Question: Is there a way to get purity through action?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. You can get purity through action, but you have to know what kind of action it is. The action that demands constant satisfactory results will not be able to give you purity. You do something; you throw the shot. You have practised very hard and now you will wait for the result. You say, “I want to place first.” Your mind will say that you deserve it. From the mind’s point of view, you deserve it. From the vital’s point of view, you deserve it. From the physical’s point of view, you deserve it. But from the soul’s point of view, perhaps you don’t deserve it, because the soul will say, “It is not what you do, but how you do it.” Did you do it devotedly, did you do it soulfully? If there is a competitive spirit inside, if there is any jealousy inside, if there is a kind of pride or vanity inside, the soul will observe.

Then God will come and see; He will be the judge. He will see whether you are doing it with the idea or the feeling that you are just the instrument. If you have the feeling that you are the shot and God is the thrower, then automatically you become the instrument. If you are just the instrument, you are bound to get one hundred per cent in purity. You are doing nothing; God just picked you up from the ground and He is doing the throwing. So how can you not be pure, since God is all Purity? If you do it with the idea that you have become one with the soul, if it is immaterial to you whether you stand first or last, if the result you will offer to God, then you may get 75 out of 100. If you are throwing it most devotedly, without any jealousy, without any feeling of competition, but only with selfless detachment, you are bound to get 70 or 75 out of 100. Again, if you do it with an aggressive feeling, just to feed your pride and vanity, at that time you will get probably zero or five or ten. Five you may get because you have worked very hard, but when it is time for the real judgement, you may get zero. But if you do it devotedly and soulfully, 75 you will get. And if you can feel that you are not the doer, but that you are the shot itself and God has thrown you, if you can feel you are not responsible at all, then you will get 100 out of 100.

Again, when you do something, you have to use your heart and soul. Otherwise you will strike your younger sister and say, “No, it was not I. It was God who slapped my sister.” God is not there. But if you become absolutely one with your younger sister with your love, affection, concern and compassion, then if she has done something really wrong and your love-power does not work, then perhaps your threatening-power is needed. If you feel this from the very depth of your heart at the time you give her a slap, then you will feel that it is not you who have given her a slap, but God who has done it. You are just an instrument; God has utilised you. If you feel this, then you are getting again 100 out of 100.

But just because you are older than your sister, if you feel, “She is an idiot. I know so much about spiritual life and about earthly life, so I have every right to slap her,” you are wrong. You will do the action, but who is inspiring you, who is guiding you? It is your undivine vital that is instigating you. If your vital makes you feel that by striking her you are bringing her to some understanding or divine wisdom, then you are getting zero, absolutely zero.

So when you do something, you have to know whether you are being instigated by your vital or inspired by your soul, or illumined by the Supreme. If the Supreme is illumining you, if the Supreme is using you as an instrument to perfect your sister, then you are purity itself; your action is all purity. And if your soul, which sees the light, is inspiring you to do the right thing, then there is 50 per cent purity. But if you are being instigated, then there is 99 per cent impurity.