Aspiration and dedication: two wingsThere are two kinds of spiritual Masters. One kind will say, “Aspire, aspire, aspire. First realise God. Then be of service to mankind. God-realisation first, and then service to humankind.”
Again, there are some spiritual Masters who feel that aspiration and dedication must go together. They see that a bird has two wings. An aeroplane also has two wings. With one wing the plane cannot fly. Similarly, a bird needs two wings to fly. In our case, we feel exactly the same way. When aspiration-wings and dedication-wings go together, our spiritual life is normal, natural and most effective. Over the years I have said many, many times that we must aspire and we must serve at the same time.
Even now, to my great sorrow, some disciples are ready only to aspire, to pray and meditate. They are fully satisfied with their aspiration. They do not pay any attention whatsoever to dedication. But if you are in my boat, I feel that it is necessary on your part to listen to your Master. I realised God long, long ago. At that time, there was no such thing as manifestation. My life was all in the Himalayan caves. What can you do there? You live in a cave and come out for fruits and milk and other things. But that was long, long ago.
Now, in the twenty-first century, we are living in a world of newness, oneness and fulness. In newness, we aspire. While aspiring, we have to have the feeling of oneness. Throughout the length and breadth of the world, we have to establish our oneness with our fellow human beings. They are all our fellow citizens of the world. We start with something new. Inside the new, we have to feel our oneness. And then, when we feel our oneness, we enter into fulness, the complete fulness of God-aspiration, God-realisation and God-manifestation. There are many, many disciples here, there and elsewhere who may feel that they do not have the capacity to serve mankind, but they can do many, many things to serve the Supreme in me. This dedication of theirs leads to manifestation, God-manifestation.
Outwardly, your mind may say that my weightlifting is silly, sillier, silliest. Outwardly I fully subscribe to your view. But inwardly I know, divinely I know, spiritually I know, that it is not silly, not at all. This is a unique service that I am offering to mankind. Nothing is as important as inspiration. We start our journey from inspiration; then aspiration and realisation follow. The Supreme in me tries to inspire human beings. Old people, on principle, may give up hope. They may only wait for the day when God will summon them. They have no inner joy, the joy that gives us progress. They do not believe in progress. They are only withdrawing money from their life-bank and, when the day dawns that it is all withdrawn, they will disappear from the earthly scene.
I am seventy-four years old. This is a ripe old age, especially for an Indian. And there are many, many countries where people do not live past the age of forty-five or fifty. America has good luck. But then again, what do Americans do in their old age? Do they pray? Do they meditate? Do they serve mankind? If you care to discover the percentage, it will be a shocking experience, a shocking experience. Inspiration is gone. Aspiration is no longer alive. Dedication is an old, forgotten story. All their achievements are now buried in oblivion.
Until we breathe our last, let us aspire, and let us inspire others. They do not have to do weightlifting — far from it! They have their own forms of exercise to do. Those things if they do, diligently, regularly and self-givingly, then they will have physical fitness. Inside the body is the soul. The body is the temple; the soul is the shrine. They need each other. If there is only a temple and no shrine inside, nobody is going to come. Again, if one wants to see the shrine, it cannot be left in the street. The shrine will be destroyed by cats and dogs and other animals. The temple and the shrine both have a special way to inspire humankind.
Please, please do not think that you are superior to others because you aspire. No, they may be superior to you! If they aspire and also serve, undoubtedly they are superior to you because they are doing both things. People who dedicate themselves to the manifestation of God’s Light here on earth are infinitely superior to those who think that aspiration is the only way.
You have two wings. You should aspire and you should serve. Manifestation comes from service. And if you serve soulfully, self-givingly, that is the proper manifestation of God’s Light on earth. Recently I said that it is a great privilege, which is given to very few, to do manifestation-work:
I have come to learn
Something very new:
God gives to very few.1
Manifestation is a reality that blossoms from dedication. Again, there are some disciples who work so hard outwardly. They throw themselves into manifestation projects. But afterwards, they go home and watch television or sleep for eight or ten hours. In their case, God-realisation will wait indefinitely.
If you are already paying equal attention to both aspiration and dedication, I am very, very happy and very proud. But if you are not taking both of them together as one unit, as seriously as possible, then you are making a Himalayan blunder, a Himalayan blunder. Those are my real disciples who can do both the inner work and the outer work together.
LEN 16,9. Sri Chinmoy, My God-Hunger-Cry, poem for 24 February 2006. New York: Agni Press, 2009.↩