When Sudhahota was at Progress-Promise two days later, on 17 November, Sri Chinmoy told him the following story.
Sudhahota, I am telling you a story. This story took place in 1944 when I had been a permanent member of the Ashram for only four or five months. Around four-thirty or five o’clock one afternoon, we had a pole vault competition. The ashram had been having pole vault competitions for less than a year, and people were just learning. In those days definitely I was the best pole vaulter.
I had such confidence that I would win! The starting height was quite low, and we had three chances to clear it. O God, on my first try I very nicely failed. I couldn’t believe that I went under the bar! On my second try I knocked down the bar. One more chance was left. I was the best, but if I missed again I would be out of the competition. That very moment, a being — none other than the Indian Goddess Mother Kali Herself — came to me in the inner world and said, “Go home and make a circle in black ink on your left heel. Then come back, and you will be able to do well.”
I said jokingly, “My mental hallucination has started! What does a circle on my left heel have to do with crossing over the bar?” But Kali said, “If you do not do what I am saying, then you are going to fail, and you will be really embarrassed!”
I had started with such confidence, but confidence had now turned into humiliation. Of course, it was not yet total humiliation because I still had one more chance. So I left the playground and started running towards my house. Some people were puzzled; they couldn’t understand why I was leaving. Luckily my house was only two blocks away. Very quickly I put my finger into some ink and made a black circle on my left heel. Then I ran back to the playground. There was still time for my third attempt because the other competitors were still jumping. Nobody knew anything about what I had done.
When my turn came, this time I went far above the bar. That was not all. Gradually, as the height increased, everyone else dropped out of the competition and I stood first. I defeated the second-place person by a very large margin. This is the difference between what we can do with confidence and what we can do when the Divine injects Grace into our life. First I was so confident that I would be able to cross the bar. But God wanted to smash my pride. He wanted to show me that I could not do it myself, but that I had to depend on His Grace. For many years after that I always stood first in the pole vault. Then, finally, one or two persons did better than I did. One day I will tell you other stories about my pole vault experiences, but this is the story I wanted to tell you today.
When I won the pole vault competition that day, I didn’t receive any prize money; I got a game of Monopoly as a prize. Unfortunately, in this life God did not make me outwardly rich, but He compensated by making me inwardly very rich. It is up to God whether or not He wants to make you outwardly very rich. But I pray to Him to make you extremely, extremely, extremely rich inwardly in your life of aspiration, dedication and God-manifestation on earth.
In 1944, when this story took place, you were in the soul’s world, dreaming and meditating, meditating and dreaming. God was dreaming and meditating inside you. Then, after many years He sent you from the dream-world into the reality-world to do something unique for Him on earth. First you dream, then you meditate, then you reveal and then you manifest. So, in the soul’s world, you dreamed and meditated. Now, from the inner world your soul has come to reveal and manifest that extraordinary dream and extraordinary meditation.
That is what you were then, Sudhahota, an extraordinary dream and an extraordinary meditation. And this is what you are now: revelation and manifestation through sacrifice. Sacrifice is nothing but the manifestation of our discovery of oneness. In our oneness-discovery, earth’s cry and Heaven’s Smile join together to manifest the same Highest. God cries through earth and smiles through Heaven. Now, through your own smiles and tears, you will do something most special for Him.
Confidence is absolutely necessary. Without confidence one cannot achieve anything in life. Again, as everything has a source, confidence also has a source. The source of true human confidence is the divine Grace. When I say, “I am,” then immediately the question arises, “Whose am I? Am I of God or am I of something or someone else?” When the answer comes, “I am of God,” then confidence flows from its divine Source. I am all confidence because my Source is God, God the Grace. Since I embody God’s infinite Grace, then I am bound to succeed. I can never fail because my Source is God’s infinite Grace.
When I feel that I am of God, then I want to prove to Him that I am also for Him. I am grateful to Him because He created me and I am of Him. Now I want to prove to Him that I am worthy of the Affection, Blessings and Grace that He has poured upon me in infinite measure. I tell Him, “Your Grace has made me what I am. Now my aspiration, my determination and my confidence will make You proud of me, for I know whose I am: I am all Yours. Also, I would like You to know for whom I am: I am only for You, only for You.”
This is how God the Master speaks to God the seeker in the inner world, in the soul’s world. At this moment, Sudhahota, you are God the Master and God the seeker at the same time. The divine in you is God the Master and the human in you is God the seeker.