Part I — Faith and expectation

Faith and expectation

I have said that I have realised God and you have faith in me. If you have faith, then you should not try to justify this faith by looking for proof. You have to say, "No, I don't want any proof. My faith itself is proof. Why should I belittle my own faith with some silly justification or proof?" In order to justify your own experience, which is faith, spontaneous faith, if you take the help of proof, then you are belittling the faith which came to you. First came faith. Then the mind said, "Where is the proof? Without proof, how can you have faith?" But when this thought comes, where is faith? At that time, faith loses all its capacity. If you see a blind person in front of you and you tell him that this is blue, he will say, "Where is the proof?" Because he does not have the sight to see, naturally he will ask you for proof. But you have entered into the spiritual life with your eyes open. The truth you can see before you. So, why do you have to ask for proof like a blind man?

If you stick to faith, you will see that inside faith, reality is growing. But if you say, "Oh, I thought that inside that person was the Supreme; but then he got angry with me or he could not understand me or console me," then you are only killing your own faith. Do not bring in ideas; faith does not need any ideas. Proof and ideas go together. In faith there are no ideas; there is only spontaneous reality. In ordinary human life, we go from ideas to the result. I have an idea about someone. I think that he is a nice person. Then, when I talk to him, he is nice, he is kind to me. So that is the result. First I formulated the idea and then I expected a certain result. But when it is a matter of divine faith, we don't need any ideas; we don't expect any results. Faith comes from a higher reality. The man of faith is a man of higher reality. When you have faith in someone, it means that a portion of your being has been kindled by that person or has some inner connection with that person, or your own reality is making you feel that there is some higher reality in that other person which is ready and eager to be of help to you.

So, if you want to see the Supreme in me, do not care for proof. Only care for faith. Every moment you have to ask yourself, "Do I have faith in the Supreme in my Guru?" If you say, "I can have faith in him provided tomorrow morning he gives me a broad smile or says something nice about me," then this is not real faith. These 'ifs' are only a way of trying to justify your faith with proof. If you say, "I will have faith in him, but first I have to see whether he speaks ill of me or whether he cares for me," then that kind of faith depends on the result. But real faith does not depend on any result. Faith itself is the result. Faith is the result of your aspiration and God's Grace.

Some specific result from faith you are not going to get, no. It is from the reasoning mind that you get a specific result, and this result eventually frustrates you. But faith is not like that. Faith is joy. To have faith in someone itself is joy. The aim of life is to have joy, and this joy you are getting from faith. But the reasoning mind and proof do not give any joy. They may convince the eyes, but then sincerity comes forward and you feel sad. You will say, "Oh, I had to judge him in order to justify my faith. I had to wait to get the proof. I am such a fool." But when you are wise, you say, "I don't need judgement, I don't need proof. Let me adopt only one thing to be happy. Let me start my journey with faith and then I won't need anything else."

So, if you have faith in me, you are bound to see the Supreme in me and also you will feel that your Supreme and my Supreme are absolutely one. You have not yet seen Him, whereas I have seen Him; that is the difference between you and me. There is only one Supreme, only you have not seen Him. That is why, with your imagination, you may say that He is very tall, that He is an old man or something else. But when you see Him, you will say that my Supreme and your Supreme cannot be two different beings. Again, you have to know that your conception of the Supreme is right for you at this stage. Only you have to start with the faith that inside your Guru is the Supreme whom you need, the Supreme who should come first in your life.

First things first. If I come first in your life, I will not take away your husband from you, I will not take away your dearest ones; far from it. When you approach the real divinity inside me, then the same divinity inside your dearest ones is bound to be fulfilled. When you please the Supreme in me, then you are also pleasing your dearest ones, for they are part and parcel of my being. But if I am not pleased, then even the most significant thing in your life, I tell you, is not going to give you happiness, because you will not be able to establish your oneness with that particular person or particular thing. But if you please the Supreme in me, then automatically you will get joy, love and concern from the soul of each individual.

Again, if somebody really pleases me, I tell you, he does not have to care for others' appreciation and admiration. Inside me, the power of appreciation is infinitely stronger than in all the disciples put together. People need appreciation, true. But if the appreciation comes from me, it will give you more joy than the appreciation of four hundred disciples. My appreciation is infinitely more valuable than the appreciation of human beings.

If I come first, I will take care of what is necessary in your life. Do you think that you will please me and I will not think of you? Impossible! The child pleases his mother by going to school. Then it is his mother's responsibility to buy his clothes, cook his food and take care of him when he comes home. So if I get my due — that is to say, your regular meditation and your faith in me — then I will do everything for you. But, unfortunately, you people don't try. You try to please the Supreme in your own way. You say, "In order to please Guru, we have to dig within and find our own Supreme." All right, find your own Supreme. But let me go with you as you dig within. We can dig together and discover your Supreme. And when you discover your Supreme, you will see that it is the same as my Supreme. The Supreme in me and the Supreme in you are one.

The easiest way to see and feel and become one with the Supreme in me, who is also the same Supreme in you, is not to expect anything from me. Only give, and then you will find yourself flooded with my joy, blessings, light, love and gratitude. But if you expect, then you are doomed. For you will expect something which you don't deserve at the time or you will expect something that, even if you deserve it, will create problems for you if I give it. So, without expectation if you want to see the Supreme in me and love the Supreme in me, then you are bound to get everything. If you say, "I don't expect anything from you; only I am giving, giving, giving," then the one who is receiving will not want to be indebted to you. He will say, "Since this fellow has given me what he has — his capacity, his quantity, his quality — then I must give him what I have." I know that my quality and quantity are much more, much higher, than yours. But if you give me all the joy, love, concern, devotion and surrender that you have, then I will give you what I have. Again, if you give with the idea that I will give you more, that is not good. If you think, "I will give one dollar and he will give ten," then I will be sad. When spirituality starts, at that time you have to think, "No, I don't care about gaining or losing. Only I want to give you whatever I have." Then I will say, "If he can give me what he has, then what is wrong with me? Is it not beneath my dignity not to give him what I have?"

So, when you do everything without expectation, then you are going to get infinitely more than you give. But if you say, "Oh, I have painted a very beautiful picture; now Guru will give me a smile," then I will see. If my inner being tells me that you expected a smile, I may say, "All right, stop! I won't give him a smile!" Sometimes when people do something and expect something in return, my inner being says, "Now what do you want to do? If you appreciate them, it is like an ordinary business transaction; he gives and I give in return. Then, afterwards he will write a beautiful poem and then he will expect more. So it never ends. What kind of real progress are you giving?"

Each time you do something, if like a beggar you approach me for something in return, this is wrong. Why should you act like a beggar? You have to feel, "I have this much capacity. I cannot give you what I don't have. But what I have, I am giving you cheerfully." This is the hero in you that is speaking. The divine hero in you says, "I am giving what I have." Then, the divine hero in me says, "What he has, he has given me. Now, why can't I give him what I have?"

So, if you start with expectation, then I am bound to disappoint you. But every day when you meditate, if you can offer me your joy, love, peace and gratitude, then the very fact that you are giving is your achievement. You are ready to give whereas others are not. This is your success, this is your progress. When the idea comes to your mind that you want to offer your divine love, divine joy and everything that you feel to your Guru, then that very feeling is your real success. When that very idea enters into your mind, it is a real achievement in the inner world.

Question: Guru, when you say we cherish doubts and other undivine things, what do you mean by 'cherish'?

Sri Chinmoy: When I say that you cherish something, I mean that you get a kind of subtle joy from it. When the thought first starts, it is like a tiny child. When a little child pinches an adult, the adult gets pain; but just because it is such a little child, the adult does not stop him. He gets pain but also he gets a kind of joy that such a little tiny thing is pinching him. Then, as the child gets older, the adult lets him keep on pinching because he is getting a little joy. When the child grows up and becomes an adolescent, when he pinches the adult it will really hurt. When this little child grows up, he will really give that person a blow. So this little undivine thought, when it starts out, is very tiny. It gives you a little pain, but also it gives you a little joy. You feel that you are protecting it, that you are in control. You feel that you can throw it out at any time. You allow the thought to come into your house. If it is a desire, you feel that at any time you can either fulfil it or not fulfil, that it is up to you, since you are the host. But once this thought enters into your house, it grows. When you cherish it, it feels that the house is really its house, and that it is the host and you are the guest. Then, it is in charge of you.

Question: Guru, where do these undivine thoughts come from?

Sri Chinmoy: They come from outside or from within you. When they come from outside it is comparatively easy to throw them. When you see that an undivine thought is coming, just feel that your forehead is a brick wall and do not allow anything to come in. As soon as a thought comes from outside, just throw it. Don't allow it to enter into your consciousness even for a second.

But if you have let a bad thought enter into your house, or if it is the type of thought that comes from within — like jealousy — then it is much harder. You have to feel that a thief is hiding in your house and you have to drag him out. When a thought comes from outside, you feel that it is a stranger and you won't let him in. You just stand in front of the door and he can't come in. Vigilance, constant vigilance, is necessary. You have to catch him before he comes in. But once he is inside, it is harder. A thief is in your house; he is hiding under the bed or in the closet somewhere. So, you have to find him and throw him out. If you allow him to stay, then he may take away something precious or he may kill somebody.

You may feel that you are too weak to throw away these undivine thoughts. But I am strong, so just identify yourself with me and get my help. Think of me, meditate on me; throw the thoughts into me. Then you will get relief. But also, you have to get some vital purification at that time. Otherwise, you will just throw the thought and immediately it will come back; you will throw it and it will return. So, when you meditate, concentrate on the navel for a while for purity. Try to bring light down from the heart into the vital. Then, when you throw these undivine thoughts into my consciousness, they will not return.

Question: Guru, when I have these kinds of undivine thoughts, I identify with them and I think they are really me. I think how terrible I am and that you don't love me.

Sri Chinmoy: Don't identify with these thoughts. They come from outside or they have entered into you from the outside. Sometimes they are stimulated by the sense organs. But you have to realise that all these thoughts come from without or are stimulated by outer events, so you must not identify with them. As soon as you identify with them, immediately you are caught. Don't identify with other peoples' activities. Don't pass opinions on others' actions. If you do, you are caught. And if you criticise inwardly, then it is worse. If you feel jealousy inwardly but outwardly you try to hide it, then immediately tremendous inner resentment comes. You give that person a broad smile and inwardly you want to kill him or her. This is no good. So just don't identify with these thoughts. They are not you. They are just undivine forces that have entered into you.

Question: Guru, how can we stop unconsciously cherishing undivine thoughts?

Sri Chinmoy: Feel that there are two competitors: your Guru and the undivine thought. Whom do you want to please? If you want to please me, then you cannot cherish this thought, because you know that it will make me feel miserable. Or feel that you have a room to rent. Only one person can rent this room. Do you want to rent it to my compassion, love and concern, or do you want to rent it to the other tenant: fear, doubt and insecurity?

If you don't want to cherish a thought, as soon as it comes immediately say, "Guru, Guru, Guru, Guru, Guru, Guru!" Say it very fast, like a train rushing by. Or you can say Aum or "Supreme". While you are saying it so rapidly, this thought cannot enter. Then, after five minutes, you will see that you have thought of me for so long whereas you had this undivine thought only for a second. You will get courage from the thing which you did for so long.

You get a false sense of security from anything which you are used to. You live in a house. Right next door your neighbours are fear, doubt and destruction. At any moment they can harm you. But just because you have lived near them for so long, you get a kind of false security. Three blocks away you have a neighbour who is very nice: all compassion, love and concern. This is your soul. But just because he is three blocks away, you don't call on him. You feel that he is too far away and that he is not strong enough. But this is wrong. The soul's love, concern and compassion are most powerful. Or again, you may feel that the soul's love is enormous and because of its enormity, you are afraid. The undivine qualities are little things, so you feel that you can control them. When they enter into you, at that time they control you.

Question: How can you tell the vibration of a place?

Sri Chinmoy: The vibration of a place can come through the eyes, through the ears, through the nose and also through the heart centre. You get the vibration through your organs and also through identification. You are walking along the street and you come to a spot where there is no person, no flower, no garden — nothing; but still you get the smell of a flower. It is not that the wind is blowing the fragrance. No, some spiritual Master or some saint has meditated there and he has left some of his consciousness. That is why you are getting such a good vibration while walking. Purity is coming, fragrance is coming.

If a realised Master walks along a road at noon and an hour later somebody else walks along the same road, if that other person is a developed soul, he is bound to feel something. He will not know where it is coming from, but he will definitely know that some spiritual figure, saintly figure, has been there. It is like a dog that can trace the scent. Good spiritual souls can also do this kind of thing.

Again, you may be walking and all of a sudden bad thoughts will come; all evil thoughts are entering into your mind. What has happened is that some bad person has sat there and left his vibration.

You can keep your eyes closed but it will not help you, because your whole body is identifying with the good or bad thing. If you are very, very strong and are surcharged in your inner and outer being with tremendous power, then if the thing is bad, you can destroy it; and if it is good, you can use it to increase your own aspiration.

Question: Can you suggest some techniques for increasing one's heart-power?

Sri Chinmoy: Cry, cry. Think of a child. A child knows how to cry. In our inner life we must cry. Our difficulty as human beings is that we do not take anything seriously. We hope for name and fame, but if we see that we must climb up a tall tree in order to get what we want, then we lose interest. We are here for thirty, forty or sixty years. But if we do not get something at once, we feel that we should not try for it. It is the same with God-realisation. We have to know that the thing that we want is all-important. Then only will we value it. In the spiritual life, we want God; but before we realise God, we have to do a few things. If we feel inwardly the value of God-realisation, then the so-called hardship that we go through is nothing. If we value the Goal, then we are bound to walk along the path. The road is long and arduous; but if we constantly keep the Goal in our view and continue walking along the road, we will reach our destination. If we really value the Goal and cry for it, there will always be some way to reach it.

Question: Guru, when you are not around, how can we maintain a very strong and intense aspiration?

Sri Chinmoy: It entirely depends on your inner connection with me. You work in an office. You may speak to your colleagues for hours, but your heart is not in them. Needless to say, their heart is not inside you, either. Your heart is in your spiritual life, inside your Guru, inside God. Your outer being is with your colleagues, doing all kinds of office work, but your heart is somewhere else. You have already established a very close, intimate connection with my soul. All my good disciples have done it.

The mistake that you make and others make is that you have a fixed goal. If you come to a certain standard during your meditation, you feel that you have reached your goal. Or if you get a little joy in your inner life, then immediately you get a complacent feeling. But I wish to say that our goal is an ever-transcending goal. You want always to rest on yesterday's laurels. Yesterday you got an iota of joy and today you are crying to get that same iota of joy. But how do you know whether the Supreme wants you to have that iota of joy or whether He wants you to go farther, higher and deeper?

When I started to lose weight, my weight was 168 pounds. First, the goal was 165, then it came to 160, 154, 152, 148 and so on. But the amount of progress one can make on the physical plane is very limited. I can come down to 130 or so and then I cannot go any further. In the physical, the goal is always limited. You can go to your maximum and then you are finished. But in the spiritual life, the goal is not fixed. There is no end in the inner world. Here we are dealing with Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. Where is Infinity or Immortality on the physical plane? Immortality is in consciousness. If you have developed an immortal consciousness, only then are you serving the Supreme all over the world. On the physical plane, all spiritual Masters will leave the body. But the consciousness that they bring down is offered to the whole world. The Christ brought down the infinite, immortal Consciousness. The Buddha did the same. Sri Krishna did it and other spiritual Masters did it also. The consciousness that they offered remains immortal.

So, in your case, it happens that you always try to reach a particular goal. If you know how to run fifty metres, then after you run fifty metres, at that time you feel that your part is over. If you cannot run fifty metres one day because of a stomach upset or headache, you feel miserable. But the Supreme does not want you to be satisfied with fifty metres. He wants you to run fifty-one, fifty-two, fifty-three, fifty-four metres. So when you have a higher goal, automatically your aspiration increases. Otherwise, if you are aiming at the same goal, you don't go very far and it becomes monotonous. Because you are all the time reaching the same place, you don't want to go there. But if you feel that your goal is constantly going farther, farther, that it is ever-increasing, ever-ascending, then there is constant joy.

Joy is in achievement, in progress; joy is not in success. Success ends our journey, but progress has no end. When you have a fixed goal and you reach it, that is your success. After that, you are finished. But if you don't have a fixed goal, if your goal is going higher, higher, then you are constantly making progress. In continuous progress, our goal is going beyond, beyond, beyond, beyond. Then we get the greatest satisfaction. So do not be satisfied with success. Aspire only for progress. And each time you make progress, it is your real success. Every day when you meditate, feel that you will go still deeper, fly still higher. Then you will be able to maintain your conscious oneness with the Supreme.

Question: How do we know if we are growing spiritually or falling backwards?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, you are not falling backwards. You are not going to go back to your old life. You have not given up our path. Still I am your Guru, so you have not fallen back. That is absurd.

The other question is whether you are making progress or not. Sometimes, when we run the fastest, if our hands, legs and entire body are perfectly coordinated, we feel that we are not running at all. But if we stretch our legs and hands and try to make ourselves and others feel that we are running, then we feel that we are going very fast. When we are at the airport, with all the hustle and bustle, we feel movement. But when we enter into the plane and start travelling five hundred or six hundred miles an hour, we feel that we are not moving at all.

So when you are firmly established in my boat and have confidence in the boatman, it may appear at times that the boat is not moving at all. But it is moving. If you are still in the boat, which you are, then you have to feel that you are making progress.

Then, there is another way to see your progress. Once upon a time you used to cherish hundreds of undivine thoughts: fear, doubt, jealousy and all that. Four years ago, you can see how many times you were victim to such thoughts; but now once in a blue moon perhaps those thoughts assail you. So naturally you have made progress. Here is the proof.

Question: How can we maintain a good standard consistently, instead of going up and down?

Sri Chinmoy: Please feel that every day is equally important. Suppose the runner has to run one hundred metres to reach the goal. After covering twenty metres at top speed, he feels that since he is running so fast, he is going to reach the goal in a second. So, relaxation comes. For ten or twenty metres, his speed decreases considerably. Then he sees that some other runners are coming or he realises that his speed has fallen, so again he starts running the fastest. But once the starter has fired the gun, if the runner from the beginning to the end maintains top speed, then only is he able to win the race. Or, let us say, only then will he really be pleased with his speed, proud of his speed.

In your case it is the same. Your difficulty is that when you do something well, you feel that you deserve some relaxation. Today you do wonderful meditation, and then you feel, "Oh, since today I had a wonderful meditation, tomorrow I can relax," You feel that your meditation will maintain the same speed, but it doesn't. There are some disciples who have come with great aspiration, great eagerness. Then after two months or two years or six years, they relax. They relax to such an extent that they forget their goal. In the spiritual life we progress gradually; this is true. But during the gradual process, we can maintain the same type of aspiration. The runner is running five miles. But he maintains his speed right from the beginning. He is going on, going on, going on; he is not slowing down.

Every day that you meditate, you have to feel is your last day. Feel that tomorrow you are going to die. If you fail today, then zero will be your mark; you are out of the race. Feel that if you don't realise God today, then you are doomed; you will have to wait for another five thousand years, let us say. If you do this, then your sincerity will come to the fore.

The teacher will give you only two hours to complete your examination. Then the examination will be over. While the teacher is giving you the examination paper today, please don't feel that tomorrow again the teacher will give you the same examination. The past is gone. The future does not exist. There is only the present. "Here in the present, either I have to be totally divine or I will remain undivine as I was yesterday. So, since I want to become divine, let me do the right thing here and now." This should be our attitude.

You come to the station and see that a train is there. But you do not want to enter the train at this time. You know that in ten or fifteen minutes another train will come, so you don't feel any necessity to enter into this train. But if you have the attitude that one day, at a particular hour, you will enter into the train, then you will never enter. If you feel, "Oh, now I am twenty-eight; at the age of seventy-eight I will realise God," this will never happen. You should make yourself feel that today is the last day for you to achieve everything that you are supposed to achieve. If you fail today, then tomorrow again you have to feel that this is your last day. No matter how many times you fail, each day you should feel is your last. But if you feel that opportunity will come back and knock at your door tomorrow, then today you will not try. You will waste your aspiration or feel that you don't need aspiration, because you have so many tomorrows. But I tell you, before these tomorrows come, everything will be gone.

Question: Guru, I've been your disciple for a very short time, and during that time I've tried to lead a very spiritual life. But I've found that the undivine forces are much stronger that I ever imagined they were. How can I overcome them?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, please don't be discouraged. It is like this. Take ignorance as an undivine force, a tiger. Previously, you were not conscious of the tiger, although the tiger was there. When you entered into the spiritual life, you felt that you were about to conquer that ignorance. But you didn't have the correct idea of the enormity, the capacity of the tiger. Now that you consciously want to enter into the spiritual life, the tiger within you is challenging you: "Where are you going?" Or you can take it in this way. For many years you remained at a friend's house; you remained with your so-called ignorance-friend. As a guest you stayed. Now that you want to leave his house, the friend says, "Where are you going? I have fed you according to my capacity. All right, my knowledge is my ignorance; my ignorance is my knowledge. But how is it possible for you to leave me after all that I have given you? I won't allow you."

You will say, "I am most grateful to you. You have fed me according to your light, which is ignorance. But right now I have a higher call. Now I have to leave you. When I was unconscious, ignorant, I took shelter with you. I came to your house and you were kind enough to give me shelter. But now I have to leave you because I have a higher call."

It is not the spiritual life that increases your undivine qualities. On the contrary, the spiritual life wants you to conquer all the undivine forces once and for all so that they cannot come and disturb you. Otherwise, two or three undivine forces you will conquer today because of your intense spiritual aspiration; and then, after a few months, there will be again an attack by some other forces. So, if you know that all the forces are going to attack you either today or tomorrow, then you will be fully prepared. You thought that you had only one enemy. How is it that you now have ten enemies? But this should not make you discouraged. On the contrary, you should be happy that all your enemies, all your weaknesses, are coming forward. Only if they come forward can you conquer them.

How will you do it? It is through your constant inner cry. Do not be disturbed, do not be agitated, do not be depressed, do not surrender to these attacks. You simply should be happy that all your weaknesses are coming to the fore. Otherwise, each one will take its own time and bite you and pinch you. Then you will suffer like anything. So let them all attack you. Your faith in the Supreme — who is my Guru, your Guru, everybody's Guru — has infinite power to conquer these undivine forces.

You want to go one step ahead and become totally divine. But the moment you enter the spiritual path, all the undivine, hostile forces attack you. Before, you never had doubt, you never had fear, you never thought that anything named jealousy existed on earth. But where did they come from? They did not come from above. No, they were all dormant inside you. The tiger within you had all these undivine qualities. But the tiger did not use all its power. It had only to use a little power, just a small quantity of its power, in order to frighten you. But now that the tiger knows that you are trying to leave its den, the tiger is ready to show you all its capacity. It will muster all its strength. But at that time, you have to be very devoted to your spiritual life, to the divine life within you, and say, "This is a great opportunity to conquer all my enemies all at once." So you should be courageous and, at the same time, totally surrendered to the Will of the Supreme. The Supreme is bound to take your side because you are taking shelter in His adamantine Protection. Then naturally you will overcome all these obstacles on your way.

Part II — Temptation-world and illumination-world

Temptation-world and illumination-world

During meditation, if you have impure thoughts, the best thing is to throw them into me. When you jump into a swimming pool, you may be very dirty. But after you jump in, you are totally clean. Again, a swimming pool is very limited; it covers a very small area. But the ocean inside me is very vast, infinite. So you don't have to worry about impurities. Just throw them into me.

But after you throw your impurities into me, what happens? What you throw, what you offer, later you feel was most precious. So you try to collect that same thing from somewhere else. Once you throw it, you feel, "Oh, I have given up my most precious things." Then, a few days later, you collect the same things from elsewhere — from your own nature, from the outer nature, from circumstances, from the environment. From other wrong forces you will collect these impurities and then again you will want to offer them to me.

This moment you cry for liberation, and the next moment you cry for temptation. The disciples' lives are like the hyphen between illumination and temptation. This moment temptation grabs them, and the next moment they get fed up with it and feel that the temptation-world is destroying them. Then they again want to be one with the illumination-world.

When you are in the illumination-world, if the vital and the mind are not purified, then you cannot stay there. You feel that this is not the right place for you. So you come back into the vital world, where it is all dirt, filth, jealousy, limitation, insecurity and obscurity. Then again, after a few months or a few days or a few hours in the vital-world, the temptation-world, you feel that you are going to be destroyed there altogether. Then again, you cry for the illumination-world. In this way you are constantly changing your opinion. That is the reason why you do not have abiding experiences and why you do not stay in the higher worlds. Once you throw something, you have to feel that that thing was not worth having. Then, when you become well-established in the illumination-world, at that time the temptation-world cannot destroy your aspiration.

Question: What does it mean when we say that we have destroyed the lower vital?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to be very sincere, brutally sincere, in our spiritual life. We all know our weaknesses, but very often we just ignore them. Or we try to hide our ignorance because we feel that then nobody will know about our ignorance. Yes, nobody knows, but we know. And there is somebody else who also knows, and that is our Inner Pilot.

If we do not look towards the light, then we will always remain in darkness. Let us say that the lower vital is darkness; it is a dark room. We have to come out of this darkness and enter into a room that is illumined. The moment we come out of this unlit, obscure room, the room is no longer part and parcel of our existence. In this sense we destroy the darkness. At that time, the room which is illumined becomes part and parcel of our existence. This room belongs to us and we belong to it.

We become part and parcel of whatever room we are in. When we are in the dark room, we become inseparably one with darkness, ignorance and inconscience. Then, when we come out of the meshes of ignorance, when we come out of ignorance-night and enter into the room which is flooded with light, at that moment the dark room is destroyed for us. At one time we enjoyed that life, but now we feel that that life is not meant for us. A new light has dawned and we have entered into a new room.

Question: How can we have purity bloom within us?

Sri Chinmoy: First, think of purity all the time: purity not only in the physical, but also in the mind and heart. Then, keep around you things that embody purity. A bench and table will not embody the same amount of purity that flowers or incense will have. If you keep a flower in your room, on your shrine, purity enters into you from the outer world. During your meditation, if you burn a candle, the flame will make you think of purity. There are many things on earth that we know have purity in them, and if you keep them around you, from them you get purity. Also, you can get purity by mixing with people who you feel are purer than you. They will inspire you and help you gain purity.

Question: When I go to sleep I think I enter into death-consciousness.

Sri Chinmoy: Some of the boys and girls don't follow basic hygiene. Sometimes when I go to you while you are sleeping, when I go to show you compassion in the inner world, I literally hate myself for doing it. I see that you people are dirty, filthy. Some of you don't take the trouble of washing your face or brushing your teeth even. So how are you going to accept God-sleep, sound sleep? Then, if you are unclean and you perspire while sleeping, the impure vital becomes much stronger, because the physical uncleanliness adds to the inner impurity.

You people don't realise how much I suffer. Naturally, I go to you out of compassion and gratitude to give you a blessing. "Let me give him something in the soul's world," I say. But when I see the physical, I die. The physical is like the door. If the door is filthy, dirty, how can I enter into the room without touching it? And if I don't enter into the house, how am I going to see the beautiful soul inside? So I open that filthy door.

Many times I do things for you while you are sleeping. Sometimes, at night, there are quite a few serious problems waiting for me, just lined up. And I have to enter into your dark, lowest vital. But what can I do? Many times I have to deal with the disciples' problems inwardly. If I tell you outwardly to do something, then I become your enemy. Bad children don't like it when the parents tell them things. But inwardly, when the parents tell them, they discover the thing for themselves. Hundreds of times I knock at your door to tell you when you do something wrong. If you are sleeping, how will you know? If your mother and father come by your bed and pray for you, you will not know. Only you will say, "Oh, something nice has come into my life."

Part III — The positive approach

The positive approach

Some of the disciples feel that by not doing certain things, they will be able to please me. They feel that by not doing something, they will be able to please me more than by doing something wrong. But this is the wrong approach. If you say that by not doing an undivine action you are gaining strength, then I wish to say that you are getting thirty per cent or forty per cent out of a hundred. But if you can do the right thing, at that time you are getting one hundred out of one hundred.

Suppose an evil thought comes to your mind and you are not bringing it down to the vital plane or the physical plane. But why do you have to allow the undivine thought to enter even on the mental plane? At that time, you should consciously take a divine thought and let it come to your vital and physical plane. Let it manifest on the physical plane. By not doing the wrong thing, the mark that you will get will be forty at most. But by doing the right thing in the mental plane, the vital plane, the physical plane, you are going to get at least ninety out of a hundred.

When you people say that you have not done something bad, I will say, "You have not done something bad. You have conquered your temptation. God bless you. I am so proud of you." But by conquering your temptation, the mark that you get will not be the same as the mark that you would get by doing something positive.

You wanted to do something undivine, but by some miracle or stroke of luck you did not do it. So you bless yourself. But tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, the same temptation will come and kill you. But if you take the positive approach and do not even allow the temptation to enter into you, that is much better. Once you allow temptation to come, you can try to fight it. But you have to know that ignorance has much more power than your so-called mental will. So if you say, "I won't do a bad thing," then certainly God will be pleased. But if you do the right thing, at that time God will be much more pleased. You are meditating here and a little boy is shouting, screaming. If you just ignore him and wait for him to go away, that is one approach. But if you scold him and teach him how to behave, that is the positive approach. If you tell him not to do the wrong thing, you are getting one hundred out of one hundred. But if you just ignore him and say, "Let him stop in his own way," he will not stop. He will go on, go on, go on.

Many times you people have a vital desire, an evil desire, or jealousy or any wrong force, and you just conquer it. For that I will give you forty per cent. But if you offer your love and devotion to the Supreme and try to bring down Light and other positive qualities, you are going to get one hundred out of one hundred. By trying to resist the negative qualities or avoiding them, you don't get much strength, because the negative qualities have tremendous power. Today you are strong, so they have not attacked you. But tomorrow they will attack you. Tomorrow you will become a victim to their whim. But if you take the positive side all the time, through prayer, through meditation, through invoking Peace, Light and Bliss, then you become really divine. Then these forces will not bother you any more.

Questions and answers

Question: What can I do to please you in your own way?

Sri Chinmoy: Is there anybody who does not know how to please me in my own way? Everybody, even a child of three, knows; only he has to do it. There is nobody in God's creation or among my disciples who can say that he does not know. The first thing he will do is please the Supreme. The Supreme comes first in the disciple's life; everything else is secondary. Then, when he realises the fact that the Supreme comes first in his life, at that time he has to go one step ahead. He has to please only the Supreme in himself and in everybody. He has only one obligation and that is to please the Supreme. Then all the truths will reveal themselves to him. Every moment ignorance is making us feel that our life is very difficult, very hard. But if we live in wisdom or light, then we see that our life's journey is not a difficult task. It is very easy if we can feel that there is only one Person in our life and that this Person is the only one whom we have to please. How do we please Him? If we want to please Him, then He has to come first in everything that we do. Every thought must be preceded by the word “Supreme”. Every idea must be preceded by the word “Supreme”. In everything that we do, from beginning to end, we have to keep the Supreme in mind.

Question: How can we know if we are really pleasing you or not?

Sri Chinmoy: You are pleasing me if you are making progress. In the outer world, each day you are eating new food, fresh food. You don't depend on yesterday's food; today again you have to eat. Similarly, if you can think of today as the beginning of a new dawn in your life, then you make progress. In the spiritual life, dawn means progress, gradual progress. Light is increasing gradually, convincingly and unerringly inside your heart. So every day try to feel inside your heart a new dawn, new and convincing progress. If you feel a new dawn, then undoubtedly you are pleasing the Supreme in me.

Early in the morning when you get up, if you feel deep inside your heart a new hope, new inspiration, new aspiration, at that time you will feel inside yourself the speed of a deer. Then immediately you become more energetic and enthusiastic. At that time there is a forward movement, and this forward movement is your progress. So when you are making progress, automatically you are pleasing me.

There is also another way. Suppose you are feeling a constant joy inside you. Outwardly your mind cannot account for it; you have done nothing spectacular during the day. So how is it that you are getting such joy? There may not be any outer reason. The joy is spontaneously coming from the soul. If you feel joy and claim this joy as your own, then you will know that you are making progress.

The third way is by thinking of me, the Supreme in me. During the day, count how many times you have thought of me, and how many times consciously and soulfully you have offered loving gratitude to the Supreme in me. The Supreme is also inside you, but it is easier for you to see God in somebody else — especially in a spiritual person — than in yourself. Why? Before you realise God, you always feel that you are swimming in the sea of ignorance. You think of God, you pray to God, you meditate on God, but you don't think of yourself as the chosen instrument of God. You don't think of yourself as the supremely chosen son or daughter of God. So naturally it is very difficult for you to see the Supreme inside yourself. But I am your spiritual Master. You do not think that I am swimming in the sea of ignorance. You feel that I am standing on the shore. So if you think of me and meditate on the Supreme in me, it is infinitely easier for you to realise the Supreme. Don't think of the body-consciousness; think of the soul, which has a free access to the Universal Consciousness. Think of my soul, which embodies Light, Peace and Bliss in abundant measure. I try to represent the Supreme in His own Way; therefore, it becomes infinitely easier for you to see the Supreme in me. But once you see the Supreme in me, you have to know that the same Supreme is inside you. So, if you think of the Supreme all the time, then you are pleasing me.

Question: How should we feel when you tell us that we aren't pleasing you?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, don't be displeased with me. Do not say, "Who cares for that Indian? Let him go back to India." On the contrary, you should be extremely grateful to me. When I say I am not pleased, that means that I really am paying attention to you. When I walk along the street in Manhattan, hundreds and thousands of people I see. They are in their own world and I am in my world, which is a little bit of spiritual world. They pay no attention to me and I pay no attention to them. On the outer plane I have nothing to do with them, but on the inner plane I have everything to do with everybody.

But since you are a disciple of mine, I feel I am duty-bound to be of service to the Supreme in you, even on the physical plane. It is my duty to perfect the seeker for whom I am responsible. You have given me the responsibility and I have accepted. So when I say that I am displeased, it means that I am offering to you my Concern-Light.

You want to run fast, faster, fastest. If I don't tell you that you are not running, that you are stumbling, stumbling, stumbling, then you remain in a self-complacent world. You will do everything wrong and think that you are doing the right thing. Then your progress will be delayed. If you are really doing the right thing, then without fail I will tell you. When I say that I am not pleased, then you should feel that it is a great blessing to know the truth, for this way you can run the fastest to the ultimate Goal. But if a spiritual Master remains indifferent, it will be a spiritual disaster. I always tell my disciples that when I stop perfecting them, when I don't scold them, when I remain indifferent, at that time my indifference is like an atom bomb. If I am really indifferent, then my disciples will take a very, very, very long time to reach their destination.

It is like a mother. How can the mother be indifferent to her children? If they do something wrong, the mother immediately points it out. And if they do something good, the mother extols them to the skies with her joy and pride. So, when I say that I am displeased, you have to feel that it is my concern which is speaking.

It is like my right hand telling my left hand, "Please be as strong as I am." My right hand is stronger than my left hand, so the right hand is telling the left that it is ready to help in every possible way. When I say something to you, you have to feel that I am your own highest illumined part. Your own highest part is asking the lowest to be as good, as divine, as itself. It is the highest in you that is speaking to the lowest, asking it to become perfect. If you take it in that way, then you will never be displeased. If the head asks the legs to do something, the legs will do it. They know that they are part and parcel of the body. There the question of anger or fear or other negative qualities cannot arise. When you feel that your highest is speaking to your lowest for its perfection, then you will be very happy because you know one part of your existence has already become what God wants it to become. One part has become what God wants, and the other will also become that way eventually.

Part IV — Awareness of the Master's height

Awareness of the Master's height

It is difficult for you to be aware of my height all the time because always I am mixing with you people. On the sports field I run the hundred metres and I suffer from leg cramp. Then you say, "Oh, so-and-so defeats Guru; that person also defeats him. What kind of Guru is he? If he had spiritual power, then naturally he could beat them." When ordinary people think of spiritual height, they feel that constant miracles must be performed, they feel that I have to beat everybody at everything, that I have to be always on the Himalayan peaks while everybody else is at the foot of the mountain.

But you have to know that a spiritual Master comes into the world not to be a sports champion and not to do miracles at every second. Miracles I do perform. Every day I do millions of miracles. But they are of a different kind. When I concentrate on you people, when I feed your souls, that is my miracle. So many people on earth are crying for light, but there are very few spiritual Masters on earth who have really realised God. I am not the only one who has realised God; but I wish to say that there are very few Masters who are really realised and who are really serving God in humanity. Others are just fooling the world, and those who are being fooled naturally are greater fools. That is why the so-called spiritual world is being exploited.

You have been coming to the Centre for one year or a few years. I am sure that at least one day when you looked at me, you saw something in my eyes. So many times I have meditated in front of you and brought down my highest consciousness. Definitely you must have seen something in my eyes. When you see something in me during the meditation, I tell you, like a magnet you are pulling it towards you and then it becomes your property also. Once you see something in me or receive something from me, it does not remain my sole property. Immediately it becomes your property. When we meditate and our consciousness goes up, we just spread our wings. Then it is for others to see and feel and grow into the Reality that we embody.

The consciousness that you liked best, that gave you the greatest joy, you may have seen perhaps six months ago or eight months ago. But try to remember that that is your goal. Try to feel that this very thing you will have tomorrow or two hundred years from now or four hundred years from now. Or even the next moment you may reach that consciousness.

Sometimes during meditation, some of you try to imitate the way I look and the movement of my eyes. But you have to know that there is a great difference between the way I meditate and the meditation that you show. Some of you stand in front of me and pretend to be in your highest, but I know what kind of meditation you are doing. You are thinking that everyone should come and look at you, because you are doing what I do. When I do this kind of thing, I am feeding all the souls; but you are doing it only to attract the attention of the people who are beside you and in front of you. I am a spiritual thief. Secretly I enter into you and I try to bring something into you. But I see that you are only trying to attract attention.

Now, whom are you fooling? You may be fooling the rest of the disciples, but you are not fooling me. I come with utmost compassion and say, "This stupid fellow is deceiving all the other disciples and they are trying to imitate him. They think that he is the best seeker. Now, what will I do? If I tell others that he is exploiting their innocence, then he will be mad that I have exposed him. And if I don't tell, others will have the wrong impression and will try to imitate him." But I feel that it is better to tell the truth. If I tell, then I will hurt only the one individual who was deceiving the others. The rest of the disciples will immediately try to rectify the same failing in themselves. Also, they will not try to imitate that particular person in their own meditation.

During meditation all of you have seen my height. But later, when you see me playing with tops and all kinds of things, you have to feel that still I have not cut off my link with the Highest. Look at the root of a tree. It is under the ground, but it always keeps its connection with the topmost branches which are going up, up, up. So, you have to think of me as a tree. I am the highest, topmost bough and, again I am the root. Even when I come down, I don't lose my height because I know that the highest, topmost branch is also mine. When I play with you people, when I cut jokes and do all kinds of things, then you say, "Guru eats the same food that we eat and does everything else that we do. So, if he can realise God, what is wrong with us?" Your mind may ask, "If he has realised the Highest, then why is he not there all the time?" But in one part of my consciousness I am always in the Highest; again, in another part I have come down to your level so that you can go up. Otherwise if I remain always on the topmost branch of the tree, you will only strain your neck and say, "Oh, it is beyond our capacity to reach his height." But I do come down and at that time if you say, "Guru, I am ready now; I want to be on your shoulders," then I will lift you up. I will climb and you will go up with me, for my highest is your goal.

Once you touch something, you get the consciousness of that thing. But it is up to you to enter into that consciousness. When you place your hand on even a drop of the sea, you get the vibration of the vast ocean. When you touch the foot of a tree, you get the consciousness, the vibration, of the whole tree. The tree is aspiring to grow into the highest and its vibration is soothing, protecting, compassionate and full of patience. When I am playing with you people or cutting jokes and all that, you are catching me at the foot of the tree, but you are getting the vibration, the consciousness of the whole tree. When you climb up the tree, it gives you great joy. You go so high. What I can give you when you enter into my highest consciousness is boundless Peace, Light and Bliss. But again, if you cannot remain all the time at the top of the tree, then try to touch any part of my consciousness and you will get the vibration of the highest. Even if you remember the sweetest, most innocent thing on the earthly level, that will also help you to remain in my consciousness. You don't have to worry about my highest. Think of me on any level; get me at any level. Then, from there, automatically you will get the pull to go to the highest. You won't remain all the time at the foot of the tree. There comes a time when you will climb up. You don't remain in front of the ocean all the time. There comes a time when you enter into the ocean and swim. Similarly, you don't have to remain all the time in my relaxed consciousness or my joking consciousness. After some time you will be able to go up. And that is your goal: to reach my highest consciousness.

Editor's preface

In this book, a great spiritual Master discusses some of the ways that seekers can run the fastest along his path. The material in this book is drawn from informal talks that Sri Chinmoy has given to his own disciples, and his answers to their questions about the spiritual life.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Illumination-world, Agni Press, 1977
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