Russia and Russia's God-Blossoming Heart

60 minutes of questions and answers

RGB 1-18. On 17 August 1991, as part of the activities marking his 60th birthday, Sri Chinmoy answered questions on spirituality that were asked by some of his students from the Soviet Union who were visiting New York. They joined over a thousand other students from around the world, who also had the opportunity to hear Sri Chinmoy answers to these thoughtful and soulful questions — in a session which lasted exactly 60 minutes.

Question: Does everyone have a special mission on earth?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, each individual has a special mission on earth. What that mission is depends on the development of the soul. If the soul is extremely developed, then the mission of that particular person will be very, very great.

Question: What do you think of the soul of Russia and of its role in the development of the earth's consciousness?

Sri Chinmoy: For years and years the soul of Russia has suffered a lot inwardly. Now the inner problems have been solved and Russia's soul is awakened; it is fully responding to the higher light — the light that can change and, as a matter of fact, has already started to change the face and fate not only of Russia but also of many, many other countries. Now we see many political problems and other problems, but these are all outer problems. What we notice now in Russia is the outer struggle. When the soul of Russia wants to act in and through an individual, it does so according to the potentiality and possibility of the individual. The soul of Russia acts swiftly, confidently and self-givingly. It has many, many divine qualities, but its main qualities are tolerance, patience, determination and a one-pointed will to achieve its goal, whatever that goal may be. The goal can be higher than the highest, or it can be not so high. Instead of using the word 'Russia,' let us speak of the soul of the Soviet Union. When the soul of the Soviet Union says "Yes," it is positive in every sense of the term. Some other countries, on the other hand, may also say "Yes," but inside their "Yes" the word "No" looms large.

Question: Is it possible for modern human beings to establish a harmony between the inner and outer life?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not only possible but inevitable. The inner life and the outer life must go together. When we look at a flower, the first thing we notice is its beauty and fragrance. Then, after a few seconds, we see the purity it embodies. If we continue to look at it for two or three minutes, we will also see the divinity inside it. The beauty and fragrance that the flower radiates are the realities of its outer life, whereas the purity and divinity in the flower are the realities of its inner life. So when we look at a flower, first we see the outer life. Then if we continue to look at it most soulfully, we also see the inner life. But the outer life and the inner life are part and parcel of the same flower; they go together. Let us say the inner life is the seed. If there were no seed, then there would be no flower. The roots of the flower came from the seed itself. In exactly the same way, the outer life comes from the inner life. The inner life is deep within. From there we get the message of peace, love, joy, self-giving and oneness, and these qualities we offer in our outer life. But if there is a disharmony between the inner life and the outer life, then the outer life will not be successful and fruitful, and we will not be able to manifest our soul's divinity.

Question: Is it necessary to suffer or feel sorrow in order to make spiritual progress?

Sri Chinmoy: Let us say that my goal is the Supreme. The Supreme is my Eternity's beloved Father and I am His son. Suppose He is ten metres away from me and I want to go to Him. Do you think He wants me to cut off one leg so that I can say, "Look, in spite of my suffering, I am coming to You?" If I go to him smilingly, cheerfully and lovingly, then He will be much more pleased. But on the way to Him, if there is an obstacle or hurdle that I have to cross, then I may fall down and break my leg. If the hostile forces attack me, what can I do? Only I will not give up. I will go to Him and bring my suffering with me, but I will not deliberately create suffering in order to prove to my Father Divine how much I love Him. It is absolutely unnecessary! God does not become more pleased with us if we cherish suffering.

Our Indian realisation runs thus: "We came from infinite Delight. We grow in infinite Delight. And at the end of our journey's close, we enter into infinite Delight." This kind of Delight we don't experience in our day-to-day life. During the course of our multifarious activities we encounter lots of problems, and we suffer. But on our own, we must not cherish suffering. That would be a deplorable mistake.

If others are suffering, naturally we shall sympathise with them. If they are sick or if someone in their family has suffered a catastrophe, we shall sympathise with them. This is a different way of expressing or embodying suffering. But we shall not welcome suffering with the idea that it will help us to make very fast progress. Suffering as such is not at all necessary for spiritual progress.

Question: Very often we go through suffering when we try to reach perfection because we have to overcome our imperfections.

Sri Chinmoy: Here you are using the term 'perfection' according to your mental under standing. But from a spiritual point of view, perfection is progress. When I was a child, I had to learn the Bengali alphabet. In Bengali the letters are different, but let us call them the ABCs. When I learned the first letter, 'A,' according to my mother I was perfect. Then, when I learned the other letters and finally the whole alphabet, she felt her child had achieved even greater perfection. Even though this child still had to go to kindergarten, primary school, high school and other places, since I was making progress, my mother felt that I was perfect.

In the spiritual life, let us say that yesterday I desired ten cars, ten houses, ten tennis courts. But now my desires have decreased and I want only five cars, five houses, five tennis courts. I have made progress, and this progress is my perfection. Then tomorrow I will want only one tennis court, and after a few days or a week it will not matter if I do not have even one. Although I like to play tennis, because of my spiritual progress I will say, "If it is God's Will, let Him give me a tennis court. If it is not His Will, then I don't need one."

Previously, God was not even in the picture, but now I am saying I want a tennis court only if it is God's Will. This is called progress, and it comes from decreasing our earthly desires and increasing our heavenly aspirations. In the world of aspiration, if I have doubt or any other bad qualities, I will try to decrease them and eventually illumine them. Anything that is undivine in me I shall try to decrease, and anything that is divine in me I shall try to increase. That kind of progress is called perfection.

Right now, let us say, I can meditate for only two minutes. Then gradually I learn to meditate for three minutes, five minutes, an hour. Like this, in the beginning I try to make progress according to my mind's way of seeing progress. But there will come a time when the divine within me, my Inner Pilot, will make me realise that it is not how long but how soulfully I meditate that is of paramount importance. God will tell me that it is better to meditate soulfully for seven seconds than to spend seven hours in front of my shrine thinking of what I ate in the morning or of what Russia and America are doing. So when I realise this, I will try to make progress in another way.

Perfection is not found at a particular height — like the top of a mountain. There is no end to the perfection we can achieve. What we consider perfection today is only the starting point for the higher perfection that we will strive for tomorrow. In the beginning, our idea of perfection is being able to meditate for one hour, so we try to increase our meditation time. But then we realise that perfection depends on how soulfully and powerfully we meditate, so we try to make our meditations more soulful. Finally we realise that there is no end to how soulful and powerful our meditation can become, and we see that there is no end to the progress we can make. So the only perfection that is real and perfect is continuous progress.

Question: Is it true that first you should realise God yourself and only then help your brothers and sisters?

Sri Chinmoy: If each and every individual decides to wait until he realises God before serving mankind, then I don't know how this world will go on. If everybody enters into the Himalayan caves and forgets about the world, can the world ever be happy? In the morning when you pray and meditate, God offers you His Light, Love and Peace. Then, later in the day when you mix with people, they see in your face or deep inside you a certain beauty, light, love and joy that they don't see in others. You don't have to say a word. You are walking along the street and somebody will look at you and unconsciously get some good feeling or feel something nice within himself. He does not know it, but because of the light you have received during your meditation, you are the one who has inspired him to feel something good in his life.

You will pray to God to give you light; this is your aspiration. Then you will pray to God to give you the capacity to spread this light; that is your dedication. Aspiration and dedication must go together-like two hands. If you want to run, you need both legs; with one leg you cannot run. A coin has two sides; how can a coin have only one side? Similarly, aspiration and dedication cannot be separated. When you pray, you receive some thing from Above. But then, if you really want to be happy, you have to offer what you have received to others.

You don't lose your good qualities by giving them to others; you only increase them. Right now I am serving the Supreme in you by answering your questions. In no way am I losing my wisdom or my love for you by serving the divine in you. On the contrary, I am increasing the love and wisdom-light that I already have. It is like a mother. The mother gets tremendous joy and satisfaction when she shares what she has with her children. She gets no joy in keeping everything for herself.

The same Person who is inside you is also inside others. The same God who is in Heaven is also on earth. God is both the Creator and the creation. When you look up, you see God the Creator; when you look around, you see God the creation. God will not be happy if you only look for Him above you and do not also look for Him around you.

If I look upward, God is very happy that His child is looking at Him. But when He stands in front of me, if I say, "Why are You standing in front of me here on earth? You should only be in Heaven," then God will not be pleased with me. No, when I am looking up at Him, He is happy; and when I am seeing Him in my brothers and sisters, He is also happy. When I look up at Him in my prayer and meditation, I am pleasing Him with my aspiration. When I serve Him inside my brothers and sisters, I am pleasing Him with my dedication.

Question: We are human beings; we are not gods. Can we nevertheless discover the astral planes inside or outside of ourselves?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, we can. But if we are wise, we will not think of entering into the astral planes. We will think only about pleasing God. If we please God, then whatever we need most, He will give us. It is like entering into a big garden. Inside the garden are many kinds of fruits and flowers: rose bushes, mango trees, apple trees and so forth. If I say a few nice things to the owner of the garden, he will be pleased with me and say, "Take anything you like. If you like a particular flower, take it. If you want a mango or a guava or an apple, then just take it."

Sometimes we cry only for one thing, for an apple or a rose, and the owner may say, "All right, take it." But if I please the owner, he will say, "Why just take an apple or a rose? Everything that is in the garden you can have." But if I try to take even a single apple from the garden without first pleasing the owner, then he will scold me.

In this particular case, the owner is God, and God will only give us what is best for our spiritual life. So, if you can please your Inner Pilot through your prayer and meditation, then He will give you what you need most. If He thinks it is necessary for you to enter into the astral planes so you can see what is happening in Russia, let us say, then He can let you enter. But that will not make you happy. It will only increase your desire-life. Today if you get the capacity to fly 100 miles in the astral plane to get some messages from a different place, then tomorrow you will want use the astral tubes to get messages from 200 or 400 miles away. But this kind of ability will not satisfy your heart and your soul; it will only feed your curiosity and take you farther from God.

But if you can please God in God's own Way, then He will give you everything far beyond your imagination. To your greatest joy, He will give you things that you never dreamed of. Once He is satisfied with your aspiration and dedication, once He is satisfied with your love, devotion and surrender, there is nothing that He will not give you. Once you are spiritually ready, He will give you everything. At that time, in the twinkling of an eye you will be able to go farther than the farthest to see what is happening not only in the outer world but also in the inner world. You will have a free access to God's entire universe. So the best thing is to concern yourself only with pleasing God. Once you please God, then He will give you the capacity to see everything and do everything and become everything-in His own Way.

The highest prayer we can offer God is: "Let Thy Will be done." You will try to please God; that is your job. Then it is up to God to please you and fulfil you in His own Way. And this is the only way that will truly satisfy you, because only God knows what is best for you.

Question: I read that the soul has no nationality. What do you mean when you say a soul is Indian or British or Russian or some other nationality?

Sri Chinmoy: I was born into a Hindu family, so you can call me a Hindu. Another person is Muslim and a third person is Christian. But when we pray and meditate, we enter into the Universal Consciousness, and this Universal Consciousness becomes part and parcel of our life. At that time, there is no Hinduism or Islam or Christianity; there is only oneness.

You can say you were born in Russia; so you are a Russian soul. But as you gain inner experience and become more spiritually developed, you will say that you belong not only to Russia but to the Soviet Union. Then gradually you will say that you belong to the whole world. I was born in Bengal; so I am Bengali. Bengal is in India; so I am an Indian. India is in Asia; so I am an Asian. Asia is a continent in the world; so I belong to the whole world. I am a citizen of the whole world.

Each individual is consciously or unconsciously making progress. On the strength of that progress, the individual soul sees and feels its oneness with others. You can call me a Bengali. But because of my inner realisation, I can say that I am cosmopolitan the same way Socrates said that he belonged to the entire world.

Question: Is there an absolute Truth, and is it possible to discover this absolute Truth?

Sri Chinmoy: To discover the absolute Truth is not only possible but inevitable. Everybody on earth will one day discover the absolute Truth — at God's choice Hour. You will discover it today and I will discover it tomorrow. But every person on earth is bound to realise this absolute Truth; it is not the sole monopoly of anyone. When God feels that we are ready, He will come to us with the absolute Truth. It may take many, many years or many incarnations, but definitely God's Hour will come for us. We do not know when that time will be; but we know that it is bound to come.

Question: Would you like to offer a special message to your Russian children for your coming birthday?

Sri Chinmoy: My heart's infinite affection, my heart's infinite love, my heart's infinite fondness I wish to offer to each and every Russian child of my heart, my soul and my God-realisation. This is the message that I am offering to all the disciples that I have in the Soviet Union. To those who have come to visit me, let me say that I am very happy that you are here, very proud of you and very grateful to you. And all those who could not come will receive my heart's boundless fondness, boundless love and boundless affection.

Question: What do you mean when you speak of peace and tranquility?

Sri Chinmoy: Peace is infinitely more powerful than tranquility. Tranquility is in the mind, and you can have it for five seconds or five minutes or five hours. But peace is found inside the central heart, inside the entire being. When you have tranquility, you feel it in the mind. But when you have peace, you feel it from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head; it inundates your entire being.

Let us take the entire being as a tree. If you look at a particular leaf and see that it is not moving, then you can say that the leaf is tranquil. But if you look at the whole tree — the solid trunk and branches — then you will feel that it is peaceful.

Inside us there is the mind, the vital, the heart and the soul. There are so many things inside us. Tranquility only applies to the physical mind or the mind proper. But peace applies to the whole being. Peace is infinitely more significant than tranquility. But if someone is very restless, then even an iota of tranquility will bring him some satisfaction.

Question: When will you go to Russia?

Sri Chinmoy: I am dying to go to Russia, but because of inner reasons it is not possible right now. At least you can come and see me here. Also, I have already sent my heart, my inner realisation and my Eternity's oneness to the inner existence and the outer existence of Russia.

Question: All the Russian disciples are dreaming of the time when you can come to Russia.

Sri Chinmoy: I am also dreaming of going. But I understand that I will be able to see 400 Russian disciples in Yugoslavia when I go there this fall.

Question: When will the Russian soul find harmony?

Sri Chinmoy: I do not know when the Russian soul will find harmony, but I do know how I as an individual and you as an individual can help the Russian soul have more harmony. If we pray to God to become better human beings, then our good qualities will definitely help the Russian soul to have more harmony, peace and oneness.

It is you who can make the Russian soul happy and proud of you with your own spiritual life. If the children behave well, if they pray and meditate and do the right thing, then the parents feel tremendous joy and satisfaction. So it is up to you and me and others to help the Russian soul have more joy, love and harmony.

Question: Will humanity exist forever?

Sri Chinmoy: Humanity will exist forever, but in a better way. We believe in the process of evolution. Previously our souls were in the stone life. Then we entered into the plant world, then the animal kingdom and finally into the human life. The day will come when we will enter into the divine life. At that time, humanity will have a better consciousness and a more illumining life.

A day may come in the process of evolution when human beings will be totally transformed. They will have so much light inside them that they will do many, many, many good things for God on earth. As far as we can see, God is not going to destroy or demolish this planet earth. Human beings are very weak, but God has a very special Affection and Love for human beings, and very special Blessings, Love and Fondness for this planet earth.

Question How can one protect oneself from doubt and remain always strong on the spiritual path?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to pray every day for God's Protection and Compassion; and every day we have to feel grateful to Him for blessing us with His Protection and Compassion.

Question: What is better for spiritual development — to sing your songs in English or in Bengali or in Russian translation?

Sri Chinmoy: Even if you do not know English, I would like my "Invocation" to be sung in English. Again, since Russian is your mother tongue and there are many who do not know English, a translation is necessary so others can know the meaning of the words. So I do want this song to be translated. Occasionally if you sing the song in your own language, you may get a kind of unusual joy and thrill. But most of the time I would like the "Invocation" to be sung in English. I composed the "Invocation" in English. When the original words came to me, each and every word came from my own highest experience and realisation. Outwardly you may say these are all just words. The last line is so simple: "Thou art one Truth, one Life, one Face." Every Tom, Dick and Harry can say this. But when I wrote those words, I not only saw them but also felt them and became them. What I expressed through my "Invocation" — the reality, the divinity, the life-breath of the song itself — I actually became.

As for my other songs, it depends on the individual. If you like the Bengali songs more than the English songs, then learn the Bengali songs. If some English songs give you joy, then those songs you learn. Only I must say that many of my English songs are not on the same level as my Bengali songs. Some of my English songs can be placed on the same footing as my Bengali songs. But there are hundreds and hundreds of Bengali songs that give me enormous delight, not because they are written in Bengali-which is my mother tongue-but because their melodies are very haunting, thrilling, illumining and fulfilling.

When I write poems or compose songs in English, I never think of Bengali words or Bengali ideas; the English words and ideas come to me naturally. But because I was born in Bengal, the Bengali atmosphere, the Bengali vibration, the Bengali way of expressing and revealing the divinity within me is easier for me than the borrowed English language or English words.

So please sing the "Invocation" in English. On rare occasions you can sing it in Russian. Also, when you have Joy Days, if some of you want to get special joy, you can sing it in Russian. But during your regular meetings please sing it in English. As for other songs, you decide. If Bengali songs give you more joy, then sing in Bengali. Sometimes if you know the meaning of the words, you get extra joy. Again, it isn't necessary to know the meaning of a song. There are many, many songs in various languages whose meaning we do not understand. But we get tremendous joy in singing these songs or in listening to others sing them.

Question: We were all invited for your 60th birthday. Is there a chance that we will be invited for your 100th birthday?

Sri Chinmoy: Whether Heaven wants me or not, I am sincerely eager to visit Heaven. I won't remain on earth for a hundred years. In my case, it is out of the question. And, as I have said many, many times, this will be absolutely my last incarnation. God has promised me that I will not have to take any more human incarnations. So this will be my last and last and last incarnation.

But wherever I am, whether in Heaven or elsewhere, I will definitely bless my spiritual children who think of me, who pray to me and who meditate on the Supreme in me. No matter where I am, I will be of devoted, loving service to you all provided you think of me and meditate on the Supreme in me. The physical is not the only reality. But a oneness-life, oneness-heart, oneness-existence, oneness-life breath is of supreme importance.

Wherever I am, my good will, my love and my blessings will always be there for this planet. I shall remain eternally, eternally, eternally grateful to this planet earth, for here my Beloved Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, has given me the supreme opportunity to serve Him. And I have been trying to serve Him as much as I can in His own Way.

From: Sri Chinmoy, Russia and Russia's God-Blossoming Heart - , Agni Press, 1991
Sourced from http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/rgb