Questions by KalipadaGurudev, the word 'Yoga' means 'union with God.?"
Sri Chinmoy: Yes.
The union of the individual soul with the God-Soul.
Sri Chinmoy: Yes.
But in ordinary experience, all of us know what this is. I can stretch out my hand to Mr. Friedman. I can talk to him; I can communicate with him. Now when we want the Goal, the abode of spiritual union, what is this? What is the experience? What is it like?
Sri Chinmoy: The thing is this: you can touch Mr. Friedman and communicate with him. You may even feel that you have become one with him. You get a kind of vibration or feeling that you have united with him in the spiritual sense. But actually, you have not really become one with him in the inner planes; you have not achieved a union with his inner being or with his soul. You have the feeling that Mr. Friedman's thoughts and ideas have entered into you. This comes from your intellectual closeness to him and your heart's ties. You do have a deep affinity with Mr. Friedman and a fine understanding of him. But the feeling that you have fully entered into him or that he has entered into you is partly your imagination and partly your mental projection. It is also due to your sense of affinity and the closeness that you feel towards him. But it is neither your inner being nor his inner being that has united you two. Needless to say, your souls do not enter into the picture here at all.
Kalipada, it is very difficult to achieve a union with another person's soul without first having achieved union with the Supreme Soul, God. You have correctly stated that Yoga is union with God. When you have achieved union with God, you get the Consciousness of God. When you achieve union with someone's soul, however, you get a glimpse of God's Consciousness. You see an aspect or a facet of the Divine Consciousness. The more developed the soul is, of course, the more powerfully and beautifully will God's Consciousness be manifested in that person. But in union with God Himself, you feel that you have become inseparably one with Him. Not only do you feel it and see it, but actually you have become one with what He eternally is. In Yoga, through your aspiration and meditation, you consciously enter into the ocean, which is God, the Supreme. Like a drop, you enter into the ocean and you lose your individual, separate existence.
Now if you touch Mr. Friedman, you will get a partial glimpse of his existence, his feelings, thoughts and vibrations. But you will not really become one with him. It is only a momentary oneness. But in Yoga, when we identify ourselves with God. We become like a drop in the ocean and we lose our very existence. At the same time, we become the infinite ocean itself. The union with God is different from the union that we try to achieve by identifying ourselves with someone, especially when it is a limited identification such as we get by touching or talking to someone.
In the true spiritual union, what actually happens is this: the union with the Highest may last for a few days or a few months and then you lose it until you have created a free access to the Highest, until you can go there at your command or bring it down at your command. When you can do that, it becomes something permanent. Otherwise it may last for a few hours, a few days or a few months. Then it vanishes. But in our inner consciousness, it is all being recorded-how many times you have gone up to your highest consciousness and how many times you have come down. You have the experience a number of times and then you make it a living reality. Eventually it becomes a permanent realisation.
One further question on this. If anyone here in this room or anywhere else, for that matter, attained union with God in some previous life, but in this present life they have not yet attained it, how does that previous attainment affect him?
Sri Chinmoy: If he had already attained realisation and in this present life is not conscious of it, how can he become aware of it and how can that previous realisation affect his everyday life?
Sri Chinmoy: It is through the same process: it is through Yoga, by practising Yoga. All the great spiritual figures — you know Krishna, Buddha, Christ, Sri Ramakrishna — they all attained to the greater part of their spiritual perfection in their previous lives. But even then, they had to practise Yoga for quite a number of years to get back to their original Home. Then, of course, once they get back to their original Home, they bring down all of their spiritual wealth.
Here also, I must say, most of you… no, all of you, all ten of you here in this room today accepted Yoga in your previous lives. Some of you are conscious of this and some of you are not. Those of you who are conscious of it, how have you become conscious? You did not become conscious overnight. Only by practising Yoga for a number of months, and in most cases, a number of years, did you become aware that you did something previously in your spiritual life. Something reveals itself inside you.
Revelation comes in the course of time. Then you go spontaneously, openly, freely back to your original Home, the Home of your true existence. Then you bring it down to affect your present incarnation.
All spiritual figures, the Avatars too, in the beginning, were unconscious of their total realisation. They acted like ordinary human beings, but inwardly they had a great inner urge and surge, and in the course of time, what happened? They entered deep within themselves and they got back their Realisation, their old Realisation.