Part I

Hope human and faith divine

Human hope has no strength in it. It is only wishful thinking. But faith, divine faith, is the result or fruit of the inner message that we are getting constantly from within. When we have faith in ourselves or faith in God, immediately we get a message and that message has life in it. With human hope, a messenger brings a message but there is no life in it. Or the messenger may bring all kinds of destructive news, disheartening news. But when faith becomes the messenger, at that time we see life in the message. Faith, inner faith, is always fruitful, for it carries the message of light, and light is the life of the inner world. So the best thing is to remain in the domain of faith, to make yourself feel that you are nothing but constant faith in God. In that way you are bound to have divine hope. In faith, divine hope looms large. Divine hope is like a dream which comes at the end of the night, bearing the promise that soon the day will dawn. From dream, reality comes into existence. But when it is human hope, ninety-nine times out of a hundred the dream will not materialise, because there is no life in it.

When we have human hope, the thing we are hoping for may or may not materialise. But if it is divine hope, then we feel that somebody is telling us to sow the seed and promising us that tomorrow the seed will germinate, the day after tomorrow it will grow into a plant, and a few months or a few years later it will give us a bumper crop. When we have divine hope, there is a kind of inner feeling that something will come out of something, and we are inspired to work for the result. If we do this today, tomorrow we will get something, and the day after tomorrow something else will happen, it is like climbing up a ladder a few rungs at a time. We are going step by step. We are creating something and because of our creation we will get a certain result. If we are not satisfied, we will create more and more and then finally we will be really satisfied. This is divine hope.

Let us say that today I have the hope that tomorrow I will become a very sincere seeker. If it is human hope, it is just wishful thinking. When tomorrow dawns, I will be fast asleep, and I will hope that the following day I will be a very sincere seeker. But if it is divine hope, then immediately there will be action. I will do something. I will feel that just thinking or hoping that I will become something is not enough. I will enter into the field of activity. So, in this case, hope is the mother of merit. If we enter into activity, then we get the fulfilment of our hope or the transformation of our hope into reality.

Human hope is like human desire. When today’s hope is fulfilled, tomorrow there will be something else we are hoping for. There is no end to it. But when divine hope is fulfilled, we do not ask for something else, for a higher reality. Inside the hope itself, reality expands itself and becomes large, larger and largest.

Fatigue and meditation

When it is time for meditation, you may say you went to bed at three o’clock, so you are not able to get up. But who asked you to go to bed at three o’clock? You will say it was unavoidable; you had to do something most important. While you are up late doing that important thing, you can make yourself feel that at five o’clock there will also be something unavoidable to do, that at five o’clock you will have to get up to meditate. If the ordinary thing that you did late at night was so important that you could not avoid it, then I wish to say your meditation is infinitely more important; nothing can be more important than meditation.

Sometimes our fatigue is real; sometimes it is all mental. Even if we sleep for ten hours, sometimes we feel extremely tired. There are many young boys and girls, as well as adults, who sleep much more than they actually need to. It is their mind that makes them feel they are very tired and exhausted, that they have not eaten or slept enough. The mind is so clever. It will make us feel that if we can sleep for only five minutes more, then we will have the whole world. If we are supposed to get up at five o’clock, the mind will tell us that if we can have one minute more, then we will be all right. Then, if we give that one minute to the body, immediately the body will say it is not enough.

So sometimes we are really fatigued, and sometimes it is only the mind that is making us feel that we are tired. We may not be tired at all, but the mind does not want us to meditate. Sometimes, even if we take only two or three hours’ rest, the mind is kind enough to allow us to meditate, for the monkey in the mind is taking rest and is not going to bother us. Although our physical body has taken only two hours’ rest, at that time we are very, very refreshed. So I wish to tell you that sometimes the body does not need six hours or seven hours of sleep; sometimes it needs only five hours, or less.

While you are driving to meditation, if you are tired and exhausted or you don’t feel alert, then you should not drive. At that time your wife or husband or your friend has to drive. Or you can try to invoke divine Power. When you come to the Centre, if you feel you are not doing good meditation but are falling asleep, then try to invoke the Power aspect of the Supreme. At that time, do not invoke Peace or Light. Try to bring forward divine Power from within or bring down the Power from above. Immediately, in five minutes’ time, you will feel energised. If you invoke dynamic power within yourself, you will see that your whole body will become energised with divine Power. This divine Power will make you feel that your body is burning with fever, although you are not actually running a temperature.

Also, please make your car more divine, more spiritual, with flowers and pictures and so forth. That is to say, make it like a shrine so that while you are driving, you feel that you are in my presence, in God’s Presence. When you leave your home, start your meditation right inside your car. And if you can make your car spiritual, then the drive will be the continuation of your meditation. But you have to know what kind of meditation you should have. Please do not go into a high, deep meditation. No, the best thing is at that time to do japa or to sing spiritual songs. If you do japa, then automatically you will see a kind of energy inside yourself. But if you want to invoke sublime peace, then it will create problems.

Overcoming anger and hatred

If you are a victim of anger and hatred, try to feel sincerely that these forces are your enemies. This is not imagination; it is reality. They are your enemies. Think of anger as a thief. When you are angry with someone, feel that your anger is a human being who has come to steal your inner wealth, your peace and poise. If you are wise, you will never allow a thief to enter into you. Think of hatred, too, as a human being who has come to rob you of your love, which is also your inner wealth.

When you know that somebody is a thief, immediately you take precautions against him. So you have to feel that your anger is a veritable thief, your hatred is a veritable thief. If you regard your anger and hatred in this way, then naturally you will always stand at the door to your existence and keep your door properly guarded. If you see a thief there, you won’t allow him to enter.

You have to feel and realise that there is no peace, no joy, no satisfaction in the anger or hatred that you are offering and becoming. When you offer anger, you have to feel that you have become anger. When you offer hatred, feel that you yourself have become hatred. The moment you want to give something to someone, feel that you yourself are that thing, and that is why you are in a position to give it. When you offer something to someone, you expect to get some inner satisfaction. But if you give anger to someone, he does not appreciate it and you also do not get any satisfaction from it. Now, when you give something to someone and he does not appreciate it, then you feel miserable. If your gift is not going to be well appreciated, then you don’t give it. You try to give something else, which will please the person.

Do the same with hatred. Feel that it is something you are offering to someone which he does not care for. Since he does not care for it, you will have to offer him other wealth. What he will care for is your love and your peace of mind. If you offer these qualities or some other divine qualities, naturally they will be appreciated. Let us think of a customer and a shopkeeper. If the customer does not want to buy what we are offering him, then we offer him some other thing which will please him.

Part II

Question: What is your path all about?

Sri Chinmoy: We aspire to become good, to do good and to serve mankind. Inside each individual there is the living presence of God. Our path is the path of love, devotion and surrender. We love God in a divine way, and we pray to God to guide us so that we can please Him in His own Way. We serve God so that we can become a good instrument, a perfect instrument of His. And we surrender to His Will, soulfully and devotedly, out of a genuine feeling of oneness with Him. So divine love, divine devotion, which is in the form of service, and divine surrender are the cornerstones of my philosophy.

Question: How can I tell if you are meant to be my Guru?

Sri Chinmoy: When a seeker feels that he is ready to go to a spiritual Master, he wants to notice a few things inside the Master: Peace, Light and Bliss. When he sees these qualities inside the Master and feels joy when he is with the Master and confidence that the Master can take him to the Golden Shore, then he tells the Master that he is ready and anxious to be his disciple. The Master will either accept him or he will say that he is sorry, but he cannot accept the seeker as a disciple. If he cannot accept the seeker, it is because he feels the seeker will make better progress, faster progress, if he belongs to somebody else. When the Master does not accept someone, it doesn’t mean that the seeker is useless. No, he has aspiration, but the Master feels that if he studies under the guidance of some other spiritual Master, he will make much better progress.

I accept most of the seekers who come to me and want to accept me as their Master. Only on rare occasions do I not accept someone. But again, some people come to me and do not see anything in me, so they go away. They are doing absolutely the right thing. But in your case, if you feel confidence in me, if you feel inner joy and peace when you look at me, if you feel that this is your spiritual home, if you feel that these are your spiritual brothers and sisters and you are a member of this family, then you should accept our path as your own.

Question: Sometimes you speak of the human and the divine or the Supreme in yourself and distinguish between these two aspects. Should a disciple try to distinguish the two or regard them as one and feel that everything is divine?

Sri Chinmoy: The disciples will never be able to know whether I am acting like a human being or a more divine being. Even when I am angry, when I am shouting and screaming and insulting, it is only the human in me expressing my divine Authority on the strength of my oneness with the Supreme. When I am furious, you may think it is absolutely the animal consciousness that you are seeing. But, it is not the animal. Believe me, it is the divine Authority in me that is trying to perfect you in that particular way. If you do something wrong, sometimes it is useless for me to smile and ask you not to do it again. I see the destructive force dancing inside you. If I see something destructive inside you, I have to come with a hydrogen bomb. If you do not see superior power there, you will not try to surrender to that power.

Question: Is it possible for a disciple to learn from a more advanced seeker?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not at all necessary for the seeker to go through all the mistakes in order to arrive at truth. If a disciple is a beginner and he happens to meet an advanced seeker — a really advanced seeker, and not just one who has been a disciple for many years — then the advanced seeker will be able to advise him from his own experience. It is like a mother and child. The mother tells the child not to touch fire because she knows from her own experience that touching fire causes pain. The mother had previously touched fire and burned her finger; so she is speaking from experience. If the child thinks that the mother is lying, then he doesn’t profit from his mother’s experiences and he will touch the fire with his own finger. So, just as the child comes to the mother and asks what happened when she touched fire, so a beginner in the spiritual life seeks advice from an advanced seeker. The beginner recognises the advanced seeker because he sees that the advanced seeker is leading a divine, disciplined life; the advanced seeker is an example for him.

If a beginner takes the advice of an advanced seeker, it will take him less time to reach the goal, just as the good advice a parent gives his children, to speak the truth and to meditate, will help them grow up to be better adults. An advanced seeker is like the father or elder brother of those who have just entered into the spiritual life. If the beginner has to do everything on his own and go through all the sad experiences, then he will waste a lot of time and reach the goal much later.

Question: In your life do you show negativity?

Sri Chinmoy: I try to offer the positive side of life — no negativity. From Light we move to more Light, abundant Light, then infinite Light. We try to walk along the sunlit path. Reality is both positive and negative, but we do not take both sides of reality. We feel that from lesser Light we go to higher, more abundant Light, infinite Light. So we always approach the Truth with a positive inner conviction.

Question: When I am not meditating and when I have no work to do, there are vacant spaces which I can no longer fill with things I used to do before I became a disciple. I don’t know what to do with this spare time.

Sri Chinmoy: You feel that you don’t want to kill time. So instead, in your spare time try to create. Try to be creative in any field. Each one has some capacity. You can draw or you can sing spiritual songs. You can write a poem or an article or compose a song. Or you can call a friend and speak of spiritual things. When you speak of spiritual things, it is also a form of creation. There are many ways to create. Creation does not necessarily mean to write a poem; it can also mean to talk to someone. If you talk to a spiritual friend, if that person needs inspiration, your talk itself is creating something deep inside that person and that person is creating something deep inside you.

Question: What is the best way to think of you and the Supreme during the day?

Sri Chinmoy: The best way is through gratitude, soulful gratitude. Offer gratitude: that is the best way, the only way. The second you offer gratitude in your thoughts and in your feelings, your oneness will be perfect. If you offer gratitude, you will understand more; your mental vision, psychic vision, everything will become perfect. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude is the only answer. Try to grow the gratitude-flower inside your heart and watch it blossom petal by petal. As it blossoms it is spreading its beauty and fragrance.

Question: The love that we have for you, Master, is it the same love that we should have for Mother Kali?

Sri Chinmoy: The love that you have for me will be the same love that you have for Mother Kali and also for the Supreme, because we are all one. In the highest world I am totally one with Mother Kali; I am totally one with the Supreme. Here also in the field of manifestation, the Supreme is consciously operating in me and through me. I am His conscious representative for my disciples, for those who have accepted me as their Guru — but not for others. For you I am certainly His conscious representative. I am your Master, so you will have the same deep love for me that you have for Mother Kali. The Divine Mother represents infinite Power and infinite Compassion together. I am most fond of Her and She is most fond of me. If you show Her the deepest love, I will feel it. If you show the Supreme the deepest love, I will feel it. Similarly, when you show your deepest love to me, the Supreme automatically gets it. So there is no difference between your Guru and Mother Kali and the Supreme in your life of aspiration and realisation. A dearest disciple should feel that in his Guru lies the real divinity, realisation and manifestation of the Supreme. You cannot separate the Guru from Mother Kali or from the Supreme. In the inner world, we three are one, absolutely one. This is the thing that each disciple has to feel and realise.

Question: Why is it that whenever you ask for questions my mind suddenly goes blank?

Sri Chinmoy: When we meditate, we bring down Peace, Light and Bliss from above. At that time, the questioning mind is illumined. In illumination there are no questions. A question comes from darkness, when the mind is not illumined. This room has light. Everything is right in front of our noses. So, you don’t have to ask me every ten minutes where this flower is. Similarly, when we pray and meditate, we receive Light and everything is clear to us.

Question: What is the significance of children in the fulfilment of your mission?

Sri Chinmoy: Children have more love for me. They listen to me. If I ask a child to do something for me, he just runs. If I ask a grown-up person, he will take ten hours. A child means obedience. If obedience is there, then God-realisation is not a far cry. Children run the fastest, unless they are spoilt by their parents. Children don’t have the doubting mind. They don’t use the mind; they use the heart. If I ask them to do something, immediately they will do it and they will get tremendous joy from doing it. But if I ask a grown-up, sometimes he will listen with reluctance. After waiting to prove his independence, then he will do it. But children don’t do that. They won’t say, “Why has he asked me? I will not really get any benefit.”

A child means God’s Dream, God’s Vision. That is why I ask everybody to act like a four-year-old child. If everybody can become a four-year-old child, then all problems will be solved. But we act like we are fifty or sixty years old. That is why we are suffering so much. It is the child-quality in us that will fulfil our mission. We have a mission that will be fulfilled only by the child in us, the divine child. The child is all eagerness; he always wants something new, new, new. The importance of the child in our life, in our mission, is incalculable.

Question: Sometimes we want to do something for the mission which requires money, but we have difficulty getting it. Is it the Will of the Supreme or the hostile forces?

Sri Chinmoy: The Will of the Supreme already has been given us. Where there is a will, there is a way. When the Supreme has given us a good idea, a good thought, rest assured that He has also given us the capacity to discover money-power. The only thing is that we do not work hard. We work hard in some aspects, in some fields, and in others we don’t work hard. In order to get money it is necessary to make an effort, to work soulfully and devotedly. We don’t do it. When we have an idea that requires money, if money does not come automatically, then we are apt to feel it is not the Will of the Supreme. No! If we have the aspiration to do something for the Supreme, do you think He has not given us the capacity to get the money? We have to pay some attention to getting money-power. But for that we don’t spend the time.