Question: The last few days before my birthday, I definitely felt inwardly uplifted. I had much more aspiration, and my meditations were much better. How can I maintain this throughout the year?1Sri Chinmoy: I am so glad to hear that. I am so proud of you. In seventy-eight percent of the cases, if not more, before a birthday, hostile forces attack human beings. This includes not only the seekers, but unaspiring human beings as well. Even spiritual Masters of the highest order may be attacked before their birthdays. Because they come into the world to do something very, very great for the transformation of the world, they get negative attacks. Many, many spiritual Masters get such attacks before their birthdays, not because they have done something wrong, but because all the hostile forces try to destroy their possibilities of God-manifestation and Light-manifestation on earth.
Some seekers, for two or three days before their birthdays, do good meditation. But on their birthdays, when there are so many things going on — so many friends are being invited, telephone calls are coming from all over the world — then when do they have the time to meditate? The birthday is spent in celebration.
Again, if there is tremendous intensity in the morning, if for two or three minutes the birthday person can meditate very seriously, very soulfully, very sincerely, with all the eagerness of his heart, then that person does not have to meditate or pray for the rest of the day. They can receive in two or three minutes what they are supposed to receive from Above, from God, from the soul.
In your case, the fact that you have been uplifted prior to your birthday is an extremely, extremely good sign. In order to maintain that feeling, you have to know that you are not the body, you are not the vital, you are not the mind, you are not the heart, but you are the soul. Many, many times you have broken world records. When you are trying to break a record, you have tremendous will-power, adamantine will-power. This will-power is not coming from your body. Far from it! It is coming not from your vital, not from your mind, not even from your heart. This will-power is coming directly from the Supreme via your soul. Your soul is transmitting the Will-Power of the Supreme.
Then again, physical fitness is of paramount importance. Your body is fit, your vital is fit, your mind is fit, your heart is fit. That is why you can break world records. Of course, when tiredness comes, the body is unable to accept any more light. The vital cannot receive more; it is limited. Similarly, the heart and mind are both limited. At that time, it is like a team. The mother and children are praying for something. Then the children fall asleep. The mother says, "All right, all right, you sleep. I shall pray for all of us, on your behalf."
When your body, vital, mind and heart are tired, at that time the soul takes up the challenge. The soul says to the body, vital, mind and heart, "You rest, children, you rest. I will meditate not only for myself, but also for you all." Many times when you break world records, the soul alone maintains its adamantine will-power. The body, vital, mind and heart surrender. They surrender because it is beyond their capacity. They have received determination in abundant measure, but they cannot go any farther.
Only the soul maintains its adamantine will-power when the body is not receiving, the vital is not receiving, the mind is not receiving, even the heart is not receiving any more. At that time the soul continues. Then after a few hours or so, the body again starts receiving, the vital starts receiving, the mind starts receiving and the heart starts receiving.
To come back to your question, when a birthday comes, ordinary human beings are thinking of mundane things. Very few people think: "From a very, very high, higher, highest Source, I came into the world to do something really good for my Master and for humanity." But, as a truth-seeker and God-lover, you will think of the Highest on your birthday. You have to feel at that time you are not the body, you are not the vital, you are not the mind, you are not the heart. You are only the soul. Imagine that your soul is just entering into this world like a most beautiful little child. The soul is most beautiful. On your birthday, your soul is reminding Mother Earth: "I came from Above, but now I am for you. I came from God, but God has sent me only to work for you. Mother Earth, for you I have come."
Again, Mother Earth says, "You have come. You have covered such a long, long distance. Now I am giving you what I have: my concern, my affection, my blessings, my joy, my pride, my sweetness, my fondness, my tenderness — everything that I have, I am giving you and I will always give you."
The feeling of upliftment that you have described comes only when our consciousness is not in the body, but our consciousness is outside the body. When a bird is inside a cage, the bird cherishes the hope that one day it will be able to come out of the cage. Either somebody will open up the door, or somehow the cage will be smashed and it will be able to go out. The same bird, when it is no longer inside the cage, can immediately identify itself with Eternity, Infinity and Immortality. While we are in the body-cage, we can only imagine. Most of the time we cannot even imagine. It is beyond our imagination, when we are in a small, dark room, to think of the infinite sky, the immortal Reality. It is impossible. But once we come out of the body-cage or this little room, then we can imagine Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.
Again, our imagination is limited. Right now my mind can think of China. It can think of Russia. It can think of Germany. "Oh, China is quite far!" — that much my imagination is telling me. But beyond that, my imagination is not carrying me. My imagination will stop at one place: today in Shakpura, or in Myanmar, or Alaska — anywhere. Imagination cannot go any farther because imagination will only carry us so far. But when we live in the soul's world, at that time imagination is not needed at all. At that time the soul uses intuition or divine light, which are unlimited. The soul will not stop at a particular place. There is no halt. Inside the soul, everything is constantly flowing.
I often use the term 'the ever-transcending Beyond'. The ever-transcending Beyond exists only while you are in the soul. When you are in the body, the mind will say, "This is the ultimate Goal." After that the mind cannot go even one block farther. When imagination stops, real discovery stops.
If we remain in the soul's light, we are constantly going beyond, beyond, beyond. There are no boundaries. We come to a place and say, "This is the goal." Then we go farther, farther, farther. The soul does not face any obstruction because it is dealing with light. Divine light can pass through anything. Ordinary light, earthly light or sunlight cannot do that. Only divine light can do it. It knows no obstruction. It has no necessity to stop at any particular place.
Even when the soul comes into the world, it always knows its Source. Its Source is unlimited. God the Infinite, God the Eternal, God the Immortal remains with the soul. The soul is neutral. It can take a masculine form, or it can take a feminine form. But by itself the soul is neither masculine nor feminine. The soul embodies God's very, very special Light. You are getting joy for a few days prior to your birthday because your consciousness has been most of the time in your soul, where everything is unlimited. When you are flying in the unlimited sky, there is bound to be joy, and this joy increases like anything. When you fly in a plane, you get joy when you are going up. Then, while going at a very fast speed, 700 or 800 miles an hour, again you get joy. When you are about to arrive at the destination, you get another kind of joy. Then when you arrive at your destination, you get joy. Similarly, the inner joy that you received before your birthday will increase on the day of your birthday. And it does not have to come to an end when your birthday is over.
In the soul's world, there is no stopping. It is not that here you will have a stopover, there you will have a stopover — no. The soul just goes on and on. The soul is unobstructed. It has made friends with unlimited reality. When we are dealing with unlimited reality, when we are becoming part and parcel of unlimited reality, when we are in the flow of the ever-transcending Beyond, then we feel boundless happiness and a sense of satisfaction at every moment. Also, at that time while we are looking at the world around, not only our inner world, we see there is tremendous hope for the citizens of the world. This world is not only meant to cry and sigh, cry and sigh. This world also embodies the hope and promise that it will eventually be a real playground or a real paradise of our Lord Beloved Supreme. The world is like a piano which has millions and billions and trillions of keys. When God strikes a note or when God asks a particular individual soul to strike a note on the world-piano, that one special note is enough to elevate the consciousness of the entire world.
So it is a very good sign that you have received joy before your birthday and you have maintained it. The other day I gave an early-morning weightlifting prayer that said our insecurity gives God a headache and our jealousy gives Him a heart attack. But two medicines are there for all our ailments, and these are our gratitude-heart and surrender-life. If we use these two medicines, then even if we do not achieve satisfaction on the material plane or earthly plane, we will never be unhappy. Our gratitude-heart to the Supreme will constantly keep us happy. Our surrender-life to the Supreme will constantly keep us happy. If we can feel that we are our gratitude-heart and we are our surrender-life, then there is always joy. Earthly success, earthly victory or defeat, does not count for anything. On the one side is victory; on the other side is defeat. If we can remain in the soul-consciousness all the time, then we shall only receive and offer happiness, happiness, happiness. The soul will always give happiness to the body, vital, mind and heart. When they start receiving the soul's light, which the soul has received from the Supreme, then we will always have a cheerful heart and a self-giving life. And in this cheerful heart and self-giving life abides God's Satisfaction in infinite measure.
SCA 767. Sri Chinmoy answered this question on 17 September 1999.↩