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The Sri Chinmoy Library
About the author
The inner world and the outer world
First published by
. Published on srichinmoylibrary.com with the permission of Sri Chinmoy. This is the 731st book written by Sri Chinmoy after he came to the West in 1964.
Table of Contents
Part I — Discourse
The inner world and the outer world
Part II — Interview on "The Other Hour" Wrvr-Fm radio
Donna Halper: You are with "The Other Hour," and with our theme song we are actually on the air, through the Grace of God. I'm Donna Halper. You never know what you are going to hear on "The Other Hour," but what you are going to hear tonight is a little bit different and a little bit unique. We have a very, very great person, with whom you are probably familiar if you are into music at all. He's been the spiritual Master of a number of major musicians, and is also a great philosopher and teacher, and a musician himself. Of course, I am talking about Sri Chinmoy, who is our guest in the studio tonight. You can call in and speak with him a little bit later. I think before we do anything else. Sri Chinmoy would you like to play some music for us? I believe this is connected with meditation. Am I correct Guru? Music for meditation.
Donna Halper: In other words, to hear music helps one to become more in tune with God. How does it do this? If I were an atheist and I heard that music, I don't know if I would think about God, but I know that I would feel very relaxed and peaceful. Would you say that that feeling means being closer to God?
Donna Halper: But don't people come to you looking to find out what God is?
Donna Halper: So the person who believes in music, for instance, or the person who is very, very into something, like playing an instrument- that's a form of religion, too?
Donna Halper: Sri Chinmoy, when people come to you, what are they usually hoping to find?
Donna Halper: There are so many people seeking, trying to find out about religion. They don't feel satisfied with organised religion, let us say, so they come to you. How would they know whether or not you are the right spiritual Master for them?
Donna Halper: What about the person who comes to you and is very sceptical? Will you also be a friend to that person?
Donna Halper: We're talking about music and meditation and religion. To continue on the subject of religion, Guru, there are so many people claiming to be Gurus these days, there are so many people claiming to be Messiahs, claiming to have the right answer. How can a person who is serious about this, tell who is a real spiritual Master and who is not?
Donna Halper: So the person who claims that he has the magic answer is probably not a person who should be taken seriously?
Donna Halper: If someone comes to you and decides that you are the person he would like to study with, what does he have to do?
Donna Halper: We read in the paper about various movements which are very austere, where the men and women are not allowed to associate with each other. They are not allowed to eat meat and they pretty much just stay inside and meditate all the time. Is this the kind of life that your disciples live?
Donna Halper: In addition to meditation, do your disciples practise any chanting or anything of that nature?
Donna Halper: What I am wondering about, as far as meditation goes (and I am sure there are a number of other people interested in this as well), is this: what is the difference between what we might call secular meditation — that is, just going off someplace in the country where it is nice and quiet, and thinking peaceful thoughts — and the meditation that you do with that kind of music and things of that nature? Is there any difference between the two, or are both just steps along the same way?
Donna Halper: Do you tell your students how to meditate, or are they free to choose for themselves the best way?
Donna Halper: For the person who is just by himself and really would like to meditate, is there a way that he can get into it without going to a school or to a teacher and learning how?
Donna Halper: Now you are raising a question. I can hear people out there saying, "That's great, to sit there and think good thoughts and things like that. But what about when you are in the middle of the material life and everything is going wrong and it has been a bad day at the office and your boss just yelled at you and so forth and so on. How do you get the good thoughts in your mind at a time like that?"
Donna Halper: I think there is a tremendous precedent for that. If I remember correctly, in the Bible it says that the best time to pray is in the morning, because you start out your day thinking about spiritual things, and that carries you through the rest of the day. So what you are saying is not really very different from what we call Western religion.
Donna Halper: When a person becomes more involved in spirituality, this would lead to, let us say, he is becoming less tied to things like prejudices. So he wouldn't have any feelings against any race or any creed or anything like this. People who are caught up in prejudicial thoughts, have they turned away from God, or do they just not understand God, or what?
Donna Halper: So if a person becomes involved in meditation, the more he meditates and the more he understands about God, will he get more understanding of the world as well?
Donna Halper: You get a lot of students, I gather, who would be considered middle class, in that they are products of pretty much the average American home. When they come to you, do they stay, or do you find that they regard meditation as a kind of interesting fad and, after a while, get tired of it?
Donna Halper: I understand. While we are talking to Sri Chinmoy, if you have any question you would like to ask him, you can call in. If you would like to speak with Sri Chinmoy and ask him some questions on meditation, on Yoga, or on life in general, please call. What you are listening to is "The Other Hour" here on WRVR.
Donna Halper: So it seems like you are saying you give the student that which you feel he wants to receive.
Donna Halper: Now we're going to accept calls from our listening audience. Here's our first call. Good evening. You are on the air.
I would like to ask the Guru what kind of mental attitude one should have in learning to play music.
Donna Halper: So spiritual music is music that makes you think more about God?
Caller: I'd like to know how much discipline is required to master meditation.
Donna Halper: How does one discipline one's life? What does one have to do?
Donna Halper: Does a person have to go away somewhere? Does he have to go to an ashram or a synagogue in order to be successful at meditating?
How can I contact Sri Chinmoy or become his student?
I would like to ask if he feels that a person should refrain from physical and sexual intercourse if he wants to develop his meditation. In other words, does that take anything away from spiritual development?
Donna Halper: What are some of the other things that one would have to give up in order to make progress in meditation?
I was wondering if you are going to play more music and, if the music is recorded, where we could buy it.
If you belong to a specific religious group, is it contradictory to meditate? Does meditation have one specific religion, or can anyone of any religion meditate?
Donna Halper: So whether you call God by the name Allah or Buddha or Vishnu or whatever, meditation is the same?
Donna Halper: So meditation is kind of like an addition to the religious belief that you already have.
If someone was a failure at self-discipline in meditation and other aspects of life, what is the most sincere prayer that kind of person could make to God for guidance in meditation?
Donna Halper: Is it possible that a person could not be ready to meditate at one time, and yet at another time be ready to meditate?
Donna Halper: So the person on the phone should just keep on trying, and ultimately...
Does Sri Chinmoy feel that meditation has really done anything for the musicians he has dealt with, and has it helped their music?
I'd like to know if it is possible to be used as an instrument in an intimate relationship with somebody.
Donna Halper: Can you also be an instrument of God in a relationship with another human being? Let's say there is a person who is addicted to drugs. Do you believe that God can perhaps bring someone — just an ordinary person — into the life of that person to make him better?
Donna Halper: So on a personal basis, then, our relationships are not an accident? We don't just randomly find each other, but the people who find each other are finding each other because God wants them to find each other?
If an ignorant person who hasn't had any realisation is confronted with a situation of great physical danger, what kind of prayer could a person make to God at that critical moment? Sudden death happens to people in an aeroplane or on the streets at times.
Do you believe that God is in the mind?
Donna Halper: The person who accepts the Bible as the word of God, is that person mistaken to think that the Bible is totally true in everything it says?
Donna Halper: Sri Chinmoy will play another selection at the end of the program. I could listen to your music all day, I really could. Why is that music so relaxing? I've heard music before, but it didn't relax me as much as that music. Is there something special about your music?
Part III — Questions and answers
Question: What is the main contributing factor to your faith, and how is it different from other faiths?
Question: You call us ”seekers”! What has been lost?
Question: What are the advantages of surrendering to the personal Master as opposed to surrendering to the impersonal, to the Spirit itself?
Question: How do you explain the fall of man?
Question: Would you comment on the point made in the Bible that if you don't pray to Jesus Christ, you will be damned, and that only through Christ can you get salvation?
Question: How does one recognise a true living Master?
Question: How can one bring about harmony in his being when there are conflicting movements within?
Question: Before I became a disciple, I donated my body tissue to a tissue bank — like a hospital where you can donate organs of your body when you die. Should I try to get out of that obligation?
Question: Several times during my working day I take a moment to offer gratitude to you. Is there any special way I should do this?
Question: What can I do if I tend to fall asleep during meditation and other spiritual activities?
Question: What three qualities are most needed for survival on our spiritual path?
The inner world and the outer world ›
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