Question: Astronomers have this big controversy about whether the universe is infinitely expanding or whether it is limited. Which view is correct?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to know that there are two universes. One is the geographical universe, the other is the consciousness-universe. So if the scientists are referring to the consciousness-universe, I wish to say that it is constantly enlarging itself. But the geographical universe is limited. According to our mental conception, we think of the world, then the universe, then the creation itself. Each is vaster than its predecessor. But we have to know that the things that we can create or conceive of with our mental faculties, or even with our intuitive faculties, are limited. But what is unlimited is the consciousness-universe, which is all the time transcending and enlarging itself.

When we hear that the universe is growing larger, we have to know that it is actually the spiritual universe that is expanding. I always say that the human heart is a very tiny muscle, but the spiritual heart, which is inside me, inside you, inside everyone, houses the Universal Consciousness. That heart houses most perfectly the universe, no matter how much it enlarges itself. The universe is always inside that heart.

One universe we form with our preconceived mental ideas, but it has nothing to do with the soul's reality. The universe that is connected with our soul's reality is constantly enlarging itself and transcending itself. We come into contact with this spiritual universe when we have a major inner experience or realisation. Before that, the inner universe is all mental. We try to imagine it, but even when we use our imagination-power, it is limited. We imagine an infinite expanse of green which goes on and on. We feel that our imagination is endless, but because we are using the mind, in five minutes or ten minutes or five hours, it will come to a halt. It cannot go any farther because it is in the mental world. Then, if we go beyond the mental world into the intuitive world, there again we get a glimpse of the infinite universe, but the vision is only like a tiny flame. The other day I answered a question about intuition. I said it is like a flame, but when the third eye opens up, at that time we see the difference between a flame and the sun. So until the third eye opens up, everything is very tiny. With intuition and imagination, we can know something about the universe, but we cannot change it. Only when the third eye opens up and starts functioning can we burn out all the evil deeds of our past and expedite our future progress.