Question: How should we act with people who are violent or hostile to us?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways. One way is to conquer them through a superior power, an infinitely superior power, which is the soul's poise. The other way is to be on the same footing and to accept the challenge. If they criticise you because you are following a spiritual path, then you have every right to tell them that you are doing what you feel is best for yourself. Let them be satisfied with what they have; you will be satisfied with what you have. Whatever they feel best, they are doing; and whatever you feel best, you are doing. So in this way you can come to the same level and fight it out. But if you acquire Peace, Light and Bliss in considerable measure, then you go very high and you see that you have infinitely more power than the person who is talking to you with a bitter tongue. If you feel that you have established something solid, something concrete, then you can stay with your own height. You look at the person who is criticising you and you see that he is like an ant, like a tiny insect. But if you can't do that, then the best thing is to be on his plane. Don't box with him, but tell him to be satisfied with what he feels is best and you remain satisfied with what you feel is best.