Part I — Power

Earth’s power and Heaven’s power

A single earth-cry
Can bring down
God’s transcendental Height.

A single Heaven-smile
Can illumine
Earth’s ignorance-life of millennia.

A single earth-cry
Can empty
Eternity’s Infinity.

A single Heaven-smile
Can spread
Divinity’s Immortality.

Spiritual power

In the Upanishads we are told, "The soul cannot be won by the weakling." We need power. But “power” is a very deceptive word. In the real world power corrupts. When someone has power he wants to destroy others; he wants all the time to remain superior. Even in the occult world, power is very often used for an evil purpose. In the highest realm of occultism power is not misused. But in lower occultism, black magic and so forth, power is absolutely misused.

Real spiritual power is our conscious awareness of the divinity within us, which tells us that we have come from God. Spiritual power is not a destructive force. Unless we use power we will never be awakened from the slumber of millennia. Unless and until we exercise our inner power, the power of the soul, our life will remain in bondage and darkness.

We have to be aware of the fact that we are God’s chosen instruments. Then we shall see a spontaneous faith growing in us and in that faith our soul’s power will grow. When we become one with our soul’s power and try to go beyond the body, infinite Power from above enters into the soul’s power that we already have. At that time only can we truly come out of ignorance.

We are not children of the past; we are children of the future. We are the children of God. We come from Him and we have to fulfil Him. Without using the soul’s power, we can never, never realise God. And if we cannot realise God, how can we manifest Him? During our meditation, we have to invoke power in order to create a new life within us. Then only can our ignorance be totally transformed into knowledge and our death into Immortality. Divine power is of paramount importance for each seeker. This power we shall not use to destroy, but to build a new life, a new world within us and without us at every moment.

If we follow the path of surrender, then the power that we feel within is absolutely infinite. When a tiny drop surrenders to the ocean it becomes the ocean itself. When it maintained its individuality, it was the tiniest drop; but when it entered into the vast ocean it became the ocean itself. When we surrender our individual will to the Will of the Supreme, who is infinite in every way, naturally our power will then become infinite.

Spiritual power is the soul’s will. Spiritual power is infinitely superior to occult power. Spiritual power always has wisdom-light. It is infinite. One who cares for spiritual power is as safe as a child in the lap of his mother. Occult power goes fast, but it may act like a mad elephant. If one cares for occult power, one enters into the battlefield of life, striking and being struck mercilessly by the opponent. One has to be very careful. When we use occult power we can do something fast, but there is no certainty that it will last; whereas if we use spiritual power, gradually it transforms the face of the earth. And whatever the spiritual power accomplishes will last forever.

At times we need occult power if we have to do something in an emergency and there is no time. But to expect anything everlasting from occult power is foolishness. After practising Kundalini Yoga if one tries the path of surrender, one will see the great difference. "Let Thy Will be done" is not only the Christ’s message; it is the message of all spiritual Masters. "Let Thy Will be done" is the Yoga of surrender. There is no spiritual Master who will not come to this realisation. But the occultist, if he is not of the highest order, will feel his own will should be done first. This is the difference between an occultist and a real spiritual Master.

Yoga is union, union with God, with the absolute Truth. A spiritual Master’s sole purpose is to identify himself with the Absolute. Spiritual power, the power of the soul within us, cares for liberation, perfection and fulfilment. Spiritual power has the capacity to offer us something eternal, permanent and immortal.

Question: What is the difference between the highest Power and transcendental Power?

Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual world, the word “transcendental” has infinitely more power and more significance than the word “highest”. The word “highest” is used thousands of times by ordinary people in all walks of life, whereas the word “transcendental” has been used in a more restricted way. The highest Power is higher than everything else. The transcendental Power is that which transcends everything. There is nothing above it. When we say “transcendental”, immediately we get a sense of the ever-transcending Beyond where the infinite Truth constantly grows and multiplies. What is “highest” remains static, like the Himalayas; there nothing grows. But that which is transcending is all the time moving forward, inward and upward. That is why the term “transcendental” has an infinitely more powerful meaning than the word “highest”. In the spiritual world, the transcendental is constantly moving, progressing and going beyond its own highest height. The transcendental Power is the Power that is already infinite and, at the same time, is increasing its own Infinity. It is constantly being multiplied.

It is like the word “God” and the word “Supreme”. “God” and “Supreme” are the same, but in a sense they are not the same. The moment I say “Supreme”, I feel that the Supreme is infinitely higher than God, although “God” is another name for the Supreme. We have to know which word strikes the very depths of our hearts. If you say “Supreme”, immediately it will strike the very depth of my heart, but if you say “God”, it does not strike me as much.

Part II — Weakness, anger, self-indulgence

God’s Compassion-sun

When I see my actual presence in God,
I hate myself and want to crucify myself.
How weak and feeble
My aspiration-flames are!

When I see God’s actual Presence in me,
I love myself and want to glorify myself.
How strong and powerful
God’s Compassion-sun is!

Attachment illumined

In this world we are attached to the body, to the mind, to the vital and to the heart. Why? Because we want to possess. But unfortunately we forget that there is nothing on earth that we can possess forever, or even for a long time. Take, for example, the body. At every moment we say, "My body, my body." But the body lasts for fifty, sixty or seventy years and then it leaves us. There is nothing on earth we can possess forever if we are in the physical and crying for the physical. For if we live in the soul, then we are in the Eternal and for the Eternal. At that time, we can claim Infinity, Immortality and Eternity as our very own.

Our first Indian avatar, Ramachandra, had a spiritual teacher named Vashishtha. He said to Rama that the cause of attachment is unhappiness. When we are unhappy we do not want to expand ourselves. We want to enter into a cave. We say that various things are the causes of attachment but Vashishtha said that the only cause of attachment is unhappiness. If you are unhappy, then you are going to be attached to something. The malady of this century, of this world, is unhappiness. This unhappiness can only be removed by love, the divine love, not human love. Human love will bind — but divine love will transform and expand your consciousness.

In order to be freed from attachment we have to go through seven successive stages. To start with we have to study the scriptures and spiritual books written by spiritual Masters. This is the first step. Then we have to mix with spiritual aspirants who have already studied books and are now either crying for real light or who have gotten some insignificant or considerable light in their life of aspiration. Next we have to see and feel that all around us is temptation. At every moment we are subject to temptation, which we have to conquer. Then we have to take our mind away from the body. Right now our mind is constantly in the physical, but we want to transcend the physical mind and enter into the calm, intuitive mind, the higher mind. Next we have to enter into the world of conscious expansion. Since our outer desire-life is binding and obstructing us, we have to enter into the world of aspiration, where we feel the necessity of a goal. Finally, we need the guidance of our Inner Pilot to attain to that goal. No soul on earth can realise God without the guidance of the Inner Pilot.

God and the Inner Pilot are one. At the same time, the Inner Pilot is the conscious representative of God. The Inner Pilot can be God Himself or He can take human form as a spiritual Master who has attained to spiritual perfection. So a spiritual Master who in his highest transcendental consciousness is one with God can be your Inner Pilot. And if you don’t have a spiritual Master, you have to enter into the inmost recesses of your own consciousness and get a glimpse of the Inner Pilot, God.

The great philosopher Socrates said, "Marry, by all means. If you get a nice wife, you are happy; and if you get a bad wife, you become a philosopher." Unfortunately he got a bad wife. Xantippe tortured him and he became a philosopher. Now, what do we learn from this? Ignorance we very often see when we accept the world. Again, we play the part of ignorance when we reject the world. “World” here invariably means the mother aspect, the feminine aspect of the world.

We have to accept Mother Earth. If we do not accept Mother Earth as she is, then we can never be happy. She has to bless, guide and mould us and show us all her concern. Then if Mother Earth fails us in our attempts to achieve our highest goal or if we fail to inspire her to achieve the highest goal, at that time we have to become indifferent to the pleasures of earth and to the achievements of earth. A real philosopher is he who has a vision of truth. Once he has a vision of truth he can really be indifferent to pleasure, to joy and sorrow. He can be indifferent to success and failure as well.

This indifference does not mean not helping the world or not being helped by the world. It means only not being attached to the one whom we are helping, or to the one who is going to help us. If we are attached, then we are bound. But if we help the world and if the world helps us, then we are fulfilled. If we fail to help the world and if the world fails to help us, then we have made a mistake at the dawn of our journey. Either we did not care to allow God to help the world through us, or we did not care to see God’s existence in the world when the world was trying to help us. But if we can feel that it is God’s Light operating in and through the world, then only can we be fulfilled. If I am not the doer and the world is not the doer, who can possess whom? The only doer is God, the indwelling deity in us. God is working in and through us, so God can possess the world and God can possess us.

In the world of attachment we see temptation. Temptation is something that we want. Temptation is the difference between what we want to possess and what we have right now. From temptation, frustration comes immediately. What is frustration? Frustration is the difference between what we perceive or think of ourselves and what we really are.

Then comes destruction. What is destruction? Destruction is the difference between what we don't want to be and what we unfortunately are now. Attachment does not diminish as we grow older. If we think that our attachment will diminish with age we are mistaken. Through aspiration only can we conquer attachment.

We are all aspirants here. If in physical terms we are old, in spiritual terms we are children of God, eternal children playing in His eternal garden: When we say “old” in the spiritual life, we have to feel that advancement is the change from light to more light. An aspirant, when he starts, is trying to get an iota of light. He becomes advanced after he has been walking along the path of spirituality for many years or even centuries. When we see that some souls are advanced, we have to feel that these souls have invoked a little light, or I should say, considerable light in their inner being. And this light they are able to bring to the fore. But being on the verge of realisation is something which is far more important than the so-called advanced stage.

Our constant necessity of exercising power is constantly taking away light from us. Each person has power — physical power, vital power, mental power and psychic power. When we misuse this power, as we are doing all the time, we are constantly violating the cosmic laws and we are binding ourselves. It has been said that nothing is more gratifying to the mind of man than power or dominion. Each person feels that either in the physical or in the vital or in the mental or in the spiritual, he is superior to somebody else. But is he using this power to help the one who he feels is inferior? No! On the contrary, he is using his power only to show his supremacy and to draw appreciation and admiration. On very rare occasions we offer our power-light to kindle the flame of aspiration or to show humanity what is right.

When we want to see the Light in totality, in its infinite plenitude and all its magnificence and brilliance, we have to see the Light through a higher soul than ours, through perfectly illumined eyes. If an aspirant cries for infinite Light and eventually sees it, he will not know whether it is real Light; he will not know what Light can do or what Light has already done. But when this aspirant sees the Light through the eye of the Master, then he sees what the Light is, what the Light is going to do and what the Light has already done for him. Here is an example. I am in front of some big, huge electric machines. If I am with an engineer, if I am identified with his consciousness, he will be able to tell me how the machines are operating and what they are able to do. But if I am not identified with him, then I know nothing; I will only see the machines in front of me. So, too, in the spiritual world, if the aspirant sees through the Light of the Master, then only can he see the real Light as it is. Otherwise, he may see the Light, but what the Light is going to do, what it has done, or what it has the capacity to do, he won't know.

Part III — Questions and answers

Question: I feel weak and I would like to know how I can feel stronger and more disciplined.

Sri Chinmoy: If you go to the hospital to visit friends who are sick and if you stay there for a few hours with them, then you will feel that you also are sick, even though you are physically well. If you mix with strong young men, jumping and running for a couple of hours, then you feel energetic. On the physical plane, when you mix with sick people you feel weak and when you mix with strong people you feel strong and dynamic.

In the spiritual life when you want to discipline your life, you have to mix with spiritual people who have disciplined their lives. You are trying to discipline your life and they are also in the same boat. So when two persons are aiming at the same goal, it makes the task very easy. Early in the morning it is very difficult to run because of lethargy and inertia. But if you see that a friend of yours is running, you will go together. At that time, you will energise him and he will energise you. Your strength enters into his strength and his strength enters into your strength.

If you follow a path, whether our path or somebody else’s path, immediately you will get a few friends. On each path there are quite a few seekers, so among these seekers you can easily have some really spiritual friends. Since they are practising the spiritual life they are bound to be spiritual, but you have to know that there are some with whom you have a greater inner affinity. There may be many people standing in front of you, but you will look at one person. Why? Because you have some affinity with that person. Mix only with those who give you a kind of joy, a sense of satisfaction. In this way you can increase your power of discipline and self-control. And if you do not want to follow any spiritual path, then just mix with spiritual people who are your friends. They unconsciously will be able to energise you.

If you follow a spiritual path and you have a Master, you have to accept wholeheartedly the Master’s message. When he meditates with you, you will get strength. You are bound to get power even if he brings down peace, light and bliss. Peace itself is power; light is power. All the divine qualities are power. Again, divine power itself is light. It is not like human power, which can be misused to destroy something or properly used to create something. Spiritual power is always light. Power, light and peace all function together. Each one complements the other; each one represents the other.

The world is unaspiring. According to us, unaspiring people are all sick people and, according to them, we are all insane. In this world, some people cry for material possessions and some cry for spiritual possessions. We are crying for light, which will liberate us, and they are crying for the fulfilment of worldly desire. They think we are doing something absolutely wrong and we feel that they are doing something wrong. So for us, for spiritual people, it is better to mix mainly with those who are spiritual. By mixing with spiritual people we will get inner strength. By mixing with unspiritual people we will never get inner strength. On the contrary, since unspiritual people are weak in their inner life, our association with them will also weaken us inwardly. So let us be wise and associate with those who have the kind of strength and inspiration which we want to have.

Question: Could you speak on anger?

Sri Chinmoy: Anger is a great obstacle. The after-effect of anger is frustration and depression. We should take anger as a thief. Its very nature is to steal. We have love inside us and it is our treasure. If we allow anger, the thief, to enter into us, then it will immediately steal our inner treasure. When this happens we must immediately call the police. That is to say, when anger assails us we must cry inwardly for deep aspiration to come to the fore and chase away our anger. If we love someone, we cannot get angry; but for the time being we have lost our love. In order to regain our love, we have to call our aspiration-police to save our most precious love-treasure.

Again, when anger comes to us we have to feel that it is something that is breaking us. We have come into the world to build. If we build something, then only will the world appreciate and admire us. So we have to see which qualities build our nature. Love and peace build our real life; anger only destroys.

Question: When we are angry and feel annoyance with other people, what is the best way to deal with it?

Sri Chinmoy: When you are angry with someone please ask yourself whether by getting angry with him, by showing your eyes like fire and bullets, are you gaining anything or not. Naturally your answer will be, “No.” But when you meditate, what do you expect? Peace, Light, Delight and Power. When we have peace of mind, then we are in a position to conquer our anger.

When anger comes, sometimes you feel it is coming from outside and sometimes you feel it is coming from within. If it is coming from outside, try to feel that an enemy is entering into you. If it is from within that anger is coming, then feel that you have allowed a new enemy to live with you and now you have to try to kill it. How? With peace. When we are attacked from within, we use peace to kill the inner enemy who in an unconscious moment has entered into us and made its abode.

God has many aspects: Peace, Light, Bliss, Power and so forth. But every day if you can meditate for ten or fifteen minutes only on Peace, if you concentrate on His Peace aspect, then you will see that whenever somebody does something wrong to you, immediately your peace will be able to swallow it. Suppose somebody has done something wrong. You have every right to be angry with that person, but you know that by getting angry with him you are only losing your precious peace of mind. If you have already acquired abundant peace from your meditation, then you will see that your peace, like the sea, will be able to swallow others’ misbehaviour or misdeeds.

So please meditate daily for at least ten minutes on God’s aspect of Peace. If you have peace, you cannot be angry with anybody. And if you do not have inner peace, then at every moment you will be angry with others even if they have not done anything. Why? Because you do not have peace in your own inner being. When you are wanting in peace, the whole world is doing something absurd, acting like a mad elephant, according to your judgement. But if you have abundant peace within, then you will see that you have the capacity to transform others’ misdeeds.

If you love humanity, then please acquire and develop inner peace. This inner peace is bound to change the face of the world. You will see that people will not misbehave to the extent that they are misbehaving right now. Peace is one of the most important aspects of God. When your whole outer existence is flooded with peace, you will see that anger cannot exist either within you or without you. Anger at that time will become a real stranger to you.

Question: Sometimes I get angry for no apparent reason. What is the inner reason?

Sri Chinmoy: The real reason is weakness. You have to know where the anger comes from, whether from the vital or from the mind or from the gross physical. If it is real anger, uncontrollable anger, then you have to know that at that time ignorance has attacked you most powerfully. Now, how can ignorance attack you this way? It can attack you most powerfully only when you have not fed your soul in the morning and during the day. You have not done the first thing first. If you had meditated well, then anger may have assailed you, but its attack would not have been so powerful. So try to have peace of mind on the strength of your prayer and meditation. If you pray and meditate, anger can be conquered.

We use time either for a negative purpose or for a positive purpose, either to express our anger or to reveal our love for others. Time itself is always the same. We are bound to use it for a negative purpose if we do not pray or meditate. Now you may say, "There are many people who do not pray, who do not meditate, but they don’t get angry like the so-called spiritual people." But I wish to say that our way of observing others on the outer plane is very superficial. If a spiritual person gets angry, then his meditation is not real meditation. He may sit with eyes closed or look at a picture, but God knows how his mind is roaming, in which wild forest or barren desert. This is not meditation. But if they work devotedly and selflessly every day, this is a form of real meditation. From their disinterested work and selfless service they are acquiring the power of meditation. And if they get the power of meditation, then naturally they will not be victims of wild anger.

Three are the guides

Three are the guides that lead us
To the stairs of hell:
 Mind’s doubt-poison,
 Vital’s jealousy-frown,
 Body’s ignorance-crown.

Three are the guides that lead us
To the stairs of Heaven:
 Soul’s love-sky,
 Heart’s devotion-moon,
 Life’s surrender-sun.

I am sharing

Judge nothing;
You will be happy.
My own personal experience
I am sharing with you.

Try to forgive everything;
You will be happier.
My own personal realisation
I am sharing with you.

Love everything;
You will be happiest.
God’s own personal Secret
I am sharing with you.

Question: How can one overcome destructive anger?

Sri Chinmoy: Anger comes precisely because we are lacking in oneness. If we have the feeling of oneness with the world, then anger does not come. The difficulty is that we try to perfect others before we perfect ourselves. We see that something has been done which is not perfection itself and we want perfection from the world first. But this perfection we can never have unless and until we can perfect ourselves. If I am perfect, then the world is blessed with a perfect man. When you and I are both perfect, then the world is blessed with two perfect men.

So in our spiritual life we try to see perfection in this way. We feel that if we become perfect, then already we have made it easier for the world-consciousness to control or conquer its anger. How can we perfect ourselves? It is aspiration that carries us to our perfection. If we aspire, then we include humanity at large in our aspiration. When we really aspire, nobody is excluded from our aspiring consciousness. But when we desire, we try to separate ourselves from the world. Anger is one of the children of ignorance. If we can conquer ignorance then there can be no anger.

When you are angry with someone or about to become angry, please feel the necessity of your oneness with him. Feel that anger is not possible. Say to yourself, "If I am angry then how can I become one with him?" Then try to repeat as fast as possible, seven times, the word “love”. After you have finished repeating “love”, utter the name of the person with whom you are angry. After you have repeated “love”, then throw this love into the person with whom you are angry. Bring his understanding inside your own creation which is love. Then you will see that this love will become a reality.

If the problem of anger tortures you, please follow the positive path, the path of aspiration, every day. If you aspire daily, then you will get inner love, inner wealth. The product of this inner love is peace. When you have money, you go to the bank and deposit it. That is your outer wealth. When you aspire, you get inner wealth. That inner wealth you deposit here inside your heart. When you are angry, immediately think of what you did early in the morning. Early in the morning at six o’clock you prayed or meditated for half an hour and at that time you gained your inner wealth. When you remember what you did at six o’clock, when you think of your meditation, you get again that inner wealth, and now you can use your inner wealth. Just touch that inner wealth and you will see that it will solve the problem. Invoke your inner wealth and give to others not money or gold, but peace and love. Your outer wealth can bind you, but your inner wealth can conquer ignorance. At that time ignorance will not affect you, because God is inside you with all His protection.

Question: Is there any incurable spiritual disease?

Sri Chinmoy: There is one almost incurable disease in the spiritual life and that disease is self-indulgence. This self-indulgence is really a kind of impurity and it lasts for a long, long time. When insincerity disappears, when fear goes away and when doubt vanishes, you will see that self-indulgence still remains either in the physical world or in the mental world of thoughts and ideas.

Self-indulgence plays a role in all the fears of the outer consciousness. In the inner consciousness, however, there is no self-indulgence; there it is all light. There you see the light and you execute the light. And the power of the light you offer to your outer being.

In comparison to other obstacles, self-indulgence is incurable. And it is certainly incurable if the seeker is not strong enough to fight against it. But this is true only in the case of the ordinary seeker. When a seeker is on the verge of self-realisation, he can be freed from self-indulgence. Otherwise, self-indulgence lasts for a very long time. By the Grace of the Supreme one day you do have to be cured of self-indulgence, but for that you need tremendous and constant aspiration.

It is very easy for us to say, "By the Grace of God everything is possible." This utterance we have heard from our forefathers, from our parents, from every spiritual Master. It is true, but this Grace does not come for all and sundry. This Grace comes only for those who really aspire. When you say that by the Grace of God everything is possible and that nothing is incurable, you have to be very careful to see that you are not merely playing with words.

Self-indulgence is an incurable disease precisely because the standard of human aspiration is so very low. At the present stage, human aspiration is unpardonably low, unforgivably low. God, dealing with infinite Compassion, will forgive us no matter what we do, but we will not forgive ourselves! When our sincerity comes to the fore, when our divine justice comes to the fore, we will not forgive ourselves. How can we receive the truth when we know that we are so imperfect and indulgent in our physical and vital nature? Every seeker must feel that self-indulgence is really an incurable disease unless he is ready to run the fastest and is prepared to sacrifice what he has and what he is at every moment. If he is ready to give up everything for God, then nothing remains incurable.

I am not trying to discourage you; I wish to encourage you with all my heart. But in all frankness I have to say that self-indulgence is something most difficult to conquer. It is the most difficult part of the journey for the spiritual aspirant. But undoubtedly one day it will be conquered, simply because God will not allow anybody to remain self-indulgent. God wants perfection from each individual on earth. It is just a matter of time.

Question: I have an excessive passion for eating. I love the taste of food. How can I control this passion?

Sri Chinmoy: Everyone, every seeker, every aspirant, every disciple, eventually has to conquer all passion. Now, passion is a very complicated thing. It can be in the lower vital, it can be in the mind or it can be in the heart. This passion is persistent. But once you are purified in the physical, in the vital and in the mind, then the passion can easily be conquered.

Now you say that your problem is food. If your passion for eating takes you away from your spiritual life, from your inner discipline, then naturally you should try to cut down. Many people follow a spiritual path but are content to make very little progress. But if you want to make the best progress, the highest progress, then in your spiritual life you have to give up things that you eat only for the sake of taste.

I don’t know what food you actually prefer. Suppose you are eating too much meat. Naturally you will have to feel that this meat is disturbing your inner peace. Meat is not good for the spiritual life. You have to know what meat actually does, how it harms you. Meat comes from the animal world. We see animals quarrelling and fighting all the time. We don’t want to be animals any more. We have already evolved out of the animal kingdom. But the restless, agitated quality that you get from meat is bound to express itself through your outer actions. Now, if you have been eating meat all your life, then I will be the last person to tell you to give up eating meat all at once. But gradually, gradually you can cut down the amount. Then you will come to a point when you have to give up meat altogether if you want to make the fastest progress.

We have to take food in order to keep our body fit. We can drink milk, we can take vegetables, we can take eggs, we can take so many things besides meat. If we eat vegetables and other foods, they will not harm us in our spiritual life.

When you are asking about controlling passions, you are asking a very spiritual question. Spiritual people have to deal with food in a different way from a gluttonous, voracious eater, a greedy person who eats to please his tongue. A spiritual person, an aspirant, will eat primarily to keep his body fit. He knows that if he takes mild food, vegetables and so forth, this will help him to conquer his passions. At the same time he is offering to the body the food which the body legitimately demands. If the body becomes one with the divine Consciousness, then naturally it will try to fulfil God the way God wants to be fulfilled. God has given us a variety of foods and it is we who have to know what food we should take in order to expedite our spiritual progress. But again, how fast do you want to go? If you are content to go slowly, you can continue to take the food that you are taking now since you are fond of it. Try to diminish the quantity; in that way you can progress slowly. But the important thing is to start.

Whatever you feel is wrong in your life, whether it is passion or something else, try to minimise it and gradually it will be totally eliminated. You have to start from where you are standing and one day you will reach your goal. If you feel that it is too difficult, then it will always remain impossible. But if you feel that it is not only possible but practicable, then soon you will see that it is not only possible and practicable, but inevitable. You can do it, you are bound to do it and you will do it.