Part I

SCA 1040-1044. Sri Chinmoy gave this talk and answered questions on 29 December 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Self-assertion says, “I know, I know, I know.”

I have just come back from India. For three or four days while I was there, I could not lift. There was no weightlifting machine where I was staying, and the Indian heat made me feel very, very weak. So yesterday, here in the hotel, I started lifting weights once again. I should not have lifted heavy weights after so much travelling, but the problem is that I do not have any lighter weights. I have only my standing double-arm lift with 200 pounds on each side. Still, I started trying to lift it. One part of me was telling me how stupid I was for trying 400 pounds after not lifting for four or five days.

Then I came to Sumadhur and Bishwas’ machine. There I was so happy because I can adjust the weight. I can start from 30 pounds on each side if I wish, so I do not have to worry. I started with 30 pounds, and the cautious man in me said, “Do not go over 70 pounds. You will get hurt.” But when I was able to lift 70 pounds, I experienced tremendous joy, so I continued up to 80 pounds, and then 90 pounds. After 90 pounds, something within me said, “Now stop, for God’s sake. You have not done lifting for so many days. You may get hurt if you go on.” So there I surrendered.

Today when I started weightlifting, again the same wisdom was coming — something within me was saying, “Only on the third day should you start lifting heavy weights.” Again, my greed or determination or whatever you call it came forward. The divine in me calls it determination; the human in me calls it greed. So I began using the seated double-arm machine with heavier and heavier weights. When I thought of lifting 100 pounds with each arm at the same time, the human in me said, “Do not try, do not try. It is too high.” But something within me made me try, and it was quite easy.

Then the human in me said, “I should stop, for God’s sake.” But fortunately or unfortunately, another part of me was saying, “Let me try to equal the heaviest weight that I have lifted so far: 110 pounds with each arm.” When I tried, I was successful. I was so happy and so satisfied. After that I lifted 120 pounds and 130 pounds with each arm separately.

At every moment self-doubt will come and try to take away our inspiration, but once we do something, we are very happy. Something in us will always be stronger, either our determination or our so-called wisdom. But quite often our ‘wisdom’ is nothing but self-doubt. Wisdom is very good, but if there is determination in addition to wisdom, determination can increase the light of wisdom. Many times wisdom is seeing something in one way, but determination is seeing the same thing in a completely different way. Wisdom is urging us to exercise caution, but determination is seeing that we can go one step forward or one step higher. Again, if we quite often ignore the voice of wisdom, we may meet with an accident.

Here what we are seeing is the so-called wisdom or the so-called freedom of the mind. The mind tells us, “Do not do it. You cannot do it. You will get hurt.” When we give freedom to the mind, we cannot go very far. The mind tries to show us how much wisdom it has. In my case, all the time it says, “Be cautious, be cautious. One hundred pounds will break your arm.” But inside the heart there is tremendous love or oneness with the metal. When I look at the heavy weights with my heart, there is no fear. A child has a feeling of oneness with his father. Even if his father is very tall and stout, he will not be afraid of him. Similarly, when I look at the weights with my heart, I am not frightened at all, no matter how heavy they are. But when I look at them with my mind’s eye, I am filled with fear. I have no idea how I am going to lift them.

Now I am coming to the point: do not give freedom to the mind. We think that by giving the mind freedom, it can take us very far. True, on the strength of imagination, the mind can take us to the Himalayas in the twinkling of an eye or the mind can give us the capacity to cover the distance of a marathon in two hours. Again the same mind can say, “No! You will take ten hours.” When we give freedom to the mind, either it will create self-doubt or mental hallucination. Mental hallucination is the exaggeration of one’s capacity. When I want to walk seven miles, the mind says, “Oh, you will easily be able to do it.” Again, the next moment, the same mind will say, “You cannot even walk 800 metres. You do not have the capacity.” First the mind exaggerates our capacity, and because it exaggerates our capacity, we make so many mistakes in life. But most of the time when we allow the mind to be our judge, it only minimises our capacity.

As soon as we make the mind our boss, either it will take away our capacity or it will try to convince us that we are useless and worthless. Early in the morning at five o’clock you are supposed to get up, let us say, and even at six o’clock you are not getting up. Again and again you set the alarm. The mind says, “It is too early. Nobody is up. There is nothing wrong. Yesterday you worked so hard. You deserve another hour of rest.” Then when it becomes eleven o’clock, you eventually get up and the same mind says, “You are so useless! Look, everybody is already up. What were you doing?” This stupid mind was telling you all the time, “You deserve rest because yesterday you worked so hard. In every way, you deserve rest.” Then, when it is an absolutely useless time, the mind is blaming you and telling you, “How useless you are! Everybody else is up. Everybody has already prayed and meditated.”

The mind can take you to a place where you can become totally lost. Again, the same mind can push you down. It can take you very far to a wrong place where you will make all kinds of mistakes without realising it. Then, in another way, the mind may convince you that you are not doing anything wrong. At five o’clock if you do not get up, the mind will say, “Nothing is wrong.” At six o’clock it will give the same message, “Nothing is wrong.” Then when you get up at twelve o’clock, the mind says, “You fool! You have done everything wrong!”

The mind will tell you for days and months and years that you are not doing anything wrong. Then after a few years, the same mind will blame you and say, “Who asked you to listen to me?” The mind convinces you all the time that you are right, and then it blames you for listening to it.

The mind is nothing but self-assertion. Today I offered a prayer on self-assertion:

My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!
My self-assertion,
You are embarrassing me.
You are weakening my heart.
You are destroying my life.
You are taking me away
Farther than the farthest
From my own divinity.
You are taking me away
Far beyond my own imagination
From my All,
My Lord Beloved Supreme.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!

This self-assertion has come from the mind. We have become implicitly one with the mind. That is why our mind-teacher has taught us self-assertion. Our other teacher, the heart, relies on a higher light, a higher force.

I offered another prayer this morning:

My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!
My only happiness
Is in the fulfilment
Of Your express Commands.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!

I am seeing that when the Supreme requests us to do something, we do not value His Request. But when the Supreme commands us, either we value His Command or we discard it. When He makes requests inwardly via our soul or our heart, most of the time we do not listen. But when He commands us, at that time also, either we obey Him immediately or we revolt. We feel that we do not have to listen to Him. Then after six months or ten years or in the evening of our life, the penalty comes.

Always God tries first with His Request. Then, if He meets with failure, He commands those to whom He gives another chance. If some disciples or seekers do not listen to the request of the inner voice or the Master or the Supreme, at that time the Supreme may say, “It is a hopeless case,” and withdraw. He may not give any more chances. But in some cases, He still has hope. Then He gives a special chance to some people by giving a Command. If His Command also does not work, then it is a hopeless case.

To come back to the point, if we give freedom to our mind, it can lead us into the world of fantasy. We are walking in a dreamland. Eventually we come to realise that it was not a dream even; it was a nightmare. So do not use the mind. Use the heart. Everyone has a heart, and I request you all to use the heart. Then you will see how good you are, how divine you are, how strong you are, how powerful you are, how ready, how willing, how eager you are to manifest the Light of the Supreme.

Self-assertion says, “I know, I know, I know.” When you are in a divine consciousness, self-assertion is nothing but embarrassment. There will be no enlightenment, only embarrassment. And what does this self-assertion do? Gradually, gradually it takes away all our divinity. It takes us away from our Inner Pilot. It takes us away from our All, our Eternity’s All.

Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy answers, part 31.First published by Agni Press in 2001.

This is the 1410th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Sri Chinmoy answers, part 31, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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