The vision-possibilities of the physical earth are conversing with the manifestation-inevitabilities of the supra-physical Heaven.— photo by Sarama
Councilman Povman: It’s very hard for me to believe that a whole year has gone by since we had the lovely ceremony celebrating Sri Chinmoy’s 45th birthday last year. As I recall, we had a little light rain that day, and I made reference to the fact that the summer rain that we had on that occasion was sort of in keeping with the purpose of Sri Chinmoy and his disciples, who are a fertile source for humanity. Today, of course, we have a gorgeous day. And as everybody here knows, we are all one year older than last year, including myself. I’m one who will keep Sri Chinmoy’s birthday in mind, because we were both born in the same year.
Borough President Manes has taken notice of the outstanding work that Sri Chinmoy has done in this community. I think you are all familiar with the problems of New York City and the deterioration and decay that has taken place. It makes the officials feel good to know that at least right here in Jamaica there is a place that, instead of having problems, is getting good results. So the Borough President has asked me to represent him here this morning, to proclaim today as Sri Chinmoy Day in honour of the Master’s birthday, and in honour of all his friends and disciples who reside in the Jamaica community. I’d like to read the proclamation to you:
(Councilman Povman then read the proclamation which is reproduced on the following page.)
Sri Chinmoy: Dear Mr. Povman, dear good friend, friend of our heart and soul, friend of our small spiritual family, and true friend of Queens, in your heart we have found a place where we can cherish your soul’s beauty and your soul’s concern, not only for Queens but for all mankind.
For several years you have not only watched us, but also helped us in our growth in this community. Today you have once again granted me the opportunity to serve the citizens of Queens soulfully and devotedly. You call this “Sri Chinmoy Day,” but I call it my gratitude day, for you have given me another opportunity, dear Mr. Povman, to be of better service, more illumining service, to each resident of Queens. My friends and students have gathered together here from various parts of the world. We have only one purpose: to love mankind and, at the same time, to serve the Inner Pilot in mankind. In this respect you and I and my students are all sailing in the same service-boat. We are trying to better the condition of the world with our dedication and soulful service.
Each day of the year is meaningful and fruitful, but when it is a birthday it becomes extremely important, for on that day we remind ourselves of the promise that we made to the Supreme on the day we came into this world. Forty-six years ago my soul made a solemn promise to the Absolute Supreme to be of service to Him. At the same time, same day, same hour, my soul promised to Mother Earth to be the most devoted son of hers, so that I could become inseparably one with her inner cry, as I am inseparably one with Heaven’s smile.
Borough of QueensCity of New York
Donald R. Manes, President
WHEREAS, Sri Chinmoy of Jamaica is a renowned spiritual leader, poet, artist, musician and lecturer; and
WHEREAS, Sri Chinmoy has travelled and lectured extensively throughout the world and is Director of the United Nations Meditation Group; and
WHEREAS, Sri Chinmoy has been a leader in many beneficial community efforts and was instrumental in organizing the Liberty Torch program to help celebrate our Nation's Bicentennial; and
WHEREAS, August 27th is the birthday of Sri Chinmoy and he will be honored on this day,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD R. MANES, President of the Borough of Queens, the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Saturday, August 27th, 1977
SRI CHINMOY DAY
in Queens in recognition of the teachings, leadership and contributions of Sri Chinmoy.
Done at Borough Hall, Kew Gardens, in the City of New York, On this the twenty-seventh day of August, in the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven.
Donald R. Manes,President
Borough of Queens
Our philosophy is very simple: the philosophy of love, devotion and surrender. These three realities, divinities or, you can say, immortal qualities, of the Absolute Supreme we are trying to manifest here and elsewhere. We have started our journey here in Jamaica, Queens. The branches of our service-tree, by God’s infinite Bounty, are touching the length and breadth of the world; but here is our source. When we are appreciated and encouraged by the leaders of this community, we feel that our service-tree has taken a very firm hold at the root.
Once again, dear Mr. Povman, dear seeker-brother, I wish to offer my heart’s inmost gratitude to you, to the loving soul in you, to the illumining soul in you. And also I wish to offer my most soulful gratitude to the President of this Borough. Please tell him my heart of gratitude I place at the Feet of the Supreme in him.
My students who are here would like to sing “O My America,” a song that I composed to express my most soulful gratitude to the vision and realisation of America. This song we wish to sing to you now, with our soulful gratitude, dearest Mr. Povman.
(Sri Chinmoy’s disciples sang. After the song, a tree was planted in honour of Sri Chinmoy. Councilman Povman dug the ground for the planting.)
Sri Chinmoy: I am honoured by your selfless service. A tree signifies selfless service, and you have demonstrated right in front of all of us what this tree embodies. A tree is sacrifice right from the root to the topmost branch. Each leaf, flower and fruit is freely offered for the service of mankind. From the beginning to the end the tree is all dedication to mankind. And you have demonstrated with your kind and soulful heart what the tree signifies in our life of aspiration and dedication. Therefore, on behalf of all my students I wish to offer you my heart’s deepest gratitude and ever-mounting oneness-love.
You have been kind, extremely kind, to us. And here is the radiant example that what we have heard from people about you is true. You have demonstrated here right in front of us what you inwardly and outwardly are for us and for mankind: a life of service, dedicated service. Here in front of the aspiration-tree we are offering our aspiration to the Heavenly Father in you and in all the seekers who have gathered here this morning.
Councilman Povman: This tree that we have planted today symbolizes the great contribution that you have made to this community and to the world at large. In a way, it represents what you have been doing for all the people of this world. That is, you have been planting seeds. And these seeds have been taking root and have been growing throughout the world and its people. This is a tangible representation of your work. We are all a part of nature; we are all trees. We all need roots, we need nourishment, we need growth and we need stimulation. I think this tree should serve as a constant reminder that we are all brothers, that we are all friends and that we all celebrate life. That is the most important message of all.
Mr. David Burke: We are very, very grateful for all that you have done for us, and for your courtesy, your kindness and your co-operation. I am sure you have many, many political supporters, many friends in the community and outside the community, but among all of them, I think we would stand right at the top of the list in appreciation and gratitude for all you have done for us. On behalf of everybody, I would like to say thank you once again for this and for everything else. Thank you.
Mr. Steven Hein: I’d like to say that most people who live around here aren’t originally New Yorkers. Most of us aren’t from New York City, and when we first came here it seemed somewhat strange to us. But now it’s growing more and more to be a real home for us. And we feel that in the same way that we are beginning to feel that it is our home, the city is beginning to feel that we are a real part of it. And to us I think you symbolise that — the City’s acceptance of us and warmth toward us and good feelings for us. And, as I’m sure you know, we’re very grateful for it. Thank you very much.Councilman Povman: Thank you for those kind words. Of all the things I do throughout the year, there is nothing that gives me more pleasure, genuine pleasure, than coming here and meeting the Master and his disciples, and I mean that sincerely. Nothing is more important to me.
Sri Chinmoy and Councilman Povman— photo by Bhashwar
My present boss is renunciation.My future boss will be God-acceptance in all and God-acceptance for all.
A weak and sick smile.What is death? An imaginary smile.
Inside you.Where to find good? Around you.
I tell you that this is an old story.Now I tell you a completely new story. My heart is quite progressive.
This is the meaning of God.“Receive cheerfully.” This is the meaning of man.
Let the world see the real you.I assure you that the world will be happy and blessed.
You have just to feel that you are young.Lo, the miracle of miracles: God is shaking hands with you.
My aspiring heart.What has made you ordinary? Your doubting mind.
World-competition is one’s ignorance-performance.[To be continued in next issue.]
(Sri Chinmoy played the esraj.)
Donna Halper: Wow! How would you like to do that for the whole rest of the show? God, is that beautiful! We have a whole group of engineers who are saying that’s nice, seriously. For our audience, the instrument which he is playing is called the esraj. I’d like to ask you now, what is the purpose of this music when you are meditating? What is the effect it is supposed to have on a person while he is meditating?
Sri Chinmoy: Soulful music intensifies our meditation. Soulful music expedites our soul’s journey. Soulful music helps the seeker establish his conscious and inseparable oneness with the Supreme Pilot; therefore, I give so much importance to music in the spiritual life.
Donna Halper: In other words, to hear music helps one to become more in tune with God. How does it do this? If I were an atheist and I heard that music, I don’t know if I would think about God, but I know that I would feel very relaxed and peaceful. Would you say that that feeling means being closer to God?
Sri Chinmoy: We cannot define God in terms of a specific feeling. Each one has to experience God for himself. If we say God is all Peace or God is all Delight, then there will be people to contradict us. Each one has to define God for himself. We all want to have satisfaction. We will have satisfaction by experiencing truth and light, and others will also derive satisfaction from that reality-experience, although they may name it in a different way.
Donna Halper: But don’t people come to you looking to find out what God is?
Sri Chinmoy: They do come to me for that, but only people who believe in God come to me. Stark atheists do not come to me. For them God is something else. The God we speak of is not God for them. But again, I have deepest respect for their God. If they say there is no such thing as God, I say all right. As long as they believe in something, I feel that that very thing is God, for God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.
Donna Halper: So the person who believes in music, for instance, the person who is very, very into something like playing an instrument, that’s a form of religion, too.
Sri Chinmoy: It is not a form of religion, but it is a form of communication with the Source.
Donna Halper: Sri Chinmoy, when people come to you, what are they usually hoping to find?
Sri Chinmoy: Usually, they hope for peace of mind; they expect a better understanding of life. They expect inner ecstasy.
Donna Halper: Do you give them that?
Sri Chinmoy: I do offer it to them, and they receive from me according to their receptivity.
Donna Halper: There are so many people seeking, trying to find out about religion. They don’t feel satisfied with organized religion, let us say, so they come to you. How would they know whether or not you are the right spiritual Master for them?
Sri Chinmoy: They will be able to discover this in a few minutes’ time. As soon as they see me, if I am meant for them, they will get a kind of vibration, a kind of familiar feeling. They don’t have to talk to me. They will feel an inner communication. They will see and feel in me a friend, a true friend, an eternal friend.
Donna Halper: What about the person who comes to you and is very sceptical? Will you also be a friend to that person?
Sri Chinmoy: I will definitely be his friend, but he will feel uncomfortable. He will have to go to someone else, who will be able to guide him in a different way, and with whom he will feel comfortable.
Donna Halper: We’re talking about music and meditation and religion. To continue on the subject of religion, Guru, there are so many people claiming to be Gurus these days, there are so many people claiming to be Messiahs, claiming to have the right answer. How can a person who is serious about this tell who is a real spiritual Master and who is not?
Sri Chinmoy: There are quite a few ways to know whether a Master is genuine or not. If the Master says that he will be able to grant you realisation overnight, then he is a false Master. If he says that if you give him a fee of a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, then he will be able to help you enter into a higher realm of consciousness and attain peace, light and bliss, then he is a false Master. A true Master will tell the seeker all the time that he is not God; he is not even the Guru. God Himself is the real Master. He is only serving God in the seekers; he is not the Guru. The real Guru is God Himself. So, if a seeker wants to know who a true Master is, from these guidelines he can usually know the real from the false.
Donna Halper: So the person who claims that he has the magic answer is probably not a person who should be taken seriously?
Sri Chinmoy: Spiritual progress is not like instant tea. It is a slow and steady process. Slowly, steadily and unerringly we have to walk along Eternity’s Road in order to reach Infinity’s Goal.
Donna Halper: If someone comes to you and decides that you are the person he would like to study with, what does he have to do?
Sri Chinmoy: There are a few rules and regulations which the seekers must follow if I accept them as my students. First of all, I shall ask them to be very simple, very sincere, humble and pure. I recommend a very simple life.
Donna Halper: When you say a simple life, we read in the paper about various movements which are very austere, where the men and women are not allowed to associate with each other, they are not allowed to eat meat, and they pretty much just stay inside and meditate all the time. Is this the kind of life that your disciples live?
Sri Chinmoy: No, I do not advocate austerity. I do not want my disciples to live in the Himalayan caves. We advocate acceptance of life. We have to accept life, and then we have to transform life. There are many things in human life which we cannot appreciate. We find them to be our deplorable weaknesses. So we try to illumine these weaknesses. We do not shun life. We accept life, but we transform the things that have to be transformed.
Donna Halper: In addition to meditation, do your disciples practise any chanting, or anything of that nature?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, they do chant occasionally. I have composed quite a few chants to verses from the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. I have set tune to quite a few verses, and my students occasionally chant them.
Donna Halper: What I am wondering about as far as meditation goes (and I am sure there are a number of other people interested in this as well) is, what is the difference between what we might call secular meditation — that is, just going off someplace in the country where it is nice and quiet, and thinking peaceful thoughts — and the meditation that you do with that kind of music and things of that nature? Is there any difference between the two, or are both just steps along the same way?
Sri Chinmoy: If some individuals get peace of mind by living in the countryside and leading a relaxed life, it is good for them. Others want to go through a more disciplined life. They feel that meditation is something very sacred; it is not something casual. For them it is advisable to meditate with utmost concentration in a meditation hall. Whether it is in the city or in the country is not important. Undoubtedly these people will make faster progress than those who just go into the countryside to enjoy the beauty and think good thoughts. But ultimately both the roads lead to the same destination.
Donna Halper: Do you tell your students how to meditate, or are they free to choose for themselves the best way?
Sri Chinmoy: Outwardly I give them only very general guidelines, because each individual’s way of meditation is personal and unique. But out of God’s infinite Bounty I have the capacity to teach their souls inwardly how to meditate. Each disciple of mine learns his best way of meditation from the soul. Also, I have written considerably on meditation and different inner techniques, so they can read my writings.
Donna Halper: For the person who is just by himself and really would like to meditate, is there a way that he can get into it without going to a school or to a teacher and learning how?
Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. They can read some spiritual books for instruction, and then start meditating at home. The best possible thing is to have a peaceful mind — not to allow any thoughts whatsoever to enter into the mind. But they will see that some thoughts are entering in spite of their best efforts, so they will have to make a selection, and only allow the good thoughts to remain in the mind. The bad thoughts they will discard as soon as possible. By allowing only the good thoughts they will be able to get some peace of mind. Meditation means peace of mind and bliss in the heart.
Donna Halper: Now you are raising a question. I can hear people out there saying, “That’s great, to sit there and think good thoughts and things like that. But what about when you are in the middle of the material life and everything is going wrong and it has been a bad day at the office and your boss just yelled at you and so forth and so on. How do you get the good thoughts in your mind at a time like that?”
Sri Chinmoy: Morning shows the day in most cases. In the morning, before we enter into the hustle and bustle of life, before we go out of our house and enter into the day’s activities, if we meditate soulfully for a few minutes, then definitely we will get some inner peace. This peace we shall carry inside our hearts when we go to the office or enter into the multifarious activities and confusion of our daily life. Then we can bring to the fore this inner peace, and we will definitely be able to control the situation,
Donna Halper: I think there is a tremendous precedent for that. If I remember correctly, in the Bible it says that the best time to pray is in the morning, because you start out your day thinking about spiritual things, and that carries you through the rest of the day. So what you are saying is not really very different from what we call Western religion.
Sri Chinmoy: There is not so much difference as people think between Western and Eastern religion. We are all God’s children. We speak in different languages, but when it is a matter of the heart — your heart, my heart, his heart, her heart — they are all in tune. It is only the mind that creates problems. The aspiring heart is constantly in communication with the soul, and the soul is the representative of God, so there is always an abiding truth inside all of us. When it is a matter of real spirituality, there is no geographical barrier — no east, no west, no north, no south. There is only hearts’ oneness. It is through our hearts’ oneness that we fulfil ourselves and fulfil God in and through us.
Donna Halper: When a person becomes more involved in spirituality, this would lead to, let us say, their becoming less tied to things like prejudices. So they wouldn’t have any feelings against any race or any creed or anything like this. People who are caught up in prejudicial thoughts, let us say, have they turned away from God, or do they just not understand God, or what?
Sri Chinmoy: They have not necessarily turned away from God, only they understand God according to their limited capacities. But a true seeker will not condemn them. On the contrary, he will try to see and feel that the mistakes committed by them are his own mistakes, because he has accepted God totally, including God’s entire creation, and these people who are making mistakes are also God’s children. So the sincere aspirant feels that it is obligatory on his part to consider the weaknesses, the failures and the shortcomings of others as his own. Because he loves God, he feels that he has to be identified with God’s creation. He cannot negate God’s creation; he cannot speak ill of God’s creation. He can only accept God’s creation as such and pray to God, meditate on God, to illumine His creation.
Donna Halper: So if a person becomes involved in meditating, the more they meditate and the more they understand about God, will they get more understanding of the world as well?
Sri Chinmoy: They will get more understanding, more illumination. They will be able to accept the world, not negate the world, for the world is God’s creation, and Creator and creation always go together. If we accept them together, then we will be able to fulfil the Supreme Reality within us.
Donna Halper: You get a lot of students, I gather, who would be considered middle class, in that they are products of pretty much the average American home. When they come to you, do they stay, or do you find that they regard meditating as a kind of an interesting fad and after a while they get tired of it?
Sri Chinmoy: Oh, no. In my case I am fortunate enough to be able to tell you that my students have taken spirituality and meditation very seriously. Of course, some people do leave. But in comparison to the number that come, very few people have left. Meditation is not something that becomes boring after a few years. But because people have their set ways of thinking, or because they have personal problems or vital problems, they may leave. They come to feel that this way of meditation is not suitable for them anymore, but not because meditation was just a fad for them. They took meditation seriously. But many thoughts, many desires, many fantasies, many idiosyncracies may come in, and the path is not suitable anymore, so then they leave.
Donna Halper: I understand. While we are talking to Sri Chinmoy, if you have any question you would like to ask him, you can call in. If you would like to speak with Sri Chinmoy and ask him some questions on meditation, on Yoga, or on life in general, please call. What you are listening to is “The Other Hour” here on WRVR ...
In the meantime, Sri Chinmoy, you’ve had a number of musicians as your students, people in our audience would be interested in knowing. Why do you think musicians, such as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, who was so involved in what might be considered the material life — drugs, and things Like that — may seek a Guru?
Sri Chinmoy: The answer is very simple. The things that they did before did not help them find the true divinity within themselves. They did not find what they were looking for, so they wanted to find a spiritual Master to help them.
Donna Halper: What did John McLaughlin come to you looking for? Did you give him the answer to better music, or was he just unhappy with his life when you met him?
Sri Chinmoy: He wanted to lead a higher life, and he wanted to make tremendous change and progress in his life of music.
Donna Halper: Was he able to do that?
Sri Chinmoy: I am sure he did.
Donna Halper: So it seems like you are saying you give the student that which you feel he wants to receive.
Sri Chinmoy: I do not give, but I become an instrument. I meditate on God, and pray to Him to grant them the things that they want if they are good things, if they are divine, if they are spiritual, if they are worthwhile. If the student is longing for something earthbound, for something that is going to bind him, I will be the last person to help him get it.[To be continued in next issue.]
Of deafening sound,
I am surrendering to the world
And one day I shall become
Makes the aspiring tree sing.
His charming flute
My poor flute
Makes the tasteless fruit sigh.
A little vision-God.
The lover is
The yogi is
A complete oneness-God.
The soul comes to the body
I hastily destroy.
The ecstasy of the heart-sun
Persists in human life.
The son said, “Father, has something happened? Is anything wrong?”
The father said, “Nothing in particular, but let us not walk any farther on this road.”
“Why not, father?” asked the son.
“Do you see that elderly man coming toward us?” the father asked, pointing down the road.
“Yes, i can see him,” replied the son.
“That man is a friend of mine,” said the father. “He has borrowed some money from me and now he is unable to pay it back. Each time he sees me he tells me that he will get some money from somebody else and without fail he will give it to me. This has been happening again and again, so I don’t want to embarrass him anymore.”
The son said, “Father, if you don’t want to embarrass him, why don’t you tell him that you have given him the money and you will not take it back — it is just a donation?”
“I have already told him that,” said the father. “When I said, ‘I don’t want it back; it is an offering,’ he got mad. He said, ‘Am I a beggar? I am your friend. When I was in need, you gave me money, and when I am no longer in need, I will give it back. I want to remain your friend and not a beggar.’ Now I don’t want to embarrass him, and I don’t want to be embarrassed myself, so let us quickly take another road and avoid him.”The son said, “Father, you are really good and great. I am so proud of you. It is usually the one who owes the money who tries to avoid the person from whom he has borrowed it. In your case you are desperately trying to avoid this man, although you are the giver. It is usually the receiver who is embarrassed, not the giver. But you want to spare him the embarrassment. I am truly grateful to you and proud of you, Father. What I have learned from you is sympathetic oneness.”
ExternalOur external life needs simplicity and humility more than anything else. Our internal life needs sincerity and purity more than anything else.
BondageA bondage-thought instigates me to think that I must needs live only for my own existence-reality. A freedom-thought inspires me to feel that I lived, live and shall eternally live only for my Beloved Supreme.
The Lord SupremeIn the human world the Lord Supreme is the possession-king. In the divine world the Lord Supreme is the Perfection-Prince.
WorshipTo love the real in us is to worship the Supreme in us. The real in us is the soul. The Supreme in us is self-realisation for God-manifestation.
DevotionMan thinks that God’s Compassion is sweeter than the sweetest. God knows that man’s devotion is sweeter than the sweetest.
When we have a divine attitude towards our ideal Goal, we not only expedite our spiritual journey but also bring nearer to us the ideal Goal itself.[To be continued in next issue.]
The ignorance-king, the desire-man and the Compassion-God want me to be their witness. If you want to know how they work, I am more than willing to tell you. The ignorance-king works untiringly. The desire-man works unconsciously. The Compassion-God works unconditionally.
The ignorance-king wants to devour the world. The desire-man wants to possess the world. The Compassion-God wants to illumine the world.
The ignorance-king says, “I do not want to love anything. I do not want to love anybody. But I want to be loved by the desire-man and by the Compassion-God.”
The desire-man says, “I want to love the temptation of the ignorance-king and I want to love the forgiveness of the Compassion-God.”The Compassion-God says, “I want to love My own awakening evolution in the ignorance-king. I want to love My own aspiring evolution in the desire-man. I want to love My own all-transcending and all-illumining evolution in My own Dream-Boat and Reality-Shore.”
Faith cures my sorrows.Love feeds my morrows.
Peace fulfils my life.Bliss cancels death-knife.
Bela jai dekha bela jai
The blue bird says,
Time is passing by.
The wine of pleasure.
Is nothing but the darkness of pleasure-night.
From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol.II-4, No. 8, August 27, 1977, Vishma Press, 1977
Sourced from https://srichinmoylibrary.com/aum_123