Question: Is the path to God-realisation through Duality or Non-Duality?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways. The Creator started with one: God the Silence, Brahman. Then, from Silence it came to Sound. In Silence is our realisation. When we realise God, it is God the Silence that we realise. Then again, God the Sound we can also realise. When we realise God as Silence, at that time it is Non-Duality. But when we realise God as Sound, at that time it is Duality. God in his highest Height, God unrevealed is one. But when the One wants to reveal itself, this does not mean that it has come down, no. It can reveal itself on the same plane. God can remain at the top of the tree and then we will climb up to Him to get the fruits. Again, if He wants, God can climb down the tree and enter into the world of multiplicity. When He remains at the top of the tree, we call it Non-Duality. When He comes down to distribute the fruits, we call it Duality.

Silence and Sound go together. If we realise the Silence-aspect, then we see reality as Non-Duality. But if we realise the Sound-aspect, then there is Duality, because manifestation is multiplicity. As soon as the tree has one branch, it becomes dual. Then, when it gets many branches and leaves, it enters into multiplicity. The Self, before it is revealed, is expressed as Silence, as Non-Duality. But when it becomes visible to us, its reality as Silence does not go away. It is only to our vision that it is duality or multiplicity. But its inner Reality as Silence it maintains.

So when you want to realise God as Silence, He is at that time Non-Duality. But when you want to realise God as Sound, then He is Duality. In the field of creativity, in the field of manifestation, God is many. But in the field of realisation, He is One. In the Universal Consciousness, God is many. In the Transcendental Consciousness, God is One. If you want to realise Him as One, then He is ready. At that time you will see Him as one Height. If you see Him spreading His Arms, at that time He is becoming many. But He is the same God.