Question: Guru, can you define God-realisation as a state where one has absolutely no doubt, where one has absolute control over the doubting mind?Sri Chinmoy: God-realisation is far more difficult than controlling doubt. The mind can be silenced by a sincere aspirant so that there is no doubt. In the calm, quiet mind, the vacant mind, there is no doubt at all. But one has to go much farther, deeper and higher in order to realise God.
It often happens that when one is on the verge of realisation, doubt comes, even though perhaps twenty years previously the seeker had conquered doubt. Perhaps for twenty years one has had no doubts at all. These years have been so happy for him. But just when he is about to realise God very often the darkest hostile forces will attack him at that time in the form of doubt or temptation. In Christ's case, Satan came. In Buddha's case, Mara came.
Doubt has come to many spiritual Masters who were on the verge of realisation or liberation. This is the last test. When illumination is about to take place, they see there is a vast gap between their present aspiration — even though it is of the highest order — and the attainment of illumination. At this last moment some may doubt their own aspiration and fall. So even great seekers who would soon have become Masters, not to speak of ordinary seekers, have suffered from tremendous doubt. At this last stroke, many fall before they realise God. Then it may take them twenty years, forty years or even another incarnation to regain their height. The student has studied his lessons well for ten years but something goes wrong at the last moment and he fails his test. God will give him another chance after some time, in the next year, or after ten years or in the next incarnation.
When I was a young boy I had a mentor whose Guru had been on the verge of realisation. But the day before this Guru would have realised God, he was attacked by doubt and he fell. Then what did he do? He became disgusted with the spiritual life altogether. He felt that spirituality had disappointed him. So the following morning after having been on the verge of realisation, he went back to his wife and started learning science. He became a professor of science at a university, and in that position his life ended.
This man could easily have realised God. Before that time he had worked so hard for many incarnations. He had practised meditation in the Himalayas and led such an austere life. He was on the verge of realisation, and there are people who would have believed that he had realised God from seeing his face, although he was sincere enough to say he had not. But when doubt comes, its last attack is like a volcano. Naturally the seeker will fall if he is not prepared. All his work will be swept away. This man's own Master had also had the same attack, but his Master had passed. He said the doubt he had faced was like a tidal wave. The current was so powerful that only God's Grace had saved him.
But it is not absolutely necessary for a seeker to go through this. In some cases the last temptation does not come. In my case, I was lucky and nothing came to disturb me. But if somebody does go to the goal safely, you cannot say because there were no thorns on his path that the goal is not real. Some Masters go through constant doubt, but it is only when their doubts leave them that they realise God. Their path is full of thorns, unfortunately. Again, there are some fortunate aspirants who do not doubt either themselves or their Master right from the beginning. It is not because they are fools with no brain or sense of judgement that they do not doubt. On the contrary, they are clever. They feel that by doubting whether someone is good or bad or has a certain quality or capacity they are gaining nothing. They feel that the time they would spend in doubting others can be better used in cultivating their own inner soil, their own inner aspiration. If they sincerely aspire and they do not doubt, then their progress will undoubtedly be fast.