Question: What benefit can we get from meditation?Sri Chinmoy: Everybody has to fulfil himself either today or tomorrow. Why? If we are not fulfilled, we are not satisfied. Everybody wants to be fulfilled, everybody wants happiness. Without happiness we cannot stay on earth. In spite of being a multimillionaire, a rich man is unhappy because his money is not giving him satisfaction or happiness. Without happiness he remains miserable. Why do we want to be happy? Because we want fulfilment.
How can one be eternally happy? By making thousands of dollars a person may become happy for five minutes or for a day or for a few months. Then he becomes an ordinary beggar because his inner life is a barren desert. Eternal happiness is what he wants and needs. This eternal happiness he can get only from meditation. Meditation is the real soul of God and, at the same time, the real heart of man. The heart here is not the physical organ. It is that part of us which identifies itself with others. The heart means identification, identification with Truth and Light. During meditation, an aspiring heart can identify itself with Truth, Light and Beauty, with Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. But this identification is not complete; our inseparable oneness with Divinity is not complete. Identification is one thing and fulfilment is something else. This identification has to be manifested here on earth and that is the purpose of the soul. Meditation is the soul of God, meditation is the heart of man. Aspiring man becomes the heart; realised man is the soul.
When we meditate, what do we actually do? First we enter into our highest Self. Then the highest Self meets the lowest self for transformation. The highest Self has to be realised; the lowest self has to be transformed. When we meditate we enter into the Highest for the realisation of the Brahman. We then enter into the lowest for the transformation of our nature.
Meditation has two things to offer us: self-mastery and self-transformation. These two go together. When we meditate, immediately we have the beginnings of self-mastery, and when we have self-mastery, we see that we cannot cherish ugly or undivine thoughts; we cannot remain inside ignorance anymore. At that time we see that our transformation is taking place. Meditation is constantly giving us the message of self-transformation. Many years ago we were in plant life, then we were in animal life. Now we are in human life and we are bound to be in divine life. This self-transformation has to be done through inner meditation. When we meditate unconsciously, it takes a long, long time to reach the Goal. Only when we are at the human stage do we begin meditating consciously. When we meditate consciously, we make the fastest progress.
Without meditation no human being can have inseparable oneness with God. If we want any real peace, real joy, real love, then we have to meditate. The so-called peace we feel in our day-to-day lives is five minutes of peace after ten hours of anxiety, worry and frustration. But that is no peace at all. We are at the mercy of the monkeys around us — jealousy, fear, doubt, worries, anxiety and despair. The monkeys take rest for a few minutes, and then we say that we are enjoying peace. But no, it is only that monkeys are tired of biting us. The next moment all the negative monkey-forces will attack us again.
We get divine peace through meditation. Even if we meditate for fifteen minutes and get peace for only one minute, that one minute of peace, if it is solid peace, will be able to permeate our whole day. If in the morning we have meditated at six o'clock, in the evening we will still feel inner peace, inner joy, inner light. It is all solid power from our meditation that we are getting, and these things last for some time. When we have a meditation of the highest order, then we get really abiding peace, light and delight. We need meditation because we want to grow in light and we want to fulfil ourselves in light and through light. If this is our choice, if this is our aspiration, if this is our thirst, then meditation is the only way.