Part I — Remarks by Sri Chinmoy
Remarks by Sri ChinmoySri Chinmoy: I lost my physical mother when I was eleven years old. She left me for God; she left me for her Maker. Since then, my three sisters, one by one, have played the role of my mother. Two of them are now with God. My middle sister, who is extremely close to me, is still on earth. Quite often I speak to her on the telephone. By the way, let me tell you, it is only twelve dollars for the first three minutes. Otherwise, you might think I am very extravagant. This sister of mine is extremely, extremely close to my heart and soul. She is not my sister but my real mother. Here in America I have three mothers: Ethel Siegerman in Toronto, Carolyn Hughes in Pennsylvania and Ruth Moseley, Karuna, in New York.
A few months ago I had the golden opportunity to be with the girls' mothers. The girls' mothers also came to Annam Brahma and it was a most significant occasion. On that day I was fortunate to have about twenty mothers. Today I am more fortunate, for today thirty mothers have come to bless an Indian son. I wish to say that it is only in America that mothers come to see their sons. In India, it is the bounden duty of the son to visit the mother.
When I say the word 'mother,' it touches the depth of my gratitude-heart. The dictionary houses thousands and millions of words, but without the least possible hesitation I wish to say that the word 'mother' remains unparalleled in terms of sweetness, love, concern, intimacy, closeness and oneness. There is no other word as significant as 'mother.' It can only be felt and never described. The mother is affection, the mother is love, the mother is concern, the mother is closeness, the mother is inseparable oneness with the son. The mother and the son are the obverse and reverse of the same coin. If there is only one side of the coin, then nobody will see it as a coin. Both the sides are of paramount importance. In the life of the mother, the son is undoubtedly the dearest living being. And in the heart of the son, the same experience must always loom large, that the mother is all. To the son, the mother is sweet, sweeter, sweetest. To the mother, the son is sweeter than the sweetest.
Each mother embodies the highest God-reality in abundant, boundless measure. As you all know, I come from India. In India we had a great spiritual Master whose name was Ramakrishna. He taught us that each mother has to be venerated, worshipped in the depths of the son's heart, because she embodies the Divine Mother, God in His feminine aspect. To him each mother represented the highest, the deepest. This Truth is undeniable to me and to those who love the Truth and want to grow into the Truth absolute.
I beg to be excused for all that I am saying. I have come not with the intention to throw light on you. I go to various places — colleges, universities, churches, synagogues to illumine the seekers. But the son cannot illumine his mother. If he wants to do that, then it will be the height of audacity and ignorance. So I have come here today not to throw light on you but to share with you the experiences which I have been sharing with your sons.
If you think I am a good man, then you are telling me a half-truth. The complete truth is that your sons are equally good. They say that birds of a feather flock together. It is true. If your sons had not been good, if divinity had not started to blossom in them, they would not have come to me to study in the school of love, devotion and surrender to God's Will. You have taught them in their childhood these three things — love, devotion and surrender — and I am only continuing what you have already started.
Now, some of you will say that your sons have come and joined our path without your knowledge or without your permission. But I wish to say that there are two types of permission. One is the permission of the tongue and mouth and the other is the permission of the heart. If one gets the inner permission from the soul of the mother, then that is more than enough. Here there is not a single mother whose soul has not given permission for her son to come and study with me in the school of love, devotion and surrender. I say this on the strength of my oneness, not only with God but with all of you, with your hearts and souls. If you feel that your sons are studying in a peculiar school, and that a day will come when they will be disillusioned and will feel they have done the wrong thing, then I wish to say that you are mistaken. There is not a single mother whose heart of divinity and whose soul of inseparable oneness with the Highest has not given permission for her son to study with me. The human in you may not believe it, but the divine in you is bound to believe it.
When you are blessed with a child, you bring into your life a solid portion of divinity from above. At that time your soul makes a solemn promise to God that you will make your son a perfect instrument of God. Either you will be in a position to help your son yourself, or you will take the help of some other human being. This is your soul's promise. Sometimes the physical mind will be aware of it, but in spite of being fully aware of what the soul has promised to God, it wants to delay the soul's fulfilment of that promise. Again, the physical mind may surrender to the heart.
It has happened a few times that a mother has objected to her son's joining our path. But her heart was totally against her mind's decision. The heart of the mother wants nothing from her son except a smiling face, a cheerful heart. Her son's smile, which comes from the inmost recesses of the heart, is the one thing that gives her joy. The son's smiling face, to the mother, is an illumining and fulfilling reality.
I wish to tell you a most significant incident that took place in my own life. When I was three years old my parents took me to the spiritual community where my oldest brother was living. It was my second visit. When I was a year and three months old my parents first took me there. The second time, my mother went to the head of this spiritual community, the spiritual mother, with only one prayer. The prayer was that she could take back her eldest son to the ordinary life. She was fully prepared to make this prayer to the spiritual Mother of this community. But when she saw the spiritual Mother, she could not make this request. She said: "Mother, I am so grateful that you have taken full responsibility for my eldest son. I have six other children whom I wish you to take on your path. The eldest you have taken. Now I beg you to take full responsibility for the younger brother and sisters." You see, the mind went to take the eldest son back, but the heart and the soul knew where the truth was. The heart and the soul prayed to the divine Mother to accept the rest of the children.
A real mother, when she sees her son is hungry, never thinks of who is feeding the son. If she does not have food and someone is ready to offer proper food, she tells the son, "Go and eat. This is what you need." On the physical plane, I, as a human being, appear to feed your sons. But this is not true. It is only God in me, God in you, who feeds them. They have seen in me a good friend, an eternal friend, and I have seen in them an instrument that is going to become a perfect, absolutely perfect instrument of God.
You have come to see me because I am supposed to be the leader of your children. But I am not their leader. The real leader is not a human being; the real leader is God. I am just an older brother. As I said, you are my mothers. Yours sons have found in me an elder brother. And I am taking them to your Father, their Father, my Father — to our Eternal Father, who is God. This is my role: to take them to the right place, the right person. The thing that I am doing is what your souls want. As a matter of fact, your souls are doing it in and through me. The most striking progress that your sons are making is the result of your souls' continuous love and concern for your sons. I shall not take any credit. And again, there is something more, which is extremely important: the body, vital, mind, heart and soul of your sons wanted to do the same thing. So, your souls, your sons' souls and my soul all joined together only to do one thing: to please God in God's own way. When we remain in the body, vital or mind, we try to compel God either devotedly or cleverly to please us in our own way. But when we remain in the heart, we ask God to show us how we can please Him. When we remain in our heart and soul, always we tell God only one thing: "Let Thy Will be done." And you quite often do remain inside your heart. At that time, you see that the thing that you actually wanted for your sons is being done. It is being done on the strength of your real love for your sons.
When you think of perfection, you have to know that perfection comes only in self-giving, and self-giving is God-becoming. The son is part and parcel of the mother's existence and this son she offers to God so that he can study in a spiritual school and develop love, devotion and surrender. This is one act of self-giving. The second act of self-giving is to see the person to whom your children have come. But it is an even greater victory that you have come to visit me. There are mothers here who have doubted me and suspected me. So, for these mothers, is it not their greatest achievement to come today and see whether I am good?
Today I have sung the song of victory. It is your victory, your second victory. The first victory was in the inner world when you gave your sons outer permission to follow our path. If any mother goes home with a good thought — that you have seen that Indian who has taken away your dearest and he is not bad after all — I wish to tell you that this thought will undoubtedly increase your happiness. And happiness is nothing but an expansion or manifestation of your own divinity. Divinity means the thing that eternally is. A thought does not last, but we last. If the thought gives way to God's Will, then you can say, "Let Thy Will be done." Nobody has said and nobody will say anything better than this: "Let Thy Will be done." Two thousand years ago we were taught this by the Christ. So if you want happiness in the purest sense, if you want happiness to constantly increase in your life, then you have to surrender to God's Will. And that is done by self-giving.
It is an act of supreme self-giving on your part to see me. For that I am eternally grateful to you. Today you have come to see a son of yours. I wish to say that your affection, your concern, your good will shall grow in me, in the very depth of my grateful heart. On the strength of my oneness with my Inner Pilot, I wish to tell you that there shall come a time when we all shall pass behind the curtain of Eternity. At that time, this Indian son of yours will be in an infinitely better position to be of help, not only to your sons, but to all of you. I assure you, in the name of the Absolute Pilot Supreme, that I shall really do something in the inner world at God's Choice Hour for all the mothers whom I am today fortunate enough to meet. And you don't have to follow our path, you don't have to study in our school. If you do your own respective prayer, if you go to church or synagogue or wherever you go, I wish to tell you that if you are sincere and devoted, then my dedicated, illumining, soulful service to your souls you are bound to feel. And I assure you it can happen right from today. You don't have to wait for two years or three years or four years. When I accepted your sons, I accepted a portion of your life-breath. So when I am one, absolutely one, with a portion of your life-breath, I am undoubtedly inside your heart and soul, only waiting for you to grant me the golden opportunity to be of real service to you.
Nothing gives me greater joy than to be of dedicated service. All the mothers are members of the same family, one family. You have offered to the Supreme in me the one that is dearest and closest to you. You are already in my heart of gratitude, constantly growing and glowing, for it is your sons who are helping me steer the boat to the Golden Shore. And I assure you that when you live in the heart, definitely you will get all of your sons' achievements. When you remain in the world of prayer, meditation and aspiration or inner cry, you shall see that the achievements of the sons are undoubtedly the achievements of the mothers, and the achievements of the mothers are undoubtedly the achievements of the sons. The sons have already achieved the mothers' abundant love, concern, sympathy, intimacy, oneness. All these qualities that I notice in your sons have come directly from you; you are the source.
Again, if you remain in the vital or the physical, there shall come a time when the physical and vital in you will surrender to the aspiring heart. At that time you will realise that your dearest ones have not left you. Wherever they are, there you are inside the very depth of their living breath, and vice versa: wherever you are, they will also be there. They are carrying you and you are carrying them. I offer my ever-growing and ever-glowing gratitude to the souls of all the mothers.