Question: Master, what books do you think will help me in my development?
Sri Chinmoy: I wish to know what you expect from your life. If you expect Self-realisation, God-realisation, then I wish to tell you that there are very few books on earth that will help you. If you want Self-realisation, then I wish to tell you that meditation is your book, concentration is your book. The Book of books is meditation. So if your ultimate goal in this life is to enter into the infinite Peace, Love, Joy and Bliss, then I wish to tell you that meditation and concentration are necessary. If you follow me strictly and devotedly, my instructions and my writings will be more than enough.
It is not that I'm telling you this like a jealous person who does not want you to read others' writings. No, I am telling you this for your own good. Reading others' books may confuse your mind. Fortunately, I have covered, for my disciples, all the aspects of the inner life and the spiritual life, in my writings. For my dedicated disciples, I have written amply. If you study my writings every day, you will get a deeper truth each time you read them.
Take one article or even one single paragraph. Read it today. Tomorrow, if you read the same paragraph, it will bring you a different and higher Truth, a higher Light.
When I tell my disciples not to enter into others' spiritual writings, not to read them, it is because reading others' books may confuse their minds. Our people in New York read thousands of books; they read everything that falls into their hands. Then who is the loser? I am not the loser. My mind is not going to be affected if you read these books.
Unfortunately, books that have been written by people who are millions of miles from God-realisation are numerous. You read them and then you suffer. So I say that if you are going to read books, then read about the Christ, read books about Ramakrishna, Lord Krishna, Ramana Maharshi and Lord Buddha. But the so-called "masters," who are growing in the West like mushrooms, will only confuse your inner life and your spiritual life.
Meditation is your reading; meditation is your realisation. If you care to read my writings and then you meditate on even one line of my writings, you will satisfy me. And if you want to totally satisfy me, then you have to meditate daily without fail.
My spiritual presence, my inner presence can be felt by you in your heart every day. But I tell all of you to come here to the Centre because this is the spiritual home of the whole spiritual family. It is the divine house for the disciples of the Supreme. That is why I tell my disciples to come here. Here they will definitely feel the Presence of the Divine.
To come back to your question, Venu, if you read spiritual books about spiritual giants like the Christ, Lord Buddha, Rama, Krishna, Sri Chaitanya, Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo and Ramana Maharshi, this will help you. But again I wish to say that if you read books by others who only express their own opinions about these spiritual Masters, you will be making a serious mistake. There are so many self-styled teachers who will only confuse you if you read their books.
Now I wish to tell you clearly and bluntly that if you accept me as your spiritual Teacher, you have to accept my teachings. My teachings (and my writings) can never be separated from my living truth, my living light and my living being.
If disciples do not have the time or the necessity to read my writings, no harm, but meditation you have to practise. Meditation is the common link, the golden thread between you and me. If you want to be inside me, or if you want me to be inside you, what is required is meditation. If you meditate, all your problems and all my problems will be solved.
In the beginning, one may read good spiritual books to learn how to meditate. After you have learned how to meditate, if you do not care to, you don't need to read any more books because it is meditation that brings God-realisation — not books. If you meditate, you acquire divine wisdom; if you study others' ideas, you are only borrowing from them.