May 24

Take It As a Challenge

Question: What should you do if your family members are against your spiritual pursuits?

Sri Gurudev: Take it as a challenge, and know that God is on your side. You don’t need to hate them. Instead, you should take it as a good omen. God has put an examiner right next to you to test how strong you are in your convictions. God has really seen your thirst in spiritual life, and wants to make sure that you are really serious about it.

Don’t you have to pass a big test before you are graduated? It’s true. So don’t think of those people as negative. An examiner is not a negative person. Your family has so much love for you; if they seem to be negative to you, don’t be negative to them in return. Just because you are together, it doesn’t mean that you have the same growth in understanding life. Each soul grows in its own way. The others may still be young in their growth; all you can do is be patient and prove the benefit of your practice by your own example.

Eventually the others will ask, “Honey, how come you are so peaceful and so happy, even when I am nasty toward you?” Then you can say, “Well, just a little bit of spiritual practice helps me.” That’s enough. Leave it there. Don’t push. Allow them to grow; one day they might even excel you. Very often it happens that way.

So prove by your own example that you are becoming a beautiful person. Don’t argue; instead, let them see that you are being helped by what you are doing. They will be watching you. When your own life shows the wonderful benefits of your practice, they will say, “Honey, I misunderstood. I’m sorry. I see how healthy and happy this has made you.” Until that time, be patient. As a spiritual person, you should see that there is harmony present in the family in all situations.

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