What is the aim of life?1

The aim of life is to be conscious of the Supreme Reality. The aim of life is to be the conscious expression of the Eternal Being.

Life is evolution. Evolution is the unfoldment from within. Each life is a world in itself. Indeed, each life is a microcosm. Whatever breathes in the vast universe also breathes in it.

There are two lives: the inner and the outer. The outer life speaks about its principles and then tries to act. It professes in season and out of season. It practises very little of what it professes. The inner life acts. It does not speak. It professes only what it practises.

Our life has two realities: exoteric and esoteric. The exoteric reality deals with the world around us. The esoteric reality deals with the inner world. The outer reality tries to fulfil itself by feeding desires and stimulating passions. The inner reality finds fulfilment by the control of passions and conquest of desires, by swimming in the vast sea of liberation.

Life is existence. The ordinary existence comes from a deeper Existence. Existence cannot come from nonexistence. Life comes from God. Life is God. Two things we should do. We should read life most devotedly and live it most divinely.

Two things we must have: imagination and inspiration. A life with no imagination is a life of imprisonment. With the wings of imagination, we must try to fly into the Beyond. A life with no inspiration is a life of stagnation. With the dynamism of ceaseless inspiration, we shall give a new meaning to life and immortalise life itself.

The aim of life is to realise God. Realisation can never come to the individual who is inactive. One has to strive for realisation. One has to pay the price for it. There is no alternative. One thing of paramount importance is that by telling others that you are a realised soul, you may convince others, you may even deceive your very heart, but you cannot deceive God.

To have Realisation, the first requisite is peace. Peace is based on love: love for humanity and love for God. Peace is also founded on non-attachment. No thirst for gain, no fear of loss — lo, peace is yours. Peace is also based on renunciation. This renunciation is not the renunciation of worldly possessions, but of limitations and ignorance. And that peace is the true peace which is not affected by the roaring of the world, outer or inner.

When you have that kind of peace, realisation cannot help knocking at your heart's door. To be more accurate, the lotus of Realisation will start blooming in your heart, petal by petal. Further, to realise God, temples, churches and synagogues are not obligatory. Neither is the tapestry of scriptures and sermons required. What is imperative is meditation. This meditation will make you realise God the Infinite within your soul, heart, mind and body.

The aim of life is to live a divine life. We are living in this world. We know that man does not live by bread alone. He needs the soul in order to live in the world of God's Reality. The soul alone has the capacity to see and feel the known and the Unknown, the existent and the non-existent, the dream of the past, the achievement of the present, and the hope of the future.

Let us accept the inner life, the spiritual life. Mistakes in our journey are inevitable. Success without endeavour is impossibility itself. No work, no progress. Experience we must welcome, for we can learn nothing without experience. The experience may be either encouraging or discouraging. But it is experience that makes us a real being; it shows us the true meaning of our very existence.

Let us all be truly spiritual. Let us realise God by our constant communion with Him. We need not have any particular time or place for our meditation. We must transcend the necessity of time and space. When we go deep within, we can feel that one moment cannot be separated from another, one place cannot be separated from another. Let us aspire to live in the Eternal Now of God-Realisation, in the Eternal Now of God's Dream and Reality. This Dream is the Dream of ever-surpassing Transcendence. This Reality is the Reality of ever-blossoming Revelation.

This talk was given on 13 August 1966 at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Virgil Gant, 467 Central Park West, New York City.

Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol. 2, No. 9, 27 April 1967, Boro Park Printers -- Brooklyn, N. Y, 1967