Sri Chinmoy: There are quite a few ways to increase one’s aspiration. One very easy way is to mix with people who you feel have more aspiration than you have. In school if you mix with a better student, then naturally you will be able to observe why he is getting better marks than you are getting. He is studying hard or he knows some secrets; that is why he is getting better marks. Similarly, by observing how someone has disciplined his life, you can increase your aspiration. So always try to mix with someone who is one step ahead of you. That doesn’t mean that you should look down upon someone who is inferior in your estimate. Far from it! You will show him your sympathy and love, but you have to feel that you can learn from the one who is above you. Again, that person will not be your ideal. Your ideal has to be only God or your spiritual Master. But you can try to see what good quality makes a person better than you.
This is not imitation; you don’t have to be a carbon copy of anyone. You need not spend all your time thinking of how the other person is meditating, but if you see that an individual has increased his aspiration by meditating at four o’clock or five o’clock, then you will also be inspired to meditate early in the morning. Again, if you see that that person is doing better meditation because he has not yet eaten, then you will also meditate the next time without having eaten. These are some of the outer ways to observe the person who you feel is doing better meditation than you.
The inner way to increase your aspiration is always to feel the inner cry. You desperately need God-realisation. God-realisation is not theoretical; it has to be practical. You have to eat. You know that feeling oneness with others while they eat is not enough. You yourself have to eat. True, while others are eating you can feel that you are also eating. Otherwise, if somebody is eating and you don’t have the capacity to identify yourself with that person, then you only feel jealous, frustrated and miserable. But identification is not enough. First you have to get the theoretical oneness and then you bring it to the practical level. Practical oneness means that you yourself have to eat. Then you try to feed others who are hungry.
In the spiritual life the best way to increase one’s aspiration is to think of one’s own Master twenty-four hours a day, if possible. You have to know that for you to think of your Master or meditate twenty-four hours a day right now is impossible. But for one or two hours you can read your Master’s writings, for one or two hours you can mix with other disciples; then one or two hours you can spend speaking about your Master to friends who know nothing about him.
Very often by speaking about the Master to others you can increase your own aspiration. Suppose today you have no aspiration at all. If somebody who is an absolute beginner asks you something about your spiritual Master, then you have to speak. You are not fooling the person even if you have no aspiration at that time. You have to go deep within in order to see if you have any aspiration at all in your life. Immediately you will see that hundreds of times you have had the aspiration-cry. So you bring that aspiration forward. Then while you are talking to that person, automatically your aspiration is increasing. Suppose today you don’t have aspiration but just two days ago you had tremendous aspiration. Somebody has just read something about your Master in the newspaper and wants to know more about him. If you do not speak to that fellow because you are not aspiring and you are doubting your Master, then you are destroying your own possibilities. It is God inside this seeker who has come to you only to increase your aspiration. God is more concerned at this time about you. You have been sincere for two months or six months and just today your aspiration is low. So God out of His infinite Compassion is coming to you in the form of a seeker or a curiosity-monger so that He can again kindle the flame of aspiration in you. There are many ways to increase our aspiration when it is low. But the best way is to think only of the Master, to talk about him, hear about him, and read all his writings.
If your Master has written only one book, or even if he has not written any book but there is a book of his sayings, that book is more than enough for all the disciples who are following his path. If you say, “I have already read all my Master’s writings,” then you have to know that to read them once is not enough. You have to read and re-read them all. But one book may give you more inspiration than the rest. Now that particular book every day you should read. Some disciples read a book once and then say, “I have read it.” If you read with your mind only, even though you read the same line both today and tomorrow, then you may not get any inspiration. But if you read with your heart, then from each word you will get boundless aspiration. Each day you will see new light in your Master’s writings. From each word you will get new light. In India some seekers select one spiritual book and read it again and again. There are seven hundred couplets in India’s gospel, the Bhagavad Gita. It takes three or three and a half hours to read and there are some people who read the book every day. Some seekers don’t read any other book. They read this book again and again in order to be purified. And every day they are getting new inspiration, new aspiration from that book. Everyday you too can get new revelation. What is revelation? It is the fruit of your aspiration. So if you read your Master’s writings, not as you read a newspaper, but with the feeling, “Today I am going to get new revelation,” then you are bound to get it.
While you are working at your job you cannot read, or your boss will fire you. But if you at that time repeat the Supreme’s name or your spiritual Master’s name or if you visualise your Master, how will your boss know what you are doing? You are not deceiving your boss. Far from it! But you know that there is a superior boss and that is God. You may say, “How can I please two bosses?” I wish to say that if you satisfy the absolutely superior boss, God, then your salvation is assured. Naturally you have to perform your earthly duties. God has made one individual your temporary boss and this boss is paying you for your labour. With this money, you can stay on earth and lead a spiritual life, which is absolutely necessary. Satisfying your earthly boss is not undivine cleverness or shrewdness; it is wisdom. So you have to work six or seven hours a day for this boss. But during the rest of the time you can meditate, mix with other disciples, and read your Master’s writings. In that way you can easily spend fourteen or fifteen hours a day in your Master’s consciousness. If this is not aspiration, then what else is aspiration? A spiritual Master embodies realisation. If you are constantly knocking, knocking, knocking at his heart’s door with your intense inner cry, then naturally he will come out and give you the key. How many hours a day are you devoting to him? If you spend only five minutes in his consciousness and the rest of your day is gone, wasted, then naturally it will take you longer to reach your goal. But when you are very devoted and surrendered, then you will see for how many hours and in how many ways you can remain in your Master’s consciousness. Then your aspiration will increase. When aspiration bears fruit, realisation dawns.