Francisco Matos Paoli: What is the relation between the personal self and Nirvana?
Sri Chinmoy: When we deal with the personal self, we want to enjoy freedom in our own limited way. Nirvana is the extinction of the human way. In Nirvana, on the strength of our deepest aspiration, we enter into a very high state of consciousness. Then we decide that we do not want to mix with the world and its sufferings and problems anymore. Nirvana is the extinction of the earthly game. Here you are playing a game, I am playing a game, all people are playing a game, either consciously or unconsciously. It is God's Cosmic Game that we are participating in. But when we achieve Nirvana, we put an end to our part in the Cosmic Game. We do not want to play anymore. We choose to enjoy the static bliss, not the dynamic bliss.
Francisco Matos Paoli: Does it negate the individuality?
Sri Chinmoy: It does negate the individuality. In fact it negates the full manifestation of one's own reality. We can say that to some extent it is a narrow approach to Reality. Some people play the game for a while and then they say, "I don't want to play anymore." But others say, "No, we shall play as long as our Captain commands." Those who accept Nirvana do not care for the transformation of the world. They have suffered, and they have tried to give light to the world as much as possible. But when they see that earth is not receiving light from them in abundant measure, then they want to give up the battle.
Francisco Matos Paoli: This Nirvana is a sort of collective self?
Sri Chinmoy: No, Nirvana is a state of consciousness where you cut off your connection with the earth-realities. We have bound earth like a tight knot, and earth has bound us. It is a mutual attraction, a mutual bond. I pull somebody, and he pulls me. But when one enters into Nirvana, one cuts that bond. One wants to remain all alone, immersed in a sea of bliss. But this sea of bliss is static bliss, not dynamic bliss.
Francisco Matos Paoli: I believe in individuality after life. And this is not what you call egotism, but a reaffirmation of the personal life in God.
Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely true. God Himself is One and many at the same time. As you are saying, individuality need not be egocentric. God, in His Vision, wanted to become many, so He created this creation. God was One in the Silence-Life. Then He wanted to become the sound-life. When He wanted to become the sound-life, He projected Himself into many forms.
Francisco Matos Paoli: But if we are transformed into God, is there a negation of human life in that?
Sri Chinmoy: No, there is no negation. On the contrary, the human in us becomes divine and perfect. The individuality that a tiny drop of water has is very little — negligible. But when that tiny drop of water enters into the ocean, it becomes part and parcel of the vast ocean. Then the individuality that the tiny drop had becomes vast and powerful. So, when human beings merge into the Absolute, into God, we do not lose our individuality. At that time our finite, human individuality becomes transformed. It becomes vast, infinite.
Francisco Matos Paoli: Then, are we transformed into God?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, we are transformed into God. When the finite enters into the Infinite, it becomes the Infinite. The individual is now finite, although he is carrying the message of the Infinite. But when the finite consciously, soulfully and devotedly enters into the Infinite, it becomes the Infinite Itself.