to whom but who accepts whom. I might come to your house and you might not accept me as your Master. Again, you might come to my place and I might not accept you. You have to feel that acceptance comes right from the Master, not from the disciple. The disciple tells the Master outwardly, "I want to be your disciple." But the Master is a tricky man: before he even sees or talks to the disciples he accepts or rejects them. Inwardly he has already made the decision.
When you have the feeling that the Master accepts or rejects you before you open your mouth, then your problem is solved. It is just because the Master has shown you divine Love and inner Light that you are able to offer your aspiring love. And if you give service in some way, you have to know that the Master has already served you. Feel that I have done the thing for you which you are doing for me; that I have done this very thing and much more in infinite measure, beyond comparison. When it is a matter of service, concern, love and all that you have given me, feel that I have given you much more. You have accepted me as your Guru; I have accepted you as my disciple. Here is mutual acceptance, but whose acceptance is stronger? The moment you feel that my acceptance of you is much more sincere, more powerful and more fulfilling, then all your problems will be solved; immediately they are bound to be solved.
Fear of the vastAt times we fear the expansion of our limited consciousness. A child likes something very vast. If you bring him something very vast and put it in front of him, he will appreciate and admire it. But at the same time if you ask the child if he wants to be as vast as the thing that you are showing him, he will be afraid. If you show an elephant to the child, he will appreciate and admire it. But if you ask him, "Do you want to be like this elephant?" his immediate reaction will be, "No, no, no!" He will feel that the elephant will strike him.
This is also true of adults. When we think of something vast, we like and appreciate it. But we are so limited that we cannot expand ourselves into the ocean, into the vast. We see and appreciate the vastness of the ocean from the shore. But if somebody asks us to become the ocean, we immediately think of the water-animals inside, see the tumultuous waves and think of the terrible storms. Immediately we say, "No! I can appreciate the ocean from a distance, but I don't want to be the ocean because there are many things inside it that will devour me."
An ordinary person likes an airplane. When the plane is in flight he appreciates and admires the pilot, and everything above and below is at that time beautiful. But if somebody asks him, "Do you want to become a pilot?" he will say, "Oh, no." He is ready to go from here to any part of the world. But if you ask him to be a pilot, immediately he will think of the height and be frightened.
So when we see the vastness of Reality with our physical mind or with our vital, we are scared to death. Why? Because we do not have the capacity to identify ourselves with the vast, with vastness itself. We are ready to appreciate, we are ready to admire; but when it is a matter of becoming or growing into that vastness, we are terribly afraid.
We have to know what we are and what we are growing into and that is Vastness itself. But what is it that resists? It is our fear. In everything we see, fear looms large. Always fear comes because we do not know how to identify ourselves with something that is beyond our normal capacity. In the beginning we have no fear; we just appreciate. But when the time comes for us to grow into the vastness, we are afraid.
But we do have something else to save and protect us and that is the heart. If something as small as an insect comes along, the heart has the capacity to identify itself with this tiniest creature. With its concern, compassion and feeling of oneness, our human heart becomes one with the insect. And when this same heart looks at the vast sky, it can identify itself with the vastness. The poet uses his inner heart to look at the ocean and feel his total oneness with it; or he looks at the sky and becomes totally one with it. If he looks at a mountain, he becomes the mountain itself in his inner life, in his inner being. So the heart has the capacity to identify with anything, be it small or big.
In the spiritual life we use the heart and if we want to realise the highest Height with the heart as our sincere friend, devoted slave, then our journey is safe. The heart will not resist; it will always jump. We see this even with the emotional heart. When there is an emotional relationship between two people, how they jump to please each other! And if a person has a pure heart, an aspiring heart, then that person jumps into the spiritual life in quest of realisation. If we follow the path of the heart, we will feel at every moment a sense of satisfaction, because the heart is identifying itself with some vast reality. And that reality has boundless Peace, Light and Bliss to offer us. It is our aspiring heart that is the representative of our entire being, our entire existence.
So please try to follow the path of the heart. There will be no resistance and no fear because the heart is always in tune with the soul. The soul is all light and in light there is no hesitation, there is no resistance. The physical mind is still in darkness and it does not want to come out of darkness. The vital also is still in darkness and it cherishes its aggressive and undivine animal propensities. But the heart that is pure, that has received light from the soul, will feel that it is ready at every moment to offer its existence to the light of the soul. If we can consciously identify ourselves with the heart, it will carry us to the real source, which is the soul. Please feel that you are the heart. If you feel that your heart has the capacity to identify with my compassion and forgiveness, with my concern, love and blessing, then negative qualities of yours will automatically go away. Fear, doubt, anxiety and worries will disappear if you can identify yourself with positive qualities of mine.
Expansion conquers fearThe cause of fear is a sense of separation. When we go beyond our own boundaries without enlarging or expanding our consciousness, we feel that we are alienated and everybody is a stranger to us. But when we practise Yoga, we try to expand our consciousness. And while expanding, a time comes when our consciousness pervades the length and breadth of the world. With our conscious awareness we become one, totally one with the universe, with the universal Reality. Then from the universal Reality, the universal Light, we get boundless Power. With this Power, we can never be afraid of any individual or any circumstances.
This method is difficult. Sometimes it is very arduous and uncertain if we are wanting in tremendous determination. But we have to expand our consciousness consciously, soulfully and most powerfully; and in this way we can conquer fear. Through expansion, when we pervade the entire world, when we feel our very breath in other beings, in the entire universe, then we cannot be afraid of any thing. Through the expansion of our limited consciousness, our physical consciousness, our earth-bound consciousness, we can conquer fear.
The journey of fearThe root of fear is our ignorance. Fear comes into existence when we do not identify ourselves with the mightiest, with the most powerful. Once fear enters into us, it can manifest itself anywhere.
Fear first enters into the subconscious mind and then into the mind proper. It is the mind which brings forth fear. Then the mind is afraid it will be exposed. The mind causes you to be jealous; then later the mind thinks it will be punished because it has done something wrong. But the moment fear enters, please feel, "I am not in the mind, but in the heart. The Supreme is my Father and it is His sole concern to perfect me."
Feel that you are the heart. Feel that your heart has the capacity to identify with the Supreme's Compassion, Forgiveness and Concern, if you can identify yourself with positive qualities, then the negative qualities of fear, anxiety and worry will automatically go away.
Fear comes from feeling unduly responsible. But it is God who created you and He will protect His creation. You are the child of the Supreme and it is He who is responsible for everything. He is your Inner Pilot. He is around you and inside you. There can be no fear when you feel His security and protection. Now with your limited vision and outer understanding, you will say, "Where is the protection? My shop just burned to the ground!" But when something goes wrong, you have to feel that God is giving you a specific experience for some reason or that you may have opened yourself to the wrong forces. But since you have accepted the spiritual life wholeheartedly, you have to feel that you have come from the Source, where there is no fear. Fear comes only when we are in the limited being, in the limited consciousness.
If you want to fight fear, first we must accept it as an imperfection in our nature. We know that we do not want to remain imperfect. When we compose a poem or a song, we try to perfect it. We see if the metre and rhyme are correct, we see if it reads well and, if not, we see which word needs to be changed until it is perfect. So in our outer life as well as in our spiritual life we work until we are perfect. We have to see what gives us joy. If we think all the time, "I have fear, I have fear," then we shall dine with fear. If we think, "I have anger, I have anger," then we shall dine with anger. So let us take the positive approach: "I have no fear; I have only strength, inner strength. I have no anger; I have only peace and love." By thinking of strength we will conquer fear. If we seek the things which fulfil us spiritually, then we will achieve perfection.
If one is extremely sincere and if one knows the art of identification, then there is no fear at all. Although a child is only three years old, he is not afraid of his father, who is six feet tall and very robust. The child feels his oneness with his father. He knows that his father will not hurt him. In fact the child takes his father's strength as his very own. The child is not separate from the father because he has identified himself with his father. This is the child's wisdom. If we are consciously one with the Source, then there is no room for fear.
It is the unaspiring part of us that is afraid. The unaspiring is afraid of everything and yet it will not cry for help. The unaspiring is quite satisfied with fear. But the aspiring soul in us continually cries for Peace, Light and Bliss. This need of aspiration does not arise out of dissatisfaction; it comes from an infinite hunger for Delight. The aspiring soul in us will never be afraid of anything, because aspiration embodies Light. The soul's Light is always ready and eager to chase away fear. When we start our journey, the goal is unknowable. But the moment we start to walk, it becomes unknown. Then when we make progress, gradually the goal becomes known. When we reach the Goal, we become the Goal itself. When we become the Goal, how can we be afraid? The aspiring parts of us will always be inspired, fed, nourished and illumined by the Supreme.
Fear's transformer: lightFear means darkness. When you are afraid of something, either your mind or your vision is blocked you cannot see and immediately you are caught by fear. When darkness is all around, you are all fear. If the room is totally dark, you may be afraid that someone will come and stab you. But if the room is well-illumined, you can see that there is nobody there. Nobody is listening: you are all alone. Now our spiritual life is illumined not because of the electric light, but because of our soul's light. If light is there, it will immediately illumine darkness, which is taking the form of fear.
How can we deal with fear? We can deal with fear by making friends with our soul's light. If we think of our soul's light as our eternal helper, partner, saviour, then immediately it will come to rescue us and fight against our fear. We must not be afraid of the soul's light. Some people, instead of approaching the light, are afraid of their own saviour. Although they want to achieve light and see light, they feel that they will be exposed if the light manifests itself before them. On the contrary, light will not expose; it will only illumine.
The soul is all light. The body is full of ignorance, limitation and imperfection. From the soul we can bring forward the soul's light, which will permeate our outer existence. Then there will be no fear. Fear is in the physical, not in the soul. If we can become consciously one with our soul, we will see that fear has no existence in our life.
Some people are afraid that the spiritual Master will use his light to expose their weaknesses. But the moment they have faith in the Master, the feeling arises within them, "It is my concern to be good and it is my Master's concern to make me good." Then there will be no fear. The moment you think you have done something wrong, please feel that it is your Master's concern, infinitely more than your own, to make you perfect. Then you will have no fear. Fear comes because you feel, "I will be exposed. I have to change so much." First of all, you will not be exposed. And change is achieved not with your effort but with your Master's power, with his compassion. First you have to feel that ninety-nine percent of the work will be done by his concern and compassion and one percent by your own effort. Then, finally, you will feel that even your iota of effort has come through the Master. At that time, no matter how close the light is, there can be no fear.
If you can bring light into your system, then it will be all illumination. Your entire being, your entire existence will be flooded with light. If you invoke light and meditate on light, then automatically you will see your inner path. The part of you that is unlit, obscure and impure will easily become purified and illumined. Then there can be no fear.
Identification: the victory over fearFear means a sudden attack. It is similar to a brake on a car. In the car if you suddenly use the brake, the car will not go forward. If you want to make progress in the spiritual life, you must be all courage.
Because it is very arduous, no man of fear can ever walk along the path of spirituality. One has to be very brave in order to walk along the spiritual path. When fear enters, the road is closed. So it is better not to fear. Who fears? He who has no faith in a higher or stronger reality. If one can identify oneself with a higher reality, then there can be no fear. Even if the ignorance-sea appears right in front of you, you will be able to go on if you have faith in the Supreme. So always identify yourself with the higher light, higher authority, higher divinity.
Love knows no fearA child knows one way to conquer fear and that way is through love. We have to feel like God's child, all the time seated in His lap. A child has no fear because consciously or unconsciously he is always bringing his soul to the fore. He feels that he has his mother and father to protect him. An additional force he feels consciously behind him. But when we grow up, we feel there is nobody to think of us, take care of us or look after us. When we are thirteen or fourteen years old we begin to feel our responsibility. We have to do everything. At the same time, we feel that everybody is deserting us. In every way we feel slighted during adolescence.
We are afraid of God because we feel that He is omnipotent and impersonal. But again, our inner wisdom tells us that He is not standing in front of us with an iron rod at every moment. He is standing before us with all His Love and because of His Love we are drawn toward Him. His very Love is His omnipotent Power. Is there any power that can conquer the universe? The universe, God's entire creation, can be conquered only by His Love.
We see that with our human love we may conquer people, but afterwards frustration looms large with many other problems. But when we offer an iota of divine love, we can enter into the hearts of hundreds of human beings and feel safe. We feel that we have built homes in hundreds of hearts through our divine love.
When we love God as our very own and enter into Him, our Source, and into His creation, we conquer fear. When the Creator is pleased with us, when the Creator takes care of us, we need not be afraid of His creation because the Creator is infinitely more powerful than His creation. When we think of our Almighty Father, the Divine, the Absolute, the Infinite, we have to think of Him as all Love.
Fear, strength and confidenceThe opposite of fear is strength and strength comes from confidence. A human being may unconsciously cherish fear because he does not have enough confidence in himself. He may feel that somebody or something else is more powerful and therefore he is afraid of that person or thing. But if he feels enough confidence in himself, then he cannot be afraid of anything or anybody on earth.
Fear exists precisely because we do not feel that the Almighty is our Source. We feel that fear is something which exists for everyone in our daily life. No. Fear cannot exist if we see the opposite of fear which is strength, inner strength, inner power; and the source of this inner power is the soul.
Fear in the vital and mental worldsFear in the vital world is not as dangerous as fear in the mental world. When the vital is afraid of something, the vital is ready to fight. First it is afraid of someone or something. Then immediately it tries to fight. It thinks that the other person or thing will come and strike first. So before it is attacked, the vital strikes. Invariably it loses the battle. And when it loses, the vital surrenders immediately. When somebody's vital is dissatisfied with me, it immediately strikes me very hard. Then when the vital sees I am infinitely stronger, it surrenders. The physical fear also takes a very short time to surrender.
But when in the mind somebody is dissatisfied with me, that person takes time to strike: a few minutes, a few hours, a few days or a few months. The mind can wait a very long time; it waits for the opportunity to strike the Master. Slowly, steadily and secretly it strikes. But once it has struck and it is conquered, the mind does not surrender. The mind has very little fear. And when it sees that the other person has defeated it, even then, it has no fear. Again, tomorrow it will gain strength to come and strike.
Of all the fears, physical, vital and mental, the strongest and most stubborn is mental fear. The vital surrenders to the heart much sooner than the mind. The vital comes with impurity and obscurity, but it has enthusiasm to do something, to become something. The vital is ready to become a naughty boy. The mind does not want to be known as a naughty boy, yet at the same time the mind is ready to play all kinds of tricks. It is beneath its dignity to be a naughty boy but it is constantly doing the actions of a naughty boy, through jealousy, worries, doubt and other qualities. The vital sometimes is very naughty, aggressive, restless and stubborn, but all of a sudden it sits at the feet of the heart and says, "Brother, I am now tired, exhausted. I need rest. Only inside you can I take rest." But even if the mind is tired and exhausted, it will hide. It will not show its tiredness so that it can hide and strike the heart at any moment.
So fear in the vital world we can conquer much sooner than fear in the mind: The vital surrenders at the end of its fight. The mind, at the end of the fight, craves another battle even though it has lost the battle against the heart, against the reality.
The fear of not pleasing one's MasterA disciple can easily overcome the fear of not pleasing his Master if, during his meditation, for only two minutes or even two seconds he can remember a smile or a blessing that he has received from the Master at some time. If once I have shown you boundless affection outwardly, as inwardly I always do, or if there is any special thing which you feel I have done for you, then out of that particular incident you can conquer this fear.
Let us say that I meditated in front of your shrine most powerfully. Then you should say to yourself, "If Guru is not pleased with me will he meditate in front of my shrine?" Always ask yourself this kind of question. There are hundreds of things I have done for you about which you can simply ask, "If he is not pleased with me, how or why will he do this?" Then, the moment fear comes, say to yourself, "Definitely I am pleasing him; otherwise he wouldn't do this kind of thing for me."
When your sacrifice, your service and your loving adoration are not recognised by me or by others, say to yourself, "I am glad." Don't feel that I am displeased with you just because I haven't recognised your loving and devoted service, your supreme sacrifice. No, I have acknowledged it in the inner world. The moment it is done you are blessed, appreciated, adored.
Sometimes you expect something from life and, if that particular thing is going to be denied, fear enters into you. For example, I may ask a disciple to get his Master's degree. Then later I might tell him, "You don't have to get your degree; now stop studying." If the disciple listens to me cheerfully and says, "Guru, I don't need a Master's degree," then he conquers his fear. Always try to feel that the thing that is most necessary and indispensable in your life is already given to you and that is aspiration. The most important thing in your life you have already been given. So if you remain in that aspiration, there can be no fear.
Sometimes it happens that you are pleasing me, but the hostile forces get malicious pleasure by telling you that you are not pleasing me. When the forces start telling you this, tell them it is not so. Always separate yourself from anything that creates problems. The moment the fear comes that you are not pleasing me, throw it away. Write down one hundred times the questions and answers I have mentioned and you will see that the answers are so satisfactory that fear automatically goes away; fear will disappear.
So if you fear that you are not pleasing me, I wish to say that if I really come first in your life, then you can always feel that you are pleasing me. Again, you have to feel that there is no end to your pleasing me. All my spiritual children have to feel that I really come first in their life.
The fear of failureYou have to know what failure is and what failure can do. Fear is bound to go when you know that failure is not something shameful, damaging, destructive or painful. Feel that failure is something natural. When a child starts to walk, he often stumbles and falls down. But the moment he knows how to walk, he does not consider that his stumbling was a failure. He thinks that it was a natural process to stand up for a moment and then fall again.
If you think of failure in that light, not as something that is against or totally distant from reality but as something that is forming, shaping, moulding and becoming reality, then there cannot be any fear. We take failure as something contrary to our expectation and our God-realisation. But failure is not contrary to our expectation or our realisation. Failure is something that is urging us on to our own realisation. For what we call failure, in God's Eye, is only an experience.
Where is failure? In the body, in the vital, in the mind or in the heart? If failure is in the physical body, then you are not seeing the reality that you have already achieved. If failure is in the vital, then you should feel that the things you have achieved are real and solid; they are not imagination. If you see failure in the mind, then you have to feel that in what the mind has given you there is some solid truth, solid light. And if you have failure in the heart, then you have to feel, "Hundreds and millions of times I have identified myself with my Inner Pilot, with my Guru, with the Supreme."
Always take failure as an experience. Do not take it as a finished product or as the culmination of an experience, but rather as the process of an experience. If you think that failure is the end of your experience, then you are mistaken. In a long race one may start very slowly, but then gradually he increases his speed and eventually he reaches his goal. But if he thinks that since his start was slow he will not be able to reach the destination, then he is making a deplorable mistake. If there is no failure, naturally you will run the fastest. But if there is failure, take it as an experience that is just beginning. The end is the success. And then who can say that you have failed? Who is the judge? If you are the judge, then no matter what you do and what you achieve, you will always feel that you have failed. But if somebody else is the judge, then he will know whether your so-called failure is real. He will call your experience a failure only when you do not want to overcome what you feel is wrong within you. When you give up the spiritual life, that is failure. Otherwise there is no such thing in my terminology as failure. Never give up the spiritual life; and never give up the eagerness to become an unconditionally surrendered disciple. Since you will not give up that ideal, how can you become a failure? Your life will be constant progress. You will become a failure the day you give up the idea of becoming my unconditionally surrendered disciple. That day marks your failure.
Part II — Jealousy
Jealousy: a sad story for allThe other day a spiritual person came and spoke to me while I was in the car. At that time I was very displeased with my disciples because they were cherishing unbearable, unthinkable jealousy. So when this spiritual person came and asked me who my good disciples were, I said, "My good disciples are those who cherish jealousy."
He asked me, "How can it be? Your good disciples are those who cherish jealousy?"
I said, "Yes."
He then asked me, "Who is your best disciple?"
I answered, "My best disciple is the person who cherishes the most jealousy."
Then he said, "How can it be? How can that person be your best disciple?"
I said, "It is absolutely true, because that person who has the most jealousy is helping me to withdraw from the world."
Each disciple has very good qualities. There is not a single disciple who does not have very good qualities. But the undivine quality which you all cherish to such a harmful extent is jealousy. This jealousy is ruining all your possibilities and destroying your inner potentialities. Depression is a very negative force. With your depression you can ruin your own life. Also, since depression is a contagious disease, it may enter into others. But when you are depressed you are destroying only your own capacity. However, when you are jealous, then unconsciously or deliberately you are trying to destroy others' good qualities as well.
But jealousy will not succeed in destroying the good qualities of others, because if others have come into the world with some capacity, it will only increase. What you should do is to try to increase your own capacity. If you try to destroy the capacity of others with your jealousy, the inner punishment which you will reap will be most severe.
We are jealous of people because they have done things that we have not been able to accomplish. But let us see how far jealousy has taken us. If we meditate on ourselves to see what we have accomplished in the mind, in the vital or in our life by being jealous, we will see that our only accomplishment was to invite the undeserving guests of limitation, imperfection and destruction into our system. Jealousy can never expand our consciousness; on the contrary, with jealousy we see that limitation enters into us. When limitation enters into us, we come to feel that imperfection, his friend, has also come. Limitation first comes in and opens the door, and then imperfection, our second undivine friend, comes in. Imperfection is always followed by destruction. So this is what happens when we become jealous of others. These three brothers come in one after the other — limitation, imperfection and destruction.
Sometimes jealousy comes from a feeling of competition. In the inner, spiritual life there is no competition, but there is a necessity which we call progress. Let us say that we want to make progress; we want to transcend ourselves. If somebody else is with us, then immediately his mind or our mind thinks that we are competing. In the ordinary life we compete with others to show supremacy, but in the spiritual life we are not in competition with others. We want only to transcend our own capacities; but while transcending our capacities sometimes others feel we are competing. They may think we are competing with them or we may feel there is a competition, but this is not the case.
Let us separate ourselves into two beings. Imperfection is one half and our sincere cry for perfection is the other half. Let us try to reach our perfection. Let our inner cry for perfection run toward its destination. Only as it reaches its goal will it become fully illumined. When it becomes fully illumined the dark and ignorant forces will also experience a flood of illumination. Before we reach the destination, the dark forces challenge us and we are afraid and scared to death. But once we reach the destination, the ignorant forces do not dare to enter into us because they feel that they would be totally lost.
Once our jealousy is gone, immediately we will feel that the person we were jealous of is now a perfect friend. We will feel kindness and love for him or her. More than that, we will feel that we are ready to become the slave of that person. If that person asks us to do something, we will gladly do it because inwardly we will feel a kind of remorse. We will feel that since we attacked that person, we now deserve punishment. Finally, since jealousy is like an arrow, once it has gone away, we will feel relieved that something painful has been removed from our system.
Women frequently have a little more jealousy than men. When jealousy comes into a woman, her life is finished. Women's jealousy binds them and then they don't want to see anything else. Their jealousy won't allow others to grow.
But men also have their own difficulties. The difficulty with men is often ego. Their ego wants to be destructive. It says, "This has to be done the way I want it to be done; otherwise I will break it." When men want to destroy something, they need courage and strength, so they aspire. If a man is aspiring, then he is fighting against fear, doubt and jealousy. Men cry for power and most of the time they use it for the wrong purpose — to destroy. So men are breaking and women are binding — both are equally undivine.
Women don't want to acquire anything. They are jealous because they see that somebody is surpassing them. They want to pull them back. They say, "You can't go if we can't go." If women used the time that they waste being jealous in cultivating their own lives, they would surpass those of whom they are jealous.
When men start showing their ego, they usually want to get something. When they know that they have something to do, then they think of how they can pull the other person down; and for that they need strength.
How to conquer jealousyThere are many ways that we can conquer jealousy. The ordinary human way of conquering jealousy is to say, "I can sing far better than that but I don't sing because I don't want to waste my time." This is a clever way of conquering jealousy by making yourself feel that you are better at something than the person you are jealous of.
Another way to convince yourself that you are not jealous of someone is to think most sincerely of how many times your Master has shown you his affection, concern and blessings. Immediately you will feel such a flow of gratitude and such joy that jealousy will no longer find a home in your heart.
A third way, which is very easy, is for you to say to yourself, "Would I openly be jealous of that particular person if my Master were standing in front of me?" You may think that since your spiritual Master is not in the room, then he will not know what you are thinking. But any thought in your mind is recorded in his heart. If you are jealous of someone or if you are angry, then when I meditate on you early in the morning I will see the quintessence of your jealousy and anger which will appear as a black dot on your consciousness. I don't have to concentrate on you for three hours because I receive the impression from this dot and I know that the dot is coming from jealousy or anger or doubt.
Finally, the real spiritual way to conquer jealousy is to feel that you are one with the person who is the object of your jealousy. For example, if someone is a better actor than you are, feel that it is you who are acting. In this way, you can conquer jealousy and, at the same time, expand your own consciousness.
At times we may wonder whether jealousy has originated in us or has entered into us from someone else. We know that if we have jealousy, we are directing it toward someone. But if we didn't have jealousy in the morning and it comes to us while we are in a very deep, high, pure and sublime meditation, when the mind is very calm and quiet, then we may be sure that the jealousy is coming from somewhere else.
Again, if we have not meditated deeply, the mind may be full of our own negative qualities, and the jealousy may come from within. Or if we have not emptied the inner vessel for a long time, jealousy may still be deep within. We may think, "For two days I have not cherished jealousy." But if we have cherished it for the previous six months, then this jealousy is deeply rooted and will take time to be pried out of its nest. In deep meditation, we become more conscious of these negative qualities lying dormant inside us. But even when we are not meditating, in general we do know whether we attack someone or someone attacks us.
Our deep meditation acts like a cure for the jealousy disease. When we are sick we will take our medicine. We have suffered from jealousy, fear and doubt many times and we know the after-effect. It is not the actual act of fear or doubt or jealousy but the after-effect, when we become conscious of what we have done, which makes us miserable.
So since we have suffered the after-effect many times in this incarnation, then we shifted immediately take action. In India, when you suffer from malaria, they prescribe quinine. Quinine is very bitter. When you cherish jealousy, at that time meditation is like quinine, very bitter and dry. But if you know that the medicine will cure you of your fever of doubt, fear and jealousy, the best thing is to take it. In this case meditation is the best remedy.
Jealousy and responsibilityWe can avoid thinking ill of others if we feel that we are only responsible for ourselves. We should not waste our time thinking "Oh he is not doing this, so he is not dedicating himself to God." Nor should we think, "Oh, he is so devoted, the Master is so pleased with him!" We do not know who is dedicating himself to God or whom the Master is pleased with. We can only know about ourselves. When we die, at that time God will never ask us any questions about anybody else. He will ask us, "What have you done for Me?" If we speak about what others have done or not done, God will say, "Am I asking you questions about others or about yourself?"
If we spend our time cherishing negative thoughts about someone — jealousy, doubt or anger — then we are making that person our Guru. We should be very careful of how much time we spend in thinking of others and how much time we spend in thinking of the Supreme. If we waste time thinking of others with our doubt, jealousy, anger, and other negative forces and try to pull others down, then we will never make any progress in our spiritual life.
In order to avoid being a victim to others' negative thoughts and jealousy, we have to consciously meditate on divine Peace, Strength and Power. When we invoke Peace from above, then that Peace is our protection. When we invoke Light, then Light is our protection. But if we do not consciously meditate, if we do not aspire, then even if we are innocent, protection will not be available to us. There are many sincere people on earth who have a sense of moral duty and who are leading a pure life. In order to have protection, both purity and sincerity are extremely necessary. But beyond purity and sincerity what one needs is aspiration. So we have to be wise. We have to meditate, for our meditation is our protection.
If we want to make progress, we should not criticise anybody or speak ill of anybody. We have enough problems of our own. When we criticise someone, we are trying to bring forward the problems that are being shouldered by him. Let us not criticise, let us strive only for our own perfection.
We should be responsible for ourselves and let others be responsible for themselves. In this way everybody will have ample freedom to reach his goal. Once he reaches his goal, he sees that his goal is the same as others' goal. But sometimes in our spiritual life a most deplorable thing takes place. We feel that our goal is not the right one and others' goal is the right one. Therefore we try to change our goal. By constantly changing our goal we arrive at no goal. Others, too, have the same feeling. They feel that our goal is the real one, whereas their goal is a false goal. Therefore they try to change their goal again and again but arrive at no goal.
We start criticising them because we feel that they have misled and misguided us. But we cleverly forget that it was we who wanted to follow them on our own. They, too, criticise us when they realise that they have achieved nothing by following us. They criticise us for our wrong guidance. But they cleverly manage to forget that it was they who followed us on their own.
Again, there comes a time while we are walking along the spiritual path when our hearts become large and compassionate, loving and illumining. At that time we not only claim others' achievements as our very own but also claim their imperfections as our very own, for we come to realise that if we want to become integral and whole, we cannot leave them aside because of their imperfections. We cannot ignore them and ignore their achievements out of sheer jealousy. No, we cannot do that. We love their Source, the Supreme. Just because we love the root, we have to love the entire tree: the trunk, the branches, the flowers and the fruits.
This is the realisation that our Inner Pilot grants us. Again, the same realisation their Inner Pilot grants them. Needless to say, our Inner Pilot and their Inner Pilots are one, our outer realities must needs be one and inseparable. Together we fly into the skies of God-aspiration. Together we enter into the fields of God-manifestation.
The disciples' jealousyIn the ordinary human life, we see jealousy and we feel jealousy. At the time, we are not conscious of what jealousy is or whether we want to transcend it. In the spiritual life, we want to conquer everything that is damaging to us or that is creating any kind of sadness or sorrow in our spiritual Master's heart. When a Master sees jealousy in a disciple, he immediately gets a tremendous blow. He wants to see his own thought in the disciple's life, and his own life in the disciple's existence. But when he sees jealousy in his disciple, then the Master feels sad because that particular disciple had promised him that he would cry for perfection and try to go beyond his limitation. But the Master does not separate himself from the disciple because the disciple is now suffering from or cherishing jealousy. He cannot separate himself from this weakness which he sees in the disciple.
Jealousy exists because the disciple feels that the Master only cares for others. But if the seeker feels that he and the Master are absolutely one, then there can be no jealousy. The easiest way to conquer jealousy is to feel that your Master has a body and that body is composed of the disciples' aspiration. Each disciple must feel that I belong entirely to him. Each individual should feel that he or she belongs to me and is a limb of my body. My right hand cannot be jealous of my nose, even though the nose is not doing the same things that the hand does. The hand has to perform its duty, and the nose has to perform its duty. In the spiritual life, the disciple can conquer jealousy by becoming one with the Guru outwardly and inwardly. When a disciple becomes one with the Master outwardly and inwardly, he feels that he is nothing other than the direct representative of the Master. He feels his total oneness with the Master. So my disciples can easily overcome jealousy if they can stay in my all-loving boundless consciousness.
In various ways, I appreciate the disciples' service for the Divine and the Supreme in me. Sometimes I bless them and appreciate them in the outer world. But if I appreciate someone on the outer plane, ego will come forward in some cases, all his aspiration will be destroyed. In ninety-nine cases out of one hundred, disciples fall like anything when I appreciate outwardly. Sometimes outer recognition is a curse. It is inner recognition that is the greatest blessing. So when my disciples do something for me, my physical body, my physical mouth, may not appreciate them, but my soul, which is all knowledge and wisdom, will appreciate them. The inner world is very vast and in that inner world I do appreciate each of them. Every disciple of mine can feel my inner blessingful recognition. Inner recognition I give the moment somebody thinks of doing something for me. Before he even acts, I offer my inner appreciation.
When you get outer recognition, immediately forces from others come in and try to disturb you. A short time ago I appreciated an individual most soulfully, most powerfully. Right from that day onward, that particular person descended like anything. Inwardly I have appreciated that person hundreds of times. Yet the moment others heard it, his own pride and vanity came to the fore; jealousy and wrong forces from others also entered him. There are disciples who do not bring anything material to me. In the outer world, they have nothing to show me, but inwardly they have offered me their heart. This pure heart is immeasurably precious to me. Again, there are disciples who have offered me money, help and assistance in various ways but inside this money and help there is no heart and inside their service there is no heart.
When a disciple does something great for me and I appreciate his achievement outwardly, if a third person sees it, at that time he should identify with the consciousness of the person who is offering his achievement to me, and he should feel that it was he himself who had achieved the thing. If the disciple can feel that the achievement of his brother disciple or sister disciple is the result of his own aspiration, then there can be no jealousy. Alternately, if the disciple can enter into my consciousness and stay inside me, then he will see that with me he himself is blessing the person who achieved the thing. If he wants to bless him then he can enter into me and be one with me. At that time, his own higher light and wisdom will devour his jealousy.
Again, the person who is being blessed has to immediately enter into my consciousness and become one with me. The person to whom I am showing attention will enter into me with his achievement, and I in turn will enter into him with my recognition of his merit.
I wish all my disciples to remain in my consciousness. This is not a difficult thing, but unfortunately some people are afraid of me, some consciously misunderstand me, others feel that I am making mistakes and that they have the wisdom to correct me. They feel I may be showing partiality to someone, so they want to correct me. This is impossible.
Unfortunately, in the West I have come across a particular kind of jealousy. Here a mother is jealous of her daughter and a father is jealous of his son. I am shocked; yet I have witnessed this with my own eyes. In the case of a spiritual Master, the spiritual father, it is otherwise. Since I am the spiritual father for my disciples, my very existence depends on their acceptance, on their aspiration and on their oneness with me.
Part III — Insecurity
Liberation from insecurityInsecurity goes away when we acquire the capacity of identification. Let us use the example of mothers and daughters. In America we see that the mother is often jealous of her daughter because the daughter is more beautiful or has a better education and job. No one adores the mother's beauty, knowledge, wisdom or university degree. Her jealousy takes the form of insecurity. She says, "Nobody appreciates me. Only my daughter is being appreciated." But if the mother is spiritual, she will immediately identify herself with her daughter's achievements and say, "I brought my daughter into the world and she is mine, all mine."
A mother has every right to claim her daughter as her own. And when she claims and identifies herself with her daughter, there can be no insecurity. If she feels that her daughter is but an extension of her own consciousness, then how can she feel insecure? The spectators may see a person put the shot very far with his right hand. Everybody has seen that he threw it with his right hand, but no one will say that he has used only the right hand and not the left. Of course not! The right hand has thrown the shot, but immediately the left hand will feel that it also should get some credit. Even if someone says, "He has achieved this victory with his right hand," the left hand will not be jealous or insecure. The left hand did not throw the shot, true. But if that hand or any other part of the body had refused to cooperate, then there would have been no co-ordination of the body. When throwing the shot with the right hand a counter movement from the left hand and balance from the feet are necessary.
When someone has stood first in shotput, immediately all parts of the body will feel that they have contributed by offering their capacity to bring about this achievement and success. This principle applies in team sports also. If a team wins, the captain or leader often accepts the trophy, but the other players also get tremendous joy. They feel that it is their success, their achievement, for which he is receiving the award. In any activity, when the leader receives something, immediately the other members of the group should feel that it is their success, their combined achievement. When there is the capacity of identification, there can be no insecurity. But when we can't identify ourselves with anything other than what we call our own, we are bound to feel insecure.
Are women more insecure than men?Spiritual Masters like Sri Ramakrishna and Lord Buddha didn't want to accept women as disciples. They felt there was something in women which made them unsuited to the spiritual life. When women get married and have a few children, what generally happens is that they forget the highest truth, God. They even forget their husbands; their only goal is to please their children and to be pleased by the children. Their children become their gods. When children come into women's lives, earth binds them and they, in turn, bind earth. In their children they seek security. As long as the children are happy the mother feels happy. She sees the face of her child as God, so her life-goal is in the child.
Both girls and boys are insecure. If a girl sees that her boyfriend is mixing with somebody else, immediately she becomes insecure; her whole world is smashed to pieces. Otherwise, if she were not insecure she could say, "Who cares for him? Let him go away. I don't need him." Similarly, if a boy sees that his girlfriend or his best friend is mixing with someone, then he feels miserable and his misery is also due to his insecurity.
The difference is that girls are a little more insecure than boys because girls want to possess all at once. If you want to possess something or someone all at once — the body, mind, heart, soul, everything — then naturally insecurity and frustration will come. If you want a bird and you try to grab the tail, feathers, eyes, nose, feet and every other part all at once, you see that it is impossible. You can only place your hand on one particular part of the bird. Now the reason that boys are not as insecure is because they will try to possess only one part at a time. They will take one part and gradually, gradually another part and another. So while girls immediately try to grab the whole and put a net around it, like trying to catch many fish at a time, boys take a fishing rod and are satisfied, with catching one fish at a time.
Both boys and girls are insecure; again both boys and girls are impure. Imperfection is imperfection. But insecurity comes because of the tremendous importance we give to possession. Insecurity goes away if possession goes away and oneness comes into our life.
Insecurity and impurityInsecurity itself is impurity and impurity itself is insecurity. They are real friends. Insecurity is impurity because like impurity insecurity binds us to something. Real purity never binds us, it only liberates us. So insecurity is nothing other than impurity.
Cherishing insecurityAbsolutely! We cherish insecurity within us; we have no sense of value. It is like the child who does not know the difference between sand and milk. If you put both in front of him, then he may eat sand or he may drink milk. We feel that insecurity is a most delicious fruit. But when it is compared with security, with inner joy and confidence, it is nothing. Once you have got real confidence, inner confidence make the comparison between insecurity and security and you will see the difference. Insecurity is like the tiniest ant, whereas security is like the combined strength of a million elephants.
Insecurity-sadnessInsecurity not only creates sadness but is itself a form of sadness. However, if one smiles soulfully, spontaneously from the heart, at that time he can never feel insecure. Your soulful smile means the solid, concrete manifestation of light on earth. And this light comes from your conscious, inseparable oneness with everyone and everything. We are all one; we all are the limbs of the One, Absolute Supreme. Knowing this, we should have no sense of insecurity at any time.
Transcending insecurityIn the spiritual life, if one can maintain one's height permanently there is no insecurity. Today an individual may do the best meditation and his spiritual Master may be partial to him; but tomorrow if that person does not maintain his standard the Master will have no hesitation in saying that his meditation was the worst of the worst. Again, if the seeker achieves a permanent standard of excellence and does good meditation all the time, he can never be insecure, because he will know that he is an expert in that field. But until one becomes the best, one is insecure.
Insecurity-wallsFirst we have to know which wall we are talking about. Is it the wall of fear, doubt, feelings of inferiority, insecurity or misunderstanding? If your Master says something and you interpret it in your own way, then you are erecting a wall of misunderstanding. When I say something, you have to feel that it is absolutely for your own good. Outwardly it may appear to be most painful and your doubting mind may say it is harmful to you. But if you have complete faith in your Master and his spiritual judgement, then you will see that it is only for your ultimate realisation that your Master has told you this. If you have that kind of feeling, then the wall of misunderstanding will immediately break down.
If the wall is insecurity, you have to ask yourself why you feel insecure after you have sincerely dedicated yourself to your Master. If you have the feeling that you are totally dedicated to the Supreme, then that feeling undoubtedly has more power than your insecurity. You have to practise sincerity in your life, in your actions and in your dedication. Just saying, "I shall not be afraid," means nothing. Instead, you have to feel that you are always ready to do anything your Master wants you to do. Only then will insecurity go away. Security comes from identification with somebody higher than yourself. If I am an inch higher than you, then you are bound to get security from me. In this way, the way of identification and faith in the Master, these "walls" vanish from our lives.
Security in devotionThere are two words that we often use: attachment and devotion. When we say that we are either attached or devoted to someone else, we need to know what our purpose is. In attachment, we cherish a real hope, a merciless hope, a useless hope, that if we can be attached to someone, then he will be pleased with us and he will please us in our own way. But this a spiritual Master will never do. Still, we feel that he will be able to fulfil our desires and make us happy. This is the ultimate purpose of attachment. But if we are devoted to someone, then our feeling is, "I will be so glad, so grateful to him if he accepts me as his instrument, to please him in his own way." This is not a hope. It is more than that. A kind of inner certainty is coming to us that this person will utilise us to please him in his own way.
This is detachment, absolute detachment. Spiritual people will approach their Master with devotion and say, "I am detached from all desires. Only if you utilise me for your divine purpose will I be happy." Again, there is a higher form of detachment in which the seeker says, "Even if the Master does not utilise me for his own purpose, no harm, as long as he considers me his instrument. He has two pianos. This moment he wants to play on one piano and the next moment he wants to play on the other. Since I am one of these pianos, tomorrow he may play on me." But the highest detachment is to say, "He has created me. Now it is up to him to utilise me or not. He knows what is best for me. By not utilising me if he becomes happy, then let him remain happy."
In order to come to this highest stage of detachment, the seeker should always meditate on being a conscious, devoted and surrendered instrument. Otherwise ignorance will automatically pull him down and give birth to the desire to possess the Master in the seeker's own way. If we always keep before us the higher thought, the higher goal, then we will not be lost. If we don't reach the higher goal, then how will we reach the highest goal, which is to say that the Master knows what is best for us? We need to meditate on Peace, Light, Bliss and all other divine qualities so that we can hold and embody the highest. If we do not have that kind of meditation and aspiration, then automatically ignorance will make us cherish the hope that the Master will please us in our own way by fulfilling all our desires. The best thing is to think of aspiration: "I want to be good, I want to be pure, I want to be divine. Why? So that I can be a good instrument." And when we feel that we have become a good instrument, let us simply say, "By his infinite Grace, the Master has made me a very good instrument. Now it is up to him to utilise me or to utilise his worst possible instrument." In this way we maintain our highest status as a perfect instrument.
When we are really lacking in divine qualities, then the best thing is to pray for those qualities. So meditate on acquiring these divine qualities and when you have them in abundant measure then you can say, "Now you do with me whatever you feel is best." Right now, at every second, Peace is necessary for everyone, Light is necessary, Bliss is necessary, Delight is necessary, a sense of security is necessary, Purity is necessary and so forth. Then when we feel that we have achieved something, we can say, "Now I am secure; I have divine qualities in abundant measure. That is enough for me. Now let the Master give me what is best for me. Let him do with me whatever he feels is best. What is best for me he knows better than I do. Naturally he will give me everything that I need beyond my expectation." At this point there can be no insecurity in a seeker's life.
Part IV — Appendix
Editor's introduction to the First EditionFear, jealousy and insecurity have the power to strangle all our divine possibilities. In this book the God-realised spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy explains the doings of these undivine forces and shows the aspiring spiritual warriors how to conquer and transform them.