Question: You said that the race is to the swift. Some people are born with a lot of natural dynamism. If you do not have a lot of energy, can you develop that speed through will-power alone if you are on a spiritual path?Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely, absolutely! The race is to the swift. But swiftness also comes from faith and Grace. On your part is your faith, and on God's part is His Grace.
Just look at me. I did not want to become a world champion in weightlifting — far from it. But I had faith in the Supreme. I had faith that if the Supreme wanted me to lift heavy weights, He could easily lift in and through me. That much faith I had and I have. If He really wants me to do something, then He will do it in and through me.
There is a theory that poets are born and not made, but I do not agree with it. Some poets are born, true. At the same time, if a seeker wants to be a poet, Grace can descend from Above and turn that person into an excellent poet. It happened in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Sri Aurobindo had quite a few disciples who became excellent poets, but they were not poets in the beginning of their lives. At that time, their poetic capacities were a far cry.
Once you enter into the spiritual life, it is like a river entering into the ocean. If the river has the eagerness, then the ocean will immediately come and meet it. Today I happened to be reading a book about some of our South Indian saints. There it was written, "Who says God does not become impatient?" The Master said it in a very emotional way. I asked myself, "How can God become impatient?" Then he explained, "To see a true devotee and meet with him and converse with him, God definitely becomes impatient." This theory, from a certain point of view, is absolutely true.
Coming back to the point, if one has the eagerness to become a singer or an athlete, or to shine in any other walk of life, he does not necessarily have to have talents. God can endow him with those talents and capacities. My philosophy is that one per cent is our capacity and ninety-nine per cent is God's Capacity, God's Grace. But again, the same God has given us even that one per cent capacity.
Here there are many disciples who are doing very, very well in running, singing and other activities. If they had been left alone with their own capacities, the progress that they have made over the years in these fields they would not have made. The Supreme in me has been extremely, extremely generous. If you think that because you worked hard, very hard, in a certain field you have made this kind of progress, I wish to say that is not true. Other people may have worked harder, infinitely harder.
I used to go to a gym. The owner was a former Mr. Universe. He was a very nice man and he always said such encouraging things to me. When he saw my weightlifting capacities, he said, "You can do it, you can do it!" Then one day he told me how he thought I did it. He said that I remain a few inches above my head. He said that he had worked so hard in weightlifting all his life. In comparison, I had done nothing, according to him. So how was it possible for me to lift up these heavy weights? He said that he could not lift such heavy weights, but because I live a few inches above my head, I could do it.
But I wish to say that I live inside my heart. Very deep inside my heart I live. That is why it is possible for me to lift heavy weights. When you also live inside your heart, Grace from Above will descend most powerfully and most generously.
Right now you may not have the capacity to shine in a certain field, but you cannot say that just because you were not born with this capacity, it will be useless for you to try. No! If you have the inspiration and aspiration to become something, whether in music or in sports or in any other field, the Grace will descend.
Where is the talent in my case? Some people say I am an artist. In our family, nobody went in that direction; nobody showed artistic capacity. In primary school I did study art once a week, but did I ever think of becoming an artist? And did I ever think of becoming a weightlifter? Like this, there are many, many fields which I have entered where I did not have any background.
In the field of literature, my goal was to write two hundred books. Then I went far, far beyond that goal. Sometimes it happens that if God is pleased with you, then when you set a goal, God laughs at you. He says, "You are such a fool! I know what kind of receptivity you have." Then, with God's Grace, you go far beyond anything that you have done previously. I had a set goal in the field of literature — not that I would climb up the Himalayas, just that I would go a few metres. But God's Grace enabled me to climb up higher and higher.
I always say that our goal is not fixed. Today's goal is tomorrow's starting point. Who gives us capacity? Somebody above us, Somebody within us gives us the capacity. Why does He not give it to others? We have to say that He is pleased with us. That means we have done something good for Him. If someone has done something good for God, God is not going to remain indebted to that person.
At this point I wish to say that many, many people have served the Supreme in me over the years. In the outer life perhaps I will remain indebted to you; but in the inner world I will never, never remain indebted to anybody. In the inner world, I will definitely give you more than you deserve. And I do hope that if I can give you something — which I shall do — in the inner world for your aspiration and for the dedication which you have offered over the years, it will compensate for what you have offered to me.
Outwardly many of you are serving me in so many ways, and it is true that, outwardly, I do not thank you adequately. At times I do not express my gratitude in public. Some people feel that unless I express my gratitude in public, that gratitude is no gratitude. But I tell you, when I offer my gratitude to you privately, inwardly, it is infinitely more powerful than when I offer my gratitude outwardly. Outwardly when I give it, at that time the insecurity and undivine qualities of others, like hungry wolves, will try to take it away from you. But inwardly, privately or in silence, let us say, if I offer gratitude to you, and if your heart is at that time receptive, then I assure you that nobody can take my gratitude away from you.
Anything that I give you in silence, nobody will be able to steal. But when I appreciate you outwardly, there will be many who will try to grab my appreciation and take it away from you. Again, if you are very strong, if your faith in me, your love for me and your surrender to me is strong, then nobody can take it away from you. But it is a real challenge at that time, and many people fail to meet the challenge.