AUM — Vol. 7, No. 3, 27 Oct. 1971

Sincerity pays1

A young boy named Satyakama came to a venerable sage named Gautama for initiation. In those days, in order to be initiated one had to be a Brahmin, a member of the highest caste. Most of the Brahmin sages would not accept, as a rule, any aspirants from the lower castes.

Gautama asked the boy, “What is your full name?”

“My name is Satyakama. I do not know my family name.”

Gautama said, “My boy, go home, ask your mother and come back tomorrow. I have to know your full name; otherwise I cannot accept you as a disciple of mine.”

So Satyakama went back and asked his mother, “Mother, tell me, what is my family name?”

His mother said, "My child, I do not know your family name. I do not know who your father was. In my youth I used to work at various places and I had to mix with many people. There were many men. I do not know who your father was. But you can tell your teacher that your name is Satyakama Jabala. My name is Jabala, so you use my name as your family name. Satyakama Jabala.”

The following day the young boy went to his teacher and said, “My mother has told me that she does not know what my family name is. When she was young she used to work at various places and she does not know actually who my father was. Jabala is her name, my mother’s name. She asked me to tell you that my full name is Satyakama Jabala.”

The sage, Gautama, was overwhelmed with inner joy to see sincerity in its purest form. He said, “My child, I accept you as my dearest disciple. Your mother is sincere. You are sincere. I accept you. Now just bring me a little fuel and I will initiate you.” (In India this is our custom: the initiate brings dry wood and then only the teacher initiates him. He lights a fire and then initiation takes place.) So Gautama initiated Satyakama.

Now after Satyakama was initiated, Gautama gave him four hundred cows; they were weak, sickly, nearly dead cows. He said, “My boy, take these cows to the distant forest and take good care of them.”

Satyakama made an immediate vow to the Guru. “My Guru, I shall come back only when I can bring you a herd of one thousand.”

He went into the deep forest with his four hundred cows and started feeding them. Days ran into weeks, weeks into months, months into years.

One day the mightiest of the bulls came toward and said, “Have you forgotten your promise? You told your Master that you would return when you had one thousand cows. Now we are one thousand in number.” The God of the Wind, Vayu, had entered into that particular bull and had spoken in human language.

Satyakama counted the cows and there were actually one thousand.

Then the God of the Wind said, “I have something to offer you. I want to tell you something about Brahman, the Absolute. Brahman has four feet. I will tell you about one foot. East, West, North, South: these cardinal points constitute one foot of Brahman. Tomorrow the God of Fire, Agni, will tell you about the second foot of Brahman.”

The following day, when evening set in, Satyakama lighted a fire and started to meditate. From the fire a voice said, “I have come to teach you about the second foot of Brahman. Earth, air and water form the second foot of Brahman. Tomorrow you will know about the third foot from a swan.”

The following evening, while Satyakama was meditating on God, a swan appeared before him and said, “This fire that you have right in front of you and the setting sun and the moon and the lightning, these things form the third foot of Brahman. You will learn about the fourth foot from a loon.”

The following day a loon appeared and said to Satyakama, “I have come to teach you about the fourth foot of Brahman. Life energy, the mind and the senses, these constitute the fourth foot of Brahman.”

Satyakama had learned about the four feet of Brahman. He returned to his Master’s place with enormous joy, within and without. His face was shining with supernal joy. When he came in, Gautama asked, “My son, what makes you so happy? Your whole face is flooded with divine joy. What has happened to you? Has anybody instructed you?”

“Yes, my Lord,” he said and narrated the whole story about how the God of the Wind, the God of Fire, the Swan and the Loon came, one by one, to instruct him. Gautama was extremely pleased with Satyakama.

Then Satyakama said to Gautama, “Master, it is true that they have taught me, but you know that the scriptures say that unless you learn the truth from your Master, the truth is not complete. They came to me and I learned from them, but I know that my true realisation will come only from you. Only when you teach me will I have my realisation, not before.”

Gautama was exceedingly pleased with Satyakama. He said, “Liberation is granted. From now on enjoy freedom boundless.”

“It is absolutely true that truth is spoken by many. Truth is offered to an individual by many. But when the same truth is offered to the seeker by the Master, only then does it bear fruit.”

Look at Satyakama’s sincerity. First he was sincere about his father. He did not know whose son he was. Then he received lessons from other spiritual masters — let us call them masters — but he admitted this. Some disciples may not tell their masters, but they do go to other spiritual places and teachers. They do not tell because they feel that they will be exposed and others will look down upon them. That is why they hide this. But Satyakama’s sincerity was exemplary. He took lessons from them and he spoke to his Master about the wisdom that he had received. Finally, he knew the truth that only his Master could give him the real knowledge, the knowledge supreme. Who has the authority to do this? He who has realised the Truth has the authority. A thief can tell you not to steal; a liar can tell you not to tell lies. But when a thief asks you not to steal, he will not be able to inspire you. When a liar asks you not to tell lies, his words will never inspire you. But when a Master, one who has reached the highest, tells you to tell the truth and be honest, then immediately he inspires you with his inner power. He energises your inner strength. Not what is said, but who says it is of real importance. The Master has the capacity to make you do what the Supreme Lord wants you to do.

AUM 758. from the Chandogya Upanishad

Sacrifice offered divinity manifested2

There was a great sage named Yagnavalka. He had two wives: Maitreyi and Katyayani. In his ripe old age Yagnavalka wanted to enter into the forest and dedicate his life to Brahman, the Absolute.

Now Yagnavalka happened to be rich in the outer life as well as in the inner life. Although he was a sage of the highest magnitude, he was very rich because, in those days, the scholars used to have competitions. If one lost, immediately he had to give all his wealth and property to the winner. Since Yagnavalka always won, he had plenty of money and every other kind of wealth.

This wealth he wanted to divide into two halves; one half for his wife Katyayani and the other half for Maitreyi. Katyayani was extremely happy that she would have half of the property. Although she knew she would miss her husband when he entered into the forest to dedicate his life to God, she felt that since it was his life, he had to have freedom to do as he wanted.

When Yagnavalka approached his wife Maitreyi, he said, “I am leaving for the forest. I will spend the rest of my life there. Now I wish to divide my property into two halves. Tell me what you want - how many cows and what other wealth.”

Maitreyi said, “My Lord, tell me, if I get this wealth from you, will it help me in any way to realise God, the Brahman?”

“It is impossible. If you have wealth, it will help you to be a little comfortable in the earthly life. But spiritual happiness, God-realisation, it will not give you. You cannot get God-realisation from material wealth. It is impossible. Your earthly wealth may be multiplied into infinite wealth if it is God’s Will. But it will never bring you spiritual realisation, self-knowledge.”

“Of what use to me are things that will not bring me immortality?” voiced forth Maitreyi. “Yagnavalka, my Lord, I don’t want or need your earthly possessions. Take them. Tell me about Brahman.”

Yagnavalka was highly pleased with his wife Maitreyi and said, “I will teach you about Brahman. Remain on earth and listen to my divine advice. God is your dearest. No human being, nobody else, is your dearest.”

“The husband, should be dearest to his wife, not because he is the husband, but because the Self is inside the husband. The wife should be dearest to the husband, not because she is the wife, but because inside the wife is the Self. The son should be dearest to the parents, not because the son is their own creation, but because inside him is the living presence of God. Whomever you call your dearest must be dearest because inside him is the shining living presence of the Brahman. Brahman is everywhere. It is Brahman who is inside each creature, inside all creation. ”

“From now on if you can think or meditate on the dearest inside you, inside human beings, then you will be able to realise God while you are on the earthly plane. The dearest is deep within you. It is the living presence of God inside each individual that is the only dearest.”

Indeed, it was a woman whose heart pined for immortality’s skies on earth. It was a woman who had the loftiest aspiration: “Of what use to me are things that will not bring me immortality?” This is the most significant message which we get from Maitreyi. Immortality is the only thing that the seeker must cry for. Immortality does hot mean to stay on earth two hundred or four hundred or six hundred years. No, immortality means the transformation of human consciousness, finite consciousness, into the infinite consciousness, where the individual consciousness is in perfect tune with the Highest in life.

In India there are farmers and ordinary people who are enjoying the earthly existence for more than one hundred years, but they are in no way better than animals. There is no aspiration in them; there is only desire, or you could say ignorance, the reign of ignorance. Ignorance can never give us the real treasure. The real treasure is in our conscious oneness with God.

The Song of Immortality we can hear. Even in death we can hear this Song of Immortality. It is inside us, in our transformed and divinised consciousness and this consciousness we get only after self-realisation.

A spiritual Master leaves the body, but he remains consciously and inseparably one with the highest Absolute. Aspirants are trying to do the same. It is the conscious oneness, the inseparable oneness, eternal oneness, an unbroken chain of oneness with the Highest, which is called immortality in life.

AUM 759. from the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad

Life energy victory's crown is yours3

Competition is the order of the day; outer competition and inner competition. We are always fond of having competitions. But in a competition, there must be someone to lose and someone to win. In the outer world competition it is a daily affair. In the inner world, also, it is the same.

Once the human senses took part in a competition. The organ of speech, the eye, the ear, the mind, the organ of generation and the life energy were the competitors. They wanted to know for certain who was the most important among them — who was really the superior.

In order to discover this supremacy they went to Prajapati, the Creator. Prajapati said, “My children, it will be extremely easy to know which one of you is the most important. If one of you leaves the body and the rest can perform their functions satisfactorily, then that one can never be the most important. But if, in the absence of one, the others are all ineffective, then that organ is the greatest.

The competition began.

The organ of speech felt that it was most important. "If I leave the body, the body becomes speechless. Then there can be nothing. One can achieve nothing.” So the organ of speech left the body and stayed away for a year.

After a year it came back. To its surprise, the other members of the family were doing quite well. The eye was functioning well, the ear, the mind, the organ of generation and the life energy. The organ of speech saw that it was not at all essential to the body. There are many who are mute. They cannot speak, but they can see, they can hear, they can do everything else. So this competitor lost the game.

Then came the eye. The eye thought, "If I do not function, then the person will be blind. The world is meant for seeing. If I don’t function, then one can see nothing and if one does not see when the rest of the world is all light, the other members of the family will be ineffective and useless.” So the eye left the body and stayed away for a year.

On its return, to its wide surprise, it saw that the ear, the mouth, the mind and others were in perfect order. Its absence did not affect them. A blind person can easily stay on earth. He can live among us and be perfectly happy, because his other senses in fact become even sharper.

Then the ear claimed its turn. The ear felt that if it did not hear, then there was no use for the body to stay on earth. “The world has much to offer and it is I who receive all the messages. When I play my role satisfactorily, the body feels that only then is it worthwhile to stay on earth.” The ear thought that it would be successful, so it left the body and stayed away for a year.

Again, on its return, the ear saw that the body could easily last without it. There are many deaf people on earth. One does not have to hear in order to stay on earth. A deaf person can easily stay on earth and be satisfied with his other organs.

The mind then came to the fore. The mind thought, “If I don’t function then the whole world will be only a playground of stupidity and foolishness. Let me leave the body.” The mind left and stayed away for a year.

When it returned, the mind was totally disappointed. It saw that nobody had missed it and it felt miserable that it had lost the game.

Now was the turn of the organ of generation or procreation. It said, “Oh, if I do not exist then there can be no further creation, no further joy.” So the organ of generation left the body and stayed away for a year.

When it came back, it saw that there are many, many impotent people on earth and that God’s creation is unimaginably vast. God’s Creation can easily have boundless joy in its absence. The organ of generation also had to accept defeat.

Finally came the life energy. The moment the life energy was about to leave the body, all the other members cried out, “Oh, don’t leave us! Don’t leave us! We shall be helpless without you. We shall all be ineffective without you. Without you, none of us can exist for a fraction of a second. Yours is our life-breath. Victory’s crown is yours."

From the spiritual point of view, what do we learn? When we meditate, we have to discriminate. What are we meditating on? What is most important in our life? In order to realise God, what is most important? Eye? No. Ear? No. Mind? No. It is the life energy that is most important. If we do not exist on earth, if we do not live here on earth, then we cannot realise God. We have to live on earth and while we are alive, if we have inner aspiration, then only can we realise God. Life energy is of paramount importance. Here on earth, he who lacks life energy dies and when he dies he will be in other worlds. There he may take rest, he may enjoy, but he cannot attain God-realisation. Here on earth to realise God, life energy is of constant and supreme need.

AUM 760. from the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad

Right meditation4

There was once a young boy named Bhrigu, who was consumed with a desire to know about Brahman. Bhrigu’s father, whose name was Varuna, was a great sage. Bhrigu came to his father and said, “Father, please teach me about Brahman.”

The father did not want to give immediately the knowledge of Brahman to his son, because he wanted to stimulate his son’s real interest in the spiritual life. He only said, “Meditate, my son, meditate. If you meditate, then you will be able to know Brahman.”

Bhrigu tried to meditate, but the poor boy did not know anything about meditation. He said, “Give me some hints, Father, so that I can meditate.”

Varuna said, “He from whom all beings came into existence, in whom all beings live and finally, to whom they return after death is Brahman. Now you meditate and discover Brahman for yourself.”

Bhrigu practiced meditation. Then he came to realise: “Food is Brahman. From food we came into existence. It is food that sustains us and when we die, we become food for others. After death we enter into food. Food is the beginning, food is the middle and food is the end.” He started meditating on food, for he thought that that was real meditation on Brahman.

After some time he went to his father and told him about his discovery. Varuna said, “My son, you are a fool. Meditate, meditate. In meditation you will know all about Brahman.”

Bhrigu thought, “If food is not Brahman, then it must be primal energy. We have energy. Therefore we can create. It is primal energy that creates and sustains us. And at the end of our earthly journey we return to primal energy. So Bhrigu meditated on primal energy for some time and then went to his father.

His father said, “My son, you are wrong. Meditate, meditate. Meditation will tell you all about Brahman.”

Then Bhrigu started meditating on the mind. He thought, “It is the mind that creates and sustains all beings. It is into the mind that they enter after death. So the mind is Brahman.” He thought that he had discovered the truth and he said to Varuna, “The mind is Brahman.”

Varuna said, “My son, you are a fool. How can the mind be Brahman? Meditate, meditate.”

Again Bhrigu started meditating. After some time he thought, “It is not the mind, it is the intellect. Everybody has the mind, but how many people have the intellectual capacity? Very few.” He felt that intellect was the right thing, so he meditated on it.

With his new discovery Bhrigu went to his father, but Varuna still was not satisfied. He said, “My son, you are wrong. Again you are wrong. Go and meditate.”

This time, Bhrigu felt from within that it is delight that is Brahman. “If there is inner delight, then only we can create something. It is delight that sustains us. At the end of our journey’s close, we enter into delight.” Bhrigu meditated on delight.

At last Varuna was highly satisfied with his son Bhrigu’s discovery.

What do we learn from this story? Right meditation. If we meditate on the wrong thing, the meditation will not be fruitful. We have to meditate on the right thing. We have to meditate properly. That is why I always say that each individual should have a meditation of his own. He has to discover it either from within, or from his Master. In the case of my disciples, I have told them that if they do not get any specific meditation from me, no harm. If they can enter into my transcendental consciousness, then my consciousness will do the respective meditation for each individual. This is the opportunity I have given to my disciples. To some I have given specific meditations while to many I have not and cannot. But if a disciple enters into my transcendental consciousness with his love, devotion and surrender, then my highest consciousness is bound to direct him, inspire him and give him a specific way of meditation. Right meditation is of utmost importance. Only this right meditation can fulfil the life of aspiration. If you meditate in a wrong way you are digging a well at a place where there is no water at all. But if you meditate correctly, if you are taught properly by your Master, or if you get your meditation from within, from the inmost recesses of your heart, then only can you get a bumper crop of realisation in your spiritual life. Only then.

AUM 761. from the Taittiriya Upanishad

The flame of aspiration


The wings of any longings are undone,

All my desires are hushed.

The flame of aspiration shines —

Smiles now my heart abashed

To feel the Formless in Form divine,

To see nought save the One

That, neither male nor female, yet

Broods ever our Parent-sun. ```

My dying soul


Two running ears,

One howling tongue,

Two trembling knees,

One bleeding heart,

Two weeping eyes.

One struggling breath,

Two surrendering arms,

One dying soul. ```



Aspiration and realisation are reciprocal.

Realisation and manifestation are reciprocal.

Manifestation and divinisation are reciprocal.


True success is the only thing that you cannot have unless and until you have offered it to others.


Love quickens activity.

Devotion radiates humility.

Surrender multiplies proficiency.


Surrender to God’s Will is the highest realisation of our hidden power.

From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol. 7, No. 3, 27 Oct. 1971, AUM Centre Press, 1971
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