Question: I was wondering if there was a spiritual reason why earth is suffering from disasters at this time.

Sri Chinmoy: At this time, disasters do take place occasionally. From the spiritual point of view we have to take everything as an experience. In God’s ultimate Vision, God will give satisfaction to each human being. Again, each human being will get satisfaction and perfection only when he or she has pleased God in His own Way. There is no hard and fast rule that God will work one way or another way. He can work in many ways beyond our comprehension. Human beings do not know what God’s ultimate Vision is. Here on the physical plane somebody will die; but on the inner plane perhaps God has decided to expedite his soul’s progress. So the best way is to take so-called disasters as an experience that God is giving to the individuals who are immediately involved and to those who are observing the situation.

Each disaster has a purpose of its own. Again, we have to know that the earth-planet is not perfect. So, when planets are not perfect, wrong forces can operate in and through them. God approves of some things. Some things He just accepts or tolerates. Then again, there are some things that He initiates and inspires. When we see earthquakes or floods or famine and all this, we have to know that these are things that God is just tolerating. If some wrong forces have destroyed a group of people or destroyed some places, God is just tolerating the fact. Again, there is a higher purpose to these things. Today God tolerates this suffering, but tomorrow inside the persons that have suffered, God’s deep Compassion will flow, and in some way He will compensate. But that compensation we will not see with our human eyes. It has to be seen with our aspiring consciousness.

We have to know that the catastrophes and disasters and things that make us feel that the downfall of the human race is approaching are not the only damaging factors. These things we see on the earth-planet. Because we live on the physical plane, we notice whatever is happening here and we feel that tremendous disasters are taking place here. But on the inner plane there are other planets, and constant catastrophes can take place there also. For the undivine forces, the hostile forces, the evil forces, can also operate on the inner plane.

Look at the conflict between faith and doubt. In this conflict, faith may surrender: doubt may succeed. If doubt destroys faith, then we have to feel that it is like the explosion of an atom bomb. In a human being, when faith has to surrender to doubt — if somebody accepts the spiritual life and then has to give it up because he is unable to have faith in the path, or in the Master, or in his own spiritual capacity — then it is infinitely worse than the explosion of an atom bomb. That disaster may take centuries and centuries to rectify. Here on earth, when a disaster takes place and people are killed, in six or ten or twenty years the soul will again take new form and come into the world to gain and offer light. It is only a matter of a few years. But if one has to give up the spiritual life because he is assailed by doubt, then his life may be ruined for many incarnations. So an inner disaster is much more powerful and damaging than an outer disaster.