Part V — Meeting with Mahasamrat Bill Pearl and Bhavatarini Judy PearlMJW 7. On 17 November 1999, the morning of his 14th weightlifting anniversary, Sri Chinmoy met with Mahasamrat Bill Pearl and Bhavatarini Judy Pearl for a special breakfast at Annam Brahma Restaurant in Queens, New York. Following are excerpts from their conversation.
2.Sri Chinmoy: I try to be integral — physically, vitally, mentally, psychically and spiritually. I feel that we should do everything together. That is why I do so many different things. God gave us the body, vital, mind and heart. Each one is part of our existence. We try to bring the best out of them for manifestation. Whatever is good inside the body should be brought forward for its manifestation, whatever is good inside the mind and so on.
Down the sweep of centuries, there have been many spiritual Masters who did not believe in physical fitness. They felt that if you devoted time to taking exercise, then you were not meant for the spiritual life. Only by living in the Himalayan caves could you practise a spiritual life. If you accepted life, then you were not spiritual because you had descended. That was our ancient Indian theory.
Now we have made progress. We try to accept both God the Creator and God the creation. If we accept only God the Creator, if we do not see God inside others, then God created us in vain. Now we have accepted God the creation and we are trying together to bring down peace, light and bliss from Above.
Unfortunately, the physical does not respond to the spiritual so easily. We are involved in the outer world twenty-four hours a day, but our inner life is the real life that brings down the divinity from Above long before the outer life. First we try to bring down the divinity from Above or bring to the fore the divinity from within and then we offer it to the physical, to the outer world.
The physical and the spiritual are of equal importance. For us, the physical is the temple and the spiritual is the shrine. If there is no shrine inside a temple, people will laugh. What kind of temple is it? Again, if there is no temple, the shrine will not exist for long. So the temple and the shrine, the body and the soul, go together.
Some spiritual Masters say, “Who cares for the temple, as long as there is a shrine?” They neglect the body. But if you neglect the temple, what will happen to the shrine? The wind will come and blow it away.
Similarly, if we pay all attention to the body-temple and do not care for the soul-shrine, then we shall always have self-doubt. We will be convinced that we cannot do something. Now we can say, “I can do it, I can do it,” because we know that God is inside us. If we have to depend on our physical body alone, then we will find that we cannot take even one step. But if we know that Somebody else, God, is doing it in and through us, then unlimited steps we can take.
Nervousness comes only when we feel that we are the doers. If Somebody else is the Doer, then we are just the witnesses. It is up to Him whether we are successful or not. We have only to be good instruments. But if we feel that we are doing it ourselves, then we are in trouble. We will have no sleep, no sleep.
In my youth, when I used to excel in sports, when I was the decathlon champion of our spiritual community, I was nervous for a few years in the beginning. But then I saw that my brothers and sisters were infinitely more nervous than I was on our sports days. They took my nervousness from me.
Yesterday the Canadian boxer Donny Lalonde asked, “Sri Chinmoy, are you nervous?” I said, “I gave my nervousness many years ago to the athletics field.” Now if I do not succeed or if I succeed, my success or my failure, because of my spiritual life, I place at the Feet of God. Only I have to be a good and pure instrument so that He can utilise me in His own Way. If I am not, then I will not be able to please Him in His own Way. So I will try to be a good person, at least for today. If I am not good, how will He act in and through me? The responsibility is His. My only responsibility is to keep my mind calm and quiet, vacant and pure. Again, some people find that extremely difficult. Because they do not have a calm mind, they are assailed by the forces of anxiety, worry and so on.
Here it is a family game in front of my brothers and sisters, my spiritual friends and my students. Do I have to worry? If I cannot succeed, they will sympathise with me. If I succeed, they will be so happy that their teacher has done it. I will not be the loser in any way because their sympathetic oneness with me is such that no matter what I do, they are one with me.
I am so lucky. Every time I get a very sympathetic audience. People come here for peace of mind. They do not come to see a weightlifter or bodybuilder. They know me only as a man of prayers for peace, love and harmony. They come to see me as their fellow compatriot in peace. They come here for a peaceful evening and not for anything else. Otherwise, they can go to Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe competitions.
Here I am only competing with myself to show progress. If I can make progress at the age of 68, what is wrong with others? People at the age of 50 or 60 give up. I have students at the age of 27 or 28 who say they are too old! Then I have to scold them and do everything to inspire them. How can they be old at the age of 27? They feel that they cannot run as well as they used to. I say, “Then do something else. Keep running, but add something else as well. Why should you only be a runner?”
I was a runner. Now I have entered into weightlifting. Then sometimes I do painting or compose songs or write poems. Like that, God has given us so many opportunities. If we cannot do one thing, we can do something else.
Now you are no longer competing, but you have a most special responsibility with your autobiography. When are you going to do it?
Mahasamrat Bill Pearl: We are working on it now, Guru. We honestly are!
Sri Chinmoy: That is your job now. You are no longer Mr. Universe, but this immortal autobiography will come from you. I am so happy to hear it. Many people are not doing that. They give up all their capacities. If we give up everything, then in this life there will be no variety. In our heart-garden there will be only roses and nothing else. How can we call it a garden if there is only one kind of flower? There should be a variety of flowers. Each human being has a heart- garden. Inside, we shall have to have many, many kinds of flowers.
Mahasamrat Bill Pearl: That is beautiful. It is so true.
Sri Chinmoy: Otherwise, life will be a stagnant pool. Instead we want to be a running river.