Part seven: a most significant inner experience

On the 24th of November 2004, I had a most significant inner experience. My students and I were staying in Shanghai, China, for one day during our annual Christmas trip. There, around one-thirty in the afternoon, I was meditating. I was in very, very deep trance in my meditation. I was in my very highest. Alas, my fever-journey had started. My fever was extremely high, almost 104 degrees. It was as if I were inside boiling water.

At that time, when I was physically suffering, who came to me? Tagore’s soul. Previously also, his soul had come many, many times. This time we had a marathon conversation. We were exchanging our views and so forth. Then, like rain, his advice was descending on me. Next he made a few requests. He wanted me to write down 1,000 of my poems in my own handwriting. I said, “No, those days are gone. My handwriting has become illegible. Your handwriting was superb. My handwriting is no match for your handwriting.”

At first I declined his request, but he did not accept my refusal. Then I started to fulfil his request, which was almost an impossibility for me. Tagore’s handwriting was so artistic. Mine is simple, but quite nice. In my schooldays, I used to get four out of four for my handwriting. But, in all sincerity, his handwriting is far, far better than mine. He wanted me to write down 1,000 songs in Bengali. Impossible, impossible!

Then I said, “One hundred I will try.” Alas, I did only fourteen. God alone knows if and when I will be able to write down one hundred — and one thousand will be an impossibility! To abide by this request, even though it comes from our greatest poet, is a most difficult task for me.

Such a long interview, a very long interview, we had! Tagore’s soul came to bless me and encourage me. I had brought with me to China his Gitanjali in Bengali, plus some of his songs. As soon as I saw his face on the cover of Gitanjali, it gave me so much inspiration. Such a beautiful beard and such luminous eyes he had! His picture gave me real inspiration. From the joy and inspiration that I received from him, I wrote a song about him, a very soulful song. It is called ‘Dhyane Tanamoy’. Then I was so inspired that about twenty minutes later I composed three more Bengali songs: ‘Bangalir Gan’ ‘Bangalir Pran’, and ‘Ekti Bangali’. It is all Rabindranath Tagore’s advice, inspiration and encouragement. These are the songs I composed on that most significant day in my life.

Dhyane tanamoy

Dhyane tanamoy ami Chinmoy
Kabindra darashan
Komala nayane atiba jatane
Upadesh barishan

Translation by Sri Chinmoy:

Chinmoy was in a very deep trance.
Tagore, the King of Poets, came to visit him.
With very soft eyes, and tremendous care and concern,
He blessed Chinmoy with torrential advice-rain.1

  1. RTM 162. Previously unpublished. Comments and song translation provided by the author on several occasions, especially January 2nd, 2005 and February 18th, 2005.