Question: I feel that I have no inner joy. Could you tell me what I am doing wrong? How can I obtain joy?

Sri Chinmoy: In the outer life when we talk to people, mix with people, exchange ideas, we get a kind of joy. But this is not real joy; this is only a kind of vital pleasure. Real joy is something very deep, profound and fulfilling. Inner joy is always a rarity because people are not crying for this inner joy in their lives. Most of us are living in the world of desire. We have no time to go deep within. Out of twenty-four hours each day we feel we don't have the time, not even one single minute, to go deep within to get this inner joy. There is a vast field inside us. Like a farmer, we have to plough this inner field, and after we have ploughed it, we have to sow the seed of our aspiration, the seed of our concern for the inner life. When we sincerely accept the inner life, after a few months or a year or so, we will begin to get real inner joy.

Inner joy is something which is all around us. We use the Sanskrit term amrita, which means "nectar". The gods drink nectar and that is why they are immortal. But when we go deep within, we may actually drink this divine nectar ourselves. Once we taste real inner joy, we are transported into Heaven for the time being. If we drink this nectar just for a fleeting second, we feel that our consciousness is immortalised. But it is such a rare thing to drink this amrita that during a lifetime many spiritual figures do not drink it more than twice. Some spiritual saints, swamis and even yogis who are not completely realised or not of the highest calibre, may drink this nectar only once in a lifetime. Inner joy, on the very rare occasions when we get it, immediately expands our consciousness and makes us feel that we are really divine. When we get this inner joy even for a fleeting second, we feel that liberation is our birthright.

We human beings are constantly confusing joy and pleasure. What we are longing for and what we are running after is pleasure and not joy. But joy, once attained, grows like a fragrant flower, blooming petal by petal, whereas pleasure leads one to inevitable destruction. There is no such thing as joy in the outer world. What we call joy is only a form of pleasure. What gives us joy in the outer world? Only the fulfilment of desire. Now I want to have a house, but as soon as I get it I will want to have two houses, and when I get them, still I will not be satisfied. Each time a desire in the outer life is fulfilled, we become victims to a greater and more destructive or binding desire. There is no end to desire. Desire is fulfilling for only a second, but in the next moment another desire comes with ten-fold power.

Real joy sustains us; real joy liberates us. But pleasure in the outer life binds us mercilessly. Yesterday in our meditation we read:

""My sweet Lord, please tell me the difference between You and me."
"My child, the difference is very small. You are possessed by your little possessions and I am released by My infinite Possessions."1 "<br \> </div></html>

We constantly cry to increase our earthly possessions, and there can never be any fulfilment in never-ending desire.

As long as we have desire, we will try to possess something no matter whether it is a human being or God or light or peace. The very nature of desire is to possess. If we see something beautiful, immediately our desire wants to grab it; but the ultimate result is that we destroy it. Even when we see a spiritual person who has light and other divine qualities, we try to possess that spiritual person with our desire. We don't want that spiritual person to act in his own way with his inner light, with his inner joy, with his inner compassion. No, we want to possess him and to regulate his outer and inner life.

As long as we remain in the outer world and are taking part in the game of desire, at each moment we are opening ourselves to desire. Then desire, the thief, enters into our heart and steals away our faith in God, our love for God, our dedication to God, our surrender to God. We will get no real joy from the outer life, until the day when our inner life and our outer life become one and we lay them consciously at the Feet of God.

Now the outer life and inner life are like the North Pole and South Pole. They cannot meet together. Granted, our inner life has more light than the outer life, but this light may not be enough to transform the outer life, which is like a stubborn child. In spite of knowing the fact that the inner life has more light, the outer life does not want to surrender to it or abide by the dictates of the inner life. It does not even want to co-operate with the inner life. The one has abundant light which can only shine forth on very rare occasions and the other has practically no light, but it dominates us almost constantly.

Yet the outer life and the inner life have to become one. They have to feel the necessity of their oneness with each other and with God. The younger brother is the outer life and the older brother is the inner life, because inside the inner life is the soul, which has all wisdom. In order for our outer life to be totally transformed, our inner life must constantly aspire to be one with the infinite Wisdom-Light of God. If the inner life listens to the dictates of the soul and if the outer life listens to the dictates of the inner life, then the soul as the conscious representative of God will lead the inner and the outer life speedily and safely to God's Heart's Door. At that moment we will have abiding joy, everlasting joy, here on earth and there in Heaven.

When we are one with God, our will becomes one with God's Will which is His Concern for humanity, His Love for humanity and His necessity for the perfection of humanity. When our desire is purified and transformed, we can at last sit at the Feet of God.

When we establish our oneness with God's Will, we feel a constant flow of Joy from God's Vision, God's Reality and God's Divinity, from God the Creator and God the creation. When we have established our oneness with God, we get joy, but not the ultimate Joy. We become one with God's Will, but humanity as a whole is still separate from God's Will. God has created millions of people and each one has his own will. When all ideas and ideals attain conscious oneness with the Source and are again given the opportunity to flourish in multiple form, then we will get the ultimate joy. When humanity as a whole enters into conscious oneness with God, we will feel that the entire multiplicity of God is getting the same Joy as the unity of God. Then Joy immeasurable will exist on earth.

The highest Joy we get in absolute oneness with God, but if God does not want us to lose our experience of multiplicity which is also God's creation, He can enjoy Himself in millions of forms. Both the Joy of multiplicity and the Joy of unity we must have. When we become one with humanity and go up together we will get the Joy of multiplicity, and when we go directly to God alone we will get the Joy of unity. Again, if we want to enter into multiplicity from our place in God's unity, we will also get true Joy. Either by taking everyone together or by going directly up and bringing God down, we will someday get this boundless inner and outer Joy.

  1. HD 14,4. From My Lord's Secrets Revealed, by Sri Chinmoy, (c) 1971, Herder & Herder, N.Y.