Spirituality: what it is and what it is not1

Spirituality is man's boundless freedom in his life-boat, freedom of his life-journey, freedom from his life-pangs and freedom beyond his life-achievements.

In spirituality is man's farthest Vision. In spirituality is man's nearest Reality. God has Compassion. Man has aspiration. Spirituality is the consciousness-light that unites man's aspiration and God's Compassion. Spirituality tells man that he is God veiled and that God is man revealed.

Spirituality is not an escape from the world of reality. Spirituality tells us what the true reality is and how we can discover it here on earth. Spirituality is not the denial of life. It is the purest acceptance of life. Life is to be accepted unreservedly. Life is to be realised soulfully. Life is to be transformed totally. Life is to be lived eternally.

Spirituality is not the song of ignorance. It is the mother of concentration, meditation and realisation. Concentration takes me dynamically to God. Meditation silently brings God to me. Realisation neither takes me to God nor brings God to me: realisation reveals to me that God is the Blue Bird of Infinity's Reality and I am the Golden wings of Divinity’s Truth.

Spirituality has taught me the difference between my speech and my silence, between my mind and my heart. In speech I try to become. In silence I am. When I open my mouth, God closes my heart. When I close my mouth, God opens my heart. My mind says, "God needs me." My heart says, "I need God." My mind wants to possess God's creation while negating it. My heart wants to embrace God's creation while serving it. My mind says that it does not know whether it thinks of God or thinks of itself. At times my mind feels that as it does not think of God, so also God does not think of it. My heart sees and feels that God thinks of it even if it does not care to think of God.

Spirituality has told me secretly what my supreme necessity is and how I can have it. What is my supreme necessity? God's Blessing. How can I have it? Simply by borrowing it from God's Bank.

How can I pay off my debt? Easy. Just by borrowing once more from God's Bank. But I must borrow wisdom and nothing else. Wisdom possessed, debt nullified. Verily this wisdom is the breath of spirituality.

I am God's experiment. He has given me my name: Science. I am God's experience; He has given me my name: Spirituality. I am God's Realisation. He has given me my name: Oneness — Oneness within, Oneness without.

God is my Reality.
Heaven is my Immortality.
Earth is my Divinity.

On earth I grow.
With Heaven I become.
In God I am.

AUM 355. This address was delivered to the students of the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica, on 10 January 1968 at 8 p.m. during Sri Chinmoy's first visit to the Island.