Questions and answers

Question: I have studied a good many scriptures. I also indulge in preaching about spirituality, religion, the inner life and so forth. But personally, I feel a barren desert within me. There is no satisfaction at all from what I am doing. I feel I am wasting my own precious time and that of others along with it. Could you possibly enlighten me regarding this?

Sri Chinmoy: I fully sympathise with you. You are not alone. There are a good many human souls sailing in the same boat. The study of books and scriptures can give us information to quote from, and a certain understanding; they can give us, at most, inspiration. But nothing more. By borrowing others' ideas, we can never be truly enlightened in our inner life. It is by studying the eternal book of truth within us, by listening constantly to the voice of the Inner Self that we can become spiritually illumined. It is then that we find joy in our inner life. We must see God first and then we shall be godlike. To be truly godlike, talking must give way to Becoming. Let me tell you a true story.

In a certain village in Bengal, India, a rich man's servant arrived daily at his master's house by crossing a river in a ferry boat. One day there was a violent storm. The ferry could not ply across the raging river and the servant was late in arriving. His master was furious. "You fool," he shouted, "If you utter Krishna's name three times, you will see that you don't need a boat. You will be able to walk across the river!"

The following day, as the storm showed no signs of abating, the poor servant was threatened with the same situation. But in his simple faith, he obeyed his master's instructions. From the very depths of his heart, he uttered the name of Krishna. Lo! the miracle of miracles. He felt a power propelling him towards the water. He was able to walk upon the very waves. Thus he crossed the river.

On hearing the story, the master's joy knew no bounds. A swelling pride rose from his heart. Was it not his advice that had brought about the success? "I never knew that my advice had such great power," he thought. "Let me enjoy this miracle myself."

He went to the river whose waters were now calm and serene. He uttered Krishna's name three times and began to cross. But fear and doubt tortured his whole being, and although he shouted the sacred name hundreds of times, his attempt was fruitless. He was drowned.

Now what do we learn from this story? The servant had sincere faith in his master. He also had an implicit faith in Lord Krishna. It was this absolute faith in a divine power that saved him and proved the power of Krishna's Grace.

Similarly, a speaker, in spite of his own lame faith, can, it is true, inspire a genuine faith in his listeners. But it is by being truly spiritual himself that he can help others most significantly. If we want to convince others of our Truth, our highest authority must come only from the direct knowledge of Truth and not from any scripture. In the Divine Play unillumined authority plays the role of the lamp, while Truth-In-Realisation plays the role of the Light.

Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol. 1, No. 7, 27 February 1966, Boro Park Printers -- Brooklyn, N. Y, 1966