Table of Contents
- Editor's note
- Question: The soul is without beginning and without end. Then is there any limit to its progress?
- Question: How can I talk to the soul, Guru?
- Question: The population of the earth is constantly increasing in number. Are they new souls that are coming to the earth? Do they come from other worlds?
- Question: In the human vocabulary, there are two words, attachment and detachment. But when the disciple aspires in the spiritual way and begins his unfoldment, does the meaning of attachment change? Can you explain it in the human sense and also in the spiritual sense? If he is well-grounded in the spiritual path, then that attachment won't disturb him, will it?
- Question: I am not very sure that I understand what you mean by inner peace or keeping the mind quiet. When I am very close to nature, near the sea or beside flowers or anything that is Nature, I get a feeling of peace. I would like to enjoy this peaceful feeling everywhere, even when I am in places that are not so quiet. But I am not sure that I can ascertain if this is inner peace or whether it is just the atmosphere of the place that gives me this peaceful feeling.
- Question: Is it true that each person has a guardian angel?
- Question: Master, what exactly is initiation?
- Question: Can the Guru help the aspirant even after the Guru has left the body?
- Question: Would you say something about death?
- Question: In your talk about death, you mentioned something that I would like you to elaborate on a little more. I understand that you asked yourself a question. You said, "Why does the physical body die?" And then, in answering that question, you mentioned that the time would come when the physical body would last indefinitely. Will you please explain that a little further?
- Question :: You see, Guru, as for me, I am not interested in remaining too long in this physical body. I am sincere in this. It is just a question of discussing the possibilities of having the body last longer than it usually lasts. Now I have read in oriental books that there are souls who have remained in the same physical body for two hundred, three hundred and more years.
- Question: Well, I don't know of anybody in the West. At least for the past one hundred years. But in the East, in India and other parts of the East, Tibet and so forth, I have read about souls that have remained in the same physical body for several hundred years.
- Question: But in connection with the average body, the physical body, is it possible for the body to renew itself indefinitely? To rejuvenate itself and thus last indefinitely?
- Question: Please explain if a desire to live can keep a body alive even though the body is diseased.
- A talk to the disciples of the Sri Chinmoy Centre in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on January 24, 1971, in which the Master answers his own questions on meditation and then invites questions from the disciples.
- Question: When I meditate, there is something that holds me back so that I cannot meditate.
- Question: When I start to go deep within, I feel sleepy.
- Question: While meditating, I feel some forces in the Ajna Chakra and in the heart centre that transform my face and my physical. What are these forces?
- Question: How do I know that while meditating, I am entering into a higher plane and it is not just my imagination?
- Question: Master, during my meditation, I see a triangle of pure, white light behind you that covers your head. What does this mean?
- Question: How can I purify my mind so that I can have a good meditation?
- Question: When I am meditating, I feel my head expanding and I feel that something is pounding the top of my head.
- Question: During my meditation, there is a very strong sound and within that sound, there are thousands of sounds.
- Question: When I meditate and I force myself to go deep within, something inside me accuses me of trying to reach God for myself and not for God’s sake.
- Question: Very frequently when I start my meditation, I feel a vibration as if I were a motor. This vibration starts going up into my head and then my head more or less falls, as though I am falling asleep. When I try to wake up, the vibration returns.
- Question: Always when I try to go beyond the mind, it says, "No, carry me with you. I want to go there, too."
- Question: Are fifteen or twenty minutes enough for meditation, or should I spend an hour?
- Question: Please tell me if I am right. Meditation is the easiest thing in the world when we think of the Supreme with devotion, surrender and pure love.
- Question: When I meditate, I enter into the inner world and if certain good vibrations help me, I see things which materialise in the outer world in a few months. Should I try to transcend this?
- Question: At times during meditation, I feel that the physical heart stops for a few seconds and then it resumes beating.
- Question: How many times should one meditate daily?
- Question: Master, what is the difference between meditation and inner concentration?
- Question: How do we start meditation?
- Question: Sometimes after meditation I touch things and find that they are not solid; they are fluid. They lose their solid state.
- Question: When meditating, inside I feel very strong and outside I feel very soft. But as I go deeper, I start expanding.
- Question: Master, you said before, "Let Thy Will be done and not my will." Therefore, is it better for us not to try to help other people by our own small will?
- Question: When I meditate, I see within and without that everything is alive and has millions of patterns. I see something like a Living Presence in everything.
- Question: When I meditate, I start repeating my name a hundred times as you told me to do. But I lose track of the count, so I have to go back and start counting again.
- Question: Why is it that sometimes when a person is apparently making fairly good inner progress in the spiritual life and aspiring very well, we seem to not always see a real reflection of this? Sometimes the outer life does not seem to reflect the progress made. Or is this just an illusion?
- Question: Guru, are there negative forces, or is it just ignorance that we think of as a negative force, things that make us feel bad and things that seem to put obstacles in our way?
- Question: In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna that he should go into battle and fight; but I think we are not supposed to go about harming people. I don't understand how Arjuna could kill people.
- Question: Sometimes in the morning after meditation, I fall into a doze, not a sound sleep. But it doesn't seem to be a conscious meditation. Is this good?
- Question: Guru, how is it possible to have both our inner and outer life synchronised so that we feel we are one person? I often feel like I am two people.
- Question: Do our past lives have any effect on our present lives?
- Question: How can one increase one's inner drive, one's aspiration?
- Question: Would you explain what your chant means?
- Question: How can an artist dedicate his painting to God?
- Question: My question concerns the soul's reincarnation and higher states of consciousness. Does the soul have a form; is it a separate entity? And if it is part of one universal Soul, then how can it reincarnate?
- Question: I understand that preparatory to realisation it is necessary for the ego to die.
- Question: When I try to get rid of the ego, I seem to be more bound by it.
- Question: Why did God create all this misery and unhappiness if He is the Creator? Why did he not create perfection?
- Question: The ideas from your talk — are these your own or based on your religion or some other religion?
- Question: In connection with your meditation, do you follow any dietary rules, and if so, what are they?
- Question: You said your talk was based on your inner experiences. How did you get these experiences?
- Question: When you meditate, do you hold any special position, like they do in Yoga?
- Question: A question a lot of people have asked me is, "Why must there be a God? " So now I ask you: why must there be a God?
- Question: When you meditate, are you conscious of what is going on around you?
- Question: Do you feel pain while you are meditating? Do you feel any pain? If something should hit you, would you feel pain?
- Question: Is there such a thing as destiny? Please tell us something about the law of karma.
- Question: What do you mean by highest meditation?
- Question: In your talk you said that man has received from God more than he deserves. Can you explain this?
- Question: If a man is able to control his fate, will he not have the qualities and the capacity of God?
- Question: So, at this point then, we have no control over our fate?
- Question: Why is darkness impermanent and light permanent?
- Question: How does one get benefit from books on meditation in case one does not have access to a personal teacher?
- Question: What do you believe happens when we die?
- Question: Why do we have the body, the physical?
- Question: Do you think that all religions lead to the same truth, but maybe by different routes?
- Question: Would you tell us why God chooses to manifest Himself in transient beings on a transient earth?
- Question: Do you have any concept of salvation for the soul?
- Question: Speaking in purely human terms, do you believe that all curiosity is the fear of truth?
- Question: I should like to ask also whether man may achieve this enlightenment by himself or whether, for most people, it is necessary to communicate with a Master, a Guru._
- Question: In your talk, which five things did you mention? Love, concern, sacrifice and there were two other things you said. "Love for the sake of love. Concern for the sake of concern. Sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice," and two other things I don't remember. And also I wish to know your concept of God-realisation.
- Question: I would like to know what is your opinion regarding sexual love?
- Question: How can you attain inner serenity and peace when you look around and see what goes on in the world: war, violence, poverty, hunger, drugs, death? How would you reach the inner peace?
- Question: If you have a job and you work, can you meditate at the same time?
- Question: How can one overcome fear?
- Question: Can you tell us the place of the will?
- Question: I wonder, could you tell me, this ignorance that we have, how did it come about in the first place?
- Question: I would like to ask you: In your analogy of the cow, why would the cow be ignorant, just remaining on its own patch?
- Question: How can I sublimate or conquer my desires?
- Question: What should one's attitude be towards things that one did before, when one's higher mind, knowing it was wrong, was not in control? What should be one's attitude towards guilt resulting from these former actions?
- Question: When one is looking for the Inner Light and opens oneself to the Inner Light, does this necessitate a withdrawal from the material life?
- Question: Many times in one's life, one comes to a crossroads — not just in metaphysical things — when one doesn't know which way to go and one is looking for some kind of direction. Is there any way one can know what to do? Any sign?
- Question: Does one have to have a spiritual teacher in order to follow the spiritual life?
- Question: If one doesn't have a spiritual Master, will one be able to achieve God-realisation?
- Question: How can man, a limited human being in the finite, realise Infinity in his life?
- Question: If a man rejects the existence of a Deity, what will be his fate?
- Question: Many young people are interested in expanding their consciousness with drugs. What do you think of consciousness under drugs, like LSD?
- Question: Have you considered establishing a Centre in Scotland, and if so, where?
- Question: How do you suggest that a genuine Western student should go about learning to discover these concentration and contemplation exercises and the techniques of meditation in order to follow the spiritual path, and run faster than the average?
- Question: Here in the West there is an acute shortage of spiritual Masters. How does one find one?
- Question: Having been born and brought up in India, many of us have been surrounded by much of the spiritual philosophy and mysticism of the country, not necessarily because we are great believers, but because it is part of the environment. Over here, I am constantly being asked by my friends what spirituality is, and what are we trying to do with it in relation to the starvation and poverty in India. They ask me how is it that our spirituality does not cure everything miraculously? I can't answer this question. Can you help me? Can you tell me what actually spirituality has to offer to mankind?
- Question: Can you please define for us concentration, meditation and contemplation, and tell us how they differ from each other?
- Question: You talk about spiritual practices, either elaborate or very simple. When we, as ordinary people, listen to a piece of music or see a very great piece of art, we feel a certain kind of joy. Is the joy you achieve after many years of spiritual practices the same as the joy we achieve momentarily, or is it greater?
- Question: I wonder, Sir, if you could tell us a little bit more explicitly what you mean by the term "God," and whether you could perhaps compare this with what the word "God" means in Judaism, Christianity and Islam?
- Question: Can you tell how spiritual Masters differ from ordinary beings — how they are, as you say, "sons of God"? Can you explain how they are superior to other human beings?
- Question: You stated that one should live a simple life. How do you define a simple life, and how does one recognise it? How does one live it?
- Question: In your opinion, can one realise the Highest through the use of certain drugs?
- Question: What is your theory about life after death?
- Question: Do our actions on earth affect our life after we die?
- Question: How can we enter into the life of self-discipline?
- Question: When you say "God-realisation," what does it actually mean? How are we supposed to grow into it?
- Question: You said that because we desire, the light within us is eclipsed. Now, we have got basic necessities, for which we require food and shelter, speaking of two on which our lives are based. Is it possible to eradicate desires?
- Question: So, if God gives us succour, helps us, and we aspire for God, will those necessities and our desire to satisfy them remain as long as we are alive?
- Question: You quoted some words of Jesus Christ, whom you called the Son of God. When some of his followers asked him the way to God, he said, "I am the Way. No one comes to the Father but by me." How important do you think Jesus was?
- Question: I would like you to clarify your concept of God. You jump from the Upanishads to the Bhagavad-Gita and over to the New Testament with this unifying element of God. But it seems to me that the Judeo-Christian concept of a God that is both personal and infinite is a little different from the idea of God as the Absolute, the One, the Supreme Being who is obviously infinite but, it seems to me, impersonal. Could you please clarify your concept?
- Question: If we have an experience which we feel may be coming from God, in objective truth, how do we know we are experiencing God, the Devil or anything but our own imagination?
- Question: How does death affect a human being's quest to aspire and to come face to face with God?
- Question: If meditation is the only way of seeing God face to face, how would you advise the man who has a family to look after, to lead the spiritual life and see God face to face?
- Question: Are you the basis of some religious group? What is the name of the religion that you stand for? What do you do?
- Question: What is your approach to the truth?
- Question: Is this true what you talk about? The Realisation of God?
- Question: Have you heard of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness? Do you share the belief that the animals, plants and all objects are just another physical embodiment of the Spirit's soul?
- Question: Don't you believe in hell?
- Question: Sir, I have read of astral power, that through meditation one can bring out one's inner part and travel. Have you ever done that?
- Question: How does someone go about meditating if he has never done it before? How is he going to start meditating? What sort of steps should he take and what should he expect? What can help him at the start?
- Question: Is it possible, without dying, for the soul to leave the body? That is, could you still function without your soul?
- Question: But what happens to you when you have no soul?
- Question: I have some friends who do Christian meditation. They read the Bible and they have been inspired by that. They have been able to really meditate on the Bible, but whenever they felt that they had come close to God there was always a presence of evil around. Why is this? Can it be avoided?
- Question: This friend of mine had no religion. She didn't care about religion. She was very wild when she was at college. But then she was inspired to open the Bible for some reason. She felt very pulled to it and she started to study it more and more. Then she joined some Christian meditation group. But at one point she said she kept getting things, like somebody was bothering her. She said it was from the Devil. But finally her belief got stronger, so it stopped. What was it that actually happened to her? Was this trouble she had something good for her?
- Question: Some people who have reached enlightenment have felt compelled through compassion to serve other people in the sense of spreading their enlightenment, like you for instance. Whereas other people have retired with their enlightenment to live almost solitary lives. Which is the best? What makes them make this kind of choice?
- Question: Would God send you a dream? Do you believe in spiritual dreams? What do they actually mean? Can dreams come true?
- Question: How can you tell the difference [between dreams from higher worlds and those from the subconscious world?
- Question: Six or seven times my uncle has had very vivid dreams which have actually happened on the physical plane after he has awakened. He believes that it is the soul that is giving him the message. Is he right about that? Can we all learn to interpret our dreams?
- Question: Do you suggest any special kind of mantra or meditation?
- Question: When you say "meditate," do you mean to meditate on something, on some particular god or something? How does one who has had no experience go about meditating?
- Question: At your Centre, if you set one up here, will it be somewhere that people can come at intervals and discuss spiritual matters and meditate? What sort of meetings do you have at the Centres existing now?
- Question: What does the United Nations Meditation Group do? Who belongs to this group? What kind of meetings do you hold?
- Question: When you first came to the platform this evening, before you began to speak, you, I presume, meditated a bit. What exactly were you doing? Were you receiving any feeling from the people here this evening?
- Question: When you go into your highest consciousness, do you leave your body?
- Question: Do you believe that everyone can meditate as you would like people to meditate? For instance, I have been to meditation classes, and I find it extremely difficult to meditate. When I meditate, to a certain degree I feel relaxed. But frankly, I feel no more than that.
- Question: Is there a Master that you know of in London that you would recommend?
- Question: On what criteria does a seeker take a prospective Master? How can you tell a good one from a bad one?
- Question: Just following up that question, I feel that I don't require the guidance or tuition of any particular Master. There have been many Masters: the Christ, Buddha, Krishna. Now, I feel that I can get the same from any one of them as I can get from a living Master. Isn't that true?
- Question: Could you say something about breathing in meditation? Are there any practical ways in which breathing can be regulated which will be beneficial to meditation?
- Question: Do you think that marriage is necessarily an obstacle on the spiritual path?
- Question: I have read in some places that the use of sexual energy means that you use up some spiritual energy at the same time. Is this true? In that case, what can be done if one wants to lead a spiritual life?
- Question: Would you say something about death? What is it? What happens when we die? Can we conquer the fear of death through meditation?
- Question: Can you tell us how to choose a Master? How can we know if we have made the right choice?
- Question: Could you explain the difference between Samadhi and self-realisation? I know they are not the same theoretically, but I don't see why they're not.
- Question: Is faith something that is given to an individual or something which the individual can acquire through his own actions?
- Question: If someone is having great difficulty in meditating because he lacks discipline and cannot concentrate, can you suggest a possible remedy? How can one develop self-discipline and improve his meditation?
- Question: Does one achieve divine experiences through rigorous practice and coercion?
- Question: Does a divine experience come only through controlling one's emotions and one's senses by force?
- Question: You said I must keep divine thoughts in my mind, not undivine thoughts. How do I know which are divine thoughts?
- Question: Is it necessary to study under a teacher to achieve self-realisation? What does a spiritual teacher do? Are there any advantages to be gained by studying with a spiritual teacher? Do you ever outgrow your need for a teacher? Can anything be achieved alone?
- Question: In our daily life are we to work to suppress our emotion? What is the nature of emotion as you see it? Is there any way we can control it?
- Question: In your talk you said that human love is an express train, destination: frustration; and that divine love is a local train, destination: Illumination. How is it that human love has not been given a divine consciousness or dimension?