Introduction by the editor

All times may legitimately lay claim to call themselves extreme, for in all times human beings respond by extreme means to the brutal or brutish lives of their contemporaries. In our own world extreme forms are not wanting; and in the spiritual life, no less than in the political, we are subjected to conflicting calls — calls to a radical inwardness advising contempt for the world, or to apocalyptic militancy urging vehement means for the ends of peace. All days may seem like the last days.

At such times one looks to persons and to institutions which unify, which hold to a center, call to a centering, and offer our disparate selves a chance for peace. That peace, however, may appear chimerical, for political settlements are ever precarious, and in our inner lives multiple allegiances make coherence hard: "the center cannot hold." The yogis who urge that peace within yields peace without seem irreconcilable with the political visionaries who assure us that peace without permits peace within. One senses that both are right, but one looks in vain for spirits wise enough to harmonize both perspectives and lead us home.

In the light of such a predicament, the appearance of this modest book is an event of some moment. It indicates that a unique alliance has been formed: a man of the center and an institution of the center brought into mutually enriching contact with one another. The man is Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual Master of the highest attainment; the institution is the United Nations, doggedly pursuing its mandate to make our fractured world whole. For the past two years, in the lecture hall and the chapel, Sri Chinmoy has been pouring his energy and grace into the United Nations, and, as he says in one of his talks, "trying to throw light on love in today's world." Light and Love: these are the two best words to introduce him.

These essays are transcriptions of talks given from April, 1970 through October, 1972 in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium. These talks were open to all members of the United Nations and were attended by a diverse gathering of its constituents. By circumstance as well as by the eminence of his spiritual achievement, Sri Chinmoy is uniquely suited to take a position at the United Nations. His spiritual mission is essentially international, with centres established across the United States, in Puerto Rico, Scotland, London, Zurich, France and in Canada. From the outset his work has been dedicated to the resolution of apparent contraries, to the reciprocity of strengths:

Western dynamism and Eastern spirituality are the two wings of God the Eternal Bird....

He sees each nation as possessing a soul and having unique contributions to make to a community of nations, and it is for this reason that he values the United Nations, and sees it as a "chosen instrument of God."

What may strike a reader of this book most forcibly is something unexpected: a kind of underlying practicality. These essays are no effusions of idealism; the spirit behind these words has looked upon the predicaments of the world with a luminous eye and sees solutions. In his view the United Nations is the outward and visible form of a means for hope we have at our disposal:

God's Light is here for humanity to receive on a practical level, in an earthly manner. God's Light is here to illumine us. Consciously and unconsciously the world is receiving this Light from the United Nations.

But the United Nations cannot bring us to an inner peace.

. . . in this world of turmoil, mediation is necessary ... in the world of frustration and despair, meditation is necessary.... Mediation is a temporary mental relief, a pause, a rest in the life of the vital it is a clever compromise. But to expect abiding peace and illumining fulfilment from mediation is simply absurd.

Here a most practical note is sounded: this has all the candor of common sense. Moreover, this passage raises a question, central to the book and to its deep consoling wisdom for us, can we really aspire to achieve "abiding peace and illumining fulfilment"? Admitting how provisional our arbitration, can there be anything like an all-encompassing peace? What does Sri Chinmoy mean by peace, and where may we seek it?

Sri Chinmoy sees man as a peace-seeker not because man is necessarily idealistic, but because man recognizes that only in peace will he be able to satisfy himself.

Man seeks peace because he needs peace desperately. Man welcomes peace because it is in peace alone that he can have his own true achievement and fulfilment.

This pursuit of peace is the central human aspiration, though we may think that deeper in us lies the search to be creative, or to fulfil our responsibilities to the world, or to live a righteous life. But these are all tributaries to the principal flow. In Sri Chinmoy's terms "spirituality" is quintessentially our aspiration for peace; "Yoga," the pursuit of union, of oneness, is the practice of this pursuit.

When we have learned what we can expect from aspiration and what we can expect from Yoga, world peace will no longer remain a far cry.

However, we may still feel the need for a more practical approach. Let us accept as a given this definition of our true needs, what then is the connection between the peace we might desire for the world and the peace we might desire for ourselves? What is the process of attainment?

World peace will begin when the so-called human expectation ends. World peace can dawn only when each individual realises the Supreme Truth:

Love is the revelation of life and Life is the manifestation of Love.

"World peace will begin when the so-called human expectation ends." It would appear here as if we were being asked to throw the reins on the withers and trust the horse to take us home. And in truth, something like this is required, for we are being asked to recognize that our efforts are bringing us no closer to what we seek; it is as if we were out of touch with what is most natural in us.

What happens when we try to love the world or when we attempt to fulfil our responsibility to the world? We try to possess and bind the world, and while we are doing this we see that we have already been bound and possessed by the world ....

How can we fulfil all our responsibilities? We have tried in human ways, but we have failed. We think of the world with good thoughts and ideas, but the world remains exactly the same as it was yesterday. We love the world, but the world still remains full of cruelty and hatred. And why does all this happen? It is because we have not yet pleased our Inner Pilot, the One we have to please first.... Unless and until we have pleased the Inner Pilot, the world will always remain a battlefield where the soldiers of fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, imperfection, limitation and bondage will fight; and consciously or unconsciously we will play with these undivine soldiers ....

...World peace can be achieved...when the Divine Power of Love replaces the undivine love of power.

The fruit of our human expectation is always the same; continually we come up against ourselves. Human expectation is frustration. Sri Chinmoy points us within, to an internal guidance system, to the Inner Pilot, "the inner voice." It is the source of truth in us; it is our divine life. To reach it, to discern it, Sri Chinmoy urges us to a "transcendence of human ego."

The transcendence of ego is man's real dignity and true worth.And as it is for individuals, so might it be for nations; they too may follow Truth rather than self-interest. Difficult as it might sound to engage that inner voice and learn to obey it, only by such a means are we ever to be free:

The very pursuit of Truth can make the existence of a nation free, meaningful, purposeful and fruitful.

Still, reading these words, we might again ask for practical help. How might one learn to hear a sound one has never heard before? How does one learn to look within? One begins personally to look for a teacher; politically one turns towards an institution like the United Nations. Outwardly one practises patiently the intricacies of mediation; inwardly one may begin to practise meditation.

Meditation is, among other ways of describing it, a learning to listen for the inner voice, a practice in discerning the selfish from the selfless. We are called to transcend our egos; "meditation is self-transcendence." It is the way we grow into who we really are. It need not be done at an altar or in ritual, but implicitly meditation is a form of dedication, and dedication an act of meditation.

He who meditates, consciously dedicates his life to God. He who dedicates his life to mankind, soulfully meditates on the real God.

Thus in Sri Chinmoy's terms, meditation is action, a form of peace-making. Meditation is service to the true spirit in ourselves and the acknowledgement of that spirit as one and the same within everyone. Over the rim of the ego rises the discovery of who we really are:

Aspiration tells man that he will be able to see the Truth of the Beyond. Yoga goes one step ahead. Yoga tells man that the Truth of the Beyond is within him. Finally, God comes and tells man, "My child, you are the Truth of the Beyond. You are My Beyond."

At this astonishing point, we discover our capacity for peace, inner and outer, for we have recovered a primary, a unitary relationship with the world. We are at peace.

Feeling the truth of this oneness, we will inevitably move to a collective sense of our mission on this small round planet. We will no longer be gripped by the desperation to control, to compete, or to surpass. The play with the undivine soldiers can end in the light of our interconnectedness:

. . . from the spiritual point of view we can surpass only when we become one: one nation, one soul. One nation can surpass all the other nations only by becoming one with them in their suffering, in their joy and in their achievements. When we become one, we really surpass ... we surpass not only the capacity of our own achievements and of others' achievements, but also the capacity of limited feelings. Real supremacy comes when we grow into vastness. If we become the vastness of Self, then who or what can be superior to us?The United Nations is crucial to our times because it is the only institution that may answer to the mediatory and meditative needs of a peace-seeking world. The United Nations means "the usefulness of the united notions, united thoughts and united feelings, and the expansion of oneness ..." in the eyes of this great teacher who has experienced the oneness of Self, the United Nations appears as a Garland of Nation-Souls; and it is a matter only of our aspiration for the flags to flower into this reality.

Another man fully immersed in the experience of oneness, Swami Vivekananda, wrote at the beginning of this century:

There are evils in every society; everybody knows it ... but he is a friend to mankind who finds a way out of the difficulty. Like the drowning boy and the philosopher — when the philosopher was lecturing him, the boy cried, "Take me out of the water first ..." Where is the man who will lend a hand to drag us out? Where is the man who really loves us? Where is the man who has sympathy for us? Ay, that man is wanted.

Sri Chinmoy is such a man. It may be hard at first for us to believe what he tells us about ourselves. Our culture, after all, has led us to imagine God as separate, hidden, perhaps even dead. Here once again we are asked to open ourselves to the radical hope, the root truth, that, God not only exists, but exists for us, in us and as us. We have forgotten how to be merciful to ourselves; continually we exile ourselves from God's loving presence within us; we attempt to navigate without a pilot. We perpetuate our confusion. "We are little worlds made cunningly," John Donne said of us, and indeed we are the world in miniature. Nothing can be more practical then than this work for peace.

In his outer being and inner being each man has only two words: war and peace. Outer war we all know. Inner war is constant. At every moment a sincere seeker has to fight against his own doubt, imperfections, limitations, bondage and death. This inner war is constant; and when we achieve our victory in the inner life, only then can we claim to be God's children, worthy children of God, divine children of God, the true representatives of God. At that moment God beckons us, and He uses us in His own Way. He takes us for His own Use.

Says yet another spiritual Master:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Aum Shanti Shanti

—Peter Pitzele
Assistant Professor of English
Harvard University
November 23, 1972

United Nations Meditation Group

WE BELIEVE

.... that each man has the potentiality of reaching the Ultimate Truth. We also believe that man cannot and will not remain imperfect forever. Each man is an instrument of God. When the hour strikes, each individual soul listens to the inner dictates of God. When man listens to God, his imperfections are turned into perfections, his ignorance into knowledge, his searching mind into revealing light and his uncertain reality into all-fulfilling Divinity.

—Sri Chinmoy

The Garland of Nation-Souls

Each nation has five members in its family: Inspiration, aspiration, realisation, revelation and manifestation. The body needs inspiration. The vital needs aspiration. The mind needs realisation. The heart needs revelation. The soul needs manifestation.

The body wants to walk. The vital wants to run. The mind wants to fly. The heart wants to dive. The soul wants to be.

Inspiration without aspiration cannot see God. Aspiration without realisation cannot reach God. Realisation without revelation cannot glorify God. Revelation without manifestation cannot fulfil God.

Each nation has a soul of its own. The soul is at once God's illumining Activity and the nation's fulfilling capacity. Each nation is the involution of its highest Light and the evolution of its inmost Power. Immortality is the homeland of the soul. Eternity is the life of the soul. Infinity is the reality of the soul.

The Garland of Nation-Souls: A garland is the embodiment of God's Smile and man's achievement. God's Divine Smile is supremely expansive, and man's divine achievement is eternally impressive. Now, where is the Garland of Nation-Souls? It is here, inside the boat of the United Nations. Who deserves to be garlanded? Undoubtedly the Seeker-Pilot, U Thant. This able, genuine and divine Pilot of ours is blessed with a far-reaching, growing vision, and a wide, expanding, energising reality.

When a nation's outer life listens to the inner dictates of its soul, its earthly desires decrease, its heavenly aspirations increase, its human wants are lessened and its divine needs are heightened. It envisions the Truth Transcendental and grows into God's Pride Supreme.

The great philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once remarked, "Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right." It is true that all nations, with no exception, will one day be flooded with God's perfect Perfection, at God's choice Hour. The nations that are aspiring consciously are hastening God's Hour. The nations that are aspiring unconsciously are inwardly valuing God's Hour, and soon their aspiration will increase. The nations that are wallowing in the pleasures of darkening and darkened night are God's so-called failures, but before long even they will open their eyes and, along with their forerunners, will hear God ringing the bell of inner Victory.

The ascending aspiration of the fully awakened souls and the descending Blessing-Light of God can eventually transform the face of the entire globe.

Imperfection and impossibility we cherished yesterday, Today, imperfection and impossibility are our unwanted guests. Tomorrow, they will be seen nowhere. Perfection and divinity will be our most welcome guests. The nation that soulfully cries for inner development and devotedly cries for outer growth can alone be in the vanguard of the teeming nations. Why does a nation fail? A nation fails because it does not want the sustaining Truth to be on its side. When does a nation fall? A nation falls when it deliberately and vehemently resists the idea of being on the side of Truth. How can a nation succeed? A nation can succeed by following the Truth within and without. The very pursuit of Truth can make the existence of a nation free, meaningful, purposeful and fruitful. Now, how can a nation flourish? A nation can flourish when it sees no difference between the Creator and the creation. A nation can flourish when it loves the world, not for what the world will give in return, but for the sake of love. Selfless love, true love, never ends, never fails. Love is its own immediate reward.

To me, the real worth of nations lies in their united principles; and it is in the united principles that one can see the fruit of true inner oneness and divine perfection. The united principles must needs have co-operation. If there is no co-operation, then the united principles will bear no fruit whatsoever. The present-day world needs co-operation.

Supremely significant are the words of the Secretary General, U Thant: "I can think of no worthier task for a man or a woman to be engaged in than that of creating the tools for international co-operation and working for the betterment of his fellow human beings." Also, the Secretary-General soulfully affirms: "Our work at the United Nations gives us the privilege of contributing actively from day to day in the ardent process of building peace."

Peace

Aum. Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

The World Youth Assembly has been organised here. This is a most momentous task. With our deepest joy and greatest fortune we see here at the United Nations the promising hearts of one hundred and twenty-five nations. Each nation is unique, for in and through each nation the Lord Supreme wants to fulfil Himself. Each nation is chosen by the Supreme, to fulfil Him in an unprecedented, unique manner.

Each nation right now needs peace. We all need peace. To have peace, what we need is the right path, the Path Divine. Four thousand years ago, in the hoary past, the Vedic seers offered a supreme prayer to the Lord Supreme:

O Lord Agni, O Lord,
Lead us, lead us by the right path to well-being.

We can all offer this soulful prayer to our Inner Pilot every day. It is this prayer that can awaken and inspire the length and breadth of the entire world. Peace we need. Man seeks peace because he needs peace desperately. Man welcomes peace because it is in peace alone that he can have his own true achievement and fulfilment. Man needs peace. He has to spread it. The moment he needs peace, he has to feel that sooner or later he will receive it. He has to feel that his inner being will be flooded with peace. But he has to spread this peace. Man spreads peace because he knows that he has to conquer, transcend death. War and peace. In his outer being and inner being each man has only two words: war and peace. Outer war we all know. Inner war is constant. At every moment a sincere seeker has to fight against his own doubt, imperfections, limitations, bondage and death. This inner war is constant; and when we achieve our victory in the inner life, only then can we claim to be God's children, worthy children of God, divine children of God, the true representatives of God. At that moment God beckons us, and He uses us in His own Way. He takes us for His own Use.

War and peace. Man invents war. Man discovers peace. Man invents war from without. Man discovers peace from within. The smile of war is the flood of human blood. The smile of peace is love, Love Divine, below, above. The animal in man wants war, war to devour the sleeping, snoring world. The divine in man needs peace, peace to feed the hungry world.

United Nations World Youth Congress
United Nations, New York
July 15, 1970

The Song Universal

The Song Universal is freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom from limitations, freedom from imperfections and freedom from ignorance. Man is in stark bondage. Nevertheless, man has the power deep within to cut asunder the teeming ties that have bound him and forced him to launch into the sea of uncertainty.

Four thousand years ago the Vedic seers voiced forth:

Give freedom for our bodies.
Give freedom for our dwelling.
Give freedom for our life.

This soulful prayer of the Vedic seers of yore will echo and re-echo through eternity in humanity's aspiring heart.

Freedom does not mean being away from home. Freedom means accepting and feeling the entire world as one's real home, as one's very own. With a view to achieving and growing into this peerless freedom, man does many things. He simply throws himself into a tornado of blind activities. But man has to learn that he has only one thing to do, and that is to discover and uncover. He has to discover the Divinity within, and uncover the veil of ignorance without. Likewise, man has only one thing to be: God. He has to be God the Infinite, God the Eternal and God the Immortal.

It is said that the quickest way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time. Let us start by thinking of, concentrating and meditating on God, and end, if there is any end, with God-Realisation. This is not only the quickest way, but by far the best.

God is Freedom. In an unparalleled way, the Isha Upanishad speaks of God the Absolute:

It moves. It moves not.
Far it is. And it is near.
Within all this it is.
It is without all this.

Man's deepest faith in God and man's boundless freedom in himself go together. Sublimely significant is the truth that James M. Barrie offers us: "The reason why birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings."

"We walk by faith, not by sight." An aspirant, a true seeker of the Infinite Freedom, has to breathe in this life-giving and life-transforming truth that the New Testament endows us with.

Man is sick. His sickness is his ignorance. He has been suffering from this unfathomable ignorance for millenia. There is considerable truth in what Bernard Shaw says: "We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession."

It is high time for us to come out of our ignorance-sleep. Let us not play the fool. Let us be wise once again. Let us have back our faith in God, who alone can and will cure our entire life and our earthly existence of this fatal ignorance-sickness.

We are all assembled at the Church Center for the United Nations. The word "United" is hallowed. It can better be felt than described. Rather I should say it can only be felt and cannot be described at all. "United we stand, divided we fall. " We are fully aware of this maxim. What we need is to live it.

Now where does this unity come from? It comes from God. It comes from the Brahman, the One without a second. When we walk further along the path of unity, we realise that not only does God have the Consciousness of Unity, but He is Consciousness-Unity itself. When we reach the end of our journey's Goal, we discover that God is both Unity and Multiplicity. In the field of Unity, He is Realisation and Liberation; and in the field of Multiplicity, He is Manifestation and Transformation.

Our inner realisation and outer action must run abreast. Outer achievements should be the conscious and spontaneous revelation of the inner divinity.

Love, harmony, peace and oneness. These are man's divine ideals. On the strength of his inner mounting flame, aspiration, man can easily, unerringly and spontaneously manifest these ideals of his in his human life, in every sphere of his life.

It is quite natural and proper that we should discover our God in and through our own religion. When we go deep within we come to realise that there is only one religion, and that religion is man's inmost cry for God-Realisation. In the hoary past, Asoka, the great Emperor of India, sent missionaries to the corners of the globe with a profound message: "The basis of all religions is the same, wherever they are. Try to help them all you can, teach them all you can, but do not try to injure them."

Let each religion play the role of a flower. Let us make a garland of these divine flowers and offer them at the Feet of God. God will be pleased. We shall be fulfilled.

As there is only one Religion, even so there is only one Song. This Song is man.

Man is Infinity's Heart.
Man is Eternity's Breath.
Man is Immortality's Life.

United Nations Church Center
November 26, 1968

Talks from the peace room

Truth

Truth is God's Treasure and man's property. Truth is God's eternal and constant Progress and man's energising success. Truth is God's Natural History and man's supernatural mystery.

Truth is original and essential when it comes from the soul. Truth is pure and sure when it comes from the heart. Truth is obscure and incomplete when it comes from the mind. Truth is undivinely dynamic and imperfect when it comes from the vital. Truth is weak and insignificant when it comes from the body.

The body is blind. The vital is wild. The mind is ignorant. The heart is aspiration. The soul is realisation. Out of His infinite Bounty, God offers His clearing Sight to the body, His embracing Might to the vital, His illumining Light to the mind, His transcending Height to the heart and His fulfilling Right to the soul. Truth is our inner attitude. Truth is our outer aptitude. Truth is our life's fortitude. When attitude, aptitude and fortitude play together and sing the song of aspiration, infinitude dawns on them, and soon they bathe in the eternal effulgence of infinitude.

In the world of desire, Truth is our mind's idea. In the world of aspiration, Truth is our heart's ideal. In the world of realisation, Truth is our soul's Goal.

Idea is the seed. ideal is the tree. Goal is the fruit.

Idea is self-expression. Ideal is self-expansion. Goal is Self-Union.

Peace Room
United Nations Church Center
May 12, 1970

God and Truth

God expresses Himself through Silence. God expands Himself through Light. God unites Himself with His Creation through Delight.

Man's outer life needs God's Silence. Man's inner life needs God's Light. Man's higher life needs God's Delight.

Again, man is God's Hope. Man is God's Smile. Man is God's Pride. Man is God's Hope in his inner life, man is God's Smile in his higher life and man is God's Pride in his outer life.

God's Hope is man's possibility. God's Smile is man's ability. God's Pride is man's necessity.

Truth, the ultimate Truth, plays its role in three different stages of evolution: objective, subjective and absolute. In the objective, Truth is man's searching consciousness; in the subjective, Truth is man's awakening Divinity; and in the absolute, Truth is man's fulfilling Reality.

In Reality man sees the Truth in its universal form. In Divinity man sees the Truth in its theoretical form. In consciousness man sees the Truth in its practical form.

Peace Room
United Nations Church Center
May 19, 1970

The inner way

The inner way is the manifestation of the inner creation. The inner creation is the revelation of the inner realisation. The inner realisation is the dynamic expression of the inner will.

Will is power. Realisation is peace. Creation is bliss. Will tells me what I can divinely do for God and humanity. Realisation tells me what God unconditionally does for me and humanity. Creation tells me what humanity and I can devotedly do for God.

The inner way is the origin of the divine intuition. Intuition carries us to revelation. Revelation shows us the real in the ideal, and the ideal in the real. Intuition is the certainty of Divinity. Divinity is the certainty of Immortality. Immortality is the certainty of Reality.

Divinity's child is man. Immortality's child is the soul. Reality's child is Light.

There are two ways: the inner and the outer. To discover the outer way we need outer power, the power of the physical, vital and mental. To discover the inner way we need inner power, the power of the soul.

The outer way always has limited vision. The inner way has the everlasting and ever-transcending Vision. The vision of the outer way culminates in the fast-approaching tomorrow. The vision of the inner way, which marches along the road of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality, has no journey's end. Constantly, spontaneously and soulfully it is marching toward the ever-transcending and ever-fulfilling Beyond.

Peace Room
United Nations Church Center
May 26, 1970

No chance but God's concern

No chance but God's Concern. No golden chance but God's constant Concern.

Before I act, I need to live. Before I live, I need to breathe. Before I breathe, I need to know the purpose of my life, the aim of my earthly existence. If the ultimate aim of my earthly existence is to reach the farthest, feel the deepest and climb the highest, then I have to breathe God's Light in and out from God Himself.

From whom can I have God's Light? God's Light I can have directly from God when the fleeting moment of my unconditionally surrendered life I offer to God.

When can I have God's Light? I can have God's Light when I am consciously aware of the undeniable fact that God loves me infinitely more than I love Him; and I have to feel that God loves me infinitely more than I love myself.

How can I have God's Light? I can have God's Light when I grow into the purest humility of the poor and the mightiest magnanimity of the rich. My humility is my divine brotherhood. My magnanimity is my divine fatherhood.

I have to feel that it is God, God alone, who constantly cares for me. I am not afraid of telling anything to the world, because I feel that God is speaking through me. I am not afraid of doing anything in the world, because I feel that God is acting through me. I am not afraid of transforming the world-nature, because I know that God is doing it for me. Finally, I am not afraid of affirming that God and I are eternally and perpetually one, because God has confided in me that there can be no other Truth than this.

No chance. There is no such thing as chance. There is only God's constant, selfless, unreserved Concern. This Concern is His glowing, flowing and descending Grace.

God is Concern. This Concern enters into the darkening ignorance and darkened humanity to transform the face of the world only when the earth-consciousness is ready to receive God's spontaneous, constant and unreserved Concern soulfully and unreservedly.

No chance but God's Concern. No golden chance but God's constant Concern.

Peace Room
United Nations Church Center
June 2, 1970

God's brightest Heaven and man's surest haven

Of all the divine qualities, unfortunately Light is wanted the least, even though it is needed most by all. People want Love, Peace, Joy and Power, but very rarely they want Light. Unconsciously or consciously, they are afraid of Light. They feel that the effulgence of Light will uproot the ignorance-tree that they embody. They feel that the Divine Light will expose their imperfections, limitations and bondage. This is not true.

The Divine Light embraces the world in all its ignorance. Further, the Divine Light feels that it is its bounden duty to elevate the human consciousness into the plenitude of the Life Divine.

If the animal in us, if the human in us, really want a Divine Life on earth, then we have to cry, cry like a child for God's Compassion-Light, which is at once God's brightest Heaven and man's surest Haven.

Peace Room
United Nations Church Center
June 9, 1970

Meditation: self-transcendence

Meditation is self-transcendence. Self-transcendence is the message of the Beyond. The message of the Beyond is God, the eternally evolving Soul, and God, the eternally fulfilling Goal.

The animal in man is proud of his self-aggrandisement. The human in man is delighted with his self-awareness. The divine in man is conscious of his self-realisation. The Supreme in man is fulfilled in his self-transcendence.

Man needs material wealth to enjoy a prosperous earthly life. Man needs meditation to live a peaceful heavenly life. Man needs revelation to live as a divine hero, to guide and serve and serve and guide as a divine hero. Heaven does not want a weakling. Earth does not need a weakling.

Life is not empty talk. Life is not the breath of illusion. Life is the action of aspiration. Aspiration is the action of man's Inner Pilot. Let us fight the battle of life within. Let us wake up to the reality of our world consciously and devotedly. Ours will be the victory without. Forget we must not, never. We are of God the Infinite and we are for God the Eternal.

Meditation means the evolution of the body and the soul. The body's ultimate evolution is transformation and perfection. The soul's ultimate evolution is the highest illumination and complete manifestation.

He who meditates, consciously dedicates his life to God. He who dedicates his life to mankind, soulfully meditates on the real God. His are the eyes that see Heaven on earth. In him divinity and humanity are triumphantly blended.

Temptation and meditation. Temptation: this is precisely what an unaspiring man knows. Meditation: this is what an aspiring man constantly is. An unaspiring man must descend in the scale of life and feel the very breath of ignorance. An aspiring man eternally ascends in the scale of life and lives in the very Heart of God.

We have hundreds of secrets, but meditation has only one: competence is achievement. Competence and achievement are the smiles of God's unconditional Grace.

Sri Krishna meditated. He became God, the Love Divine. The Buddha meditated. He became God, the Light Divine. The Christ meditated. He became God, the Compassion Divine. Now God wants you to meditate. He wants you to become God, the Life Divine.

Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium
United Nations, New York
February 12, 1971

Is the spiritual life an escape from reality?

Reality. An unaspiring man thinks that undying pleasure is the only reality. An aspiring man feels that a divine experience is the only reality. A God-Realised man knows that God, the Supreme Lover, alone has the Reality, and that God, the Supreme Beloved, alone is the Reality. Reality is also God, the fulfilling Light, and man, the fulfilled life.

The abode of Transcendental Fulfilment has three doors: Love, Freedom and Delight. The Love-Door is open only to him who serves crying humanity. The Freedom-Door is open only to him who serves struggling humanity. The Delight-Door is open only to him who serves awakening humanity.

The spiritual life is never an escape from reality. On the contrary, the spiritual life is the conscious and spontaneous acceptance of reality in its totality. For a spiritual seeker the idea of an escape from reality is absurdity plus impossibility, for spirituality and reality need each other to be supremely fulfilled. Without reality's soul, spirituality is worse than useless. Without spirituality's breath, reality is more than meaningless. Spirituality with reality means man's inner cry for perfect Perfection. Reality with spirituality means God's omnipotent Will for total and absolute manifestation.

Escape is a base thought. It acts like a thief the worst possible thief. Into the heart of tenebrous gloom escape gains easy and free access. He who indulges in the idea of an immediate escape unmistakably commits lingering suicide.

Acceptance, the acceptance of life with a divine attitude, is not only a lofty idea, but the very ideal of life. This ideal of life is realised, revealed and manifested through God's soul-elevating inspiration and man's life-building aspiration. Acceptance of life is the divine pride of true spirituality. To live a spiritual life is our only responsibility.

Arnold Bennet said, "You are not in charge of the universe; you are in charge of yourself." I venture to say that if I can be in charge of myself, then God will put me in charge of the universe, His Universe.

Acceptance of the life divine is the transcendence of human ego. The transcendence of ego is man's real dignity and true worth. Momentous are the words of our Secretary-General, U Thant: "The dignity and worth of the human person is not merely a philosophic concept. It is, and should be, a working principle of human existence guiding our daily lives."

There is only one thing that man needs: the inner wisdom. The supreme Pilot of the United Nations' Boat is piloting a countless number of the human family with his wisdom-light to the shores of dream-fulfilled Reality. Inside the heart of learning humanity, his wisdom-tree is growing slowly, steadily, significantly and triumphantly. Him to quote,

Is the human race so destitute of wisdom, so incapable of tolerance, so blind even to the simple dictates of self-presentation that the last proof of its progress is to be extermination of all life on our small planet? I cannot believe that this is to be the end. I cannot believe that humanity is so bereft of common sense as to launch universal suicide.

Acceptance of life is the assurance of faith. Faith walks along the road of fulfilling and fulfilled immortality. Escape from reality will, in the twinkling of an eye, weaken our resolves, loosen our armour and finally throw us into the very depths of the annihilation-sea.

No, we must never make a cowardly escape. We must always be brave. Divine courage is our birthright. We are the hero-warriors of supreme Reality chosen to fight against the teeming, brooding and threatening ignorance-night.

We are brave. The brave deserve the fair. We are aware. The aware deserve God, the real God.

Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium
United Nations,
New York March 4, 1971

Does meditation really accomplish anything?

First of all, let us try to know and understand what meditation actually means. What is meditation? Meditation is man's inner movement and outer progress. Meditation is man's inner soulful promise and outer fruitful manifestation.

A man of no aspiration will dauntlessly ask, "Does meditation really accomplish anything?" A man of sterling faith and aspiration will confidently ask, "Is there anything on earth, in God's Creation, that meditation cannot accomplish? Is there anything that cannot be achieved by meditation?"

God will immediately answer these two questions. To the man who has no aspiration, God will say, "My child, sleep. Sleep. You need rest." To the one who is all aspiration, God will say, "My child, fly. Fly. My highest Height of the Transcendental Beyond is eagerly expecting your arrival."

What is the first and foremost thing we expect from meditation? Peace. Peace and nothing else. Meditation is the embodiment of peace. The present-day world needs only one thing: peace.

The peace-lover, our ex-Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, offers us a sublime message: "No peace which is not peace for all ..." In peace, what looms large is eternal, fulfilling rest. He says, ". . . no rest until all has been fulfilled."

Why do we meditate? We meditate just because our life needs inspiration, our life needs aspiration. Aspiration is, to some extent, a form of meditation. It is our meditation that promises to give us our realisation-tree. Today meditation plays the role of aspiration and tomorrow meditation will play the role of realisation. The Inner Pilot, the Pilot Supreme within us, inspires us to act; and it is He who has already kept the fruit of action safe in the life of our aspiration.

The truth-seeker in Dag Hammarskjöld, on the strength of his own inner conviction said, "Somebody placed the shuttle in your hand: somebody who had already arranged the threads."

In our human life two things are of paramount importance: role and Goal. At every moment we have to know what our role is, and then we have to be conscious of our ultimate Goal. At our journey's start we have to be fully aware of our role. At the end of our journey's close we have to be fully conscious of our Goal. Now, there must needs be a connecting link between our role and our Goal. Meditation is this connecting link between our role in the Divine Play, the Divine /Lila,/ and our ultimate Goal in God's ever-evolving Universe. Man's role is his conscious self-surrender to the Will of the Absolute Supreme. This is his only role. Man's Goal, the Goal of Goals, is in constant self-surrender to the absolute Will of the Supreme.

Life is conscious ascent and conscious descent. Now, when we say ascent, what do we actually mean? Life's aspiration is ascending towards the Highest. When we say descent, we mean the illumining descent of the soul's all-transforming and all-fulfilling meditation. The human life is an ascending prayer. Again, the divine soul in each human being is a descending meditation. Our ascending cry and the descending Grace are inseparable. Together they move, together they fulfil the Absolute, here on earth. As human beings are countless, even so are their endless prayers. Each human being can doubt the value of spiritual prayer during his short span of life, but no human being on earth can say that he never prayed. Be it for a fleeting second or for hours or for months or for years, each individual has to pray. This prayer has intrinsic value. Again, when it is a matter of the individual, one individual can far excel the rest of mankind; similarly, one individual prayer far excels all prayer.

The profound seeker in Dag Hammarskjöld offers an unparalleled prayer for mankind:

Before Thee in humility; With Thee in faith; In Thee in Peace.

Does meditation accomplish anything? Meditation does accomplish something; in fact, it accomplishes everything. God's Divinity meditated and created humanity, humanity in infinite shapes and forms. God's humanity meditates, and before long we shall see the result: the sun of perfect Perfection will shine on the face of aspiring humanity.

Here we are all seekers of the Infinite Truth. None of us has even an iota of doubt about the efficacy of meditation. But we have friends, neighbours, acquaintances, who may ask us, "Does meditation really accomplish anything?" We can tell them, "O unbelievers, O disbelievers, do not sit on the unsure ground of apprehension. Look. Here is the key: meditation. Meditation is the key to unlock the door of God's Plenitude and Infinitude." This is what we can say to the unbelievers.

To the disbelievers we can say, "Before you entered into the world arena, yours was the promise to realise Him here in this body, Him to fulfil, Him to manifest here on earth. Now, spread your wings. Spread your wings once for all and catch the first morning breeze with your soul's soulful promise to the Supreme, to the Absolute."

Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium
United Nations, New York
April 1, 1971

A spiritual Goal for the United Nations: Is it practical?

A spiritual Goal for the United Nations: Is it practical? Without the least possible hesitation I venture to say that it is highly practical. It is not only practical, but also practicable. Something more: It is inevitable. We have to know what the spiritual Goal for the United Nations is. Its Goal is to become ultimately the saviour of the world's imperfection, the liberator of the world's destruction and the fulfiller of the world's aspiration.

My heart tells me that the United Nations has a divine Ideal. My soul tells me that this ideal is going to be transformed into the supreme Reality. Soulful concern is the essence of the United Nations' ideal. Fruitful patience is the substance of the United Nations' ideal. Supernal fulfilment will be the essence of the United Nations' Reality. Sempiternal perfection will be the substance of the United Nations' Reality. What is Reality? Reality is the inseparable oneness of Infinity's smile and Eternity's cry.

The great philosopher Aristotle once remarked, "Some men are just as firmly convinced of what they think as others are of what they know." The firm conviction of the United Nations is the confident flight of sublime thought and glowing depth of its knowledge-light.

Today's United Nations sees the nations as its true friends. Tomorrow's United Nations will see the nations as its real sisters and brothers.

Today's United Nations offers hopeful and soulful advice to mankind. Tomorrow's United Nations will offer fruitful and fulfilling peace to mankind.

Today's United Nations feels Truth, Light and Delight in its loving heart. Tomorrow's United Nations will manifest Truth, Light and Delight with its all-embracing soul.

Anatole France said something which is at once interesting and amusing. He said, "It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly." But in the case of the United Nations it is totally otherwise. The United Nations thinks profoundly and acts selflessly.

My aspiring heart has a soulful message to offer to all the nations that have formed, that have made the Garland of United Nations. The message is:

There are two stumbling blocks: doubt and insecurity. Doubt in the mind, insecurity in the heart.

There are two stepping stones: faith and surrender. Faith in oneself, and surrender to God's Will, conscious surrender to God's constant Will.

True, we have lost and misused thousands of golden opportunities, but we cannot lose or empty God's infinite Compassion. Out of His infinite Compassion, He will make us feel and realise the Transcendental Truth. However, this can be done in two ways. One way is to realise the highest Truth at God's choice Hour; the other way is to realise the Truth when we feel the time is ready, according to our own sweet will. When we open our eyes at God's Will, we fulfil God in His own Way. When we open our eyes at our choice will, at our own selected hour, we fulfil God in our own way. The desire in us fulfils God in its own way. The aspiration in us fulfils God in God's Way. Needless to say, our aspiration is bound to manifest the ultimate, absolute Reality on earth; and in the manifestation of absolute Reality on earth, the face of earth will be transformed into the face of Heaven.

True, the man of the hour need not or cannot be the man of Eternity. But the message that the soul of the United Nations offers to the world at large is for Eternity. Its message is:

Today's imperfect and unfulfilled man is tomorrow's absolutely fulfilled and supremely manifested God.

Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium
United Nations,
New York
August 5, 1971

Peace is our birthright: how can we have it?

(Sri Chinmoy sang)

O Lord, where is the Truth?
"Where your Beloved is."
Who is my Beloved, who?
"In whom your life is peace."
Peace. Peace. Peace.

The outer peace and the inner peace: The outer peace is man's compromise; the inner peace is man's fulfilment. The outer peace is man's satisfaction without being satisfied at all. The inner peace is man's satisfaction in being totally and supremely fulfilled.

How can the outer peace have the same capacity as the inner peace? The outer peace can have the same capacity if and when man's creation and God's Creation become inseparably one. What is man's creation? Man's creation is fear. Man's creation is doubt. Man's creation is confusion. What is God's Creation? God's Creation is Love. God's Creation is Compassion. God's Creation is Concern.

Fear is the feeblest ant in man. Doubt is the wildest elephant in man. Confusion is the devouring tiger in man. There is no yawning gulf between man's cherished fear and his forced fear. Doubt God, forgiveness is granted. Doubt yourself, your complete destruction is decreed. Yesterday's confusion was the beginning of your insincerity. Today's confusion is the beginning of your insecurity. Tomorrow's confusion will be the beginning of your futility.

God's Love for man is man's aspiration. God's Compassion for man is man's salvation. God's Concern for man is man's perfection.

Man's fulfilling and fulfilled search for the Real is peace. God the Love is man's eternal Guest in the inmost recesses of his heart. God the Peace is man's eternal Host in the inmost recesses of his heart. That is why we can unfalteringly and unmistakably claim that the loving and fulfilling peace is our birthright.

How can we have peace, even an iota of peace, in our outer life, amid the hustle and bustle of life and our multifarious activities? Easy: we have to choose the inner voice. Easy: we have to control our binding thoughts. Easy: we have to purify our impure emotions.

The inner voice is our guide. The binding thoughts are the dark and unpredictable weather. The impure emotion is the inner storm. We have to listen to the inner voice always. It is our sure protection. We have to be cautious of the binding thoughts. These thoughts have tremendous vitality. We must never allow them to swell into mountains. We have to face them and then dominate them. These thoughts are absolutely non-essential, and we have no time to fret over non-essentials. We have to refrain from the luxury of the emotional storm. Impure emotion is immediate frustration, and frustration is the harbinger of total destruction within and without.

How can we choose the inner voice? To choose the inner voice, we have to meditate early in the morning. To control and dominate our undivine thoughts, we have to meditate at noon. To purify our unlit, impure emotions, we have to meditate in the evening.

What is meditation? Meditation is man's constant awareness and conscious acceptance of God. Meditation is God's unconditional offering to man.

Peace is the beginning of love. Peace is the completion of truth. Peace is the return to the Source.

(Sri Chinmoy sang)

There was a time when I stumbled and stumbled,
But now I only climb and climb beyond
And far beyond my Goal's endless Beyond.
And yet my Captain commands:
"Go on, go on!"

We have already invoked and received Peace from God. With your kind permission, I wish to invoke more Peace from above. Those who would like to join me are most welcome to come up to the platform and meditate with me for Peace, inner Peace, all-fulfilling Peace.

(The audience immediately responded and meditated with Sri Chinmoy.)

Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium
United Nations, New York
May 13, 1971