Sri Chinmoy answers, part 20

Part I

SCA 706-710. Excerpts from an interview with the newspaper Novy Cas, which took place in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 11 November 1993.

Question: Could you tell us what you were talking about during your interview with our President?

Sri Chinmoy: President Kováč was extremely kind and compassionate to me. He was appreciating what I am doing in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and I appreciated and admired him for his many, many good qualities. I often use the term ‘interdependence’. Your President has such a good heart. He tries to bring forward the good qualities of all human beings and also all nations — the neighbouring nations and nations quite far from here.

Question: Did the President offer any comments about Slovakia's relations with the Czech Republic?

Sri Chinmoy: About the Czech Republic he said, “We have to coexist. We have to feel that this is our common homeland.” He had such nice things to say about your common history. About America also he said such nice things. American democracy is his source of freedom. Something else most significant he said: that no matter where someone has come from, if he is a citizen now here in Slovakia, he will be treated as one. There is no stranger here.

Question: What is your own feeling about Slovakia and the Czech Republic?

Sri Chinmoy: In my heart, Czechoslovakia is still one country. The Czech Republic and Slovakia are like complementary souls. With their mutual determination-strength, they shall proceed. It is not by virtue of a feeling of competition with each other, but only through self-transcendence that they shall run faster than the fastest. It is only through self-transcendence that we shall become good citizens of the world. Self-transcendence is our goal, and not competition.

Question: Are you personally in favour of the division of Czechoslovakia?

Sri Chinmoy: I am a student of peace. Division is something that I cannot appreciate. If division takes place, it is a most painful experience. I want oneness, oneness, oneness. In a family, for years and years, brothers and sisters live together. When they are young they need one another. Then when they grow up, they want to show their supremacy. One brother thinks he is superior to the other brother. When they were growing up together, that kind of jealousy, rivalry, insecurity, superiority complex or inferiority complex they did not have. But as they grow up, all kinds of unhealthy, undivine qualities enter into them. Previously they said, “If our bad qualities divide us, at least let us try to be interdependent.” If they are interdependent, then when they are grown up, they may not stay with their parents, they may live separately, but at Christmas time and on special days, they will meet together. Here it is exactly the same. Division is not the answer. But if a painful division takes place, then let us try as much as possible to live with goodwill. Once upon a time you were brothers. If you cannot stay together under the same roof, at least try to be interdependent and have utmost goodwill towards one another. If you need something, you will just make a phone call and your brother will come to your rescue, and if he needs something, then you will come to his rescue. So division has taken place, but division is not the final answer. The goal is coexistence, interdependence. By division alone we do not get any satisfactory result.

Question: Do you foresee a time when all of Europe will be united?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not only possible; it is inevitable. Previously the European countries were quarrelling and fighting. Now the European countries are trying to create a oneness-home. Previously, the American states were separate. Now America is one. Australia is one. Canada is one. But when it comes to Europe, each country has its own individuality, its own way. Sometimes when neighbouring countries were practically on strike, they did not get any kind of sympathy from other nations. But now, European countries are having summit meetings and they are trying to feel their oneness.

Europe is one continent. Why should Europe be divided into pieces? Europe is like a tree. This life-tree has many branches. Because of the trunk, there are branches, flowers and fruits. If the branches are cut off, then there will be no flowers, no fruits. Now wisdom is dawning on the European leaders. So many countries in Europe are trying desperately to have a common home. Then Europe will have oneness-strength like America has. America has fifty states, but when necessity demands, they are all one. Here also, Europe now feels the supreme necessity of oneness. There shall come a time in the near future when Europe will have its oneness and the division that we have had for so many years will disappear.

In this respect, your President is showing absolutely the best way: he is appreciating his neighbouring countries, he is appreciating America and many other countries. By appreciating others, we bring to the fore their good qualities and they become strong, stronger, strongest. If I say one nice word about you, you will feel obliged to say something nice about me. But if I criticise you ruthlessly, you will also speak ill of me to your heart’s content.

Your President is a man of sincerity, a man of integrity, a man of determination, a man of sacrifice, a man of self-giving. So many good qualities he has at his disposal. When he speaks, immediately you see wisdom, compassion and love. When he gave me the Presidential Medallion, I thanked him from the very depths of my heart. Then, while holding the Medallion, I said to him, “In you I see three persons: a friend, a father and a supreme pilot. Your heart of love has made you a true brother-friend of Slovakia. Your soul of wisdom has made you the father of your nation. Your constant sacrifice, inner and outer, for your country has made you its supreme pilot. All your citizens are inside your boat, and you are steering it safely and unmistakably. Your boat is bound to touch the Golden Shore, where there is only peace and peace and peace.”

Part II

Our life itself is art2

Dear ones, the body is not permanent, the vital is not permanent, the mind is not permanent, the heart is not permanent. There is only one thing permanent, eternal and immortal in us. That is our soul, and the soul is the direct representative of God, our Lord Beloved Supreme.

Again, the highest transcendental Message of our Lord Supreme we are trying to establish on earth. His Dream we are trying to manifest and fulfil on earth through our aspiring heart, searching mind, dynamic vital and awakened body, the body that is active.

Here on earth the body, the vital, the mind and the heart have to listen to the soul, the way the soul is listening to the Supreme. It is through the finite that the Infinite will play its role. The body is finite, but inside the body is the soul, the direct representative of God.

Here on earth, the birds signify the soul. Each bird flies in the sky and gives us the message of freedom, infinite freedom. Our soul is also flying here, there and everywhere carrying the Message of our Lord Beloved Supreme.

I am trying to be of service to all of you. I am trying to lovingly, devotedly and gratefully bring your own soul to the fore so that you can be perfect instruments of our Lord Beloved Supreme. Your soul is at every moment pleasing the Supreme, but your body, vital, mind and heart have to do the same. When I draw a bird, I think of the soul — new creation, new hope, new promise, new peace, new bliss and new perfection on earth. In exactly the same way, I wish you to feel that your immortal Reality is your soul. Until you see your soul and get a free access to your soul, the way the soul has established its free access to the Supreme, during your prayers and meditations try to imagine a most beautiful child inside your heart playing in ecstasy with the Supreme Himself.

Perhaps you have by this time come to learn that the Supreme in me has decided to draw one million birds. One million birds means two million wings. When you pray and meditate, try to feel, in the inmost recesses of your heart, two million wings to carry you in the sky of the ever-transcending Beyond. These wings will help you fly high, higher, highest and fast, faster, fastest towards your destined Goal. There is no end to our progress; therefore, there cannot be any fixed goal in our lives. We are always in the process of an ever-transcending Dream and an ever-transcending Reality.

Our life itself is art. God is manifesting Himself in and through our life at every moment. As we breathe in and out, so we create, reveal and manifest new art every day. You know that the name I have given for my art is Fountain-Art. A fountain is spontaneous. At each and every moment, from this Fountain-Art, we are receiving hope, promise, love, light, delight and the message of perfection and satisfaction.

So my sweet children, think of yourself as the most beautiful bird flying in the sky of freedom. This freedom is nothing other than constant oneness with our Lord Supreme. This freedom comes not by destroying something or showing our supremacy — no, no! This freedom is the freedom of oneness, oneness, oneness — universal oneness. This oneness we get only when we love God to please Him and to fulfil Him in His own Way. It is in our inseparable oneness, sleepless oneness, with the Will of the Supreme that we get the message of infinite freedom.

We are like tiny drops. When a tiny drop enters into the ocean, it becomes part and parcel of the infinite ocean. Similarly, although we are all finite beings, when we lovingly, devotedly and unconditionally offer our limited existence to our Lord Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, He makes us one, inseparably one, with His infinite Existence.

To each soul I am offering my boundless joy, divine pride and gratitude. All of you have made tremendous progress, but this progress is not enough, for our Lord Supreme wants us to be more aspiring, more self-giving, more pleasing to the Supreme in us.

There are many, many ways to run fast in the spiritual life, but one special way I would like you to try is to identify with the ones that you feel are inferior and with the ones that you feel are superior. In my heart, there is no superiority, no inferiority. It is all one. But if you see and feel that somebody is inferior, please take that person as your own little brother, your own little sister. Feel that it is your bounden duty to help your little brothers and sisters. Give him, give her, your concern, your affection, your own light. And if you see that somebody is superior to you, if you feel that that person has more wisdom, more capacity than you have, then feel that you have every right to mix with that person and increase your own divinity because that person is your older brother or older sister. This is how, in one family, we can please our Lord Beloved Supreme in His own Way.

Some of you do like Joy Days, especially in the Soviet Union. I deeply appreciate this. Joy Days are of paramount importance in my life. When my spiritual children meet together, pray together and play together, they enjoy the company of one family. So to all the disciples I am saying, please pay special attention to your Joy Days. You will play, you will pray, you will run, you will read my books or sing my songs. There are so many things that you can do. It is a family gathering. I am your spiritual father, I am your Eternity’s friend, only friend.

When my children are together, I feel tremendous joy and a sense of true accomplishment. Whenever it is possible, different countries should come together, the way England, France and Scotland are doing and the many, many countries that I call German countries. So whenever you can, join the other countries to observe Joy Days. At least once a month my divine children should meet together to give me boundless joy.

Also, please establish friendships with the disciples from Centres in other countries. Exchange your thoughts, your ideas, your achievements. For us there is only one country, and that is our heart-country. Historically, geographically and politically countries have been separated. But in our heart there is only one country — our oneness-heart-home — and our only goal is to love God, our Lord Beloved Supreme, in His own Way.

SCA 711. Sri Chinmoy gave this talk to the disciples who were gathered in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 23 November 1993.

Part III

SCA 712-721. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 4 April 1994 at PS 86 in Jamaica, New York.

Question: I want to throw my impurities into you, but I don't know how.

Sri Chinmoy: When you meditate, just think of a drop and the ocean. Then you have to feel that the ocean will not be ruined or polluted by the drop. Many times people feel that the ocean will become impure, so the best thing is to keep one’s own impurity. I am telling you to just throw everything into me. That is one way. There is also another way, and that way is to always feel inside your own heart a most beautiful flower, and to try to smell the fragrance. The beauty and fragrance of your own heart-flower will be able to purify your impure mind. These are the two ways. Either you can throw your impurity inside my universal consciousness with your conscious and concentrated will, or you can envision inside your own heart a most beautiful flower and smell the fragrance. Then your own heart’s purity will transform the impurity of your mind.

Question: Is there anything in particular that I can visualise to increase my receptivity?

Sri Chinmoy: Anything that helps you increase your humility will automatically increase your receptivity. You can concentrate on a blade of grass or a small plot of green grass — anything that you feel is humble. Or you can look at a tree. How humble a tree is! In spite of having countless flowers, fruits and leaves, a tree is always self-giving and serves with such compassionate humility. Anything that makes you feel humble, you should visualise and concentrate on. If you know someone who is sincerely humble, then try to think of that person from time to time to increase your humility. If you increase your humility, you will be able to make the fastest progress. Humility is absolutely necessary, not only for you, but for everybody. Everybody needs to be humble, sincere and pure. In your case, anything that immediately inspires you to develop humility will help you make the fastest progress.

Question: I sometimes feel in my meditations that I am not being as sincere as I would like to be. How can I change this?

Sri Chinmoy: When you feel you are not sincere in your meditation, try to imagine right in front of you a baby crying pitifully for its mother’s attention. The cry of a baby is absolutely sincere. Try to identify with the sincere cry the child has. If you can identify yourself with the child’s cry, with its helplessness, then sincerity will automatically dawn.

Question: How can I deal with the sorrow I feel from having compassion for others?

Sri Chinmoy: In human life the word ‘compassion’ does not apply. Compassion only God has. Compassion is only in God’s case and in the case of spiritual Masters of the highest order who can detach themselves from the subject or object. Otherwise, ordinary human beings are unconsciously attached to something or someone. We may call it compassion, but it is unconscious attachment that is playing its role. We make ourselves feel that we are superior to somebody and showing them compassion, but we are only fooling ourselves. So let us be more careful in our prayers and meditations.

The deeper we go, the sooner we realise that we do not need to show anybody compassion. It is we who need compassion more than anybody else. The very person who is eager to show compassion to the rest of the world, if he enters into the depths of his heart, will feel that he is a real beggar who desperately needs Compassion from God. If we feel that we are superior to someone, if we feel that we have more kindness than they have, we are only fooling ourselves. Only God and those who have realised God can, on the strength of their oneness with humanity, bless others with compassion.

If you think of showing compassion to someone, first you have to know what God’s Will is. If it is God’s Will for you to help someone in a special way, then God will show you the light. That light you can call compassion, wisdom, illumination or peace. But only God’s Will will carry the necessary capacity for you to offer something to the individual you feel you have to help. Compassion is not the right word. It is light you need to illumine that person.

Question: How can I be sure that I will make continuous progress in my spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: Pray like a child. You have just joined the spiritual life. You have to know that in spiritual terms, you are just born, you are a child. In the beginning, everything is easy. Then, afterwards, when we are relaxed, all the forces attack. When we join a path or enter into a school, if we are good students, we are eager to make progress. Here you are studying prayer and meditation. Each time a thought comes, you have to ask yourself, is this thought going to help me make progress? If the answer is yes, then immediately continue. If the answer is no, then discard that thought. Thoughts make us braver than the bravest or weaker than the weakest. If we cherish uncomely thoughts, undivine thoughts, aggressive thoughts, for a few seconds we may feel that we are very strong. Then in a few minutes we actually become weaker than the weakest human beings, because that aggression is nothing but an inner cancer. If we have a good thought, that progressive thought will help us immensely. Each good thought is a forward march. Each bad thought is a backward march. We have to know if we want to go forward or if we want to go backward.

Question: What does my soul want?

Sri Chinmoy: Everybody’s soul wants the body, vital, mind and heart to listen to the soul. How will you know that the soul is talking to you? The soul talks at every moment, but you have to keep your mind absolutely silent. You have to pray to the Supreme to keep your mind silent. If you can keep your mind silent, you are bound to hear the dictates of the soul. The soul wants you and everybody to be perfect instruments of our Lord Beloved Supreme, and if you want to know the message from the soul, you have to keep your mind absolutely silent, quiet, tranquil. Do not allow any thought whatsoever, good or bad, to enter into your mind.

Question: How can I see the best in other people more?

Sri Chinmoy: First you have to bring to the fore all your own good qualities. It is very difficult for us to see the good qualities in others while we either cherish or see our bad qualities. On the one hand, it is very easy to find good qualities in ourselves. On the other hand, we have to know how much sincerity we are using. Very often our imagination tells us that we have many more good qualities than our friends or our dear ones. That is why we see them as an object of pity or we feel we cannot associate ourselves with them. My advice to you is to bring forward all the good qualities that you feel you have within and make them living. Make them not only visible, but vibrant with life-energy. After you have done this, you can try to see the same good qualities or a few other good qualities in others. Then automatically your good qualities will reflect on them or their good qualities will come forward. When we show someone a rose, that person also wants to show us a rose. We have to offer our good qualities which are pure and loving. Then these good qualities will act like a magnet and others will bring their good qualities right in front of us. When your good qualities are absolutely alive, you will be able to see the good qualities in others.

Question: What is the best way to develop oneness?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to go to the right place. If we want light, we go to a room that is already illumined. We do not go to a room that is unlit. Oneness is only in light. The nature of light is to spread and to unite. Darkness can also spread, but it cannot unite. It only divides. Inside the mind there is darkness. That is why the mind enjoys division. Inside the heart is light. That is why the heart enjoys only expansion. So consciously, as often as possible, when you are talking to someone, when you are reading or working, try to feel that your existence is inside your heart. You have to feel that each thought is coming directly from your heart. Each time you can feel that a thought is coming from your heart, then you will automatically feel that it is coming from the Source, which is all light, all oneness. Oneness you can develop only by having the right thought blossoming from the right place. The right place is inside the heart.

Question: What is the fastest way we can get rid of the ego?

Sri Chinmoy: First you have to know what you are proud of. If you feel that you are great in a particular field, then you have to look around sincerely. Your pride will be smashed sooner than at once. If you are sincere, then you can break the ego. If you are not sincere, then the ego will last and last. Let us say that I am proud of my strength. I think I am a very strong person. But if I look around sincerely, it will not take ten seconds to find somebody who can defeat me easily. In anything, if somebody can defeat us, our ego is destroyed.

There is one type of ego which gets malicious pleasure from others’ weaknesses. This ego brings in the feeling of superiority: I am superior, better than someone else. Another type of ego is always dividing us from somebody else: it is beneath our dignity to be with this person or that person. We have to ask ourselves if we are happy by cherishing the idea that we are far better than so-and-so, or if we become a better person by separating ourselves from the rest of the world. If we are sincere, we know that we are not happy by having the feeling of superiority or by separating ourselves from the rest of the world.

Anything that gives us abiding joy and satisfaction we shall try to achieve in our life. How shall we achieve it? Through prayer and meditation. While we are praying, we have to feel that our eyes are streaming with tears, and while we are meditating, we have to feel that inside our heart the soul-child is in ecstasy or is extremely happy. These are the two ways we can make the fastest progress. One way is to identify ourselves with the soul’s joy and delight in our meditation, and the other way is, when we pray, to shed tears and to feel that those tears are coming from the very depths of our heart. Either way will give us the necessary result.

Question: How can we transform doubt?

Sri Chinmoy: By doubting someone else, what do we gain? Let us say somebody claims he is a perfect saint. Why do I have to waste my time saying he is a saint or a sinner? It is up to him whether he is a good person or a bad person. If he is bad, he will pay the penalty. It is God’s job we are taking away. God’s job is to act in and through every individual. But when we doubt someone, we are judging him in our own way.

Anything that takes away our joy, we should stop doing. By doubting someone, we will never be happy. We will only enter into that person’s obscure, impure existence. Again, by having faith in that person, we are creating positive qualities inside ourselves. So when doubt comes, just say to yourself: “It is not my job to doubt him. If he is a bad person, he has to pray and meditate to make progress.”

If you have self-doubt, if you feel that you cannot become an excellent disciple or you cannot be excellent in a particular field, immediately pray to God, “I have no idea what I am supposed to be, but if You want me to excel in something, then do give me the capacity. You know what is best for me.” Always give the responsibility to God, to your Inner Pilot. If we take responsibility for our life, we will be completely, totally helpless. A child gives his responsibility to his father and his father shows him the way, holds his hand and takes him or carries him to the destination.

Instead of doubting whether we have the capacity to do something special or important in our inner life, we should always bring God into the picture. He is our inner Guide. Just pray to Him, “Please show me the way. I shall follow You.” How can you enjoy self-doubt when you are asking Someone who is all illumination to show you the way to the Destination? Always feel the supreme necessity of begging the Supreme to show you the way. If He shows you the way, then there can be no self-doubt and no wish or will to doubt others.

Doubt is nothing but darkness in ourselves that enjoys seeing darkness in others. Faith is something blossoming beautifully inside our hearts. Once we see faith in our own hearts, we are bound to see the same beautiful faith inside the rest of the world. If we are smelling the fragrance of a flower, we try to see the same kind of flowers inside others. But if we are smelling something else, then we will be apt to see or smell that same thing inside others. Faith is the beauty, faith is the purity, faith is the divinity inside us. Once we cherish our own divinity, which comes in the form of faith, we are bound to have faith in others.

Part IV

SCA 722-731. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 2 September 1994 at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.

Question: When I am involved in giving meditation classes, I find it hard to keep up my running.

Sri Chinmoy: If you have to make a choice between practising sports and bringing disciples to the Centre, inspiring people through songs, through talks and in so many ways, then I will definitely, definitely prefer your bringing people to the Centre. In our spiritual life, physical fitness is of paramount importance. People who have good capacities in sports I will definitely tell to practise. Those people who are talented, who are good runners, good throwers and good jumpers, definitely I want to encourage. But if others who are not so talented spend hours each day running ten or fifteen miles and then resting for three or four extra hours because they are exhausted, then they are making a most deplorable mistake. They will have no time to do manifestation work.

Always we have to keep a balance. Sports you can do on a daily basis for physical fitness. Then, if one is good in particular events, one must practise. But in general, if I have to say which one is more important, sports is secondary. Aspiration and manifestation must come first. Sports also includes aspiration, true, but if you want to spread divine light in infinite measure throughout the length and breadth of the world, then individual or collective success in sports may not have as great an effect as other activities.

There will be many people who are infinitely better athletes than my disciples are. But if you can pray, meditate and bring disciples, if you can increase the number of aspiration-plants in my heart-garden, then that is infinitely more significant than spending hours daily practising sports. We came here to be sincere God-seekers, soulful God-lovers and self-giving God-servers. We have to pay utmost attention to the things that are most important. Spirituality in the strict sense of the term must come first and foremost.

Question: How can I increase my sincerity?

Sri Chinmoy: It is only through your prayers that you can increase your sincerity and all other divine qualities. If you have a pure heart, with your pure heart you have to pray for everything that you need. If you need peace, you must pray for peace. If you need sincerity, if you need love, it is through prayer and meditation that you will develop these qualities. You have to be at once the student and the teacher. As the student you will bring forward your sincerity and purity. As a teacher you have to give yourself marks — sixty out of one hundred, seventy out of one hundred or ninety out of one hundred. Every day you have to ask yourself how many good things you have consciously done and how many bad things you have consciously done. Unconscious things you do not know, but conscious things you do know. Try to decrease the things that you are doing wrong in various fields and try to increase the good things that you are doing. By taking the side of the good actions, you will be able to increase all your divine qualities. You be the judge. You be the teacher; you be the student. This is the way each individual can make fast, faster, fastest progress.

Question: How can we know whether we are making the fastest progress or not and if you are satisfied with our progress?

Sri Chinmoy: You will be able to know if I am satisfied with your progress from your own happiness or unhappiness. Early in the morning, as soon as you get up, look at my picture and see if you are happy. When you are going out to work, see if you are happy. When you talk with other people, no matter how miserable they may be, see if inside you there is your own happiness. This happiness is your progress. When you are happy, even if somebody has scolded you or insulted you, deep inside you will remain absolutely unperturbed. You will be a sea of peace. Your progress will be reflected in your happiness, and inside this happiness if you can feel illumining and fulfilling peace, then definitely you are making very fast progress. Again, this happiness has to be the happiness of the heart. If you are not doing the right thing, your heart can never be happy. But if you are doing everything correctly, your heart will sing the song of happiness. If you are truly happy with your aspiration and manifestation, then you are making true progress and definitely you are making me happy.

Question: You once said that you have God-realisation-victory but you do not have God-manifestation-victory.

Sri Chinmoy: That is absolutely true. Only God-manifestation-defeat I am getting. Those disciples who are ready to manifest the Light of the Supreme feel that only if they do something, is it good and perfect. If somebody else does it, then it is imperfect. There are many, many defects that the disciples have, but this defect is so undivine. People are not establishing their oneness. The world has billions of people, but I am dealing with only a few thousand disciples. I do not see even twenty disciples who have really conquered jealousy. It breaks my heart when you are working together towards the same project and if one climbs up the ladder first, the other ones who helped him climb up the ladder feel miserable. This is not the right attitude.

When they climbed up Mount Everest, Hillary happened to have the brain, the finances and so on, and Tenzing was the guide. Tenzing was a simple Sherpa from Nepal. The whole world bestowed so many honours on Hillary — he was even knighted by the Queen of England — while poor Tenzing remained in oblivion. But we know that without Tenzing, Hillary could not have climbed up Mount Everest.

Those disciples who are working on manifestation should take it as a tug of war. Some people are in front, some are holding on at the very back. Everybody is trying his best — it is teamwork. Usually when one side wins, all the members of the team are in the seventh Heaven of delight that their team has won. Unfortunately, when it comes to manifestation work, that team spirit is missing. If five people have been working on one project, then at the eleventh hour if one individual is responsible for bringing the success, those other team members do not claim the victory as their own. I feel so sad when this happens. While the five disciples were working on the project, they could not tell which one would get the glory. It came at the last moment. I give glory to each and every one who is involved in a project. Some are doing well, while others are not. With your jealousy you are absolutely killing me. You are ready to climb up the Himalayas ten times all by yourself. How many times you will fail, God alone knows. But when somebody wants to climb up only a few thousand feet, you are trying to push that person down. This applies not only to the Centre leaders, but also to important Centre members who are working together.

If somebody brings a new member into our family, he becomes your brother, she becomes your sister. But instead you are thinking, “Somebody else brought him, so what glory do I get?” Even if you did not bring the person, you can keep that person in our family with your affection, kindness, compassion and love.

There are many, many difficulties we have, but jealousy in the manifestation-world is the worst. Not a single Centre is free from this jealousy. It is like a hungry wolf which is devouring others’ good qualities. Your good qualities are there, who denies it? But again, you have one bad quality, which is jealousy, that is devouring or trying to devour others’ good qualities. If you really care for the manifestation of God’s Light, then try to establish oneness, oneness, oneness. My heart-garden needs plants, flowers and fruits that will look beautiful, not dry and dead!

Question: A seeker saw you meditating in a video and asked me what method you use when you meditate. How should I answer that question?

Sri Chinmoy: I have no set method. I have many inner beings, and one of my inner beings will tell me, do this, do that. After God-realisation there is no method. You jump into the water and swim. You do not know whether you are swimming towards the north or the south. Once you are inside the ocean of light, peace and bliss, that ocean itself is the Goal. When I start meditating, at that time I am in the Goal. I do not take five hours or ten hours to enter into the Goal. In a few seconds I enter into my highest consciousness. At that time, not only do I see the Goal, but I become the Goal. Once you become the Goal, why do you need any set method to meditate?

Question: If we are only meditating for fifteen minutes each morning, is that really enough for God-realisation?

Sri Chinmoy: For God-realisation, there is no fixed requirement. We have disciples who say they meditate for twenty hours. Meanwhile they are only sleeping and snoring! It does not depend on the number of hours. You develop your physical muscles by taking exercise. Similarly, by meditating sincerely and soulfully, you develop your inner muscles. Again, it depends on God’s Grace. If God sees that you are meditating most soulfully for fifteen minutes, then God will definitely give you not only the capacity but also the opportunity to meditate for a half hour or two or three hours.

I will never be able to say that by meditating for fifteen minutes you will realise God. Again, who knows? If God wants you to meditate even for five minutes and then He wants to give you realisation, He can. God sometimes acts like a child. If a child has a flower or a tennis ball, he can go and give it to a certain person. That person may not be right in the front row. He may be in the tenth row. Again, although God is a child, He is a conscious child. He sees our past, present and future. In this incarnation perhaps someone is only meditating for fifteen minutes because he does not have enough time, he has so many things to do. But how do you know whether he meditated for hours, days, months and years in his previous incarnations? So it all depends on God’s Wisdom. He knows when you started meditating.

In my case, in my previous incarnation I realised God. In this incarnation, at the age of twelve, when I became fully conscious of my previous God-realisation, it was just like turning the pages of a book that I had already devoured. But in terms of hours, my eldest brother Hriday definitely used to meditate more than I did. In my family, two or three members meditated more than I did. They used to meditate for eleven or twelve hours daily. For me, it was five, six or seven. In my case, meditation became spontaneous. While I was running, jumping, throwing or doing other activities, I could meditate. I was able to do many, many things at the same time, whereas while my brothers were meditating, they were unable to do anything else.

God-realisation does not depend on how many hours you meditate. It depends on how intensely and deeply you meditate. In the Mahabharata, there is a story about how Arjuna used to worship for hours and hours, while Bhima used to worship for only a few seconds, and yet Lord Shiva was more pleased with Bhima. So to come back to your question, it is not how many minutes you spend in front of your shrine, but how devotedly you pray and meditate that is the most important thing. Then God will give you whatever is necessary — the capacity plus the opportunity.

No disciple of mine will ever be able to tell me that he is not getting the opportunity to pray and meditate because he is doing so much manifestation work. I know how many hours you have manifested and how many hours are still left for you to pray and meditate. Again, if you are really, lovingly, soulfully and devotedly manifesting, then that is part of meditation. There are some disciples who are making the complaint that they have no time to meditate because they are working so hard. They are fooling themselves. If you are really working hard, divinely and supremely, then God will give you time. And if you are working with utmost devotion, inside that devoted service you are getting the benefit of meditation.

Question: My daughters are now 17 and 19. They have not lived with me for about five years, but when they get unhappy or have really difficult problems, I want to just put them on a plane and bring them here. Should I just pray harder, or should I bring them here?

Sri Chinmoy: If they are not praying and meditating, if they are not following your way of life, then it is useless to bring them here. You can only offer your goodwill — nothing more. If you start praying to God for each and every one of their problems to be solved, then you are stupidity incarnate. You have to save yourself first. You came into the world to love God, to please God, to fulfil God. This is your first responsibility. Goodwill you will definitely send to your daughters. But if you start praying to the Supreme to solve their problems, then you will only get entangled more and more in their problems. This is absolutely not advisable. You pray and meditate for your own illumination. We are all God’s creation. God the Creator is responsible for God the creation. If your children were following the spiritual path and were having temporary difficulties, then definitely you could pray to the Supreme to solve their problems. But if they are not praying or meditating on a regular basis, then you are under no obligation to do so. Just send your goodwill. They need it; they deserve it. But you have to save your own life first. That is what God wants from you and from everybody.

Question: Do the primary qualities of a soul change from incarnation to incarnation?

Sri Chinmoy: If one soul, let us say, in his previous incarnation was a great musician, then he may not want to continue in that field. He may want to be a scientist. Then again, if he wants to be both a musician and a scientist, he can. But generally if he wants to be an eminent scientist, then he will not be able to manage both capacities. He will spend all his time becoming a world-famous scientist. Inside himself he has not lost anything. He has kept the capacity of a great musician, but it will be dormant. In each incarnation, God decides how much He can manifest in and though a particular individual.

Question: I was wondering if the main quality that our soul's name represents would change from incarnation to incarnation.

Sri Chinmoy: Once I give the name, then that quality does not have to change at all. That quality only you have to increase and increase for God-realisation. For God-realisation, that name will be of tremendous help to you. Some capacities have to change because of outer necessities, but if you have one good soul’s quality, that is more than enough if you increase and increase it.

Question: When we use instruments to play your songs, how can we best bring out all the divine qualities of the songs through the instruments?

Sri Chinmoy: No matter how complicated or how difficult the music is, if you can make your mind absolutely simple and your heart pure, then definitely you can bring to the fore utmost divine Blessings, divine Compassion, divine Affection, divine Love, divine Gratitude and divine Pride. Only these two things you need. First the mind has to be simple. From a simple mind you will get peace. Peace is in simplicity and simplicity is in peace. Then the heart has to be pure. Inside the heart not only will you be able to see a flower, but you have to feel that that beautiful, fragrant flower is your own heart. Then you can bring to the fore the utmost spiritual qualities of my music.

Part V

SCA 732-748. Sri Chinmoy answered questions asked by the staff of Annam Brahma Restaurant on the occasion of their 21st anniversary, 16 March 1995.

Question: Dearest Guru, do you have any special message for your discouraging and disappointing child, Annam Brahma?

Sri Chinmoy: I am more than ready to give you the Nobel Prize for your assessment of my Annam Brahma. To the radiating soul of Annam Brahma, to the blossoming heart of Annam Brahma and to the serving life of Annam Brahma, I am offering my constant blessings, constant love, constant concern and constant gratitude. How I wish I could be proud, abundantly proud, of each and every worker who is trying to serve the divine purpose and the supreme mission of Annam Brahma on our path!

Question: What quality could we bring forward in Annam Brahma to please you the most?

Sri Chinmoy: Simplicity of the mind, sincerity of the heart and a oneness-life-song — these three divine qualities must run along with the dynamic and inexhaustible life-energy of the soul of Annam Brahma to its ultimate Destination.

Question: When we have problems that are in our subconscious, is it because we have a strong attachment to the problem and are not really ready to let go, or is it something more than that?

Sri Chinmoy: Attachment is nothing other than darkness. Darkness is absence of light. To illumine attachment and transform it into divine strength and fulfilment, at every moment we have to offer to our Lord Beloved Supreme the beauty of gratitude, the purity of gratitude and the divinity of gratitude from our heart-flower.

Question: What does the soul of Annam Brahma want?

Sri Chinmoy: The soul of Annam Brahma wants each and every worker to have an abundance of enthusiasm and self-giving to our Lord Beloved Supreme.

Question: What do I need to know?

Sri Chinmoy: You need to know that your Beloved Lord Supreme loves you infinitely more than you can ever imagine — of course, in His own Way.

Question: Preparing prasad sometimes takes a very long time. How can I remain soulful during the whole preparation?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are preparing prasad for 400 people, then convince yourself that you are preparing it for only 200 people. Then you will have the extra energy to do another 200.

Sometimes when you want to run one full mile at a stretch, you see the distance and you become frightened and tired. But if you divide it into half a mile or a quarter of a mile, it becomes quite easy.

Here, also, you know that you have to make prasad for 400, but if you think of 400, it will really become boring and you will get tired. But in your mind, if you divide it in half, you will feel that there is still energy and enthusiasm left after you have completed the first half. Then it will become quite easy to continue and complete the second half.

Question: Does a seeker's gratitude-heart truly carry more significance than his own personal transformation?

Sri Chinmoy: Definitely. A seeker’s gratitude is infinitely more important than his longing for transformation. His gratitude will automatically give him the easiest, safest and quickest way to transform his personal life. Gratitude has more to offer us than our personal transformation.

Question: How much importance should I give to athletics? I am always wondering if I disappoint you by not training and having running goals.

Sri Chinmoy: Your inner running is infinitely more important than your outer running. If you can run two miles a day, I shall be very happy. And if you can only run five times a week, I shall not be as disappointed as you think. But try to run daily, so that your body does not enjoy either inertia or revolt.

Question: What can I do to see only the good in the world and in others and not be pulled down by the undivine things?

Sri Chinmoy: Think of each person as a beautiful flower with a supremely divine fragrance. This fragrance will always help you to see the beauty, light and delight inside each and every human being in the world.

Question: How is Annam Brahma in Heaven?

Sri Chinmoy: I am answering your question and asking you to tell me how Heaven is doing inside Annam Brahma. When Heaven sees good workers, Heaven carries them. When Heaven sees bad workers, Heaven sheds bitter tears. Those bad workers are too heavy to be carried to Heaven’s Delight.

Question: How can I stop my restless mind? I always rush from one thing to the other and, at the end of the day, I realise that I did not spend enough time singing, reading and meditating.

Sri Chinmoy: Restlessness goes away only when we feel the blessedness of God’s Feet inside our heart. Always try to imagine God’s Feet of Compassion, Feet of Protection, inside your heart. Then in anything that you want to do — whether it is singing or reading or meditating — you will be successful.

Question: Sometimes I have spasms of energy in my spine which are very uncomfortable; sometimes I have no energy at all. How can I keep my energy more constant and stable?

Sri Chinmoy: If you have divine energy, preserve it. If you have undivine energy, cast it aside. When you have divine energy, pray to the Supreme to guide you so that you can use it self-givingly and properly.

Question: What is the soul of Annam Brahma like?

Sri Chinmoy: The soul of Annam Brahma has boundless patience, boundless tolerance, boundless hope and sleepless promise to please God in God’s own Way.

Question: What shall I do when I leave New York so that I do not miss your physical presence too much?

Sri Chinmoy: You do not have to miss my physical presence at all if you just think of yourself as someone who is growing every day inside my heart-garden with new beauty and new fragrance.

Question: How can we maintain a good consciousness while we are being assailed by our ignorance as we work in the restaurant?

Sri Chinmoy: Please think of yourself as a member of a oneness-heart-family. Then there can be no problem in your life that you cannot solve with regard to your sister- and brother-disciples.

Question: How can I be more conscious so that I do not forget something that you really need?

Sri Chinmoy: Always ask yourself at every moment, “How can I please my Guru more? How can I fulfil my Guru more?” Then, in your daily activities, in hundreds of ways, you will be able to make yourself conscious of what you will be able to do for your Guru and you will not forget anything.

Question: How can we work dynamically and soulfully, without rushing?

Sri Chinmoy: Think of your heart as an aeroplane and do not think of yourself as a car. An aeroplane goes much faster, but it is not rushing, whereas a car goes much slower and it is always rushing. So always think of the heart that is flying infinitely faster than the mind. When the mind runs, it is rushing. When the heart flies, it is just singing.

Part VI

SCA 749-754. Excerpts from an interview with Mr. John Cairns and Ms. Nix Picasso, the two researchers who had collaborated with Mother Teresa on her book, A Simple Path. The interview took place at the United Nations on 14 July 1995.

Question: When problems seem so huge and individuals seem so small, when problems seem to be able to be solved only on a very large scale, by large-scale intervention by governments, what can individuals do to contribute to world peace?

Sri Chinmoy: Problems can be found everywhere — in each individual, in each government and in each organisation. When it comes to solving world problems, ordinary individuals like ourselves are helpless. But we are not hopeless. We can hope; in fact, we have every right to hope for the betterment of the world. Although ordinary individuals cannot change the world, there are some great individuals who belong to a different category. The Holy Father and Mother Teresa, for example, are a real source of inspiration to millions and millions of people. Mahatma Gandhi was in politics; then he went beyond politics and became the father of India. How significantly he advised and illumined Nehru, Patel and others! President Gorbachev also has shown us how one individual can change the face and fate of mankind. He is living proof that an individual can be stronger than a government. So we see what great individuals are able to do.

Again, although ordinary individuals are helpless, we have to know that we have access to a higher power that is infinitely stronger than any organisation or government. This power, which is within us, is the absolute highest Power. We call Him the Inner Pilot, the Absolute Lord Supreme. The power that operates through governments or large organisations can easily be conquered by this highest absolute Power, which is all-illumining and all-fulfilling.

There is God the Creator and God the creation. We are God the creation. But if we pray to God the Creator to change or illumine the minds of those who are running countries or large organisations, then easily He can do it. Right now the mind is ruling the world — the mind that wants to dominate others and lord it over others. But if we pray to God to bring forward the heart of mankind, we will see that heart-power is infinitely stronger than mind-power. Why? Because the heart immediately identifies with others and claims their strength as its own. If ten people are on one side, what can one strong individual do? Eventually he has to surrender, no matter how strong he is. This is true whether it is an individual, a government or an organisation because oneness-power will always eventually win in the battlefield of life.

Question: Charity is sometimes criticised for being impersonal and patronising and assuaging our guilt. How does the concept of service differ from charity?

Sri Chinmoy: Charity and service are spelled differently and their meanings also are totally different. Whenever we use the term ‘charity’, there is a feeling of superiority and inferiority. Let us say that I have millions and billions of dollars and you have nothing. I feel that you are an object of pity, so I give you ten dollars. At that time, I feel that you are a beggar and do not deserve even ten dollars. So this is charity, and it is the wrong approach for dealing with others.

If I say that I am helping you, I am also making a deplorable mistake. Who am I to help anyone? If I say that I help the world, then I am the worst possible fool. Only God can help. I can only serve, and I must serve out of a feeling of oneness. If a mother hears her child crying because he is hungry, immediately she comes to feed him. When the mother gives food to the child, she does not think that her child is inferior. No, she has already established her oneness with the child, and she feels the child’s hunger as her own.

When we establish our oneness with the rest of the world, we feel the entire world as our very own. When I offer something to you because you are in need, I feel that I am only giving to my larger self. In serving you, I feel that I am serving myself. This is the spiritual approach — not charity, with its feeling of superiority and inferiority, but service, which is based on oneness.

Question: Why do people in the West find the idea of simplicity so complicated?

Sri Chinmoy: Simplicity seems complicated because it is something new to us or something that we do not want to use. Everything is complex for us because we always use the mind. We do not want to walk along a straight line. Unless we zigzag and go in a serpentine way, we get no joy. Just because we value complexity, we do not take the sunlit path — the simple, straight path. If a path is simple and straight, we feel that it has no value. Right from the beginning of our lives, we become accustomed to doing things in a very complicated way, so simplicity is most difficult for us.

When a child takes birth, the mother spends all her money-power to buy the child most beautiful and expensive clothes. She wants to show that she is richer than her neighbours. The child would be equally happy with simple clothes, but right from the beginning the child is taught that simple things are not good. So naturally, when the child grows up, he does not care for simplicity.

A simple man will have only what he needs, and he will know the difference between what he needs and what he wants. But in the West, we feel that whatever we want, we desperately need. Like hungry wolves, we are trying to possess the world. But before we possess the world, to our wide surprise we see that the world has already possessed us. We want to possess the world in all its multiplicity. We want multiplicity without unity; we want the flowers, fruits and leaves of the tree without the trunk. But if we do not start with the trunk, with simplicity, then we can never go to multiplicity. Unity is the source, and multiplicity grows out of unity.

Question: When differences in religious creeds can create such intolerance in the world, what is the proper attitude towards other people's faiths?

Sri Chinmoy: No religion teaches us to hate mankind. It is we human beings who choose to hate one another. But the spiritual Masters of the highest order, who are the founding fathers of the various religions, teach us only to love. I am a Hindu. My ancestors, the Vedic seers, taught us to love everybody. The Saviour Christ also offered the message of love. If we go deep inside each religion, we will find there the message of love. That is why I feel all religions should be appreciated and admired. Religion is like a house. What purpose does it serve for me to tell you that my house is more beautiful than your house? If you are happy with your house and I am happy with my house, then why should we quarrel? I quarrel with you only because I am not satisfied with what I have. If I am really satisfied, if there is happiness, peace and bliss inside me, will I go and knock at your door in the middle of the night to tell you to come out and be illumined? Let me be illumined first. Once I become the sun, then only will I offer my light and illumination to you and to others. At that time I will not quarrel with you; just by being near you, I will spread illumination and light, and your heart will spontaneously receive it. It is only when I have limited light, or when I am in darkness, that I am disturbed by the darkness in others. Once my inner being is flooded with light, I will not fight with anybody.

Question: As we approach the millennium, there is possibly a feeling of despair. Do you think this is a special time for the fate of humanity? Is there another way of looking at this?

Sri Chinmoy: This is a very serious question. I am not a prophet; I would only like to say that things cannot get darker. The future cannot be worse than the present or the past. We have touched rock bottom, the abysmal abyss; now things have to go up.

Again, we have to know that by seeing the dark side of an individual or the present-day world, we do not bring light to the fore. The world is full of despair, but God did not create this world for suffering. When we create something, we do not do it with the idea, “I am creating this to torture myself.” God created this world to give Himself joy. The suffering in the world is caused by us.

It is a vast game; we call it the Cosmic Game or Cosmic Lila. In a game, sometimes we do not know which side is going to win. It is so complicated. In this Game there is a fight going on between light and darkness. When darkness conquers light, it shows its supremacy. But when light conquers darkness, it shows its intimacy. When the dark part of our nature conquers something, it acts like Julius Caesar when he said, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” But when the good side of us conquers something, it says, “I came, I saw you, I loved you and I became one with you.”

What the world has been passing through for the last fifty or one hundred years is only a temporary reign of darkness. For a time, darkness has been showing its supremacy. But now light is coming to embrace and illumine this darkness. This will happen not today or tomorrow, but in the near future. People have been using the mind-power for a long time, and it has brought only misery and suffering. If I have two ways of approaching reality, and one is bringing me only unhappiness, will I not one day begin to use the other approach? The other approach is the way of the heart, and the day is fast approaching when heart-power will replace mind-power.

Question: Isn't this a time when people like you and Mother Teresa and some others are awakening this in a lot of people?

Sri Chinmoy: Not just us, but everybody who practises prayer and meditation! Heart-power means prayer and meditation; heart-power comes from spirituality. When I pray, I feel that Somebody is listening to me. When I meditate, I feel that Somebody is advising me or telling me to do the right thing and be the right person. Prayer and meditation must go together. When I pray, I am asking Someone: “Give me light, give me joy, give me peace and bliss.” When I meditate, Somebody is saying: “This is the way you can have peace. If you do this, you can have peace. If you do that, you can have light and bliss.” So prayer and meditation have to go together.

Part VII

SCA 755-760. Sri Chinmoy answered questions asked by members of the children singers at Aspiration-Ground, in Jamaica, New York, on 11 August 1995.

Question: Why is this year so full of hostile forces?

Sri Chinmoy: Everything, good or bad, has been created by someone. There are only two persons; you have to choose one of the two, or you can claim both. One is upstairs; His name is God. The other one is downstairs; she is your own noble self. You are lost in between. If you blame the one upstairs, nothing happens. You do not know why He is not using His Eyes, why He is not using His Ears. But you have two good ears, two good eyes, one good heart — you are the possessor of so many good things.

You have to ask yourself why there are so many undivine forces torturing us on earth. If your question is absolutely sincere, not coming from your mind but from your heart, then your soul will reply on behalf of God. Your soul will tell you that you are part and parcel of this world. If even one person remains imperfect or undivine, then the world cannot be perfect. If one key on a piano is defective, in spite of your best intention not to strike that particular key, like a magnetic pull, again and again you will strike that one and your beautiful melody will be ruined. Our human mind, vital and physical consciousness are like extremely defective keys. Sometimes the heart is good; sometimes it is not. The soul-key is absolutely perfect, but what kind of melody can you create with one key? We have to try to fix the other keys — the body, vital, mind and heart. Once we make them absolutely perfect, there will be no hostile forces; it will be all perfection.

You as an individual are representing the earth-consciousness. You cannot separate yourself from earth. Again, when you are in your soul-consciousness, you cannot separate yourself from Heaven, which is perfection and delight. So the answer to your question is inside me, inside her, inside you — inside your body, vital, mind and heart. Once one God-seeker or God-lover becomes extremely good and perfect, then others will get the inspiration to do the same.

Question: In the soul's world, even though the souls do not have physical ears, is there also music like here?

Sri Chinmoy: No, in the soul’s world, music is different. The music there is infinitely sweeter and deeper than the music here. But we can only hear it with our inner ears. In the soul’s world, if you want to sing, then you have to open the throat centre. And if you want to hear the soul’s music, then you have to open your third eye. The third eye is called ajna in Sanskrit, and the throat centre is called vishuddha. These two centres you have to open if you want to hear the soul’s music and also if you want to sing by becoming one with the song that the soul sings. In the soul’s world there is music and also, from the heart centre, there is a kind of light. The heart centre is called anahata, the soundless sound. That is another type of music where there is no sound. We cannot hear it with the ordinary ear. Inside the soundless sound also is the soul’s music, but you can hear it only when you are in a very high, very deep meditation, in the highest height and deepest depth of your meditation.

Question: Why is the German mind so stubborn?

Sri Chinmoy: The German mind is not stubborn at all. A German has a scientific brain, and that brain sometimes operates in and through the mind. You cannot say that the German mind is stubborn or rigid, no. In the German mind there is a kind of solid power. That solid power is not always dynamic. It wants to enjoy rest. When it does not want to operate, you may say that the German mind is stubborn. When solid strength is not utilised for a divine purpose, then you may call it stubborn because it is not moving forward, it is not turning towards light at that time. Otherwise, by nature, the German mind is not at all stubborn.

Question: How can I keep my mind from worrying about the past and the future?

Sri Chinmoy: Suppose in the past you have done something very, very bad, unthinkable, unspeakable. Take that thing as a dead, smelly elephant. Are you so stupid that you want to carry a dead elephant on your shoulders? Since you are not stupid, do not carry any past experience that is torturing you. No, absolutely like a football, just kick it as hard as possible. Again, are you so stupid that you have to think of the future? Even the next moment you do not know what is going to happen.

Our philosophy is that the past is dust, absolute dust. Again, in the past if you had even one most sublime experience when your mind became tranquil or your heart became the vast sky, then try to bring that experience into your mind and into your heart. Right now if you are not having a good meditation, imagine a time fifteen years ago when you had a good meditation. Imagination has a power of its own. After imagining for some time, you will get back your former experience, your previous realisation.

If you had a discouraging experience, absolutely think of it as a dead elephant. If you had an extremely important experience, then remembering it now will inspire you to go farther, higher and deeper. Again, it may not be necessary to remember any experience. You may be given the golden moment right now. At this very moment you can pray to God to make you the absolutely purest person on earth or the most humble person on earth. Any good quality that you have, you can pray to God to increase. Then inside that divine quality you can try to grow. Let your heart grow in that divine quality. Let your life grow in that divine quality.

Do not think of tomorrow. Just to think of how you are going to spend today is enough. Today if you can become an excellent seeker in every way, then when tomorrow dawns, sooner than the soonest you will be inspired to become a better person. Our philosophy is progress. Perfection is not something static or fixed. Perfection is progress, progress, progress. So today try to become as divine as possible. Then tomorrow you will try to go still higher. Do not think of the near or distant future. Think only of today, of how you can become the most beautiful and the most fragrant flower and how you can place yourself at the Feet of our Lord Supreme.

Question: Why can't I see God?

Sri Chinmoy: Why can’t you see God? Because you keep the door closed. If your mother and father are inside a room and if you stay outside, naturally you will say, “Why am I unable to see them?” You can see them only if you have the key to open up the door. Then you will see that they are already there. Exactly the same way, you have to have the key in order to see God. The key to open an earthly door is made of metal, but the key to God’s Heart-Door is made of tears, streaming heart-tears. When you become the possessor of streaming tears inside your heart, you get that key. Then easily you can see God. If you want to see a human being who is inside, either you knock or, if you have the key, you open the door. In the case of God’s Heart-Door, knocking is praying and meditating. You will knock and knock, and then God will come and open His Heart-Door.

Question: If something is close to you that is not inspiring, how can you protect yourself?

Sri Chinmoy: Let us take your own mind. Although the mind is your possession, the mind has also possessed you. The mind is not aspiring, let us say. Now, if the mind is unaspiring, if it is torturing you, how can you get rid of the mind? Usually we think of the mind as being inside the head. If you ask somebody to chop your head off because your mind is there, will you remain alive? Impossible! No, you should not try to detach yourself if there is something unaspiring which is very close to you. Only try to transform it.

If jealousy has entered into your mind, then immediately you have to think of the opposite of jealousy. Just say, “She is my spiritual sister. Why should I be jealous? She has good qualities, and I also have many good qualities. Guru is telling us all the time to feel our oneness. If I cannot establish this oneness, will he not feel sad?” That is how you can save yourself.

As soon as any unaspiring thought comes, immediately try to replace it with a good thought. Anything unaspiring that is close to you has to be transformed. What can be closer than your own mind? In a different sense, the heart is closer to you, the heart is dearest, but at the same time, you have to use the mind. So when anything uninspiring enters into the mind, you have to transform it into aspiration.

Of course, the supreme philosophy is to be detached. Detachment is very good, but for a seeker at your stage of evolution, detachment is almost impossible. Detachment is a very difficult subject, like unconditional surrender. For most seekers, unconditional surrender does not last for more than five seconds. When your desire is fulfilled, you surrender. When your desire is not fulfilled, are you ready to surrender? No, all the arrows of your hunger you hurl at God. Surrender has a very short breath. Detachment, unconditional surrender and some other things are very, very difficult; they come at a very high stage. But the other way, replacement, is easy.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Sri Chinmoy answers, part 20, Agni Press, 1999
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