Question: Is it proper to have a motivation for achieving realisation, such as the desire for liberation? Is this a proper motivation?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly it is a proper motivation. There are two different approaches to God-realisation. One approach is to make a complete surrender to the Will of God. This surrender has to be dynamic. Otherwise, you will be like the millions of lethargic people on earth, wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance, who are waiting for realisation at God’s Hour. It will take these people millions of years to realise God, for if they do not utilise the capacity God has given them, then why should God play His role? In dynamic surrender, we play our role and utilise the capacity God has given us; then we leave it up to God to give us what He wants when He wants. In dynamic surrender, we make a full personal effort and then pray for the divine Grace. An ordinary person wants to achieve his goal by any means, by hook or by crook. But in the spiritual life, we do not do this. We use our patience.

The other approach is to have some idea of what we want when we are praying and meditating. Let us say I want to be good. This is quite legitimate. If I become good, that means there will be one less rascal on earth, and God’s creation will be better. So I am praying to God to give me something which will help Him in expanding His own Light on earth. In order to be of some service to mankind and to please God in God’s own Way, we have to become good. But only when we realise God can we be of real help to Him. Unless we are realised, unless we are free from the meshes of ignorance, what can we give to humanity? Unless we have some Peace, Light and Bliss, how can we help either God or mankind? There are many false teachers on earth who are not of any real help to mankind. They are like mushrooms growing all over the world. Now what are they doing? They are only exploiting and deceiving humanity. They can deceive themselves, they can deceive humanity, but they cannot deceive God.

The great spiritual Master Sri Ramakrishna used to pray, “O Mother Divine, make me the greatest of the Yogis.” Ordinary people will say, “What kind of Master prays to be the greatest?” But this was not competition on Sri Ramakrishna’s part. He just knew that if he could become divinely great, then he could be of real service to mankind. So there is nothing wrong in praying for realisation and liberation. If you do not have any motive, if you do not feel any inner hunger for God or for Peace, Light and Bliss, then God will say, “Sleep, My child, sleep, as millions and billions of other people on earth are sleeping.”