Question: In 1994 you said that we should meditate at six o'clock sharp, and then you said the earlier, the better. Is it better to try for five-thirty?

Sri Chinmoy: I said six o'clock. Why? Because some people are not meditating even at seven o'clock or eight o'clock! Some people just wash their face and run to their office. Five minutes before they are ready to go, they may meditate.

Some people think more of their physical than of their spiritual existence. If they have to leave their home at eight o'clock, at a quarter to eight they get up. For five minutes they run, and then they go to work. Instead of meditating, there are some disciples who run and then go. Their inner run they do not do, but they are ready to do the outer run so that they can be good in their outer running. Perhaps nobody will believe me, but it is true!

Some disciples do not do either the inner running or the outer running. They are wonderful! Some do the inner running and not the outer running. Some do the outer running and not the inner running. But if one does both the inner running and the outer running, that is the best. If you cannot meditate for fifteen or twenty minutes, at least meditate for ten minutes.

Some people who are more advanced can enter into their highest, or reasonably high, in a few seconds. I can enter into my highest in four seconds, but I doubt very much that in four seconds you will be able to enter into your highest consciousness. If you know that it takes you fifteen minutes or twenty minutes, you should be wise and spend the necessary time to enter into your highest. In my case also, God knows, in my previous incarnations perhaps I took four hours to enter into my highest. In this incarnation it did not happen in that way.

We have to be always wise. If we really want something, we have to be wise. On the one hand, I have said that five o'clock or six o'clock is the best time to meditate. On the other hand, I have said that no matter when you get up, that is the best time for you. Think of it in this way: if you are good, then become better. If you are better, then become best. If you are best, then become better than the best.

If you are having a good meditation when you get up at midday, then try to make it earlier. At six o'clock, if you meditate sincerely, you will have a better meditation because nature is not agitated; nature has not yet become restless.

In the morning, people can meditate much more than they are now doing. And in the evening, except for those one or two nights a week when we have our collective meditation, the result could be much better. I said that before you go to bed, you should meditate for a few minutes. But now I see that some people are watching television or reading novels, even romantic novels. Some are enjoying inner romance. So many girls and so many boys read novels. At night if I call some disciples and ask, "What are you doing?" they will say, "I am reading." Then I ask, "What are you reading?" When they tell me that they are reading a novel, I do not have the heart at that time to scold them. They feel they do not have to read my writings because they know my philosophy. They do not have to practise my philosophy; as long as their mind knows it that is enough. Their heart does not have to follow it.

Novels I have rarely read and I cannot write. Very few novels I have read in my entire life; I can count them on my fingertips. That is why I did not dare to write novels. In this lifetime I did start one epic and I do hope, if God allows, I will complete this epic. A novel I am never going to write, and I rarely had the patience to read.