Part I — Discourses
Spirituality1Dear friends, esteemed brothers and sisters, before I give a talk I wish to sing a devotional song. "Lord Supreme, I do not know who You are. I do not know who You are to me in my inner life of aspiration and in my outer life of dedication. But I know that You are my Beloved Supreme."
(Sri Chinmoy sings "Tumi je amar devata eka.")
Once more I wish to tell you that I am extremely glad and grateful that you have given me this opportunity to be of service to each of you.
I wish to give a very short talk on my most favourite subject, spirituality. Spirituality is at once a simple and a complicated word, a simple and, at the same time, complicated concept. Each individual has a special approach to spirituality. Whatever I know with regard to spirituality, in a few words I wish to offer to the aspiring hearts in you.
Spirituality is truth-awareness. Spirituality is life-emancipation. Spirituality is oneness-manifestation. Spirituality is perfection-satisfaction.
There are two types of spirituality. One is false, totally false. The other is true, absolutely true. False spirituality tells us that we have to negate and reject life in order to reach Heaven or in order to achieve Peace, Light and Bliss in our human life. False spirituality tells us that we have to renounce everything if we really want Joy, Peace and Bliss in life and from life. True spirituality tells us that we must not reject anything, we must not negate anything, we must not renounce anything. True spirituality tells us that we have to accept everything. We have to accept the world as such and then we have to transform our inner world and our outer world for God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation. It is only in God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation that we can have boundless Peace, boundless Light, boundless Delight.
False spirituality is the dance of teeming desires. Desire is something that binds us to our possessions. There comes a time when we realise that although we are the possessor, we are actually slaves to our possessions. True spirituality is the song of aspiration. Aspiration liberates us from our binding and blinding possessions — material possessions, earthly possessions, possessions that do not help elevate our consciousness to our life's true inner and outer goals. False spirituality is desire. The acme of desire is this: "I came, I saw and I conquered. I came into the world, I saw the world and I have conquered the world. Now I am in a position to lord it over the world." The strangling vital, the demanding vital, the authoritarian vital wants this world for its enjoyment. But aspiration tells us something quite different. The teachings of aspiration are soulful, meaningful and fruitful. Aspiration tells us that each individual has come into the world to see, to love and to become inseparably one, to become fully aware of his universal existence. Mere individual existence is of no avail. One has to have a free access to the universal life within him.
Desire-life is the life of success; aspiration-life is the life of progress. The life of desire constantly demands, whereas the life of aspiration soulfully expects. The life of desire demands constantly from the world around us. The life of aspiration expects everything from the world within.
Success is short-lived satisfaction. Most of the time this short-lived satisfaction is followed by bitter dissatisfaction. In dissatisfaction what actually looms large is frustration; and frustration is the harbinger of total destruction. Progress is our continuous, illumining and increasing satisfaction within and without. Those who follow the spiritual life know and feel the supreme necessity of progress each day, each hour, each minute, each second. A seeker has to feel that he is making progress. He is running fast, very fast, towards his destined Goal. He is climbing high, speedily, towards his transcendental Goal. He is diving deep within extremely fast to reach the Absolute Lord in the inmost recesses of his heart.
In order to make progress each seeker has to have two satisfactory friends. These friends are always reliable, most reliable. Prayer and meditation are two most intimate friends of a seeker of the Absolute Truth. When the seeker prays to the Almighty Lord, he feels his Lord's presence high up in the skies above his head. He feels his Lord's existence above, far above, his mental vision — let us say in Heaven. In Heaven is his Lord Supreme. But when he meditates, he feels that his Lord Supreme is nowhere else except in his heart — in his loving, aspiring heart. His prayer tells him that his God is above. His meditation tells him that his God is within. When he reaches his Beloved on the highest plane of consciousness on the strength of his prayer, he enjoys the sweetest intimacy. He claims his Lord as his eternal Friend, his beginningless and endless friend. And when he reaches his Friend inside the very depth of his heart, he enjoys boundless ecstasy and delight in his Beloved Supreme.
Spirituality is the simplification of life. Spirituality is the glorification of life. When we are in the ordinary human life, there are countless problems. Every day we encounter these countless problems, and we find that there is no way to solve these problems or to simplify our complicated human life. But spirituality is our saviour. It comes to solve our problems, to simplify our complicated life; and again, it glorifies the divine in us. The divine in us is that very thing that wants to expand, illumine and fulfil the immortal in us.
How do we simplify our life? Is there any specific way to simplify our complicated life? Yes, there is a way which enables us to simplify our most complicated life; and that is our concentration, our power of concentration. When we concentrate on our problems we come to notice that our power of concentration has actually come from a Source which is infinitely more powerful than all our problems put together. And this Source shows us how to simplify our problems. If we can concentrate on our problems even for five fleeting minutes, I wish to tell you from my own experience that this complicated world of ours will not remain complicated.
Once our complicated life is over, once our life of confusion and complication is over, we expect satisfaction from our lives. We naturally expect a life of peace and harmony. This world of ours has everything except one thing: peace of mind. If we have peace of mind, we do not need anything more from this world, from any individual or from ourselves. Now, how do we get peace of mind? The answer is the same: through spirituality, through meditation.
Spirituality has a most powerful hero-soldier. The name of that hero-soldier is meditation. If we know how to meditate for five minutes early in the morning before the day dawns, before the hustle and bustle of life begins, then we enter into a world of serenity, clarity, purity and finally peace — a world which is flooded with peace. Each individual seeker has the potentiality, the capacity to meditate soulfully. Some may not know how to meditate immediately. It may take a few days or a few weeks or a few months. But no individual will forever remain unknowledgeable in the art of meditation. The art of meditation is something inherent in each individual.
So, meditation is the way to acquire peace of mind. Once we have established peace of mind, then in our day-to-day multifarious activities we shall enjoy boundless satisfaction. And in this satisfaction we shall notice progress — gradual, continuous, illumining and fulfilling progress. When we walk along the road of Eternity, what we need is progress. And inside our progress is God the ever-transcending Reality, which is the birthright of each individual seeker here and everywhere.
RD 1. United Nations, Conference Room 14↩