The Inner Light

University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

18 March 1970

Philadelphia, to you I offer my soulful salute. You are great. You house the New World’s Liberty Bell. No liberty, no divinity. No divinity, no Infinity.

All of us here are aspirants. When the time is ripe, we all shall hear the bell of inner liberty. It is in our liberty that we can and shall grow into the very Image of God.

Philadelphia, you are divine. You are called ‘The City of Brotherly Love’. To have brotherly love is to feel God the Love.

Do you know what our first Indian Avatar (direct descendant of God), Sri Ramachandra, said? “Dese dese kalatrani — In every country there are wives. In every country there are friends. But hard it is to find anywhere a brother of my own.”

I am now at the University of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania and its founder, William Penn, will always go together. Penn was a Quaker. He was also an active member of the Society of Friends. This evening I am speaking here on “The Inner Light.” A good Quaker will correct me and ask me to call it ‘inward light’.

June 5th, 1963 was a supremely significant day for this august University. It was on that day that your University conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws on Dr. Radhakrishnan, a teacher of world-awakening and world-illumination. During his speech, Dr. Radhakrishnan said something unique, something absolutely of his own.

> Turn the face of the world to the sun. Let us look to Him.…let us not become the victims of either baseless optimism or groundless despair. Take recognition of the reality of the situation. Take account of the inwardness of the human being, of the spirit that dwells in him. That spirit will conquer all the darkness and matter.


Light is the Creator yet to be fulfilled.

Light is the Creation yet to be realised.

Light is the Voice of Silence in the inner world.

Light is the fruit of action in the outer world.

When we live in darkness, our human life is a constant want.

When we live in Light, our divine life is a constant achievement.

Light in the physical is beauty.

Light in the vital is capacity.

Light in the mind is glory.

Light in the heart is victory.


The secret of Light is divine energy. From this divine energy comes another secret — life. The secret of life is inner discipline. The secret of discipline is confidence. The secret of confidence is the aspirant’s consciously surrendered oneness with God’s Will.

Why do we love Light? We love Light because it embodies life. Why do we love life? We love life because it embodies Truth. Why do we love Truth? We love Truth because Truth is the breath of Reality’s Realisation.

Light is freedom. There is no freedom without perfection. There is no perfection without freedom. Freedom is the soul of realisation. Perfection is the physical manifestation of realisation.

The mounting Light that glows within tells us that God is of us and for us. The dazzling light that glares without tells us that we are of ignorance and ignorance is ours.

When we use the outer light, we see how far we are away from God. When we use the inner Light, we see how far we are away from ignorance. When we use the Light of our fully awakened and fully realised consciousness, we see how close we are to ignorance, yet not at all affected. When we use the Light of the Supreme, we see how close we are to God, yet so far, so unimaginably far from our divine manifestation.

From:Sri Chinmoy,The oneness of the Eastern heart and the Western mind, part 2, Agni Press, 2004
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