SCA 883-900. Every year at Christmas time, Sri Chinmoy and his disciples spend about two months visiting two or three different countries. All of the questions in this book were answered during the December 1999 - January 2000 Christmas trip.
The Christmas trip1
The Christmas trip is a golden opportunity for disciples to make progress. Every day is an opportunity, but the Christmas trip is a golden opportunity. Happiness is progress and progress is happiness. The happiness that you people get on the Christmas trip is innocent happiness. Innocent happiness embodies true cheerfulness. Here people are moving around, looking at things and going on excursions. This is all innocent happiness. Innocent happiness and progress always go together.
Here you are getting a rare opportunity — for two months you can see your Master for hours and hours and hours every day. And your Master also gets the golden opportunity to be of supreme service to you because he is directly in front of your face, in front of your outer existence. So it is a great opportunity both for the Master and for the disciples — an opportunity for the disciples to receive and for the Master to give. With your physical, earthly eyes you can see that I am doing everything for you and you also are doing everything for me. You are doing everything for my happiness and I am doing everything for your happiness.
Again, there are people on the trip who are right now doing other activities. They are absolutely doing the right thing because they are happy. Their innocent happiness is making me happy. Their happiness is not coming from their pleasure-life. The happiness of the pleasure-life is destruction. But anything that makes you soulfully happy, prayerfully happy, is your progress, and your progress is my progress.
Our Beloved Supreme has given the opportunity for me to be available for so many hours for you all. I used to see my Master four times a year for three or four seconds each time — not more. Here, in our case, this opportunity is given to both the Master and the disciples. Do not waste, do not misuse this opportunity. Do not miss this opportunity — do not, do not.
Some of you make such progress in these two months that, even if during the entire year you do not make any progress, there is no harm. It is like depositing a very large amount of money in the bank. Even if you do not earn any more money, you can withdraw from the bank because you have deposited such a large amount of money. Some of you make such progress that, even if for the rest of the year you do not make any progress, you can just think of the happiness that you gave me and the happiness that I gave you.
You can think of the progress that you made by singing soulfully for hours and hours and hours. My philosophy, my spirituality, my yoga can never, never be separated from my songs or from my writings. They are part and parcel of my own divinity, my own reality. Everything comes from a very deep source, and this source is all divine.
To come back to the point, some of you make unimaginable progress during the Christmas trip. This is why I beg and beg people to come, especially those who have money-power. But some of my disciples have other things to do. For only one week or ten days they will come, because they have other appointments and engagements.
Right from the beginning, spirituality is a matter of faith — how much faith you have in me and how much faith I have in you. When faith dwindles or disappears, or when the faith-boat sinks, everything goes wrong. It was faith that brought you to me, to our path. Your faith told you that I had realised God. And my faith in you gave me the message that I would make you a fit instrument to realise God. Your faith was that I had realised God and I would be able to take you to God. That burning faith should remain with you from the very day that I accepted you throughout your entire life, to your last breath.
Happiness, happiness, happiness! Happiness is progress. There is no other way to make the fastest progress. If you do not make inner progress, it is not like running a marathon. If you have covered seven miles in the marathon, you can wait for fifteen minutes or half an hour and then again you can continue. But the spirituality-race is never like that. Once you start, if you stop at a particular place, a magnetic pull will bring you down to the starting point — not only to the starting point, but much lower, because some divine forces become so disgusted. They say, “Why did you not complete the race? Why did you not go to the destination?” It is all because you have another destination. Then again you have to start, far below the original starting point because you deliberately lost your opportunity.
I am begging all of you who have money-power never to miss the Christmas trip. To those who do not have money-power, what can I say? Either you can borrow or during the year you can work very, very hard for extra hours to pay for the trip or to pay back what you have borrowed. Then there are those for whom money-power is no problem, but their mind-attraction is somewhere else. Their mind is roaming somewhere where they think they will get more joy, which is in the pleasure-life. What can I tell them?
I want happiness for all of you who have come here for the Christmas trip, and happiness also for those who did not come or could not come. There are all kinds of happiness. You have to know which happiness you really want in order to make progress. Vital pleasure we do not call happiness. Destruction begins the day we start enjoying our pleasure-life, for pleasure-life is nothing but feeding the unaspiring vital.
Again, there are some people who are really poor. I really and truly sympathise with them. But my inner being says that if somebody really wants to come, then throughout the year he can work very hard and he can make it even for a short time.
When you come for the Christmas trip, please feel that it is a golden opportunity to make the fastest progress. And if you want to continue making progress when you go back to your respective Centres, you can. Your faith will tell you, “My Master has not only infinite concern but constant concern for my progress, for my happiness, for my fulness.” Again, your happiness makes me strong, stronger, strongest, and my happiness also should make you strong, stronger, strongest.
SCA 883. Sri Chinmoy gave this talk about the progress that his disciples make on the Christmas trip on 13 December 1999 at the Hotel Săo Moritz in Nova Friburgo, Brazil.↩