AUM — Vol. 8, No. 4, November 1972

"Flame-Waves From The Upanishad-Sea"

AUM 897-910. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. On the 18th February 1972.



Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ

tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ

bhárgo devásya dhīmahi

dhíyo yó naḥ prachodáyāt


“We meditate on the transcendental glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of the heaven. May He stimulate and illumine our mind."


Illumination needed, here is the answer. Transcendental illumination transforms the animal in us, liberates the human in us and manifests the Divine in us.



pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaḿ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate

pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate


“Infinity is that.

Infinity is this.

From Infinity, Infinity has come into existence.

From Infinity, when Infinity is taken away, Infinity remains.”


Infinity is the concealed Breath of the Pilot Supreme.

Infinity is the revealed Life of the Supreme’s Boat. Infinity is the fulfilled Body of the Goal Supreme.



Asato mā sad gamaya

tamaso mā jyotir gamaya

mṛtyor māmṛtaṁ gamaya


“Lead me from the unreal to the Real.

Lead me from darkness to Light.

Lead me from death to Immortality.”


The unreal in us desires the pleasure-life of the finite. The Real in us aspires for the God-Life of the Infinite.

Darkness is the discoverer of the doubting and frustrated mind. Light is the discoverer of the aspiring and dedicated heart.

Death, where is the cat? Miaouing nowhere. Immortality, where is the lion? Roaring all-where.



Aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān

ātmāsya jantor nihito guhāyām


“Smaller than the smallest life, larger than the infinite vast, the soul breathes in the secret heart of man.”


The soul is God’s eternal child and man’s great-grandfather.

As God’s eternal child the soul unceasingly plays. As man’s eternal grandfather the soul perpetually enjoys rest.



Vedāham etaṃ puruṣaṃ mahāntam

ādityavarṇam tamasaḥ parastāt


“I have known this Great Being, effulgent as the sun, beyond the boundaries of tenebrous gloom.”


Before our realisation this Great Being quenched our heart’s thirst.

After our realisation we feed the soul’s hunger of this Great Being.



Satyam eva jayate


“Truth alone triumphs."


Truth is God’s Crown offered to God by God Himself.

Truth realised, God is forever caught.



Devebhyaḥ kam āvṛṇīta mṛtyuṃ

prajāyai kam amṛtaṃ nāvṛṇīta


“For the sake of the Gods, he (Brihaspati) chose death.

He chose not Immortality for the sake of man.”


He (Brihaspati) houses the flowing life of the Gods and treasures the glowing love of man.



Uru ṇas tanve tan

uru kṣayāya nas kṛdhi

uru ṇo yaṃdhi jīvase


“For our body give us freedom.

For our dwelling give us freedom.

For our life give us freedom.”


God’s Compassion is the freedom of our body.

God’s Concern is the freedom of our dwelling. God’s Love is the freedom of our life.



Agnir jyotir jyotir agnir

Indro jyotir jyotir indraḥ

Sūrye jyotir jyotiḥ sūryaḥ


“Agni is Light and the Light is Agni.

Indra is Light and the Light is Indra.

Surya is Light and the Light is Surya.”


Light is Love revealed.

Light is Life manifested. Light is God fulfilled.



Ᾱnandāddhyeva khalvimāni bhūtāni jāyante

ānandena jātāni jīvanti

ānandaṃ prayantyabhisaṃviśanti


“From Delight we all came into existence.

In Delight we grow.

At the end of our journey’s close, into Delight we retire.”


God has written an open letter to His human children. His letter runs: “My sweet children, you are the only delight of My universal Existence.”



Hiraṇmayena pātreṇa satyasyāpihitaṃ mukham

tat tvaṃ pūṣan apāvṛṇu satyadharmāya dṛṣṭaye


“The Face of Truth is covered with a brilliant golden orb.

Remove it, O Sun, so that I who am devoted to the Truth may behold the Truth.”


The Face of Truth awakens us.

The Eye of Truth feeds us. The Heart of Truth builds us.



Saha nāvavatu saha nau bhunaktu

saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai


“May He protect us together.

May He own us together.

May He make unto us vigour and virility.

Aum. Peace. Peace. Peace.”


God, Guru and the disciple:

God is Compassion and Protection;

Guru is Concern,

The disciple is dedication. When these three work together, perfect perfection shines and it will shine through eternity.



Yenāhaṃ nāmṛtā syāṃ

kim ahaṃ tena kuryām


"What shall I do with the things that cannot make me immortal?"


God is eternally proud of man because he embodies God’s Immortality.



Madhuman me parāyaṇam

madhumat punarāyaṇam


“Sweet may my departure from home be.

Sweet may my return be.”


My sweet departure from my eternal home has made me feel how brave I am.

My sweet return to my eternal home shall make me feel how fortunate I am.



Each aspirant has to know one thing and feel one thing.

He has to know that he is evolving into the divine.

He has to feel that he is an embodiment of God.


Desireless action is the sure means to reach God’s Highest Perfection. Devoted surrender is the sure means to reach God, the Perfect Perfection.


Our inner cry is the receiver of God, the Love. Our outer smile is the giver of God, as Love.


My morning is the smile of time.

My noon is the length of patience.

Me evening is the crown of perseverance.

The miser

There was once a rich man. He was very, very rich, but you cannot imagine how miserly he was. He had hundreds of thousands of dollars, but for him to spend one penny was extremely difficult. Although he did not have the capacity to be continent, he thought that if he got married, his wife would have to have at least a little of his money. He therefore remained a bachelor all his life, since he did not want to share his money with anyone.

This poor rich miser had no friends, no relatives. He had only a servant to do his cleaning and cooking while he carried on the business of amassing a fortune. This apparent luxury was an unavoidable necessity to him. He could not do without a servant.

When this miser became old, one day he fell sick. He said to his servant, “All my life I have advised you; now I need your advice. Tell me what I should do. If I go to a doctor, the doctor will ask for a fee. But everybody knows that I am very rich. If I don’t go, people will speak ill of me. People will say, ‘Look at this foolish man. He is sick and still he won’t go to a doctor.’ Now what am I to do? If I go to the doctor I will have to pay him his fee. I don’t want to waste any money. What do you think? Do you think that I will die from this kind of sickness?”

“Forgive me to say,” answered the servant, “but there is some possibility that you may die.”

At first the rich man got annoyed at this. Then he said, “All right. I have an excellent idea. Go to the undertaker and ask him how much money he will need when I die. Then go to a doctor and find out how much it will cost to treat me.”

So the servant went to the undertaker, who told him that his lowest fee was fifteen dollars. The doctor said that his minimum fee was twenty dollars. When the servant told this to his master, the master said, “In that case, the best thing is for me to go to the undertaker. It is too expensive to take a cure. I won’t spend five dollars extra just to go to a doctor.”

The old miser would not spend the extra five dollars to cure his illness and he soon died. Then the servant paid fifteen dollars to the undertaker and since his master had made no will and had no family to claim his money, all the rest of it — thousands and thousands of dollars — went to the servant.

Spiritual comments

Of course the miser was a fool. His attachment to his money became such an obsession at the end of his life that he preferred to die rather than part with any of it, not thinking that once he was dead, it was all gone from him effectually. If he had had any sense, all the money that he had amassed he would have given to some charity or religious organisation. But he never thought of giving it at all. He only wanted to save and hoard and grasp. Why did he want to save money? In order to hear people saying how rich he was.

But what would have happened if he had given the money to some worthy cause? His name would have become immortal. Instead, he kept all his money and in the end the servant got it all. For him it is like a dream. All of a sudden he has become a millionaire. He will spend this money. Everyone will exploit him. It will go to people who are not at all spiritual. It will go from one materialist to another materialist and it will all be wasted.

The miser wanted to be the richest man. He wanted to be very, very rich and God made him rich. But if he had had a bit of generosity, a bit of spirituality, even a little brains, he could have made himself immortal by giving or just by willing his money to the right people. But he did not have that capacity. His life was all stupid selfishness.

In this world we have to use our brains. We have to see what we want and then we have to know how we can immortalise it. In spite of our stupidity, our stubborn qualities, all our silly emotions, we do make money. And why do we want money? In order to hear from people that we are rich. If we had a little intelligence we would want something permanent. Today if we are rich, tomorrow we may be poor. But if our wealth goes to a good cause and is used for a good purpose, then even if we become poor, even if we die, our name and fame will remain on earth.

In the spiritual life we always have to use our wisdom. What will make us immortal is our inner Light, inner Wisdom. And only the thing that will make us immortal will make us rich. Money will come and money will go. But when we have Light, Peace, something divine, then will we be eternally rich.

You are worse than a ghost

Once the King grabbed his minister and said, "Now let me see how much strength you have. Can you release yourself? Can you escape from my grip?”

The minister did not try by force to come out of his embrace, he simply started repeating the name, "Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama.”

The King said, "What is this? By repeating 'Rama, Rama, Rama,’ do you think that you will be able to release yourself and escape? I have caught you so tightly. ‘Rama’ will never release you. You fool! Exercise your power to come out of my grip.”

The minister simply said, "You know that even when one is haunted by a ghost, when one repeats Rama’s name the ghost leaves the body. It seems that you are worse than a ghost.”

The King said, "No, no, no. I don’t want to be worse than a ghost!” and he immediately released the minister, who laughed and laughed.

Spiritual comments

What do we learn from this story? We learn to look at the power of chanting ‘Rama.’ Two days ago a disciple in our Jamaica, West Indies Centre, a very close disciple, was in his office. Three men came in to rob him — two with guns and one with a big knife. They just came in and pointed the two guns at him. His son, his daughter and his wife — the whole family — are my devoted disciples. And what did he say when this happened? “Supreme, Supreme, Supreme.” The thieves mocked him, saying, “Supreme, Supreme, Supreme! What do you mean by ‘Supreme?’” But he just kept repeating, “Supreme, Supreme, Supreme.” Then what did they do? They opened up a drawer, took twenty dollars and with twenty dollars they went away. They didn't hurt him at all.

If he had not uttered ‘Supreme,’ what would have happened? When men come with guns and knives, that means that they are prepared to kill you. If he had used his own power to try to protect himself, they would have just shot him or stabbed him and gone away with the money. But I was actually there in Jamaica when this incident occurred. He was clearly seeing my face there when he was repeating ‘Supreme,’ so his whole consciousness was filled with my light and I happen to be connected with the Supreme.

The power of the name of the Supreme was superior to his own physical power. Similarly, in the story, the minister was chanting ‘Rama,’ which is the name of a great Avatar — an incarnation of the Supreme.

Always try to use the superior power when you are attacked. The superior power is prayer, invocation. Invoke the Supreme. That is the Supreme power. Otherwise, if somebody has caught you and you try to escape, you will use your power and he will use his power, which may be greater. But when you use the power of the Supreme, it is infinitely greater than any human power. He will see that you are doing something which is almost amusing to him, like uttering ‘Rama, Rama, Rama,’ He will think, “What can Rama do?” But you will actually alarm him; you will disarm him by doing this kind of thing. According to the outer eye it is something funny to say ‘Rama, Rama’ or ‘Supreme, Supreme’ when you are in danger. According to your attackers it is foolishness. They have come with physical power, with guns and knives, so they think that you will also use physical strength and they are prepared for that. But instead you are using a power which, according to them does not exist. You are saying the name of the Supreme and you are saying it with utmost sincerity and devotion and it is entering into the deepest source, which is all-powerful. They will be disarmed by your innocence and go away.

If you know how to approach the Highest, the Highest has such power that you will be protected. Always use the higher power, the power of invoking the Supreme. Then surely you will be released. If you use the same weapons that the hostile forces use, you will lose, because they have experience on their side.



Within, without the cosmos wide am I;

In joyful sweep I loose forth and draw back all.

A birthless deathless Spirit that moves and is still

Ever abides within to hear my call.

I who create on earth my joys and doles

To fulfil my matchless quest in all my play,

I veil my face of truth with golden hues

And see the serpent-night and python-day.

A consciousness of bliss I feel in each breath;

I am the self-amorous child of the Sun.

At will I break and build my symbol sheath

And freely enjoy the world's unshadowed fun. ```

The power of the magic stick

A theft was committed in the house of a rich man, but no one knew who the thief was. The man had five servants and one of them had definitely stolen something very expensive from the house, but nobody was sincere enough to confess and each one said he did not know who the thief was. It was impossible for the owner to accuse all five of his servants, for they were certainly not all in collusion. Finally the rich man asked the King’s minister, who was a very wise man, for his advice. The minister told the rich man to bring the five servants to his house the next day and he would be able to catch the real thief.

Next day the master brought the five servants to the minister.

The minister said, “I have five sticks. My master once taught me magic and I tell you all that these five sticks have magic in them. Now I am giving each one of you one stick. They are all the same length. Tomorrow morning each one has to bring his own stick back to me. Whoever has stolen from their master will see that his stick has grown an inch longer than all the others. Then you will be caught. You will not be able to deny your guilt. Tomorrow, when you bring the sticks back, whoever is the actual thief will have a stick one inch longer than the rest.”

Now, when they heard this, the four servants who were innocent were quite calm. But the guilty one was in a turmoil of fear and anxiety. “Since I am the thief,” he thought, “the magic will expose me.” Finally he decided that the best thing would be to cut his stick an inch short, so that when it grew an inch it would still be the same length as all the others.

Next morning, the five servants presented their sticks to the minister, who measured them against each other. “How is it that your stick is one inch shorter?” he asked the guilty servant.

“Shorter?” said the servant. “That is no problem. You said it had to be one inch longer to identify the thief.”

But the minister replied, “You fool, if the magic that I have inside this stick has the power to make it longer, it also has the power to make it shorter. You are caught.”

Spiritual comments

What do we learn? The sincere ones, even if they are accused, will eventually be freed, but the insincere ones, today or tomorrow, will be exposed. Some disciples bow down to me dramatically, but inside there is no love, no devotion, no surrender. Everyone thinks they are most devoted, but after a few months or a year or so, they disappear from my Centres. The sincere ones may bow or may not bow, but their sincerity will one day prove itself.

Insincere disciples will do all kinds of things. In the New York Centre they will bow down twenty times, or they will gaze at me until they get a glance, a little smile. They will go on and go on with this behaviour. But after a few months, when they see that I am not smiling at them, I am not even looking at them, they will leave the Centre. It has happened in many, many cases. The sincere disciples don't have to show off. Because of their sincerity, automatically one day they will get the best smile, the best love, affection and concern from me.

If people try to deceive me in their spiritual life, the same power that could make the minister’s stick taller could also make them shorter, so the power I have that can lift you up towards the highest Truth and bring forward all your divine qualities, can also expose your undivine qualities. Always be sincere and there will be no problems.

The blind always outnumber the men of sight

One day the King said to the minister, “Tell me, in this world are there more blind people or more people who have sight? Tell me, who outnumbers whom — the men with sight or the men without sight?”

The minister immediately answered, “The men without sight by far outnumber those with sight. There are many more blind people on earth than people with vision.”

“You have to prove it,” said the King.

“I can prove it,” said the minister.

“Then do it,” said the King.

The minister replied, “I shall prove it tomorrow.”

Every morning the minister was supposed to enter the palace at nine o'clock, but the following day, instead of going in as usual, he sat at the palace gate sewing something. He had a needle and thread and a piece of cloth and he was sewing like a girl. One by one, his colleagues — ministers and other officials — went by on their way in. “Hello, what are you doing? What are you doing here?” they all asked.

As soon as each person asked, “What are you doing?” the minister wrote his name down on a list. After a while, even the King came by, on his way in from his morning walk. “What are you doing out here?” he asked the minister. The minister just smiled and put the King’s name at the very top of his list.

Now the Prime Minister was a shrewd man. He always used to find fault with his ministers. When he came by, he said, "Why are you sitting out here sewing? You are a lazy fellow. It is high time for you to enter the palace. There is much work for you to do. Is this your job, this silly sewing? You are neglecting your real work.” The Prime Minister was the only one who actually mentioned what he was doing, while scolding him for neglecting his real duty. His was the only name that did not go on the minister’s list.

After an hour or so, the minister went to the King and said, “Now, your Majesty, I can prove to you that the blind people are more in number than the men with vision.”

“Tell me how you prove it,” said the King.

The minister said, “Here is the proof,” and he handed his list to the King.

The King saw his own name at the top of the list and said, “I am blind?”

“Yes,” said the minister.

“You are the King; you are the eye of the kingdom. The King sees everything and is the father of everything in his kingdom. You are the eye of this vast kingdom, but you are blind. When you saw me sewing in front of the palace this morning, you asked me what I was doing. I had a needle, I had thread, I had cloth and I was obviously sewing. But you and all the other people on this list asked me what I was doing. You see, I have all the ministers and other officials on the list. The only man with sight is the Prime Minister. He did not ask me what I was doing. He just scolded me and insulted me because I was neglecting my duties here.”

Spiritual comments

In the outer life what do we see? Each moment we see people doing things right or wrong. We see what they are doing and what do we do? If they are doing something wrong, by scolding them we cannot correct them. And if they are doing something right, we don’t have the capacity to appreciate them. When somebody does the wrong thing we just find fault with him. We don’t try to give him the necessary capacity to correct and perfect himself — far from it. And when he does the right thing we don’t have the capacity to appreciate, to admire, to increase his talent — far from it. Our jealousy will not allow us to appreciate him.

In the spiritual world we have to know who is blind and who is not blind. In the outer life we have seen that the blind people are more in number. In the spiritual world also we have to admit that blind people are infinitely more in number than people who have vision. Why? Blind people are those who are not crying inwardly, who are not aspiring. He who is not aspiring is blind in the inner world.

We know that there are millions and billions and trillions of people on earth who are not crying inwardly. Naturally, they are blind. There are only very few who have sight. In Puerto Rico how many millions of people are there? And how many people are in our Centre or in other spiritual places? Count them and you will hardly get one thousand people altogether. So in the spiritual world we see that blind people infinitely outnumber those with sight. And this is true not only here, but all over the world.

In the ordinary life, when we see a blind person, he is an object of pity. He cannot get along on his own; he has to depend on others. Others have to aid him with their own vision. In the spiritual life this is also the case. Those who are aspiring have to feel that they can offer light. As a blind man needs the help of a stick or somebody’s guiding hand in order to move around, so it is in the spiritual life when somebody is not aspiring consciously. The blind man may shout at his children or grandchildren, but they know that he depends on them and that they must help him. Unaspiring people may insult us, they may mock at us, they may do other undivine things, but we know it is our bounden duty to help them in whatever way we can. During our prayer and meditation when we get light, this light automatically spreads. Slowly, steadily, it enters into the unaspiring people. It may take time, but it is our light which will one day give them vision. Gradually our light will illumine them until at last they enter into the spiritual life consciously and devotedly.

Music section

Chants from the Vedas


Supreme Supreme Supreme

Guru Brahma

Guru Vishnu

Guru Deva Maheshwara

Guru Reva Param Brahma

Tasmai Sri Gurabe Namah


/Vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya/

/navāni gṛhṇāti naro 'parāṇi/

/tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny/

/anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī/

/nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi/

/nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ/

/na cainaṁ kledayanty āpo/

/na śoṣayati mārutaḥ/

From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol. 8, No. 4, November 1972, AUM Centre Press, 1972
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