The Inner Hunger

Choosing a Guru

When you choose a Guru the mind has to stop. It is the heart that has to choose, and the heart means oneness. You want to be united with God; you don't want to scrutinise God. With your mind you scrutinise God; with your heart you love God and become one with Him. Once you find your Guru, it is like a tiny drop entering into the ocean. Immediately the divine love within you comes to the fore and you love that person for Eternity. Your whole inner being will be surcharged with light and delight. You will feel that today you have found an old friend, a real friend that you had lost and now have discovered again. When you find your Guru, you will feel that you have discovered an ancient, eternal friend.

Suppose there are five persons in front of you. Immediately you will feel that one person is drawing more of your attention, love and concern. That means you have an inner affinity with that person. So naturally, if you have to make a selection, you will select that person. You see thousands of people walking along the street, but when you see one particular individual, immediately you get joy because you have an inner affinity, an inner connection with that person. You may not know his name, you may not know where he lives or anything about him. But just because you have seen him, that is enough for you to get some joy. It is mutual inner affinity.

In the spiritual life also, if you have seen five Masters, the one that gives you the greatest joy is the one you will be drawn to. And then, if you go one step further and feel that you want to stay with this man all your life even if he does not give you realisation, then he is the right person. When you have that kind of love, when you feel that you don't need anything from him but you only want to be with him and serve him, then you can be sure that he is your Master.

The mother brings up the child, but she does not expect anything from him. The mother only wants the child to be happy. She does not say, "I brought you up for fifteen or twenty years: now you have to take care of me." Even when the child leaves his parents, the parents maintain the same love, the same affection, the same concern. Their love is unconditional. In the spiritual life also, when a seeker can offer that kind of unconditional love and surrender to someone, he can rest assured that he has found his own Master.

Seekers who are devoted to a Guru who is not in the physical sometimes ask whether it is necessary for them to find a living Guru. If the Guru is of a very high order and if the disciple has established a very deep connection with the Master and feels his presence all the time in his day-to-day life of aspiration, then he does not need another Guru. But if he has not established an inner connection with the Master during the Master's sojourn on earth, then it is not advisable for him to stick to that Master. If the seeker has not established an inner connection and if the Master is not of a very high order, then after the Master's passing it is advisable for the seeker to look for a new Master.

There is only one Guru and that is the Supreme. The Master is not the goal, but as long as he can show you the way to the goal, he will be of help. If somebody is an expert guide, then the road becomes a little bit easier. But the goal will not be denied a seeker even if his Master is not of the highest calibre.

As a seeker, you have to feel that you are at the foot of the Himalayas and the Master is at the top of the Himalayas. It is up to you how far you want to go, and there are many cases where the students eventually surpass the Master. When you were very young, your primary school teacher taught you. At that time it was necessary for you to study with him. If you had not studied in the primary school, you could not have gone on to high school and college. But once you have obtained your Master's degree and PhD, you will be able to teach your primary school teacher. Again, there are some teachers who have completed the university course and are able to teach all the classes right from kindergarten up to the highest course. But even if your teacher can only teach the elementary course, you will never be the loser. You will just go on to some other teacher if you feel that your original teacher will not be able to take you farther. And when you are on the verge of realisation, at that time you may feel that the Inner Pilot Himself is guiding you. If you cannot find a spiritual teacher or a Master for the last step, the Supreme Himself will guide you from within. Right from the beginning the Supreme will supply you with the primary school teacher, the high school teacher, and so on. He has to because, after all, it is His problem. It is His problem to take you to Him.

Recognising a realised Master

How can you know whether an individual is a realised soul? You have to go deep within to find the answer. If I say that I have realised God, you will say, "How do you know?" Then I will simply say, "I have tasted the fruit. I have eaten the mango and now I know what it is." Then you may ask, "Where is the proof?" The proof is that a realised soul can offer Light to hundreds of people; he has a heart that is flooded with Light and Delight. And who sees it? A true seeker sees it.

If one wants to know about medicine or understand what a doctor says, one has to be at least a nurse. One has to have at least a little knowledge about medicine. Now, if someone uses a medical term, I will be like a total stranger. I know nothing about medical science, but a nurse does know. In the spiritual life also, one has to be a truly sincere seeker to be able to tell whether a spiritual Master has realised God or not. One has to have some aspiration, one has to reach a certain standard of aspiration in order to get a glimpse of the reality that the spiritual Master embodies, reveals and manifests. One has to be a true and sincere seeker in order to see and feel whether the Master is genuine.

What do we expect from a spiritual Master who has realised the Highest? We want his peace and his love, the divine love that he can give to expand the consciousness of the individual soul and the collective soul. The spiritual Master has only one thing to offer and that is Light, which comes in the form of love or in the form of peace. These are the things that a spiritual Master can offer and does offer if he is a realised soul.

And then, when he meditates, he has the capacity to bring down Peace, Light and Bliss from above. During our meditation today I did bring down Peace, Light and Bliss and each of you received according to your individual capacity, according to your power of receptivity. Some of you have received a little, some of you have received much, while others perhaps have not received at all. Some of you came with sincere aspiration, while others came just to kill time. For those it is a sheer waste of time to be here. But when there is inner receptivity, undoubtedly one develops the capacity of outer recognition. At that time one can know whether a spiritual Master is a realised soul.

The Master's task

When the Master accepts someone as a disciple, that means the Master makes a solemn promise to the seeker's soul that he will take the seeker to God. At the time of initiation, the Master promises to the seeker, "Don't worry about your weakness, about your darkness, about your ignorance. I will take care of them. You just give them to me. From now on your limitations, your imperfections and bondage are all mine; I will take care of them."

The Master does not take away the disciple's individuality or personality. The Master only takes the disciple to God. A spiritual Master is only an elder brother to humanity; he takes his younger brothers to their common Father and then his role is over. Where is there a question of individuality and personality? The only thing is that if the seeker retains his individuality and personality, then he may not listen to or believe what his elder brother is telling him. The Master does not try to take away the seeker's individuality and personality; only he tells the disciple, "If you give it up, then you will be able to believe me, and so much the better for you."

A thief may tell you, "Don't steal, don't steal, it is very bad." A liar may tell you, "Don't tell a lie, don't tell a lie, it is very bad." But this doesn't give you any inspiration. True, you are not going to commit a theft and you are not going to tell a lie; but if you hear the same thing from a saintly person, a spiritual Master, then immediately you will get tremendous strength, tremendous energy and power within you. You will feel that in this life you will never tell a lie or do anything wrong, because when the Master tells you something, he injects tremendous will-power into you. He is not just saying something; there is tremendous power within his words. A liar may say the same thing, but when a spiritual Master tells you, "Do not enter into the life of falsehood," immediately you will feel tremendous inner power. And this inner power that he is bringing to the fore is your own power. In this way you can be inspired to lead a spiritual life by a great Master.

I wish to advise you to read books about spiritual Masters. If you want to read on Indian spirituality you can read the books that were written by Swami Vivekananda. Others have written on Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Aurobindo. If you read about the lives of the great Masters, you are bound to be inspired.

Self-giving and charity

I live in New York. What am I doing here in Italy? Here I have come with a message and I have tried to inspire quite a few seekers. When I give talks, at that time I try to inspire people. The inspiration that I offer is my dedicated service. Otherwise, I could have remained in New York peacefully; I didn't have to come to Italy. There are various ways to serve. You go out and help the religious people; that is your service, which is really good. And I go to universities and give talks all over the world. If you give what you have, then that is your service. If I give what I have, then that is my dedicated service. God does not expect me to give money, because I don't have money. But God has given me a little light and He wants me to spread it and offer it to His children, to my brothers and sisters. So that is my dedicated service. What I have, I give. Again, my theory is that we have to give only to those who need what we are offering. There are many people on earth who do not feel the need for our inspiration. If we try to help them, we will be misunderstood. Somebody is fast asleep. You shake him and say, "Get up, get up!" But he says, "Don't bother me." He is sleeping; he wants to enjoy his sleep. You think that you are doing him a favour by telling him to get up, but he is not ready. Because the time has not come for him, you become his enemy.

You want to help everyone. Suppose two persons come to you and ask you for a thousand lira. I ask you for a thousand and somebody else asks you for a thousand. You have the money and you want to show an act of charity; so you give me one thousand and you give him one thousand. With my thousand, I pay the bus conductor and go to a very nice church to pray and meditate. Previously I didn't have the money to go by bus; but you gave me the money, so I went to the church to pray. But the other fellow, when he gets the money, goes to a bar and drinks. Then he falls down in the bar. Now, who will be responsible? You see, you didn't have the vision. You gave him money and with your money he became more ignorant. If you had not given him the money, he would not have done this kind of undivine thing. You think, "Oh, whoever comes to me I should help." But you have only created more ignorance for this person. Since I used your money to go to church, you have done the right thing by giving me money.

So we feel that we should help only those who are ready to receive light and inspiration. Those who are not ready today will be ready some other day. Today we are ready, tomorrow they will be ready. But as long as they are not ready, if we want to help them, they will misunderstand us and misuse our help.

Now, when we give we have to know that there is a great difference between real self-offering and ordinary charity. Charity is a form of giving, but it is not completely self-giving. If you have ten dollars and give five pennies, then you feel you have done an act of charity. There is a great difference between charity and self-offering in the spiritual life. In self-offering, we try to give what we have, unconditionally. When we give something in charity, we feel that the world will come to know and will appreciate and admire us. We will say that we don't expect anything, but we wait like a beggar and inwardly we try to see who is appreciating us or acknowledging our gift.

In the spiritual life, it is not like that. What you have, you give to God or mankind. In self-giving you offer your entire being, whereas in charity you just give a portion of what you have and feel that it is more than enough. Total self-giving is found in the spiritual life when you have the capacity to identify yourself with something infinite. It is like giving your entire being - body, mind, heart and soul. What you have and what you are, you are giving to a divine cause.

The eternal friend

If an individual values my consciousness, my aspiration, my realisation, then that person is on my side. If you love me and value me for my own sake, whom are you really loving? Here you are loving not the body in me, not the vital in me, not the mind in me; you are loving the Supreme in me. A day will come when you will go deep within and see that it is not your husbands, not your wives, not your parents, not your intimate ones or the immediate members of your family who are your dear ones. Far from it. It is this Indian, and inside this Indian is the Supreme. Of course, this is true only for those who are my disciples, those who have accepted me as their very own and whom I have accepted as my very own. To my disciples I say: "You also have the Supreme inside you, but right now the Supreme in me is more manifested than the Supreme in you. It is the same Supreme, but the Supreme in me in the field of realisation and manifestation is one inch higher. So if the one who is one inch lower touches the one who is one inch higher, then immediately he will come up to a higher standard.”

When you dive deep within, you will see that when it is a matter of real love, real oneness, real friendship, it will always be your Guru who gives it. I am your eternal friend. When you go to Heaven — like me you will also go to Heaven — or if you go to some other place, there also you will see me. You will see me everywhere, no matter where you go, for I am your eternal friend. Here on earth if I have a friend I will try to please that friend in every way. On the spiritual plane also, your needs become my needs and I try to be of real service to you on many planes.

In this world sometimes people call us fanatics when we are fond of one person or one philosophy or one path. Again, those people value us, appreciate us and admire us when they see that we are following our own principles most faithfully and devotedly. My disciples keep pictures of me in their home. If a friend of yours enters into your room and sees there ten pictures of me, if he is in an ordinary consciousness he will say, "Oh, look at this fool. He is adoring one person." He may laugh at you, but after two years the same person will come to your house and see your face radiating and illumining him, and he will be miserable. Then his inner cry will make him feel that you keep so many pictures just because you want at every moment to see your Master's face. He will feel that you have all along wanted to be guided and moulded by your Master's Light because you feel that I have seen something, have realised something. That is why you also want to become like your Master, to follow him, to be a divine instrument like him and to grow into his likeness. You will see in two years' time that your friend's inner being will make him feel why you have been following your Master all along.

Recently someone asked me if he could keep a picture of me on his desk at the office. I said that if he obtained permission from his boss he could do it; otherwise it would only create problems for him. But even if his boss does not want him to keep my picture on his desk, he can easily keep it inside his desk drawer. You don't use medicine all the time. But when you are sick, when wrong forces enter into you, if something has happened so that your mind is not in a high plane of consciousness, immediately look at my picture. Yes, you can imagine that you are looking at my face, but it is easier just to look at my picture. That is like taking medicine. But if wrong forces are not inside you and if you take medicine all the time, then naturally you will only create disease for yourself. This was my answer to this particular disciple.

But this answer is from the medical point of view. If you people think of me as your best friend, as your eternal friend, you will always have my picture with you — not as medicine, but as an expression of your love; You will carry my picture in your wallet or in your purse, or you will use it in a ring, a locket or anywhere. When you carry my picture my ego is not flattered. I have realised the Truth, and if you carry my picture or do not carry my picture, I won't grow one inch higher or lower. Far from it! But if you do not carry your best friend with you, whom are you going to carry? When you had a boyfriend or a girlfriend while you were living an earthly life, you used to carry their picture. Now you have got a divine friend; will you not carry his picture? And if you keep a picture of mine in your purse or in your wallet, or if you carry with you some material gift that your Master has given you, then is it not like carrying your best friend inside you, with you? So dear ones, I am just saying that you can try to claim me, your Master, in every possible way.

Love-power and indifference-power

I have made the resolution that I will not scold anybody, but every day I fail in this resolution. When I scold and bark at you people, you have to know that it is not because I am in an undivine consciousness. No, it is my divine authority that I am using in order to perfect your inner and outer lives. It is my love-power that I am using. You can say, "Why don't you always speak to us softly, sweetly and politely?" I have done this many times, but sometimes it does not work. So then I have to use my divine authority; otherwise you people will never take me seriously. Love itself is force; but when love does not work, when compassion and concern do not work, they take another form and that form is force. This is not physical force but the soul's force. Sometimes it is the only way.

Spirituality is everywhere; it is inside us, it is around us. But when it is a matter of real inner manifestation, only a few individuals here on earth have it. I give my disciples the key so that at any moment they can come and open my inner door. Because they are my children there are so many openings, so many doors available to them, and they can come to the Supreme in me through any of these openings, any of these doors. Why should I give someone this key? I give it to him just because I have a little love for that person. But then, through either one window or another, the same person will throw bricks at me. Why? Because he feels I care more for others. He feels I haven't given him God-realisation or infinite Peace, Light and Bliss; I haven't fulfilled his desires. Many times an individual's demands are all vital desires which I cannot fulfil. "I cannot" means "I will not." This kind of disciple desires something from someone and feels that if I ask the person to fulfil this desire, then he will do so. But for me to do this kind of thing, to fulfil this kind of desire, is just like giving poison to that disciple. So these disciples become angry and inwardly strike me. I can handle them because I am the boss of the house. I can easily throw these people out of my house, but my compassion and concern do not allow me.

But after love fails, compassion fails, concern fails, as a last resort I use my indifference-power. After a disciple does something wrong, if I remain blind to his actions, that is my indifference. My indifference is like an atom bomb. If I do become indifferent to someone, that person should feel that his death blow has come in the spiritual life. You have to know that the person more than deserves it. Even then, for a few days I will feel miserable because I have promised the Supreme and the soul of that individual that I will take him as far as possible towards the Goal. But if the person delays his own progress, then what can the Master do? The Master knows that the child must eat, but the child wants to play. Some of my disciples, also, want to play with ignorance and they don't do the right thing; they don't pay the proper attention to the spiritual life. Then, when I become indifferent, my promise is delayed. When these disciples leave the Centre I am not the loser, but my promise to be of real help to their souls is delayed. But the Supreme will never blame me for delaying my promise because He knows that I was more than eager to help these disciples.

A talk to new disciples

My path is the path of love, devotion and surrender. If you can love God, the next thing is to devote your life to God. Then, if you devote yourself to God you will come to realise that you have to surrender to Him all that you have. What do you have? Ignorance. And what does God have? Compassion-Light, infinite Light. As a human being I am a meaningless, insignificant creature, but as a realised soul I am something. On the strength of my highest realisation of the Supreme, I am telling you that each human being has to feel that what he has and what he is is ignorance, a bundle of ignorance; and what God has and what God is is infinite Light. Just exchange your possessions for God's possessions. God is ready to exchange but human beings are not; this is the problem.

Everybody who is aspiring will realise God sooner or later — either in this life, in the next life or in a few incarnations. But if we follow a wrong path, then it will take us many, many incarnations to realise God. Nobody can compel an individual to come to this Centre, far from it. Even if I go to someone's place and beg him, "Please come, please come," he will just kick me. He will say, "What is this fool doing?" It is on your own that you have come here. I am most grateful to you just because you have felt something here that is drawing you like a magnet. You must be sure that in this Centre you are most welcome, and that my heart's door is always open to you.

If you accept this path it means that you are giving me the opportunity — or authority, should I say — to take responsibility for your inner life. If you consciously give me the opportunity and authority to take responsibility for your life, naturally I shall put you in my boat to carry you to the shores of the golden Beyond. This is my promise to you and to the Supreme.

If you are going to be my disciple, if you feel that this is the place for you, then there are a few things I would like to mention with your kind permission. The first thing I wish to tell you about is regularity. You can show your aspiration in your regularity. You don't have to give me any money, not even a cent. I will have nothing to say whether or not you want to give a love-offering. My only fee is aspiration. If you have no aspiration, I am really sorry. If you cannot come to the Centre regularly, I am really sorry.

Then if you want to live in God's world, if you want to follow my path, you have to be totally normal. When you enter into God's Consciousness you will see that He is very normal, very simple. It is we who are all complex and crooked. So please be normal.

I see some of you have the tendency to lead a hippie life. Many, many times in the past I have spoken about hippies, and I wish to make it very clear to you that I have nothing against hippies. Hippies are also God's children. I have come to love the world, not to destroy the world. I have come to love all. But one thing you have to know is what kind of life you want to live. We can never say that all hippies are bad. No, I have seen quite a few hippies who have genuine, sincere aspiration. Again, unfortunately there are many I have come across who don't want to aspire, who are very arrogant and stubborn, who want to break everything, crush everything; they want to destroy the world. With that type of hippie I cannot get any results spiritually. I have some disciples who were formerly hippies. Now they are totally transformed. They have told me that there was a time when they knew what hell was and now they know what Heaven is.

Men should please keep their hair short and not wear a beard or a moustache. Do not complicate your life. Also please feel the necessity of bathing. Please take a bath or proper shower at least once a day. Water signifies consciousness, purest consciousness. What happens when you bathe is that water immediately takes you to the purest consciousness within. If you don't take a bath at least once a day, then your spiritual consciousness will be diminished.

My path is the path of acceptance, not rejection. If you want to love the world because God is inside the world, if you really want the divine nectar which we call delight, Ananda, then you have to give up drugs. It is for your own good that I am telling you this. When you were ignorant, when you were a child of two or three, you used to eat mud, sand, clay and so forth. You didn't know any better, so your parents had to prevent you from eating it. But now, if somebody gives you a quantity of sand or mud, will you take it? No, because you have developed wisdom. You know that it will harm your system. In the spiritual life it is the same thing. When you are spiritually very young, your spiritual father, your Guru, prevents you from doing the wrong thing, from entering into the wrong path. Then, when you become a little advanced and enter into the deeper realms of spirituality, you will develop a little wisdom. There you will taste true delight, highest delight, transcendental Delight. Then you can make the comparison between that delight and the so-called joy you get from drugs.

I happen to be the spiritual leader of this Centre. My path, I am telling you, is very simple: love, devotion and surrender. If you really love with what I call divine love, then your consciousness will be expanded; but if you constantly indulge in all kinds of human love, emotional love and sex life, then you are only binding yourself. I am not telling you that you have to give up your lower vital life, your sex life, all at once. No, if you do that, it will only destroy your health, destroy your whole inner existence. You have to give it up slowly and steadily. But the day has to come, the divine day has to dawn when you will give it up completely. If you think that sex life and God-realisation go together, then I cannot help you. In that case I am helpless and hopeless, because that is not my realisation. Gradually you have to transcend your sex life because God-realisation and sex-indulgence can never go together.

It is like drinking tea; if you are now taking five cups of tea a day you have to minimise it. For four or five months take only four cups a day. Then, after five or ten months take only three cups a day. In that way you gradually give it up until finally you have no necessity for it. In the course of time — say five, ten, twenty or thirty years — you have to give up the lower vital life completely if you hope ever to realise God. If you don't want to realise God, if you just want to be satisfied with a few inner experiences, then I wish to say that without giving up sex life altogether you can have a few experiences. But for realisation, highest realisation, God-realisation, you have to give up sex. As I said before, that does not mean here and now, all at once. I will never expect that. Your aspiration will tell you when to give up lower vital movements.

I wish to tell you that God is not my monopoly; far from it. God is your Father, my Father, everybody's Father. If I had the aspiration to realise God, what prevents you from realising Him? In what way are you inferior to me? I have two ears, I have one nose, I have two eyes. I have two arms like you. Just because I cried from within I realised God. In your case also, if you cry from within you are bound to realise God. God is not my monopoly. Everybody can realise God; everybody is bound to realise God.

Dearest ones, you have come here and you have seen me, the so-called leader. But I wish to say that I am not the Guru: there is only one Guru and that is the Supreme. I am just an instrument, a conscious instrument of His; I am His representative on earth. When you come to me, your prayer and meditation enters into me and immediately I take it to the highest Supreme. It does not remain in me; it goes right up to the Supreme, the Highest. So if you feel that you are getting direct blessings from the highest Source, the Supreme, and that your prayer and meditation is going directly to the Highest, then you can understand the role that I am playing.

If you want to give me a chance, please give me the full chance. If you have faith in me, I shall not disappoint you, I shall not desert. But if you do not have faith in me, then please do not waste your precious time or my limited time. My time is limited in the outer world because I am dealing with earthbound time; the time that I am spending here with you I cannot spend elsewhere, so I am caught physically. But in the inner world I am dealing with eternal time for the disciples' realisation. In the inner world I can achieve and perform many things in different places at the same time. In the outer world I may be looking at your face with my physical eyes; I can't see anything but what is outwardly here. But with my third eye I can see and do many things.

I have the deepest love for all of you who have just started coming here. Again, I wish to say that if you cannot accept my path, there are many spiritual Masters in this vast world who will embrace you. God has not given me the capacity to deal with those of you who will consciously or deliberately ignore my teachings. I am not competent to accept you. But there are other teachers who will gladly accept you.

Whether you stay with me or go to some other teacher, I wish to say that my good wishes, my love and blessings will be forever with each of you whom I have seen today.

A true disciple

I have about nine hundred people whom I call disciples, but of these only fifty or sixty I can call my real disciples. I will not be one hundred percent responsible for all nine hundred, but only for those fifty or sixty who are my very own. And again, among these real disciples there are first-class, second-class, third-class, fourth-class, fifth-class disciples and so on. After that there are devotees, followers and admirers, or you can call them flatterers. It is with great pain I say this. There are spiritual Masters who have hundreds and thousands of disciples. If I wanted to have that many, in two months I could get them, but the Supreme does not want this. If I get forty real disciples or even four, or two or one, that is enough. And if I don't get even one real disciple, that will be my fate. What can I do?

If you are already a true disciple, you don't have to worry; but if you are not, then how can you become one? You have to know who comes first in your life: you or the Supreme. Needless to say, neither your parents nor your brothers and sisters nor any other members of your family can come first. Not only that, you yourself cannot come first. Only the Supreme comes first. If the Supreme comes first, you are one step ahead of many so-called aspiring people. Again, if you really feel that God is your dearest, inside your parents, inside your brothers and sisters, inside your wife and children you are bound to feel the presence of God. The wife has to feel that the husband is dearest precisely because God is inside the husband. The husband has to feel that the wife is dearest precisely because God abides in her, because God is the very breath of her life.

If anybody wants to be my true disciple, then that person has to feel the necessity of sacrifice. Again, I have said many times that from the spiritual point of view, there is no such thing as sacrifice. We don't make any real sacrifice; we only become aware of our own larger part. When I do something for you it is not my sacrifice. I know that you are part and parcel of my consciousness. In our everyday human life, we do use the term "sacrifice"; but in the spiritual life let us use it to mean: "I am consciously offering this moment to my Guru or to the Supreme in my spiritual father."

I wish to say that in order to be a real disciple, one has to prove everything in action. Proving in action does not mean that only on weekends you will come here and work most sincerely. No, action is taking place at every moment of each day. How you utilise each moment is significant. Each thought is itself an action.

A real disciple is my great pride. It is only a real disciple who will carry the banner of our mission. After I leave the body many will leave, many will get married and many will get divorced. Even now, while I am in the body, there are many who will soon leave me. I am most grateful to them because they don't want to add to my suffering. Again, there are many who stay with me just because their dearest ones love me more than them. With some couples, one individual feels that if he doesn't stay here, he will lose his other half; that is why he stays. It is not for me, not for spirituality, not for realisation that these people stay, no. And this is true not only with couples. Some members of a family will stay with me because they don't want to break up the family. Also, some stay because they have left their parents or their dear ones for us, and they feel that if they leave us they will be embarrassed. They know that if they go back to their parents, the mother or the father will say, "We knew that Indian only came to exploit you people. Before you believed him, but now you see the truth. Better late than never. You have come back and we are very happy, very pleased, very proud. Now continue with your natural, normal life."

There are a few disciples with whom I cannot deal either on the inner plane or on the outer plane. I am really afraid of them. They are not afraid of me but I am afraid of them. Why? I know that they have come to a stage where, if I don't handle them properly, they will just fall down and break. It is just as though I were holding a glass: if I drop it, it will crack. I say, "Oh God, the progress they have made will go." So I try to help them keep the progress they have made in the six months or the few years they have been with me. But there comes a time when I find that some of these disciples are constantly violating the cosmic law, the Will of the Supreme. At that time the Supreme says, "Throw them out." Recently eleven or twelve persons were asked to leave this Centre and one or two are temporarily not allowed to come here. Why? Because they have been constantly violating the cosmic law.

If anyone thinks he is really aspiring and doing everything he can do, then I am afraid he is openly deceiving himself. Everybody can do much, much, much more than he or she does for me, not only in the physical world but also in the inner world. How can you do things for me in the inner world and be a real disciple? By having good thoughts, divine thoughts, fulfilling thoughts. And in the outer world you can do much for me through obedience. Obedience is absolutely necessary in the outer life. If there is no obedience, if somebody does not obey me, then I cannot expect anything from that person. He is a real failure. He may stay with me for twenty years but he has really failed. Both of us have failed. Again, obedience must be cheerful. Just to stay in the Centre some of you obey me. I say, "Do this!" and you do it; or I say "Behave this way!" and you do it. But if you do it with reluctance, if you do it out of fear that you will otherwise be thrown out of the Centre, then that, obedience is no obedience. That kind of obedience is only deception; you are trying to deceive me, which you cannot, and you are trying to deceive your soul, which you cannot. Real obedience is conscious oneness, cheerful oneness, with the Master's will. Your Master has said this, so immediately you try to identify yourself cheerfully and unhesitatingly with his will because this is the right thing, because this is what you have to do. To behave with that attitude is called real obedience.


We can increase our devotion as we develop our muscles, day by day. As we take physical exercise daily, so also we must take spiritual exercise daily. Spiritual exercise is prayer and meditation. In order to increase our devotion we have to meditate daily on the heart centre and we have to feel that God is all Concern and Compassion for us. If we look at God the Omniscient or Omnipotent, we may show Him a little bit of our devotion. But if we look at God the Love, Concern and Compassion, then automatically our devotion increases. When we think that God the Almighty Father is all Love for us, all Compassion for us, then our devotion increases.

If you have a spiritual Master and if you can see not the human but the divine in him, then immediately your devotion increases. True, there are many false spiritual Masters. But if you have a real spiritual Master and he, out of his infinite bounty, shows his divinity and if you yourself see his divinity, then your devotion is bound to increase in infinite measure. And when you see his Highest, rest assured that in the near future you will also grow into that Height.

If you do not have a spiritual Master, then there is another way to increase your bhakti, or devotion, and that is through a constant feeling of gratitude. You must feel that inside your heart a flower is blossoming, petal by petal, and that flower is called gratitude. Every day if you can offer your gratitude to God, then from the fragrance of the gratitude-flower within you, devotion is bound to grow.

The inner hunger

There is a subtle difference between the desire for material wealth and the desire for inner wealth. When it is an inner hunger, we use the term aspiration. It is like this. In our material life we have one car, but we would like to have two cars, three cars, four cars. We only want to add, add, add to our possessions. This is our life of desire. But in the spiritual life, if we have one thing, on the strength of our oneness with others we will feel we have everything that they have.

The life of desire eventually ends in frustration. No matter how many cars we have, no matter how much material wealth we have, we do not get satisfaction. But the life of aspiration is always fulfilling, even if we get only an iota of light. While we are meditating, if all of a sudden we see a streak of light, for months we can treasure it, for we have seen something which is solid. The life of aspiration will give us the sense of Divinity.

When we aspire, we try to enter into something vast, something infinite. When we aspire during our meditation, we feel that the vast sky belongs to us; the vast ocean we feel inside our heart. And it is not our imagination; it is reality.

Desire is our constant eagerness to bind ourselves and to bind others, whereas aspiration is an immediate expansion of our reality. With our aspiration we try always to liberate ourselves and to liberate others. When we aspire, we immediately try to expand ourselves; and those who are near and dear to us we try to liberate. Aspiration makes us feel that our real achievement is in the enlargement of our consciousness, whereas desire makes us feel that to possess and be possessed is the real achievement. In aspiration we are expanding ourselves, enlarging ourselves, divinising ourselves, immortalising ourselves.

Our aspiration depends on the Will of God and also on our own sense of dedication to the spiritual life. They go together. It is like this. In the beginning we have to participate in the game. We have to get up early in the morning at six o'clock or seven o'clock to meditate. But there comes a time when we feel it is His Will acting in and through us. In the beginning we feel it is half and half, but when we go deep within we see it is ninety per cent God's Will. Then afterwards we come to realise that it is all God's Will. But in the beginning we have to be good students; we have to get up and study.

Let us take the inner flame of aspiration as hunger. One day we are pinched with hunger. Another day we are not hungry at all, but we do eat. Early in the morning when it is breakfast time, we may not have real hunger, but still we eat something. It is a daily routine, a habit we have formed. It is necessary for our health that we should every day eat food whether we are really hungry or not. If we eat every day regularly, every day our whole body is nourished. Similarly, one day if the inner flame is not burning very intensely, let us say, we have to meditate anyway; otherwise, in the inner world we shall become weak.

When we eat, we don't get most delicious food every day. It is not possible. Even the world's best cook cannot make most delicious food every day. In the spiritual life also we cannot expect the highest type of meditation every day. Again, the height of the meditation depends on the seeker's own spiritual attainment and achievement. If the seeker is on the verge of spiritual realisation or if he has realised God, it is different. In my case, if I want to do the highest meditation, I can easily do it at any time. But that is not possible for the beginner-seekers.

Meditating on the heart

The heart is the source. From the source if concentration goes upward to the Third Eye or the crown of the head, there is nothing wrong in it. But we have to start our journey in the heart. Inside the heart is the soul. The consciousness of the soul permeates the entire body, but the special dwelling place of the soul is inside the spiritual heart. So when we enter into the inmost recesses of the heart, from there we derive real soul's love.

Love can go up to the head or it can go down to the feet. But if love comes from the heart first, then it is purified. If love does not originate in the heart, then it is vital love, which is not pure. If pure love, heart's love, soul's love, can permeate your entire being, it can purify and divinise your whole existence. When the entire physical existence is inundated with love, only then can we have the universal feeling of oneness.

Once you have got your inner wealth, which is love, from the source, then you can use it anyplace. But its actual dwelling place is in the heart centre. All the centres have love, but the heart centre has more than any other centre. Love is the special province of the heart centre: other centres are for other spiritual and occult powers.

You have to know what you want from a path. If a particular path is a path of knowledge, intuitive knowledge, then naturally the Master will tell his disciples to meditate on the Third Eye. If he says that his path is a path of love, then immediately he will tell his disciples to meditate on the heart.

Divine love

Divine love is the expansion of our consciousness. The very nature of divine love is to expand, expand, expand and become one with all that it touches. The more we expand ourselves, the sooner we feel the Universal Consciousness as our very own. And when we feel the Universal Consciousness as our very own, at that time we become the Universal Self.

It is through love that we can expand our consciousness faster than any other way. So if we really want to expand ourselves, then consciously we have to make an effort to love the world. When we love the world, we have to know that God and humanity cannot be separated. No spiritual person will dare to say that he loves God but not humanity. If anyone says, "I love only God and not humanity," then rest assured that he is not really a spiritual person. A spiritual person loves humanity precisely because God is inside humanity. God was one; then He decided to play the Game of infinite forms and shapes in and through us. He is the root and humanity represents the branches and leaves. The root cannot be separated from the rest of the tree. Creator and creation go together.

Again, we have to do first things first. The owner of the world, the Creator of the world is God. If we love God first, then automatically we are loving humanity. If we love God, then God will give us the capacity to please His creation, which is humanity. If we please the Creator in His own Way, then automatically His creation will be pleased in the inner world. So it is through constant love of God that we can love mankind, not the other way around. If we want to go to God by loving humanity, there will be all kinds of problems. We will love someone, but that person, because of ignorance, will offer tremendous resistance. We will want to help someone but he will simply say, "What right have you to disturb my sleep?" Somebody near us is fast asleep, and we knock at his door and offer love and say "Get up, get up. It is high time. He will only say, "I am not going to get up." But if we please God first, then we will know the right time to knock at the door of the one who is sleeping.

Our love of God is our oneness with reality. The moment we forget Him consciously or unconsciously, at that time we are divided. Even in our own physical existence, if the right hand is stronger than the left, if we do not feel God inside us — inside our entire body — then we will hate the left hand. We will say we want to have nothing to do with the left hand, because it is disappointing us. But if we love the God within ourselves, the soul, we will love the left hand as much as the right.

In the spiritual life, our friends and relatives are like our arms and hands. They are members of our family. If we can enter into the One who is all love, then only can we spread love and offer love to the world at large. The first thing is to love God and then this love we shall carry to mankind. It is from the soul that we have to come to the physical, not from the physical to the soul. From within we have to come without. The soul has all light. From the soul we shall gather light and bring it to the heart. Then from the heart we shall bring it to the mind. From the mind we shall bring it to the vital and from the vital to the body. Then the song of love will be complete. Here the world is our body, just like our physical limbs. So naturally we have to start the journey from our soul.

We are all seekers. It is absolutely true that when we seek, we realise. When we seek God, we realise God. But when we seek, even if we do it most soulfully, we always try to get something. So God plays hide-and-seek with us. He gives us an experience today, then He hides tomorrow. He comes, then He goes away again. But there comes a time when a seeker transcends this feeling of seeking and becomes a lover, a God-lover. Today's God-seeker becomes tomorrow's God-lover. When we feel that we have played our role as a seeker, we tell God, "All right, I love You. You don't have to give me even a cent. Your existence is more than enough for me, even if it is inside my enemy's heart." If we can say this to God and establish this kind of feeling for God, then we are transformed from seekers into lovers. And when a seeker becomes a God-lover, he is well on his way to reaching his goal. So let us love God wholeheartedly. Real love means oneness. When I am one, I am not the tiny drop but the vast ocean. At that time I don't take back my existence as the tiny drop. So to all of you I am saying, from now on try to become real God-lovers.


We know very well the difference between pleasure and joy. Pleasure is followed by frustration, whereas joy is followed always by peace and more joy. But we have to know that there are two kinds of joy, outer joy and inner joy, and there is a subtle difference between them. We feel that the possessor of outer joy is somebody else, not ourselves. We feel that another human being has this joy and we try to get it. Although we do not want to adopt foul means, very often we want to snatch this joy from others. Again, we may try to get it by talking or mixing with others.

But inner joy is not like this. When we meditate or contemplate, at that time we feel that we are the soul of joy. This joy that we possess inside is like a fountain; it comes spontaneously. Inner joy has no fear. It can, if it wants, transform our human nature in the twinkling of an eye. If we can experience true inner joy even for a second, we will feel that the world is totally different. Now, we feel that we will have to change our attitude towards certain aspects of the creation if we want to have joy, because the world is constantly fighting and doing all undivine things. But if we can look at the world with our inner joy, we will see that the world is already changed.

How can we get this inner joy? If we feel that we are miserable and therefore we need joy, then inner joy we will never get. If we feel, "Just because somebody else has this joy, why can we not also have it?" then we will not get it. If we feel in an arrogant way that we have every right to get joy because God is all Joy, then we have to know that this arrogant attitude will not give us real joy. But if we really feel that inner joy is the breath of our life, if we feel that we cannot exist without joy and we will die at this very moment if we do not have it, then God showers His choicest Blessing, which is Joy, upon us.

Real Joy comes from the feeling that we are constantly in the Lap of the Supreme. Twenty-four hours a day we cannot meditate. But on the strength of our imagination, we can feel that twenty-four hours a day we are in the Lap of the Supreme. If we can feel this, then we will see infinite Joy in us and around us.

The world needs both inner and outer joy. If we do not get the ultimate inner joy, we can at least try to offer and receive innocent outer joy. From pure innocent joy we can go one step ahead and get inner joy. Religious music, for example, gives us pure innocent joy.

Now, how can we offer joy to others? To offer joy to others, we first have to aspire within ourselves. We have to feel that the world is inside us, not outside us; we have to try to feel that the world is the projection of our life. First we have to try to create our own world according to our own satisfaction. When we have created something within ourselves, achieved something divine within ourselves — let us say a world of joy and love — then immediately it will try to reveal and express itself to the world at large. If we have truly acquired joy, then gradually the people around us will be inspired and influenced by our joy.

God the Mother and God the Father

In the West it is difficult to conceive of the idea of God the Mother. In the Bible it is only the Father, Father, Father. In the East, especially in India, it is very easy to think of God the Mother. There are many, many people who have realised God by the Grace of the Supreme Goddess or, you can say, one of the forms of the Supreme Goddess. In India we have four principal goddesses: Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. All of these four goddesses are the emanations of the Supreme Goddess and, at the same time, these goddesses embody the highest absolute Truth.

On the one hand, just as the soul is neither masculine nor feminine, neither is God masculine nor feminine. Masculine and feminine are always here on earth, in the mind. At the highest level there is only Brahman. Brahman is neither masculine nor feminine; it is neuter.

Again, a seeker can see God and speak to God the way he wants to. If he cares for the qualities of the Mother, if he has more fondness for his mother than for his father, then he will approach God the Mother. But if he cares more for the father's qualities, then he will approach God the Father. But Mother and Father are always one.

When we approach God the Mother it is like the human mother. The human mother always feels her son is a child even if he is sixty years old. This man who is sixty years old is for her still just a baby. Always the mother will show overwhelming affection, love, concern, compassion. The mother will try to give the child everything all at once. The father also has boundless love, concern, blessings, but he is different. The father is more practical; he will not spoil the child. The father feels the child may squander the money. When the child is more mature, more advanced, then at that time he will give the money. But the mother feels, "No, just because he is my child, let me give him all our wealth. Even if he misuses it, no harm: we have plenty." This is the mother's way.

It is always easier and faster if one can approach God the Mother. When the child cries, immediately the mother comes. But the realisation is the same whether one approaches God the Mother or God the Father.

Other planes of consciousness

When I go to various cities to give talks, most of the time I remain inside my room. I read books or other things. I am not interested in seeing things or shopping or anything like that. Some people, when they go to other planes of consciousness, look around and see everything. Others are not interested.

Again, when some people visit historical places, they will not pay any attention to the physical beauty there; they only think of the historical significance. That is what they find inspiring. So, when one enters into the higher worlds, one may care only to see which powerful souls came down from a particular plane of consciousness, which Avatar stayed there and so on.

Anybody can enter into the higher planes and people often do enter there during their sleep. But this is not done consciously. If you do not do a thing consciously, you won't be able to get total satisfaction. Now, sometimes it is possible to get real satisfaction by seeing a place through somebody else's eyes. If somebody tells you about Germany and gives you all kinds of fascinating details, at that time some sensation, some reality is created inside your mind. It is not false imagination. You are enjoying the reality more deeply and more tangibly than if you saw the reality itself. When you go to the United Nations and see it through the eyes of the tour guide, then only will you be able to appreciate it. Otherwise, if you go to this room and that room and see them with your own eyes, you may not be able to understand the significance of the rooms. Seeing is one thing, but the capacity to appreciate and understand is something else.

When a spiritual Master goes to the higher worlds, he sees them with his full and vast knowledge of Truth. But when a seeker goes to one of these planes, it may mean nothing to him. He will go there, but his mind may make him think that he is in his own room, his own apartment. Or he will go there for just one second and feel, "Oh, I thought that this place would be so beautiful, but it is not. So the best thing is for me to go back home." Then he will come back to the ordinary plane of consciousness.

For the disciple it is of utmost importance to see the Truth through the eyes of the Master. Even if the disciple doesn't see the Truth with his own eyes, if he can become one with the vision and realisation of the Master, then that will be a solid achievement in his life. If the Master gives him a full description of the higher worlds and he believes the Master and becomes totally one with him, then he is getting and achieving infinitely more than if he went to those planes and saw them personally. If the disciple can see the Truth through the Master's eyes, then today he will know the Truth and tomorrow he will become the Truth.

There is a well-known story about Sri Krishna and his dearest disciple, Arjuna. Sri Krishna said that something was black, and Arjuna also said it was black. Then Sri Krishna said, "No, it is white," and Arjuna also said it was white. Then Sri Krishna said it was red and Arjuna again agreed. Finally Sri Krishna asked Arjuna, "Why do you keep changing? Don't you have eyes of your own?" And Arjuna said, "If I see through your eyes, then I see the truth the way it has to be seen. If I see with my mind that this is black or white, there my knowledge ends. But if I see through your eyes, through the eyes of one who has the infinite vision, inside black itself I will see all colours. If I see through your eyes, I will see all the colours inside black."

The realised Master can see the ocean inside the drop and the drop inside the ocean. So it is always best for the disciple to see the Truth through the eyes of one who has himself seen the Truth and grown into the Truth. Otherwise, what today you will call truth, that very thing you will have to justify to your mind tomorrow. You may always doubt your truth. But if you see the Truth with the Master's eye, then it is all inner certainty.

From:Sri Chinmoy,The Inner Hunger, Agni Press, 1976
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