Chapter 11: Inner qualities

Question: You often encourage us to dive deep within. Can you explain what this means?1

Sri Chinmoy: When we dive deep within, two things usually happen: we see all our good qualities and we see all our bad qualities. In our daily life, when we see our bad qualities, we become frustrated. We feel that we are full of imperfections and that in every field we are weak and useless. But when we go deep within and see these same imperfections looming large, we are not disheartened at all because we see our good qualities at the same time. Along with our bad qualities, we see our love for God, our love for mankind, our cry for beauty, peace, light, harmony and bliss. Then it is up to us to choose either imperfection or perfection. When we choose perfection, we feel tremendous strength in ourselves. We feel that our good qualities can easily overcome the imperfections that we see within and around us.

But there is no end to our inner journey, and we can go still deeper within. When we go very, very deep, at that time we do not see any imperfection either in ourselves or in anybody else. What we actually see is that we are having an experience and that others are also having an experience. This experience is neither good nor bad. The distinctions of good and bad are all in the mind, which is very limited. If we go just a little within, we see good and bad as two different things. But if we can go to the deepest, we realise that there is nothing bad. All creation and all experiences are good.

If we are unable to dive deep within, we may feel that everything and everybody is bad — our friends, humanity, our spiritual path, even God. But when we go deep within, we will feel that even our so-called enemies are good because they are also God's children and God is having a particular kind of experience in and through them. An ordinary human being may find it difficult to accept his enemy as his own. But a spiritual person will try to feel his oneness with the whole world. The moment we accept the spiritual life, the life of God, we cannot have an enemy. We only have friends whose views may be different from ours.

If I want to play an instrument and my right hand plays well, then my right hand becomes my friend. But if my left hand cannot play at all well, shall I call my left hand my enemy? No! The right hand has the capacity, so it plays, and I am very happy with it. My left hand does not give me the same result as my right hand, but that is no reason to hate it.

In the spiritual life, if I see that somebody cannot do something, I should immediately try to become one with that person's incapacity. If somebody is helpless, hopeless and useless in some field, I can become one with that person in his weakness and imperfection. Just because I have established my oneness with that person, I can go deep within and bring from there peace, light and bliss in abundant measure to pour into him. And when I pour these into him, I see and feel that the person receiving my inner wealth is none other than myself.

Right now we feel that the outer world is one thing and the inner world is something else. In the inner world we feel safety, purpose and a sense of perfection. In the outer world we feel that everything is chaotic, meaningless, useless, hopeless. But the more we dive within and stay in the inner world, the easier it becomes for us to control our outer life. Then we see the outer world as an extension of our inner life.

To dive deep within means to cry for perfection without. I go deep within for the perfection, harmony, peace and bliss of my outer life. The outer life is mine and the inner life is also mine. But if I do not have the seed, how am I going to get the plant and the tree? They must go together. The seed is the inner life and the tree is the outer life. If I sow the seed today, in a few months I will get the plant, which will gradually grow into a giant banyan tree. Without the seed, the tree cannot come into existence. And again, when there is only the seed and no tree, how will the world appreciate the capacity of the seed or get any benefit in the form of fruit? The ultimate capacity of the seed is the fruit, and it is with the fruit that we fulfil our daily need and hunger. But the first thing is the seed. So let us go deep within, to the life of the seed, and let us then grow into the life of the tree and the fruit. When the seed of the inner life has grown into the strong and sturdy tree of the outer life, the outer world and the inner world will perfectly harmonise.


  1. MUN 336. January 1974.