America in her depths

"Of what use to me are the things that cannot make me immortal?"

Thus in her longing for Immortality, the great woman of the Upanishads rejects the riches of the world. By Immortality, she does not mean the continuity of her human existence, but a life to be lived in her soul.

India's history is aglow with kings and potentates enjoying power and opulence without being in the least attached to them. Rajarshi Janaka was not an isolated instance. Prince Siddhartha, afterwards Buddha, and Emperor Asoka are other such outstanding figures in history.

Of all the nations in the world today, America is the one which, in the modern context, stands forth uniquely as the most fit for the ideal of Janaka, Siddhartha and Asoka. By the flow of her wealth, America has restored shattered Europe, not once but twice. Impoverished India has been helped towards her goal of achieving minimum conditions of life for her vast millions through large-scale and repeated American aid. Many other countries, large and small, have shared in America's munificence. Not only her generosity, but her ever-progressive mind and the dynamism of her spirit have been an asset to the whole international community.

In a little over a century after achieving her Independence, America accepted into her wide-open heart a wandering young Sannyasi's message. The fact that Swami Vivekananda's message on the pervasive oneness and unity of all creation was appreciated and understood at the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893, shows the character of America's evolving progressive spirit.

This very spirit, being the essence of her national Self, is bound to transcend its present limits and soar into the heights of spiritual oneness. Indications are already available in the works of her advanced thinkers of the growth of her mind towards the summit of her evolution, a summit manifesting the successful spiritual transformation of her life and thought. Who knows that she will not be the first to respond to the call of God, to the unique task of self-transmutation into the consciousness of the Soul? If in a post-war world, she has been a great helper, what role will be hers in the world of tomorrow, when God's voice will be heard through all human lips?

Until now, the world has seen largely the surfaces of American life, and it has formed its opinion accordingly. Not that her depths have not occasionally come to view, but such occasions have been few in relation to the vastness and variety of her population. Needless to say, there are great indications of a greater future, and as the Hour of God dawns and advances towards its fullness, the splendour of America's soul will show more and more on the surface, even for crude eyes to see.

Every nation has its soul. The soul of a nation consists in its aspirations, aptitudes and capacities placed at the service of the Supreme. Now that a spiritual awakening is upon the world, it is only a question of years (and certainly not centuries) before its golden glint falls on the face of every nation. The Divinity now hidden beneath the surface will shine forth, to a greater or lesser degree, upon each one.

Judging from her history, America holds out the brightest promise of placing at the service of the Divine her aspirations, aptitudes and capacities, as she has often, in times of need, placed them at the service of humanity.

Furthermore, it is not only for political and economic purposes that the divine logic of events has brought India and America close together. What is seen in these external aspects of life will be seen in an incalculable measure on the deeper levels in days to come. America is, perhaps, not conscious that in taking a major part in the economic rehabilitation of India, she has been building up the base of a divine new world. And if America is doing so much for the base, she cannot but do much more for the superstructure. Then will prosperous America be doubly prosperous, spiritual prosperity being added to the material, and both nourishing and serving the highest cause of a Divine New Creation.

Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol. 1, No. 2, 27 September 1965, Boro Park Printers -- Brooklyn, N. Y, 1965