Now, how can we know whether our aspiration is genuine, sincere and productive? There is an inner joy, an inner bliss, right in the inmost recesses of our heart, and this inner bliss we get only when our aspiration is genuine and sincere. We may get some mental and vital joy just because we are practising the spiritual life. But the real inner joy we get only when our aspiration is true and genuine. When we have inner joy, we see and feel that we are consciously sitting and growing in the Lap of God. The more we live in the world of higher aspiration, the more convincing will be our feeling of oneness with God. When we become consciously one with God, at that time He will stand right in front of us even when we are doing the most ordinary things.If anybody wants to know whether his aspiration is genuine and whether he is really marching towards the Goal or not, then I wish to ask that person to observe his mind and heart. If in his mind he feels inner joy and peace and if his heart is flooded with joy and delight, not pleasure, then his aspiration is true and genuine. At that time the aspirant will know that he is not deceiving himself.
But we have to be wise. If we accept God, then we feel that sooner or later we will really be fulfilled. If we do not consciously accept God today, then there will come a time when He will compel us to accept Him because He will not allow us to remain unfulfilled and unrealised; for the very purpose of God's creation is fulfilment.
I will tell you a story. Two sons are standing in front of a lake and the mother is observing them. One son is very good and obedient; he wants to please the mother. He knows that if he goes into the water his whole body will be refreshed; he will have a sense of purity. So he jumps into the lake and he is clean and fresh. But the other son is lazy. The water is very cold and he is afraid of it. He is waiting, waiting, waiting. The mother waits for some time, and then she gets annoyed and just pushes him into the water.
The first son was obedient and knew the necessity of taking a bath, so he did. In the spiritual life also, those who are awakened — the obedient children, the spiritual children — will naturally do what is necessary to please their Inner Pilot, God. They know that by pleasing their Inner Pilot, they are accelerating their Godward march. Others who do not feel the necessity, who are afraid and reluctant, will keep God waiting for a few years, a few hundred years or a few thousand years. Then God will compel them because God, like the mother, knows the necessity of cleaning, purifying and illumining the soul.The spiritual life is not like a race, where everyone starts at the same time and from the same starting point. When you are ready, you will have your starting point; when I am ready, I will have my own starting point. But the Goal is always the same. You may start your journey a few hours or a few years ahead of me, but when you reach your destination and when I reach my destination, it will be the same place. But this is true only if it is the ultimate, the highest Goal. Otherwise, your goal may be just to have an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss. So, when you have come to that place, you are satisfied and you don't want to have anything more. On your way to the ultimate destination you will reach some partial goal and perhaps think that this is the final Goal. Then you will stay at your goal for some time, because your inner or outer being does not want to go farther, higher and deeper. But when I reach that goal, which I will also have to attain, I may want to go farther. While you are walking down the street you see a beautiful tree with flowers and fruits. You stop and enjoy the fruit and think you have reached your Goal. But on my way to the Goal I may say, "No. There is something more beautiful, more powerful, more meaningful than this." Then naturally I will go farther and cover more distance. When I reach my goal, I will see that it is not a mango, but a diamond and at that time I will be satisfied. You will also go higher and farther after reaching your goal, because the ultimate Goal has to be won. But when I reach my ultimate Goal and when you reach your ultimate Goal, it will be the same, for everyone's ultimate Goal is the same.
Now the following day, a brilliant thought flashed across everybody's mind. They thought, "Let me take a jug full of water to fill the pond. Others will bring milk, so how will the king know who has brought milk and who has brought water?"
So everybody brought water. And when the king and queen went to see the pond in the evening, they saw it was all water; there was no milk at all.
Here also some of the disciples feel, "If I don't aspire, no harm. Somebody else will aspire. How will the Master know whether I am aspiring or not?" We can deceive an ordinary king by pouring in water instead of milk, but a spiritual Master cannot be fooled. A God-realised person will immediately be able to know who is aspiring and who is not aspiring. If there were four people sitting here in front of me, immediately with my occult vision I would be able to say, "He is aspiring: he is not aspiring."With a spiritual Master there is constant forgiveness. A spiritual person will say, "Today he has come without aspiration. But let me forgive him. Let me show him my utmost compassion and tomorrow he will try to come with a real, sincere inner cry." The king would get angry with his subjects. He would say, "You people have all deceived me. I will punish you." But a spiritual Master, in spite of knowing that he has been deceived outwardly, will use only his forgiveness-weapon. He says, "If I can forgive this person, if I show him my compassion, then tomorrow he will make an attempt to please me. This time he will really bring milk and not water." This is what a spiritual Master does.
When the creation started, the souls took different paths. Those that wanted the ultimate Truth, the infinite Truth, accepted the human body so that they could some day possess, reveal and manifest the Truth here on earth. According to our Indian tradition there are thousands of cosmic gods. There are as many presiding deities and gods as there are human beings. These presiding deities and gods remain in the higher worlds, either in the vital world or in the intuitive world or in some higher plane. Right now, according to their limited capacity, they have more power than we have. But when we are liberated and realised, when we are totally one with the Supreme's Consciousness, with the Supreme's Will, then we shall transcend them.Our human capacity is infinitely greater than that of the so-called presiding deities because they are satisfied, whereas we are not satisfied with what we have. But actually it is not a case of dissatisfaction; it is a case of constant aspiration. We know that our Supreme Father is infinite. We feel that we have not yet become the Infinite, but we cry to expand, expand. This planet has that inner urge. On the one hand, it is obscure, it is ignorant, it does not care for divine life. But on the other hand, it has that tremendous inner urge of which most human beings are not yet aware. When the inner urge is functioning, then there is no end to our possibilities, no end to our achievements. And when we achieve the Infinite, then naturally we surpass the achievements of other worlds.
We cannot say that after four hundred or five hundred years there will be no more animal or human incarnations. There will be animals, there will be people, but they will be more perfect. Now, out of ten thousand people, one person may aspire. But the time will come when it will be just the opposite. We will have made such progress that only one person out of ten thousand will not aspire.We cannot say that there will be another type of evolution in which everybody will descend fully illumined to earth. No! I have worked hard for many years and centuries in order to realise God. Will someone else not have to work at all? Will God do everything for him immediately? No, everybody has to work. God's Grace descends only when we work hard, when we aspire most soulfully. True, some people realise God when they are in their teens. You may say, "Oh, I have been meditating for twenty or thirty years, while he has meditated only for five or ten years. How is it that he has realised God?" But you do not know that fifty or seventy years ago in his previous incarnation he meditated intensely for many years. Similarly, the world is now imperfect and only gradually, gradually will it become perfect. It is not that at a fixed time the Light will dawn and all non-aspiring people will suddenly run towards the Goal. No! Evolution is a slow, gradual process.
Now when we accept the spiritual life, we feel that we are no longer victims to those dark forces. Those who have accepted the inner life, the spiritual life, can feel their inner progress. The world around us may be all chaos, but we know that there is also another world, the inner world. In the inner world, we see the achievement of ever-transcending perfection.
Each person has to know and feel how much he has progressed. When he accepts the spiritual life and walks along the path of spirituality, he is bound to see inner progress. In the inner world he achieves Peace, Light and Bliss; but in the outer world his nature is still imperfect. It takes time to manifest these divine qualities in one's outer behaviour. If we look only at the outer activities, we will be disappointed. But if we go deep within, we will see how much Peace this person has already achieved. In the course of time, he will be able to manifest what he has inside himself. What we have within, we are bound to manifest either tomorrow or the day after.
So when I say the world is progressing or evolving, it is all the result of aspiration; we see it and feel it. At the same time there are many who are not aspiring and they may feel that the world is not evolving. When we aspire, we do see the evolution in our own nature and in others' lives. But if we do not aspire, we do not see this inner progress at all. Only in the world of aspiration does our inner progress and the progress of the world exist.
The world is evolving. Once upon a time we were all animals. Now we are no longer in the animal kingdom; we have progressed. We have now discovered the mind. But a day will come when we will be far more illumined than we are now. When we think that just a few centuries ago we were all animals, who knows what we are going to be four hundred or six hundred or eight hundred years from now? In the process of evolution, perfection is bound to dawn.The spiritual life and the outer life are one. It has been said, "I walk slowly, but I never walk backwards." In the spiritual life also, one may either walk slowly and steadily or march fast, but he has to realise God. One may reach the Goal sooner than another, but all are moving forward towards the Goal.
When we appreciate somebody's physical beauty, we are appreciating the outer beauty, which is infinitely inferior to the inner beauty. But if we can appreciate the inner beauty first, then we feel that the outer beauty can be appreciated in a divine way as the manifestation of the inner beauty. So when we appreciate outer beauty, we have to know that inside the outer beauty is the Supreme, the All-Beauty. We appreciate the outer creation because inside the outer creation is the inner creation, which is all joy, all harmony and all perfection.An ordinary human being can never dare to possess true hope, true love, true inspiration, true aspiration, because according to him God is in Heaven or somewhere else. He does not feel the presence of God inside him, in front of him or around him. But a spiritual aspirant who is crying for God, who is constantly shedding soulful tears, trying to become one with God, feels that God is in the inmost recesses of his heart. He has not to go to the Himalayan caves in order to realise God. His God lives inside him. He feels that because God is inside him, God's creation also is inside him. A spiritual person always feels that God's entire creation is his home. God's entire creation is constantly being created and revealed with a new inspiration and a new aspiration inside the aspirant. He who has accepted spirituality in the truest sense of the term has first to feel that God is the sole reality. Then he will see that God's creation can never be separated from God.
But there is another type of satisfaction. One who is divinely satisfied says, "God knows what is best for me. He has given me what I actually need. I am praying, I am concentrating, I am meditating and He is helping me. I am happy with Him. I know it is His business to give me full realisation, infinite Light, at His choice Hour. I am satisfied with what I am and what I have, and at the same time I am trying my utmost to realise God. I am making this personal effort with my utmost love, devotion and aspiration, but at the same time I am satisfied with myself." This is the satisfaction of the true aspirant who does not demand anything from God.
The first type of person has no desire, nothing. He does not want to make any progress. He is in the world of ignorance. That satisfaction with living in ignorance and doing nothing is no satisfaction; it is stagnation. The other type of satisfaction comes when we are praying, concentrating, meditating, doing our best and all the time feeling that God is our all-loving Father. We know that He will give us what we actually need at His choice Hour.
Then there is a third category that is in between these two. Those who belong to this category go along the way and fulfil some of their desires and then become satisfied; they do not want to make further progress. They know that the destination is farther, but they have walked a bit and they are satisfied. They feel that it is too difficult to go to the end of their journey. So they stop for some time. Now from the strict spiritual point of view, these souls are not aspiring; they are dead souls. The souls of the lazy, idle human beings that are not aspiring and also those who have started the journey and then stopped either because of their laziness or because their goal seemed very far are dead souls in the spiritual life.
If one is aspiring consciously with the soul, the physical, the vital, the mind and the heart, then naturally the soul will be most grateful to that aspirant. But if somebody does not aspire at all, if he has never thought of the spiritual life or if he has stopped caring for the spiritual life, the soul has infinite patience. It will never be frustrated. The soul has taken the responsibility for the entire being, and the soul is ready to wait for thousands of years for the co-operation of the other parts of the being. But at times it happens that the Supreme puts pressure on the individual through the soul. We cannot delay indefinitely. The soul's patience is infinite, but there is a limit to its duration. If one goes beyond the limit and the soul feels that the time is absolutely ripe for the individual to aspire to go beyond his ignorance-life, at that time the soul takes action. It gets the sanction and Blessings from the Supreme to put pressure on the individual.So these are the two kinds of satisfaction. There is no violation of the soul in the case of lethargic satisfaction, but we have to say that these are dead souls. There is violation in a mild way, but actually one cannot violate the rights of the soul. God's ultimate Truth can be violated by no one, although some individuals delay their own progress. Eventually everybody has to reach the Truth and achieve the Truth, but we can delay our achievement with our ignorance and then we will not go as fast as the aspiring souls. True, lack of aspiration is a kind of subtle violation. You are postponing your aspiration. But the real violation is never to accept the Truth; and that violation can never be committed. We have to accept the Truth either consciously or unconsciously. If we do not accept it willingly, then we will have to accept it under pressure.
Your eldest and dearest son goes to school. Today you may pray to God, "O God, make my son stand first in the examination. How I wish that my son should be first!" This is your desire. But tomorrow you will pray, "O God, I do not want my son either to be first or to be last. I want him to be only what You want. Please give him true Wisdom, because You are Wisdom, You are divine Wisdom. He is my dearest son and I want him to have only divine knowledge, illumination. If You can give him illumination, I will be most grateful to You." In that way you are transforming your desire into aspiration.When you desire something, you have to feel that at that time you are nowhere near your Goal. But when you aspire, you have to feel that the Goal is not elsewhere; it is deep, deep inside you. All your desires will be killed if you say only one thing: "Let Thy Will be done." If we want our human will to be fulfilled, then our aspiration immediately is dead. But in one prayer "Let Thy Will be done," we transform our desire into aspiration.
It is our personal effort and God's infinite Grace which can change the face of our fate. A shoemaker's son becomes prime minister; a farmer's son becomes president; a beggar's son becomes a multi-millionaire. How? They have changed the face of their fate. What they needed was adamantine will. On the strength of our will-power we change our fate. Fate can be changed, is changed and must be changed by an unchanging will.
There are four significant spiritual words in Sanskrit: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Dharma's literal meaning is virtue. If we follow an inner life of discipline and self-giving, then in our day-to-day activities we can acquire dharma.
Artha means wealth. It can mean inner wealth and it can also mean outer or material wealth. For an aspirant, artha is inner wealth; for an ordinary person, it is outer wealth.
Kama means desire. In the lowest sense it means the enjoyment of sex-life, but the root of the word is desire. As human beings we desire. When desire is transformed, it is called aspiration. Desire binds us, aspiration frees us. When we live in aspiration, we enjoy the Peace, Bliss, Light and Power of divine Freedom. When we live in desire, we bind and imprison ourselves every second, every moment of our earthly life.
The fourth word is moksha. Moksha means liberation. Liberation from what? Liberation from ignorance, liberation from limitation and imperfection, liberation from the past: this is moksha.When we live in dharma, we cannot free ourselves totally from fate. Free will cannot embrace us at that time. When we live in artha, if we cry for inner wealth, then we are running towards the infinite. But if we cry for material wealth, then we are binding ourselves constantly. If we live in the world of kama, then we will ask for one house, two houses, three houses; there will be no end to our hankering. Each time we desire, we enter into the futile world of nothingness. But each time we aspire for moksha, we free ourselves from the prison cell of ignorance and death.
How can we escape from this desert? There are four different ways. In your case, let us say that every day your appointed time for meditation is six o'clock in the morning. But for the past two days you have been unable to go deep within or meditate sincerely, and now you are frustrated. At that time you should choose a spiritual book written by a realised soul or by a devotee who is full of devotion for his spiritual Master. Then, while reading the devotee's book, you will see your whole body become a flood of tears. You will shed tears, tears, tears of delight. To read any book written by a spiritual Master or devotee at the time of a dry period in our spiritual life is one of the most effective ways of returning to the zenith of our spiritual aspiration.
But what if you don't have a book written by an illumined soul or a devotee? What will you do then? The second method is to immediately go and mix with your brother and sister disciples. Being with your spiritual family will drive away those negative forces. With your brother and sister disciples you will have spiritual conversations. You will appreciate your Guru and God and how they have shown you such Love, Concern, and Compassion. In the beginning you may feel that you are such a hypocrite in saying, "Oh, I am now in a miserable condition and I am appreciating my Guru or God." But you will see that if you just start appreciating your Guru or the Supreme, immediately you will shed tears. These tears come directly from your soul. And your soul will then unite you again with your highest aspiration.
Now the third method for curing a dark, dry period in your life of aspiration is to repeat the name of God or the Supreme, or your Guru's name, or even your own name, if your Master has given you a spiritual name. The name that he has given you is the name of your soul. Just repeat the name and do not think of the meaning; only repeat it just like a child learning how to read or study. At that time he will repeat the lesson by rote without learning the meaning. In this way immediately the consciousness of your soul's name or the name of your Master or the name of the Supreme will enter into your entire body.
The fourth method is to keep a spiritual diary. During your spiritual journey, you have to write down notes of your soul-illumining experiences, visions and inner feelings. Today you are in despair, in darkest night. But two months ago you were in the brightest Light. You had a wonderful experience. You saw that Krishna was playing the flute right in front of you, or you saw a flood of Delight and your whole existence became a sea of Delight. These experiences should be recorded in your diary. As soon as you read your diary, your inner being will respond to the highest experiences you had two months ago. Then immediately the inner feeling, the inner Joy, the soul's joy will drive away your despondent feelings of misery, loneliness and frustration. So whenever you have good experiences, high experiences, elevating experiences during your meditation, please write them down.These experiences are actually the living breath of our existence. If we can recollect our highest and deepest experiences at the time of our frustration, then we will get immediate relief. These experiences are not based on falsehood. It is we who have had all these divine spiritual experiences and they will cure the disease which we have right now. Sooner than at once we shall be cured.
Now how is it that every day we cannot meditate well? We cannot meditate well because we do not renew early in the morning our love, our devotion, our surrender to the eternal Pilot in us. Every day the eternal Pilot feeds our inner hunger. For an aspirant, spiritual food is more necessary than material food. Still we do not offer our deepest gratitude to the Inner Pilot even for one second.
The divine secret is this: the very act of praying, of concentrating, of meditating is a great sign of divine Grace. So, early in the morning, before you start meditation, try to offer your gratitude in the form of love, devotion and surrender to the Guru, to the Supreme, to the Inner Pilot just because He has given you the aspiration to meditate. Aspiration comes first. Your meditation will be the result of the aspiration which the Inner Pilot has given you.
A time will come when you will not have to meditate; meditation itself will meditate for you. That is to say, after some time you will be one with the consciousness of meditation. Now you are crying to enter into the consciousness of meditation, but a day will come when meditation will be pleased with you. It will take care of your outer life and your inner life.So, to come back to your question, every day before you start your meditation, offer your gratitude in the form of love, devotion and surrender to the Supreme. Then, I can assure you, not even one day will you fail to have a golden meditation.
A real spiritual person sees that the outside world is not something in a geographical area, but something in a plane of consciousness right inside his own being. When we see a stranger, we do not know whether he will disturb us, attack us or torture us. But when we see something inside us, we know it is ours and we have no fear. If we are aware of something divine inside us, then it becomes very easy for us to fight against all outside forces. Our aspiration burns away the outside forces of impurity and imperfection while at the same time it clears up all that is disturbing our inner consciousness.
There can be nothing more powerful than our aspiration. The very nature of our aspiration is to give us what we are actually striving for. Very often we confuse aspiration with desire. Aspiration is not desire. Far from it! Aspiration is something that wants to enter into the infinite Light, Bliss, and Power. Desire wants only to grab, grab, grab and possess. Desire coming from the vital acts like a mad elephant, always breaking, always destroying. Aspiration is not like that. With aspiration we grow into the very thing that we want to achieve. And what do we want to achieve? Divinity, God the all-pervading Consciousness. The achievement of aspiration we cannot grab or possess. Only by entering into the all-pervading Consciousness and becoming one with this Consciousness can we grow into God's Light, Bliss and Power. This is what aspiration does.The flame of aspiration has been kindled in you and it is burning most effectively. When you allow it to blaze fully, you will see that the outer world, the disturbing world, is actually deep inside you. Then the things that have to be burnt will be burnt and the things that can be transformed will be transformed. Aspiration will take care of all that. There is no other way to fight outer disturbances than to keep the flame of aspiration burning constantly.
In the beginning you have to work hard. You have to struggle in order to cry constantly. But once you are in motion, there is no worry. When you want to drive a car you have to turn the key and do various other things. But when the engine is running, at that time you can relax. Similarly, in meditation you need the dynamic inner cry first. Then only can you get the divine peace and poise.Now real spiritual poise is not a matter of self-deception. But inside us there are many forces that try to convince us that we have done something wrong. In your case, especially because you are a disciple of mine, I wish you to pay all attention to your dynamic inner cry. Your dynamic inner cry will lead you to your Goal. If it is the Will of God, then while you are marching or running towards the highest Beyond, God will give you a special message about the best type of aspiration for you.
The second way to get back one's aspiration is to feel that it is just like a lamp. Let us assume that the wind has blown it out, so the flame is not burning any more. You need light. Now, who can give you light? One who has a burning flame of aspiration. So, when a particular aspirant is losing or has lost his aspiration, immediately he should go to another aspirant in whom the aspiration is ablaze.Another secret is to compare the times when you had aspiration with this time when you don't have aspiration. When you had aspiration, what did you feel? And now that you don't have aspiration, what are you feeling? Try to see how many experiences you had at the time of your intense aspiration. Suppose one year ago I had intense aspiration. At that time twenty, thirty or forty higher experiences I had. Let me gather together all the experiences right in front of my mind, one after another. What vision did I have? Did I see the Light? Did I see an aura? Did I see another world? Did I see something else? All these experiences you have to bring back. While you are collecting your past experiences from the time when you had intense aspiration, you will see that those experiences are giving you a new life. The life that you have had for the last few months, which has been like a barren desert, will now be watered by the experiences that you had a year ago.
This is not imitation; you don't have to be a carbon copy of anyone. You need not spend all your time thinking of how the other person is meditating, but if you see that an individual has increased his aspiration by meditating at four o'clock or five o'clock, then you will also be inspired to meditate early in the morning. Again, if you see that that person is doing better meditation because he has not yet eaten, then you will also meditate the next time without having eaten. These are some of the outer ways to observe the person who you feel is doing better meditation than you.
The inner way to increase your aspiration is always to feel the inner cry. You desperately need God-realisation. God-realisation is not theoretical; it has to be practical. You have to eat. You know that feeling oneness with others while they eat is not enough. You yourself have to eat. True, while others are eating you can feel that you are also eating. Otherwise, if somebody is eating and you don't have the capacity to identify yourself with that person, then you only feel jealous, frustrated and miserable. But identification is not enough. First you have to get the theoretical oneness and then you bring it to the practical level. Practical oneness means that you yourself have to eat. Then you try to feed others who are hungry.
In the spiritual life the best way to increase one's aspiration is to think of one's own Master twenty-four hours a day, if possible. You have to know that for you to think of your Master or meditate twenty-four hours a day right now is impossible. But for one or two hours you can read your Master's writings, for one or two hours you can mix with other disciples; then one or two hours you can spend speaking about your Master to friends who know nothing about him.
Very often by speaking about the Master to others you can increase your own aspiration. Suppose today you have no aspiration at all. If somebody who is an absolute beginner asks you something about your spiritual Master, then you have to speak. You are not fooling the person even if you have no aspiration at that time. You have to go deep within in order to see if you have any aspiration at all in your life. Immediately you will see that hundreds of times you have had the aspiration-cry. So you bring that aspiration forward. Then while you are talking to that person, automatically your aspiration is increasing. Suppose today you don't have aspiration but just two days ago you had tremendous aspiration. Somebody has just read something about your Master in the newspaper and wants to know more about him. If you do not speak to that fellow because you are not aspiring and you are doubting your Master, then you are destroying your own possibilities. It is God inside this seeker who has come to you only to increase your aspiration. God is more concerned at this time about you. You have been sincere for two months or six months and just today your aspiration is low. So God out of His infinite Compassion is coming to you in the form of a seeker or a curiosity-monger so that He can again kindle the flame of aspiration in you. There are many ways to increase our aspiration when it is low. But the best way is to think only of the Master, to talk about him, hear about him, and read all his writings.
If your Master has written only one book, or even if he has not written any book but there is a book of his sayings, that book is more than enough for all the disciples who are following his path. If you say, "I have already read all my Master's writings," then you have to know that to read them once is not enough. You have to read and re-read them all. But one book may give you more inspiration than the rest. Now that particular book every day you should read. Some disciples read a book once and then say, "I have read it." If you read with your mind only, even though you read the same line both today and tomorrow, then you may not get any inspiration. But if you read with your heart, then from each word you will get boundless aspiration. Each day you will see new light in your Master's writings. From each word you will get new light. In India some seekers select one spiritual book and read it again and again. There are seven hundred couplets in India's gospel, the Bhagavad Gita. It takes three or three and a half hours to read and there are some people who read the book every day. Some seekers don't read any other book. They read this book again and again in order to be purified. And every day they are getting new inspiration, new aspiration from that book. Everyday you too can get new revelation. What is revelation? It is the fruit of your aspiration. So if you read your Master's writings, not as you read a newspaper, but with the feeling, "Today I am going to get new revelation," then you are bound to get it.While you are working at your job you cannot read, or your boss will fire you. But if you at that time repeat the Supreme's name or your spiritual Master's name or if you visualise your Master, how will your boss know what you are doing? You are not deceiving your boss. Far from it! But you know that there is a superior boss and that is God. You may say, "How can I please two bosses?" I wish to say that if you satisfy the absolutely superior boss, God, then your salvation is assured. Naturally you have to perform your earthly duties. God has made one individual your temporary boss and this boss is paying you for your labour. With this money, you can stay on earth and lead a spiritual life, which is absolutely necessary. Satisfying your earthly boss is not undivine cleverness or shrewdness; it is wisdom. So you have to work six or seven hours a day for this boss. But during the rest of the time you can meditate, mix with other disciples, and read your Master's writings. In that way you can easily spend fourteen or fifteen hours a day in your Master's consciousness. If this is not aspiration, then what else is aspiration? A spiritual Master embodies realisation. If you are constantly knocking, knocking, knocking at his heart's door with your intense inner cry, then naturally he will come out and give you the key. How many hours a day are you devoting to him? If you spend only five minutes in his consciousness and the rest of your day is gone, wasted, then naturally it will take you longer to reach your goal. But when you are very devoted and surrendered, then you will see for how many hours and in how many ways you can remain in your Master's consciousness. Then your aspiration will increase. When aspiration bears fruit, realisation dawns.
Many spiritual Masters have also had such experiences before realising God, even though their standard is infinitely higher than that of the average aspirants. They sometimes have to experience these spiritual deserts. In the case of some Masters this spiritual dryness lasts for a short period, while for others it lasts for a long, long time. They have to journey millions of miles in the spiritual life. But sometimes, even when they are on the verge of realising the highest Truth, the darkest doubt eclipses their vision and they doubt the very existence of God. Fortunately, the Divine Grace intervenes and saves them from a catastrophe. It does not allow them to fail in their mission.
Now, in your case, I wish to tell you that as a seeker, as an earnest aspirant, every day you must make it a point to meditate. Just as you eat every day to maintain your physical strength, in the spiritual life you must meditate every day, because meditation is your spiritual food. True, you may not get your highest meditation every day, but that must not discourage you. You may not meditate well for a time, but do not give up. You will see that, like a kite, you will again fly very high.
In the spiritual life we should always try to be wise. The thought, the idea, the feeling that is not helpful has to be discarded like a dirty or worn-out garment. When you don't have a good meditation, just forget about it. I always say that the past is dust. Try to throw the past aside as soon as possible. On the other hand, if you have a good meditation today, that does not mean that tomorrow you have to think of today's meditation. By doing that you are again relying on your past. Instead of thinking of your previous meditation, even a good meditation, you will make better use of your time if you pay more attention to your future self-discovery. If you start your meditation by thinking of the wonderful, significant meditation you had on the previous day, you will experience joy. But at that time you have to know that you are withdrawing the money that you have deposited in your inner spiritual bank instead of adding to the amount.
When you start your meditation, try to go deep within and feel that you exist only for one person on earth and that is God. In the spiritual life, there should be someone whom you can call your dearest and that is God, the Supreme. The Supreme has to be dearest not only to the end of our life, but through Eternity. Every day if you can increase your faith in God, then every day you are bound to have your best meditation.
Why do some people seem to have their best meditation every day? The main reason is that they renew their faith, love, devotion and surrender to God every day. Love, devotion and surrender is my path. Some people will say it is inscribed on the tablet of their heart. But that won't do. Every day you have to write it afresh with golden letters. Every day you have to feel that you are making a new attempt. The day you entered into the spiritual life, you offered your existence to God. But that offering was not complete and even today's offering is not complete. If you feel that your offering is complete today, tomorrow when you go deep within you will laugh at yourself and feel that you are far from perfect. But either tomorrow or in the near future or in the distant future, this offering is bound to become complete. Again, there is no end to our progress, no end to our achievement.I wish to tell you that you can prevent depression in your meditation. You can have a feeling of achievement, a feeling of accomplishment from your meditation if you renew your love, devotion and surrender and think of God every day. Try to wear a new dress within yourself. Every day you wear a nice, clean dress to satisfy yourself and to satisfy the outside world. It is necessary and obligatory to do so. Similarly, in the inner world also it is obligatory to wear gold, blue, pink, white and green. When we wear blue, we enter into Infinity; when we wear green, we enter into dynamic new life; when we wear gold, we enter into the highest realisation and manifestation. Every day please try to wear an inner dress inside yourself. When you are wearing an inner dress, you will see that all your love, devotion, surrender and other divine qualities are bound to come to the fore. Then you will become a fresh flower, a flower of inner beauty, inner divinity and transcendental reality. You will see that every day is bound to give you progress. Every second will come to you with the message of progress and inner success. So please try from now on to renew all your divine qualities each day, early in the morning. You will then see that there can be no clouds in your inner sky. It is all sunshine.
There are many things which you know are absolutely good for you, but you are afraid of what others are telling you. You are listening to the members of your family. You have surrendered to others' wills and not to your own will, that is, to your soul's will. You have to do what you feel right from within, what comes directly from the Supreme within you. Right now you feel, "If I say this to my father or mother, then I won't be able to go to school; they will throw me out of the house." But when you take this attitude, then you are not using your own will. You have to say to yourself, "Whose child am I? God's child. Why have I to think of my human parents?" I am not saying anything against the human parents. But when you are determined to do something for God, the Supreme, then even if you are only thirteen years old, you can and you must exercise your own power.
You say that you are living in a land of freedom. Very often people use their limited freedom to lord it over one another. But when they have to use their own inner freedom to become something, to grow into something, to bring to the fore their own divinity, at that time most of them are silent. I am not saying that children have to fight against their parents. But when you are convinced that you are doing the right thing, when you are absolutely sure, at that time you must not surrender to the will of your parents. Although they are older than you, you have to know that God can speak through a child's mouth. The God within you is telling you what to do. In your case you are doing very well in your spiritual life. But if you want to do better, then use your will-power. I am your spiritual father. If you listen to God's Will within you, then I will meet with all the consequences to protect you, to save you, to show you new light.
Always be brave. Otherwise, today you will be afraid of an individual and tomorrow you will be afraid of a cat or a mouse or an ant. Fear is like that. When you are afraid of one thing, then before long you will be afraid of everything. But if you are not afraid of anything, then you won't be afraid of God. He is All-Powerful, but He is also All-Loving. Just because you know He is all Love, you approach Him. When you approach Him with love, you get His omnipotent Protection and everything else that He has and He is.If you are afraid of ignorance in someone, no matter what the quantity, large or small, then you are surrendering consciously to the ignorance of that person. Then naturally his ignorance will enter into you. And ignorance itself is bondage. You may think, "Perhaps I did the wrong thing. What do I know? I am young." But just because you are a seeker, you know better than others. It is not your arrogance or stubbornness that is telling you this. You definitely know what to do because the soul within you is giving you the message of reality. The soul is all light, all illumination. When the soul tells you what to do, you have to feel that that is the only thing to do. So be brave inwardly; then strength is bound to come, purity is bound to come. If there is no strength in sight, then ignorance will devour us. Be brave, be brave.
Now if one is a step ahead in the spiritual realm, then he has to feel the necessity of God and the necessity of the fulfilment of God's Will on earth. The seeker knows that God has to be fulfilled on earth and he wants to take a conscious part in fulfilling God's creation. He is not satisfied with the rest of the world and he is not satisfied even with himself. If he wants a better creation in himself and in the world at large, then God is bound to give him an additional inner urge.
Then there comes a time when he feels that he can exist without anybody, without anything, but not without God. When the aspirant has that kind of inner conviction — that he does not need mother, father, brother, sister, wife, husband or anything, only God — at that point he has to be very careful. He has to see whether God wants him to make this kind of sacrifice or not. Just because he loves God more than he loves the rest of the world or humanity, it does not mean that he has to deny his nearest and dearest ones. No! Here in the field of manifestation he has relatives whom he calls dearest and who also call him dearest. If it is the Will of God that he should sacrifice everything, then he can sacrifice even his very existence. If God demands that he give up his so-called nearest and dearest ones, then he has to feel that his nearest is God, his dearest is God and nobody else. But God does not want him to leave his family and friends. God wants him to see the Divine inside everyone, inside his dearest friends, inside the members of his family. But at the same time he has to be prepared at any moment to give up everything if God wants him to do so. Then he will immediately run towards God, towards the ultimate Truth. If the seeker has that kind of surrendering attitude towards the fulfilment of God's Will, then God is bound to increase his inner drive in infinite measure. In your case also, I wish to say that if you can have this divine attitude, then God Himself will give what you want for your life.Now I wish to speak generally in answer to your question about how one can increase one's inner drive. One can do it just by accepting the life of sincerity, the life of dedication, the life of absolute surrender. If one has a Master then he has to be absolutely sincere, absolutely dedicated and absolutely surrendered to the Master. Sincerity is his safeguard. One must have dedication to the Master and this dedication has to be total and complete. One must have surrender and this surrender has to be eternal and unconditional. If one has this kind of sincerity, dedication and surrender, then automatically, spontaneously, his inner drive is bound to increase, his aspiration is bound to increase.
In your case, you have faith in me in abundant measure, but you do not have as much faith in yourself as you should have. If one does not have enough faith in oneself, then it is extremely difficult to maintain the purest or highest type of faith in the Master all the time. The purest and highest type of faith in the Master has to be continuous and constant; and for that one has to have complete faith in oneself. One has to feel, "I am destined to manifest the Master. I am destined to take continuous part in the Master's cosmic Lila."
Then every day you have to see whether the needful is done, not who has done it. Unfortunately, when we see that a particular individual has accomplished something, we feel as if we had nothing to do with it. You may say, "Oh, the Supreme has appointed him to do this and not me. I am worthless. I am useless. I cannot do anything." Then immediately you start criticising yourself and belittling yourself, which is wrong. If a fellow disciple has done something divine, then please feel that you yourself have done it. Your aspiration is equally responsible for his manifestation of the Divine. When something is manifested, if you feel that your aspiration had something to do with it, then you maintain tremendous aspiration. Each individual seeker should feel when something is achieved on the physical plane that he or she is equally responsible for the divine victory. Our joint victory lies in the manifestation of the highest aspiration.
Early in the morning when you start meditating, try to make yourself feel just for a minute that today you will be able to manage without eating a morsel of food, without drinking even a glass of water — that without eating or drinking anything at all you will be able to survive for a day, even for a week. But you must feel that if you do not aspire well, if you do not meditate well, then in the evening death will come and capture you. Death means the destruction of your aspiration, not the physical death. Annihilation will capture your aspiration if you do not meditate well. If you take your morning aspiration very seriously, then automatically your aspiration will remain high. Always give aspiration its due value.Then a tremendous power will come out of you. The thing that determines whether you live or die is your aspiration and not your material food. You have to feel that aspiration is responsible for your earthly evolution and your heavenly achievement. When you are wanting in aspiration, you don't exist. Aspiration is the only reality in your life. With this feeling, automatically you will be able to maintain your highest aspiration twenty-four hours a day.
From:Sri Chinmoy,Aspiration-Flames, Agni Press, 1974
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