What is Attachment? Attachment is the dance of our outer pleasure. What is Detachment? Detachment is the song of our inner joy. Attachment ends in the prison-cell of frustration and destruction. Detachment fulfils itself in the palace of Divinity and Immortality.
I am a fool if I consciously live in the physical. I am a greater fool if I constantly admire and adore my physical body. I am the greatest fool if I live only to satisfy the needs of my physical existence.
I am a wise person if I know that there is something called the soul. I am a wiser person if I care to see and feel my soul. I will be the wisest person if I live in my soul and for my soul constantly and soulfully, unreservedly and unconditionally.
When we are attached to the body, we become, in no time, impulsive. When we are attached to the vital, we become, very soon, explosive. When we are attached to the physical mind, we ultimately become destructive. But when we are in the body, detached, we consciously feel our aspiring consciousness. When we are in the vital, detached, we expand and widen our aspiring consciousness. When we are in the mind, detached, we fulfil supremely our unlimited consciousness here on earth.
Many people are unfortunately under the wrong impression that attachment and devotedness are one and the same thing. Attachment is when we are in the finite, when we are attached to the finite. Devotedness is when we devote ourselves to the Infinite and are liberated by the Infinite.
Here in Ireland, nearly a hundred years ago, a young aspirant named Margaret Noble went to India to become the famous disciple of Swami Vivekananda. The great Yogi had come to the West in 1889 to participate in the “Parliament of Religions” at the Great World's Fair in Chicago. His spiritual stature was immediately recognised and he became famous overnight.
When he went to England from the United States, Margaret Noble attended his talks and became his dearest disciple. He called her “Nivedita, One who is totally dedicated to the Supreme Cause”.
The Indian people are all admiration for what Nivedita did for India. She helped Indian women in infinite measure. She helped to awaken their slumbering consciousness so that they could envision themselves as divine instruments and grow into the perfect embodiments of aspiration, dedication and illumination for their Mother India. We Indians are bloated with divine pride when we utter the name Nivedita.
Her father was a clergyman — a lover of God, a great seeker. Before he breathed his last, on his deathbed, he said to his wife, “Don’t stand in Margaret's way. If she wants to go to India, let her go.” Margaret’s mother had been very upset by her daughter’s desire to leave Ireland for distant India. But at her husband’s last wish, she did help Margaret and inspire her. Nivedita went to India and became India’s veritable pride. Hers was the heart that knew no despair. Just before she passed behind the curtain of eternity, she uttered under her breath, “The boat is sinking, but I shall see the sunrise.”
I wish to offer my humble talk to the hallowed memory of Sister Nivedita — Margaret Noble of Ireland.
Detachment is misunderstood. We feel that if someone is detached, he is indifferent. Spiritual seekers also make the same mistake in thinking that when we want to show detachment to someone, we must show him utter indifference, to the point of total neglect. This is not true. When we are indifferent to someone, we do nothing for him. We have nothing to do with his joy or sorrow, his achievement or failure. But when we are truly detached, we work for him devotedly and selflessly. The results of our actions we offer at the Feet of the Lord Supreme, our Inner Pilot.
It does not matter if the result is success or failure. If we are not at all attached to the results, we get an immediate expansion of consciousness. If we do not care for the fruit of our action, the Supreme rewards us in the Supreme’s own way. Lord Krishna said, "Thou hast the right to act, but not to the fruits of action.” The Upanishads declared, “Action cleaves not to a man.”
If we work devotedly and selflessly, action does not bind us. There will be no difficulty in working for God’s sake if we work without caring about the result. This is true detachment: this is spiritual detachment. When we can renounce the unlit, unaspiring action, we can enter into the divine action which is our real life. And in this real life, there is always perfection and fulfilment.
When we pay all attention to the material world and neglect the inner world, we starve the soul in us. The soul has to be brought to the fore. If we think we can get Infinite wealth from the material world, then we are totally mistaken.
Yagnavalka, the great Indian sage, had a wife whose name was Maitreyi. Yagnavalka wanted to spend the evening of his life in meditation and contemplation, so he wanted to give away his earthly possessions. He asked Maitreyi if she wanted his riches. She asked, “Will your riches give me immortal life? Of what use are to me the things that cannot make me immortal?”We need the material world, undoubtedly, but we cannot give all our energy to it. We feed our body three times a day. Unfortunately we do not have time to feed our soul even once a day. We, the seekers of the Infinite Truth, feed the body so that we can become the perfect instrument of the soul. The soul has Divinity, Eternity, Immortality. The soul wants to offer its world to the body. If the body becomes receptive, it will receive all that the soul wants to offer. The body itself will echo and re-echo in the life of aspiration and dedication. It will march along as the most humble servitor of the soul. Its existence will be the existence of glory and divinity, divine service and supreme fulfilment. We fulfil the Supreme on earth. He treasures us in His Heart’s Heaven.
AUM 738. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at the University of Dublin, Ireland, 1 December 1970.↩
Human duty begins with compulsion and very often ends in frustration and repulsion. Divine duty begins with inner necessity and ends in a flood of ecstasy.
Human reward and divine reward. Human reward is the fleeting joy from an insignificant man. Human reward is the dying love from a weak human being. Divine reward is the constant joy that flows from God, the everlasting Joy. Divine reward is the constant love from God, the all-fulfilling Love.
In our unaspiring life, we perform duties and we feel that duty is another name for labour. We also feel that duty is self-imposed and reward is most coveted pleasure. In our aspiring life, duty is voluntary. No, never is it obligatory. And reward is the energising joy of selfless service. In our life of realisation, duty is our divine pride and reward is our glorious, transcendental Height. In our unaspiring life and even in our aspiring life, we see that first duty, then reward. Duty comes first. Then it is followed by reward. In the life of realisation it is otherwise — reward first, then duty. How? When God offers His Transcendental Height, Highest Illumination to someone, it means that God has already granted him full realisation. God has accepted him as His chosen instrument. The very fact that God has accepted him as His chosen instrument indicates that he has already got the highest reward from God. Later God tells him about his duty: to love mankind, to help mankind, to serve divinity in humanity, to reveal God the Eternal Compassion, and to manifest God the Eternal Concern on earth, here and now.
Many years ago, an eminent Indian scientist, P. C. Ray, was then a student at Edinburgh. So he was here in Scotland. He completed his studies here and went back to Bengal, India and offered his knowledge to his Indian brothers and sisters. Now, it happened that one day somebody asked him how many children he had. He took out from his pocket a list of his children. Can you guess how many children he had? He had only 73 children, in spite of the fact that he was a bachelor in the purest sense of the term! Then he said to them, “Look, these are my children — 73 brilliant students. These are my true children and they have given me the opportunity to serve mankind and this is my duty. I am not married, but I consider them as my own children. I serve them and by serving these children of mine, I perform my highest duty.”
So, here I wish to say I am also in the same boat — unmarried. I have a few hundred spiritual children. Out of His Infinite Bounty, God has showered His choicest blessings upon my devoted head and my spiritual children give me abundant encouragement and opportunities. My spiritual children meet with all my needs when I move around the world. This is my service, dedicated service, and this is my bounden duty. Today, at this august university, I am offering my selfless service. This will be my penultimate talk. Tomorrow, my last talk will be at Conway Hall in London. My tour is coming to its end. I have been away from New York for about a month. I have spoken at Cambridge, Oxford and other universities. I have just come back from Switzerland, Wales and other places. Yesterday I was in Ireland and today I am here in Scotland. What am I doing? I am trying with utmost sincerity to be of service to the sincere seekers. Each individual has the capacity to be of service to others. Only God can help us and He always does. What we can do is to serve everybody here on earth. As a servant of God, each individual has the capacity to serve mankind. Service is our matchless duty.
Now, duty and reward from the spiritual point of view, go together. It is like the obverse and reverse of the same spiritual coin. Duty is man the aspiration and reward is God the realisation and God the liberation. Again, in reward is man’s eternal journey, ever-transcending journey, and in duty is God the ever-transforming, ever-manifesting, ever-fulfilling Reality here on earth, there in heaven.
“Aum. O Lord Supreme, Thou art my Mother. Thou art my Father. Thou art my Friend. Thou art my Comrade. Thou art the Knowledge Light. Thou art the Inner Wealth. Thou art my All...”When we realise this Truth, we fulfil all our duties. There can be no greater duty than to realise the Inner Pilot, Him to realise and Him to serve, Him to manifest on earth we saw the light of day.
AUM 739. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, 2 December 1970.↩
Now, each individual is sincere or has to be sincere. And at the same time, each individual can be wise, too. Along with sincerity, if we have wisdom, then we can fulfil our divine task sooner than otherwise.
So when we follow this path, we feel that the thing we constantly require is love. Love, Fulfilment and God always go together. God will never be satisfied with something incomplete, unrealised, unfulfilled and unmanifested. He wants from us realisation, revelation, manifestation and perfection. If these things are not done in this lifetime, then we shall have to take many more incarnations. But God will never allow anybody to remain unrealised and unfulfilled. Today it is time for you to realise God. Tomorrow it will be the time for your friend to realise God. The day after tomorrow it will be the time for somebody else to realise God. There is an hour which we call “God’s Chosen Hour”. At God’s Chosen Hour all will realise God. All are bound to.
Suppose I want to go to a place and my destination is 300 miles away. I can reach my destination either by walking or by flying. Undoubtedly, I shall reach my destination infinitely faster if I fly in a jet plane. Similarly, if we use the aspiring heart and not the doubting mind, we shall reach our goal much faster. Our heart is all love. Our mind is quite often all confusion. Our heart is strikingly significant and important because inside the heart is the living presence of the soul. True, the consciousness of the soul permeates the entire body, but the actual location of the soul is inside the heart.
The soul has everything — Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. Now, from the soul we get these divine qualities inside the heart. From the heart, again, we can bring them to the mind, to the vital and to the physical proper.
Our path is the path of the heart and inside the heart we see nothing but Love. When we say our heart, we mean our spiritual heart, which is flooded with divine love.
Whenever we think of God, we think of Him as something divine, vast and boundless. We think of God as the Omniscient, as the Omnipotent. These are our feelings about God, our conceptions of God. But when we go deep within, we come to realise that God the Omniscient and God the Omnipotent do not entirely satisfy us. God is Omniscient. So what? Somebody has more vision than I have. That does not mean that my life is totally doomed with disappointment. Somebody is stronger than I. So what? His strength must not torture my heart. He has his own capacity. I have my own. His capacity far surpasses mine. Nevertheless I shall stay with my own capacity. I shall reach my goal according to my capacity at God’s choice hour.
Now, apart from having omniscience and omnipotence, God has a quality which transcends all His other divine qualities. And this quality is Love. Love is a divine magnet. It always pulls us.
Mother has love. The child runs towards the mother. The child has love. The mother runs towards the child. Love is the magnetic pull between the child and the mother. Similarly, God pulls us with His magnetic Love and we pull God with our magnetic love.
We think of God, pray to God and meditate on God because we need fulfilment, we need the feeling of inseparable oneness. And it is only God's Love that gives us fulfilment and the feeling of inseparable oneness. Again, inside Love all other divine qualities, such as Peace, Light and Bliss grow. Love is the strongest force. That is why inside Love everything can grow.
We feel that our path is easier, more effective in this sense: here we don’t have to read millions of books to know what the Truth is. Here we don’t have to exercise our mind day in and day out to know what the Truth looks like. No. Truth is inside us. It is crying to come to the fore. But unfortunately, we have kept the door shut and we are not allowing the Truth to come out. Now, how can we bring the Truth out of its prison cell? Again, I have to say it is through Love. Love for whom? Love for God. And who is God? It is the highest illumined part in us. God is not something else. God is not somebody else.
I have a head and two feet. Let us say, my feet are in ignorance and my head is above ignorance. My head represents the highest in me and my feet represent the lowest in me. I know that the highest and the lowest are mine. The lowest has to enter into the highest in order to be transformed and fulfilled.
In our path, the sense of identification is absolutely necessary. The highest has to feel his total oneness with the lowest. The lowest has to feel his total oneness with the highest. Needless to say that the highest always feels his oneness with the lowest. It is the lowest that finds it extremely difficult to be one with the highest because of his fear, doubt, jealousy and so forth.
The possessor of light is not afraid of entering into darkness because he knows that as soon as he enters into the darkness, he will be able to illumine it. Now, in this room there was no light before. I come now with a bright lamp. Immediately the room will be lit. Likewise, in the spiritual life, when we have inner light, we are not afraid of outer darkness. We know that we shall be able to transform and illumine it. You will be happy to learn that it is darkness that is always afraid of light. When the light comes in, the thief in you will be caught red-handed. A man of darkness fears, “Oh, I will be exposed. I have done many things wrong. I have told many lies. I have cheated so many people. I have misbehaved hundreds of times. The best thing for me is to hide." Unfortunately, a man of darkness does not understand that the light comes in only to illumine his age-long darkness.
So this is what is happening in the modern world. In spite of the fact that men need light, they are afraid of light. They think that they will be exposed. But, no. That is not the thing that you can expect from light. Light comes to illumine and transform us. Again, where is this light? In the mind? Never. It is in the soul. The little light that we see in the mind can never guide us to our destined goal. The goal is very far and to reach that goal we need abundant light. The mind's light is no better than a candle light. The storm of doubt can easily blow it out. Then, again, we fall into the same darkness. We become beggars, spiritual beggars.
But here inside the heart we have the soul. The soul has an endless and continuous flow of light. It neither ends nor stops. You will always be able to use it. You can never run short of it. God will not tolerate the doubting, suspecting and unaspiring mind for good. The soul will bring light to the mind through the heart and transform the mind at God’s choice hour.
I wish to come back to our path — the path of the heart, the path of love. When we really love someone, we give him all that we have and all that we are. God really loves us. That is why He is more than ready to give us His infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. Unfortunately, we do not have the power of receptivity. That is why we fail God. What is worse is our suspicion. We suspect ourselves: “We never prayed to God. We never thought of Him. We did so many things wrong. Why should He come to us?” Human beings judge God in a human way, but God, being the Divine, His ways are totally different from ours.
In the spiritual life, when we meditate, the first thing we do is conquer doubt. If I doubt myself, who will be the loser? I will be the loser. If I doubt you, who will be the loser? I will be the loser. God has all divine qualities in boundless measure. If I doubt God, God is not going to lose anything. He will remain with His own divine infinite Peace, Light, Bliss and Power. It is I who won’t get anything from God. Further, if I say that I am not meant for God, I am not meant for God-realisation, then it is I who am not getting what God wants to give me. But, if I have real love for God, like a child for his mother, He will do everything for me cheerfully and unreservedly.
Our path is the path of acceptance. We have to accept the world. If we enter into the Himalayan caves or sit on the mountain tops, or dive deep into the blue vast ocean and cry for our personal achievement and satisfaction, then we are not going to do anything for the world.
It will be like this — I shall eat food to my heart’s content and let my brothers remain unfed, let them starve. That is not good. If I am a real human being, I have to see that my brothers also must eat along with me. If we eat together, then only we shall get real satisfaction.
Similarly, in the spiritual life, real Spiritual Masters feel that is their bounden duty to eat in front of humanity and share the food with humanity. Naturally, all will eat spiritual food. Now, if humanity as a whole does not want to eat as it should, then what can this Spiritual Master do? But, if there are a few sincerely hungry, the Spiritual Master tells them, “The meal is ready. Let us eat together.”
In our path of acceptance we have to know that the earth is far from perfection. Unless we accept the earth-consciousness, how are we going to perfect it? If someone has some pain, I have to massage him. Then only his pain will go. Similarly, earth is defective at a particular place. I have to touch it with my aspiration and concern. Then only I can transform it. If I really love mankind, then I have to be with mankind and for that again, what I need is love. As long as the earth consciousness is not fully realised, I will try to remain with my inner consciousness on earth to be of service to mankind.To conclude, our path of love is the path of inseparable oneness. On the strength of our love, we dare say that God is ours. On the strength of God's love, God claims us as His very own.
AUM 740. A talk given to members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, London 21 November 1970.↩
Spirituality is aspiration. Spirituality is yoga. When we come to know what we can expect from aspiration and what we can expect from yoga, world peace will no longer remain a far cry. Aspiration is an aspirant’s conscious longing for the deeper Reality. Yoga is a seeker’s conscious oneness with God.
Aspiration leads man to God-consciousness. Yoga offers God-consciousness to man. Aspiration takes man back to the Source. Yoga inundates the consciousness of man with Light, Peace, Bliss and Power of the Beyond.
Why do we aspire? We aspire because we love God and want to be loved by God. Why do we practise yoga? We practise yoga in order to feel consciously that God is our very own. Further, we practise yoga because we feel our Fulfilment here on earth can take place only when we have revealed and manifested God’s Divinity and Reality on earth.
When we aspire we go far beyond the domain of the physical mind and sit at the Feet of God the Light. When we practise yoga we dive deep within and there we see God and talk to Him face to face.
He who has no aspiration can never free himself from stark ignorance and he who does not practise yoga can neither receive nor achieve boundless fulfilling Light.
Here on earth we have two major instruments: one is the mind, the other is the heart. Now very often the mind that we use is the doubtful mind and the heart we use is the fearful heart. Now the doubtful mind can never, never aspire and the fearful heart can never practise yoga.
True aspiration and teeming human limitations can never go together. True yoga and the life of unlit pleasure cannot go together. Constant aspiration and all-fulfilling Divinity can and must go together. The highest type of yoga, which is the conscious surrender to God’s Will and the Life of God always go together.
Aspiration tells man that he will be able to see the Truth of the Beyond. Yoga goes one step ahead. Yoga tells man that the Truth of the Beyond is inside him, within him.
Finally God comes and God tells: “My child, you are the Truth of the Beyond. You are My Beyond.”
Spirituality is the Fount of world peace. How can spirituality be the Fount of world peace? Spirituality is the Fount of world peace, spirituality is the fulfilment of all responsibilities because Divinity is the birthright of spirituality. When an individual touches the foot of a tree, his consciousness enters into the tree, into the branches, into the leaves, into the fruits, into the flowers. Now who is the tree? God and the leaves, fruits, branches, flowers are human beings. So when you touch the feet of God your very consciousness enters into the infinite beings and His universal Consciousness.
Now each individual has a way of defining peace. A child finds peace when he starts screaming and shouting in the street. That is his peace. In his fulfilment is his peace. When he is out in the street shouting and screaming, there he finds his real peace.
A grown-up person finds his peace is somewhere else. His peace is when he feels that he can lord it over the world.
An old man in the evening of his life thinks that he will get peace if the world recognises his greatness, or Mother Earth her gratitude to him. He feels that he has done so much for humanity and the Mother Earth. He expects something in return. If his expectation is fulfilled then only he will have peace.
Now, peace can never dawn on any individual if it is not properly sought. The child, by shouting, screaming and playing in the street cannot get true peace. He will soon realise frustration in his so-called fulfilment. He will come home, he will pray to God for a calm and quiet life. Then he will have peace.
If a grown-up person wants to have peace, real peace, then he has to realise that not by possessing the world, not by governing the world, will he have peace. But it is by offering to the world at large what he has and what he is, consciously and unreservedly, that he will have peace.
Now the old man who will soon pass behind the curtain of eternity will have peace only if he cherishes the idea that he is not a beggar, he is a king. He was a king, he still is a king. He has offered his outer wealth, his inner wealth to mankind and the Mother Earth. If he doesn’t expect anything in the evening of his life from the world, then his inner consciousness and outer being will be flooded with peace.
Peace, world peace, begins when the so-called human expectation ends. Human expectation in a human way has to come to an end if world peace is to be achieved. World peace can dawn only when each individual realises the supreme Truth:
“Love is the revelation of Life
Life is the manifestation of Love“
Here world peace can come into existence when each individual nation can consciously feel that the other human beings, the other nations, need not depend on her. No nation is indispensable. Again if one nation helps another, or other nations, devotedly and unconditionally, then the world will be inundated with fulfilling peace.
Responsibility. Spirituality is the fulfilment of all responsibility. To love the world is our responsibility. To please the world is our responsibility. We have teeming responsibilities. But, when we think of the world, unfortunately we do not think in a divine way or a proper way. The world immediately misunderstands us and we find it impossible to have an inner connection with the world. In spite of her best intention the mother finds it difficult to please the son. The mother thinks of the son in her own way. The son understands the mother in his own way. Owing to a serious misunderstanding neither the mother nor the son get any joy in fulfilling their mutual responsibilities.
We love the world, we have to love the world; it is our responsibility. When we love the world, when we want to fulfil our responsibility, what happens? We try to possess the world and bind the world and, while we are binding, we see that we have already been bound and possessed by the world. Needless to say, splendid was our responsibility’s fulfilling opportunity. But we have badly misused it.
We want to please the world but how can we please the world when we ourselves are not pleased with our lives. When we are not pleased with our inner existence, our outer existence, it is sheer absurdity on the face of it to please others. God has given us a big mouth, we try to please others with our mouth, but inside the heart there is a barren desert. Since we have no aspiration, how can we offer peace, joy and love? How can we offer anything divine when we don’t practise what we preach? Spirituality offers us the capacity to practise what we preach. If we don't follow the path of spirituality we shall only preach. It will be a one-sided game but, if we really practise yoga, then we shall also live the truth. Preaching will bear fruit only when it is practised.
Now, how can we fulfil all our responsibilities? We have tried in all human ways: but we have failed. We think of the world with good thoughts and ideas but the world remains exactly the same as it was yesterday. We love the world, but the world still remains full of cruelty, hatred and so forth. We try to please the world, but the world doesn’t want to be pleased. It has, as it were, taken a vow that it won’t be pleased. Why? Because we have not pleased the One, our inner Pilot, whom we have to please first. Unless and until we have pleased the inner Pilot the world will remain always a battlefield where the soldiers such as fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, imperfections, limitations, bondage, will fight. And we consciously or unconsciously play with these undivine soldiers. Fear, doubt, anxiety, worry and animal propensities can never offer us peace, world peace.Again, deep within us divinity is crying to come to the fore. There the divine soldiers are our simplicity, sincerity, purity, humility and the feeling of oneness. These soldiers are more than ready and eager to fight with fear, doubt, anxiety and worry. Unfortunately we are not consciously identifying ourselves with the divine soldiers, we are consciously or unconsciously identifying ourselves with the undivine soldiers and that is why world peace is still a far cry. World peace can be achieved, revealed, offered and manifested on earth when the divine Power of Love replaces the undivine love of power.
AUM 741. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, on 1 July 1971.↩
The human teacher shows you how to read.
The teacher divine sleeplessly reads for you.
The other opens your soul to the sky-vast blue.
The Guru is He who shows the Way;
His body is Grace in the realm of night.
None can undo its Power.
They alone can hug God’s Hour.
Precious beyond measure is man’s love,
Precious beyond measure is God’s gift:
My heart is in charge of my soaring feelings.
My vital is in charge of my flowing energy.
From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol. 7, No. 1, 27 Aug. 1971, AUM Centre Press, 1971
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