Question: Guru, you have told us that you create soul-birds when you draw. What are the soul's qualities of your abstract paintings, the ones you did before the soul-birds were started? Are they universes, or are they souls, individual souls?1

Sri Chinmoy: Each bird is singing the song of freedom. The universe is very vast; the universal sky is very vast. Each bird has a specific task: to fly and fly and, while flying, to bring down the message of Immortality. My abstract paintings are like a fixed place. They do not move, but they have their own beauty. They are like the top of the Himalayas. The Himalayas do not move, since they are fixed, but they are so beautiful! Like that, there are many permanent places in nature — hills, mountains, forests or gardens — that are fixed. My abstract paintings also are settled at one place. They are souls that do not want to move. There are many, many souls in the soul's world that are not dynamic, not active. Again, some souls are active and dynamic, like human souls. They care for manifestation.

Although my abstract paintings are static, remaining in one place, they manifest God's Light in one way. The birds are manifesting God's Light in a totally different way.

Freedom itself is light, but something that does not move also has inner light. In our philosophy, something moves and something else does not move. Even the thing that does not move is dynamic in its own way, but we need a different vision to see it.

The birds are flying; we can see their flying movement. The Himalayas are not moving. They are fixed, according to us. But that is not true! If you want to look with your third eye, you can easily see that the flying birds are not moving, and the static Himalayas are moving. You may say, "How can it be?" The human eye sees that something is fixed, something else is moving.

I see a flock of birds in flight. You also see it; everybody sees it. This is true. Again, we see that the mountains are fixed. But when we use the third eye, we can see everything in a totally different way. The capacity of our human eyes is limited. The human eyes will see that something is moving, but the third eye may see just the opposite. The power of the third eye is like that. The third eye is not fooling us. The third eye has the command of movement, and it can see movement in something static. Again, if something is moving, if the third eye wants to see it in a different way, it will see that that very thing is not moving. Even if something has not moved for thousands of years, the third eye can see movement in it.

In the same way, you can stop time. Yesterday I gave a prayer: "What do I need? A time-stopping meditation."2 There is a kind of meditation in which you can definitely see the time — one o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock — but while you are meditating, you are going beyond time. At that time, from one to two to three and four o'clock time does not move; that meditation is beyond time. With your meditation when you can stop the power of time, everything can be seen in a different way.

To come back to your question, my abstract paintings do have souls. They are settled; they are satisfied. They are not lazy — no! The Himalayas give so much inspiration to millions and millions of people, even people who do not climb up the Himalayas. When we hear about the Himalayas, our consciousness goes so high. As soon as we think of the Himalayas, we get such joy. Such peace we feel. Exactly the same thing happens with my art. The static paintings give us joy. And when the birds are flying, we also get tremendous joy.

We can achieve joy from contrary things, even from contradictions. You may ask, "How can it be?" Joy is always like that! When the ocean is calm and quiet, we get tremendous joy. Again, when we see huge waves, we get joy again. It is the same ocean. When it is peaceful, we get joy. We say, "Oh, it is calm and quiet!" And when it is very rough and mischievous, we can get joy again.

  1. NED 12. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in Istanbul, Turkey on 22 November 2006.

  2. NED 12,6. Sri Chinmoy, My Christmas-New Year-Vacation-Aspiration-Prayers, Part 53, #7. New York: Agni Press, 2007