Part VII

SCA 1211-1217. In Sri Chinmoy's early days in America, he sometimes wrote to his disciples, in answer to their own letters. This collection of seven letters was originally published in a pamphlet entitled My Letters, which was read out at the New York Aum Centre by the President, D. This is the first time they have appeared in book form.

Absent-mindedness

Dear Susan:

Despair tortures your heart, sorrow plagues your mind, and your Mother scolds you bitterly because you are very absent-minded. You are also afraid that I may dislike you for your absent-mindedness. To tell you the honest truth, either my liking for you or my displeasure in you does not depend on your absent-mindedness. I like you just because you are a child of God. I like you precisely because you meditate.

You say that you are absent-minded even at the time you meditate. You are deeply sorry for that. You are positive that you can never become successful or great in your life, especially in the realm of spirituality.

Now I wish to tell you a secret, a top secret. Some of my intimate Indian friends used to call me an 'absent-minded hero'. I enjoyed their fond criticism and wise assessment. In this connection, I wish to tell you that even today —- this very day, I believe —- I have topped the list of successful, absent-minded candidates. I did, yes, I did. What I did was to dial my own telephone number, not once but twice, while I was trying to give an important message to a very, very close disciple of mine. Do you know who she is? She is nobody else but the second person pronoun!

Also, I wish to tell you that there is a kind of absent-mindedness of which you may not be aware. This type of absent-mindedness is rather unusual and unearthly. There have been, and still are, great spiritual Masters who would forget even their own names, not to speak of others' names, when they would come out of a most powerful trance. It would take some time for them to enter into the earthly consciousness and start operating like a normal man. But for this divinely strange act of theirs nobody dislikes them, nobody mocks at them. On the contrary, people like them, adore them, no matter what they say, do or become.

When an ordinary person is absent-minded, people do not appreciate him. Needless to say, he in no time becomes an object of ridicule, if not hatred. But these spiritual Giants, even when they are totally absent-minded, are loved and adored not only by their close disciples, but by unaspiring people who have nothing to do with spirituality and the inner life. They love and adore the spiritual Masters because they feel that these Masters have given unreservedly what they have and what they are to God. They feel that these Masters have become God-intoxicated and, finally, that they have realised God and are swimming in the Sea of God's infinite Consciousness.

This does not mean that absent-mindedness is a kind of virtue. No, not at all. At the same time, absent-mindedness is neither a fatal crime nor a vital sin. It is neither inevitable nor unavoidable. It is a mere disease that can easily be cured by God's Love and Compassion. And God has the necessary Love and Compassion —- nay, infinitely more than required —- for you and me. Let us pray for His Love and Compassion. We shall succeed.

You want to be great and successful in life. Please charge your memory, and you will discover that many eminent scientists, poets and philosophers and also men of tremendous success in various walks of life were, if I am allowed to say so, nothing short of absent-minded princes.

Now, very often what you and I call absent-mindedness in our lives, that very thing others call negligence. And, according to them, this negligence is not only deplorable but unpardonable. How shall we truly and effectively free ourselves from these two robbers?

To free ourselves from the snares of absent-mindedness, we needs must feel the spontaneous necessity of our constant achievement and fulfilment. Likewise, to free ourselves from the fetters of negligence, we must be absolutely aware of the fact that the entire world not only demands but needs and deserves our express and soulful concern for its development and success.

Yours,

Birds of a feather, wholeheartedly,

Chinmoy

Nov. 18, 1968