Question: What actually is illumination?1

Sri Chinmoy: Illumination is our conscious awareness of the soul. Illumination is our conscious vision of the Reality that is going to be manifested. Illumination is possibility transformed into practicality. Illumination is like God's divine Wand. An ordinary magician uses his wand to make one thing turn into another. But when God uses His Illumination, immediately the finite consciousness of earth enters into the Infinite and becomes the Infinite.

Illumination is humanity's first realisation of God's omnipotent Power, boundless Compassion, infinite Light and perfect Perfection. It is our illumination that makes us feel what God really is. Before illumination, God is theoretical; after illumination God becomes practical. So illumination is the divine magic power that makes us see the Reality that once upon a time was only imagination. When illumination dawns in a human being, God is no longer just a promise but an actual achievement.

Illumination can be in the mind and it can be in the heart. When the mind is illumined we become God's Choice. When the heart is illumined we become God's Voice. Here in the physical world the mind has evolved considerably. Because man has developed his intellectual mind, he has become superior to the animals, for the standard of the intellectual mind is higher than the standard of the physical or the vital.

Man has cultivated the capacity of the mind, but he has not cultivated the capacity of the heart, which is far greater than he can possibly imagine. When we cultivate the unique sense in our heart that we are of God's highest Vision and for God's perfect manifestation, then illumination will take place in our life.


  1. MUN 388. 26 January 1973.