Three hundred book jubilee
On 20 February 1977, Sri Chinmoy held a special contest for the disciples in the New York Metropolitan area. All disciples who had over 100 of the Master’s books were asked to bring them to the auditorium of P.S. 86 in Jamaica, Queens where the function was held. The books were then counted, and the disciples were awarded plaques according to how many hundreds of books they had. Sri Chinmoy has published slightly over 300 books since his arrival in America, and many disciples had a copy of each one.
After all the prizes had been awarded, the Master spoke briefly about the significance of this event. His remarks appear below.
“I shall remember this day, not only as long as I am on earth, but also when I am on the other shore of the life-river. To those who have over one hundred books I offer my unprecedented love. To those who have over two hundred I offer my unprecedented pride. And to those who have over three hundred I offer my unprecedented love, unprecedented pride and unprecedented gratitude.
Each book has countless words, and each of you has shown over one hundred books. That means Infinity multiplied by Infinity. This Infinity multiplied by Infinity is your aspiration-flowers which you are offering to the Supreme, and for that the Supreme in me is all gratitude to you. There are very few days on earth when I have been really happy, but today my name is happiness, for my dear children have proven their loving concern and loving oneness with my creation, which I most sincerely want them to claim as their own, very own. Each book is a most powerful aspiration-flame. May these flames illumine you and immortalise you in the Heart of our Beloved Supreme.
When four hundred books have been published, we shall again have our oneness with the knowledge-sun. The human in us may say that this is meaningless and useless, but this is not a childish game. It is something that can be treasured and cherished only by the divine in us, the real in us.
My dear children, you have truly pleased the Supreme in me, the Real in me, in His own way, and for that my heart of infinite gratitude I offer to each of you. Please feel that each book is my living breath, and this living breath is all yours for your aspiration, for your realisation, for your revelation and for your manifestation of what you truly are. You are the unmanifested God.”
[/Sri Chinmoy has often spoken about the inner importance of reading the writings of a true spiritual Master, and he has requested his own disciples to read his writings every day. Following is a brief compilation of the Master’s words on this subject./]
I have written considerably for my disciples. On every aspect of the spiritual life, on every level, I have written. Now I feel that my disciples should read my writings, not because I am proud, but because it will help them to be in my consciousness. My writings are not bottled thought. Some philosophers, professors and scholars borrow their ideas from others. What they write is not their own wisdom. But mine is the expression of my own experience. In my case the consciousness that goes into my writings is a divine consciousness. It is a realised consciousness; therefore, it carries tremendous spiritual strength, spiritual power. The writings of all true spiritual Masters have this power.
Since I have written considerably, I wish my disciples to read my writings. See how many years it takes for you to read my writings soulfully. Then, you do not have to read everything twice. When you read, mark the things that appeal to you most, then read those again. They will be like mantras. An Indian mantra is the repetition of a spiritual phrase or word which you like. If you like a particular poem of mine, you can read that one every day if you want to.
If you read my writings, you will be able to remain in my consciousness. Then naturally you will make the fastest progress. I will be extremely pleased and proud of you if you read my writings at least half an hour a day. If you can read for half an hour, at least you will be able to say that you have pleased Guru in one way. Just think that this is another form of nourishment. In the morning you have a special hour for meditation, but you can read my writings anytime — early in the morning, at noon, in the evening or before you go to bed. I will really be pleased if you can read my writings for half an hour. If it happens to fall short of half an hour by five minutes or so I am not going to sue you. But you will know whether you have read five minutes or twenty-five minutes. The other day at the United Nations when the General Assembly began, the president stood tip and said, “Let us meditate for a minute.” We all stood up, but his minute was only ten or twelve seconds. So you will know the difference between one minute and ten seconds.
If you do not want to buy all my books, or if you are not in a position to buy all my books, no harm. But I am sure that you have a few books of mine — two or three, or let us say only one. So, please read them over and over again if you do not have the money or you do not want to buy new ones. I shall be extremely happy, most sincerely happy, if you read the books that you already have for half an hour every day. If you have quite a few books, then please mark the places, the paragraphs, the lines, that you like most, and read them over and over again. That will help you tremendously in your inner aspiration. My writings reveal my consciousness, so naturally if you read them your aspiration will increase. They will help you to enter into my consciousness and also to remain in my consciousness.
When you read my writings, do not feel that these are just words, feel that they are mantras. A day will come when lines from my poetry, meditations and soulful writings will be quoted like Indian mantras. They have that power within them. I am not boasting. English people do not give value to English words. They think that only some esoteric Sanskrit words can be real mantras. But even in English there are pure lines, very powerful lines and phrases, which are like mantras. There are many in Paramahansa Yogananda’s writings, in Swami Vivekananda’s writings, in the Bible. Even when the worldly poet Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” that particular line is like a mantra, too. By repeating Sanskrit mantras we can expedite our progress or even get realisation, so what is wrong with English mantras? The English language is also created by God, not by somebody else. If you can mentally repeat my poem “The Absolute” soulfully every day, by repeating that poem you can make the fastest progress toward God-realisation.
I wish to tell you a secret; believe it or not. If you believe it, then you will gain something. If you do not believe it, then you will not gain anything. The secret is that when you read my spiritual writings, my soulful writings, since you are my disciples, immediately you are bound to feel your oneness with my writings. And the next moment you will feel that you yourself have written them. I have concentrated on some of the disciples, and I have seen that they are totally one with my writings. At that time they do not feel that Guru has written; they feel that it is they who have written those inspiring words. This has happened to many, and it is a great achievement. When you claim that particular passage or thought or idea as your own, then you have the capacity to expand it in a soulful, dynamic, divine and supreme way. It becomes your own creation, your own possession.
As I said before, you do not have to read all my writings. Pick anything that you like. But when you read, you have to be most sincere, soulful, and worthy of repeating those lines. Then only will you get something from it. If you read my writings as you would read something for school, you will only get mental recognition of the thoughts and ideas. But if you can identify yourself with my consciousness when you read my writings, then you will get everything you need, all the spiritual wealth that is inside.