Sri Chinmoy and Pir Vilayat Khan1

Sri Chinmoy: I am fortunate and blessed to be here with the supreme Authority on Sufism. He is not only the supreme Authority but also the supreme embodiment of love and truth in the Sufi tradition. He has a heart and I have a heart. The Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, has granted us two aspiring hearts, and both of us are safe in each other’s hearts, are happy in each other’s hearts, are illumining and fulfilling in each other’s hearts.

I have come here to share with you soulful meditation and also I have come here to be in the company of a supremely holy man, Pir Vilayat Khan. I am extremely grateful to all the seekers of truth and light who have given me the opportunity to be of dedicated service here for an hour or so. Nothing gives me greater joy and fulfilment than to become a server of truth and light in the hearts of aspiring mankind. With your kind permission I will hold meditation.

Pir Vilayat Khan and his students offer a prayer.

Sri Chinmoy and his students offer a prayer.

Pir Vilayat Khan: Sri Chinmoy, it is my privilege to say how open our hearts are to receive you in this temporary abode, where you bless us by your presence. You said so many nice things about me. I wish to say that your presence here is a blessing to our gathering. You are a true representative of the spirituality of our home, India.

Ever since I met you for the first time, the link between us has always grown in strength, although we have seen each other only three or four times. But I want to say how greatly I value the meaning of that bond, because it is the one of true dedication to the service of God.

[Sri Chinmoy meditated with the assembly.]

Sri Chinmoy: I wish to offer a soulful song of mine to our sweet and beloved spiritual brother, Pir Vilayat Khan. I wish to dedicate this song to you.

Pir Vilayat Khan: I feel very deeply moved.

Sri Chinmoy:

"Tell me only once
That You are mine
And I am Yours.
Your smile of love-nectar
Is the companion
Of my life
And the light of my death.
In Heaven and on earth,
Tell me only once
That my heart is Your Beloved Supreme."

[Sri Chinmoy’s disciples sang Ekbar Shudhu Bhalo, whose translation Sri Chinmoy had just recited. Musical notation for this song appears at the end of this issue. Sri Chinmoy then welcomed questions from the seekers.]

Pir Vilayat Khan: Does the path of liberation lead to service or does the path of service lead to liberation?

Sri Chinmoy: When we are in the ordinary life, the unaspiring life, the path of service leads us to liberation. Through gradual progress, from the desire-life we enter into the aspiration-life. From service we gradually enter into spiritual freedom, which is liberation. Once we are liberated, once we are freed from the meshes of ignorance, we serve mankind in God’s own way. Before we attain to liberation we serve God according to our capacity and according to our necessity. Once we have been liberated by His infinite Bounty, we serve Him again, but this time we serve Him in His own way. And it is He who manifests Himself in and through our service with His infinite capacity.

So the path of service leads us to liberation and the path of liberation leads us again to service. But after liberation the service is totally different. At that time we serve the Supreme unconditionally in His own way. Before liberation we serve in order to enter into liberation; our service is conditional. It is our feeling that we are giving God ninety-nine percent and He is giving us only one percent. But when we realise God, we feel that God has given us ninety-nine percent and we have given Him only one percent. And when we go deep within, we come to realise that He has given us one hundred percent. We realise that He has given us the whole, for there are many who have not cried for God, who are not awakened at all. Awakening has taken place inside us because of the infinite Grace of the Supreme operating in and through us. In the beginning, while we are trying to liberate ourselves from ignorance-net, we feel that we are working extremely hard. God, perhaps, has turned a deaf ear to our inner cry. But gradually, gradually we come to realise that the reality is totally different. It is God Himself who has awakened us. It is He who is liberating Himself in and through us. Who is God, after all? God is the descending Smile. And who is man, after all? Man is the ascending cry. They need each other badly.

[other questions followed]

Sri Chinmoy and Pir Vilayat Khan present each other with copies of their books.

The farewell

— photos by Pranavananda

Pir Vilayat Khan: Sri Chinmoy, our thanks go to you for having granted us the blessing of your presence here. It has meant very much to all of us, being here in your presence. We shall always treasure this visit. And we wish you every blessing and every success and every joy on the mission that you are carrying out in the service of the Masters, saints and prophets.

Sri Chinmoy: Once more I wish to offer from the depth of my heart my soulful and ever-increasing gratitude to the supreme Sufi Master, Pir Vilayat Khan, and also to his dear and beloved disciples and students, for having granted me the opportunity to be of dedicated and devoted service. There may be many roads, but there is only one Goal. At God’s choice Hour we shall reach the selfsame Goal. Now we are not consciously aware of our inseparable oneness, but when we reach our destination, we realise that we have eternally been in one boat, the Boat of the Supreme, going to one Goal.

As I said before, we are perfectly safe, your Master and I, in our hearts’ oneness, in our hearts’ love for Truth, in our hearts’ love for God’s Vision and Reality. Both of us have established a most significant inner inseparable oneness. We complement each other and fulfil each other in the Heart of the Supreme Pilot.

To you all who are his spiritual children I wish to say that my heart is inseparably one with you, for I am inseparably one with your source, with your Master.

Faith is God’s mighty power in man.
Devotion is man’s mighty power in God.
Faith carries man into the Heart of God.
Devotion carries God into the heart of man.


  1. Sri Chinmoy was invited by the Sufi Master Pir Vilayat Khan to conduct a meeting at the Sufi encampment in Willow, New York on Tuesday, 8 July. These are excerpts from that meeting.