Ignorance-night and aspiration-light12

Ignorance is night. Night is ignorance. Aspiration is light. Light is aspiration. Today’s man has a name: ignorance. Tomorrow’s man has a new name: aspiration. The man of the day after tomorrow will have his real name: realisation.

Ignorance tells us: “No God! No God! There is no such thing as God.”

Aspiration tells us: “God is! God is! He is here. He is there. He is all-where.”

Realisation tells us: “God is everything; God is everywhere. Everything is God and everyone is God.”

Ignorance limits our earthbound consciousness. Aspiration heightens our Heavenward consciousness. Realisation liberates our soulful consciousness.

What is ignorance? What is aspiration? What is realisation? Ignorance is imperfection in the purest sense of the term. Aspiration is our inner cry for the highest illumination. Realisation is God’s Transcendental Smile on the seeker’s devoted head, aspiring heart and surrendered soul.

Now, what is consciousness? Consciousness is God’s open secret and man’s fulfilling life. Consciousness is the connecting link between aspiring humanity and illumining divinity.

Consciousness is the connecting link between the glowing ascent of our Mother Earth and the flowing descent of the fulfilling Heaven. Consciousness is the connecting link between earth’s transformation and Heaven’s absolute Compassion. Consciousness is the illumining language that enables us to speak to God face to face. When consciousness is illumined, when consciousness is totally liberated and no longer earthbound, when consciousness becomes Infinity itself, man has a free access to God. Then, at every moment he can listen to the dictates of his Inner Pilot.

In the life of aspiration, we come to realise eventually that God is everything and everyone. He is the Creator and He is the Creation as well.

I am sure most of you have heard or read about a great spiritual figure named Swami Vivekananda. Once he said, “Who else is God, if not I myself?” Now, if we think that he uttered these words on the strength of his own ego, we are mistaken. It was his total identification with the Highest that made it possible for him to speak this way. Similarly, the Son of God, the great Saviour Christ, said, “I and my Father are one.” He said this on the strength of his conscious, absolute oneness, his inseparable oneness with his Inner Pilot. In days of yore our Vedic seers said, Brahmasmi — “I am the Brahman, the One Absolute.” They were able to say this on the strength of their own highest and deepest realisation. Each individual has not only the possibility but also the inner capacity to realise and grow into this truth. Possibility and potentiality we all have; but when we exercise our possibility and potentiality, then inevitability dawns and we reach our ultimate Goal.

Sat-Chit-Ananda: Sat means Existence, Chit means Consciousness, Ananda means Bliss or Delight. Existence, Consciousness and Bliss: this is the highest height, the triple consciousness. There Creation began its journey; there the Truth is one. But when we come down one step, the song of multiplicity starts, because God wants to be fulfilled in millions and billions of forms. He wants to enjoy Himself divinely and supremely in infinite ways and in infinite forms and shapes. That is why Creation started.

God has given to each individual limited freedom. This limited freedom we are misusing every day in our ordinary life. That is why it is almost impossible for us to come out of the meshes of ignorance. In the inner life, we have abundant freedom. But because we are not aware of this freedom, we are constantly caught in the mire of ignorance.

One of our Upanishads, the Isha Upanishad, teaches us something significant. It says: Andham tamah pravishanti... “Into tenebrous gloom and darkness one enters if one follows after ignorance; but into darker, more tenebrous gloom one enters if one follows knowledge alone.” Now, what is meant by knowledge in this case? This knowledge is the knowledge that we get from the physical mind, the reasoning mind, the doubtful mind, the sophisticated mind and the unillumined intellectual mind.

The one who is in ignorance and darkness is simple and sincere to himself. He knows that he is ignorant of everything. This he says and feels in the inmost recesses of his heart. But those who are considered to be men of knowledge are constantly doubting God’s Creation and doubting themselves. They feel they have come out of the animal kingdom and are a little bit superior to those who are still unlit, but they do not know what they are doing with their physical mind. This physical mind they are using to doubt, to break and to destroy — unfortunately, all unconsciously.

The Upanishad carries us farther. It says: Vidyam cavidyam ca yas tad vedobhyam saha. Avidyaya mrityum tirtva vidyayamritam asnute. “Ignorance and knowledge must be taken as one.” Avidyaya means ignorance and vidyam means knowledge. What we call ignorance eventually we will turn into human aspiration. Through human aspiration we shall try to conquer death, and through divine knowledge we shall enjoy Immortality.

Very often we meet people who have no faith in God, who are atheists. What do they do? They mock us. They think that spiritual people, sincere seekers, are all living in the land of the moon. They think that we do not want to face reality. I wish to tell you an incident. Two friends, one a stark atheist and the other a staunch theist, were talking together. The atheist said to his friend, “My friend, look what you have done. You have given up everything for God. You have given up your family. You have given up worldly pleasures, everything, all for God. You are really great.” That was pure sarcasm. But the immediate reply he got from his friend was, “My friend, you are greater than I. I have given up everything for God, but you are so great that you can live without Him. You are far greater than I.”

A problem arises for the householders, for those who want to live a family life and, at the same time, realise God. They feel that it is next to impossible to realise God while living with their family, while working and while using their earthly mind. I wish to say only that they should change their attitude toward life. They should try to see the divinity in humanity.

Suppose you think that your father is obstructing you, that he has no wisdom. You do not want to listen to him. He is your outer father, but you should try to see inside him the living Presence of God, your inner Father. The outer father may be totally ignorant, but the inner Father is all Knowledge, all Wisdom. Your outer mother — her outer existence, her physical mind — may be totally ignorant, but try to see the Goddess inside your mother. Try to feel the Presence of God inside her. Try to see in your wife the divine beauty that inspires you toward perfection. Try to see inside your son or daughter a little divine child, God the Eternal Child. In this way, if you can see the divine in the human, then you do not have to withdraw to the Himalayan caves. You do not have to leave your family and go to the top of Mount Everest to realise God.

Ignorance we all know. We are all swimming in the sea of ignorance. What we need is knowledge. Now, what is knowledge? If we go deep within, we come to realise that what we call knowledge, earthly knowledge, is our surrendering and dying strength for the new life and light. Every day, every moment, new life and new light are coming to us. Then we go a little farther and enter into the domain of wisdom. Wisdom is our illumining and fulfilling power, will-power, soul-power for the eternal Life and Light.

There are two types of wisdom: human wisdom and divine wisdom. Love of God is the beginning of our human wisdom. Conscious surrender to God’s Will is the dawn of our divine wisdom. When the divine wisdom dawns soulfully, man’s forgotten essence is God and God’s fulfilling substance is man.

  1. DBM 1. This talk was originally published in a disciple’s personal account of Sri Chinmoy’s European lecture tours (1970-74) entitled Sri Chinmoy in Europe, printed in 1974 by Agni Press, New York. It was not included in My Rose Petals, Part 1 by Sri Chinmoy, in which all the other lectures from his 1970 European tour were collected.

  2. DBM 1. Original talk: 3 December 1970, Conway Hall, London

A supreme, supreme, supreme achievement1

I have said a few times that, during these Celebrations, our most significant achievement is the performance by Kailash’s group. About eight hundred songs they have already sung. How I surrender to them. I am known as a singer and a musician, but shall I sing from memory one thousand songs in this incarnation? No. In India, three hundred songs I could sing. How nicely Kailash’s group has sung eight hundred songs. They have two hundred to go. This is a supreme, supreme, supreme achievement during our Celebrations.

Long live Kailash, the leader! Long live all the members of that group! They are learning thousands of songs. Perhaps in this incarnation they will not be able to learn all my songs. Again in their next incarnation they can start.

These songs are all my creations. In a garden there are little, little plants and also huge trees. Sometimes little plants give us tremendous joy. Little two-line songs are like tiny plants. They are tiny, but they are very beautiful, very soulful and very pleasing to my heart and soul.

Kailash’s group has done it. Others also who have learnt a few hundred songs, like the children’s group, deserve my very special gratitude. The children who sing here every day, people who sing in Europe and others who have learnt many, many songs deserve very special pride and gratitude from me. Singing is part and parcel of my life.

Singing, soulful singing, can be done by anybody. Your soulful consciousness will definitely, definitely help you in your spiritual life. You do not have to carry a tune properly if you are not a singer. As long as you feel the beauty, the melody and the fragrance of my songs, you are bound to make progress.

  1. DBM 2. 16 April 2000, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York

Intensity in meditation1

When some disciples meditate well, they have intensity in their heart. Some others may have a kind of self-styled confidence; it is not real spiritual confidence. But in the case of the first group, when they do well, there is tremendous intensity.

If you can add intensity to your devotion, then it is of great, great help.

  1. DBM 3. 16 December 2004, Xiamen, China

Channel swimmers, do speedwork.1

My request to the English Channel swimmers is to work on speed, speed, speed. I advise all my disciple swimmers to do speedwork. The less time you can remain in the water, the better.

Speedwork gives stamina. Stamina does not mean only to swim long distance. There is another type of stamina. When you do speedwork again and again, that speedwork itself gives you stamina.

Some people think that if you run ten miles you will get stamina. That is one theory. Another theory is that if you run 100 metres again and again and again, it is very good for stamina. Our famous champion Emil Zatopek ran 400 metres again and again and again. Then he performed miracles in long distance. With 400 metres he did speedwork.

So many people who attempted to cross the Channel gave me the message, “The tide changed.” Why did they allow the tide to change? Before the tide changed they could have gone across.

Speedwork is very, very necessary. If you can concentrate on speedwork — even if you do only six miles, not ten miles — that will help you tremendously.

A seventy-year-old man has swum the Channel. I lifted him on the 13th of November2 He was very moved, and he stayed at our function for a long time, because he appreciated being in the company of such spiritual people. He said that was what he needed.

  1. DBM 4. 16 December 2004, Xiamen, China

  2. DBM 4,6. Sri Chinmoy lifted George Brunstad and his wife, Judy, during his 13 November 2004 weightlifting celebration, “The Body’s Fitness-Gong, the Soul’s Fulness-Song.” In August of that year, at age 70, Mr. Brunstad became the oldest person to swim the English Channel.

Vision of an Avatar1

A disciple has told me that he wants to become a carpenter. At the Sri Aurobindo Ashram we worked at a place called a cottage industry. All kinds of things were made there. They used to make sweets also. On rare occasion we had to wrap sweets. My third job there was carpentry. This was my selfless service. Alas, the first day I was given the job of making a lead pencil. I spent hours, but I got nowhere.

The owner-manager of the place was so kind and so affectionate. He saw my capacity, and then he gave me the job of supervising! I was supposed to supervise the binding of old books. I was a little bit older than he was. I sat in a small chair while he was working. I would only look at him and see what he was doing. I only observed him. The boss said I did not have to learn anything!

That kind-hearted boss went one step farther. He said, “If you feel like reading, you can read. How long can you just watch?” That was a great relief. I started reading, and occasionally, while he was very devotedly working, I looked at him. Where can one find that kind of boss?

I am sure you have heard my famous story about that place. A lady from Calcutta came to the Ashram to become a permanent member. She had had the vision of an Avatar, and at that cottage industry she discovered me. Twenty metres away from the very place where I used to work, the following incident took place.

My brother and the manager of the cottage industry were very close friends. Some years ago, when I was in America, the manager wanted to read my writings. My brother was all pride. He went to get some of my books for his friend to read.

In those days we used to print my Transcendental Photograph at the end of each of my books. My brother gave his friend a book to read. At that moment a lady was passing by, and she saw the picture. She was stunned. She started screaming, “Who is this? Who is this?”

He said, “This is Chitta’s youngest brother, Chinmoy, who used to work here.” Again, very attentively, she looked at the picture. Then she said, “This is the Avatar! This is the face that Sri Aurobindo showed me!”

Four or five years earlier, in Calcutta, she was crying and crying one evening in front of her shrine, where she kept pictures of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. At that time she was not yet a member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, but she was a disciple. She said, “I have not seen Sri Ramakrishna, who was an Avatar, and I have not seen you.” Sri Ramakrishna she could not have seen, because Sri Ramakrishna passed away before she was born. And she had not seen Sri Aurobindo on the physical plane, because Sri Aurobindo left the body in 1950. Crying and crying, she said, “I want to see an Avatar! I missed Sri Ramakrishna and I missed you!”

She said that while she was praying, Sri Aurobindo, from his photograph, was telling her to look at the sky. Then she looked at the sky, and there she saw my Transcendental Photograph. It was all illumination. But she did not know my name. Sri Aurobindo only said, “Look there,” so she looked at the sky and saw my Transcendental Photograph. She was so moved. From then on, she was all the time thinking of that picture, because she felt that Sri Aurobindo had shown her an Avatar. She was crying to see that person in the physical form. When she saw my Transcendental Photograph in the book, she was thrilled.

This lady came to our house, and she spoke to my sister. She became very close to our family. Just two months ago also she wrote to me, “I do not expect anything from you, if you could only take the trouble of reading my letter.”

When I went to the Ashram, this lady fell flat at my feet and looked at me for my blessings, because she said that I am an Avatar. And my Transcendental Photograph does not resemble me. When I am in my normal consciousness, my appearance is totally different. In the Transcendental Photograph I am in my highest height. But after seeing the Transcendental Photograph, she did not have any problem in recognising me. When she came to see me, I was cutting jokes with my sisters and my friends, but in front of everyone she fell flat at my feet and started telling the story. My sister was begging her not to narrate the story, because our friends were there, but she did not care.

The last time she met me, she went one step ahead with her story. She said that she saw my Transcendental Photograph merge into Sri Krishna’s picture, and I disappeared. Then Sri Krishna entered into my Transcendental Photograph, and he disappeared. She said that Sri Krishna and I are one.

My story started with one lead pencil. A disciple said he wanted to become a carpenter. My carpentry job lasted for four or five hours, and then the kind-hearted boss saw my capacity.

That lady and her husband run a restaurant at the Ashram. Three or four years ago two of my Indian disciples went to their restaurant. They happened to bring with them a book with one of my pictures. When the husband saw the book, immediately he said, “Oh, he is my wife’s Guru! Please, please come this evening!” They went there in the evening, and the wife again started telling her story.

  1. DBM 5. 16 December 2004, Xiamen, China

Incomparable treasures of humanity1

In Indonesia I had the loftiest, loftiest experience of the Lord Buddha. At Borobudur, five religions meet together at the same place. These realities are incomparable treasures of humanity.

  1. DBM 6. 17 December 2004, Xiamen, China

Everybody cannot be treated in the same way1

I will be so grateful to whoever takes care of one special individual who has come to our path. I have such love, affection and concern for him. This is my disciples’ love for me. When I ask them to treat someone in a special way, if their love is unconditional, they apply that unconditional love to the person that I name.

Everybody cannot be treated in the same way. If everybody has to be the same height, then somebody’s head will have to be cut off, and somebody else will have to be lifted up, so that they can become equal. This kind of thing we cannot do. This disciple has to be treated with special care. I really would like my disciples to take care of him unconditionally. That will be their service to me. Some disciples have money-power and heart-power. How many people they are saving with their money-power and heart-power! In the same way, I wish my disciples to give very special attention to this individual. With some people, we do not have to be strict.

In the Ashram, the Mother was very strict. When people got a job, even my brothers and sisters, they remained for thirty or forty years in the same place. One would be in the bakery, one would be in the laundry, one would be in the weaving section, one would be in the garden.

For Sri Chinmoy it was totally different. Usually it was very difficult to change one’s work, but I worked in seven or eight departments. I started with electricity. I continued for perhaps two years. Then in the cottage industry I worked with hand-made paper and dyeing, and then with coconut oil. Then came carpentry, and then I went to wash dishes. I liked that job very much. After that I used to work in the library.

Each time I told the Mother, “I do not like this job.”

The Mother said, “Do you have any complaint?”

I said, “I have no complaint, but I do not like it.” In my case, the Mother made an exception. All the others had great difficulty in changing their work. Seven or eight jobs I had. After two years or six months, I changed my job.

The job that I liked most was washing the dishes, because I had no responsibility. But that job I could not continue, because the Ashram secretary saw me there once or twice, and he did not like to see me washing dishes. He wanted me to be his secretary. I lost all my freedom when I became Nolini’s secretary. Before that I was like a vagabond. I would work for three or four hours and then go. But when I worked for Nolini, in the morning I started, and I worked the whole day. There was no day, no night. At night I would go to the meditation hall to meditate, and at 9:30 he would come with a letter, and I would have to run. All my freedom went away.

Before that, in seven or eight departments when I worked, if I did not like the job, the Mother said, “Fine, fine, fine.” I did not make any complaints against the bosses. They were so kind, so kind. They never cared about my work. Again, I was an exception. If I could not do a particular job, they would say, “Fine, fine — just come and be here. Just come and sit.” There were some other workers, and my job was only to supervise the workers and read books. Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri I read, and occasionally I looked up just to see if people were working.

I was spoilt; I got that kind of exceptional treatment. Everybody cannot be the same. Among my disciples also, out of six thousand people, I am asking for special treatment for only very few individuals. Every rule admits of exceptions. If, out of thousands of people, two or three individuals the Master wants to deal with in a different way, should not some disciples come to the Master’s rescue?

One boss could not believe that I did not want to work for him. He was very huge! He took me to his house and said, “You have made complaints against me.”

I said, “No, I have not made complaints.”

“All right, since you have left me, I am going to punish you.” He made me sit, and he gave me so much food! His wife and children were all very fond of me. The boss started eating, and he said, “Now eat! Since you are not going to work for me any more, this is the punishment.” Such was his affection for me.

Another boss, my second boss, came from Chittagong. He was older than me by eighteen years or more. After I came to America, I went to Pondicherry a number of times. During one of my visits I was chatting with my sisters and brothers and a few friends. They had all come to see me, and we were talking and talking. Then this former boss came with some flowers. As usual, while chatting I was sitting in a relaxed way. The boss came up to me and placed the flowers at my feet! Everybody was so surprised.

I said, “What are you doing?”

After putting the flowers at my feet, he looked at me. To my brothers and sisters he said, “You do not know who he is. I can see — I know who he is.” He said that I was a great yogi. This was my second boss.

The first boss was so kind to me. One day he grabbed my hands and said, “Every day I am praying for you to get the Nobel Prize. You must get the Nobel Prize.” Every evening he used to pray for me to get the Nobel Prize. Now he is in Heaven. This was my first boss.

I have told you about my third boss. How affectionate he was. At his place a lady declared that I am an Avatar.

Again I am coming back to the same point. Everybody cannot be treated in the same way. Thousands of people can be treated in one way, but some individuals can be treated in a different way.

There were two thousand members of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and many servants. Out of two thousand people, why did the Mother want me to meditate in Sri Aurobindo’s room? I was the only one. I was invited to come, not once a month, but every day, at six o’clock in the morning. They showed me how to open the door and I started meditating. How could I get that kind of treatment? I was meditating right in front of Sri Aurobindo’s door. Sometimes the Mother would stand behind me, and I would make my spinal cord very straight! Then she would look at me and give me a smile.

Everybody cannot be treated in the same way. In my family, everybody was so indulgent to me. When it came to me, they never showed strictness.

  1. DBM 7. 18 December 2004, Xiamen, China

The Master’s smiles1

When there is an opportunity, we should take full advantage of that opportunity. God alone knows whether I shall come back to China once more in this incarnation. There is no possibility right now for me to come back in three years or four years. That is why we are trying to offer as much as possible.

Similarly, you have to feel that if there is an opportunity for you to stay a little longer here on our Christmas Trip, you should take it. I do not want your Divine Enterprise to suffer, but in your absence for two or three weeks, it is not going to collapse. The experiences that you have, and the joy that you get here by staying even one day more, enter into your heart. Then your love for me increases. Your heart tells you, “My Guru says so many things to give me joy. It is all his love for me.” What is more important, business or the Master’s presence? Once you accept the spiritual life, the Master’s smiles, even the Master’s scoldings are all blessings, blessings.

When I was at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the Mother would be driven in a car. Once I happened to be on a particular street. I did not know that the Mother would be there. The Mother passed by in her car, and all of a sudden she saw me and smiled a little. That smiling face lasted so vividly in my heart for two weeks. I could not believe that she passed by me. It was quite unexpected, and I am sure she never thought that she would see me. But when she saw me, she gave me a smile that lasted so strongly inside my heart for two weeks. One little smile from the Mother increased our love for her so much. That is what the Mother’s smile used to do.

Again, she also showed me affection when she scolded me with a cute slap. Why? The Mother did not want the disciples to go to any other spiritual Centres, but once I went. I pretended that I had her permission.

I had to go before the Mother every day. Early in the morning after my adventure, my time came. My boss, Nolini, said, “Mother is waiting for you.” Everybody was trembling with fear. The Mother gave me a cute slap and said, “When did I give you permission?”

Again, that cute slap she gave out of affection. I was remembering that slap for three months, because I knew it was out of affection that she gave it to me. It was not like an ordinary mother becoming furious and saying, “You rogue!” The Mother said I had done something wrong, but she was full of affection when she gave me the slap. I remember that affection. It was not out of anger that she did it. I felt in that slap so much cute affection she was pouring into me, while she was asking why I had done this kind of thing.

After I joined the Ashram, for two years or even more, I used to go to the Mother three times a day, sometimes four times. Three times I went on a regular basis. Every time I went, my physical mother’s eyes I saw in the Divine Mother’s eyes. Inside the Divine Mother’s eyes I would see my physical mother’s eyes, for two years. When my physical mother was dying, she said to me, “Go, go — go to the Divine Mother.” The Divine Mother was showing this little boy, “I am your mother.”

A little affection lasts for a long time. Again, in the case of some people, no matter how much one gives them, they want more, more. The more one gives them, the more demands they make. Even if their spiritual Master has blessed them for five minutes, if the Master then looks at another disciple for five seconds, everything is lost. Even if the Master has poured and poured his blessings into a disciple, that disciple may feel that the Master looked at the second one more powerfully. Then all the first disciple’s inner wealth disappears.

But in the case of some of my disciples, even if I do not look at them for five days, they will not mind, because their hearts are so deep inside me. Their hearts are right here, inside my heart, so they will never care if I look at someone else for five minutes. They will say, “Whatever I need, Guru is giving me; I know it.” So much love they have for me, and so much faith they have in me.

  1. DBM 8. 20 December 2004, Xiamen, China

I have given you the medicine1

I have said that Tuesday is the day to conquer jealousy.2 How will you conquer jealousy? I have given you the medicine. Only once a week you have to take that medicine. Once a week you can pray to God to conquer your jealousy. How long does it take to pray to God to conquer your jealousy? The doctor gives medicine, and once a week the doctor says that you should take this medicine. One day there is medicine for pride, one day for jealousy, and so on — once a week for each undivine quality.

There are some disciples who absolutely do these prayers devotedly. They have not conquered all their weaknesses, but they are taking the medicine. I know that they do it. From time to time I ask them. They immediately say that they do it, and in the inner world I know that they do it.

Sometimes you have to take medicine for a long time to be cured. But if you do not take the medicine, how will you be cured?

On a daily basis if we do not take exercise, if we do not take a shower, if we do not brush our teeth, what will happen? If we do not brush our teeth every day, the dentist will say, “How can I treat you?” It will be a hopeless case.

In the same way, if we do not do our daily prayer, we become weak, weak, weak. If I do not take exercise every day, I will become physically weak. If I do not do necessary things, then will I not suffer? I will be the one to suffer — nobody else. Our parents taught us, “Take a shower, brush your teeth.” In this way they played the role of a doctor with regard to our hygiene. Whatever we have learnt from our parents in this way, we do.

When a spiritual Master comes into our life, he tells us everything to do on a daily basis. We know it is good, but if we neglect and neglect, we become weak. Spiritual Masters always suffer when their disciples do not practise the spiritual disciplines. What can the Master do if the disciples do not practise spiritual disciplines?

  1. DBM 9. 20 December 2004, Xiamen, China

  2. DBM 9,1. /A day in the life of a Sri Chinmoy Disciple,/ Daily Prayer, page 46. New York: Agni Press, 2008

Even one book of mine1

God comes to us in so many ways to help us through the Master. Life is discipline. Let us take reading. Even one book of mine you can read, your favourite book out of more than one thousand books. Read that one! Let that book be your Bible or your Bhagavad Gita. If you do not want to read any other book, read that book again and again.

I do not need to read my books, because I have written them. But I spend at least two hours a day reading this book and that book. I keep seven or eight books near me, or even more. When one book is drawing my attention, I read from that one. Then I read from another one. In my second room here, there are at least six or seven books, on the desk and in other places. In my case, I do read books. And again, if I do not read even one book, nothing will happen to my spirituality.

There are many people who read seven or eight hours a day. They read and they learn. But if I read one spiritual book, if I read even one page, I get so much joy. And some books I read on a daily basis. The Bhagavad Gita I read. I have at least twenty versions of the Bhagavad Gita, in English and Bengali. Many people have written about the Bhagavad Gita. I also have written about the Bhagavad Gita2, but I read others’ books. Some I have chosen to read on a daily basis. On this Christmas Trip I have brought three Bhagavad Gitas with me to read — not one, but three. I get joy by reading about Lord Krishna.

There are disciples who read my writings. They quote from here and there, from my Everest-Aspiration, from this book and that book. Some disciples in New York work so hard. When do they get the time to read? They always quote from here and there. One disciple’s Bible is Everest-Aspiration. There are quite a few disciples who like Everest-Aspiration more than any other book of mine.

Some disciples have told me over the years that they needed an answer to a certain question. They had quite a few of my books, but they did not know which particular book had the answer to their question. They chose a book, not with the hope that they would get the answer. They were not looking for the answer to their question at that moment. Then they turned to one page and discovered that that page had the answer. God alone knows why they selected that book, when they had so many books. Out of so many books, they got the right book. Not only that, they just opened up the book and got the answer. They did not have to read twenty or thirty pages. Why? Because they were so eager to get the answer! That is why they got the right book — not only the right book, but even the right page.

  1. DBM 10. 20 December 2004, Xiamen, China

  2. DBM 10,3 Sri Chinmoy, Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita: The Song of the Transcendental Soul. Blauvelt, New York: Rudolph Steiner Publications, 1973.

Writing and handwriting1

My sincerity speaks. At the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, I used to read. All the books by Sri Aurobindo I have read. Some books I have read many, many, many times. Two volumes are called Collected Poems. How many times I have read them, and how many poems they contain! Two books were difficult to understand, because they were based on Greek mythology. But they were Sri Aurobindo’s books, and out of devotion I read them.

When I started reading Savitri, hundreds of words I did not understand. I wrote down the words, and then I discovered the meaning. Again, the meaning can be totally different, if you do not understand it properly. Even scholars have had different interpretations. Let us take the English word “close.” Somebody has translated or interpreted it this way: “The door of Eternity is closed.” From Sri Aurobindo’s writing that person is getting the sense of the word. But someone else will understand the meaning this way: “The door of Eternity is very near.” These are scholars. One is saying that the door of Eternity is closed completely; another is saying that the door of Eternity is very close. You can choose whichever interpretation you like.

From Savitri I learnt the meaning of literally hundreds of words. Savitri helped me to acquire a very nice vocabulary.

Two poems in particular I liked. One was “Invitation,” and the other was “Who.” These two poems by Sri Aurobindo are absolutely immortal. At least five hundred times, if not more, I have recited them — in my own way, at home, at the top of my lungs. I was getting such joy from these two poems. And there are many others.

Sri Aurobindo’s last thirty or forty poems are so beautiful. After those poems, Sri Aurobindo did not write anything. On my birthday the Mother used to give me presents sometimes. On one of my birthdays she gave me a book by Sri Aurobindo, and she autographed the book. After giving me the book, she was very happy. I was also very happy. Then she said to me, “How do you find Sri Aurobindo’s handwriting?”

Sri Aurobindo’s handwriting was on one side and the typed poem was on the other side. The Mother said that I had to read the handwriting first, and if I could not make out the words, then only I could read the typed version on the other side. I was able to read most of the poems, but whenever I had problems, I looked at the typed version. I kept my promise.

Nolini’s handwriting was excellent. But by the time he was over sixty-five or seventy, when I was his secretary, the Ganges was flowing from his pen. When he reviewed my translations, even when his articles were seven or eight pages long, here and there he used to change words. I had to go to him even for one word if I could not figure it out. Afterwards I came to understand what he meant, and then I did not have to make changes.

Handwriting changes. I am no exception. In India I had nice handwriting. In America also I started with nice handwriting. I maintained it for five years. Now it is a different story.

  1. DBM 11. 20 December 2004, Xiamen, China

Devotion becomes a magnet1

Once Nolini gave me about two hundred of Sri Aurobindo’s letters in Bengali. My job was to select sixty or seventy letters and translate them into English. It was a very difficult task. I had devotion. How to make the selection? When you have devotion, you are in trouble, because you do not know which ones to choose. If you do not have devotion, you just use your mind and immediately decide: this one is good, this one is not as good. But if you use the heart, you are in serious trouble. According to the heart, which poem is not good? Devotion, like a magnet, is drawn to all two hundred poems. But I was supposed to choose seventy poems, so devotion was struggling with reality.

I did it, and the selection came out in a magazine. When it came out in book form, there was a note that said “translated from Bengali.” They did not mention by whom it was translated. Then, for six or seven years, every month my job was to translate Nolini’s writings from Bengali into English.

When you have devotion, devotion becomes a magnet. Love can make a selection, but devotion finds it very difficult to choose one thing and discard another.

  1. DBM 12. 20 December 2004, Xiamen, China

Surrender, surrender, surrender1

We have to surrender, surrender, surrender to God’s Will. How many times God has cured disciples of serious, serious ailments. Sometimes doctors will give the patient two days, three days, four days, one week to live; sometimes they will give two weeks. Even a month ago, one case was so serious, extremely serious. God utilised me. God utilises me so many times. You know only very few cases. About the rest you have no idea. In hundreds of cases God wanted me to be His instrument to save people from death.

God created disease. If God did not create it, who created it? Somebody created disease, since everything that exists was created. In only two or three cases where death from the most serious disease was imminent, I did not succeed. In more than fifteen cases recently, God wanted me to succeed. Even in this hall there are three people to whom God wanted me to be of service in this way. They would have died in a maximum of six months, but God used me. The patients themselves know it. It was a matter of months, or even a week.

I joke with you, because you are my spiritual children. So many times I cut jokes with my spiritual children. But God jokes with me infinitely more than I joke with you. Again, I place my suffering for you at the Feet of God. He is the Tree. When I place my suffering at the foot of the Tree, I do it very cheerfully, plus unconditionally. The heart breaks; but the inner existence, which is divinity, is so completely surrendered to God’s Will.

Again, you know only a few cases. Concerning twenty or thirty cancer cases, including brain cancer, you have no idea. God used me as His instrument. In two or three cases He did not use me. It is all His Will, His Will. We cannot do anything ourselves; we are fully surrendered to God’s Will.

Sometimes we say to God about those who have serious ailments, “I know her, I know him; I care for them.” Then God says, “Who created those people? Did you create them?” At that time we have to say, “No, sorry — I did not create them.” God tells us that we are dearer than the dearest to Him, each one of us. Here on earth somebody will be with us for some years, and then the soul departs. But who created the soul? God created the soul. That soul came to us in the form of affection, love and sweetness.

We show our affection and fondness to dogs or cats, and these animals also show their sweetness and affection to us. We cannot understand their language, but our heart knows them and can easily understand their feelings. When they look at us, immediately we can feel what they are going to say. The affection, sweetness and fondness that we give to these little animals and they give to us will make us spiritually rich.

Many people cannot show their real affection, sweetness and fondness. They are unkind, or their heart is not developed. When we can offer to human beings our sweet concern and affection, it is God who gives us those divine qualities. Again, when our dear ones leave the earth, God, out of His infinite Compassion, in a few months or a year takes away our excruciating pangs. Then our suffering disappears.

Everybody will lose his dear ones — parents, brothers, sisters, all. In my case, one by one they left. How much I suffered! Again, three times God gave me the capacity to extend my brother Chitta’s life, and four times my sister’s life. He gave me the capacity. But when God does not want it, what can you do? In Chitta’s case, outwardly I had to make a connection. I knew something was wrong with my brother. From New York I called our house, but our phone was not working. I phoned the hospital, but their two lines were not working. I could not do anything. In a matter of eleven hours he disappeared, my dearest brother Chitta. My sister Lily also disappeared. God gave me the capacity to be of service by extending their lives. Again, after some time the same God did not want to keep them here on earth any more.

Surrender, surrender, surrender! We have to surrender to God’s Will, willingly or unwillingly. If we do it willingly, then we make tremendous progress, tremendous progress. Unwillingly if we do it, then we make no progress; we almost stand against God’s Will. Happily, self-givingly, unconditionally we have to surrender to God’s Will. After all, we have to know that we did not create our dear ones. It was God who created them. The Creator will always have infinitely more Affection, Love and Concern for the Creation than anyone else can have. We get our dear ones for ten, twenty, thirty or forty years. Then they disappear, and we also disappear.

For fifty, sixty or one hundred years, we are together; there is no fixed time. And if we are very close, then in the soul’s world we meet together. Then again, there may be a problem. We are members of the same family, but one individual in the family may be spiritually much more developed, according to his virtues, according to his good deeds. There may be four, five or six persons in one family, but there is no guarantee that they will also be in Heaven together. In some cases they are together, because they are very close to each other. In other cases, the brother will be on one plane of consciousness and the sister will be somewhere else. It is like that. We cannot say that all five or six members of a family will be in Heaven again together — no, no, no! It all depends on their standard. If they are of the same standard, they will be together. Otherwise, if there is a great gap between one individual and another, they may come and visit each other. Like distant relatives they can come and visit, but they do not dwell on the same plane.

  1. DBM 13. 8 December 2006, Antalya, Turkey

No match for saris1

There is such a difference when the women disciples wear saris. Spiritual Masters are beyond differences in clothing. I do not lose anything if I wear shorts, let us say. But for the women disciples there is a great difference between wearing saris and wearing trousers or other clothing. Even punjabis are no match for saris. They are second in rank, but they are no match for saris.

So many divine qualities enter into the women disciples when they wear saris. Your soulfulness comes to the fore quite easily when you wear saris.

  1. DBM 14. 10 December 2006, Antalya, Turkey