Question: When you look at the disciples, do you see that a lot of them are falling asleep or are they awake but just meditating badly?

Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes their meditation is very poor because there is no aspiration in it. They are not actually falling asleep, they are meditating badly. One or two may be sleeping, but as for the others, their meditation is clumsy and awkward because they are meditating in the mind. They are cherishing all kinds of nonsense, which I call jealousy, insecurity, fear, doubt and anxiety. They may be looking at me most intensely, most devotedly, but for hours or days they have cherished these and other undivine qualities. When they try to meditate, these undivine forces come and say, "Where are you going?" and try to prevent them from entering into the Light.

First you have to empty the inner vessel. If you start meditating without emptying the vessel, naturally those undivine qualities will come to the fore. The best thing is to think before your meditation that you have to throw them out of your system. You don't have to do it here. You can do it on your way, or you can do it at home. Then, when you come to the meditation Centre you will come with purity. Think of it like this-every day you are drinking nectar, which is meditation. Also every day you are drinking poison, which comes in the form of doubt, fear, jealousy, insecurity and emotional vital life. When you drink poison, what is it that saves you, what is the antidote? This antidote is faith-faith in your spiritual life, faith in your spiritual parents, faith in the Supreme. If you have no faith, it is useless. God Himself will not be able to make you realise God. When He comes and stands in front of you, you will doubt Him. If God stands in front of you in a physical form and tells you "I am God," you won't believe it, because in your mind you have established an image of God according to your sweet fancy, and God is not going to come to you to fulfil your sweet fancy. He will come to you in His own way, whatever He feels is the right way for your soul.

When you show a little aspiration, all the forces which you have not conquered at night or on previous days will come and try to hold you back. As long as you are fast asleep these enemies will say, "All right, you sleep. Now we can also take rest." But the moment you become alert, they will say, "Where are you going? You can't go beyond our domain," and they will begin to fight with you. The easiest and most effective way to conquer these forces is to smile inwardly and outwardly, with a sincere smile. If you can smile at your enemy and say, "Oh, you have come! I am ready to conquer you." Then you cannot lose. The greatest strength we have is our inner joy, and this inner joy comes from aspiration and from faith that whatever is best for us will come from the Supreme. So it is not always the outer sleep that ruins the disciples' meditation, but the inner sleep.