Jharna-Kala celebrates its first anniversary1

Today is a most significant day for my disciples and for me, for today we complete one full year of my art-life. It is the first anniversary of my art experience. I was a seeker, I am a seeker and I shall eternally remain a seeker. I shall eternally walk along the road of aspiration. The Supreme in me taught me at a very young age how to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. But even before that, when I was totally ignorant of aspiration and consciousness, when I was one year and two or three months old, my parents took me to a spiritual institution called an ashram. Then, when I was four years old, they took me again. When I was seven and when I was nine years old again I was taken to the ashram. Finally, when I was eleven years and a few months old I went there to become a permanent member. At that time the Supreme in me made me conscious of my aspiration. He taught me from then how to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. In a few months’ time I came to discover who I was in my previous incarnation and what would be my role in this incarnation.

But no matter what I realise, I feel that my realisation is nothing but a form of aspiration, ever-crying aspiration. Each realisation is nothing but a progressing rung in the ladder of evolution. While I was aspiring through concentration, meditation and contemplation, I was asked by the absolute Supreme within me to aspire also through athletics. Again, out of His infinite Bounty He made me in my youth a champion sportsman. Then, along with my physical discipline and spiritual discipline, He wanted me to aspire through poetry. I started writing poems before I was twelve years old — of course, in Bengali.

I am saying this not for the sake of boasting. What I wanted to tell you is how my aspiration took shape in various forms, in various fields — spirituality, sports, poetry and also music. I was a music-lover, and even now I am a music-lover. Music also played a considerable role in my aspiration. I came to the West, here to America, by the express inner command of the Supreme Pilot who wanted me to be of service to many here in the aspiring West. As you know, the Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, has inspired me, according to my power of receptivity and capacity, to write over 250 books during the eleven years of my existence in America. These books are nothing but the revelation of my own aspiration which is crying, according to my inner receptivity and capacity, to go high, higher, highest, to the ever-transcending Height. It is always aspiration that is being manifested in all my activities, physical, vital, mental and psychic.

Here in the West I have come to act as a devoted server, unconditional server of the divine Love, Light and Truth. In the outer life, in the outer world, some people take me as a spiritual teacher, a Master. But I wish to say the real Master, the supreme Master, is God Himself. We are all representatives. He who knows a little more than we do in any field we are apt to call our teacher. But the real teacher, the absolute Teacher, who has infinite Knowledge and who is infinite Wisdom, Light and Love is God Himself and no human being.

Here in the West the Inner Pilot, my Supreme Pilot, expressed Himself in and through me according to the power of my receptivity when I gave hundreds of talks at various universities in America and in Europe. Hundreds of questions I have also answered. I have composed hundreds of songs both in Bengali and English and a few in Sanskrit. All these things are nothing but various ways of expressing my own inner cry.

Last but not least, I entered last year, exactly one year ago, into the field of art. This field was not my forte. In our family, as ill luck would have it, art-life was not cultivated. Of course, in the broad sense, poetry is an art, music is an art, undoubtedly, but painting as such was not appreciated. Our family was wanting in the capacity for appreciating this particular art. I was in no way an exception.

Eleven years ago when I arrived in New York, I happened to visit the Guggenheim Museum. I saw quite a few paintings. To my extreme sorrow I could not appreciate any of them. But my Fate-Maker one year ago wanted me to become an artist. I was in a hotel in Ottawa. Around 5:00 in the afternoon it was drizzling, but the command came from within to go out and buy a few crayons and drawing paper and so forth. I went out in the rain and bought a few drawing books and I started my journey. After I had drawn a few, I was totally disappointed and disgusted, but the Inspirer in me did not permit me to stop. He wanted me to continue, and I did.

Now some people call me an artist. Yes, I am an artist; this is true. But to be exactly true, one hundred percent true, I wish to say that I am a seeker. Here again, my aspiration is being expressed through art in the form of thousands of paintings in the short span of a year. The artist in my Beloved Supreme, according to my receptivity, according to my surrendering and surrendered existence, has painted and drawn in and through me. Then he wanted me to offer to these paintings an Indian name: Jharna-Kala. It means Fountain-Art. Like a fountain this art flows spontaneously. It has no birth, it has no death; a ceaseless, birthless and deathless flow.

I have quite a few admirers to appreciate my paintings. I am extremely grateful to them. Again, I have quite a few critics who feel they have legitimate reasons to find fault with me. They say, “Why deal with quantity and not with quality? Why not aim at perfection?”

I tell my critics that earthly perfection is a relative experience of and in the mind. A child’s perfection is to pinch someone. The satisfaction that he derives from pinching is perfection in his life. A child crawls and stumbles, he stands up, he walks, marches, he runs very fast. Each progressive stage that he masters is perfection in his life. When he was unable to crawl, he was having a particular experience in earth-life. But the day he started crawling he felt that that progress was perfection. Continuous progress is perfection. Constantly transcending one’s own existence-reality is perfection. Otherwise, perfection would be a finished product. If perfection is a finished product, then it is no perfection at all. Perfection is the song of ever-transcending reality that we embody and we eternally are in the cosmic Vision and transcendental Reality of the Absolute Supreme.

When I paint, I do not have in mind — I never use the mind — how many I am going to do. No, I only try to become a perfect instrument of the Supreme by surrendering to His Will. When it comes to thousands and not hundreds, I clearly see and feel that each painting of mine is a flame of aspiration. Now if I see thousands of aspiration-flames instead of one, then I see clearly that these thousands of aspiration-flames can more easily illumine ignorance-night than only a few could. Those who claim me as their very own, those who are my spiritual children, still need illumination. These thousands and thousands of paintings are for what? To be of service to them, to illumine them. If they see not one but thousands of flames, naturally they are bound to be carried far, very far, high, very high, deep, very deep. Instead of one if they have thousands of aspiration-flames to be of service to them, naturally their progress is bound to be much faster.

Again, each painting of mine is a spark of my own aspiration. One person will appreciate one painting of mine, a second person will appreciate another, a third person still another. This way each person gets the opportunity to identify himself with my aspiration-light. For my disciples, nothing can be as important as identification, identification with the Master’s life of aspiration and dedication.

As I said, I have written thousands and thousands of poems, I have given hundreds of lectures and composed hundreds of songs. Each poem, each talk, each song embodies my own aspiration. A disciple of mine may find his identification in one particular poem or song. The more he identifies himself with the consciousness-light of my creation, which is God’s own creation in and through me, the better for him, the sooner his illumination will take place on the strength of his identification with the Highest.

This is an opportunity for all art-lovers and all seekers of the transcendental Truth. Each painting, each poem, each thing that I undertake is at the express command of my Beloved Supreme. I have 900 disciples. I feel that each disciple can be given the golden opportunity to select whatever form of creativity inspires him most in his own way. There are also seekers who are not my disciples who feel something sublime in me. I wish to assure them that the inspiration and aspiration that my paintings and my writings embody is for them. He who sees something in me or in my creation is my soul’s friend, my heart’s friend. A friend of mine is he who gives me the best opportunity to be of dedicated service to his Inner Pilot. He who gives me this golden opportunity to serve him is my real friend. Here there are about fifty seekers who are not my disciples. But I wish to tell them that their very presence here has given me enormous joy and divine pride. Why? It is they who are giving me the golden opportunity to be of service to the Supreme in them. I say this with all the sincerity at my command. You may feel that I am sharing with you my inner wisdom, but I wish to say that what I feel in the inmost recesses of my heart is something else: the song of aspiration, the song of dedication. I sing in and through you my aspiration-song. I sing in and through you my dedication-song.

To my disciples, art-lovers and all those who are seekers of the transcendental Truth here, to you my fervent soulful request is that you try to identify even for a fleeting second with what I stand for, which is constant inner cry. What I am doing and what I shall be doing is aspiring, and you are all doing the same thing — aspiring, crying within to be conscious and constant instruments of God. The Goal is one; the roads are many. When the seekers see eye-to-eye with one another, then the road undoubtedly is shortened.

  1. AUM 1625. 19 November was the first anniversary of Jharna-Kala. Sri Chinmoy gave this talk about the significance of his art at the Blue Centre meeting in Manhattan's All Angels Church.