Question: I would like to know why so many obstacles arise in our way when we enter the spiritual path?

Sri Chinmoy: Here you have to know what the true and conscious acceptance of the spiritual life entails. Before you accepted the spiritual life you had all these problems, either in the subconscious part of yourself or in your outer daily life. But just because you were unconscious, you were not aware of them. Before you accepted the spiritual life, you were fast asleep in the world of inconscience, so you were not fully aware of the difficulties you had.

When you are fast asleep at night, somebody may be talking in your room, but just because you are asleep, you don't know about it. Similarly, you think that you had no difficulties before. But that is just because you were in another world. Once you enter into the world of reality, which is the world of spiritual aspiration, and your inner life is awakened, you will become aware of these problems.

This is a great opportunity for you to make progress. In the spiritual life you immediately know who your enemies are, who is standing in your way. Immediately you get the opportunity to face your enemies, fight them and transform them. When the enemy is hiding in the dark you don't see him. If you don't see the enemy, how are you going to fight him? How are you going to chase him away or capture him and transform him? But in broad daylight you can clearly see your obstacles. Now that you are conscious, you are seeing the difficulties — not necessarily as outer enemies but as your own imperfections. The more you run toward the Light, the more you will see the slightest darkness within yourself and feel it holding you back. When you are consciously trying to be perfect, just a slight imperfection will disappoint you. If you told me that you would come at three o'clock and you came one minute late, immediately it would bother you. "Oh, I told my Master that I would be there at three o'clock. How is it that I am late by one minute?" The nearer you are to the Light, the more importance you give to Light and the more clearly you will see what is darkness and what is Light.

It is not enough just to see your enemies in order to conquer and transform them. Also you must have aspiration. This aspiration brings down the highest Light and highest Power for you. In you it acts, through you it acts and for you it acts just because you are aspiring. If you are not aspiring, this divine Grace, divine Power, will not descend into you. Then all these obstacles will remain in your life for many, many, many incarnations.

In this incarnation, however, you have accepted the spiritual life consciously, devotedly and soulfully. Now you can make wonderful progress. You have received the greatest opportunity to overcome all difficulties, and you should be happy that you are now aware of the obstacles and can fight them and transform them. It is your aspiration that will solve all your problems. When you did not have aspiration, that was the real problem. Now the problems that you are seeing can easily be conquered on the strength of your sincere aspiration.