The spiritual life1

My Beloved Lord Supreme, I have a few questions. Do illumine me. My Lord, how do You feel about those who descend in the spiritual life?

“Those who descend in the spiritual life are unmistakably deplorable failures.”

What happens to those who descend in the spiritual life? Will they be given another chance?

“Yes, they will be given another chance. As a matter of fact, they will be given chances time and again, but they may not avail themselves of these chances. Chances will be given, but they may not take advantage of the new opportunities.”

What happens to those who give up the spiritual life and speak ill of the spiritual path or the Master and spirituality in general?

“They receive untold punishment from the inner world. The punishment they receive is from their old friends: fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, frustration and, finally, destruction. When a seeker enters into the spiritual life, these friends or enemies torture him, and then, when he gives up the spiritual life, again they torture him. But this time when they torture him, they torture him with mockery. They tell the seeker: ’We knew that you were not meant for spiritual life.’ The seeker is totally lost. He is neither in the aspiration-world nor in the desire-world. The aspiration-world does not need him any more, and the desire world says, ‘Because you deserted us and entered into the aspiration-world, we don’t need you. But because you descended, you deserve punishment from us.’ Then fear, doubt, anxiety and insecurity assail the ex-seeker.”

My Lord, what happens to those who have given up spirituality and now want to come back but, out of sheer embarrassment, fail to come back?

“They must know that there is no such thing as embarrassment in the spiritual life. What one needs is wisdom. This wisdom has to dawn eventually in everybody. Once wisdom dawns, the Hour of God strikes; again, when the Hour of God strikes, the inner wisdom dawns. This inner dawn or the Hour of God is of paramount importance in the life of each individual seeker.”

My Lord, what happens to those who try, yet fail?

“If they try and fail, then rest assured that they will be granted an extra supply of Compassion from Me, so that they are bound to succeed. Why do seekers fail? Why do they succeed? They fail because in the process of their spiritual life, instead of having one boss, they have come to have two bosses or two lords. The Teacher is one boss and the seeker himself is the other boss. The Teacher represents the heart-world, the world of the heart, and the seeker embodies or represents the vital world, the world of expectation, the world of demand and, finally, the world of revolt.

“In the beginning, when these seekers accept the spiritual life, they make a solemn promise to themselves and to the Teacher that they will please the Supreme in the Teacher and in themselves the way the Supreme wants to be pleased. But after some time, they feel that they have pleased the Supreme in His own Way, so now they can please themselves in their own way. So they try to make a compromise in their day-to-day life. For some time they listen to the dictates of their inner being, the divine in themselves, and they try to reach the higher goal. Then, because they have pleased the divine, the Supreme, in themselves, they feel that they are now allowed to satisfy themselves in their own way. But here they are making a Himalayan mistake. Once they commit themselves to the Supreme, eternally they must please the Supreme in His own Way.”

How can they maintain their aspiration, their enthusiasm, their love for You, their devotion to You and their surrender to You? At one time they had sterling faith, intense love, intense devotion, intense surrender; everything was intensity itself. But they have lost it over the years. How can a seeker maintain the same intensity throughout his spiritual journey?

“The seeker must realise that in himself he has an eternal hunger, an insatiable hunger. The hunger for the Unknown and the hunger for the Unknowable he must constantly cherish. This hunger is not an earthly hunger to possess and be possessed. Here the hunger is for self-illumination and perfection. When the individual seeker is illumined, he is bound to see and feel that the world within and without is all illumined. If he has this eternal hunger to do the right thing and to become the Supreme’s perfect instrument, then his hunger will be fulfilled and, to his wide surprise, he will see that the world around him is also fulfilled.

“What the seeker needs is constant inner hunger; he should never be complacent or think that he has reached the ultimate goal. There is no such thing as the ultimate goal; there is only one goal that constantly transcends its own height. So the seeker has to realise the supreme Truth that at every moment he is transcending his own highest height by virtue of his self-giving to the ever-transcending Reality and Divinity. Every day a new hope must dawn within him; every day a new flow of enthusiasm must percolate through his entire being. A new promise to sacrifice his earth-bound consciousness and fulfil his Heaven-free consciousness he must constantly cherish. Every day the seeker must feel that he is walking forward and looking forward to a new, bright, brighter, brightest goal. He must not feel doomed to disappointment because of his past failures. Failures are only the pillars of success. He must realise that in his case there is no such thing as failure, for he definitely needs and wants the ever-illumining and ever-transcending Divinity.

“A sincere seeker will always aim at a higher goal and a more fulfilling perfection. A sincere seeker is he who never remains satisfied with what he has or with what he has become. He is not like an ordinary man who is dissatisfied all the time and doomed to frustration and self-destruction. No, his dissatisfaction is not a human dissatisfaction; it is totally different. Here he is dealing with Eternity and Immortality. He is trying to transcend himself instead of binding others. He is trying to please his Beloved Supreme more, ever more. He is trying to become an unconditionally surrendered seeker. Therefore, his dissatisfaction is not the dissatisfaction of a desire-bound human being. He is dissatisfied because he cannot become what the Supreme in him wants to become and what the seeker in his soul wants to become.”

“This dissatisfaction will not be used in a negative way, but in a positive way. He will say, ‘I have so far to go, so much to accomplish, so much to give. Therefore, I must run fast, faster, fastest. I must increase my inner cry, I must dive deeper within to acquire more divine wealth — more love, devotion and surrender. What for? Only to place it at the Feet of the Supreme so that it can be utilised by the world at large.’ So his divine dissatisfaction pleases the Supreme in His own Way, and this satisfaction of the Supreme is what the seeker has all along been longing for.”


  1. WNY 33. St. Bonaventure University, Olean, NY — 23 April 1978, 11:00 a.m.

Sri Chinmoy, Wisdom-waves in New York, part 2.First published by Agni Press in 1979.

This is the 393rd book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Wisdom-waves in New York, part 2, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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