Spiritual Punishment – How It’s a Good Thing
In order to help us to advance spiritually, there are times we may require spiritual punishment.
Spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy has an aphorism which states:
“The blows of my Master
I take as most beautiful flowers
Given to me by my Master.”
In my view, that aphorism describes a spiritual punishment and that perspective is key.
But a spiritual punishment seems to be something that is often not acknowledged or talked about. Which could make the experience of a spiritual punishment all the more challenging.
For instance, where are the disciples out there who have experienced some kind of “blow of the Master?” I’ve never met any that I know of, but I imagine that a “blow of the Master” would differ for each disciple.
From talking to fellow Sri Chinmoy disciples about my experiences of “blows of my Master” and from inner messages I’ve received, I’ve been able to conclude that my particular experience is extremely unusual.
I can’t express enough how, if I had followed the advice in the above aphorism, which was constantly whispered to me from my conscience, I would not have retaliated against Sri Chinmoy with destructive behaviour for the spiritual punishment he seemed to be inflicting on me. Perspective is key.
And, in this world, if you struggle with a very rare experience, you will very easily be misdiagnosed. The book Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan illustrates that. Medical professionals (and others) are more likely to believe you are going through a common or obvious experience they are familiar with rather than something beyond their training or education.
Brain on Fire is a memoir about a woman who is completely normal until she suddenly starts experiencing strange behaviors, including manic symptoms and psychosis. Her behavior is erratic enough for those around her to know something is wrong.
One doctor thinks it’s alcohol withdrawal, her boss asks if she’s on drugs, and another thinks it’s just stress. Some doctors tell her parents it’s schizophrenia because she’s showing clear signs of psychosis when actually it turned out to be something else.
I’m mentioning this story because you can’t assume someone’s health.
You just don’t know what is going on within the person. The average psychiatrist is not as insightful or conscious as one might think.
I found that aphorism in 2015. For the longest time, I didn’t know what term to use for the kind of “blows of the Master” I’d experienced. I started using the term “humiliation-blows” in 2001 (a term I made up). I also didn’t know whether these experiences were a punishment being inflicted upon me, but it certainly seemed like it.
They looked like strange muscle spasms (or twitches) — although they were not — and they would startle away a feeling of joy so that I felt deprived and humiliated instead.
It was only after an experience in late 2016 that I realized that many (or all) of the “blows” I’d experienced (there were different types) could be thought of as “punishment.”
I was sitting at a coffee shop looking at my cellphone. Through “guidance thoughts” that I could consciously pick up — often times I realized that certain thoughts I’d been having were coming from my inner connection with my Master, whereas before I wasn’t consciously aware of that — Sri Chinmoy delicately (and inwardly) guided me to go to SriChinmoyLibrary.com on my phone, click ‘L’ on the home page, then click on Life’s Bleeding Tears and Flying Smiles, Part 3, then click on the second story, Punishment Pays.
[NOTE: I say “Sri Chinmoy inwardly guided me with guidance thoughts…” simply because that is how I decided to put my experience into words. I could also say “I experienced intuitive thoughts which guided me…” which would probably cause me a lot less misunderstanding, but the former seems most accurate because I feel these capacities come from my Guru. And my reason for feeling that way is based off the evidence I’ve experienced, both inner and outer. However, I do not claim to know the best way to put these experiences into words.]
Never before had I been spiritually guided to something on SriChinmoyLibrary.com. That is, through divine thoughts spiritually communicated to me by my Master that I could consciously “hear”. I’m sure God has guided me in many other ways, but this was distinguishably different.
The following is the story, which seems to be an analogy for spiritual punishment. (Sri Chinmoy also inwardly guided me to the Introduction of this book in which he clearly states he did not actually write these stories — he was merely retelling them.)
A father and mother were both extremely fond of their child, who was only six years old. They were a very, very happy family. One day the child did something wrong and the father was very upset, so he gave the child a smart slap. Then the child cried and the father felt absolutely miserable. The father tried to console the child by giving him four rupees.
When the child got the money, he started crying more loudly and pitifully. The father said, “Why are you crying? I gave you a slap, but now I am consoling you. I will not slap you anymore. Why are you still crying?”
The son said, “I am crying more powerfully and pitifully because I have to ask you something.”
“What do you have to ask me?” the father said.
The son said, “Will you promise me that each time you give me a slap, you will increase the amount of money you give me?”
“What?” cried the father.
The son said, “I did something wrong, and you gave me a slap. Now I will do something even worse. Each time I do something worse, will you not give me another slap and more money?”
The father said, “What are you saying?”
The son said, “I want to be punished by you every time I do something wrong. Each time my crime will be worse, so you can give me a harder slap if you wish. I will not mind at all. But you have to give me a larger amount of money, too.”
The father said, “What kind of son do I have? He is ready to be slapped for money. Why did I make the mistake of giving him money the first time? Each time he wants the slap to be harder. He does not mind being slapped if he receives a larger amount of money!”
(Source: Punishment Pays)
And I knew right away that the metaphoric message within this story was a MAJOR needle in the haystack for me to find on SriChinmoyLibrary.com.It EPITOMIZES my entire story of struggle, particularly Part 1 (The Wind’s Divine Melody). I did something wrong, Sri Chinmoy punished me, so I did something even worse, and I knew deep down inside that Sri Chinmoy would take care of me. And where can you find any other story or explanation like that on SriChinmoyLibrary.com?
You can’t. He guided me to the one story I needed at that moment.
It is this bad behaviour that has (mainly) resulted in psychiatrists thinking that this whole experience of mine — receiving inner messages and spiritual touches from my Master, and my faith that I have an inner connection my Master — is a delusion they call schizophrenia. It is the reason why I am now taking them to court in January 2020. That is the next hearing date for the trial, although nothing is set in stone. You may wish to read my true story about my spiritual experience to learn how they became an impediment in my life in the first place.
Basically, the message within this story is what I’ve suspected all along — Sri Chinmoy has spiritual (Peace, Light, and Bliss) dollars that have built up. He’s holding onto them for me and he will be “paying” them to me (inwardly) in the future as a kind of divine gift to help compensate the punishment I’ve had to endure. It has also seriously improved my karma. (Perhaps I am already beginning to be paid in good-karma dollars. It certainly feels like it sometimes. For example, my financial situation has improved to the point that I am able to spend most of my time focusing on my dreams; and speaking of my dreams, it seems they are gradually coming true; my daughter and I have a really good relationship, and I have a few wonderful friends.)
Dr. Nelson, the Nova Scotia Health Authority psychiatrist I saw for four and a half years beginning in 2013 (solely in an attempt to get a letter for the Nova Scotia Family Court so that I could help my daughter through a legal process concerning the emotional neglect she had been going through) would 100% say that these “guidance thoughts” were psychosis.
I have not had (and do not have) problems with “psychotic thoughts.” I have had problems with a bad attitude. A perspective, cynicism, and bitterness problem.
I’ve improved on that tremendously.
As Sri Chinmoy deals with each disciple individually, he also helps you according to what your needs are at the current point in your spiritual development. I don’t experience any “blows of the Master” in the form of “divine touches” these days, or any other form that I am aware of. And I know from experience that my future will be quite bright due to Sri Chinmoy’s guidance, particularly if I keep behaving well.
According to Dr. Nelson’s diagnosis, my psychotic thoughts guided me to something on SriChinmoyLibrary.com, a perfectly apt message for me that would either be impossible or at least very difficult to find anywhere else on that website.
I have read a lot of Sri Chinmoy’s writings since 1994, both in physical books and on SriChinmoyLibrary.com, and I have NEVER before found a message such as that one. It was not psychosis, but my Master’s guidance that brought me to the message I needed.
There are many people who would reject the notion that Sri Chinmoy would punish a disciple, but he deals with each disciple differently according to their spiritual development, needs, and acceptance of him.
— Sri Chinmoy (Source: Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, #39039)
At the same time, I do not want to give the impression that Sri Chinmoy is not all Love-Patience-Tolerance-Forgiveness. As I said in Chapter Two of Vol. 1 of my book:
“One thing about having an inner connection with my loving Master is that he doesn’t rush you; he doesn’t get frustrated or irritated with you. It is a learning process to realize that he is not critical or impatient.”
Perhaps due to my inadequacies as a writer, conveying how incredibly GOOD Sri Chinmoy (my essence) is to me is something I need to work on.
One who is familiar with Sri Chinmoy (unlike Dr. Nelson) would know that if Sri Chinmoy had indeed punished me, he would also take complete responsibility for me. If you understand my story, you know that that is definitely taking place. For example, he has repaired so much harm I have done to my consciousness by drinking and doing drugs. And I know that my gratitude will never be of sufficient quantity.
Do you think you may have experienced a form of spiritual punishment? I’d love to hear about it. It’s all positive, and we should be grateful because it helps us to progress spiritually and improves our karma.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
— Proverbs 3:11-12 (NIV)