AUM — Vol. 2, No. 9, 27 September 1975

Talk at the Yoga Center, called _Aum Center for Self-Realization_1

Sri Chinmoy: I am extremely grateful to you and your wife for having given us the opportunity to be of devoted, dedicated service to the Supreme in you. Ours is a path of service. Whenever we get an opportunity to serve the Supreme in His children, we feel it is our bounden duty. So it is I who have to be extremely grateful to the seekers here and especially to you and your wife.




You do not know, he does not know and I do not know. Do you know who God is? Does he know who God is? Do I know who God is? No. You positively do not know God, he unmistakably does not know God and I absolutely do not know God. Now, why don’t we know God? You do not know God because you love your body-consciousness infinitely more than you love God’s Body, His Reality-Consciousness. He does not know God because he loves his own vital pleasure, his vital self-indulgence, infinitely more than he loves God’s universal Vital. I do not know God because I love my mind, my doubting mind, my judging mind, infinitely more than I love God’s transcendental, universal and eternal Mind.

Let us know the difference between God’s Body and your body. Over the years you have gained a certain height, let us say five feet eight inches. Here your height has come to an end. But God’s Height is endless. He is infinitely tall. In your case you have reached your maximum height. In God’s case He is eternally growing, because He has discovered the secret of self-transcendence. He knows what self-transcendence is, so He is constantly transcending His own inner and outer Height.

Let us know the difference between God’s Vital and his vital. His vital is like a tiny drop and God’s Vital is like the infinite ocean. He cherishes and treasures this tiny drop. He feels that it is special. He feels that he does not have to increase the size of the drop; he does not have to grow into a larger drop. No, he is self-sufficient. But in God’s case, although He is an infinite ocean, He still feels the necessity of increasing His own Infinity. Always God wants to grow, glow and flow. There is constant flow in God’s movement, constant everlasting Life.

Let us know the difference between my mind and God’s Mind. My mind is like a tiny streak of light and God’s Mind is like the vast sun. But it is not like the planet sun. The planet sun, according to the scientists, has already lost some of its warmth and power, and it will lose even more. Who knows, in the bosom of Eternity it may disappear. But the inner sun, which God is, will perpetually shine. And not only will it shine, but it will offer to humanity, to God’s creation, Light, more Light, abundant Light, infinite Light. God the inner Light, the inner Sun, will perpetually shine and illumine the ignorance and inconscience of the world.

You do not know where God is. He does not know where God is. I do not know where God is. You do not know where God is precisely because you live in the temptation-world. He does not know where God is precisely because he lives in the indulgence-world. I do not know where God is precisely because I live in the thought-world.

You do not know, he does not know, I do not know. But there are some people who have discovered who God is and where God is. Some people have got their Master’s degree and Ph.D., whereas there are many who have not got even a high school diploma. Just because we do not have something that does not mean that others cannot have that very thing. They can have it, and a day will dawn when we will all have that same thing. Right now those who have seen God, realised God and who are in constant communion with God tell us something quite significant and momentous. They tell us on the strength of their own realisation who God is. They tell us that God is our own yet-unrecognised infinite capacity. They also tell us that not only do we need God, but God also needs us equally. We need Him to realise our own height. He needs us to manifest Himself on earth in and through us. For self-realisation, we need Him; for God-Manifestation, He needs us.

These God-realised souls tell us something more: they tell us where God is. They tell us that God is everywhere, but there are two places where He is noticeable most of the time. These two places are inside our heart’s mounting cry and inside our soul’s descending smile. Just as a person stays during the day in his living room and kitchen and at night retires to his bedroom, God also distributes His Presence. When we are soulfully crying for Him, He presents Himself inside our inner mounting cry. And when we are soulfully smiling, He grants us His Reality in a visible form in our soulful smile.

In order for us to realise God, these God-realised souls tell us something more. They tell us that the first and foremost necessity is peace of mind. If we do not have peace of mind, God-realisation will always remain a far cry. How can we have peace of mind? There are a few ways. If we decrease our earthly needs and increase our heavenly needs, then we can get peace of mind. Also, if we do not expect anything from anyone or from anything except from God, then we can have peace of mind. As long as there is expectation, human expectation, earthly expectation, we cannot have peace of mind. Again, we cannot have peace of mind by positive or negative renunciation. Only by affirmative acceptance can we have peace of mind. We accept the world, we accept the real Reality in the world, the real Reality of God. With our inner cry, with our aspiration, we have to create receptivity inside our body-consciousness so that we can welcome God the Supreme Beloved and God’s boundless Light and Delight.

In order for us to realise God we also need purity, especially in our emotional vital. When we purify our emotional vital, we see and feel God’s Presence. Then we have to establish clarity in the mind. When we establish clarity in the mind, we will be able to see God very intimately. Then we have to commune with God all the time. In order to commune with God all the time, we have to create the supreme necessity inside our heart. This necessity has to be our psychic necessity. When we have created a psychic necessity to commune with God all the time, we shall without fail see God, talk to God, grow into the very image of God and participate in God’s cosmic Drama. At that time we shall not feel that God is only in Heaven, that here on earth we are without God.

God is where His children are. His children are the exact prototypes of His Reality; therefore, wherever we are, God is. But in order to realise this supreme truth, we have to return what we have borrowed from this world: darkness, ignorance, bondage, limitation, imperfection and death. We borrowed these things because we felt that they would considerably help us, but now we have come to realise that they are real obstructions. So these things we must return. And the things that we eternally have in the inmost recesses of our being — Peace, Light, Bliss, Truth — we have to increase. We have to bring them to the fore, for they are the real Reality of our existence. Things that eternally are we have to claim and we have to offer to the world at large. If we do this, you will know who God is and where God is, he will know who God is and where God is, and I shall know who God is and where God is.

Ellicottville — 13 July 1975. Sri Chinmoy was introduced to the audience by Ken Pillar, head of the Yoga Center.


Devotion is adoration. Whom do we adore? The Divine. How do we adore? Through self-surrender.

Man loves. He expects love in return. A devotee loves. He loves human beings for the sake of his sweet Lord who abides in all. His love breathes humility, spontaneous joy and selfless service.

A devotee sees a circle, which is God. He enters into it with his soul’s cry. He then silently goes and stands at the centre of the circle and grows into a sea of ecstasy.

A child does not care to know what his mother is. He just wants his mother’s constant presence before him. Similar is the approach that a devotee makes toward his Lord. Many are there to help him in his life’s journey. But he looks to none for help. God’s Grace is his sole refuge. The endless torture of hell is too weak to touch him while he is within God. His life there is a life of perfect bliss. His suffering knows no end in Heaven without God beside him.

Unlike others, a devotee sincerely feels that he has nothing else in his possession save his desire for God. His desire is his jewel. God’s Grace is His Jewel. In offering his jewel to God, the devotee binds God. In giving His Jewel to His devotee, God fulfils him.




Is the magnet

That pulls us toward the ecstasy-height,

The height that makes us see and feel

What we truly are:

Unmanifested divinity.




Devotion in the heart

Is the expansion

Of our Divinity’s real life.

Devotion in our entire life

Is the fastest speed

To reach our destined Goal.

Devotion is the strongest magnet

That pulls us to our Eternity’s source:




‘Detachment means you are yours. I have nothing to do with you.’ This theory of detachment is on the physical, vital and mental plane. But real detachment is conscious awareness of God-existence in and through all. Real detachment is conscious and constant acceptance of God’s operation in and through each individual soul. Detachment is not avoidance of one’s duty. Detachment means to be a conscious participant inwardly, silently and soulfully in God’s cosmic Game without offering suggestions or advice, without offering one’s own light, but seeing the Supreme Light operating in the Supreme’s own way.

To break the cosmic harmony is not detachment. Real detachment is to be aware of God’s operation in and through each individual and to cry for God-manifestation in God’s own way. Detachment is not to say, “I have nothing to do with you.” Detachment means “I have everything to do with you but I won’t be attached to your physical, I won’t be attached to your vital, I won’t be attached to your mind. I won’t be attached to you, but I will be totally devoted to the Real in you, which is God. Outwardly I shall not throw in my suggestions. I shall not try to control your life. Inwardly I shall become one, absolutely one with God’s wish for you, and I shall serve you in His own way. Real detachment is not negligence in any way or form. It is allowing God’s Will to operate freely in other human beings.




Does not mean negligence.


Does not mean lack of concern for humanity.

True detachment means

To allow God-action

In and through each individual.

True detachment means

Not to try to influence the world,

Convince the world

Or guide the world

In one’s own way,

But to allow the world to grow

In God’s way,

For in each individual

There is a spark of divinity.

Let divinity act

In and through each individual —

Seeker or non-seeker —

For the Inner Pilot knows best

How to operate

In and through each human being. ```


When we do something wrong God’s Forgiveness does its duty. That is to say, God forgives us. But our forgiveness does not play its role. We torment our very existence. This does not mean that God wants to escape from reality just by forgiving us. And it does not mean that we are just, therefore we are not forgiving ourselves. God feels that each time He forgives us, He gives us another opportunity to walk along Divinity’s road and reach our destined goal. But when we do not forgive ourselves, the ignorance in us which caused the mistake gets another opportunity to delay our progress. It prevents us from starting our journey fresh. When we make a mistake, if we torment ourselves in the name of justice, in this way we delay and delay; we do not start our journey over again.

God, out of His infinite Bounty, forgives us immediately precisely because He feels that if He gives us another opportunity we will be able to run, we will be able to fly and dive within. He does not forgive us out of negligence or carelessness or in order to avoid the issue. Far from it! He feels that each time we commit some Himalayan blunder, if He does not forgive us, then our progress comes to an end. Each forgiveness is an opportunity He grants us when we make a mistake. But in the name of justice, morality and so forth, we torture ourselves so that we cannot move ahead. God forgives us, but we just stick to our wrong action in the name of perfection in nature. Finally it is we who are the losers.

When we do something wrong, immediately we have to forgive ourselves as God forgives us. We must decide not to commit the mistake again, and at the same time we must embrace the new opportunity to do absolutely the right thing. Just because I have entered into a dark room if I go on saying and thinking, “I was in a dark room! I was in a dark room!” then I won’t be able to come out of the consciousness of that dark room and enter into the room that is illumined. Since God gives us the opportunity to leave the dark room and enter the room of illumination, we must accept that opportunity and utilise it properly.

The disciples' love-power

There was once a very great spiritual Master who had quite a few disciples. Many of them lived together in an ashram at the foot of the Himalayas. Although the men and women disciples mixed together quite often in ashram activities, there were many activities that they did separately. On certain days the cooks in the ashram would be all men, and on certain days the cooks would be all women. A number of disciples spent their evenings making crafts as selfless service, but the men worked in one group and the women worked in another group. And so it went on. The Master felt that his disciples would make better progress if the men and women did not mix together too freely.

The men and women were very happy to listen to their Master’s advice. But sometimes the women became jealous of the men or the men became jealous of the women. At those times the Master gave a long discourse on whatever the subject in question was.

One day the Master gathered a group of his men disciples together and said, “I have been hearing from people that you men are making deplorable and false accusations. Whether it is unconscious or conscious, you feel that your wives or any woman can love me more than you can because I am a man and it is spontaneous and natural for a woman to offer love to a man. You feel it is a feminine love, and that a man cannot have this kind of devotion.

“I wish to tell you that you are totally mistaken! It is not true that women can offer love to me because it is more spontaneous for them. Disciples who are all love for their Master love him because he is their Master, not because he is a man. Sri Chaitanya’s dearest disciple was all love and he was a man. Ramakrishna’s closest disciple was Vivekananda, a man; Sri Aurobindo’s dearest disciple was a man; Sri Krishna’s dearest disciple was Arjuna, a man; the Buddha’s dearest disciple was Ananda, a man. All men!”

“How is it that they conquered the hearts of their Masters?” one of the disciples asked.

The Master smiled and said, “Through love, through devotion, through surrender. When you say it is difficult for you to offer love to your Master and that it is easy for your wife to offer love to the Master, you have to know that you have the same power to love that your wife has. Love is not the monopoly of women. God has also given men this quality of divine love. The only thing is that a man ignores this divine quality in himself while, at the same time, he demands it from others, especially from women. You don’t use your love-power, your heart-power. You use more of your vital power aspect — your ego — than your love aspect. That is why the women are making faster progress.

“When I was much younger,” the Master continued, “I lived in the ashram of Sri Ananda. I had a few sincere, absolutely dedicated admirers among the men. They were all ten or twelve years younger than I, but I tell you, the love that they showed me then, that they show me even now, is beyond your imagination. They are Sri Ananda’s disciples in this incarnation, so they can’t accept me as their Master. But if they could, I assure you that their love and devotion would show you that your belief in this matter is absolutely false!”

“Guru, did the men and women mix together very much when you were at Sri Ananda’s ashram?” another disciple asked.

“Not at all! I didn’t have any friends at all among the girls. I didn’t have anything other than my life of aspiration and inner discipline. My sisters can’t believe it now when they see me talk to women. They say, ‘Impossible! Here you stayed for twenty years and you didn’t speak to any girl.’ Even with my sisters I would not speak except on rare occasions. I wouldn’t even walk with my sisters in the street. Only during the last three or four years before I left did I speak to them freely.”

One of the younger men listening to the Master then asked, “Do disciples in some of your ashrams in other countries have more love for you than we do?”

The Master said, “At my American ashram in Puerto Rico I believe we have five or six girls and about thirty young boys. If you go to Puerto Rico you will see what love is. You ask Manju. She visited there just last year and saw how those young boys — twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two years of age — have such love for me. She has seen how her Puerto Rican brothers and sisters love me unreservedly. Ten months of the year I stay here with you and hardly two months I stay there. What makes those young boys stay on our path? It is their love for me.”

“Why do we find it so difficult to love you, Master?” one of the older disciples asked.

“Why? If you go to the root you will have the answer: obedience is lacking. Those who have no obedience will never love me. If you don’t have inner and outer obedience, you will never be able to develop love for me. If you don’t have any love for your Master, then you have to feel that you are a failure on his path. My path is one of love, devotion and surrender. If you people don’t have love, how can you expect to be able to follow my path? If you can’t step on the first rung of the ladder, how are you going to step on the second rung, devotion, and on the third and ultimate rung, surrender?

“If you obey me and listen to me, you have to feel that this is what the divinity within you wants and needs. I knock at the door of your inner divinity, but it doesn’t come to the fore; it is still fast asleep. When I try to open the door, a tremendous reluctance, an unwilling, obstinate feeling is what I receive. So, my sweet children, please try to cultivate your love aspect, your devotion aspect, for it is only through love and devotion that your own inner divinity will be awakened. And inside your divinity the Supreme, who is your real Guru, is looming large.”

The Master then called each of his men disciples up to him one by one and, placing his hand on their chests, filled their hearts with love. Many burst into tears, touching his feet; and all were deeply moved. Then, with one final smile that touched each disciple in his innermost self, the Master slowly walked away.

Exposed in the inner world

There was once a very great spiritual Master who was living in America. The Master had spent many years in meditation and spiritual practice in India, and he had achieved God-realisation before coming to America. Despite his great inner height, this Master used to mix freely with his disciples, and often the Master would invite a few disciples to his home for dinner and innocent joy. During these evenings, the disciples would often ask the Master questions about matters that were bothering them.

One evening, about twenty disciples were at the Master’s house when one of them asked, “Guru, when we quarrel with another disciple, does God get displeased with us?”

“Oh!” said the Master, “as if God has nothing else to do! When we have quarrelled with someone, God says, ‘I am still pleased with you, even though you got angry with so-and-so.’ But you know, Mula, very often when we get angry with someone, we get angry with God as well. We say, ‘I have been praying and meditating for so long! How could God allow me to get angry with this particular person?’ Or worse, we feel, ‘I am angry with so-and-so because he is an unbearable fellow. Why did God create such a rogue and why does He allow him to bother me?’ At that time, we become a destructive force.”

“Do people really think that sort of thing, Master?”

“Certainly. They also feel this way about spiritual Masters. Just the other day it happened to me. For three months two disciples had been angry with each other and one of them finally got very angry with me because I am supposed to be perfecting their nature. Also, he got angry because I am allowing the other person to stay in my ashram. In another ashram I know of, two of the disciples who had been very good friends became the greatest enemies. One of them wrote to the Master, ‘Since you are leading that person to God-realisation, I don’t need that kind of realisation. And furthermore, if you are taking him to the same Goal that you are taking me to, I definitely don’t want to go to that Goal.’ And so he left the Master.”

“Master, do you know when we are inwardly angry? Do you know what we are suffering from at every moment?” asked another disciple. “Do you know what causes our depression?”

“Certainly,” replied the Master. “I know what you people are suffering and going through just as well as you know it. But if I ask some disciples about their suffering, they will categorically deny that anything is wrong. They simply say, ‘Everything is fine, Master.’ Somebody is sad and depressed, but he will say, ‘Oh, no, I am fine.’ Somebody is jealous of someone, but when I ask her about it, she will say, ‘Oh no, I am not jealous.’ Somebody is cherishing doubt, real doubt about me, but he will simply say, ‘No, no, I have all faith in you, Master.’ Out of a hundred people, ninety-nine percent will deny it when I ask them about their inner problems. So what am I to do?”

“But aren’t we sometimes really unaware of what we are doing?” another disciple asked.

“For a few days you may be unaware. But there is not a single one of you whom I have not approached in the inner world. Occultly I convince you and you know it, but outwardly you deny it flatly. I give you people warnings hundreds of times by making you feel what you are doing against my Mission, against me, against the Supreme. I do make you feel this. So if you say that you are unaware of what you are doing wrong and how you are acting in the inner world or outer world, then it is not true. I have exposed you inwardly.”

The disciples looked puzzled. After a brief silence one of them asked, “Master, what do you mean when you speak about the way we act in the inner and outer world? Could you explain?”

“Certainly. In the outer world people stand right in front of me with folded hands. But in the inner world, at two o’clock in the morning when I meditate on them, some of the disciples would simply kill me if they had more vital power. I go to them at that time to feed their souls, but they are displeased with me because I have been paying attention to somebody else. Fortunately, in the vital world they are weaker than I am. Even in the physical world I am stronger. If they tried to strike me, I would use my occult power and prevent them. But they come devotedly with folded hands in the outer world, while in the inner world there is such resentment, anger and hostility. Now do you think that I don’t bring this to their notice? In the inner world I expose them. I make them aware of these feelings they have. But even now, there are some of you right here who are doing things like this, and who know they are doing it.”

The disciples were shocked that even in this intimate gathering their brother and sister disciples could cherish such behaviour, and one or two protested. But the Master continued, “If some of these disciples’ resentment, undivine thoughts and undivine vital were accumulated together, you would see a real ocean, another Pacific Ocean. But God’s Compassion for us is fortunately much larger than the ocean.”

One of the newer disciples asked, “Master, why do they act this way?”

“Some people think that if they do this, perhaps one day I will surrender to their wishes. They think that if they are so bad then I will let them have their own way. At times, just to achieve a kind of peace, some Masters make a compromise. But that is wrong. If I allow someone to increase his imperfection by allowing him to have his own way, then that person’s wrong vibration will increase in the ashram.

“On the outer plane I may remain silent. I go on and let these people run according to their capacity. But if someone tries to run while carrying a heavy load of doubt, he will not be able to run; he will just stumble and fall. If another has willingness to run without the heavy burden of doubt or jealousy or anger, then I shall be able to lead that person faster. And if one has total consecration, love and surrender, then that person will run the fastest.

“In the beginning, when we first started our journey, I thought that everybody would run the fastest. Then I saw that some people do not have the capacity. So everyone goes according to his own speed. If you can run, I will run with you. If someone else can only walk, I shall walk. If he stumbles, I shall also be there to wait for him. This is what a spiritual Master does.”

The Master then gazed at each disciple with such sweetness that many were moved to tears. Then he bowed and the gathering broke up.

Interview for _People_ Magazine

Following is the greater part of an interview given to Jed Horne of People weekly magazine by Sri Chinmoy on 20 July 1975 at the Old Mill Farm in Harrison, New York.

Question: Could you tell me about your childhood?

Sri Chinmoy: I grew up in an ashram. At the age of twelve I was about to be totally conscious of what I was in a previous incarnation; and when I was thirteen years old I became fully conscious of my first achievement, what we call self-discovery.

Question: When was that incarnation?

Sri Chinmoy: It was my immediate previous incarnation. I don’t wish to tell who I was, because it only creates problems, but I was a spiritual Master, a yogi. Some of my disciples have seen some of my previous incarnations during their meditation with me. In this incarnation at the age of thirteen I became fully aware of who I was. It was like revising an old book. But it took me twenty years to totally revise the book. I studied that book; I did well. But when it is a matter of manifestation, it took me twenty years to bring to the fore everything that I had realised and achieved by the infinite Grace of the Supreme. Then I got a command from within. The Supreme, my Inner Pilot, wanted me to come to the West and be of service to Him in the aspiring West. It was His express command that I come. If He asks me tomorrow to go to India or some other country, I will gladly do it.

Question: Do you miss India?

Sri Chinmoy: I don’t miss it in a human way, because inside me is the universal Reality, as inside you is the universal Reality. When one has a free access to the universal Reality, one does not miss anybody or anything.

Question: Do you expect to go back someday?

Sri Chinmoy: It may happen. I have no expectation, no anticipation. I only live in the Eternal Now. Just at this moment if I get a command from Him, then I will be more than happy to go to the foot of the Himalayas or live inside a Himalayan cave, which I did in some of my previous incarnations. My life is now a life of service. If the Supreme asks me to be of service here or in any other part of the world, then I shall gladly do it. I do whatever He wants from my life. I have no personal choice. It is He who is manifesting in and through us in His own way. When one becomes a seeker, he realises that he is a mere instrument and the Supreme Musician is playing on that instrument. But if he becomes a conscious instrument, then the Supreme Musician can utilise him fully in the best possible way.

Question: What do you remember as being a difficult problem you had to overcome on the road to God-realisation?

Sri Chinmoy: To be absolutely frank with you, in my case I didn’t have the kind of difficulty which other Masters have had. In some cases for six months they had a dry period and they could not meditate. Sometimes the lower vital forces attacked them. Sometimes the cosmic forces, even the so-called divine forces, the gods and goddesses, tried to prevent the Masters from surpassing them. But I followed the path of the heart, which I am now advocating. I always acted like a sweet child both inwardly and outwardly, and if one is a child, a real child, then he is liked, appreciated and encouraged by all. From a child we don’t expect anything. The Supreme in me wants to remain always a child, to be always in a childlike consciousness. This is what I always say to my students, too. If one remains childlike, not childish, he makes progress. At twenty or twenty-four years of age the human mind becomes fossilized. It doesn’t want to receive anything new or know anything more. But a child feels he knows nothing. At every moment he can learn something new. At every moment he learns from you, from others. Newness is his life.

Question: What do you think will happen when you have left the body?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on how much my disciples receive while I am in the physical and whether they can keep a very good inner connection with me. Out of 700 disciples, a few have a very close connection with me. Only those who have a good connection with me will be able to spread the Light that the Supreme in me has been manifesting.

Question: Would one of them become the Guru and lead the services?

Sri Chinmoy: No, unfortunately or fortunately, no. Unfortunately I say, because some of them may want to become Gurus. But their desire will not be fulfilled. Fortunately I say, because to become a Guru is to suffer constantly. I do not want my disciples to suffer the way I and every other true Master suffers.

Each of my Centres has a president or a leader. I have taught them how to conduct the meetings in my absence. But when it is a matter of real inner guidance, unfortunately they have not been able to attain the spiritual stature for that. While I am alive if one of my disciples attains God-realisation, then naturally I will say that he or she will succeed me. But right now I see that this is not likely to happen, and in that case there will be a good leader conducting everything, but he will not be my spiritual successor.

I take the role of a conscious messenger who carries the aspiration of the seekers to the Supreme. Others are not able to do this in the same way. Again, it all depends on how much progress the disciples make. Unfortunately, still we have not got any God-realised souls. But I am proud of them. They are really progressing.

Question: How many first-class disciples do you have?

Sri Chinmoy: Very few. They can be counted on the fingertips. They are very few, very, very limited. I can expect only those disciples to maintain their inner connection with me. But there is no certainty. Second-class disciples can become first-class. Provided he really wants to be a good student and sincerely tries hard, one who is not good now may become good. Again, some first-class disciples have gone down from first to second, third, fourth. I have written a book called The Ascent and Descent of the Disciples, all about this kind of movement. Some started from fifth class and slowly and steadily they have gone up. Some have maintained their standard. They are like good students who always do well in their studies. Some students have maintained their high standard right along.

Question: Have you ever lost any students altogether?

Sri Chinmoy: Some people have left our Centre. But people who have accepted me wholeheartedly once will never be and can never be rejected by me. They are like my children. A child may become naughty, delinquent, but the parents have to claim him as their own. Children may disown their parents and have nothing to do with them, but good parents can’t and won’t do that. They will claim their children no matter how bad the children are. These are my spiritual children. Outwardly they may go, but inwardly, in my spiritual heart, they have to remain because the Supreme in me has commanded me to take care of their lives, and inwardly I am asked by the Inner Pilot to remain responsible for them.

Question: How do you explain the popularity of Eastern religions in this country?

Sri Chinmoy: Something is unfortunately lacking or missing in the Western world and that thing one can call love, psychic love, heart’s love. At this point the parents must forgive me when I say that in general they do not show enough love to their children. In India the way we get love — sometimes it is too much; we are spoiled. But in the West, children don’t get enough love. Eastern religion, Western religion, all religions are founded upon love, compassion, concern. But when it is a matter of expressing or communicating love, in the West it is not shown as it should be. The Eastern spiritual Masters offer boundless love to their spiritual children.

Here in the West when children grow up, immediately they see that their parents have a different life. They don’t have their vision inside their children anymore. When they are absolutely little children, the parents think they will grow up and bring name and fame to the family. But when they are six or seven, the parents just give the children to the babysitter and go to clubs, movies, or other entertainment. They lead their own lives, and the babysitter becomes the parent. But why should she take responsibility for other people’s children? She thinks all the time of her own life. Then the children will also have their own life — a frustrated and undisciplined life — because nobody gives them the love and concern that they need.

Then, in the church, most of the priests are preaching spiritual truths, but they do not practise what they preach. Sometimes they do not really understand it. They tell what the truth is, but they do not or cannot live it; therefore, they are unable to inspire their students deeply.

About six years ago I gave a talk at Yale. During the question and answer period a professor of psychology stood up and said to me, “Whatever you are saying is not new to me or to my students. Everything you have said today during your talk and during the questions and answers, I have been telling my students. But look how they are listening to you, with such rapt attention!” Then a student beside him stood up and said, “There is a little difference between him and you.” The students saw something in me and gave real importance to what I was telling them, because my words and my actions, to the students, were one. But in the professor’s case, words and actions were two totally different things, unfortunately.

Question: Did you ever think of getting married and having children?

Sri Chinmoy: No, I have enough responsibility. Seven hundred children God has given me. India’s most famous scientist, P.C. Ray, was brought up in Scotland and he got his degree there. He was the father of Indian science. Once one of his students, who knew perfectly well that he was a bachelor, asked, “How many children do you have?” Immediately he said, “Wait a moment,” and he took out of his pocket a list of his favourite students. It was a big list. He said, “Here I have got seventy-three children,” and he read out their names. “These children are infinitely more important in my life than my own children could ever be.” Spiritual children are the real children, because they follow in the footsteps of the Master. They always try to follow him. The children of our first avatar, Sri Ramachandra, could have become more spiritual than they were. Our second avatar, Lord Krishna, had many physical children, but not even one accepted the spiritual life. His disciples, like Arjuna and others, were far dearer to him than his physical children. In the case of other Masters, not only their children but also their brothers and sisters were not spiritual. Undoubtedly Sri Ramakrishna had relatives, but Vivekananda, who was no relation of his, became his dearest spiritual son. I am lucky. My brothers and sisters all accepted spiritual life. Being the youngest, I followed them. My parents also were spiritual. All my brothers and sisters went to an ashram after our parents died. Whoever adopts or follows my principles, my way of life, is my true child. He is not my blood relation, but he is my soul’s relation. If we can establish a spiritual relationship with someone, then he becomes a true member of our family. True, he is not a physical relative, but it is the soul’s relationship that will remain eternally.

Question: You were an athlete in your youth. Could you explain the relationship between athletics and the spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: We want to be integral; we want to be perfect in our body, vital, mind, heart and soul. If only one part of our being is perfect and the rest remains imperfect, then we will not be able to fulfil the Supreme the way the Supreme wants to be fulfilled here on earth.

Suppose early in the morning I want to meditate. It is time for me to meditate and I want to get up, but my body is weak. I have a stomach upset, a headache, a backache or some other pain, so how will I meditate? The best thing is to meditate for half an hour and then practise sports. The body is quite important. We can’t deny it; we can’t discard it. It is like a house or a temple. Inside the temple is the shrine. If there is no temple, then the soul will have no place to live.

As the soul aspires, the heart, mind, vital and body can also aspire. When the body aspires and reaches a certain height, when it achieves peace and light from above, immediately Mother Earth grabs or captures that light on the physical plane. When we practise athletics or sports, immediately our achievement becomes the possession, the treasure of Mother Earth. Here in the material world we claim the success of our own children. We are so happy, so proud of their achievements. Similarly, when the physical in us does something good, divine, immediately Mother Earth gets tremendous joy and pleasure in her children’s achievement.

Question: What forms of exercise and diet do you advise?

Sri Chinmoy: Sports, running, jumping, anything that keeps our body fit. Again, we don’t have to do anything too vigorous. We don’t want to strain or overtire ourselves. We do need the perfection of the body, but ours is not the aim to become Olympic champions. If an aspirant is good enough as an athlete to participate in the Olympics, well and good. But for most of us, our aim is not to go to the Olympics. Our aim is only to transcend our capacity, always to transcend our individual capacity. I will compete with you, not to beat you but to see my own capacity. My aim is to see how much I have achieved, and to transcend my own capacity. When we participate in sports, we try to keep before us the idea of our own self-transcendence. We wish to see how far we can go. We have a certain goal, but our goal is only for today. Tomorrow it will be our starting point. Today’s goal cannot remain the goal forever. A child’s goal is to go to kindergarten. Then he goes from kindergarten to primary school, and gradually to high school, college, university. Our goal also is constant self-transcendence.

Question: You don't do complicated yoga exercises?

Sri Chinmoy: We don’t give much importance to complicated breathing or postures, and difficult exercises like cleaning the internal organs, because we feel that our love of God will purify us. People take many exercises for purification. But we feel that our real love for God, who is all Purity, will purify us. We go to the Source. We pray and meditate; we pray to the Supreme to grant us purity, sincerity, humility and other divine qualities. In our sincere prayer and meditation easily we can get these divine qualities. Either we do it all ourselves with greatest difficulty through our personal efforts, or we rely on someone with the capacity to help us. He who has the capacity can easily give me these things provided I love Him. If I love Him, naturally He will give me what He has and what He is. But if I don’t love Him and want to get what He has, then I have to do everything myself. Sri Chinmoy (to Jed Horne): You have a very fine soul. Most illumining questions you have asked me about my life from beginning to end. But there is no end. We are walking along the eternal path on the eternal journey. The Goal, too, is eternal, an eternally self-transcending Goal, and there is also an eternal traveller inside us.

From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol. 2, No. 9, 27 September 1975, Vishma Press, 1975
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