Two brothers: Madal and Chinmoy, part 1

Author's dedication

I dedicate this book to my Savyasachi, Chetana, Ranjana and Sumedha. They have graciously and sincerely told me that my command of English surpasses theirs. To tell the truth, the words in this book have tremendously enriched my own vocabulary. I do hope that this book of amusement will inspire some of my disciple-readers who want to increase their vocabulary and sail in the same boat as we are in. The two brothers and the kind readers have all one Soul, one Role and one Goal: “Smile and learn, learn and smile.”

1 Abject

Madal: Chinmoy, when a seeker’s life is lacking in God-hunger, how can he escape from this abject spiritual poverty? Chinmoy: Madal, when a seeker is suffering from utterly hopeless spiritual poverty, he should do two things: bring forward his gratitude-cry, and remember some soulful and fruitful spiritual experiences of the past.

2 Abnegation

Madal: Chinmoy, is it necessary for me to live a life of abnegation in order to be truly spiritual? Chinmoy: No, Madal, you don’t have to live a life of self-denial. What you should do is to live a life of vital purification until you grow into a life of self-realisation and God-manifestation.

3 Abominate

Madal: Chinmoy, whom to abominate and what to abominate? Chinmoy: Madal, whom to hate? None. What to hate? Doubt — today, tomorrow and always.

4 Abrogate

Madal: Chinmoy, is there any way I can abrogate my unconscious agreement with Fate? Chinmoy: Yes, Madal, you can annul your agreement with Fate if you consciously feel that you are of God and for God.

5 Abscond

Madal: Chinmoy, in the spiritual life can one abscond from the home of doubt? Chinmoy: Madal, to try to go away secretly and suddenly from the home of doubt is impossible. Instead of running away secretly, one should break down the house of doubt with one’s strong faith in God.

6 Acme

Madal: Chinmoy, where does the acme of perfection lie? Chinmoy: Madal, the highest point of perfection lies in self-giving and God-manifesting.

7 Acrimonious

Madal: Chinmoy, it seems that the scientist and the spiritualist enjoy a continual acrimonious argument over the existence or non-existence of God. Why do they do so? Chinmoy: Alas, Madal, I know, I know; both the scientist and the spiritualist enjoy bitter arguments. They are in the habit of doing so because they both feel that they alone are right. I must add that according to the inner development of these two rivals, each one is right. Let us not worry. The real seeker in the scientist will one day come forward, and then it will not be difficult for the scientist to shake hands with the spiritualist.

8 Acumen

Madal: Chinmoy, are you not proud of your acumen in dealing with your disciples’ needs? Chinmoy: No, Madal, I am not proud of my keen insight. I am proud only of God’s constant Light and Vision, which He lends to me.

9 Adamant

Madal: Chinmoy, what makes you so adamant at times in your decisions with regard to your spiritual children? Chinmoy: Madal, what makes me absolutely firm is my inseparable oneness with divinity’s Light. This Light will never allow me or my disciples to yield to the love of ignorance-night.

10 Adjudicate

Madal: Chinmoy, when there is a sad dispute between outer doubt and inner faith, who can adjudicate? Chinmoy: Madal, when your doubt and your faith are in dispute, the absolutely sincere aspirant in you must come forward to settle the dispute.

11 Aesthetic

Madal: Chinmoy, is it absolutely necessary for a seeker to develop an aesthetic sense? Chinmoy: Yes, Madal, a spiritual person has to be sensitive to beauty. His aspiring life undoubtedly needs both inner and outer beauty.

12 Affinity

Madal: Chinmoy, do the two divine qualities, love and devotion, have an affinity for each other? Chinmoy: Yes, Madal, love and devotion have a great mutual attraction and feeling for each other. Love fulfils devotion with its wisdom. Devotion fulfils love with its delight.

13 Affront

Madal: Chinmoy, does God feel it as an affront when someone speaks ill of Him? Chinmoy: No, Madal, God does not feel it as an insult when someone speaks ill of Him. God’s Mind is all Concern for man. His Heart is all Compassion for man. You are following the spiritual life. Just wait a few years. You yourself will not feel insulted if someone speaks ill of you.

14 Alacrity

Madal: Chinmoy, dark depression has been calling me for the last few months. My heavy mind does not allow me to do anything with alacrity. I need your advice badly. Chinmoy: Madal, just think that you are good, just feel that you are great, just realise that you are divine. Lo, the train of depression has gone. Lo, the plane of illumination is come. God now gives you a new name: cheerful quickness and dynamism.

15 Altruism

Madal: Chinmoy, is it possible for any human being to have a genuine sense of altruism in this power-hungry world? Chinmoy: Madal, it is quite possible. When we show an unselfish and noble concern for others, we grow into the Light of Divinity. Let us try. We will, without fail, succeed.

16 Ameliorate

Madal: Chinmoy, how can one most effectively ameliorate the condition of those who are suffering from inner poverty? Chinmoy: Madal, one can most effectively improve their condition by giving them inner strength and outer encouragement.

17 Anathema

Madal: Chinmoy, I am sure no disciple of yours drinks liquor, for alcohol is anathema to you. Chinmoy: Madal, you are right. No true disciple of mine will ever drink liquor. It is not true that drinking is something detested by me, but I do feel that liquor is extremely harmful to the body and to the subtle nerves. That is why my disciples abstain from alcohol.

18 Anomaly

Madal: Chinmoy, you often move around wearing your Indian shorts and Indian robes. What do your disciples think of you? Are you not an anomaly in New York City? Chinmoy: Madal, strangely enough I myself have asked them the same question. They have said to me that, although my clothes are a deviation from the usual, and I am not like them in my outer way of life, they like my cute Indianism, for they love my Indian heart.

19 Antipathy

Madal: Chinmoy, do you have any disciples whose antipathy for you is great? Chinmoy: Yes, Madal, unfortunately there are quite a few. But I tell you, Madal, that either their dislike for me will take them away from my boat or, seated in my boat, they will discover and realise that I am, after all, not such a bad boatman.

20 Antithesis

Madal: Chinmoy, what is the antithesis of human failure? Chinmoy: Madal, the opposite of human failure is divine success, and you can get this divine success constantly if you lead a life of self-giving.

21 Apathy

Madal: Chinmoy, your apathy towards your undeveloped disciples at times borders on cruelty. Chinmoy: Madal, it seems that your mind and your heart are not functioning together. It is your own mind’s ignorant wisdom that accuses me of lack of feeling for my so-called undeveloped disciples.

22 Apposite

Madal: Chinmoy, for a disciple, what is the most apposite way of speaking to his Guru? Chinmoy: Madal, for a disciple the most appropriate way of speaking to his Guru is through loving oneness, and never through fear.

23 Apprise

Madal: Chinmoy, when a disciple of yours is about to die, are you apprised of this by the soul in advance? Chinmoy: Yes, Madal, I am informed well in advance. As a matter of fact, I know long before the fatal hour strikes. Without the express sanction of the Supreme and my fully conscious awareness of the incident, no disciple-soul of mine can leave the body.

24 Aspersion

Madal: Chinmoy, among your disciples, is there anyone who has cast aspersions on you while speaking to others about you? Chinmoy: Madal, I don’t think that any of them would make derogatory criticisms of me. First of all, my disciples are not so unkind. And then, I am also not as bad as you think.

25 Assiduous

Madal: Chinmoy, I think in India you were an assiduous reader, but here in America you are anything but that. Chinmoy: Madal, you are absolutely right. In India I was a constant and persistent book-reader. Needless to say, my kindhearted God made me that. Now the same kindhearted God has made me, here in the West, a constant and persistent mind-reader. The book-reader in me has made total and unconditional surrender to the mind-reader in me.

26 Assuage

Madal: Chinmoy, how can I assuage my inner suffering? Chinmoy: Madal, you can relieve and soothe your inner suffering by feeling that God thinks of you, God cares for you and God loves you.

27 Auspicious

Madal: Chinmoy, what is the most auspicious day for a disciple? What is the most auspicious day for the Master? Chinmoy: Madal, the most lucky, promising and fulfilling day for a disciple is when the Master accepts him as his very own. And the most lucky, promising and fulfilling day for the Master is when the disciple is ready to receive God-Realisation from him.

28 Autonomous

Madal: Chinmoy, why don’t you allow your Centres to be autonomous? Chinmoy: Madal, you want my disciples in our Centres to be self-governing? You want them to be free from my guidance? For God’s sake, my dear Madal, you should know that it is they who do not want to govern themselves. It is they who realise the fact that the Supreme in me will be able to guide them most effectively and successfully. Finally, it is they who, unlike you, feel that they and I are inseparably one. So the question of self-government on their part does not arise at all. Madal, thank you for this grand question.

29 Banal

Madal: Chinmoy, have you ever bored your audiences with banal talks? Chinmoy: Madal, I am sure I have done it quite a few times, if not each time I give a talk at a university or some other place. But, thanks to the unconditional kindness and forgiveness of my audience, nobody — not even once — has told me that my talk was uninspiring, commonplace and devoid of originality.

30 Bellicose

Madal: Chinmoy, shall we punish or forgive those political leaders whose bellicose utterances are destroying world harmony? Chinmoy: Madal, unfortunately, we have neither the power to punish nor the power to forgive their aggressive and hostile utterances. But we have ample power to pray to God to change their nature.

31 Benign

Madal: Chinmoy, do you always greet your disciples with a benign smile? Chinmoy: Madal, I try always to greet my disciples with a gracious and benevolent smile. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail miserably.

32 Bestial

Madal: Chinmoy, in the past some Indian spiritual Masters were almost bestial. I simply cannot imagine how they could behave in that way towards their spiritual children. Please tell me why they were like that. Chinmoy: Madal, unfortunately even now there are some Eastern and Western spiritual Masters who are extremely cruel and violent to their children. It is, as you said, incredible. However, the reason is very simple. These spiritual Masters do not care for the transformation of their own nature at all. A Yogi without the transformation of his outer nature will be able to manifest only very little of his inner divinity on earth.

33 Bilk

Madal: Chinmoy, is it possible for a person to bilk his own soul through conscious and constant insincerity? Chinmoy: Madal, it is not possible, since the soul is part and parcel of God. One can defraud only the unaspiring vital and the uninspiring mind.

34 Blatant

Madal: Chinmoy, is God not sick of our constant, blatant ignorance? Chinmoy: No, Madal, He is not. He sincerely feels that it is His duty to free us from our very obvious ignorance. Our sincere heart tells us that we are hopeless. God’s compassionate Heart tells Him that we are helpless.

35 Braggadicio

Madal: Chinmoy, among your disciples is there anyone who derives immense pleasure from braggadocio? Chinmoy: Yes, Madal, I have not one, but quite a few disciples who enjoy empty boasting. But I can’t blame them in the least, for, after all, as the saying goes, “like spiritual father, like spiritual children.”

36 Cacophony

Madal: Chinmoy, no matter what type of music I hear, it sounds to me like cacophony. Chinmoy: Madal, if music sounds like discordant noise to you, then you must soulfully pray to God to give you an ear for music.

37 Cajole

Madal: Chinmoy, when someone cajoles you into doing something, do you like it? Chinmoy: Madal, when someone begs and teases me, I do like it; nay, I simply love it, far beyond your imagination.

38 Candour

Madal: Chinmoy, do you appreciate the candour of your disciples when they tell you all about their vital difficulties and weaknesses? Chinmoy: Madal, not only do I appreciate, but I simply adore their frankness. Their sincerity is their safeguard. That is the only way they can empty themselves so that I can fill them with purity’s light and divinity’s pride.

39 Cant

Madal: Chinmoy, I have a minister friend. Whenever he talks I feel that his utterances are full of cant. What shall I do with him? Chinmoy: Madal, if your minister friend’s insincerely pious utterances are unpleasant to you, then you should pray to God either to change your friend’s nature, or to free your life from his friendship.

40 Caprice

Madal: Chinmoy, among your friends and acquaintances does anybody think that it was just a caprice that took you away from the Eastern shore to live on the Western shore? Chinmoy: Madal, if anybody thinks that it was a mere whim, an abrupt and unmotivated decision, and not an express Command from my Inner Pilot, the Supreme, then I am afraid my sweet and devoted Western spiritual children — not to speak of my fanatic disciples — will, without fail, sue that person in the Supreme’s Supreme Court.

41 Castigate

Madal: Chinmoy, in the spiritual life how many things must we castigate? Chinmoy: Madal, in the spiritual life there are only two things we must severely criticise: self-doubt and self-indulgence.

42 Cerebration

Madal: Chinmoy, there was a time when you spent or wasted much time on athletics. Did you also care for cerebration at that time? Chinmoy: Yes, Madal, I did. My mind was never a stranger to serious thinking. My spiritual life, my literary life and my athletic life ran side by side triumphantly, if not always perfectly.

43 Chagrin

Madal: Chinmoy, my chagrin becomes most intense when I see that all my friends have surpassed me in meditation. Chinmoy: Madal, your vexation and disappointment are totally unnecessary. Each disciple has to progress at his own speed.

44 Charlatan

Madal: Chinmoy, I need not tell you that there are many Gurus who are charlatans of the first water. How can we get rid of them? Chinmoy: Madal, God does not want you to get rid of the spiritual Masters who are frauds and fakes. God wants you only to remain seated at the feet of the genuine spiritual teacher, and be protected, guided and illumined by him.

45 Chicanery

Madal: Chinmoy, I am curious to know from you why a great spiritual Master like Sri Krishna had to display a certain amount of chicanery. Chinmoy: Madal, may God bless your curiosity, since I can’t. First of all, what you call Sri Krishna’s trickery, I call an unavoidable necessity. Secondly, the human in us cannot judge the divine Sri Krishna. There was an ultimate and divine purpose behind everything he said and did. The divine in you will gladly justify him whom you call Krishna the trickster.

45 Circumspect

Madal: Chinmoy, how can I be more circumspect in my spiritual life? Chinmoy: Madal, you can be more cautious in your spiritual life if each action of yours becomes a conscious consecration to God’s Will. Then you will not make Himalayan spiritual blunders.

47 Coadjutor

Madal: Chinmoy, the first coadjutor in my spiritual life is undoubtedly my Guru. Who is my second-best coadjutor? Chinmoy: Madal, the second best assistant without fail is the second personal pronoun.

48 Cogitate

Madal: Chinmoy, I cogitate and cogitate, yet my problems are not being solved. Please tell me the reason. Chinmoy: Madal, you think hard and reflect sincerely, yet your problems don’t go away. Such being the case, I advise you to concentrate and meditate instead. God’s Grace will, before long, descend on your devoted head and aspiring heart.

49 Cognomen

Madal: Chinmoy, I have been thinking of asking you a most significant, yet silly question. Please tell me, what is God’s cognomen? Chinmoy: Madal, God’s surname is Compassion and His middle name is Justice. When His Justice fails, His Compassion works. When His Compassion fails, His Justice works. To deal with a non-aspirant He uses His Justice first, and then, if necessity demands, He uses His Compassion. To deal with an aspirant He uses His Compassion first, and then, if necessity demands, He uses His Justice.

50 Compunction

Madal: Chinmoy, please tell me frankly, if your heart is full of compunction after doing something wrong, will this emotion illumine you? Chinmoy: No, Madal, it will not. Even if you are full of remorse, you cannot expect illumination. For illumination you need a prayerful life and a soulful heart.

Editor's preface

In this charming and enlightening book, Sri Chinmoy combines humour, wisdom and the highest illumination. In a lively dialogue with his older brother, young Madal expresses the joy and, occasionally, the bombast of one who has just discovered the magic of language. In his wise and gentle responses, Chinmoy offers his spiritually younger brother an illumining lesson not only in vocabulary but in spirituality as well.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Two brothers: Madal and Chinmoy, part 1, Agni Press, 1981
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