Question: When will perfection dawn here on earth?

Sri Chinmoy: It entirely depends on earth's aspiration and earth's receptivity. Earth's aspiration and earth's receptivity are entirely responsible for the dawn of perfection on earth.

Question: Guru, can perfection in our jobs or in our school work help us in our spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly! Your perfection in your job and in your school life can and must help your spiritual life. You can take jobs and school studies as an extension of your physical life. We say the physical and the spiritual must go together. They are complementary. The physical is the body, and inside the body is the soul. You need the soul to realise the highest, and you need the body to manifest the highest. If you take your job and school studies as the body, naturally you will feel the necessity of the body-consciousness to manifest the divinity within you. Perfection in your job and school work will help you in your spiritual life.

Question: Is joy a form of perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, joy is a form of perfection. Perfection and divine joy, inner joy, supreme joy, are inseparable. If you are perfect, you are joyful; and if you are really joyful, cheerful, soulful, then naturally you will be perfect. The spiritual term we use for joy is Delight. Since the ultimate Source is Delight, naturally Delight is perfection. So Delight and Perfection are always inseparable.

Question: How can I attain a level of perfection in my relationship with my spiritual brothers and sisters?

Sri Chinmoy: You can attain a level of perfection by feeling that during every breath you take, your brothers and sisters are remaining inside your heart. With each breath you take, try to feel their presence within you. And also feel that during each breath they take, you are remaining inside their hearts. Feel your existence inside your brothers' and sisters' hearts with every breath they take, and feel their existence inside your heart with every breath you take. By doing this, you can establish a level of perfection between yourself and your spiritual brothers and sisters.

Question: Was God perfect before He created the universe?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, God was perfect. But just as there is no end to our own perfection, even so there is no end to God's perfection. We use the term ever-transcending Beyond. God is constantly transcending Himself. God's perfection means the message of His own Self-transcendence. When you did not know how to play the piano, your goal, which was your idea of perfection, was just to strike the proper notes, and you were exceedingly glad when you knew how to strike the proper notes. After a few years, your perfection was knowing how to play a few pieces properly. Then your perfection was to be able to play some great masterpiece on the piano, and so on. In God's case also, He had the creation in His Vision, and now you see how His evolution is progressing slowly and steadily towards the Highest. Perfection is like that. When you have something, that is your perfection. Then you see the deficiency of what you have achieved, and you go farther beyond.

A child, when he does not know how to crawl, feels miserable. The moment he learns to crawl, the mother feels, "Now my child is perfect." But the same child has to learn how to walk, how to march, how to run. Each time he is progressing, progressing, and the message of progress is perfection. Perfection is constant progress in God's Light.

God was definitely perfect before the creation, but now He has the message of manifestation. Naturally His sense of perfection grows, and He far transcends His own standard, His own achievement, His own Vision. Perfect He was, but now He wants to be perfect in another way, in a higher way, in a more convincing way.

Question: Guru, how can we make a perfect union between the inner and outer world?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to know what the inner world wants to offer you and what the outer world wants to offer you. The inner world will make you or shape you into a perfect instrument so that you can realise absolutely the Highest. The outer world will make you or mould you into a warrior who will fight for Truth and Light here in the battlefield of life, in ignorance. If you know what you are going to get from the inner world and what you are going to get from the outer world, then you try, on the strength of your aspiration, to become one with the outer world and become one with the inner world. When you think of the inner world, think of its height. And when you think of the outer world, think of its length and breadth. Whatever you have, you need height, you need length, you need breadth. If you have these always in your vision, then you can easily unite and amalgamate the inner and the outer world.

Question: Who is the perfect disciple?

Sri Chinmoy: The perfect disciple is he who has made constant, conscious, unconditional and eternal surrender to the Supreme in his Master.

Question: If the perfection of the soul is beyond the perfection of the mind, does that mean you are supposed to concentrate on perfecting the mind?

Sri Chinmoy: If you know what the perfection of the soul is, then you have to bring down the light of the soul into the mind. Light is perfection and perfection is light. You have to know that mental light, the light of the mind, is insignificant, absolutely meaningless, in comparison with the light of the soul. The soul has light in boundless measure, whereas the mind has only an iota of light. But that doesn't mean that the mind should be neglected or rejected. The mind desperately needs the light and perfection of the soul. When you see a drop and an ocean, what do you do? Either you transform the drop into the ocean, or you bring the ocean into the drop and make it the ocean.

Question: How can I become perfectly secure and fearless?

Sri Chinmoy: You can easily become perfectly secure and fearless if you constantly think of yourself as God's chosen child, no matter what you do or how many deplorable mistakes you make in life. You have to feel that you are God's chosen instrument, and that you are eternally of Him and eternally for Him. You don't belong to anybody, you don't belong even to yourself; you belong only to Him, to the Supreme, to the Absolute Supreme in yourself. If you can feel this, then you are bound to feel perfectly secure and fearless.

Question: If one has ill health, is perfection attainable?

Sri Chinmoy: Ill health is a complicated term. Somebody's physical constitution may not be as strong as it should be, but that is not ill health. When we use the term ill health, that means there is some ailment in the physical. Now, even if there is some ailment in the physical, spiritual light can still easily enter into the physical. If you are not physically strong, it does not mean that the highest Light or highest spiritual Height cannot enter into you. No, it can and it does. There have been many spiritual Masters who had a weak physical constitution or who did not have sound health. Just because you cannot sit properly or cannot walk properly does not mean that real perfection, divine perfection cannot enter into you. No! Real perfection, inner perfection, is not affected by any kind of ailment or physical shortcomings. But if it is some serious internal disease like cancer, or tuberculosis, or leukaemia, then the physical has to be totally cured if the seeker is to achieve total perfection. If it is not possible for the physical to be cured within a specific period by earthly means or medical aid, the body should at least try to be receptive so that the Divine Light from above can enter it and slowly and steadily cure the physical ailment. In this way, the body will become fit to hold boundless Light.

Question: Guru, what perfection do your disciples need in order to achieve God-realisation in this lifetime?

Sri Chinmoy: My disciples need the perfection that demands and embodies a constant awareness of the highest height, the deepest depth and the fullest self-sacrifice. There is no such term as sacrifice. It is really a constant self-giving based on one's awareness of universal oneness, and a constant heroic dynamism which enables one to conquer ignorance-sea in the battlefield of life and transform it into a sea of Wisdom-light. If one can do this, then in this lifetime one will be able to realise God and become perfect.

Question: Has the soul always been perfect?

Sri Chinmoy: The soul has always been perfect but, as I said before about God, we have to know how high the soul is and how much higher it can go. Today's height is perfect for the soul, but tomorrow the soul can envision a higher height, and it has to climb up. The soul-bird is now on a particular branch, which it thinks is the highest branch. But then it looks up and sees that there is a higher branch, so it jumps up to that branch. Then again it sees something higher and goes there. Each time it casts its glance, it sees something higher. Where the soul stands is perfect for the time being, but then it increases its vision and goes high, higher, highest. There is no end to the height it can achieve. Again, when it is a matter of manifestation, the soul knows how much it revealed or manifested God's Light in its previous incarnations and how much it can manifest in future incarnations. In a previous incarnation it was just a little, in the present incarnation it is a little more, and in future incarnations it will be perhaps much more. So just as high, higher, highest represents the perfection of the soul in terms of height, when it is a matter of manifestation the perfection of the soul is expressed in terms of degrees: much, more, most.

Question: How can I offer my soul's perfection to my vital?

Sri Chinmoy: You can easily offer your soul's perfection to your vital. Right now if your vital is lethargic or aggressive, you have to know that lethargy and aggression are not divine qualities. First you have to make your vital dynamic. Dynamism is a divine quality which you badly need, badly need. In order to have dynamism in the vital, try to consciously expand your vital. Think of your vital as a bird that has two wings. Try to unfold and spread the wings. While you are expanding and spreading your wings, your vital is becoming dynamic. When the vital becomes dynamic, supremely dynamic, automatically the soul's perfection enters into the dynamism of the vital and the vital becomes as perfect as the soul is.

Question: How can you establish your perfect oneness with the Supreme?

Sri Chinmoy: You can establish your perfect oneness with the Supreme by constant self-giving and also by not expecting anything in your own way from the Supreme. Expect everything from Him in His own Way. He will give you at His choice Hour what He wants to give you. On your part there should be no expectation, whether He gives you a penny or one thousand dollars, whether He is giving you an iota of Light or whether He floods your entire being with Light. Let Him give you what He wants to give you in His own way, at His own Hour. In that way only can you establish your perfect oneness and perfection-oneness with the Supreme.

Question: How can you develop perfect gratitude?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, please try to feel that gratitude abides inside your heart. Then ask yourself whether you are the heart. The immediate answer will be, "One minute a day." The rest of the time, you are the mind or you are the body or you are the vital. But if you can feel that you are the heart, not just for a fleeting second or a fleeting minute, but twenty-four hours a day, if you can feel the presence of your heart as your own existence, then easily you will have gratitude, since gratitude lives inside the heart. Now, how can you increase your gratitude? If you have that capacity to feel that you are the heart, try to feel that your heart is constantly becoming large, larger, largest. It is like the father whose salary is constantly increasing. He used to get fifty dollars a week, now he is getting one hundred dollars, and soon he will be getting two hundred dollars. In the same way, the capacity of your heart is constantly increasing. Now, the child of the heart is gratitude. When the father becomes richer, the child also automatically becomes richer because he knows that his father's property belongs to him as well. If his father becomes a multimillionaire, then in time his father's wealth goes to him. So when the heart is all the time expanding, when its capacity is all the time increasing, gratitude is also increasing and growing in capacity.

Question: How can detachment help me become more and more perfect?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to know the difference between detachment and indifference. Very often these two words go together. But if you know the proper meaning of detachment and the proper meaning of indifference, then you can easily become more and more perfect. The real meaning of detachment is not rejection. Detachment means not approaching someone on the plane in which the situation is taking place.

Let us say something is happening between you and your mother. If you approach your mother on the same plane where her consciousness is or where your consciousness is, then you cannot throw any light on the situation. But if you are really detached at that time, you will enter into the Heart of the Supreme with her standard and with your own standard and refer the matter to the Supreme. You will say, "I am judging her on the strength of my own standard, and she is judging me on the strength of her own standard. So I am offering her standard to You, O Supreme, and I am offering my standard to You. Now You offer us Light and guidance. You throw Light on me and You throw Light on my mother. Let me not directly deal with my mother, and let her not directly deal with me. Only You deal with us." When you approach the Supreme in this way, it is called detachment. At that time, automatically you are becoming perfect in your outer life and in your inner life.

But if you cherish indifference towards your mother, or your mother cherishes indifference towards you, it will be a great, deplorable mistake. When you have a feeling of indifference, if the other person does something good, immediately you become jealous. Even though you say, "Who cares whether my mother does something well or not," if she does something well, you are bound to feel jealous. And although you say you have nothing to do with her, if she fails in something, you will be extremely happy. And the same will be true of her attitude to you.

Indifference is the wrong way to approach the truth. In indifference there is always a subtle jealousy; in indifference there is a sense of separativity. But when you use detachment, it means that you are already connected with someone. So let this connection be offered to the One who has the capacity to regulate and guide you. When you approach the Supreme on your own behalf and on behalf of the person from whom you want to be detached, then only do you make your life perfect. At that time, your life becomes a song of constant perfection.

Question: How can we identify with the perfection of the Divine Mother?

Sri Chinmoy: How can you identify yourself with the perfection of the Divine Mother? All the time, try to feel the Divine Mother within you, and try to please the Divine Mother within you. Try to fulfil the Divine Mother within you in your multifarious day-to-day activities, constantly, devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally. Then it is not only possible but inevitable for you to achieve the perfection of the Mother Divine.

Question: Guru, since the perfection of the soul is an ever-transcending thing, does man ever reach a time in his life when he is pure perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: Although the soul's experience of perfection is an ever-transcending one, a man is bound to feel perfection in his own life because of his constant progress. As soon as he comes to a certain standard, as soon as he reaches a goal, he feels that he is perfect. Then, after some time, he feels that this is not enough for him; he wants to go to a higher goal. So his perfection becomes the starting point for another, higher goal. When he reaches his first destination, he is really satisfied. When I realised God, it was my first satisfaction, because it was my first goal. Then I tried to reveal God; that was my second goal. Now I am trying to manifest God; that is my third goal. There is no end to realisation. There is no end to revelation. There is no end to manifestation. But the moment we reach some standard, we are satisfied, and satisfaction, real satisfaction, is perfection. Satisfaction is very different from vital pleasure. In satisfaction we enter into the sea of Light and Delight. But again, we want to go to a higher goal, and achieve even greater satisfaction and perfection. So there is no end; God Himself is transcending and transcending.

Question: Guru, how can we perfect our physical or our vital stamina?

Sri Chinmoy: We can perfect our physical and vital stamina if we know that we are just a tiny well or pond and right ahead of us is a sea of Light and Delight. We are very tiny, very small, and all unlit, obscure, impure, imperfect. But right in front of us we see a sea of inexhaustible Energy, inexhaustible Light, everything that is endless. Now what is the next thing to do? We just jump into this sea and claim it as our very own. Right now, imperfection and everything that we are, we claim as our very own. We are perfect strangers to perfection. Anything that is good is strange to us. Anything that is bad, we feel is ours; it is what we are. But that is a wrong idea. We have to feel that what we are right now is not the right thing, but what is in front of us is the right thing. That very thing we have to claim as our very own. And if we enter into it and become part and parcel of it, easily we can claim it. Automatically you can perfect your physical and vital stamina if you take this approach.

Question: Guru, how can we become a perfect student in the inner and outer school?

Sri Chinmoy: You can become a perfect student in your inner and outer school if you feel that your inner and outer school are of utmost necessity at your present stage. The outer school is right now giving you the message of information: what the world looks like, what is happening in the world. The world of information is right now of paramount importance in your outer life. Then again, the inner world is also of paramount importance. The inner world is bringing you the message of illumination. From the outer life you are getting world-information, and from the inner life you are getting world-illumination. If right now you feel that it is necessary that these two should go together, it is like two friends walking along the same road. But a time comes when one friend becomes tired and says to the other, "I cannot go any farther. I am totally exhausted. Now I depend entirely on you. So please carry me on your shoulders." The information-friend becomes tired, and takes the help of the illumination-friend. So the illumination-friend says, "All right, you come with me; you stay inside me." In this way the illumination-friend carries the information-friend to the destined goal. You have to have this kind of feeling: that you are cherishing inside yourself two friends, and because they are friends, and because they are needed right now for God's purpose, they will walk together. But a time will come when one will grow exhausted and take shelter in the other, in the one that can lead you to your ultimate destined goal. If you have this kind of awareness of the reality, then as a student you can be perfect in your inner and outer life.

Question: How can we offer ourselves as a perfect flower to God?

Sri Chinmoy: To offer ourselves as a perfect flower to God, first we have to become the flower itself. How do we become a flower? We become a flower through constant remembrance of what we are going to eventually be. We are going to be God's instrument. Now if we are an instrument, it means that we are not the doer; somebody else is the doer. We are not the creator; we are not the creation; we are not even the observer. We are only an experience that God is having. God is having an experience in us, with us and for us. When we feel that God is the Creator, the Experience and the Observer in us, that we are not doing anything and cannot do anything, but that it is He who is doing everything in and through and for us, at that time we become a perfect flower to be offered to the Supreme. When we feel that we are God's expanded reality and God is our expanded reality, then automatically we become a perfect flower to be placed at the Feet of the Lord Supreme.

Question: By chanting AUM can we reveal inner and outer perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly! By chanting AUM, you can easily reveal inner and outer perfection, for AUM embodies the highest height and the deepest depth. AUM embodies Universal Consciousness, Transcendental Consciousness. AUM is the embodiment of God the Creator, God the Preserver and God the Transformer. God as the highest Creator, the best Preserver and the most powerful Transformer of your ignorance-life, is within you. By chanting AUM and invoking Him, you can embody and reveal perfect perfection in your life and in the life around you.

Question: How can you perfect the transformation of your body's need?

Sri Chinmoy: Please try to feel what the so-called gross body, physical body, has given you. immediately the answer will be frustration, depression and destruction. Depression is always followed by destruction. The body gives you this kind of thing just because the body can give you only what it has. You enter into a dark room and ask why there is only darkness. Just because you have entered into a dark room, naturally you will get darkness. Similarly, when your consciousness enters into the body, when you become one with your body-consciousness, naturally you become one with the gross physical needs of the body. But if you enter into your heart, if you enter into your soul, then what happens? What the soul has to offer, what the soul embodies, you get. What the soul embodies is light. The heart also embodies light, although not to the same extent. So you have to enter into the soul or the heart and claim its light as your very own. Then you have to feel that you are the heart, that you are the soul. The next moment you look around and see if there is anything else that you would like to call your own. Then you see that your body is still in darkness and ignorance. At that time, with the soul's light or the heart's light you enter into the body and the vital. Then the physical pleasure and the lethargic ignorance-life of the body will automatically be transformed by the light of the soul and the heart. You have to know what you will claim first as your own. First you claim the soul and heart as your own, and then you deal with the transformation of the body's need. Otherwise, you will be putting the cart before the horse. If you enter into darkness first, before you have light, darkness will catch you and claim you. You wanted to possess darkness, but darkness has possessed you already. But if you claim the soul as your own first, then automatically the transformation of the body's need will take place.

Question: Guru, how can the creative process in man, his art and music, be continually directed towards God's Vision of perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: If the artist is a seeker, or the seeker is a divine artist, then only can this easily take place. As a matter of fact, a sincere artist, a divine artist, is a seeker. While a divine artist is creating something, his aspiration is going high, higher, highest. And then, if he is also a seeker, his very aspiration is creating something in the earth atmosphere. He is aspiring in his own room, but the fragrance of his aspiration, the power of his aspiration is spreading all around. So when the seeker and the artist become inseparably one in their aspiration and manifestation, then the perfection of art in human life is not only possible but inevitable. The art that makes us universal is called perfection, and the aspiration that makes us universal is called supreme art. The secret of supreme art is its universal oneness, its universal consciousness. And again, real aspiration, aspiration of the heart, is also part and parcel of the universal consciousness. So artist and seeker, art and aspiration, are absolutely one. When one has that kind of awareness, when one discovers the truth in that way, then perfect perfection dawns in one's art-life and aspiration-life, which become inseparably one.

Question: How can we reach our inner perfection and then spread it to our outer, imperfect life?

Sri Chinmoy: Reaching inner perfection is like pressing down on a springboard. If you stand on a spring and press it down, the harder you press, the higher you will go. So in the spiritual life also, the deeper you go within, the deeper your focus of concentration, the higher the perfection you reach. When you go deep, deeper, deepest, you can feel you are reaching high, higher, highest. If you are sincere, if you are dedicated, if you are devoted, if you are soulful, if you are unconditional, at that time you will jump up like a spring to the highest when you go deep within. And then, when you arrive at the highest, do not keep your eyes shut, but try to see what is around you and below you. Then just spread your arms, and as soon as you spread your arms, you will see that the place you are covering is becoming all perfect. You are offering your benediction of light, and immediately your height and light are descending to the imperfect nature within you or around you. So first dive deep within, and immediately you will be transported to the highest plane. Then just spread your arms and your consciousness, and come down. While you are descending, anything that is imperfect around you, before you and within you, becomes perfect. This is how you reach perfection and transmit your perfection to your outer life.

Question: How can I perfect my ability to surrender to the Supreme?

Sri Chinmoy: You can perfect your ability to surrender only by becoming wise. By not surrendering to the Will of the Supreme, what have you gained? Absolutely nothing! What have you lost? Absolutely everything! And what have you become? Nothing! So you have gained nothing and you have become nothing, and you have lost everything.

Let us say that wisdom has dawned upon you right now, and you want to gain something, you want to become something. What is it that you want to become? God's dearest, sweetest, fondest child! First you have to feel the need of something. Your need is to become God's dearest, sweetest, most intimate child. Then, in order to become what you want, you have to give what you have. God does not care whether it is bad or good; He only cares whether you are ready to give it to Him. What you have is a sea of ignorance. If you can give God your sea of ignorance, then naturally God will immediately give you what He has. God is a perfect gentleman, and He is not going to remain satisfied with your offering and not give you what He has. What He has is an infinite sea of Concern, Compassion, Light and Bliss.

So you can perfect your ability to surrender just by becoming wise, just by knowing what you have and what you are, and what God has and what God is. God is so eager to give you what He has, but you are not so eager to give to Him. Again, His eagerness depends on your willingness to receive what He has; it depends on how soon you empty your vessel. This moment if you empty your vessel and let all the undivine rubbish go out of your nature, then immediately you will see and feel the purest Light and purest Delight. So by giving to God what you have, you will perfect your ability to surrender to His Will. At that time God will give you His own abilities and capacities, which are infinite.

Question: Guru, what directly interferes with our perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: Our ego, our insecurity, our jealousy and our doubt! This moment we are in the doubt-world, this moment we are in the insecurity-world, this moment we are in the ego-world, this moment we are in the jealousy-world. If we feel that we belong only to the world of inseparable oneness, if we live only in the world of divine oneness, supreme oneness, we not only hear the song of perfection, but also sing the song of perfection; we not only watch the dance of perfection, but also dance the dance of perfection. So we have to know that we must not live in the world of fear, doubt and insecurity. These are the things that interfere with our perfection. But if we remain in the world of universal, divine oneness, then those undivine, negative forces cannot enter into us at all and cannot prevent us from making progress and becoming perfect.

Question: Does outer success ever help our inner perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to know what actually happens as a result of the success. If outer success glorifies you, if it aggrandises and feeds your ego, if it gives you the feeling that everybody is touching your feet, and now you will be able to lord it over the world and dominate the world, then it cannot help in your perfection at all. It is useless. But if you take the experience as a rung of a ladder, and feel that there is again another rung and another; if you feel that there is no end to the rungs of the spiritual ladder, then naturally this success will help your inner perfection. What you call success actually is an inner experience God is having in and through you. If you see outer success in this way, then you know that the experience is bound to help you in your inner, spiritual life, for God feels that from this experience He will be able to have inner perfection. But success which is a divine experience is not the kind of experience which makes you feel disproportionately great and superior to others. If you have that kind of feeling, then your outer success is a terrible failure and a great obstacle to your inner perfection.

Question: Guru, how can we perfect our cry for the Supreme?

Sri Chinmoy: You can perfect your cry for the Supreme if you feel that without the Supreme you are hopeless and useless, that without the Supreme you cannot exist even for a fleeting second. You can remain without food, without air, but not without God. If you have this feeling, you can easily perfect your cry for the Supreme.

Question: Does everything ultimately have to become perfect?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is God's Will that everything ultimately has to be perfect. He will never be satisfied unless and until He has become perfect in everything. In everything that we do and everything that we become, perfection is of paramount importance.

Question: Guru, if the Supreme is constantly transcending Himself, how can anything be perfect?

Sri Chinmoy: True, at every second the Supreme is transcending Himself, but self-transcendence itself is perfection. A child's perfection might come the moment he can crawl. For some time he cannot crawl, and he only lies in his bed crying and crying. But the moment he starts crawling, his mother says, "Oh, now my child knows how to crawl. He is perfect!" Then the same child learns to stand up and stumble, and his mother says, "My child could not even crawl before, and now he is standing up!" In her eyes he has now achieved another kind of perfection. The child eventually starts walking; then he starts marching; then he starts running; then he starts running the fastest. There is no end; in his constant progress is perfection. Each time we reach a goal, that goal is our perfection. Each time we move forward, upward or inward, that is called perfection. So progress is always perfection. When we start our journey, the first step forward is our goal. As soon as we reach this goal, we achieve perfection. But today's goal, today's perfection, is tomorrow's starting point; and tomorrow's goal becomes the starting point for the day after tomorrow. Continuous progress is perfection. Self-transcendence is the song of constant inner progress and constant outer progress. The Supreme is transcending Himself all the time, going on and on with no end. That is why we call His Life perfect Perfection.

Question: How can I constantly march towards a life of perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: It is through constant self-giving that you can march towards your self-perfection. There is no other way. Give yourself to the Supreme soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally, and feel that there is nothing that He will not do for you. And again, even if He does not do anything for you, it is His business. He knows what is best for you. What you think you need is not the right thing. What He thinks you need is the right thing. Your self-giving is absolutely the right thing, because this is the one thing in your life that the Supreme wants from you. So only through self-giving can you march towards perfection.

Question: Is perfection in the eye of the beholder?

Sri Chinmoy: If I ask you to draw a straight line, but you draw a circle instead, then that is not perfection. If you are supposed to draw a triangle, but you draw a square instead, then where is the perfection there? Again, perfection is in love. The mother loves her youngest child, and to her he is always perfect even though he is at the age where he constantly breaks things, makes noise and causes all kinds of problems. Since my spiritual children love me, to them I am all perfection. When you come to me full of love and devotion, at that time I am all perfection, but when you are angry or displeased with me, at that time you feel that I am all imperfection, totally undivine.

Question: What is the heart of perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: The heart of perfection is God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation. If you realise God for God's sake, if you reveal God for God's sake, if you manifest God for God's sake, this is the heart of perfection. Real perfection lies in God-realisation today, in God-revelation tomorrow and in God-manifestation the day after tomorrow. That is perfection.

Question: How can I water my perfection-tree?

Sri Chinmoy: How can you water your perfection-tree? Very good! I am proud of you if you already have a perfection-tree. To get a perfection-tree is very, very difficult. It takes millions of years to get a perfection-tree. People cry and cry to get a perfection-tree somewhere, somewhere, somewhere. You have to cry for a perfection-seed in your life. After it germinates, it becomes a tiny plant, then it becomes a sapling and finally it becomes a tree. It takes such a long time to have a tree inside us. Now, once you have a perfection-tree, if you want to keep it in perfect condition, you have to offer gratitude at every moment. You touch the root of the tree and offer gratitude. With gratitude you touch the foot of the tree, the trunk of the tree, the branches of the tree, the flowers of the tree, the fruits of the tree. When your heart's gratitude comes to the fore, when you become all gratitude, this gratitude is like a flow, a flow of consciousness. When your consciousness is flowing, feel that this gratitude-flow is like a river that is watering the root of the tree and the tree itself. So always it is through gratitude that your consciousness-river will flow and water the perfection-tree inside you.

Question: What keeps us from attaining perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: What keeps us from attaining perfection? It is our self-indulgence. In self-indulgence we feel that there is something absolutely necessary in our life, and that is pleasure. When we cry for pleasure and want to remain in pleasure, to become pleasure itself, perfection is a far cry. But when we cry for divine Joy, Delight, Bliss, at that time we enter into the ocean of perfection. If we cry continuously, we learn how to swim in the sea of perfection. When we have an inner cry for Delight, we jump into the sea of perfection. This is the first step. But when this inner cry becomes constant, we swim in the sea of perfection. When we keep Joy and Delight as our goal, perfection automatically grows in us, and slowly, steadily we become the sea of perfection. But, what now keeps us from perfection is our fondness for pleasure-life and our indulgence in pleasure-life.

Question: How can we achieve perfection in our body and vital so that we won't live in darkness anymore?

Sri Chinmoy: Feel that you have a dedicated heart and an illumined soul, and allow the dedicated heart and the illumined soul to work in the mind. Or become one with the dedicated heart and the illumined soul, and then enter into the mind and try to transform the doubting mind into the searching mind. Then enter into the vital, the aggressive vital, with your searching mind, dedicated heart and illumining soul. Immediately the aggressive vital will become the dynamic vital. Then bring the dynamic vital, searching mind, dedicated heart and illumining soul into the lethargic body. The body will try to respond to the light of the vital, mind, heart and soul. At that time, your body will no longer sleep. It will cry for more light and keep its eyes wide open to receive more light from above.

Question: How can I relate outer spiritual perfection to inner spiritual perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: Our inner perfection-life is our constant remembrance of God as the highest Absolute and our feeling of God as the absolute Transcendental. Our outer perfection-life is our feeling of God as the immanent, omnipresent Universal. When you think of inner perfection, go as high as possible; and when you think of outer perfection, spread your wings and become one with everything else. When you think of inner perfection, think of God within you as the transcendental Absolute. When you think of earth-perfection, think of God as the Universal Consciousness. When you have established your oneness with the Universal Consciousness, that is the perfection of your outer life; and when you have established your oneness with the Transcendental Height, that is the perfection of your inner life.

Question: How can I reach perfection in my musical manifestation of the Supreme?

Sri Chinmoy: When you play music, you have to feel you are playing not to satisfy your vital, not to compete with others, not for the applause of the audience and not for name and fame. You have to feel that you are the instrument and the Supreme is playing in and through you. You are His instrument and He is playing you. He is the musician and, at the same time, He Himself is the listener. You have to feel that He is the player, He is the listener, and He is the instrument itself. If you have that kind of feeling, automatically divine perfection dawns in your music.

Question: How can we intensely aspire for perfection without having greed enter in?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to know the consequences of greed. A child can eat only one piece of bread, but he is so greedy that with greatest difficulty he takes two pieces. As soon as this happens, he gets indigestion because he does not have the capacity to eat two pieces of bread. If you are greedy and want to get God's Light by hook or by crook, or by pulling beyond your capacity, what happens? If you have a tiny vessel inside you, and you try to bring down Peace, Light and Bliss beyond its capacity to hold these qualities, then the vessel gives way. So always you have to see the capacity of the vessel which you have within you. If it has so much capacity, fill it to that capacity. Then gradually, gradually its capacity increases. The capacity of your inner vessel is like the strength of a muscle, which gradually increases as you take exercise.

Now, how can you be free from greed and, at the same time, get what you want in abundant measure? When we suffer from greed, we try to satisfy the individual in us. If I am greedy, at that time I want to eat everything myself and leave nothing for you. The moment greed enters into me, I separate my existence from yours, because greed is the song of individuality. Immediately my individuality starts singing and my individuality starts dancing, and my universality goes away. I want to eat, I want to be strong; I want to be very powerful. But the moment I feel that I am universal-that you, he, she and everyone all comprise my existence-at that time I have twenty mouths at least, and I also have the capacity of twenty stomachs. When I as an individual am greedy, I have the capacity of only one individual. If I get food for twenty people, how am I going to eat it? But when I become universal, at that time I become twenty people, and naturally I can eat the food of twenty people.

The very fact that you are free from greed allows you to enter into something vast and infinite. When individuality goes away, universality comes. Individuality and greed go together, but universality and Infinity go together. We have to feel that greed limits us to such an extent that we cannot eat more than one piece of bread. But we will be really happy only if we can eat twenty pieces of bread, so we have to transform our individuality into universality.

Question: What can I do every day to perfect my emotional life?

Sri Chinmoy: Every day in order to perfect your emotional life you have to bring down purity into your system. This purity is the purity of oneness. Begin with oneness with your soul; then try to establish oneness with your heart, then with your mind, then with your vital, then with your body.

Now, when you are trying to establish oneness, you have to see whether the thing with which you are going to establish oneness is perfect. The soul is perfect and the heart is about to reach perfection; but the mind is still far away from perfection, the vital is still far away and the body is also far from perfection. So what you should do is enter into the soul's perfection first and then bring it into the heart. Feel that you have entered into the perfection-river and you are flowing from the soul to the heart. And feel that your aspiration is the river's speed. After you come to the heart, if you feel that you need a little rest because you have already covered such a great distance, you can remain in the heart for a few days or a few months.

When you feel that you are again energetic, use your aspiration-speed, and the perfection-river will start flowing to your mind. Again, if you feel that you have covered a very good distance and need some rest, you can wait indefinitely there. Then, from the mind, you start your journey to the vital, and from there you come to the physical. In this way you proceed like a runner. You come to a place and halt there because you are tired, and after a while you stand up and start running again. If you can journey from your soul to your body, you will have perfection in your everyday life, in every sphere of your life. You have to start from the source, the soul.

Question: How can I get rid of the feeling of ego when I work with others who have less capacity than I, and achieve perfection in my dealings with my spiritual brothers and sisters?

Sri Chinmoy: While you are working with your spiritual brothers and sisters at the divine enterprises, please feel that they are equally important in the eye of the Supreme, in the eye of your Master, in the eye of your soul. You have two eyes, and you feel that both are equally important. You don't feel that the left eye is more important than the right eye, or vice versa. When you have two things which you claim as your very own, you try to be impartial. When your left hand and right hand are doing something, you do not separate your right hand and say, "Oh, I don't need my left hand; I need only my right hand." Even if your left hand is weaker, still you claim it as your own. When you claim something as your own, at that time partiality goes away.

Look at your little finger and look at your thumb. Your little finger has very little capacity and your thumb is very powerful, but they have established such oneness with each other, and you have established such oneness with them, that there is no ego involved. You do not identify yourself with your thumb and criticise your little finger. No! Whatever capacity your little finger has comes from God, and whatever capacity your thumb has also comes from God. Ego comes when the feeling of oneness is missing, or when you want to show your capacity to others. If you separate your little finger from your thumb, at that time ego comes into play. If you don't make this separation, you will say that everything and everyone is good in God's eye.

Now, a little child cannot carry a heavy burden on his shoulders, while his eldest brother can. But that does not mean that his father or mother will be less fond of the little child. No! The parents know that God has now given to the child only so much capacity. After a few years the child will grow up and have the same capacity as his eldest brother. If I have the capacity to carry twenty mangoes and my little brother has the capacity to bring only one mango, if I go to my Father with my twenty mangoes, He will not be pleased unless he sees that my little brother has also come carrying his one mango. When He sees that all His children have come together according to their capacity, with twenty mangoes, ten mangoes, five mangoes or one mango, He will be so happy because He is seeing in them the bond of oneness.

So if we want to have perfection, immediately we have to feel our oneness with others. Only by satisfying our Eternal Pilot, the Supreme, can we have perfection. There is no other way. And we satisfy Him only by having the feeling of oneness.

Question: Does the perfection of the body result in a superman?

Sri Chinmoy: The German philosopher Nietzsche used the term 'superman,' but his superman was nothing but a vital force, a vital being that wanted to lord it over the world and rule the world. Sri Aurobindo also wrote considerably about the superman, but his superman is the totally transformed human being. The totally transformed human being will be most luminous, perfect in every way. He will not go through the human process of birth and death. He will not come into the world from human parents: his soul will descend from the psychic world and take a human body, but a perfect one.

So, perfection is only a kind of evolution in nature. But again, real perfection, divine perfection, is not only the transformation of human life, but also the manifestation of the divine Love here on earth. A superman can be perfect in his own way because of his intense aspiration, but absolute perfection in life depends on one's total surrender to God's Will. If we let the Will of God act in and through us, that is called real perfection.

The cosmic gods and goddesses are more powerful than we are, but in absolute terms they are not perfect because sometimes they do not listen to the Supreme. With their own individual will sometimes they act against the Supreme's highest Will. So how can one call them perfect? Somebody is perfect in the category of aspiration; somebody else is perfect in self-dedication; somebody else is perfect in some other inner or outer sphere of life. But absolute perfection lies in our inseparable oneness with, and unconditional surrender to, the Will of the Supreme.

Question: How can I get perfection in my meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: Just before you start meditating, say four things: "Fear, get out of my life! Doubt, get out of my life! Jealousy, get out of my life! Insecurity, get out of my life! I don't need you and I will never need you."

Then they will all come out of you and ask, "Whom do you want?"

"I want only meditation; I want only God," you will say.

"Now where is the proof?"

"The proof is that I can live without you, but you can't live without me. Jealousy, you can't live without me; that's why you come and take shelter inside my vital. Doubt, you can't live without me; that's why you come and take shelter in my mind. Insecurity, you can't live without me; that's why you come and take shelter in my heart. Fear, you can't live without me; that's why you come and take shelter in my body."

When you challenge these four in a divine way, they say it is beneath their dignity to remain inside you.

"If you can live without us, how is it that we can't live without you?" they ask, and then they go away. At that time you will have your perfect meditation.

Question: How can I act in perfect courage?

Sri Chinmoy: To have perfect courage, try to remain always inside your soul. Now you will say that you do not know where your soul is. Then cry like a child; cry only for light, for light. Inside light there is always life. Light and life go together. The more light you can invoke and absorb, the more life-power enters into you. And when you have life, abundant life, you always have courage. If life is missing, if your life-power is less than somebody else's, you lack courage. But if your life-power is greater than somebody else's, you are not afraid of that person. If your life-power is strong, you will have perfect courage in dealing with situations, in dealing with things, in dealing with people.

Question: How do you know you have reached perfection with respect to some divine quality?

Sri Chinmoy: If you want to know whether you are perfect in your purity, for example, then you have to enter into your body-consciousness, vital-consciousness, mental-consciousness, heart-consciousness and psychic-consciousness. Take each one as a different room. As soon as you enter into one particular room, you have to see if that room is illumined or not. If you feel that it is illumined, that means that your purity is perfect in this room. And if there is no illumination, immediately you will say that your purity is not perfect. So enter into your body-room and see if there is light inside your body. If there is no light, feel that here your purity is imperfect. Then enter into your vital-room and your other rooms, and see if there is light in them.

Question: How does the perfection of world-ignorance take place?

Sri Chinmoy: It takes place through individual progress. The world is composed of you, me and others. Now, if you become perfect and I become perfect and he becomes perfect, then world-perfection automatically dawns. World-perfection depends on each individual. When we become perfect, the world becomes perfect, for it is we-the human beings living in the world-who are responsible for what the world is. The world is only a vast plot of land where countless beings are staying. It is the inhabitants who can make it perfect.

Question: Why does the dawn of the individual perfection always seem so distant?

Sri Chinmoy: It is all a matter of our sincerity. When sincerity knocks at our door, nothing is far; but as long as we remain insincere, everything is very far. When we sincerely study, we pass our examination. But when we don't study sincerely, it takes us many years to pass our examination. If we have a sincere inner cry, God-realisation does not remain a far cry. But if our inner cry is not sincere, God-realisation always remains a far cry. Sincerity travels along the straight path, the sunlit path, the short path, whereas the path of insincerity is dark, full of thorns, and without beginning or end.

Question: If world-perfection comes from the perfection of the individual souls, how will the animals ever become perfect?

Sri Chinmoy: The world is evolving and progressing. Once upon a time we were all animals, but from the animal kingdom we entered into the human kingdom. Human beings are more perfect than animals, although we are still half-animals. But one day we will become perfect. Likewise, those souls still in the animal kingdom will also someday take human incarnation, and eventually perfection will dawn for them, too.

Question: Is it possible for all of us to reach perfection in this life?

Sri Chinmoy: To be very frank with you, it is not possible for all of us. I know the capacity of all the disciples. Why should I give you false hope by saying that all of you will be perfect in this life? But, at the same time, I am not throwing cold water on you or anybody else. I am saying that the real height of perfection — perfection of the human nature — cannot be reached by everyone in this life. Even here, among my disciples there are hardly ten people who are sincerely aspiring. How can I say that those who are not aspiring sincerely will be perfect? Now, as I said before, progress is a kind of perfection. If someone used to tell twenty lies a day and now tells ten lies, he has reached a kind of perfection. But when it is a matter of nature's perfection — mental purity, heart's sincerity and other divine qualities-how can I expect that kind of perfection from those who are not aspiring right now?

I am sorry. I wish you all could become perfect; I need your perfection badly, and I cry for it, but it is not possible in this incarnation, But it will be possible for some of you to achieve nature's perfection in your next incarnation, while for others it may take a few more incarnations. Perfection is inevitable. It is not that you will be perfect and your friends will remain imperfect. No! If the hour strikes for you today, you will become perfect today; if the hour strikes for somebody else tomorrow, he will become perfect at that time. We all abide in God's Eternal Time, so we do not have to worry. But we do have to try. Those who are aspiring will undoubtedly reach the highest sooner than those who are still sleeping.

I have seven hundred disciples. If all my disciples realised God in one incarnation, it would be a historical record. But God has not made me that lucky; I know my fate.

Question: How can the physical mind be perfected?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are extremely wise, you will consider your physical mind as something out of the undivine, unlit past. When you think of what you did even ten years ago, you will shudder. If you feel that you don't want to keep any connection with your old life that existed only a few years ago, why should you want to keep a connection with something from two hundred or more years ago? If you have that kind of feeling, you will not pay any attention to the physical mind.

The physical mind is nothing but a monkey. If you want amusement from the monkey and spend some time with it, then you curse yourself for having wasted your precious time. But if you are wise, you don't pay any attention to the monkey, because you don't want to waste your time. If you pay attention to a monkey, it does all kinds of tricks. But if you don't pay attention to the monkey, it will go away in silence. It will be beneath its dignity even to bother you. If you look at a child, immediately it plays all kinds of tricks; but if you don't pay attention, immediately the child stops.

So, do not pay any attention to the physical mind. Think that only the heart exists. If you concentrate on your fingers, you find that you can concentrate successfully on only one finger at a time. Otherwise, if you try to focus your attention on two fingers, your concentration will be distracted. When you focus your concentration on the heart, you will not focus on the mind. Then, when you have established oneness with the heart, when you play tug-of-war with the mind, the side that has double strength will win. When you become one with your heart, you and your heart become like one against the mind. At that time you can challenge the physical mind and win. Then you can transform the mind. But when you remain alone and fight with your physical mind, you will not win. It is like a naughty boy. When you challenge him, he will bite you. But if you are strong, you can challenge him and he will not hurt you. Until your inner strength dawns, however, think that the physical mind does not exist and avoid it as much as possible. This is what you must do if you want to have perfection in the physical mind.

Question: Who are the Supreme's perfect warriors?

Sri Chinmoy: The Supreme's perfect warriors are those souls who have realised God and are now manifesting Him on earth, souls who have made a conscious promise to struggle for the Supreme and fight against ignorance, to enter into the world and perfect it. These souls are fulfilling the request of the Supreme to come to earth. They come down and see all the souls swimming in the sea of ignorance and lift these souls into the sea of Light.

Question: What comes first, realisation or perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: They go together. It is like two hands clapping: one hand is perfection and the other hand is realisation. If I try to make a sound with one hand, I cannot do so. I need both hands. Again, it is like touching water: your consciousness enters into the water and the water enters into you. Now how can you say which comes first? They go together.

Question: How can we perfect our actions?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to feel that we are not the doer, that the Supreme is the only doer. We have to feel that the inspiration for the action is not ours, and the fruit of the action is not ours. If we can feel that we are just the instruments of the Supreme, our actions can be perfect.

Question: Do God the Father and God the Mother see perfection differently or in the same way?

Sri Chinmoy: In the same way, always in the same way. God the Mother and God the Father are not two separate beings. They are eternally one. Physical parents are two different individuals, but God the Mother and God the Father are one in essence and one in substance. They are one in their Dream-World, and they are one in their Reality-World. Mother and Father are like two eyes. When they look at a flower they see the same perfection with the same divine light, and they smell the fragrance of the flower in the same way.

Question: If we don't strive for perfection in our outer life, will that hinder our inner perfection?

Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely. The outer perfection and the inner perfection are like two wings of a bird; we need both wings to fly. If one wing is broken, the bird will not be able to fly well. So the outer perfection and the inner perfection must go together.

Editor's note

Sri Chinmoy invited his disciples to ask him questions on perfection on two different occasions. This book consists of their questions and his answers. One group of questions was asked September 10, 1974 by the members of his New Jersey Centre. The other group was asked four days later, September 14, by the disciples of his Saturday Connecticut Centre.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Perfection-World, Agni Press, 1974
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