Question: Sometimes you try to help a person by your prayer, and he improves for a short time but then falls back again.7

Sri Chinmoy: The first thing in such cases is to have infinite patience. This patience is not a passive quality; it is something dynamic and it is light, true light. So the first thing is patience, which feels to us like going up and then going down. It goes up and down all the time. But we have to know the meaning of patience. It is not something weak, not at all. It only indicates that what you want is not being doing according to your own time. In our own minds, we have a fixed time. We say, "By tomorrow, he will be perfect. Since I am praying and he is praying, how is it that this is not producing results?"

We have to know that we have played our part and that time is a great factor. A farmer cultivates the land and goes on cultivating for three, four or five months. He plants the seeds and evens the surface and so on; then he can expect a bumper crop. Similarly, in the spiritual life, all this preparation is going on.

It is a battlefield, constantly fighting for that person who is coming back again from his weakness. We know that he is fighting against his weakness, but his weakness is acting, right now, like a hostile force. The fight is going on. One moment he is achieving something and the next moment he becomes the victim once more. So let us have patience. Then, secondly, we have to give more importance to the victory than to the defeat. We have to know how many times he has succeeded and not how many times he has fallen down. Remembering the number of times he has succeeded in coming up will give him true courage. It will give him true confidence in going higher, farther and deeper.

But if he continually deals with his downfalls and is reminded of how often he has fallen from his standard, then he is paying attention to his own weakness and this weakness will give him constant frustration. The thing is not to look down but to look up. "Up" is God's Light; "down" is our darkness. So if his aim is to go to the Highest, he has to know how many times he has put the right foot forward and not the wrong foot. The more he thinks of the correct act, the more he pays attention to his success. Then there will automatically develop within him an inner confidence. This will grow and he will say, "If I was able to do something marvellous yesterday, how is it that I am not able to do it today?" Then a new wisdom will dawn in him. "I made a particular mistake and for that reason, I was not able to get satisfactory results." He will see that his mistake is preventing him from getting results.

But he has to remember constantly that he was once successful and has to have a determined will, saying, "If once I achieved the victory, how is it not possible for me to repeat the victory?" So on the strength of his determination, he will be able to stay at his new level. But he has to look forward towards the light and not towards the darkness; not to his downward fall, but to his highest achievement. Then he will be able to ascend.

If you look at the light, you get the light. Look at darkness and you get darkness. And you have to know which direction you are taking. Are you going towards the North or towards the South? If you wish to go North, then you must constantly face the North.

I have to look ahead towards the North. Once I do it consciously and know that North is there and South is in the other direction, then everything will be all right. We have to know where the goal is; which side it is on. If it is North, let us go towards the North, towards light and not towards the South which is darkness. Think of success and not of failure.

[Sri Chinmoy and the disciples were speaking about the benefits of burning incense.]

Sri Chinmoy: In addition to creating an atmosphere of worship and purity, the ascending fragrance and aspiration which accompany the burning of incense bring down from Heaven certain spirits and higher beings. They are invoked through the consciousness of sincere devotion. Incense has been used for thousands of years in India and when it is used, it invokes certain ancient, divine forces. Incense brings certain beings down from Heaven.

If you want to go from here to New York, you have to spend $120. But these spirits come from the higher planes out of their infinite love for us. In this world, if you have money, you can travel, but for that world, money will not do. It is something which, only from their love, you can have.

Sometimes when these beings come, they have their own language. Your physical minds, your bodies with their human tongues have their own language, but when these spirits come, they teach you their language. In a second or a minute they can teach you to speak to them in their own language. This language you forget afterwards. When they come, they teach your physical mind and then you can talk to them for some time and then they go away and you forget them and their language.

TPR 5. July 20, 1970, Sri Chinmoy Centre, San Juan.