Question: If we are up very late and we feel that if we get up to meditate at our usual time, we will not be able to get by the next day with that much sleep, should we meditate later or should we meditate at the usual time and go back to sleep after our meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: If you have a fixed hour to meditate, the best thing is always to get up at that hour, except under most unusual and unavoidable circumstances. After even three or four hours of rest one can easily meditate. But if somebody has gone to bed only half an hour or an hour before his scheduled meditation time, then it will be very difficult for him to meditate, if not impossible. At that time there will be no meditation; it will only be a mental exercise and a physical torture. But if one has slept for three hours, then he should be able to meditate at his fixed time and afterwards go back to sleep.

When you have a fixed hour for meditation, feel that at that hour your Beloved will come and knock at your door. If the person you love has made an appointment to meet you at a certain hour, you will definitely come to keep the appointment in spite of your lack of sleep, just because you love that person. So if God is your supreme Beloved, you will not allow Him to stand at the door and wait for you in vain. You will just run to let Him in. If you don't answer the door, then He will go away. Then, when you do get up, your meditation will not be as good as usual, and your soul will make you feel sad that you have disappointed your Beloved.