Question: Guru, how can we have spiritual capacity without having spiritual pride?

Sri Chinmoy: Capacity and pride do not necessarily have to go together. What you call capacity I will call God's Grace. If you can do everything at your sweet will, then only you can have pride. But at your sweet will you cannot do whatever you choose. If somebody asks you not to sleep even for five minutes in twenty-four hours, you will probably not be able to do it. If somebody asks you to run the fastest, you won't be able to do it. And if you can do it, feel that whatever capacity you have is due to God's Grace.

If you feel you are spiritual and far superior to your father because you are accepting our path and he isn't, then just turn around and see if somebody else has more aspiration or deeper conviction than you have. But if you say you are still more spiritual than all the other disciples put together, then go one step further. Since I am the leader, then compare yourself with me: "Let me see if this Indian is really greater than I am in spirituality." If you feel that you are but an inch lower than I am, and that tomorrow you will catch me and surpass me, then you have to know that you are still an inch lower than somebody, and that somebody is God. Just compare yourself with God. Then your inner being will say, "Look at your capacity and God's infinite Capacity."

So if you expand human pride, a time will come when you will have to stop. A good musician can compare himself with the greatest musician, and then his pride will be smashed. A good runner will compare himself with the greatest runner, and then he will have to stop feeling proud. Suppose you feel that you are by far the best in something. I wish to say that there will always be a third person who will smash your pride.

But pride can also be a divine capacity. If someone is the world's greatest boxer, singer, spiritual figure or anything else, immediately identify yourself with that person and sincerely feel your oneness with him. If you have established your inseparable oneness with him, then your pride is divine pride. This divine pride can never be defeated.

Human pride is only a form of separation: I am this, you are that. I separate my existence from yours; therefore I am superior to you. But divine pride is oneness; it becomes one with others' capacities. From one individual you go to the length and breadth of the world. If you want to conquer pride in the human way, immediately you put someone with more capacity in front of you and that person in no time will shatter all your pride. If you want to take pride in the divine way, the whole world will be inside you on the strength of your oneness. At that time you don't have to separate the capacity of others from the reality that you are.