Part VIII — Iceland
Aspiration and dedication1In our spiritual life two things are of paramount importance: aspiration and dedication. They are like complementary souls; each adds to the other. Aspiration is our heart’s ascent; dedication is our heart’s descent. Aspiration is our life’s beauty; dedication is our life’s plenitude. When we aspire, we try to see man in God; when we dedicate ourselves, we try to see God in man. Aspiration tells us where God is; dedication tells us who God is. Where is God? God is inside the heartbeat of our acceptance-light. Who is God? God is none other than ourselves in our Transcendental Height.
There was a time when we walked along the desire-road. At the end of our journey’s close we discovered that our destination was nothing but frustration. Frustration then persuaded us to meet with its most intimate friend, destruction. Together we sang with frustration; together we danced with destruction.
But now we are walking along the road of aspiration. This road is endless and the seeker’s journey is eternal. On this road life is progress, life is God-preparation, life is God-manifestation, life is God-satisfaction. On this road we sing with Eternity’s Silence and we dance with Infinity’s Sound.
There was a time when we dedicated ourselves to someone or to something with the hope of world-appreciation, world-admiration and world-adoration. But when we discovered that world-appreciation, world-admiration and world-adoration fell short of our expectation, we tried to console ourselves with a new hope. This hope was for world-recognition. We thought that if the world recognised us, this was enough. But world-recognition was also not to our satisfaction. At this point, our self-styled knowledge-light revolted against God’s lack of Compassion. We despised the height of the world’s ingratitude.
But now we are sincere, dedicated seekers. We feel that world-recognition is absolutely unnecessary, not to speak of world-appreciation, world-admiration and world-adoration. At this point, we have discovered something most significant: world-appreciation, world-admiration and world-adoration are like devouring animals. They can devour us at any moment on our way to God-realisation unless we are well protected by God’s adamantine Will and unconditional Compassion.
In the spiritual life quite often we are disappointed. Why? Because every day our aspiration is not intense, because every day our dedication is not genuine. How can we have intense aspiration and genuine dedication in our daily multifarious activities? We can have these unparalleled, divine qualities if every day we offer our soulful gratitude to the Inner Pilot. Gratitude is the only prayer that is immediately answered by our Inner Pilot.
We are seekers, but there are millions and millions of unaspiring people on earth. They may ask us what they consider a difficult question. They may ask us how we live on earth amidst countless sufferings, excruciating pangs and world-ignorance. We immediately tell them that our aspiration has the answer. We tell them that aspiration not only has the answer but also is the answer. They ask us how we can love people who are full of ignorance, full of imperfections and full of animal propensities. We immediately tell them that our dedication has the answer. We tell them that dedication not only has the answer but also is the answer. We employ our aspiration, our heart’s cry, to help us propel the Dream-Boat of God. We employ our dedication to be of service to God with the hope that the Reality-Shore will come closer to us.
Our life of aspiration and dedication is the payment of our personal debt to our Mother Earth. Our life of vision and satisfaction is the payment of our personal debt to our Father Heaven. Our life of perfection and transcendence is the payment of our personal debt to our Supreme Lord.
When we do not aspire we notice that human life is full of rules and regulations. When we do aspire we feel that there are no rules and regulations; we are flowing with the river of freedom and entering into the Perfection-Sea. When we realise the highest Truth we come to realise that there is only one rule and that rule is: God comes first. Then we go one step further and see that the sole rule is: God for God’s sake, and not for our personal satisfaction. It is our unconditional surrender to God’s Will that can make us really happy and fulfilled. Aspiration and dedication have three most intimate friends to help them reach their destined goal. These friends are concentration, meditation and contemplation. Time will not permit me to speak on them at length, but I wish to demonstrate for a few seconds what concentration, meditation and contemplation are.
First let us try to concentrate. When we concentrate, we focus all our attention on a particular subject or object. Our concentration is like a divine arrow entering into the object. It pierces the veil of ignorance. I shall be concentrating on my heart. You can also concentrate on your heart or on anything or anyone you want to. [Sri Chinmoy demonstrated concentration for a few moments, in silence.]
Now I shall meditate. When we meditate, we do not focus on a particular thing; we merge into something vast, endless, infinite. I shall meditate on the sky. You can also meditate on the sky or on something else if you like. [Sri Chinmoy then demonstrated meditation.]
Now I shall contemplate. When we contemplate, the seeker in us becomes the divine Lover, who is inseparably one with the Supreme Beloved. [Sri Chinmoy then demonstrated contemplation.]
Dear seekers, exactly a month ago I left New York for Europe. I have visited quite a few European countries and I have given talks at several well-known universities. Today marks the end of my lecture tour or, rather, the end of my dedicated service here.
I am a spiritual farmer. God, out of His infinite Bounty, has entrusted me with the task of ploughing the spiritual land. This is my first visit to your beautiful island. I have been here for about four hours. During these four hours, I have felt the Indian consciousness here in Iceland. India’s natural beauty I have observed here; India’s inner peace I have felt here. My presence here makes me feel that my life of aspiration and your life of aspiration in the inner world have built a bridge between spiritual India and spiritual Iceland. Your genuine enthusiasm and cry for God have impressed my heart deeply. My Indian heart offers its soulful gratitude to your hearts of aspiration, for it is you who have given me the opportunity to be of dedicated service to you today. Nothing gives me greater joy than to be of dedicated service to the Supreme inside aspiring human beings.
OEH 72. University of Iceland; Reykjavik, Iceland, 21 July 1974.↩