Part I: Discourse

The giver and the receiver

My Lord Supreme, You accept front me my hungry desires as though these things are tremendously valuable.

My Lord Supreme, You accept from me my teeming worries and anxieties as though these things are extremely beautiful.

My Lord Supreme, You accept from me my poisonous doubts as though these things are remarkably meaningful.

My Lord Supreme, You accept from me my untiring insecurity and my unending impurity as though these things are going to adorn Your Heart.

My Lord Supreme, You accept from me my ocean-vast ingratitude as though it is something that is going to richly satisfy You.

My Lord Supreme, when You give me Your Peace, Your Love, Your Joy, Your Compassion and Your divine Blessings in boundless measure, I get joy, true. But Your Joy, while giving, far surpasses my joy in spite of the fact that I am the receiver and You are the giver.

My Lord Supreme, when I give You my undivine qualities unreservedly, You get much more joy and satisfaction in receiving than I get in giving.

My Lord Supreme, You are always great. You are always good. Will there ever be a time when I shall be able to defeat You in anything?

"My child, you have already defeated Me."

I have defeated You? Impossible, my Lord, impossible! How can I ever defeat You? Tell me, how?

"My child, I need you infinitely more than you need Me. My need for you far surpasses your need for Me. Does this not prove that you have defeated Me badly?

"Now let Me explain to you this secret and sacred philosophy of Mine. You do not know who you are, but I know who you are. You think that you are ignorance incarnate, but I see you as an experience of Mine. I see you as My own evolving Life. I see you as My own dream-manifesting Reality.

"It is not you; it is I. It is not yours; it is Mine. It is I who am always in the process of unveiling and becoming, and becoming and unveiling. Thus it is I who sing in and through you My Eternity's Song: Oneness. It is I who dance in and through you My Infinity's Dance: Perfection. It is I who cry and smile, and smile and cry, in and through you My Immortality's Silence-Sound: Satisfaction."

[Note: Sri Chinmoy gave the talk, The Giver And The Receiver, at Saint Paul's Chapel, Columbia University, 27 February 1980.]

Part II: Questions and answers on heart-power and mind-power

Question: When is mind-power equal to heart-power?

Sri Chinmoy: Mind-power can never be as soulful and fruitful as heart-power. Your question should be: When will mind-power reach its acme? When will mind-power offer its best result or fruit? Mind-Power reaches perfection when the feeling of universal love, universal brotherhood, universal identity and oneness looms large in the mind. Heart-power already has inseparable oneness with the universal Life. If mind-power fulfils its distinctive role by also becoming one with the universal Life, then it will not remain bound by worldly temptations, weaknesses, limitations, bondage and death. When mind-power surrenders to the soul-power in the heart, then mind-power is fulfilled forever. At that time, mind-power can play its own role most perfectly.

We can think of the mind as eyes and the heart as hands. With eyes we see; with hands we work. If we shape something beautiful, then heart-power fulfils its purpose. When our eyes can see all beauty and all purity, then mind-power reaches the zenith of perfection. Heart-power fulfills its role by becoming one with the ultimate Reality. Mind-power fulfils its role by seeing purity-beauty all around.

Let us not try to create competition between the mind and the heart. The mind and the heart each go in a specific way to reach the Highest. This represents equality but not uniformity. My eye is not the same as my nose, but my eye is equal to my nose. Each plays its own role. When they play their respective roles satisfactorily, they become perfect. Perfection lies in fulfilling one's own duty.

Question: Is it better to use heart-power or mind-power?

Sri Chinmoy: If it is the illumined mind, or the mind that has achieved light, then you can use it. But if the mind is still only in the process of searching for good, for light, then use the heart. In the heart, the light of the soul is always more prominent than it is in the mind. Heart-power is one with the soul's light. Mind-power at times glimpses this light and at times does not. Mind-power is tricky; heart-power is never tricky. Mind-power cherishes separativity; heart-power cherishes oneness. The ordinary mind uses power to dominate, to possess, to lord it over others. It gets joy from a conscious, deliberate, uncompromising sense of separativity. The heart derives fulfillment only from oneness. So let us use heart-power as often as possible. Only if the mind has achieved light should we use it.

Question: Do occult power and spiritual power originate from heart-power or mind-power, or both?

Sri Chinmoy: Occult power comes from mind-power and psychic or spiritual power comes from heart-power. One who wants occult power prays and cries for it. For spiritual power, one does not have to ask. Spiritual power comes spontaneously if one cries to the Supreme devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally to please Him in His own Way. Spiritual power comes from sincere aspiration and inner cry. We use spiritual power to guide ourselves so that we do not make mistakes but become perfect instruments of the Supreme. If we achieve occult power, we can do miracles; but miracles are short-lived. Anything that comes from the mind is short-lived, whereas anything that comes from the heart is long-lasting.

Question: How can we increase the power of the heart?

Sri Chinmoy: By self-giving and by being sincere in our inner cry. The more sincere we are in our inner cry, the sooner our heart-power increases. Sincerity is the living force, the quintessence, of everything divine in us. It is the motivating force that increases the heart-power in us. When we cry sincerely and soulfully, the right cause will present itself. Then we will throw our entire existence into this cause. We will give it all our aspiration-power and dedication-power. At that time, we will find that the power of the heart increases immensely.

Question: Can you have an experience in the heart without feeling it in the heart?

Sri Chinmoy: If you get an experience from the spiritual heart, you need not feel anything the heart muscle. But you will feel something that envelops and inundates the whole being. The physical heart need not express the experiences of the spiritual heart. The physical heart is only an organ. One experiences inner reality with the inner heart, the spiritual heart, even if it is not totally identified with the human heart.

Question: If a person who cares for mind-power asks a question about heart-power of a person who cares for heart-power, can the heart-power person satisfy the mind-power person with his answer?

Sri Chinmoy: If the heart-power person has solid heart-power and the mind-power person is receptive, then it can be done. If one party has receptivity and the other has capacity, then it is possible. The mind needs receptivity and the heart needs capacity. For the one with mind-power, receptivity is his capacity; whereas the capacity of the person with heart-power is his actual possession of light. If I have heart-power, then my capacity will enter into him and his receptivity will accept it. The heart can convince the mind only when the mind is receptive.

Question: Will the exclusive use of heart-power alone end wars and inter-personal conflict?

Sri Chinmoy: No, only the acceptance of heart-power by the mind, vital and physical will be able to end conflict, wars and destruction. Heart-power can stop wars and destruction when mind-power accepts it. Until then, heart-power will be ineffective. Heart-power has to be universally accepted. If mind-power does not accept heart-power as its beacon-light, then heart-power will not be able to manifest the Consciousness of the Supreme.

In a plane there are crew members of higher and lower rank. If the lower ranks do not accept the guidance of the higher ranks, the plane crashes. In God's Eye, all ranks are important. Mind-power has to be perfect, too. If mind-power is not perfect, heart-power will not be able to operate in and through the mind.

Heart-power can function in and through the mind, but mind-power has to be receptive. The mind is getting the opportunity to accept heart-power from the heart, but the mind has to avail itself of this opportunity. First, light comes into the heart, then into the mind. Once the mind is convinced, it will convince the vital, and the vital will convince the physical. The heart always accepts the soul's oneness-light. But until the mind accepts it and is perfected by it, it will not be able to work effectively on earth. Mind-power has to become the instrument of heart-power in order to manifest the Supreme's Will.

So, heart-power alone is not enough to establish the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. World peace, world harmony, world perfection will take place only when all the parts of the being accept the soul's light that flows through the heart. If they do not accept it, then no matter how much light the soul has, there can be no perfection, although light itself can remain. I have light. If you accept it, then your perfection will take place and my perfection will increase, because I have accepted you as part and parcel of my own life. You are a manifestation of what I am. If you see what I have and am and if you accept it, then my complete perfection takes place in and through you.

Manifestation has to take place through mind-power. If the mind does not accept the light of the heart, the heart itself cannot reach fulfilment. In the earth-consciousness, the highest is the mind. If someone has great mental capacity, he is admired by all. But mind-power and heart-power need one another. Mind-power needs heart-power to know what the ultimate Truth is. Heart-power needs mind-power to manifest the ultimate Truth.

Question: At the present stage of man's evolution, which prevails: mind-power or heart-power?

Sri Chinmoy: We cannot categorically say which part of the being prevails, because early in the morning we can be in the body-consciousness and at bedtime we can be in the heart. One day we ascend; the next day we descend. One day we are in the heart; the following day we are in the mind. We do not have any permanent achievement. Similarly, a country can be in the emotional vital at one time, and ten years later it may enter into the heart plane and become pure. If a country is warlike, then the undivine vital is to the fore.

If a country is crying for peace, it is living in the heart. Right now, there is not a single country that is predominantly in the heart. All are wanting in a sincere cry for peace. Again, like an individual, each country can change its consciousness. Right now we do not have the capacity either to destroy permanently or to build permanently; but there will come a time when we will give all value to building and not to destroying.

Now we cannot say that a country or an individual is living in the heart or in the mind. On the whole, America is now in the vital. This country has to aspire consciously, devotedly. And who is responsible for this aspiration? Not the country as a plot of land, but the individual members of the country. The country is always trying to aspire through its inhabitants, but the individuals don't care for aspiration.

Part III: Love and serve

Love and serve

Love and serve; serve and love. We love God. We serve God. When we love God, we see. When we serve God, we feel. What do we see? We see God's face. What do we feel? We feel God's Heart. God's Face inspires us. God's Heart illumines us.

Inspiration has many, many friends. Of all its friends, aspiration is by far the best. Illumination has many, many friends. Of all its friends, perfection is by far the best. Aspiration is our heart's inner cry. Illumination is our life's outer smile. The inner cry climbs high, higher, highest and tries to become devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally one with the ever-transcending Reality. The outer smile spreads all around and tries to manifest Divinity, Eternity, Infinity and Immortality.

A true seeker is he who continually wants to grow, glow and flow in the Heart of the Absolute Supreme. He loves God and serves God not because God is all powerful but because God is all goodness. He loves God because he knows that without God he does not exist. He serves God because he feels that without him, God does not exist.

At every moment, a true seeker has to love God and serve God with a pure heart and a clear mind. A heart of purity and a mind of clarity each seeker must possess in order to accelerate his inner progress and outer success.

A true seeker offers to God what he has and what he is. What he has is ignorance. What he is, is a gratitude-heart. When he offers his gratitude-heart, he becomes a chosen instrument of the Supreme. A chosen instrument at times pleases God in his own way; at other times he pleases God in God's own Way. There comes a time when the chosen instrument is transformed into an unconditionally surrendered instrument. An unconditionally surrendered instrument of God pleases God at every moment in God's own Way.

There are two worlds: the world of desire and the world of aspiration. In the aspiration-world, there are three things that we have to discover: divine love, divine devotion and divine surrender. Today's human love is tomorrow's frustration and the day after tomorrow's destruction. Divine love is today's illumination, tomorrow's perfection and the day after tomorrow's satisfaction, complete and perfect. Human devotion is nothing short of unconscious, unrecognised attachment. Divine devotion is conscious, spontaneous and continuous dedication to one's own higher existence-reality. Human surrender is the surrender of a slave, a forced surrender. Divine surrender is totally different. In divine surrender, the finite recognises and accepts the infinite as its very own. The drop enters into the ocean and becomes the ocean itself. In divine surrender the unlit, the obscure and the impure part of us enters into the illumined and illumining portion of our existence. Our ignorance-world enters into our wisdom-world; the little "I" merges into the infinite "I," which is the universal and transcendental Consciousness.

Before we enter into the aspiration-world, we remain in the desire-world. When we live in the desire-world, greatness is of paramount importance to us. Even when we first enter into the aspiration-life, in the beginning the message of greatness at times looms large. But the real message of the aspiration-world is goodness. Desire cries for greatness. Aspiration cries for goodness.

Greatness has two standards of existence: a higher and a lower. He who is great consciously or unconsciously wants to remain an inch higher than the rest of the world. But he who is good wants to remain consciously, soulfully and devotedly one with all human beings to love and serve the Supreme in them. In this feeling of oneness, perfection dawns, and in perfection, what looms large is Eternity's Satisfaction.

Julius Caesar declared: /Veni, vidi, vici,/ "I came, I saw, I conquered." This is the height of the greatness-world. But the height of the goodness-world is totally different. It comes from the inmost recesses of the seeker's oneness-heart and declares: "I came into the world, I loved the world, I became one with the world."

This expresses a real acceptance of life, not a rejection of life. True spirituality is the acceptance of earth-life. A true seeker is he who accepts life, transforms life and perfects life so that the earth-life can become a conscious instrument of God. Earth-life is constant thirst, constant hunger. This hunger is the soul's eternal hunger to become inseparably one with the Highest, and then to manifest the Highest here on earth. True spirituality advocates both God-acceptance and life-acceptance. In true spirituality, the seeker first tries to realise God and then to manifest Him in and through his own life.

When the seeker is on the verge of realisation, he sees goodness within and goodness without. On the strength of his goodness, he feels a true and abiding satisfaction. But God-realisation cannot be achieved overnight. It is not like making instant tea or coffee. True spirituality is a slow and steady process. Slow and steady wins the inner race. Gradually the seeker makes inner and outer progress. In true spirituality, this progress offers the seeker at every moment a sense of satisfaction, and satisfaction alone can immortalise him. In the beginning of his spiritual life, the seeker finds success. This success inspires him; therefore, he makes friends with it. But the same seeker, when he is advanced, feels the necessity of progress only; for success is a short-lived experience, whereas progress is continually carrying him into the everlasting and ever-transcending Beyond.

[Note: Sri Chinmoy gave the talk, Love and serve, at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, on 15 October 1975.]

Love and serve: questions and answers

The following questions were asked at the New Jersey Centre on 27 May 1975, following lecture at the University of Victoria

Question: Why is God so subtle?

Sri Chinmoy: God is not so subtle. The only thing is that right now we are lacking in vision; we are blind. Even if the sun is shining brightly, even if we are in a brightly lit room, when vision is lacking, we don't see the light. Again, when we have vision, we see everything.

Just because our oneness-heart — our heart which is totally, inseparably one with God — has not been able to convince our mind that God is ours and that He is for us, we are not aware of His Presence. The moment our heart convinces our mind that God is for us, at that time God does not remain subtle. It is the mind that makes us feel that God is subtle, invisible and beyond our reach. Just because we are using the mind to see God, to fathom God, to know God, God and God-realisation remain a far cry. If we use the heart, the heart that identifies with and becomes inseparably one with the eternal Truth, Light and Bliss, then we discover that we are not only of God but also for God. Once we are able to remain inside the aspiring heart and become inseparably one with it, God does not remain invisible, subtle or unreachable. At that time, He does not remain an unreachable. He is all Reality — right in front of our noses. We discover that what we eternally are is nothing short of God Himself in the process of perfect self-discovery and self-manifestation here on earth.

Question: Throughout illusion, throughout enlightenment, throughout attachment and non-attachment why do we always say that God is good?

Sri Chinmoy: It is because we are evolving. In the process of evolution, what is good according to the light of a child need not seem good when the child is grown up. The individual has to remember that once he felt there was something which he needed badly, and God gave it to him. It was good according to his standard or his level of evolution at that time. But he eventually found out that that very thing did not give abiding satisfaction. He needed something more lasting, more illumining, more fulfilling.

When we are in the desire-world, God fulfils one or two desires of ours. At that time, we say that God was good to us because He fulfilled our desires. Eventually, we come to realise that just by satisfying our desires, we are not achieving anything significant. What was good according to our receptivity or light yesterday need not be good today. Yesterday God was good because He fulfilled our desires. Today God is good, not because He is fulfilling our desires, but because He has given us the inner cry to fulfil our aspiration.

Finally, he will come to feel that God is good because God Himself is playing in and through him; God Himself is having an experience in and through him. Before, he didn't have that kind of realisation. Before, he used to feel that he did something and God gave him the result. But when he made inner progress, he came to realise that he did nothing; it was God Himself who acted in and through him. God was the doer, God was the action and God was the result. The seeker himself had merely become an instrument.

Question: There is a lot of sickness and sadness in the world. What is the best way to seek spiritual healing?

Sri Chinmoy: The best way to seek spiritual healing is to offer gratitude every day for a fleeting second to the Supreme Healer. When we offer gratitude to Him for what we have or for what we are right now, then our heart of aspiration and dedication expands. That means that our receptivity increases. When receptivity increases, God's Light, which is all healing, can enter into us in abundant measure. It is in the heart of gratitude that God's Light can permanently abide.

Illness is all around. How can we cure it? We can cure it only through our gratitude-heart. We have to offer our gratitude to the Absolute Supreme that He has given us the sincere inner cry to cure humanity's suffering. There are many who do not care to cure illness either within themselves or within the world. There are many millions and billions of people on earth, but how many are crying to cure the sufferings and ills of mankind? Very few. But just because we are seekers, we are crying and trying to cure the age-old illnesses and sufferings of mankind. Now, who has given us this good will, this aspiration, this inner cry? God Himself. So it is our bounden duty to offer Him our gratitude. There are many around us — our friends. relatives, neighbours, acquaintances — who do not pray to God or meditate on God. But we do. And who has given us this capacity? God Himself. So, if at every moment we can offer our gratitude to God, then the receptivity of our heart increases. And inside our receptivity is all strength, all light, all power to cure the sufferings of mankind.