Question: In your writings you say that the goal is to have the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, that we can transform the earth so that it is bathing in divine consciousness. When this is done, what will be the use of Heaven?1Sri Chinmoy: Heaven is not like earth. It is not just a few buildings which house some peaceful souls. When we use the term 'Heaven', it means happiness, peace and harmony. This world of ours is full of suffering, and here misunderstanding plays a considerable role. We misunderstand others, we misunderstand even our own hearts at every moment. Of all the enemies that we have, misunderstanding is one of the most destructive. Of course, we human beings have countless other weaknesses — jealousy, insecurity and so on.
When we use the term 'Heaven', it means happiness and peace. Even if you pray and meditate, the goal is far, very far. When the Saviour Christ said "the Kingdom of Heaven on earth," he did not think of Heaven as a piece of land. In the future, spiritual Masters will not carry into this world a piece of land on their shoulders or on their head. It is only in their souls that they carried, still carry and will always carry infinite peace, love and light into the world.
Spiritual Masters of the highest order do bring Heaven down to the earth plane, but then comes the question of receptivity. Sometimes even an iota of divine peace, divine love and divine harmony human beings cannot receive. Humanity's receptivity is so limited that the term 'iota' is absolutely accurate. We talk about God day in and day out, but when it comes to receptivity, this receptivity is very limited. Receptivity is based on self-giving. The more we give of ourselves cheerfully, soulfully and sleeplessly, the sooner we create receptivity. At that time, our receptivity-vessel becomes large, larger, largest.
Unfortunately, we do not give even what we have, and to give what we are is a dream based on imagination. I always say, "Give what you have and give what you are." But even what we have — let us say, a good thought — we do not give, even for a fleeting second. As soon as we see another human being, even for five seconds we do not give the best that we have — our love, our compassion, our goodwill. We hold back our five cents' worth of love and compassion. We see that person with our own insecurity-heart or impurity-mind. We use our own insecurity-heart to see whether he is as insecure as we are. We use our own impurity-mind to see if he is as impure as we are. We want to see that he is more impure and more insecure that we are. Then we get malicious pleasure.
Whom are we fooling? We are only fooling ourselves, because we are not getting real joy. By seeing the bad qualities in others, we are only getting malicious pleasure. We know our own bad qualities — insecurity and impurity. If we can see more of these bad qualities in another person, then we think we are getting joy. But it is not joy that we are experiencing; it is pleasure.
If we do not give what we have, how are we going to give what we are? We have to do first things first. What are we? We are a solid portion of the Infinite. What we are is beyond our imagination even to grasp now. What we have, we know — good thoughts. For a few minutes we can become a good person, but even for a few seconds we do not act like a good person. Each time we do something good, we are creating a divine atmosphere around us. If each and everyone can offer good thoughts to the world, the atmosphere becomes divinely pure; it increases its divinity. But our very nature is to see the negative side and feed the negative side in our life. Always we are dividing everything with our desire-mind. Today we are dividing and tomorrow we are destroying. But when we use our heart, today we are uniting and tomorrow we are expanding our limited self. If we do not unite, we cannot expand. If we divide with our minds, the next thing is destruction. Division is not satisfaction, but in union we become satisfied.
To come back to your question, Heaven is not a piece of land. It is a plane of consciousness. This consciousness also has levels — seven solid ones, and inside the solid ones there are quite a few minor levels. Like a staircase, Heaven has seven steps, but in between there are minor steps. Those minor steps can also help us consciously in our journey.
We have to start right from the beginning to have good thoughts. As soon as we see someone, we have to think of seeing that person with good thoughts. Not only that, but right from the morning we have to think of ourselves as good human beings.
When you get up in the morning, forget about yesterday. If yesterday you did something wrong, forget about it. If you did something good yesterday, then immediately do something better. If yesterday you did well in your aspiration, inspiration and dedication, let that be your foundation. If yesterday you did something wrong, then feel that yesterday did not exist. But if yesterday you did something very inspiring, then that you have to use as your foundation.
Always we have to look within to see whether we can build something divine, illumining and fulfilling. If we see that we could not do it in the morning or in the afternoon, let us try in the evening. In many cases, the morning does not show the day. In the case of many, many spiritual Masters or other great figures of the world, the morning of their lives was not at all encouraging or inspiring. If the morning was not at all inspiring, then let us try at noon or in the afternoon or in the evening. The spiritual life can start at any moment. It does not have to start early in the morning. In the morning if you can begin your spiritual journey, well and good. That is why I say to get up early in the morning. It can be four o'clock for you, or for somebody else seven o'clock, or for somebody else eleven o'clock. As soon as someone gets up, that is the best time for that person to meditate. At that time the hour has struck.
Whenever the hour strikes, you have to value that hour and not see whose hour has already struck and who is still to follow you. You must only think of your hour, and from there you can expand. The best attitude is to say, "I am waiting for my call. When the call comes, immediately I will go forward. I am not going to look around to see who has got the call before me or to see if anybody is going to get the call after me. Everybody is going to be awakened at God's choice Hour. Since my hour has struck, I must run fast, faster, fastest. If somebody else is also running with me, wonderful. But I am not going to look backward to see who is following me. I am not going to look forward to see who is very far ahead of me and then become depressed and disheartened. If I look at those who are ahead of me, then my competitive spirit will come to the fore. By hook or by crook I will want to defeat that person. Then I will lose everything. By looking behind, I will only get malicious pleasure. My ego-balloon will become filled with pride. No. I have received the call. I will run or walk according to my speed, the speed my Beloved Supreme has given me." When we have these ideas in our mind, in our waking consciousness, then we are bound to make the fastest progress towards creating Heaven inside ourselves, towards manifesting Divinity here on earth.
SCA 1045. Sri Chinmoy answered this question on 3 January 1992 in Sicily.↩