Question: How can we have less competition and more harmony among the disciples?

Sri Chinmoy: When there is a feeling of oneness, there can be no competition. However, you have to know that competition can serve a purpose. Once a year we have competition at our Sports Day. We do it for physical fitness. This competition will inspire you to get up in the morning at 5:30 or 6:00 and go to the playground. Otherwise you make friends with sleep and enjoy the affection and love of death and nothing more. The value of competition is that you will try to transcend your capacity. If you lose to somebody after trying your best, it is absolutely immaterial. But if you don’t make progress even here on the physical plane, then you won’t try to make progress on the spiritual plane. At that time you will say, “I get up at 7:00 or 8:00 and then once in a blue moon I meditate. Who is going to see?” If you are sincere about making progress on the spiritual plane, then you can start your sincerity with the physical plane. Then the progress you make will spread to the mind and to the heart.

I wish to say that there is nothing wrong with a competitive spirit, provided it is competitive in a good sense. You are competing with yourself. Only there have to be some rules and regulations; there should be some discipline. You and somebody else cannot throw the javelin at the same time, so you will throw it right after him. You may throw much farther than him, but you will be able to see your progress and he will be able to see his progress. When we give prizes, we give to those who have done the best according to the rules and regulations. Actually the prize has no value. Here there are many people who cannot run. Even if you come in last in the race, do you think that I will have less love for you than for somebody who can run the fastest? Not at all. Only you have to know that it is a matter of oneness. Your right hand may throw much farther than your left hand, but you don’t cut off your left hand and say that it is useless for that reason. You need both hands. If you have no left hand then you will see how odd you will look and how much difficulty you will have.

One particular lady is doing so much dedicated service by making shorts for the disciples and so many clothes for me. Her dedicated service means all her affection, love and gratitude. That is her qualification. Again, someone is qualified for running but he may not practise at all. He may say, “I stood first for four years. Now if I lose, no harm; nothing will happen.” At that time his consciousness will descend because he is making friends with lethargy and wrong forces. So if you have capacity in any field, you have to cultivate it. Here it is only a matter of opportunity; there is no competition. It is all the feeling of oneness. Everyone is doing his job.

Those who lose to you in sports competition are your brothers and those who beat you are also your brothers. So you have to know that the feeling of oneness removes the feeling of competition. If someone runs slower than you, then you should feel that he is your weaker part. And if somebody is faster, then you can feel that he is your stronger part. In that way there can be no sense of competition. It will be all oneness.

We have to offer the result of competition at the Feet of the Supreme. If you throw the shot or the discus or the javelin and you stand last, then you have to feel that that is what the Supreme wants from you. You are taking exercise for your own progress, for your physical fitness. It is necessary. The divine in us, the Supreme in us has to be manifested here on earth through the body, through the physical consciousness. Otherwise we could have remained in Heaven. In Heaven there is no manifestation. Manifestation takes place only on earth.