The Path of my Inner Pilot

My sister Ahana1

My sister Ahana’s original name was Madhuri. In the Ashram life it changed. Ahana got very high marks in school. She was the best student. At one point the school wanted Ahana to go to a higher grade, two levels higher, but she did not want a double promotion. Then my sister Lily agreed to study together with her in the same class.

My father did something special in the village. Girls usually did not study. People felt that girls did not need to study. For the young village girls my father opened up a school. He bought the books and he prepared all the facilities. The girls came and studied at our place. Then my sister Lily gave up school and started teaching the girls.

My mother’s brother did not have any children. He was sad, and his wife was very sad. My mother said to them about Ahana, “This girl is brilliant. You can take her.” They were very happy to take Ahana to live with them.

This couple lived in the town, and we lived in the village. Ahana went to the town, and she very nicely got her high school degree. Then she went to college. She was doing very, very well. Alas, that was the time when our father was summoned by God. She wanted to continue her studies. Then our mother became very, very sick. By this time Lily and Arpita, the two older sisters, were already in the Ashram, so Ahana was the only girl in the family. She had to give up her studies to take care of our mother.

Ahana was my first music teacher. When I was four or five years old, she was the one who taught me songs. Still I remember how affectionate she was. She was the one whom I tried to fool when I was five years old, and I did not succeed! One evening I was very angry and I would not eat. I pretended that I was fast asleep. Ahana said, “Really great singers can sing in their sleep. If you are a great singer, then you will be able to sing in your sleep.”

Alas, I started singing! Then she grabbed me and put me on her shoulder, and brought me to the kitchen to eat. How I was fooled! I think many children would do the same thing at that age to prove that they are great singers.

We talk about the psychic being, the representative of the soul. The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram said that Ahana had the most beautiful psychic being.

Ahana went to God at the age of twenty-four. In our family she had the shortest life. She was the most beautiful and the most talented among the girls. She wrote very nice poems. Her poem Jago paran I set to music. Kindly sing it now.

[The disciples sing Jago paran.]

Now kindly sing my sister Lily’s song, Kabe amar.

[Sri Chinmoy leads the disciples in singing Kabe amar.]

Now I am requesting you to sing Man chale jai.

[The disciples sing Man chale jai, Sri Chinmoy’s song composed to the poem written by his brother Chitta.]

Now kindly sing Hriday’s song. That song I have sung thousands and millions of times!

[The disciples sing Tumi je hao se hao, the song Sri Chinmoy composed to the poem written by his brother Hriday.]

PIP 1. 5 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Sri Aurobindo's Bengali writings2

Sri Aurobindo wrote my name in a book when I became a permanent member of the Ashram. It was about Sri Aurobindo’s experiences during his prison-life. There he had the vision of Lord Krishna. Sri Krishna was guiding him. That particular book Sri Aurobindo signed for me. It was a Bengali book.

Sri Aurobindo wrote two books in Bengali. The one about his prison-life is Karakahini, and the other is Jagannather Rath, “The Chariot of the World-Lord.” He wrote two stories in Bengali. One is Kshamar Adarsha, “The Ideal of Forgiveness.” I put that story into Bengali verse with rhyme when I was fifteen, sixteen or seventeen. Then, after many, many years, I translated it into English. It would be in my book The Infinite: Sri Aurobindo that was printed by the Ashram. At Sri Aurobindo’s centenary time also it came out.

The Bengali version of that poem was read out to Sri Aurobindo, and Sri Aurobindo appreciated it. He had two assistants. While one assistant was reading out the poem to Sri Aurobindo, the other assistant was coming out of the building. I was the volleyball captain, and I saw the assistant on my way to the volleyball ground. The assistant said, “Lord is now listening to your poem.” Then Sri Aurobindo gave a nice comment.

The other story also I rendered into verse: Swapna, “Dream.” At that time Sri Aurobindo was not in the physical.

Flame-Waves; The Infinite: Sri Aurobindo; The Mother of the Golden All; Chandelier — I wrote these books when I was in India and they were all printed by the Ashram.

PIP 2. 5 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Such affection for his disciples!3

Sri Aurobindo used to affectionately call my eldest brother “philosopher,” because he studied the Vedas, the Upanishads and all the scriptures. He was a real philosopher! Very often he received blessings and affection from Sri Aurobindo. When he had a headache, Sri Aurobindo used to enquire how he was doing.

There is a funny story that I have told many times, but no matter how many times I tell it, there will be people who have not heard it!

In the Ashram there was a particular singer. My brother and that singer were good friends. My brother developed a desire to learn how to sing, but he had to take permission from the Master, Sri Aurobindo. When my brother asked for permission, Sri Aurobindo wrote to my brother, “Music? It is all vital, vital. It has nothing to do with spirituality. Music is all vital.” My brother was so happy that he did not have to learn singing!

To the singer, who was going to be my brother’s teacher, Sri Aurobindo said, “He will not be able to carry one note correctly. He is useless. Do not waste your time.”

To the teacher Sri Aurobindo said one thing, and to my brother he said something else. Since the two were friends, they were exchanging their notes. My brother said, “You see, music is vital. I am not going to enter into the vital world.” And the teacher said to my brother, “You are a useless singer! Sri Aurobindo has said it.”

Like that, there were many, many affectionate letters from Sri Aurobindo. So many of the ashramites’ letters I had to read because I was the secretary of Nolini. Sri Aurobindo acted like their grandfather, not like their father. When complaints came, to one party Sri Aurobindo would say, “This person is so bad. It is beneath your dignity even to speak to him.” Then the other party got a similar letter. At times they showed each other their letters. How many letters I read! To both parties Sri Aurobindo wrote in the same way, like a grandfather.

I also do that sometimes. I have the same habit. When one individual criticises another, I may agree with the first one. Then the other individual gets the same message from me. In that way, both parties get joy. I do not know whether my disciples go and tell each other what they have heard from me. In Sri Aurobindo’s case, his messages were all in writing, so they preserved those letters. When two individuals quarreled, they could exchange their letters. One person would say, “You see, it is in Sri Aurobindo’s own handwriting. You can show me your letter, and I can show you my letter.” In my case there is no proof, but in Sri Aurobindo’s case there was proof in writing.

Such affection, such concern Sri Aurobindo had for his disciples!

PIP 3. 5 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Life changes!4

India’s greatest dancer, absolutely the topmost dancer, was Uday Shankar. He was the number one dancer — nobody could come near him. He was the brother of the great maestro Ravi Shankar. I saw Uday Shankar once at the Indian Consulate when I was working there. He came to our Visa Section. He was very tall and majestic.

Uday Shankar wanted to come to the Ashram and dance for Sri Aurobindo, but Sri Aurobindo did not want to watch dancing. In Sri Aurobindo’s handwriting appear the words, “The Divine does not want a dancer.” Life changes! Today I do not want something, but tomorrow that very thing I may want. In my case, for instance, I disliked weightlifting from the bottom of my heart. As soon as I heard or saw anything about bodybuilders or weightlifters, I said to myself, “They are brainless!” That was my opinion of bodybuilders and weightlifters. In my Ashram life, on two occasions I took exercise with twenty pounds in a big gymnasium. Those two days I can recall, because I did not want to ruin my sprinting with weightlifting, and again, I felt that weightlifters were brainless. That was the opinion I cherished. Then, how things changed in my life!

We do not know at what point we are going to do something in life. In the Sri Aurobindo Ashram also it was the same. In those days in our Ashram life, dancing was forbidden. Then it was permitted. Uday Shankar’s wife’s name was Amala. She opened up a school in the Himalayas. One of the Ashram girls was sent there by the Mother to learn how to dance. She went, she learned, and then she came back and taught not only the Ashram girls, but the boys also. Some of the Ashram boys knew how to dance very well.

PIP 4. 5 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Writing songs in the dark5

When I was living on 76th Street, near the Museum of Natural History, a few poems I wrote while lying down. Then I set them to music — all in the dark. A German lady was the owner of the house. She was so miserly! There was practically no light. Outside, in the front of the house, there was a light. Inside she turned off all the lights. She was so bad! She said, “After eleven o’clock or eleven-thirty you are not allowed to use light.” A little light came into my room from outside, and I had to write with that light. What could I do?

Three special English songs I composed in the early days: “I am a Thief,” “I am a Fool” and “I am an Idiot.” Now kindly sing “I am a Thief.”

[The singers sing the song.]

In the name of soulfulness, do not sacrifice the power-aspect. I still remember how powerfully I sang that song when I recorded it. How full of life it was! Sing with life, dear ones!

Now kindly sing “I am a Fool” and “I am an Idiot.”

[The singers sing the songs.]


PIP 5. 5 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Remain entirely in the heart6

When we remain entirely in the heart, we can accomplish everything. When the brain does not interfere, we can accomplish so much! When it interferes, we can accomplish nothing. Rely only on the brain, and accomplish nothing. If you do not allow the brain to interfere, you are brave. If you rely only on the brain, you are limited.

When we rely on the brain, the brain binds us. When we do not rely on the brain, there is nothing to bind us.

PIP 6. 5 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Special souls at the ashram7

Quite a few very special souls came to the Ashram. I have so many stories!

There was a girl named Chinmoyi. She lived the life of a real saint. Mother Teresa would have appreciated her immensely.

Chinmoyi’s brother’s name was Prashanta. His name, “Prashanta,” means “full of poise.” He got his Master’s degree from Hyderabad University, and he wrote a letter to Sri Aurobindo. At that time Sri Aurobindo’s secretary was Sri Aurobindo’s younger brother. He was absolutely ready to give his life for Sri Aurobindo. He had such love for his brother, and Sri Aurobindo was his life-breath. Again, after some time he disappeared. He did not remain at the Ashram.

The story is that Sri Aurobindo’s brother did not show Prashanta’s letter to Sri Aurobindo. He himself answered it. The letter asked, “How long does it take for one to realise God? How many years does it take?”

Sri Aurobindo’s brother said, “If you are very sincere and you meditate eight hours a day for six months, then you are bound to realise God.”

Prashanta said to himself, “Six months is nothing. Let me realise God first. Then I shall go to Cambridge University to get my Ph.D.”

He came to the Ashram. I had many occasions to see him. He was my eldest brother’s very close friend. He remained at the Ashram for ten, twenty, thirty-five years, but alas, God-realisation was not taking place in his life. In the meantime, Sri Aurobindo’s younger brother left the Ashram. Poor Prashanta! He tried for quite a few months to meditate for eight hours a day, but he was unable to meditate and pray for so many hours. He could not blame Sri Aurobindo’s brother for his failure to realise God. Sri Aurobindo’s brother had said it was necessary to meditate eight hours a day. Prashanta thought that, since he was such a brilliant student at the university and he was able to read for so many hours, the same number of hours he would be able to devote to his prayers and meditations. But it did not work out that way. One can read books for many hours, but one may not be able to meditate for such a long time. So the poor fellow did not get his God-realisation.

If you asked for a job at the Ashram, the Mother had her own way of giving jobs. Prashanta’s job was to wash bananas. They used to put something in the water to disinfect the fruit. For two hours or so every day he and my eldest brother used to wash bananas. My brother Hriday did not get a Master’s degree, but he was a great philosopher, a very brilliant boy, and he did very well in his studies, with honours. He gave up his university studies and joined the Ashram. These two became very good friends.

In the Moghul dynasty, there was a prince named Dara. The Taj Mahal was the offering of his father, Shah Jahan, to his wife, Mumtaz. Another brother of Chinmoyi, a boy named Dara, joined the Ashram. Sri Aurobindo said that he was the same Dara, Shah Jahan’s eldest son. He had studied India’s Vedas and Upanishads as a prince in his earlier incarnation, although at that time he came of a Muslim family. When he joined the Ashram, by that time he had had two or three more incarnations after his Moghul incarnation.

Dara was very tall, stout and dignified. If you looked at his eyes, you would definitely feel something. When he was the prince, he was very, very kind and very majestic. But he was imprisoned by his younger brother, Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb did many undivine things, but luckily he did not kill Dara. Dara was supposed to be the emperor, but Aurangzeb put him in jail so that he could not become the emperor.

Simplicity and sincerity incarnate — quite a few good qualities Dara had. He started writing poems at the Ashram. He had only that one hobby. He did not believe in work. The Mother said, “You do not have to work.” He was from such a high family, so he did not work. He would move around, absolutely like a renunciate, and he used to write poems. Again, so many good qualities he had.

Dara wanted the young boys to come to his place and listen to his poems! He wanted to inspire the young boys not to swerve from the path of truth and light. I was one of those ten or twelve young boys. I behaved well, but some young boys made a condition, since Dara was so rich. The condition was that if we came to hear his poems, he would give us fruits and milk and other things that were so difficult for us to get at the Ashram. He came from the richest family, in this incarnation.

This brother of Chinmoyi’s, Dara, did not have any ambition. He was beyond ambition! Again, he only begged the boys, the teenagers who were so restless, to come and listen to his poetry. At least seven or eight times I went there. It was very near our place. In my case, I did not ask for fruits; that was too much. Again, when you saw his eyes, it was really something. He was the same Dara, the prince who had studied the Vedas and the Upanishads when he was the Muslim Emperor Shah Jahan’s eldest son. He was supposed to become the emperor, but his younger brother, Aurangzeb, gave him a lifelong jail sentence.

This was one of Chinmoyi’s brothers. The other was Prashanta, who wanted to realise God first and then get his Ph.D.

PIP 7. 7 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

The head-hunter8

Yesterday some disciples found a postcard. The head-hunter whom I liked so much in Borneo, the eldest of the family, appears on the postcard wearing our “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart” medallion! It mentions on the postcard that he dances. He is very short, and he is wearing his crown.

PIP 8. 7 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Celebrations on 18 April 2006

On 18 April 2006 at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York, at the end of the April Celebrations, Sri Chinmoy spoke to his disciples and then invited them to ask him questions. Many of the questions concerned Centre disciplines. At times, Sri Chinmoy offered comments on other subjects.

My soul is meditating

I have a very special message for you all.

Dear ones, I am very, very happy that you have come to celebrate the forty-second anniversary of my arrival in America, in the West. You have given me boundless, boundless joy, and I also have tried to give you boundless, boundless joy. My heart is all gratitude, all gratitude to you.

At home you pray and you meditate. You do everything that is necessary for your spiritual life. Again, here in New York your doubting mind must not misunderstand me. If some of you feel that I am not meditating enough during the Celebrations or doing what you consider spiritual work, you are mistaken. You come here to give me joy. Through your joy, I feel your spirituality; and from my joy, you should feel that you are receiving your spirituality. Even if you think that I am not meditating in your preconceived way, please feel that I am meditating. My soul is meditating in and through each disciple of mine. My soul has that capacity.

You come here to give me joy inwardly and outwardly. I also give you joy inwardly and outwardly. We have our Christmas Trip, a spiritual vacation. Our Celebration is also a vacation that we enjoy. But in our philosophy, if you are with a spiritual person, the company of that spiritual person itself is meditation. Many Indian stories you have heard or you have read. You know that when you are with a spiritual person — it does not have to be a teacher of my height — you do get spiritual benefit just by being with that spiritual person. I am your spiritual Master, so definitely you get much, much more benefit by being so close to me for two weeks or so.

I do hope that, when you go back to your respective Centres, you will not forget that aspiration and dedication go together. We cannot fly with one wing. We cannot walk with one leg. Similarly, when you pray and meditate, it is aspiration; and dedication is when you try to manifest the Light of the Supreme. Some people may criticise us. They will say that we should realise God first, and then manifest God. I do not agree with that theory. I say that aspiration and dedication go together, side by side. They are like the beauty and fragrance of a flower.

Joy Days

I give very, very special importance to Joy Days. Please, please observe Joy Days! You are my spiritual children. When you are together, I get immense joy, immense delight. You know what you are supposed to do during Joy Days: prayer, meditation, singing and recreation — playing all kinds of games. When I hear that even two Centres are having a Joy Day together, it gives me tremendous joy, tremendous joy. And how much joy I get when I see the big German Joy Days, with disciples from ‘Kailash’s Germany’, all over Europe! Hundreds of people come — seven hundred, eight hundred or even more. I cannot expect such a high number at every Joy Day, but I do expect that three, four or five Centres will meet together for a Joy Day. And if that is not possible, even two Centres can be together to observe Joy Days.

The internet

Unfortunately, some disciples have the undivine habit of enjoying the internet. Several years ago I said that the internet is a hostile force, absolutely a hostile force incarnate. There are millions of lies on the internet. It is like a knife. A knife helps us when we have to cut a mango and share it with others. Again, with the same knife we can stab others. On the internet there are millions of undivine, shocking things that people watch to satisfy their vital. This is so bad. Again, good news it does supply. It depends on what you are watching. Please take me very seriously when I am speaking about the internet.

On the path, for the path

Some disciples have left our path, and alas, they blame me. They ask, why did I keep them for such a long time? They feel that I should have known that they were no longer meant for our path; I should have requested them to leave ten or fifteen years earlier so that they could have enjoyed their life! I wish to say that as long as a disciple is satisfied and willing to stay, I shall keep him in my boat, unless he does something spiritually wrong. But some individuals feel that I am to be blamed. First they want to be with me; but after some time, if I keep them as disciples, then I am wrong — I should have asked them to leave the path.

Some ex-disciples criticise our path, while some ex-disciples are neutral. Again, there are other ex-disciples who are all for us, all for us. One ex-disciple has been fighting for the last five years or six years for our cause. Unimaginably he is serving and serving the Supreme in me! Nothing he expects in return — nothing, nothing, nothing. Countless articles he has written in favour of our path. That fellow is so good, but he does not want to stand in front of me because he feels that he is wanting in purity, whereas all my disciples are so pure! He says that he is not pure enough to come near me; he does not dare. But thousands, not hundreds of pieces he has written in defence of our path. I do not think any disciple has done that.

There are quite a few good ex-disciples who do not want to be associated with individuals who are against our way of life.

Question: Guru, what if very new disciples know that they have to stop drinking, but after a few weeks they take a drink?

Sri Chinmoy: If they really wish to take advantage of the spiritual life, we can tolerate their lack of discipline for three months. By that time if they do not change, then this is not the path for them. Kindly inform me. Because they are new, they may not be adjusted fully. But after three months if they are still doing something wrong, then do not wait, but please inform me. Three months we shall give them.

If a male seeker has long hair, please do not send me his photograph saying that if I accept him, then he will cut his hair and shave his beard. That I do not want. If men really want to become disciples, they should cut their hair and shave. Afterwards, if I do not accept them, they can again grow long hair; they can do whatever they want.

Again, from now on please do not send me photographs of men and women saying that, if I accept them, then they will get married, or in three or four months they will get married. Do not take their photograph at that time. I have changed our requirement. Do not send me pictures of boyfriends and girlfriends together, if they say that they will get married right away or in four or five months. I will not accept them. They have to solve their problems beforehand. They have to get married before I accept them. Please do not send the photographs first; do not be so hasty. If they want to follow our path, they have to be fully prepared.

In all these things you have to be very careful. Although you want to have more disciples in your Centre, your sincerity comes first. All the needful things have to be done beforehand.

Again, if men seekers have long hair, if people are unkempt, unclean and so forth, if they do not have a normal and natural appearance, then you have to tell them first about our requirements, before they submit their photographs. Do not say that if I accept them as disciples, then they will cut their hair short and so on — no. These are our new rules.

Question: If, after three months, new disciples do not do well, do we ask them not to come any more, or do we inform you?

Sri Chinmoy: Please inform me first, inform me. When you feel something is objectionable, please inform me right away, and do not wait.

Question: If a new disciple has been smoking for many years, what can he do to quit faster?

Sri Chinmoy: He will be given three months. In three months if that particular disciple cannot stop smoking, then this path is not for him. The Centre leaders should know what is happening and they should observe that new disciple. Three months will be given. More than three months we cannot allow. It is the same thing with drinking and other wrong habits. But if you come to know that somebody is taking drugs, then immediately that person will have to leave the Centre.

Question: Guru, I would like to ask about ex-disciples. How can we know if somebody is not favourable towards us?

Sri Chinmoy: You have ears; you have eyes. With your ears you will hear if somebody is speaking ill of our way of life, and you have eyes to see their conduct. Either you yourself will see it, or you will hear about it from your friends. Your friends should tell you. By this time you should know where people stand. You will not run after them; you will not chase them. And if you hear that some ex-disciples are not in favour of us, please be careful. If you know that somebody is criticising us, then you have every right to stop associating with that person.

Question: Is it all right if disciples have connections with the positive ex-disciples?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, as I said — if they are good, if they are in favour of us, if they are not criticising us, if they like our way of living, although unfortunately they could not remain with us. But if ex-disciples are speaking ill of us, then do not associate with them. Again, there are many ex-disciples who are so good to us — even to such an extent that they are working harder for our cause than some individuals who are still on our path.

Question: Guru, what about older disciples who do not come to Celebrations?

Sri Chinmoy: If they do not come to our Celebrations, what can I do? Before, I was strict in this matter; now I have surrendered. Sometimes I have to surrender, I have to surrender. If older disciples do not come to Celebrations, what can I do? If they do not have the money to come to New York, then what can I say? When people are poor, I fully understand. But there are some people who do have money, but they do not want to come. I cannot be strict with them. I just keep them in my boat out of compassion. If they have not done anything objectionable, we allow them to remain with us. There are disciples like that. It is very difficult. They do not come; they do not come. At one time I requested people to come for at least a week. Now, some people come for only a couple of days.

Good disciples will do everything right; unfortunate disciples will do everything wrong. Only on Wednesdays some disciples come. After one hour it is over for them. My special request is that for at least one hour everyone should stay. I stay for two or three hours, and so many important things we do. But one hour is enough for some people.

There is something called acceptance or tolerance. I tolerate some things, but there are other things that are beyond my toleration. I have requested people to come, but what can I do? There are many things that we unfortunately have to tolerate.

Question: What if there are disciples who have been on the path for about three or four years and they have never come to New York, but they think about going on the Christmas Trip? They do not have the longing to come to New York, but they feel that the Christmas Trip is more of a vacation.

Sri Chinmoy: That is like enjoyment. Fine! But some people are full of love for me, full of dedication to me. Those disciples come to New York, they go on the Christmas Trip, and in between they die with eagerness to come here again. They may not be rich people, but they manage somehow. They die to come here even for two or three days. Apart from April, August and November, some disciples come here at other times during the year. Again, when I went to France, that was enough for some European disciples. They came to France, so they did not come to New York. They felt that they did not have to come. They could have gone to both places, but they went only to France.

There are some Canadian disciples who are so eager to come to New York every week. Absolutely every week they come! Some come once a month, because that is my request; once a month they are encouraged to come.

We have good disciples who want to stay with me twenty-four hours a day! I may not leave Aspiration-Ground until eleven-thirty or twelve o’clock at night. Some people disappear because it is too much for them, but some people stay.

Again, there are certain rules. If people do not abide by those rules, they will be asked to leave our Centre. But for other things I cannot ask them to leave. Even if they are millionaires, I cannot say, “You have the money to go to Paris, you have the money to come to New York — why do you not do both?” They have money, but perhaps they do not have inspiration, they do not have aspiration. What can we do?

And some poor people will go everywhere! They value my presence. They go to France; they come here. Some disciples have already started saving money because they have come to learn that I will go to Japan during the first week of July. Some are poorer than the poorest, like my Oneness-Dream-Boat-Shore disciples. How many places they go! They go to our Christmas Trip. You can see that they are eager, eager, eager, eager.

I give a weekly prayer to my Oneness-Dream-Boat-Shore disciples. Some of them do not even know English, but over two thousand people keep my weekly prayer. I have no idea how much other countries value these things, but how proud I am of my Oneness-Dream-Boat-Shore! They are poorer than the poorest, but they want to come here; they want to go there. My morning prayers how eagerly they receive! They are eager. Some of them get very little salary per month, but eagerness, eagerness, eagerness they have — eagerness and oneness.

Some people really value me! They struggle financially to such an extent, but they come here to see me. This is their love for me. Again, some people do the minimum, absolutely. They come only Wednesdays and special days.

Speaking of eagerness, I give so much importance to our Madal Circus. How much joy I get, innocent joy! When I see elderly men and women moving around in costumes, how much joy they give me! Children I expect to participate; they are all in the Circus-world. Some elderly people in the New York area do not budge an inch on other days; it is too much, too difficult. But on Circus day, they sing, they move! How much joy they can give us on Circus day!

Question: Guru, I am a Centre leader. You told us that it is better for girls to have long hair. We were begging one girl in our Centre to grow her hair longer, but she just does not listen.

Sri Chinmoy: If somebody does not listen, there are certain things that we can accept, we can tolerate. If this girl does not keep her hair long, I cannot tell her, “You have to leave our path.” But there are certain rules. If people come to the Centre on Wednesdays wearing punjabis or shorts, then they will be asked to go home. On Wednesdays the girls must wear saris. If one person says, “No, I only wear Western clothes,” that will not be accepted.

The problem with short hair started thirty years ago. Thirty years ago some girls did not listen to me. If one girl deliberately kept her hair short, then that girl’s friends started imitating her. About that kind of thing, what can I say? We have to tolerate it.

People whom I have to tolerate can never be good disciples. That much I can openly tell you. If disciples do not abide by the requests that I have made, then they are not good disciples; they are not real disciples. That much we know. People who do not listen to me in everything can never be good and real disciples. But we have to tolerate them, because in quite a few ways they do listen.

Question: Guru, I want to ask what we have to do if we know about complicated relations between a husband and wife in our Centre. What should we do if we know that the husband is mistreating his wife?

Sri Chinmoy: If the husband is mistreating his wife, and if the wife is strong enough to remain on the path, then the wife will stay on the path, but I will not allow the husband to remain. But then what will happen? In a few months the wife may be so eager to be with the husband that she will leave the path on her own. It has happened a few times! The husband is bad, let us say, and the wife is very good. The wife first hides and hides the situation from us. Then the wife makes complaints, and my decision is that if the husband is really so bad, then he has to leave the path. At that time I will not ask the wife who is being mistreated to leave the path. It is up to her whether to stay without him. Then we may see that the wife also leaves.

Of course, there were quite a few cases where the husbands did not do well, so we had to ask them to leave our path, and the wives, to my great joy, were very strong, very strong. In those cases they stayed with us. So many wives stayed when their husbands were undivine. Then again, on rare occasions the wives were not good, and we asked them to leave the path, but the husbands stayed. That also has happened.

If the husband is mistreating his wife, I should be informed, and then the husband will be asked to leave the Centre. I have to be informed. I will see the picture of the person who is the culprit, and then I will make the decision.

Question: For those who are married but only one individual is a disciple, specially when he is a new disciple, how can we explain your philosophy about a purity-life?

Sri Chinmoy: If only one party is with us, either the husband or the wife, it is up to them. But if husband and wife are both my disciples, they should read my writings about purity. Everything about the vital life is in my books.

Question: Guru, about Centre attendance, when do you want us to inform you if people do not show up at the Centre meetings?

Sri Chinmoy: After three weeks, please inform me. It is my wish that Centre leaders take the attendance of the disciples. One day per week is compulsory — Wednesday. Our serious meditation day is compulsory. On other days if the disciples do not come, we cannot blame them, but we will not think well of them if they can come and they are not coming. Perhaps they are watching television. If they have no satisfactory reason, then they are not good disciples. Good disciples will come both days if they are in town. If you are out of town, then that absence will not be counted as part of the three weeks. But if you are out of town and you are a good disciple, which you are, if you are in some other country where there is a Centre, then you should go to that Centre. If you have gone on business to another country, and there is a well-established Centre there, please go. I am requesting all of you, if you are out of town and there is a well-established Centre in that particular part of the world, do come to the Centre.

Question: Guru, if some disciples regularly leave the Centre meditations before prasad, is it all right?

Sri Chinmoy: How long is the meditation?

Disciple: The whole programme takes one and a half or two hours.

Sri Chinmoy: If the whole programme is two hours, and they stay for two hours of meditation, recitation and other things and they do not want to take prasad, let them go. Those who stay can take more prasad!

Unfortunately, here in New York some disciples who have been with us for many years disappear after one hour. They never take prasad. I am happy that the people in your Centre spend two hours at the meditations.

Question: In our Centre we have meditations on Wednesdays and Sundays. We have a few disciples who come faithfully every Sunday, but they cannot come on Wednesday. One disciple has a family with a young boy, and she has to get across town. You told us that Wednesday is the compulsory meditation night, so I wanted to clarify whether that was all right.

Sri Chinmoy: Every rule admits of exceptions. If one or two disciples cannot come on Wednesday, but they do come on Sunday, that is fine. What can you do? There will always be problems, and then we have to deal with them. If they come regularly on Sunday, that is all right. But if they do not come regularly, then this is not the path for them.

Question: A girl from my Centre arrived in New York today for the first time, with your special permission. She does not know anyone here, except for me, so I sat for ten or fifteen minutes in one of the Divine Enterprises with her and told her a few things about New York and the Celebrations. Then I was criticised by another disciple for speaking privately with her. Was it a mistake?

Sri Chinmoy: In your case, you have not done the wrong thing. I know you very well; you are a good boy. She is a very new disciple, you said — only six months on our path, so you were telling her about our activities. That you can also do afterwards, when you go back home, but you were telling her what we have been doing during these two weeks because she had my permission to come late. Very good! In this case, somebody is eager to know about the activities which took place before she arrived. If she has eagerness, will you not tell her? And where were you telling her? In one of our Divine Enterprises, where there were so many people. No, no — do not go to this extreme. You are the Centre leader, and there were so many people at the Divine Enterprise. You were talking about Centre activities; there was no gossip.

Question: As a Centre leader, if I see that boy and girl disciples are talking too much, should I say something to them? Some are old disciples, and they should know to be more careful.

Sri Chinmoy: If they are new disciples, you have to inform them. Perhaps they do not know our strictness. If they do not listen to you, then kindly inform me. But if they have been on the path for a long time and they are spending time talking and talking, boys and girls together, then I have to be informed immediately. Again, girls can talk with girls and boys can also talk with boys all night, until the sun rises!

Question: Guru, the security situation in our country is quite difficult. After the function, which ends at eight-thirty at night, people cannot take any public bus to go back to their homes. Is it all right for boys to give rides to girls, or in which way can we bring people back home? If we cannot take them home, they will not be able to attend the Centre.

Sri Chinmoy: Always there should be at least three people: either one boy and two girls, which is preferable, or two boys and one girl. If you have to take people home, there should always be at least three individuals.

Question: There is an elderly gentleman in our Centre. I usually pick him up and bring him to the Centre, but sometimes when I am out of town, I request a girl in our Centre who is enormously helpful to pick him up. I thought it would be all right because he is seventy years old. Is that correct?

Sri Chinmoy: It is absolutely wrong. There is no age limit when it is a matter of men and women. We know many cases where unfortunate things have happened even when the individuals were older.

[About Sri Chinmoy’s relative in Canada] Does my relative come to see you?

Disciple: Guru, we just took him for supper before Celebrations. He is studying engineering at the University of Manitoba. He is a very nice boy, Guru. We like him very much. He has not taken the complete meditation course, and he is not a disciple. But we explained to him about Avatars, and he says that now that he knows about you, he really wants to see you.

Sri Chinmoy: In this incarnation, his father and his grandfather were so close to our family, so close to us. We stayed side by side, in adjoining rooms.

Disciple: His mother is the lady to whom you gave a spiritual name, Guru. I believe you named her Nemi.

Sri Chinmoy: Does he know that I gave the name to his mother?

Disciple: He knew that. He told me the story. They think very highly of you.

Sri Chinmoy: His parents and grandparents were so close, so close to us. Once I went to Calcutta. His grandfather heard that I had visited some friends of mine. Only one family I went to see. There were at least seven or eight families who were very close to me, but only to one particular family I went. They promised that they would not tell anybody about my visit. Alas, they made phone calls and in two hours’ time people came from other places. This was how they kept their promise! This boy’s grandfather could not come to see me, so he was very upset.

When I was young, we had to take malaria injections. It was compulsory. I suffered from malaria, and Mantu also suffered. It is so painful, so painful. All the joints start dancing with pain! Mantu and I got the malaria injections, and we were quite all right. When this boy’s grandfather took the injection, he started turning round and round and round. It was unimaginable. He could not keep his balance. He was tortured with pain, and he was rotating and rotating, spinning and spinning.

This grandfather was very, very close to us. I do hope to see him once more.

Disciple: This boy really wants to come to see you, Guru. He feels that you are a God. I hope he will come this year. I would like to come with him, if that is all right.

Sri Chinmoy: Very good!

Is there anybody who is not God? We are all budding Gods! One God is fully blossomed, and we are all budding, blooming and blossoming. One day we will become that fully blossomed God!

You have ten disciples in your Centre? You are a host in yourself! Please try to make your Centre attractive and spiritually important, so that disciples will not be so inclined to move from there to other Centres. They go to other Centres because those Centres are larger. Please try to get twenty or thirty disciples. And please invite some good lecturers to speak in your city. There are so many excellent lecturers! You have to take the service of some disciples who are excellent in speaking. Whenever you have thirty-one disciples, I will definitely come to visit your Centre.

I understand that you yourself have given excellent lectures! I do not approve of your modesty. Spiritual life is for sincerity. Modesty always abounds in falsehood!

Disciple: Yes, Guru. In fact, the French disciples want me to come to Paris to speak.

Sri Chinmoy: Very good! You have a good command of français?

Disciple: Oui. But they said they will translate for me.

Sri Chinmoy: Then please go to Paris! Very good. I am very proud of you.

Do not forget that a prophet is not honoured in his own country. You yourself are a prophet! If you are giving talks on our philosophy and you are not getting more seekers in your Centre, you can go to other Centres. As long as you bring seekers to any Centre, it will be good. This is one family, one family. If you cannot bring seekers for your own Centre, no harm. You can go to other Centres to inspire people. Try your best at home, but if you do not succeed in bringing new members to your own Centre, you can go to other Centres and serve them. Some disciples are doing that.

Question: What should we do as Centre leaders if we know that a disciple is eating meat?

Sri Chinmoy: Please inform the individual that it is like smoking and other uninspiring things that we do not want. Even if some doctors encourage people to eat meat and fish, it is not allowed on our path. If doctors permit them, then those doctors will have to take care of them.

It is such a sad experience for me when some disciples who have been on the path for over thirty years start taking meat and fish.

It is true that I ate fish and meat when I was a child, and on rare occasions I have asked disciples to eat meat for health reasons, for a short time. But please remember that I do not approve of meat and fish because these things lower one’s consciousness. People may get permission from their doctor, or the doctor may say that they need meat and fish, but then the aggressive qualities of those individuals will enter into other people.

Meat should not be eaten at all, at all. And of course drugs and other undivine things are out of the question. Disciples may not lower the consciousness of the other disciples in this way in our Centre.

Question: In our Centre, since we go to Pujaloy every Sunday, we come back very late on Sunday night. Usually we do not make it in time for our Centre meditation, and our attendance for Sunday night is very low. Shall we change the day of the Sunday night meditations?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are going to Pujaloy, that is very good! I am full of appreciation for you. Instead of Sunday, why do you not have your Centre meeting on Saturday? If you are good disciples, on Saturday evening you can go to your Centre meeting. Then on Sunday you can go to Pujaloy.

Good disciples will always adapt themselves to the circumstances. Instead of having your Centre meditation on Sunday, have it on Saturday evening from now on.

People who are coming to Pujaloy regularly are pleasing me immensely. Once a month I do expect every disciple in Germany to go to Pujaloy.

Question: Guru, I have a question. I am from Milano.

Sri Chinmoy: Milano. Very good! I like Milano. There is a very nice church there. Many years ago an old lady came to our Milano Centre. She was so nice, so nice. She is not with us any more. We also had a “famous disciple,” a very short girl. She was the first girl who joined our path in Milano. I gave her a spiritual name. I was very fond of her. She was the leader for some time. She left the path, and once she came to see me. I said, “You got married and I heard that you had a baby.”

“Yes,” she said.

I asked, “Where is the baby?”

She bent her head and I saw that the child was behind her.

She was a very good disciple, but she left our path. What can you do?

All right, now kindly tell me your question.

Disciple: A couple became disciples a few months ago. They came from another path. It seemed they were very happy to join our path, but they continue to compare our path with their previous path, asking, “Why does Guru ask this and that? The other Master did not ask these strict things.”

Sri Chinmoy: Please tell me, are they following two paths, or are they on our path, but saying nice things about their previous path?

Disciple: They are on our path, but they do not understand why we do not eat meat and fish, why we do not drink and why we have other rules.

Sri Chinmoy: My path is my path, which has come directly from the Absolute Lord Supreme. We have a few rules.

I was brought up at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Naturally I have carried some of their ideas. But if you study my philosophy thoroughly, with my due love and devotion towards Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, you will see that I have said many, many things that are new, new, new. I have nothing to say against Sri Aurobindo’s path or any other path. But if I start comparing, if I say that my path is better, it is only a waste of time. Comparison ruins everything. What good does it do to say that one path is not good, or another path is better? We do not get any benefit from comparison. If I am devoted, I shall be devoted to one person.

Again, my path is the path of my Inner Pilot. I always say that my Guru is the Supreme and your Guru is the Supreme. Everybody’s Guru is the Supreme. Whoever has joined my path has only one Guru: the Supreme. To that Supreme, who is my Guru, your Guru, everybody’s Guru, one has to be faithful — not to me, but to my Inner Pilot, to your Inner Pilot, to the Inner Pilot of this couple. It is all one, the same Inner Pilot.

If my disciples are comparing my philosophy and another spiritual Master’s philosophy, they are doing the wrong thing. Comparison is not good at all. Each spiritual Master has the right to teach his students what to do and what not to do. We cannot make a comparison. There are so many individuals, and each one has his own road. There are so many roads. But if you are on one road and then you start comparing it with other roads, you are wasting your time. You should not look at the other roads.

You cannot be in two boats. One boat you have taken, but you are not paying attention to that boat; you are paying attention to another boat, looking at it and seeing whether that boat is more beautiful or it is going faster than your boat. That is only a waste of time.

Always you have to claim that you have one home. If you have a Master, you have to feel that his spiritual home is your own home. In that home you live. You do not go to other places to live. If you make comparisons, if you feel that some things are better in another home, then you are ruining your progress. Comparison is not good. Always remain faithful to one home, to one boat.

Again, if you read Sri Aurobindo’s books or Sri Ramakrishna’s books, I will have no objection, no objection. Sometimes it happens that if you lose faith in your path and you read a book written by another spiritual Master, or about him, you start shedding tears. Then once more all your divine qualities come to the fore. You have lost inspiration on the path, let us say, but all your devotional qualities again come to the fore when you read about another spiritual Master.

I have written many, many books on love, devotion and surrender. If you are wise, those devotional books you can read, and there is every possibility that you will get back your devotion, love and joy — all your divine qualities. And perhaps I have written more books than any other spiritual Master. I have written considerably on spirituality, yoga and other subjects. I do hope that, before I pass behind the Curtain of Eternity, some disciples will find the time to read all my books.

To compare my path with other paths is absolutely the wrong thing.

Question: If some disciples' behaviour affects the attendance of other disciples at meditations, what would you advise?

Sri Chinmoy: If one disciple does not come to the Centre because he feels that another disciple is so bad, is it good? Do disciples come to the Centre for other disciples, or do they come for me?

In one ashram, someone said, “If that person remains a disciple, then I shall have to be with him again when I go to Heaven.” He thought that the best thing would he to leave that ashram, and he left. He left the path because he hated his enemy to such an extent that he was afraid that in Heaven he would again have to meet with his enemy!

My disciples have to know that they are coming to the Centre for me. They are coming to look at my Transcendental Photograph and pray and meditate. Jealousy, insecurity and pride: these things are not good. My disciples have to know whether they are coming to the Centre for me, or they are coming to see those whom they dislike. My Transcendental Photograph has no enemy. My Transcendental Photograph has the Universal Consciousness. It can house people with a difference of opinion. There, all enemies can stay. That Consciousness is so vast that enemies will not be able to see each other. One enemy will be on one side and the other enemy will be on the other side. My Transcendental Consciousness, my Universal Consciousness, is so large that it can easily house two individuals safely, no matter how much they dislike each other. There will be a huge gap between the two.

This is a wrong attitude, an absurd attitude. On our compulsory meditation day they have to come. If they do not come for Joy Days and other days, I cannot blame them; I have to tolerate their absence. On those days if they do not want to come because they dislike others, let them not come. But those who dislike others to such an extent will take a much longer time to reach their goal than those who do not consider others as enemies. Each enemy is an obstacle, not a help.

Question: There are some disciples who have the aspiration to go to Pujaloy, to Joy Days, to New York and to the Christmas Trip, but they do not attend Centre meditations regularly. One comes every two months, and another does not come at all. What should a Centre leader do?

Sri Chinmoy: Regularity in Centre attendance is of paramount importance. If someone is going everywhere else but ignoring his or her Centre, that is not allowed. On our compulsory day disciples have to come, please. Again, if disciples do not come to Joy Days, what am I going to say? But if they do not come to the Centre on the compulsory day for more than three weeks consecutively, I have to be informed. The Centre leader has to inform me.

Question: Our Centre meditations are from seven-thirty to nine o'clock, an hour and a half. Most people do not come at seven-thirty. They come sometime between seven-thirty and seven-forty-five. Our Centre leader feels it is all right to have this kind of grace period.

Sri Chinmoy: Do you have silent meditation for an hour and a half?

Disciple: No, we have half an hour of reading, from seven-thirty to eight o’clock. Many people come in sometime during the first fifteen minutes. Is that all right?

Sri Chinmoy: Not at all. If at seven-thirty the meditation starts, and by seven-forty people have not come, they have to sit outside, not inside the meditation hall. You can lock the door. Kindly tell your Centre leader. The latecomers will be allowed to come in only to take prasad. During the meditation and other activities, they will not be permitted to enter. This applies also to the Centre leader! When prasad is offered, at that time they can come and take prasad. After seven-forty, nobody should come inside.

When you are singing “The Invocation,” at that time if those who are outside want to join you from outside, wherever they are, I will be happy. They can sing “The Invocation” outside while you are singing inside the room.

Ten minutes’ grace is enough. If the meditation starts at seven-thirty, the disciples should arrive by seven-forty. We have to be strict, strict, strict. Very good!

Question: One of our Centre leaders has a granddaughter who is four and a half years old. The mother and father of this girl do not take proper care of her. She wants to take care of her granddaughter, but this presents many challenges for her. What should she do, and what should we do?

Sri Chinmoy: She is a good disciple and she is a Centre leader. But there are five leaders in that Centre. Do they not rotate? One can serve as the leader for two months, and then another one will be the leader for two months. Can they not take care of the Centre in that way?

Question: I live in a small town, and sometimes I cannot avoid seeing ex-disciples who are not against our path. May I say hello to them?

Sri Chinmoy: If they are not hostile to our path, definitely you should say hello to them if they say hello to you. But if they ignore you, do not pay any attention to them. Kindly observe their conduct first.

Question: When a seeker is accepted as a disciple, how long does he have to wait to join the main Centre meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: Once I have accepted disciples and they have been on the path for three months, they will automatically be allowed to join the main Centre meditation. The Centre leaders will have a different meditation day for those individuals for three months. It will not be on the same day. Then, after three months, they will automatically join the main group.

Question: Should new disciples be accompanied the first time they come to New York? Is it better to bring them to Celebrations the first time?

Sri Chinmoy: If they are new disciples, they should not come to Celebrations right away. And if they are coming for the first time, yes, another disciple should accompany them. All these questions are good, and they are applicable to all the Centres.

Experiences in Japan

On 16 July 2006 at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York, Sri Chinmoy spoke about his recent trip to Japan, where he had composed his 13,000th Bengali song, Shakpura.

A visitor from the inner world

I always say I enjoy my cock-and-bull stories, but I hope my disciples take me seriously even when I call them cock-and-bull stories. They are one hundred per cent true! Since they are so juicy, they are hard to believe. But I do hope by this time my real disciples know that these cock-and-bull stories are one hundred per cent true.

Three days ago in Japan, at around four-thirty in the morning, some very, very powerful waves were dashing against the shore near my room. I was sitting near the window closest to the ocean, enjoying the waves, and I was painting with a small brush that some disciples had given me. All of sudden, on the inner plane, I saw a disciple’s father. This gentleman is very, very dear to me. In the inner world he passed through the window, which was only a foot away from me, and came into the room and sat down. As usual, his job was to massage my feet with such affection, love, concern and joy. I was painting and he was massaging my feet.

I did quite a few nice paintings, and then I asked him, “Do you like my paintings?”

He said, “Of course! I like them very much.”

I said, “Then please choose one.” He chose a very nice painting. You will see it soon.

Later, I saw that disciple. I said, “Look! This painting was chosen by your father in the inner world.”

The disciple said, “O my God, this is his style! This is the kind of painting he used to like.”

Then I dedicated that painting to him. I wrote, “With my heart’s infinite love and gratitude.”

He became my disciple a day and a half after he left the body. Many, many times in the inner world he has massaged my feet, and he gets tremendous joy.

My statues in many parts of the world

Here is another incident. Previously the Lord Buddha used to tell me that statues of me would be seen in two hundred or three hundred years. This time, at Kamakura, he said it would happen in one hundred years, believe it or not. When I was meditating on him and offering him my love and gratitude, he said it would take only one hundred years. Like the statues of the Lord Buddha, my statues will be found in many, many parts of the world.

He has shown what receptivity is

Now, another story — only in Japan can this kind of thing take place! I call all my vehicles “chariots.” I gave the job to a Japanese gentleman, the husband of a disciple, to negotiate on my behalf for a very cute chariot. They said the price was $3,100. Without bargaining I do not get satisfaction, so I offered $2,800. A disciple kindly said to me, “No, no, Guru — please, please buy it! You do not have to bargain with these people! If you yourself do not want to spend that amount, I have money.”

I offered $2,800 to the man in the store. Then he and my representative talked and talked and talked. I said to myself, “My God, it is taking so much time!” The gentleman said to his wife, “I know what to say — I know how to deal with it!”

I wanted to pay $2,800. But if he could not lower the price, I was all ready to give him $3,100. My representative came back to say that the salesman said he wanted to take from me only $2,650! It was unimaginable! The price was $3,100, and I offered $2,800, but he wanted to take only $2,650. Where else will this kind of thing happen? He made the price lower than my quote!

This gentleman who bargained for me, as soon as he saw me, behaved like a five-year-old boy. He was full of enthusiasm, love and affection. Then I requested him to sit right in front of me. He sat about two feet away from me and I started meditating. Right beside him I saw a little boy, five years old. While I was meditating on him, I saw the little boy, very nice and very cute, intensely looking at me. After a minute or two, that little boy grew up by about thirty years. Then, what did he do? He put on the instrument that doctors use to examine the chest and lungs, a stethoscope. Immediately I knew that he had been a doctor in his previous incarnation.

Inwardly I said, “What is your name?”

He said, “My name is Bikash Banerjee.”

“Oh,” I said, “you are a doctor, a doctor!”

He had been a doctor in his previous incarnation. But first he appeared at the age of five or six, as a very cute little boy. While I was continuing to meditate with him, he grew up and became mature.

Now he has written me a ten-page letter in Japanese, and his wife is translating it for me. And he signed the letter “Bikash” — he did not use his Japanese name!

He gave me his card. I said to him, “I am sorry, I do not have a card. You are a very important person, so you have a card, but in my case I do not have a card.”

Then he started saying that he would do anything for me.

I said, “Are you sure?”

He said, “Yes, anything!”

Then I said, “Are you absolutely sure? Then I wish you to give me the entire island of Japan, with all of its beauty and all of its fragrance.”

Immediately he said, “I will do that for you!”

So much he received from me in just a few hours. Receptivity! He has shown what receptivity is.

The Nepalese Ambassador to Japan

The Nepalese Ambassador to Japan came to one of our functions. I knew him previously when he was an attache. Even when he was an attache, I started calling him “Ambassador.” Now he is a full-fledged Ambassador. He shows his love and respect plus his own dignity, since he is an Ambassador. But I treat him in a different way, as a young man. He shows me respect, but at the same time he shows that he is an Ambassador.

I requested Agraha to read out the letter that I had received from the present Prime Minister of Nepal. He has been Prime Minister six times. Such compliments he gave me! Nepal has accepted me wholeheartedly — wholeheartedly.

Today the Ambassador’s wife came to the airport to see us. She came up to me and said, “Please, please forgive me!”

I said, “What have you done? Forgiveness is not needed!”

“No, I have done many, many things!”

I said, “You have done many things wrong? Then pray to the Lord Buddha, not to me! Pray to the Lord Buddha. The Lord Buddha will forgive you, definitely.”

[A disciple mentioned that the Ambassador of Nepal had compared Sri Chinmoy’s peace-bird drawings to the doves that had traditionally carried messages of peace between kings.]

Sri Chinmoy: In those days they did send birds from one king to another. It is true. With the dove they sent the message of peace, so that there would be no war.

In my case, I am carrying the messages of peace of spiritual Masters, Avatars and yogis. This Ambassador had the correct intuition.

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in Japan

Three or four times in Japan I saw Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. One time while I was singing, the Mother showed me where she had stood with Tagore and others in front of the statue of the Lord Buddha. At one point the Mother was fanning me with a little Japanese fan. Sri Aurobindo was very, very serious, watching me while I was singing Janani Mirar, my song dedicated to the Mother, and my Sri Aurobindo song. At various places they were looking at me with such compassion and joy. I cannot forget my experiences of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo in Japan.

At one point when I was looking at the statue of the Lord Buddha, I did not see the Lord Buddha — I saw Lord Shiva, only Lord Shiva. I was looking at the figure of the Lord Buddha, but I was seeing Lord Shiva.

We have been to many shrines, many spiritual places in many countries, but this Kamakura statue of the Lord Buddha will always remain by far the most significant shrine.

From Shakpura to Japan

On alternate days, Mr. Ramamoorthy got the inspiration to bless me with Indian food. The last day he went to a particular restaurant. At that place, either the cook or the server came not only from Chittagong, but from Shakpura! It was unbelievable!

When I completed my 13,000th Bengali song

I am ending with a last “cock-and-bull” story. If you do not believe that I am telling the truth, I do not lose anything.

My father comes to see me once in a blue moon. My father comes only if there is something very serious and very important to deal with. For my mother to visit is everyday business — sometimes she comes more than once in a day.

On this occasion, when I completed my 13,000th Bengali song, my father came first from our family. My father blessed me with his palm. Then he said to me in Bengali, “They say that history repeats itself, Madal. But your 13,000 Bengali songs will not be repeated by anybody.” That was my father’s affectionate comment, that nobody else would write 13,000 songs.

Then my mother blessed me. So many souls came, with flowers, heavenly flowers, to bless me and to congratulate me! They all came one by one. Among my sisters, Ahana was first. The second was Lily. Then came Arpita, third. How happy and how proud she was at my achievement! All of them were extremely happy and proud.

My mentor, Bhumananda, and others are so happy in Heaven! They say that this achievement is something that is going to last, not only in earth-history, but also in Heaven-history. They were all extolling me to the skies.

My brother Mantu also came, then Chitta and Hriday came. With such joy Hriday came, absolutely full of affection, appreciating my achievement. Chitta said to me, “Today you are the happiest, and I am the proudest! I taught you how to write poems. Today I am the proudest person and you are the happiest person.”

My observation is that undoubtedly I have achieved quite a few striking things in different fields, but I became the happiest person when I completed 13,000 Bengali songs on the Japanese train. And my mind became lighter than the lightest! What a heavy burden was gone from my mind when I reached my goal! My mind became the lightest and my heart became the happiest. Again, my brother Chitta became the proudest.

My dear ones wait and watch

My family members watch, they watch. It will be difficult for you to believe. My father died so many years ago. My dear ones wait — they wait and they watch. Nobody in my family will take birth until I have arrived in Heaven. Then they may take incarnation.

Spiritual people can stay in Heaven for some time. Usually, for ordinary people, six years is the limit. But if some individuals accept spiritual life in all sincerity, they can stay for twenty, thirty or forty years in Heaven. For ordinary people, six years is the maximum, although sometimes exceptions are made. Then they have to come down. But if they are spiritual, and specially if a spiritual Master is involved, then they can stay longer. Again, real spiritual Masters can stay in Heaven for hundreds of years.

The Saviour Jesus Christ has not come back. Sri Ramakrishna has not come back. The Lord Buddha immediately entered into Nirvana; he did not come back. No! Sri Ramachandra, Sri Krishna and many other spiritual Masters have not taken human incarnation again. Sometimes they make promises. Sri Ramakrishna said that in his next incarnation he would take incarnation in Russia. He pointed to a place on the map, and it was Russia. But he has not come. He is not in Russia; he is in Heaven.

Swami Vivekananda said that if one dog remained unrealised, he would come back to this world. Now, where is he? Is he on this earth-plane? No, no — he is in Heaven. When emotion runs riot, we say many things.

In my case, it is the other way around. I do not want to come back — I do not, I do not. The Supreme has sanctioned my prayer. I hope the Supreme keeps His Promise. This incarnation is my last, very last.

The Japanese disciples

This was our trip to Japan. We had Mongolian disciples and we had disciples from the Czech Republic with us. That is very good! On the whole our trip was quite successful, quite successful. We were able to accomplish quite a few things to our great satisfaction. I have been to so many countries around the world. I wish to say something about the Japanese disciples. How devoted, how simple, how sincere, how self-giving all the Japanese disciples are!

No pain whatsoever!

One doctor has joined our path in Japan. She has become very, very devoted. Definitely this doctor has brought about an improvement in my knees. After two hours of treatment, I could not believe it. I was a totally different person! I was able to walk. Usually I am dead against acupuncture because of its effect on the subtle nerves. In many places this doctor used the needles. I had no pain, no pain — no pain whatsoever!

My doctor Garima has a wonderful wish. She says that she will approach all the disciple-doctors, and every month one of them will be responsible to make arrangements for that Japanese doctor to come and treat me. Each time one doctor will be responsible.

When my Chinese doctor gave me injections for my pain, for three weeks the result was so good! Then I had to go back to him. He used to give me eight injections. They were so painful! I said to him, “Doctor — pain, pain!”

“No pain, no pain!” he said.

But with this Japanese doctor I had absolutely no pain. What a wonderful experience!

Thousand Island Park9

When I went to Thousand Island Park, I sat at a place where they said that Swami Vivekananda had sat. I was not getting any vibration from that place. I entered into my highest. Then I saw another place nearby, and there I sat. I said, “This is the place.” It is not more than one hundred or two hundred metres away. There I got Swami Vivekananda’s full vibration. Then I went to see the small house where he stayed.

PIP 50. Sri Chinmoy offered the following comments at his home in Jamaica, New York, on 22 July 2006.

Girish Ghosh

Sri Ramakrishna had Girish Ghosh — a famous disciple! And I also have had some disciples whose lives were beyond control.

But it is absolutely true that Girish Ghosh made Sri Ramakrishna famous! Girish Ghosh was able to recognise Sri Ramakrishna’s height. He knew that Sri Ramakrishna was an Avatar.

Girish Ghosh used to drink. In everything, even inside the bottle when he was drinking, he saw Sri Ramakrishna. In my case, I will not dare to say to anybody, “Do anything you like in my name.” But Sri Ramakrishna told Girish Ghosh, “Just do everything! Do not give up anything! Lead your undivine life, but say that I, Thakur, am the one who did all the bad things.” Again, Girish Ghosh definitely was among the very first to recognise Sri Ramakrishna’s height.

And how devoted he was to Sarada Devi! To Sarada Devi he said, “Sri Ramakrishna showed his occult power. You show village simplicity. He used occult power, but you do not care for it. In your case, outwardly you do not show it, but we know who you are.” This was his opinion of Sarada Devi.

Sarada Devi was so fond of Sister Nivedita! She used to call her Khuki. Girish Ghosh was heartbroken when Nivedita passed.

Belur Math

Then I went to Belur Math, Sri Ramakrishna’s place, I was not allowed to go into Swami Vivekananda’s room. I said to the authorities in Bengali, “I have such love and devotion for him. I have written a book about him also.” But they did not allow me. What a painful experience! On another occasion they allowed two of my disciples to go inside and even to take pictures.

It was Sarada Devi who was responsible for my travelling to America! She said that the “P” form I needed to fill out would be available on Saturday. I went to the government office on Saturday and one of her devotees was there to give me the form. All kinds of miracles Sarada Devi performed for me, and afterwards also she blessed me.

Nowadays people fetch water at the place where Sri Ramakrishna used to bathe. There it is written, “Photography is forbidden.” I was taking a picture, and some people scolded me. In Bengali they said, “You cannot read what is written?”

I said, “I cannot read. I can talk, but I cannot read.” In that way I was able to take four or five pictures!

When I have a snow-white desire

When I heard that one disciple was not coming to New York with her husband for his birthday observance, I was so deeply shocked! I thought it was because of their business. But it was her sacrifice. She wanted someone else to have the opportunity to come and see me. What was more important: her sacrifice or my joy? Between my joy and her sacrifice, I gave more importance to my joy! I knew that if I could see her on this special occasion, I would be so happy. She was not thinking of my joy; she was giving importance to virtue, because she was making a sacrifice for a third party to come. But God is on my side — finally, everyone was able to come. Here is the proof that God is still inside me! When I have a snow-white desire, God fulfils it. I wanted this disciple to come for her husband’s birthday. When another disciple gave me the report that she was making a supreme sacrifice, I said I did not want that sacrifice. I said that my joy was more important than her sacrifice.

The Gayatri mantra

The Gayatri mantra is very simple. Millions and millions of times if you recite the Gayatri mantra, you will realise God. You do not have to do anything else. But it has to be done millions and billions and trillions of times. That is the mother of all our mantras, the Gayatri mantra.

Absolutely for your good

[to a disciple]

My dearest child, I love you, I love you, I love you, infinitely more than you can ever imagine. One day you will feel that all the strict things that I tell you are absolutely for your good, for your fastest progress. It is all my love, my infinite love, my unconditional love that I offer you through the serious messages that I give you. A day has to dawn when you will feel how much I love you and how much I care for your spiritual progress. It is all for your fastest progress, for your fastest progress.

While we were meditating, I saw your two children. They had the appearance that they had when they were infants. The younger one came crawling and then folded his hands. The older one was crawling from behind, and then he folded his hands. This is not a cock-and-bull story! For the non-believers this will be called a cock-and-bull story, but for the believers, it is absolutely authentic.

Sri Ramakrishna

Sometimes I can play the role of Sri Ramakrishna! When he cared deeply for some disciples, at times he treated them with an iron rod. Dearer than the dearest was his Naren. Nobody could come near Naren! Sri Ramakrishna gave the ocean to Naren. To others, he gave perhaps a few drops or a few waves. To Naren he said, “I have given you everything. I have nothing more to give. Everything I have poured into you, only you.” This was Sri Ramakrishna’s blessingful utterance before he breathed his last. But once, when there were twenty or thirty close disciples gathered, Sri Ramakrishna said to Swami Vivekananda, “I cannot look at your face. I cannot look! Stop, stop the life you are leading!”

On the one hand, Sri Ramakrishna said that if anybody spoke ill of Swami Vivekananda, he would not look at the face of that person. But on that day Sri Ramakrishna was in another mood. When he spoke to Swami Vivekananda in that way, each disciple got the shock of his life. Swami Vivekananda got that kind of treatment!

This is all written in Bengali, in Kathamrita. Kathamrita I read, I read. I have such love and devotion for Swami Vivekananda. But Swami Vivekananda also was one day assailed by Sri Ramakrishna, in front of the disciples. Swami Vivekananda was so humiliated, but he was awakened. Then Swami Vivekananda shed tears of ecstasy because Sri Ramakrishna had scolded him. I read this at the age of seven.

All these things we get from “M.” “M” wrote everything about his Master in Kathamrita. It has now come out in five volumes. Everything is there!

One evening Sri Ramakrishna was with five or six very close disciples. He said, “I am telling you something. Do not tell anybody else. I am God, I am God, I am God!” But those four or five definitely told “M,” who was not there. He said to his disciples, “I am God, I am God, I am God!”

My brother Hriday's appreciation

How much appreciation I received from my brother Hriday when I completed 13,000 Bengali songs!

The last time I visited him at the Ashram, he put his hands on my shoulders. I said, “Why are you not blessing me?”

Hriday said, “Oh no, I cannot bless you. You have conquered the heart of America. One day you will conquer the heart of the whole world. But you will be disappointed and disgusted, and then you will come back to the Himalayas. There you will spend the rest of your life.” I shall remain eternally grateful to Hriday. If he had not brought us to the Ashram, who knows what would have happened? And again, how many times the Mother referred to him as “Chinmoy’s eldest brother.” Mantu also became “Chinmoy’s elder brother.”

His Guru was Gorakshanath

Many years ago, at least thirty-five years ago, a black man came to my house to meditate with me. Then he said, “I have something very private to tell you.” He took me downstairs to the basement and showed me a tinier than the tiniest picture of Gorakshanath. He said, “This is my Guru. He has so much occult power! Do you know anything about him?” I said, “I have heard about him. Yes, he has tremendous occult power.”

He was so happy that I was confirming what he said about Gorakshanath. He took me downstairs to show me Gorakshanath’s picture and to tell me that Gorakshanath had tremendous occult power. I said, “It is true. I have heard it also.”

He was so happy that his Guru was Gorakshanath!

The Sri Ganesha Temple in Nashville

PIP 59e3. On 28 July 2006, Sri Chinmoy offered a concert at the Sri Ganesha Temple in Nashville, Tennessee.

Concert dedication11

I bow to the soul, the heart and the life of the Sri Ganesha Temple. I bow to the Lord Ganesha, Ganapati. I bow and bow and bow.

After the concert, Sri Chinmoy said:

From the inmost recesses of my heart I am offering my prayerful and soulful gratitude to the authorities of this most beautiful, most soulful and most powerful Sri Ganesha Temple. Here I offered my prayerful concert, and I place it at the golden feet of Lord Ganesha. Today’s performance most humbly I am placing at the feet of Lord Ganesha.

[Sri Chinmoy then chanted a Ganesha chant, and the audience members were invited to pass in front of him as he meditated.]

PIP 59. Sri Chinmoy gave this dedication before his concert at The Sri Ganesha Temple in Nashville

A new record12

What an adventure! We were on the ground at LaGuardia Airport. We were delayed for three hours, and I entered into the plane half an hour early, before the flight. The pilot himself was sick of making announcements! [laughter] He said one thing, and then he had to say something else. At one point he said, “I do not know what I am going to say.” He was being instructed by someone. Once he said forty planes were ahead of us! Then he said thirty planes were behind us. He was so embarrassed! In that way, three and a half hours we spent on the plane.

Three and a half hours is a record. I love breaking records! I have never spent such a long time inside the plane waiting to depart. Outside the plane, at the airport, we have spent so many hours, but not inside the plane. And when we arrived here, rain had to greet us. What can we do? This is our fate. Some people were coming from Seattle, but they got stuck in New York. What a sad experience! Let us hope that tomorrow nothing happens!

PIP 60. After the concert, Sri Chinmoy had a private function with his disciples. Many had experienced flight delays and cancellations on their way to Nashville from New York, Seattle, Chicago and Florida because of stormy weather.

Your prayers and meditations will work

[to a disciple]

Do not worry about your son! God is taking care of him and God will take care of him in God’s own Way. You have come back to our path. Your prayers and meditations for your son will work! Is your wife interested in our path?

Disciple: Yes, in her heart. In her heart she is with me, Guru.

Sri Chinmoy: Do they come occasionally to eat at our restaurant?

Disciple: Yes, yes, we all come to the restaurant.

Sri Chinmoy: That is good. That is more than enough! If they come to our restaurant, they will get our spiritual vibration. In the restaurant there are many inspiring pictures, and very good disciples. When people go there, unconsciously, indirectly they are blessed. My vibration, my influence, my blessings and so many divine things are there. The restaurant is flooded with divinity. If your family goes there, they will receive it. They cannot avoid it!

I am very grateful to you and very proud that you have come back to our path so sincerely and self-givingly.

Bad luck

When we travelled to The Gambia in June, it was simply impossible. We had bad luck in every way. And before coming here, we spent three and a half hours inside the plane! It is a new record!

I was in business class. When I had been inside the plane for ten minutes or so, the stewardess asked me, “What would you like to eat?”

I said, “I am not hungry.”

“What would you like to drink?”

I said, “Orange juice.” She gave me orange juice. Three hours later, they were serving food. To everybody the stewardess was giving food. I said, “I would like to eat.”

She said, “But you said you did not want to eat.”

She did give me food. What was it? A croissant, cut in half. On it was a piece of cheese, and underneath that, a big, round piece of meat! Underneath that was the other half of the croissant. I took off the top of the croissant, and when I saw the cheese, I saw that the meat was touching it. So I took the top and the bottom of the croissant. There was a kind of salad. It was all leaves, nothing else! There were only three tiny tomatoes. Then there were four or five cookies. That was what they called business class! There was no drink.

They called it business class, but the only difference was that the seat was a little wider. I always like to have an aisle seat, so that I can get up. I am ready to stand up for the other passengers. In the aisle seat today there was an old man. I felt so miserable for him when I had to ask him to let me go out. This time they said it was too late to get an aisle seat.

Economy travel is one price, and business class is so much more. But this kind of food we got.

A country music store

They say that Tennessee is famous for music. They are all country musicians! In the rain I went to buy an instrument at a country music store. It took us more than half an hour to go there. A disciple went inside, but he did not find anything that would be satisfactory for me. His description was not giving me joy, so I did not go inside.

Hialeah, Florida

Many, many juicy stories I can tell about Hialeah, but not today. My Hialeah stories are funnier than the funniest! I can write one big book only on Hialeah.

Running at Delta Air Lines

For years and years I ran at the Delta Air Lines Terminal early in the morning, at five o’clock. The manager gave me permission to run. We have pictures and videos of my running at Delta.

Only in Puerto Rico!

Only in Puerto Rico can it happen! Once the disciples had a one-mile race. I did the race in under six minutes! I could not believe it — for me to run in under six minutes! I was the proudest — prouder than the proudest! Ten or fifteen minutes later, alas, we came to know that it was only eight hundred metres. They had re-measured the course — it was only eight hundred metres!

One Puerto Rican disciple did not want to go to a higher world when he left the body. Is there any disciple who does not want to go higher up in the soul’s world? He is the only one.

Puerto Rico is the sunny land. Sea and sun, plus fun, fun! Sun and fun.

This is my rhyme!

Puerto Rican Governors and Senators

I will tell two more funniest stories from Puerto Rico. There are many!

Once I was invited by Governor Colón, while he was the Governor. He sent his limousine to bring me to his place. I went upstairs to put on my Indian garment. Who came at that moment? A former Governor, my very good friend Luis Ferré. One of my disciples said to him, “We have no time, no time! My Guru has gone upstairs to change. He has been invited to visit Governor Colón!” This was the message the former Governor got!

When I came down, Governor Ferré said, “Your disciple says that you have no time. I understand fully.” I was so embarrassed! I said, “No, no, please! Please come and sit down.” He would not sit. Then I said, “Tomorrow at two o’clock or three o’clock can you come?” He said, “I will come.” Then he started to leave. I said, “No, no, no, please do not leave yet!”

Another time I was visiting the Puerto Rican Senate, and someone put his arm around my shoulder. I had never seen him before. I said to myself, “Such affection he is showing me!” That gentleman said, “You do not know me. I am the Speaker of the Senate. I know much about you.”

I said, “You know much about me?”

He said, “My wife is your disciple.” I had given her the Indian name Arati. She was a professor who taught English at the university. She and her husband were not on good terms. She used to tell me so many bad things against her husband! She never told me that her husband was the Speaker of the Senate. She said that her husband employed someone to use black magic to torture her. She would go home and see snakes on her bed, or she would see tigers and other kinds of animals. Then she would cry and scream. The husband did not see anything, but she saw it. When she told me all these things, I said, “He is very bad, very, very bad!”

I helped her to get rid of those black-magic forces. Then she told her well-educated husband that I was dead against him and that I was saying nasty things about him. She said to him, “Sri Chinmoy, my Guru, says you are a very bad person!”

But he had heard other things about me. Such love, affection and admiration he was showing me!

In the Senate, I was supposed to be introduced by a lady Senator who was a great singer. It was Senator Fernandez. She was coming up to introduce me. Suddenly a young lady came up. I had never seen her before. She was the daughter of Governor Ferré. She said to the lady Senator, “I know much more than you do about Sri Chinmoy. My father has told me. My father was Governor!” It was the other lady who had invited me, and she was supposed to introduce me. But the young lady came up because I knew her father well, and she introduced me. They were from opposite parties! An opposition party member came up and introduced me, and the lady who had invited me could not do anything.

This is Puerto Rico!

With this incident I am ending my Puerto Rico stories. Once Governor Ferré invited me for breakfast. Two disciples accompanied me. The Governor played the piano. He played all kinds of classical music. His performance was excellent, excellent! I appreciated him to the skies. Then we went to the breakfast table. Alas, the Governor asked me to start. There was so much silverware. I did not know which fork or knife to use. In India we used to say, “God gave us our hands to eat with.” Governor Ferré looked at me. I did not know which fork or knife to pick up or which hand to use. Governor Ferré did not start; he wanted me to start.

I looked at my disciples pitifully, but it seems that there was no inner connection! Out of respect for me they did not start, but I was begging them inwardly to start. Outwardly if I had said, “You start,” it would have seemed odd, because the Governor had invited me. So, the Governor did not start, out of respect, and I did not start! I will never forget that experience!

Governor Ferré’s soul has come to me quite a few times. My paintings were on display at his museum for a few months.

I met with the first Governor of Puerto Rico, Muñoz-Marín. Then I saw Governor Sanchez, Luis Ferré and Hernandez-Colón. I met a mayor who was drunk! Governor Ferré wanted a particular street to be dedicated in my name, but the mayor did not want it. He was sitting beside me, and he was drunk.

I also saw Mayor Padilla of San Juan. He was a doctor.

Governor Colón gave me all the honours. He was the first one to give me his country’s honorary citizenship — the very first. All the highest honours he gave me. Every time I met with him, we used to meditate for five or ten minutes first, and then his wife, Lila, used to join.

The Puerto Ricans' love for me

Puerto Rico: the land of sun and sea. If I write a book on Puerto Rico, it will be at least three hundred pages, if not more. I have so many stories! Many funny things happened with my Puerto Rican disciples.

Again, serious things also happened in Puerto Rico. So many songs I composed in Puerto Rico. Super-super-excellent experiences I had in Puerto Rico. And in terms of love and affection for me, nobody can come near the Puerto Ricans. Such pure love, pure affection they have offered me. Their affection and their love for me cannot be equaled by others. They are very kind, very affectionate, very devoted. Again, they do not believe in time! My Puerto Rican disciples live in eternal time.

I love my Puerto Rico. Long before anybody cared for me, my Puerto Rico accepted me and cared for me. I wrote a song with those words.

Soul-bird illustrations use in book

From:Sri Chinmoy,The Path of my Inner Pilot, Agni Press, 2015
Sourced from