Greatness, goodness and God-oneness4

Greatness and goodness. Greatness and goodness have to be seen with the heart’s eye. I will always say that, in the twinkling of an eye, greatness can be forgotten, no matter how great an achievement may be. Goodness lasts longer, definitely. But sometimes goodness also does not last permanently.

Let us say that somebody has performed some great outer miracles. He is undoubtedly very great. As soon as we hear about his greatness, we get a kind of inspiration. Then, after some time we will say, “Who cares? I did not perform these miracles, so who cares?” Immediately we stop thinking about his greatness.

A prolific author is great. We may not have not written so many books, but so what? First we say that he is very great. But are we inspired to write thousands of poems and songs also? No, we are not getting any inspiration. Only the word “greatness” enters into our mind. We are ready to say, “Oh, he is great.” But does it last? Are we trying to start writing poems like him? No, no, no.

Shakespeare was a great poet. Perhaps we have read two or three poems of his. But do we want to be another Shakespeare? His greatness we can admire for some time, but do we really want to be another Shakespeare? No. We will say, “Enough!”

One can be great on the destructive side. Napoleon had greatness. But this greatness also does not last.

Let us now think of Socrates. Socrates’ quality was not greatness; it was goodness. Plato was great; Aristotle was great. But the goodness of Socrates will far surpass the greatness of Plato and Aristotle. And the goodness of Socrates will last infinitely longer.

Again, the time comes when even goodness we forget. We say to ourselves, “His goodness is doing nothing for me.” We may feel that even a spiritual Master’s goodness is doing nothing for us. Lord Buddha was so good and compassionate, and Lord Buddha was also great. But do we properly value him?

Let us take a Master and disciple: Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. In terms of goodness, Sri Ramakrishna far, far surpassed his disciple. Again, if we are talking about greatness, Swami Vivekananda came to America. He struck the drum so hard for God-manifestation. But do we properly value either the Master or the disciple?

In the inner world, goodness will always be adored and worshipped for a long time. But it does not last unless we value it. If we value goodness, then it becomes permanent. If we value Lord Buddha’s compassion, his goodness, then we shall try to be spiritual. We shall try to make our heart like Lord Buddha’s compassion-heart. Otherwise, as greatness has no value, even goodness has no value. Jesus Christ and Sri Krishna were divinely good. If we value them, if we pray to them and meditate on them, then their goodness remains alive. Otherwise, goodness also, in some respect, is very transitory.

A spiritual Master is good. For five minutes we will have devotion for him and love for him. Then we may not go farther. Greatness does not last even for two minutes, and goodness may last only for a day or two. But if we think of a spiritual Master’s compassion for a whole day, then inspiration will continue to carry us.

Greatness does not last more than a few minutes. We read a book and we say that it is great, and then it is over. Goodness will last a little longer, a day or two. Then goodness also goes away. But if we accept the spiritual life, and if we value goodness, it becomes a daily affair. Then we are aware every day that somebody was good, somebody was kind-hearted, somebody was compassionate — somebody like Jesus Christ or another spiritual Master.

Will Jesus Christ’s forty-five miracles actually make anybody spiritual? Everybody’s curiosity will be fed by his outer miracles. But for people who are really spiritual, when his heart of compassion said, “Let Thy Will be done,” that became the world’s greatest prayer. Like him, we should also say, “My Lord, I want Your Will to be fulfilled.” That prayer is immortal. Outer miracles the Christ did perform. But for those miracles will anybody enter into the spiritual life? Out of curiosity if some individuals want to enter into the Christ’s compassion-aspect to see his divinity, his real divinity, they can. But if anybody follows the Christ only because he performed forty-five extraordinary miracles in three years’ time, that person’s spiritual life will not last.

If people have joined a spiritual path or become disciples of a spiritual Master because the Master has performed miracles, their spiritual life will be very short-lived. Only people who value the inner life, who lead a real spiritual life of love, compassion and other divine qualities, will last. If they value their spirituality and keep it alive in their daily life-activities, then it is real.

Goodness definitely will last longer than greatness. But where will goodness last? Goodness will last in the heart of aspiring humanity. Otherwise, if an individual is not spiritual, then goodness is not going to be valued in his life. Jesus Christ came into the world, Lord Buddha came, Sri Krishna came. If one is not spiritual, he will say, “So what?” He will not value the spiritual Masters.

Lord Buddha moved from one place to another, every evening. He would give talks, and people were so moved, so moved. They all came to him. Then again, when another spiritual figure used to give a talk, everybody would go there. When the Lord Buddha gave talks, he collected absolutely hundreds and hundreds of listeners. But when somebody else gave talks, people all used to go to that person. They were not satisfied! They were like flies. If you put a little sugar here, they come here. And if you put a little sugar there, they go there. These seekers did not realise which individual was offering nectar. They did not realise which individual was more helpful to their spiritual life.

No other spiritual Master had the experience of the Lord Buddha. On the one hand, he was admired, adored and worshipped in his lifetime. Again, he was reviled so ruthlessly by some. The Lord Buddha got the most fragrant garland from humanity, and he also got solid stones. He got both in his life.

In general, goodness will always last longer than greatness in humanity’s life. I have written many books. Some say that I am a great man! But if people believe that I have realised God, then they are valuing my goodness. Do you not think that my goodness, my oneness with God, will last longer, infinitely longer than my books, my artwork and all my other creations? Thousands of people, millions of people will not read one single book of mine. But my name, as a spiritual Master, will one day cover the length and breadth of the whole world. At that time, from my very name, Sri Chinmoy, people will get a thrill. They may not read a single poem of mine.

When future generations go to an Indian village or anywhere else, they will see that people will recognise me. They will say, “Oh, he was a spiritual Master.” They may not read even one line out of my thousands of poems, but my spirituality, my divinity or my inner realisation they will value. As soon as they hear my name, they will not take me as a poet, as an artist, as a weightlifter or a runner — no! People will not pay attention to my outer activities. After a few hundred years, people will say, “Sri Chinmoy was a spiritual Master.” Everything will be based on faith, faith, faith.

Again, those who do not go to that height, who do not care for the spiritual life — like some university professors or others who remain in the intellectual world or in the mind — they can be satisfied with reading my writings. Those who want to remain in the artistic world will see my creations and appreciate them. But the real in me, which is my spirituality, my God-realisation, will cover the length and breadth of the world. Immediately my very name, like the names of the Saviour Christ, Lord Buddha, Sri Krishna, Sri Ramakrishna and all the true spiritual Masters, will be enough for spiritual people to know and feel what I stand for, what I am. Other things may even be discarded. You will see! You will be on earth for many years. You will see whether your Master is known more as an artist, as a poet, or as a spiritual figure.

The world is not yet ready to accept me as another spiritual Master of the highest height. That job is for the future generations. After twenty or thirty years, when I am in the other world, people will be more bold, and they will accept me as a spiritual Master. Right now, because my life-tree has so many branches, people are looking at the branches and they are very, very happy and pleased, but they do not want to see the actual tree, the trunk. The trunk is too much for them! One branch is enough for humanity to accept. Even the branches some may not accept, and the tree itself, the trunk, is too much.

Disciples at times remain silent about their Master’s divinity during the Master’s lifetime. Otherwise, they may become an object of ridicule. While Sri Ramakrishna was in the physical, if anybody said that Sri Ramakrishna was the greatest Avatar, people laughed and laughed. So much fighting went on! The disciples of other spiritual figures said, “Who are you to say? My Master is the highest!” Like that it went on and on.

Once the Master is no longer in the physical, you can say anything you like. At that time people are more apt to believe. When the Master is in the physical, people see his bald head. They may see him scolding his disciples. Again, some Masters remain practically invisible. Four times a year, for four seconds, they appear. What those Masters are doing the rest of the time, no one knows. But if the Master plays tennis and volleyball, and spends hours and hours with his disciples, it may be difficult, difficult to believe who he is.

OSO 7. 13 January 1998, Piramides Hotel, Cancun, Mexico