Part V — Other questions and answers

TDS 48-49. These questions were asked by other disciples on that birthday.

Question: Sometimes I feel I am making a lot of progress and then, during the night, something happens, and I know it's happening even while I am asleep. I feel like something is interfering with my progress, and when I wake up I know that I have lost something. Is there any way that I can protect myself while I am asleep?

Sri Chinmoy: I am always telling you people that before you go to sleep you should meditate for a few minutes on your navel centre which dominates the vital world, the undivine, impure forces. If you consciously meditate on the navel centre to try to establish some purity there and if purity comes to the fore or descends from above, then these forces cannot overpower you or bother you.

But when you feel that you have made progress, you have to know that this progress has not been lost overnight. There are times when, in order to make faster progress, you may have to go one step backward. Suppose you are a good long jumper, and you have taken five steps forward. You are very happy because you have made some progress. But from there, if you want to jump, you will not do very well. You will be able to jump much farther if you go a few steps backward first and run before you jump. You will see that if you go a few steps backward and take a running start, then the distance that you can jump increases. The calculating human mind will say, “Look, she has gone so far back.” It will not see how far and how fast you will now be able to go forward.

So when you have discouraging, unpleasant dreams, or when you feel that you have gone backward during your sleep, you have to know that a few days later you may have a very significant, illumining and fulfilling dream. The physical mind will feel that you have gone backward, that you have fallen. But the spiritual heart will feel that perhaps it was necessary.

This is all on the human level — to go a few steps back so that we can get a good start. On the spiritual level it does not apply. On the spiritual level wherever you are, you go forward from there. But since the physical mind is operating, I am saying to use the physical method. In the spiritual method, the mind does not work at all. There you have to go forward from where you are. If you see that you are unable to go one step further, you ask yourself what is preventing you. Then, I will say, what you need is conscious awareness of what you are doing and what you are not doing. If you are consciously aware of what you do during the day, then you will be able to go faster.

Sometimes you may dream about something you did ten years ago. A spiritual Master in his early years used to eat one whole chicken every day. After the age of forty he gave it up. But even when he was sixty or seventy years old, in the subconscious mind that experience came to him in dreams. So do not be afraid. These things happen. But if you have an unpleasant experience or dream, immediately you should ask yourself, “Do I really want this experience?” If the answer is no, then all its power is gone. But if you give it importance and say, “Oh, this is something unpleasant which will destroy all my progress,” then you will definitely be affected by it.

Do not be afraid of any dream. If you are afraid of any dream, then that particular dream will bring to you all its undivine friends. If today you are afraid of one particular dream, that undivine dream will invite many more undivine dreams to capture you. But if you are not afraid, that dream will not bother you anymore. At that time, it will not be able to affect you.