Question: Guru, in the song you composed today, what does lajuk mean?1

Sri Chinmoy: Lajuk means one who is shy. Some seekers are very shy, specially women seekers. Sri Ramakrishna said that people who are shy are very far, very far from real spirituality. He said that it will not do to become shy; we must not allow shyness to enter into us.

Shyness is weakness, weakness, some people say, while others say it is a sweet quality of human nature. Each spiritual Master has his own philosophy. According to me, shyness perhaps will not delay your God-realisation. I personally do not take it as a bad quality.

At the ashram, according to many, I had abundant shyness. My friends and my teachers said that I was always shy, but Sri Ramakrishna said that one cannot realise God if one has shyness.

Here, among the disciples, who has first-class shyness? Among the girls, there are many whose shyness is very visible and tangible. Boys usually do not have shyness, but there are a few exceptions.

Lajja ghrina bhoy: If you have shyness, if you have hatred and if you have fear, then you will never be able to realise God. That was Sri Ramakrishna's theory.

Sri Ramakrishna named several stages. I have written a song about them, and Paree's group has sung it.2 Puja — worship with earthly things like flowers and incense — Sri Ramakrishna called the first stage. He himself used to pluck flowers and offer incense. According to his realisation, this kind of worship with earthly things he put at the first level.

Then comes japa, repeating God's Name. Again, some spiritual Masters did realise God only by doing japa. Some Indian saints attained to very, very high states of consciousness by doing japa.

A few years ago I was doing japa 7,000 times. Then it went up to 13,000 repetitions. During this time, some spiritual Masters laughed and laughed at me in the inner world. They were saying, "Stop! After God-realisation you do not have to do japa!" I had not done japa in India, at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, so I said to myself, "Let me see what it is." I started with 3,000 repetitions, then it became 7,000, and finally it became 13,000. Thirteen thousand repetitions I did for seven or eight months, about ten years ago. Some disciples gave me clickers so that I could count the repetitions.

A funny thing used to happen. I would put the clicker in my pocket, and then if I happened to put some magnetic keys in my pocket, the number on the clicker would disappear. Then I would forget where I had stopped!

Thirteen thousand repetitions I could not do at a stretch. In one session I did one thousand or two thousand. I did it for hours at different times, but then the number disappeared because of the magnetic things in my pocket. Even while disciples were singing during our function, I was repeating and repeating and clicking and clicking. In this way I did try japa, but fortunately or unfortunately it did not help me at all. It is not necessary after God-realisation.

Again, it is a matter of faith, faith! Many, many spiritual figures like Bijoykrishna and others who were absolutely saints and yogis of the highest order depended on japa. In your case, if you have faith, you can do it, but what are you going to repeat? Some spiritual Masters say that if a human being has prayed and meditated, you will have more faith in that person than in a carrot, let us say. A carrot looks nice and you can eat it, but if you repeat "carrot, carrot, carrot," it will be difficult for you to have faith that the carrot will help you to realise God. Then again, look at Ratnakar! Ratnakar used to cut off people's thumbs, and he made a garland of thumbs. He could not even repeat Lord Rama's name because he was so bad. He wanted to repeat Rama's name, because Rama was a spiritual figure, but he could only say it backwards: "Mara, Mara, Mara." Mara means dead body; Ratnakar had to repeat "Mara, Mara, Mara," and he did get his realisation. Then he became known as the great sage Valmiki.

  1. NED 29-30. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 6 December 2006 in Antalya, Turkey.

  2. NED 29,6. Sri Chinmoy, Pujar cheye jap baro (unpublished song). Sri Chinmoy also composed a song (unpublished) on Lajja ghrina bhoy, mentioned in this talk