Section: United States of America
God's dream-boat and man's life-boat 1There is always some compensation, even on God’s part! God has not blessed me with a college degree or diploma. No, not even a high school certificate. But, out of His infinite Bounty, He has blessed my searching heart with the opportunity to serve Him in the seekers of the infinite Truth. You, who are the fortunate students of Yale, serve the University with your most devoted heads. The University serves you with its fathomless knowledge. I have now come to serve your matchless University, your distinguished professors and your significantly blooming minds with my heart’s climbing flame and my soul’s glowing love.
To be unreservedly and perfectly honest with you, while I was in India, my ignorance prevented me from being aware of more than six universities in the whole of the United States, namely Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and Cornell. Lo, where am I now? I am basking in the warmest kindness-invitation of Yale.
Socrates, the grandfather of philosophy, once said, “What I know is nothing.” I am most humbly and devotedly trying to follow in his inimitable footsteps. At this point, perhaps you, my young friends, are tempted to accuse me of taking shelter under the blue-vast canopy of the Upanishadic lore. True, the Kena Upanishad says:
To those of you who are not quite familiar with the Indian philosophy, this particular message of the Kena Upanishad may sound absurd. But I wish to say that the significance of this momentous message is otherwise. What Brahman is, is infinite Consciousness. The Vedic and Upanishadic Seers of yore were wont to share with mankind their inner realisations that Brahman, the infinite Consciousness, is always in the process of transcending the limitless expanse of the Beyond. Brahman’s Infinity, along with Brahman’s Eternity and Immortality, are ever on the march.
To come back to the university and the students. The profound thought of Adlai Stevenson flashes across my mind: “Men may be born free; they cannot be born wise, and it is the duty of the university to make the free wise.”
Freedom and wisdom must always shake hands. If not, freedom will suffer from headache and wisdom from stomach-ache. O land of peerless freedom! I am positive that yours is the heart that cries for loftiest wisdom, too. God is showering His choicest Blessing on you. Before long, you will be crowned with unparalleled success.
Now let me come back to my talk, “God’s Dream-Boat and Man’s Life-Boat.” Today is the possessor of our dream, tomorrow is the possessor of our reality. What our earth-bound consciousness experiences is really our dream. What our Heavenward consciousness realises is our reality. Our dream not only prepares us, but also offers itself to us as our solid preparation. Likewise, reality not only illumines us, but also presents itself to us as our brightest Illumination.
Here I record the conversation between God’s Dream-Boat and Man’s Life-Boat.
Man’s Life-Boat: I am crying, struggling, striving, desiring and aspiring, O God’s Dream-Boat. What more is expected of me?
God’s Dream-Boat: Something more.
Man’s Life-Boat: I concentrate, I meditate, I contemplate. What else is left?
God’s Dream-Boat: Something more.
Man’s Life-Boat: I know I am imperfection incarnate. You are Perfection embodied, revealed and manifested. What else have I to know?
God’s Dream-Boat: Something more.
Man’s Life-Boat: I can only tell You that if I were You, all Your longings would have had their due fulfilment in me by this time.
God’s Dream-Boat: O Man’s Life-Boat, I needed you. I need you. I shall forever need you. You have at long last seen in Me your Friend, true Friend. Me you have won.
God is man’s eternal Friend. When man approaches God, not as a beggar, but as a Friend, he gets God sooner. He gets God in His sweetest Form. We are not God’s slaves. We are His children, His chosen children.
God’s Dream-Boat is the Heavenly individuality of man’s Life-Boat. Man’s Life-Boat is the earthly personality of God’s Dream-Boat. Man’s Life-Boat is sailing towards the Promised Land where Infinity plays, Eternity sings and Immortality dances. But where is this Promised Land? It is in the heart of Here and in the soul of Now. Human life is precious, priceless. The poet-soul in Emily Dickinson softly and unerringly tells the world:
I took one draught of life,
I’ll tell you what I paid,
Precisely an existence —
The market-price, they said.
What is existence? Existence is God’s Body. What is God’s Body? God’s Body is Infinity’s Life. What is Infinity’s Life? Infinity’s Life is God’s Dream. What is God’s Dream? God’s Dream is His Transcendental Reality’s embodied inspiration and revealed aspiration.
We all must realise God. We must stand firm in this resolve. Ours must be the aspiration to explore the realm of the Spirit. Our inner urge should be insistent, nay, irresistible. Then the certainty of God-realisation will loom large before us on every side. A regular chart of divine duties must be drawn up by us, in which top priority must, by all manner of means, be given to meditation.
Let us work. Let us meditate. Our life-breath let us not waste. Death will give us enough rest, more than we need. Let us work, let us meditate, for our dedicated life-activities are unmistakably the supernal glories of God.
We know what our earthly activities are. It is high time for us to focus our soulful attention on God’s activities. What does God do with His Life? He flows His Life through us. What does God do with His Peace? He comes to us with His Peace to transform our weaknesses into strengths. What does God do with His Joy? He gives us His Joy and tells us that His Joy is our Life-Boat’s only Goal. What does God do with His Power? He gives us His Power to love the world, to brighten the face of the world, to perfect our responsibility to others, so that we can truly fulfil our Heavenly responsibility on earthly soil.
Dear friends, you have many teachers. I have only three and no more. My teachers are Mind, Heart and Soul.
My Mind tells me that God is an Eternal Mystery.
My Heart tells me that God is an Eternal Experience.
My Soul tells me that God is an Eternal Achievement.
I end my talk with a fervent request to you:
Think of God. You will see God standing behind you.
Pray to God. You will see God standing in front of you.
Meditate on God. You will see God seated inside you.
Devote yourself to God. You will see God within, without, here and beyond.
Surrender yourself to God. You will see God’s stupendous Pride in you.
EHWM 112. Yale University; New Haven, Connecticut, USA, W. L. Harkness Hall, 4 December 1968. This was Sri Chinmoy's first university lecture in America and also his first lecture at an Ivy League university.↩