Your life's responsibilities compel you to develop inner strength
This is one of the stories in our Story-Gems project, a collection of our experiences with our Guru, Sri Chinmoy. Project homepage »
Whenever I visited Guru in New York, it was usually an escape from my responsibilities in Chicago. With that escape came more opportunity to meditate, and maintain what appeared to be better spiritual discipline.
Therefore, I was surprised when Guru told me that when I am in Chicago, I make more progress. This was exactly contrary to my perceptions. So I said, “Guru, you know, I don’t see it. You say I make more spiritual progress back in Chicago. I don’t feel spiritual progress in Chicago. I feel nothing but struggle, nothing but difficulty.”
And he said, “No, no, no, it’s not like that. Think of the weightlifter. The weightlifter lifts weights. Now, you can take all the weight off the barbell and the weightlifter says, ‘Oh, look how easy it is for me. I can lift the weight so many times.’ Now, put weights on the barbell. Immediately he will see it is much more difficult to lift. But in which way is he developing more strength? When the barbell has weights, of course.” He added, “True, it is more difficult to lift. But at the same time, he is developing more strength. In life, what are your weights? Nothing other than your life’s responsibilities, or you can call it your duties. Your life’s responsibilities are the weights. So when you go back to Chicago, you assume your life’s responsibilities, and it is these responsibilities that compel you to develop inner strength.”
Sometimes there’s a delicate balance between what we deem to be life-struggles and what truly are our proper life-opportunities. Life is constantly challenging us with the opportunity for self-transcendence.
Responsibility cannot weigh you down
If you take responsibility
As a God-approved opportunity.
It can only lift you and your life
To the higher worlds.
Sri Chinmoy 1
- 1. Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, part 9, Agni Press, 1983
Sri Chinmoy's students describe their inner and outer experiences.
You only have to keep your eyes and ears openGannika Wiesenberger Linz, Austria
How I learned from Sri ChinmoyPradhan Balter Chicago, United States
Having a Spiritual TeacherPreetidutta Thorpe Auckland, New Zealand
So much longing, for somethingPushpa rani Piner Ottawa, Canada
Why run 3100 miles?Smarana Puntigam Vienna, Austria
My Life with Sri Chinmoy: a bookTejvan Pettinger Oxford, United Kingdom
If I can smile like that, it's worth becoming a discipleMahatapa Palit New York, United States
My 5 a.m. strategic meditationsSanchita Fleming Ottawa, Canada
'You have to be like a warrior and fight'Mahiyan Savage San Diego, United States
I see infinitely more than I sayAgraha Levine Seattle, United States
A Divine Phone CallJogyata Dallas Auckland, New Zealand
If a little meditation can give you this kind of experience...Pragya Gerig Nuremberg, Germany
interviews with Sri Chinmoy's students