Question: Should we try to justify our spiritual practices to others?

Sri Chinmoy: No, that is a mistake. When we try to convince others that what we are doing is right, in a certain sense we unconsciously try to convert them. If we know that we are doing the right thing, then we should simply do it. We know that the right thing for us to do early in the morning is to pray and meditate. But we will not go to our neighbour who is fast asleep at the time of our meditation and tell him to get up because it is the right thing to do. We will not say, “Look, I am praying and meditating; I am doing the right thing. You must not sleep at this hour, you also must get up.” If we say that kind of thing, then our neighbour will simply say, “Mind your own business!”

In the spiritual life we don’t try to justify ourselves. We just live for ourselves, for the God within us. God has told us to pray and meditate on Him. When the time comes for others to pray and meditate then God will illumine and awaken them. But if we go to them and say, “Look, we are doing the right thing and you are doing the wrong thing; it is our duty to awaken you and illumine you,” then we will not be helping their spiritual progress in any way.

Let us stay with our own conviction. But if somebody challenges us and tells us that we are doing the wrong thing, at that time for a few minutes we can justify what we are doing. Even then I feel it is definitely better not to enter into an argument. If they say that we are doing everything wrong, then all right, let them say it. Justification is not illumination; not at all. The mind is so tricky. Even when we try to justify our own cause we don’t get illumination. This moment the mind has taken the side of the heart. That is why the mind is trying to justify the heart’s cause. The next moment, if the mind is separated from the heart, the mind will try to fight against the heart.