Part I — Discourses


Dear friends, esteemed brothers and sisters, before I give a talk I wish to sing a devotional song. "Lord Supreme, I do not know who You are. I do not know who You are to me in my inner life of aspiration and in my outer life of dedication. But I know that You are my Beloved Supreme."

(Sri Chinmoy sings "Tumi je amar devata eka.")

Once more I wish to tell you that I am extremely glad and grateful that you have given me this opportunity to be of service to each of you.

I wish to give a very short talk on my most favourite subject, spirituality. Spirituality is at once a simple and a complicated word, a simple and, at the same time, complicated concept. Each individual has a special approach to spirituality. Whatever I know with regard to spirituality, in a few words I wish to offer to the aspiring hearts in you.

Spirituality is truth-awareness. Spirituality is life-emancipation. Spirituality is oneness-manifestation. Spirituality is perfection-satisfaction.

There are two types of spirituality. One is false, totally false. The other is true, absolutely true. False spirituality tells us that we have to negate and reject life in order to reach Heaven or in order to achieve Peace, Light and Bliss in our human life. False spirituality tells us that we have to renounce everything if we really want Joy, Peace and Bliss in life and from life. True spirituality tells us that we must not reject anything, we must not negate anything, we must not renounce anything. True spirituality tells us that we have to accept everything. We have to accept the world as such and then we have to transform our inner world and our outer world for God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation. It is only in God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation that we can have boundless Peace, boundless Light, boundless Delight.

False spirituality is the dance of teeming desires. Desire is something that binds us to our possessions. There comes a time when we realise that although we are the possessor, we are actually slaves to our possessions. True spirituality is the song of aspiration. Aspiration liberates us from our binding and blinding possessions — material possessions, earthly possessions, possessions that do not help elevate our consciousness to our life's true inner and outer goals. False spirituality is desire. The acme of desire is this: "I came, I saw and I conquered. I came into the world, I saw the world and I have conquered the world. Now I am in a position to lord it over the world." The strangling vital, the demanding vital, the authoritarian vital wants this world for its enjoyment. But aspiration tells us something quite different. The teachings of aspiration are soulful, meaningful and fruitful. Aspiration tells us that each individual has come into the world to see, to love and to become inseparably one, to become fully aware of his universal existence. Mere individual existence is of no avail. One has to have a free access to the universal life within him.

Desire-life is the life of success; aspiration-life is the life of progress. The life of desire constantly demands, whereas the life of aspiration soulfully expects. The life of desire demands constantly from the world around us. The life of aspiration expects everything from the world within.

Success is short-lived satisfaction. Most of the time this short-lived satisfaction is followed by bitter dissatisfaction. In dissatisfaction what actually looms large is frustration; and frustration is the harbinger of total destruction. Progress is our continuous, illumining and increasing satisfaction within and without. Those who follow the spiritual life know and feel the supreme necessity of progress each day, each hour, each minute, each second. A seeker has to feel that he is making progress. He is running fast, very fast, towards his destined Goal. He is climbing high, speedily, towards his transcendental Goal. He is diving deep within extremely fast to reach the Absolute Lord in the inmost recesses of his heart.

In order to make progress each seeker has to have two satisfactory friends. These friends are always reliable, most reliable. Prayer and meditation are two most intimate friends of a seeker of the Absolute Truth. When the seeker prays to the Almighty Lord, he feels his Lord's presence high up in the skies above his head. He feels his Lord's existence above, far above, his mental vision — let us say in Heaven. In Heaven is his Lord Supreme. But when he meditates, he feels that his Lord Supreme is nowhere else except in his heart — in his loving, aspiring heart. His prayer tells him that his God is above. His meditation tells him that his God is within. When he reaches his Beloved on the highest plane of consciousness on the strength of his prayer, he enjoys the sweetest intimacy. He claims his Lord as his eternal Friend, his beginningless and endless friend. And when he reaches his Friend inside the very depth of his heart, he enjoys boundless ecstasy and delight in his Beloved Supreme.

Spirituality is the simplification of life. Spirituality is the glorification of life. When we are in the ordinary human life, there are countless problems. Every day we encounter these countless problems, and we find that there is no way to solve these problems or to simplify our complicated human life. But spirituality is our saviour. It comes to solve our problems, to simplify our complicated life; and again, it glorifies the divine in us. The divine in us is that very thing that wants to expand, illumine and fulfil the immortal in us.

How do we simplify our life? Is there any specific way to simplify our complicated life? Yes, there is a way which enables us to simplify our most complicated life; and that is our concentration, our power of concentration. When we concentrate on our problems we come to notice that our power of concentration has actually come from a Source which is infinitely more powerful than all our problems put together. And this Source shows us how to simplify our problems. If we can concentrate on our problems even for five fleeting minutes, I wish to tell you from my own experience that this complicated world of ours will not remain complicated.

Once our complicated life is over, once our life of confusion and complication is over, we expect satisfaction from our lives. We naturally expect a life of peace and harmony. This world of ours has everything except one thing: peace of mind. If we have peace of mind, we do not need anything more from this world, from any individual or from ourselves. Now, how do we get peace of mind? The answer is the same: through spirituality, through meditation.

Spirituality has a most powerful hero-soldier. The name of that hero-soldier is meditation. If we know how to meditate for five minutes early in the morning before the day dawns, before the hustle and bustle of life begins, then we enter into a world of serenity, clarity, purity and finally peace — a world which is flooded with peace. Each individual seeker has the potentiality, the capacity to meditate soulfully. Some may not know how to meditate immediately. It may take a few days or a few weeks or a few months. But no individual will forever remain unknowledgeable in the art of meditation. The art of meditation is something inherent in each individual.

So, meditation is the way to acquire peace of mind. Once we have established peace of mind, then in our day-to-day multifarious activities we shall enjoy boundless satisfaction. And in this satisfaction we shall notice progress — gradual, continuous, illumining and fulfilling progress. When we walk along the road of Eternity, what we need is progress. And inside our progress is God the ever-transcending Reality, which is the birthright of each individual seeker here and everywhere.

  1. RD 1. United Nations, Conference Room 14


To be on my own side and not on God's side is not only an unpardonable crime, but also an unbearable punishment.

My Lord's punishment-dog cannot change me and my life. It is only the constant increase of my love for my Lord that can and will change me and my human life totally.

The punishment that I get from my Supreme Pilot when I disobey Him is next to nothing in comparison to the punishment that I inflict upon myself by separating myself from my sweetest and closest oneness with Him, in Him and for Him.

When I do something wrong, no matter how trivial and insignificant it is, my Lord Supreme, do punish me immediately, for that is what I richly deserve. But do love me even when You punish me, for Your Love is my aspiration-life's only soul and my dedication-life's only goal.

The role of humility in the spiritual life1

In our spiritual life, in our life of aspiration and in our life of dedication, humility is the root, divinity is the tree and Immortality is the fruit. Only when I am soulfully humble does God allow me to make a perfect estimate of His Universal Reality, His Transcendental Reality and my own life.

The perfect man is he whose inner being is flooded with humility. And it is he who eventually becomes God's Transcendental Choice and God's Universal Voice.

Humility and self-conceit are two real strangers to each other. Humility and God-awareness are two eternal friends. Humility and divinity's reality-expansion are eternally inseparable, inseparably one.

When I am humble to my inferiors, they adore me. When I am humble to my equals, they love me. When I am humble to my superiors, they appreciate me. When I am humble to God, He claims me as His best instrument on earth. To climb up God's Vision-tree I need only one thing: humility's beauty. To climb down God's Reality-tree I need only one thing: humility's magnanimity.

There are many roads that lead to God. There is one road which is undoubtedly by far the shortest and, at the same time, most illumining and that road is the humility-road.

  1. RD 3. Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations

Self-giving and happiness1

Dear seekers, I hope at the very beginning I can make you feel what we mean by the term 'seeker'. A seeker need not be an individual who only cries and tries to realise God. A seeker can be someone who sees something that he does not have right now. He wants something that will give him joy and satisfaction in life, but he does not have that very thing.

Here we are in the company of some distinguished individuals of various professions. In order to become proficient in a particular profession, deep inside us we have to have an inner cry. We want to do something, to grow into something, to become something. This means we are seekers. In your case, this seeking eventually bore fruit and you have now become men and women of profession.

Each profession is like a quality that we offer to the world at large, a quality that satisfies and fulfils us. We have a human family and in that family one member is a doctor, another member is a professor, a third is a lawyer and a fourth can be a soldier. All feel an illumining and fulfilling bond among them. Each one plays his respective role in the family, and by playing that role he brings peace, light and delight into the family. The help of each one is needed. The help of each one is of paramount importance.

Each profession is a signal capacity of God. If we are afraid of using the term 'God', let us use the term 'happiness'. Each capacity offers us happiness. If someone is endowed with a special capacity, that means he has happiness and this happiness makes him go forward. In his life he embodies capacity, he represents capacity and he manifests capacity for the satisfaction of human life on earth.

In this world we notice only two things: quality and quantity. Let us take quantity as ignorance-sea and quality as wisdom-light. We observe an overwhelming quantity of ignorance in us and around us, within us and without. Again, in the inmost recesses of our being we observe quality, divine quality, which wants to illumine us and, at the same time, illumine the rest of the world. So let us take quality as something illumining and quantity as something that has kept us under the jurisdiction of ignorance-night.

Each individual has some special quality. That means he has capacity in abundant measure, in boundless measure. Yet, as individuals, we are not perfectly happy, in spite of having capacity in one particular field. How can we be happy? We can be happy only if we believe in the theory of change. We have to change ourselves. We have to change what we have and what we are.

What do we have? We have the physical body, the vital, the mind and the heart. The body is right now unconscious. The vital is aggressive. The mind is doubtful. The heart is insecure. The body is unconscious like a solid wall. The vital is aggressive like a hungry wolf. The mind is doubtful like a doubting Thomas. The heart is insecure like a child in the woods. Again, this can all be changed, transformed. We can have a conscious body, a dynamic vital, a believing mind and a secure heart. When we cry like a child, in silence, and our prayer is sanctioned, we get a conscious body, a dynamic vital, a believing mind and a secure heart.

What are we? We are followers of the neutral life. In this world very often we try to compromise as a last resort. We feel that we are not in a position to know right from wrong, that we are not in a position to judge; or we feel that the only way to remain in peace is to surrender or compromise. But this is a deplorable mistake. Compromise can never give us abiding joy. He who compromises is consciously surrendering to a neutral life. Someone who is neutral is not sure of what the truth is or what the truth should look like. We know we are in between ignorance-night and knowledge-light. It is up to us to accept knowledge, which is wisdom, and to free ourselves totally from the snares of ignorance.

We want happiness — happiness from life and happiness in life — and we want to offer this happiness to our near and dear ones. In order to achieve happiness in life, we have to give unreservedly what we have and what we are. What we have is the body, vital, mind, heart and soul. And what are we? We are God's constant Concern, constant Compassion and constant Manifestation. Again, if you don't want to use the term 'God', you can use the term 'happiness' or 'truth.'

We feel that everything in life disappoints us and deserts us with the exception of one thing, and that thing is truth. To live in truth is to live in happiness. There are various ways to achieve this truth in life. But only one way is most effective and that way is the way of self-giving — unreserved and unconditional self-giving to our own extended, expanded, enlarged, boundless, unlimited existence.

When we enter into our unlimited existence, we feel that we are of the One and for the many. At the same time we feel that we are in the many, for the One. This moment we are the tree; next moment we are the branches. The tree needs the branches, the flowers, the leaves and the fruits in order to prove to the world that it is actually a tree. And the branches need the trunk, the tree as such, to prove to the world that it is part and parcel of the tree. Each profession here is a branch of the life-tree. And again, each profession knows that there is a root to the tree, to the capacity-tree. For if there is no root, then there can be no branches, fruits, leaves and so forth. We have to live in the root and this root is happiness. How can we live in the root all the time? We can live in the root only by self-giving: giving what we have and what we are. What we have is love and what we are is oneness. By offering love in any form to mankind — to our so-called superiors and so-called inferiors, or to our brothers and sisters of the world — we come to know what we ultimately and eternally are: oneness inseparable.

Some of you may wonder why we have invited today only the professionals and not ordinary people. On other occasions we always invite people irrespective of mental capacity or vital capacity, but today we wanted to observe something special here We feel that each profession represents a special quality of the everlasting reality. And sometimes we do feel like being in a group where each member is well understood by the others. Birds of a feather flock together at times in order to add beauty, joy, light and delight to one another. It is with this understanding that today we have invited people of profession. Each one has something special to offer to the rest of the members. As a matter of fact, each individual has a special quality, a special capacity of the Source, and that Source is delight, happiness. Happiness is seeing what has to be seen, happiness is feeling what is actually to be felt, happiness is self-giving, happiness is becoming one with the eternal Source.

  1. RD 4. United Nations Development Programme — Alcoa Building

25th Anniversary Of Unicef's "Trick-Or-Treat"1

[Sri Chinmoy opened the programme with a short song end then spoke to the children:]

Sweet children, dear young friends, my heart is all joy and pride to be in your loving company. I wish to tell you that I have hundreds of friends. Most of them are grown-up people. But I treasure the company of the children much more than I treasure the company of my grown-up friends. Why? Because you are all heart; you are all joy.

My young friends, do you know that there is a person who loves you infinitely more than your best friend loves you? Do you want to know his name? His name is God.

Do you know there is a person who loves you infinitely more than your dear parents love you? Do you want to know his name? His name is God. Do you know there is a person who loves you infinitely more than you love yourselves? Do you want to know his name? His name is God.

Do you want me to prove it? It is very easy to prove. Your best friend never feels that you are as great as God. But God always feels that you are as great as He is.

Your parents never feel that you are as good as God. But God always feels that you are as good as He is.

You never knew that you are another God. But God knows that you are another God and He all the time tells you that very thing. But in order to hear His Voice, you have to pray lovingly every morning and every evening. Please ask your parents to teach you how to pray. If you pray daily, I assure you one day you will hear God's Voice. And then what I have just told you, you yourselves will be able to hear directly from God.

  1. RD 5. Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium

Prayer-life, meditation-life, contemplation-life1

Dear seekers, here we are in a prayer room. This prayer room is dedicated to the United Nations to serve the spiritual life of the United Nations. In this prayer room I wish to give a very short talk on Prayer-Life, Meditation-Life and Contemplation-Life.

Why do we pray? We pray because we want to become great. We pray because we want to become good. When we become great, we feel that the entire world is at our feet, that the entire world is at our command. When we become good, we feel that the entire world is in us and that the entire world is for us.

By praying we can either become another Julius Caesar and Napoleon, or a Christ and a Krishna. When we become a Caesar or Napoleon, we will try to conquer the world to serve ourselves. But when we become another Christ or Krishna, we plead with the world to grant us the opportunity to elevate and illumine the world-consciousness and make other human beings feel that ours is the task to serve and fulfil them the way the Eternal Beloved Supreme wants us to fulfil them.

A life of prayer is a life of simplicity. Simplicity is a very simple word, but it houses the highest truth. It houses God, who is all simplicity. When we are simple, we come to realise that there are very few things that we actually need. Each time we can eliminate one need from our list of necessities, we derive an iota of peace of mind. And it is peace of mind that is of paramount importance in our earthly life.

Right after simplicity we see that there is something else. This is a friend, a real friend, who is waiting for us and welcoming us. The name of that friend is sincerity. When we become sincere, we are bound to feel that our goal can be reached, that the goal need not and cannot remain always a far cry. The life of sincerity makes us feel that we are eternal travellers along the road of Eternity, and are constantly reaching a certain goal. Today's goal, as we reach it, becomes the starting point for tomorrow's new adventure. We are in the process of an ever-transcending goal, an ever-transcending reality.

Then comes the life of purity. Each time we pray, we feel that something within us is coming to the fore, and that something is purity. This purity-friend of ours is liked most by our Eternal Father, our Beloved Supreme. Our Eternal Father feels that His Vision, His Dream, His Reality — whatever He has and whatever He is — can be expressed, revealed and manifested most soulfully, divinely and supremely through purity. A breath of purity holds God the Infinite, God the Eternal, God the Immortal.

Each prayer leads us to an experience. This experience can at times make us feel how helpless we are in comparison with infinite Light and Delight. And again, this experience can make us feel that Infinity, Eternity and Immortality are not vague terms but real realities within our easy reach.

After we have had the experience of the reality, we go one step ahead: we knock at the door of realisation. When we enter into the room of realisation, we see that the things we wanted to achieve, the things we have spent years or even incarnations trying to achieve, are already within us. From Eternity they have been within us, only we did not have the vision to see them. Now, we not only see them but claim them as our very own.

Each individual here is a seeker. That means each of us has a prayer within us and also something else within, which is called meditation. When we are in the prayer-world, each time we think of our body, our physical consciousness, we are reminded of something else, something more fulfilling. When we think of our physical consciousness, our earthly frame, we feel that we need something else to satisfy ourselves and to satisfy the needs of the rest of the world. But when we dive deep within and establish a free access to our life of meditation, we see that we have everything; only we have to offer it and distribute it to others. When we consider ourselves as the soul, as the divine representative of God, the highest absolute Truth, then we see, we feel, we know clearly that we have everything within us; only we have to reveal it and offer it to the world at large.

Here we are at the United Nations Chapel. When we look at the United Nations Secretariat building from the outside, when we look at the body of the United Nations, we feel that the United Nations is like a beggar: it needs everything, everything in God's creation. A beggar needs everything for himself, not for anybody else. His is an unquenchable thirst. Once we are inside the Secretariat building, we feel the infinite Light, Peace and Harmony that is inside the soul of the United Nations. This soul is crying at every moment to be of service to mankind. If we can become one with the soul of the United Nations, then we see that it has everything: world peace, world harmony, world union, world oneness.

But if we look at the body of the United Nations, then we feel that it is infinitely worse than a street beggar. A street beggar feels in the inmost recesses of his heart that some generous persons will give him alms. If we think of the United Nations as begging from country to country for support, then we feel that there is no certainty that the United Nations can last even a day beyond its present existence.

This is the case, not only with the United Nations, but also with each human being. Each time we pray with the body, in the body, for the body, we have to feel that we are acting like beggars. We feel that there is something else that we need in order to satisfy ourselves. But if we remain in the soul-consciousness, in our inner life, then we become the real emperors: we have everything.

There is a slight difference between a human emperor and a divine emperor. When a human emperor gives something to his subjects, he feels a sense of gratification. He feels that his subjects are at his mercy. They depend on his boundless compassion. But the divine emperor has a different story to offer. He feels that each human being on earth is part and parcel of his own existence. He is composed, like the ocean, of thousands of drops. Each drop is equally necessary. When he does something for an individual being, for the individual drop, he feels that he is only pleasing, satisfying, fulfilling his own dream, which is blossoming like a lotus, petal by petal.

The body reminds us of the necessity of prayer. The soul reminds us of the necessity of meditation. Each time we pray, we feel that the finite consciously or unconsciously is trying to enter into the infinite. And each time we meditate, we feel that we are cheerfully, devotedly and soulfully welcoming the Infinite to manifest itself in and through us. Then comes something else, a living reality which we call contemplation. In our prayer-life we go up to see, to feel, to bring down something. In our meditation-life we just become the recipient. In and through us the high, higher, highest Reality is manifesting itself. But when we contemplate, we feel that the finite and the Infinite are interdependent. The finite needs the Infinite; the Infinite needs the finite. Earth needs Heaven; Heaven needs earth. The divine lover needs the Supreme Beloved; the Beloved Supreme needs the lover divine. In contemplation we embody both earth-consciousness and heaven-consciousness. We embody the divine lover and the Eternal Beloved. We embody the finite; we embody the Infinite.

Now, when we want to sing the song of the many in the One, we play the role of the Heaven-consciousness, the Infinite and the Supreme Beloved. And when we want to play the role of the One in the many, then we embody the earth-consciousness, the finite consciousness and the divine-lover consciousness. Each individual has to feel that this moment he is the tree of the one absolute Reality and the next moment he is the branches and the countless leaves, flowers and fruits. God the Creator and God the creation each seeker embodies and each seeker at every moment has the boundless duty to fulfil. And this duty he fulfils only when he feels that he is of the One for the many and he is of the many for the One.

When the seeker identifies himself inseparably and eternally with earth-consciousness, he feels that there is a constant hunger in him, a hunger that constantly mounts high, higher, highest. Then, when he identifies himself with Heaven-consciousness, he feels there is constant nourishment, boundless energy, infinite nectar-delight in him; he feels that Immortality is growing in and through him. He is at once infinite hunger and infinite Delight and immortal Life. In the body-consciousness he needs. In the soul-consciousness he not only has, but also he eternally is.

  1. RD 6. 7 November 1975, Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations

Success and progress1

Meditation defines success and progress in life. Success is the body-dance of self-gratification. Progress is the heart-song of self-perfection.

Success says, "I am above you. You are below me." Progress says, "I only want to be ahead of myself."

Success is my temporary achievement on earth. Progress is my lasting achievement in God and God's lasting achievement in me.

Success thinks that it only needs confidence and perseverance. Progress thinks that it needs not only confidence and perseverance but also something infinitely more, and that thing is God's infinite Grace and God the infinite Grace.

The difference between God's infinite Grace and God the infinite Grace is this: God's infinite Grace paves the way for the Hour of God to strike before God grants us what He wants to grant us. But God the infinite Grace not only wants to expedite the Hour, but He also does everything unconditionally, in the twinkling of an eye. Experience is the pioneer-runner of success. Illumination is the pioneer-runner of progress. Success is the measure of man in earth-bound time. Progress is the measure of man in Heaven-free time.

Success fights against teeming opposition and destroys it. Progress fights against teeming opposition too, but instead of destroying it, progress transforms opposition into perfection for God's greatest satisfaction in and through man on earth.

Success is an idea well-proclaimed and well-acclaimed. Progress is an ideal well-distributed and well-accepted.

Success is the preserver of today's strong arms. Progress is the preserver of yesterday's searching mind, today's aspiring heart and tomorrow's totally consecrated life.

Success is my promise to humanity's curious eye. Progress is my promise to humanity's loving heart, to divinity's unifying soul and to God's all-sheltering and all-loving Feet.

  1. RD 7. Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium

Part II — Series on great men and women


Here we are at the United Nations. If we say that the United Nations is the result of the twentieth century awakening, then we are mistaken. The United Nations is the outgrowth of the inner awakening of human beings from time immemorial. I do hope that you do not misunderstand me, as I have made it very clear to you all that it is the joint aspiration of the hoary past, the immediate past, the present and the fast-approaching future that will bring about the union of the world-soul and the world-goal. The human beings who are now here on earth can tangibly see and feel what the United Nations on the outer plane can do.

Each individual nation has aspiration of its own. Again, each individual nation has been blessed with seekers. Each nation has human beings who aspire for a better, more illumining and more fulfilling world. These seekers have expressed their aspiration in and through various fields: spirituality, religion, philosophy, science, music, art, poetry and so forth. The United Nations is not only for the delegates and the representatives of the various nations. It is for all those who have aspired and do aspire and will always aspire.

Many souls came and presently are coming and eventually will come into the world for the world-aim and the world-goal. That aim and that goal is to see a beautiful, fruitful, unifying and united oneness-world. It is my wish to speak on those souls who have undoubtedly contributed in their respective fields to world-transformation, world-illumination and perfection-oneness. I wish to start this series with William Blake, the English poet.

  1. RD 8-12. During meetings of the United Nations Meditation Group, Sri Chinmoy gave these lectures on great men and women.

William Blake1

William Blake, English poet. Imagination he had; vision he had. Needless to say, he had these two supernal qualities in abundant measure. To him, imagination was reality's all-illumining beauty and vision was beauty's all-fulfilling reality. To him, imagination was a true man and vision was a true and perfection-inspiring man.

Insane he was — so thought some of his contemporaries, even some of his own friends. But he was not insane. Unfortunately, his reality-worlds most people were not and are not wont to see. Most people have no access to these worlds. An inner cry is needed, a true love of the unknown is needed and a brave heart is needed to go beyond the fact-world, beyond the reality-world already seen and already acquired.

Blake's immortal poem "The Tyger" is humanity's invaluable treasure.

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Here we see that ignorance-energy, which threatens to devour the entire world, finally discovers its transformation-salvation in the realisation of the absolute One. This absolute One embodies both ignorance-energy and knowledge-energy and, at the same time, far transcends them both.

The soul's soulful originality was Blake's gift to mankind. Blake the art-painting-lover and the thought-progress-lover was the puissant and incessant flow of originality-creativity.

Blake's friend and disciple, Samuel Palmer, realised him and made it easy for the world to realise him. Blake was a man without a mask: his aim single, his path straightforward, his words few. So he was free, noble and happy. Something more: Blake was humanity's challenge to go beyond the achievements of the earthbound life and divinity's challenge to grow and glow in the ever-transcending Beyond's reality-existence.

Blake's life-boat sailed between the soul-essence-purity and the body-substance-impurity. Indeed, this experience each human life encounters. Then there comes a time when the unlit and undivine part in us cheerfully and devotedly surrenders to the lit and divine part in us. Here surrender means conscious awareness, inseparable oneness. In the realisation of its inseparable oneness with the divine, the undivine in us receives illumination, satisfaction and perfection.

In his lifetime Blake was obscure; recognition was a stranger to him. Now, a century after his departure from the world-scene, the world has discovered and recognised in him a world-lover who had the message of transformation — the transformation of hell-torture into Heaven-rapture and the transformation of the body's ignorance-sea into the soul's wisdom-sky.

Today is Blake's birthday. On November 28, over two hundred years ago, Blake was born; but his soul is still aspiring, still illumining the world and still trying to manifest the divinity that it embodies for earth-awakening, earth-illumination and earth-fulfilment. The poet has the vision of tomorrow, the artist has the vision of tomorrow; the scientist, the singer and the musician all have the vision of tomorrow. All the human beings who are awakened and who are more than ready to contribute something of their own, their very own, in the world at large are really blessed souls and the invaluable, immortal treasures of Mother Earth.

  1. RD 9. Room 550

Thomas Carlyle1

Last time I mentioned the importance of the great figures who have illumined our world. Today I shall speak about Carlyle.

Carlyle. The colossal pride of his country he was. A thinker he was. A philosopher he was. A historian he was. Most of his life-experiences were founded upon his inner awakening and inner illumination. He stirred quite powerfully and significantly not only the Scottish consciousness and the British consciousness, but also the entire European consciousness.

According to his philosophy, materialism and the machine-world cannot and will not illumine and fulfil mankind. It is the message of the spirit that can and will transform the face of mankind. In unmistakable terms he declared that only the life-disciplined and ideal heroes can steer humanity's boat to the shores of satisfaction-fulfilment.

Something more: In Carlyle's philosophy, all human beings are in essence one, because they are of the same Source. But if one individual is more awakened and more illumined than the others, naturally he has to lead and guide the rest. Carlyle maintained that this individual has to play the role of a pioneer precisely because he himself was one of the pioneer world-thinkers and world-transformers. Dauntless he was. Nothing could cow him. He hoisted high his lofty banner of life-awakening and life-illumining reality.

He spoke in clear and emphatic terms with regard to the inner resource, and it was here that he was badly misunderstood. His critics saw in him an unbearable autocrat and not an apostle of a new dawn. To his admirers' sorrow, impatience and irritation plagued his mind. Nevertheless, he made his mighty contribution to the world's life-code. Especially his work for the world of German literature and for the French revolution made him a most significant member of the human family. His enthusiasm for German life in his early years added considerably to the German contribution to the world community. And his book on the French revolution is an immortal book. There he offers a most significant idea: an inner guidance, an unseen hand guides and shapes the destiny of mankind. In all human actions, in all activities, in all worldly, earthly affairs there is a spirit that moves, guides and shapes the world-destiny; there is an inner purpose for outer action.

His father wanted him to be a priest. But he became something else: a world teacher. In fact, his father's desire was fulfilled in an infinitely wider and more profound way. Had he become a priest, perhaps only a few Scottish religion-lovers and truth-seekers would have received his light. But by becoming an illumining thinker and writer, a historian and finally a philosopher-saint in the purest sense of the term, he offered to this world of ours his world of light, abundant light. Thus, he has become the property of the world and he belongs to the world-treasure.

Yesterday was Carlyle's birthday. For a second let us offer to his soul our gratitude-heart for what he has done to create a better world, a better mankind.

  1. RD 10. Room 550

Emily Dickinson1

The day before yesterday was the birthday of Emily Dickinson: the unparalleled American woman poet and the universally celebrated world poet. Emily and her family formed an inseparable and unique reality. Her family's need was all to her. Her family saw in her reality's intensity, which is a portion of her future-building, illumining divinity's fulfilling touch in the heart of humanity.

Emily's heart carried her physical consciousness and her vital consciousness to her soul's world. Her soul, in a sublime yet subtle manner, carried three other members — the body, vital and heart — to the soul's own source, Immortality-Land. When they returned, the body, vital and heart were convinced of the reality of this divine Immortality-Land.

Just because the mind was not invited to take the trip either by Emily or by her soul, heart, vital or body, her mind violently refused to believe in the authenticity of Emily's illumining, fulfilling and immortalising experiences. The mind stood adamant between the finite and the infinite, between the body and vital and the heart and soul, between the consciously known world and the unconsciously known world. And what is worse, at times the mind was so successful in convincing her, that her previously intoxicating reality-world became nothing more than a visionary hallucination-conception-world in her human life. This formidable and blightful doubt resulted in an indulgence of self-mockery, truth-mockery and world-mockery in her life. Naturally, therefore, her heart's illumination-sky could not grant her the boon of a free access to her inner vastness and her outer plenitude.

Emily learned very little from her association with her outer life. But she learned much from her inner association with her world-seclusion. Indeed, the outer world was an experience devoid of integral reality to her. Therefore, what she knew of earth and thought of earth could not become an encouraging, sustaining, inspiring, illumining and fulfilling experience leading to her own existence-reality.

Emily's love of God and her love of nature made her inwardly beautiful. All her life Emily lived the life of an introvert. A self-imposed seclusion-life she embraced. God's Compassion-Beauty was her reward. In God's Compassion-Beauty, her world and those who wanted to live in her world became preparation-instruments for the transformation and perfection of the frustration-experiences of life.

Her aspiration was in seclusion. Her aspiration was not only in seclusion, but seclusion itself became her aspiration. Inside seclusion-aspiration she did get a few striking glimpses of the inner illumination-sun. Life's buffets gave her two or three times intolerable frustration-experiences, which commanded her to dive deep, deeper within to discover the wealth of the inner life.

Obscurity was her name when she was on earth. Only seven poems were published while Mother Earth nourished her. But when Father Heaven started nourishing her, earth lovingly acknowledged Emily's great achievement and felt considerable pride in her soul-stirring gifts to mankind.

About eighteen hundred flower-poems formed her entire garland. Some of the petals of the flowers offered by her were childish beauty, while others were childlike duty and still others the mature wisdom of a Christian saint. It was her realisation that the Unknown and the Beyond always remain an uncertain and unknown reality. Just because she felt that it would remain unknown forever, the real Reality-Source could not quench her thirst-reality and satisfy her.

Some disproportionately foul critic found in her nothing but a lunatic of the superlative degree. If so, why? Is not this world of ours responsible for not being able to give her the heart's satisfaction which she so richly deserved? Is not the other world responsible for not granting her the life-perfection which she so desperately needed? Her heart-experience says to earth, "Earth, I understand your dilemma. You want and, at the same time, you do not want a transformation-face; a transformation-face, according to you, either is not real or may not satisfy you at all. Therefore, your inner cry is not intense enough, it is not genuine or abiding."

Earth says to the poet, "You are right, you are right. You are more than right. I wish to tell you that what I have is not satisfying me and what I may get is not satisfying me at all. But I do feel that if, in God's creation, satisfaction never dawns, then God will have to remain incomplete. To cherish the idea that God is or will remain incomplete leaves my own existence-reality incomplete for all Eternity. Question I have; answer I do not have. But I am sure my patience-life will be inundated by answer-light in the bosom of Eternity's choice hour."

To Heaven, the poet's life-experience says, "Heaven, if you are really soulful, then you must please me powerfully too. And if you are really powerful, then you cannot endure a yawning gulf between your own ecstasy-reality and my depression, frustration and destruction-reality. True reality exists in self-expansion founded on illumination-distribution.

Heaven says to her soul, "O seeker-poet, you have to dive infinitely deeper. I am not exactly what you have seen of me. I am not in the least what you think of me. I am far beyond your desire-discovery-aspiration. Within your aspiration-discovery-realisation, you will find me, my universality's oneness."

  1. RD 11. Room 550

Margaret Wilson1

We all know about your President Woodrow Wilson. He had a daughter named Margaret Wilson. Here we have someone who happened to be her childhood friend, Mrs. Pearce K. Drake. Mrs. Drake, today I wish to speak about your friend, Margaret Wilson.

Many years ago she read a book written by the great spiritual Master, Sri Aurobindo. The book, Essays on the Gita, is about Sri Krishna's conversations with Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita. Sri Krishna was the divine soul and Arjuna was the aspiring human soul. We have many, many scriptures in India, but the Bhagavad-Gita is our matchless scripture. The quintessence of all our other scriptures can be found in the Bhagavad-Gita; it is India's Bible. Sri Aurobindo wrote some most beautiful, luminous essays on the Bhagavad-Gita. Once Margaret Wilson happened to find and read the book. She was extremely moved and wanted to meet the author. But in those days the author of the book was in complete seclusion; he never left his room. But nevertheless, Margaret Wilson went to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and stayed there permanently. Four times a year she used to see the Master, as others did, for two or three seconds each time. But she was deeply moved by Sri Aurobindo's books, by Sri Aurobindo's philosophy, by Sri Aurobindo's yoga. So she stayed in his Ashram.

Sri Aurobindo eventually gave her the name Nishtha, which means faith-divine faith, intense faith. One who has total faith in the Divine, in God, in the Supreme, is Nishtha. Nishtha became the perfect embodiment of divine faith. She led an exemplary life full of devotion and had a surrendering attitude towards the inner, spiritual life.

Unfortunately, we are all susceptible to disease. In her later years Nishtha developed a serious illness. The Indian doctors, in spite of their best efforts, could not cure her. So one of the doctors suggested to her: "Why don't you go back to America? American doctors are far more advanced than we are in the medical field. If you go back to America, the doctors there will take care of you and cure you." But Nishtha's immediate answer was: "True, the doctors in America can take of my body, but who will take care of my soul? My soul is infinitely more important to me than my physical body. I shall stay here." So she stayed in Pondicherry. She delayed death for a few years more while leading a most dedicated, most spiritual life. Then she passed away.

What do we learn from Margaret Wilson? The soul is infinitely more important than the physical body. But again, in the physical is the soul. We have to give the necessary importance to the physical, but when it is a matter of comparison, when it is a matter of choice, the soul is far more important. If we care for the body all the time, then we shall lead a most ordinary human life. We shall live on earth to no avail. In Indian villages there are farmers who are more than one hundred and fifty years old. But they have no aspiration. Just to live here on earth and count the years on the calendar is of no avail. But if we can stay on earth for even forty or fifty years and can bring the soul's light and divine qualities to the fore and try to manifest them here on earth, then life is meaningful. But for that, we have to live in the soul, not in the body. If we live in the body, we become constant victims to teeming desires.

Today's meditation said that God works in our teeming desires. But again, we have entered into the spiritual life, so for us God is in our climbing aspiration. And tomorrow, in the future, we all shall realise God, and at that time God will be in our glowing realisation. Margaret Wilson knew what desire is. She was brought up in America, so desire was not foreign to her. But she left America for India, and there she lived the spiritual life, the life of aspiration. And what she wanted was realisation and liberation, the third and last step. We can all learn from her. We started our journey with desire. Now all of us here live at least sometimes in the world of aspiration. And in the future, near or distant, we all are bound to enter into the world of realisation.

Nishtha had a Corona typewriter. She typed on that machine for many, many years. But when she passed away, after a few years I was given that typewriter to use. It is not a coincidence that out of two thousand or so disciples, admirers and followers of Sri Aurobindo in the Ashram, it was I who was given that particular machine, Nishtha's type writer, to use. Thousands and thousands of times I have typed on Nishtha's machine. And whenever I typed, my soul used to show loving concern and sweet gratitude. From my highest concern, I used to bless her soul.

Thrice I visited her home in the cemetery; three times I paid my soulful homage to her soul there. The cemetery was three and a half miles from the place where I lived. According to our Indian tradition, one has to go to the cemetery with utmost love, concern, purity, simplicity; and finally, if one has real concern for the person's soul, then one has to go barefoot. One cannot carry an umbrella, one cannot wear shoes or sandals and one has to walk. So I walked all the way barefoot. And you can well imagine the scorching heat of South India! Three times I paid my deepest homage to Margaret Wilson. 'Faith' in its purest, simplest and highest form, this is Nishtha. I wish to say that all of us can have this kind of faith. It is already within us. We do not have to invent or create faith in ourselves. We have just to discover it. It is not something unknown or foreign or inconceivable or unimaginable to us. No, it is deep inside us. We have only to search, and then we will be able to discover our own treasure. If we have faith in God, then there is no such thing as impossibility.

If one does not have faith in oneself, then one can never, never have real faith in God. This faith in oneself is not arrogance or a showing off of what one can do or say. This faith is the conviction of one's inseparable oneness with the highest Absolute: "I can do this, I can say this, I can go into this, I can become this precisely because deep inside me is my Supreme Lord. It is on the strength of my identification with the Highest Supreme, the Inner Pilot, that I can do this, I can say this, I can become this, I can help the world because God has made me His conscious instrument."

Faith in oneself and faith in God must run together. Otherwise, if one has faith in God and not in oneself or if one has faith in oneself and not in God, then progress will always be unsatisfactory and transient. But if we have faith in ourselves, if we can feel that God has chosen us and we are His chosen instruments, if we can feel that He is with us, in us, of us and for us, then here on earth we can achieve the message of Immortality in our consciousness and the message of universal Perfection in our day-to-day lives. Let us try. We shall succeed.

  1. RD 12. Peace Room, Church Center for the United Nations

Part III — Discourses

1976: The new year, new opportunities, new challenges1

A new year means a new experience. The new year experiences a new aspiration from human beings. Aspiration is a climbing cry that becomes an illumining smile.

Human beings expect a new satisfaction from the new year. Satisfaction is the embodiment and manifestation of happiness. When we embody happiness, each little individual world of ours becomes a big and vast world. When we manifest happiness, the mortal in us becomes immortal.

What is happiness? Happiness is what God eternally has and what God supremely is. Happiness is not something inside the heart of self-giving. No! it is our unconditional self-giving itself. Self-giving is God-becoming, slowly in reality, steadily in divinity and unerringly in Immortality.

Each new year reminds us of the ideal and the real in us. The ideal in us is to see the Truth. The real in us is to become the Truth. Truth is the Eye of God in Heaven; Truth is the Heart of God on earth. God's Eye guides us and leads us. God's Heart feeds us and immortalises us.

Each new year is a new responsibility. A new responsibility is a new opportunity. What is the message of opportunity? Opportunity tells us that a goal, even our ultimate goal, does not have to remain always a far cry. The goal can be reached by transforming animal hunger into divine hunger. The goal can be reached by transforming human thirst into divine thirst. Animal hunger devours the divine vision in us. Human thirst dominates the divine reality in us. Divine hunger is for self-transcendence. Divine thirst is for self-perfection.

This new year of 1976 is the year of either destruction or satisfaction. If we please ourselves in our own human way, then we will undoubtedly meet with destruction. If we please God in God's own way, then we shall without fail meet with satisfaction. To doubt the divine in us and to indulge the human in us is to please ourselves in our own human way. To perfect the human in us and to fulfil the divine in us is to please God in God's own way.

  1. RD 13. Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium

Concentration, meditation, contemplation1

I have offered to each of you a flower. A flower signifies purity. Let us feel that our hearts have become as pure as the flower.

Concentration, meditation and contemplation are of utmost importance in the spiritual life. Therefore, let us try to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. We shall now concentrate. Try to look at the entire flower for a few seconds. While you are concentrating on the entire flower, please feel that you are the flower and also that this flower is growing inside your heart, in the inmost recesses of your heart. You are the flower and, at the same time, you are growing inside your heart. Then, gradually try to concentrate on one particular petal, any petal that you select. At this time feel that that petal is the seed form of your reality-existence. Again, in a few minutes' time, please concentrate on the entire flower. At that time feel that it is the universal reality. So right now concentrate on the flower itself and then a few minutes later on one petal. In this way you go back and forth. And please do not allow any thought to enter into your mind. Try to make your mind absolutely calm, quiet, tranquil, and kindly keep your eyes half open.

Now kindly close your eyes and try to see the flower that you have concentrated upon inside your heart. Then, in the same way, kindly concentrate on the flower inside your heart with your eyes closed.

Now we shall meditate. Kindly keep your eyes half open and imagine the vast sky. Either try to see or feel the vast sky right in front of you. In the beginning try to feel that the sky is in front of you; then later please try to feel that you are as vast as the sky, or that you are the vast sky itself.

Now kindly close your eyes and try to see and feel the sky inside your heart. That is to say, please feel that you are now the Universal Heart, which you truly are. You are now the Universal Heart, and inside you is the sky that you meditated upon and identified yourself with. Your heart is infinitely, infinitely vaster than the sky, so you can easily house the sky within yourself.

Concentration we have done. Meditation we have done. Now we shall contemplate.

Kindly try to imagine a golden being or figure. Try to feel that this golden being is infinitely more beautiful than the most beautiful child that you have ever seen on earth. This being is our beloved Lord Supreme. We are divine lovers, supreme lovers, and the golden being is our beloved Lord Supreme.

Now we shall try to imagine the presence of our Beloved on the top of a mountain in the Himalayas or at the very bottom of the Pacific Ocean, whichever is easier for us. Please try to feel your existence and the Presence of your Supreme Beloved Lord at the top of the highest mountain or at the very bottom of the ocean. Once you feel this, then in silence you smile.

Then, after a few seconds, please feel that you are the Beloved Supreme and that the golden being is the Supreme Lover. It is like divine hide-and-seek. When you become the Supreme Beloved, the divine lover seeks you. When you become the divine lover, you seek the Supreme Beloved. When you are the Supreme Beloved, the divine lover searches for you; and when you are the divine lover, you search for the Beloved Supreme. So one moment you are the supreme lover and the next moment you are the Supreme Beloved Lord. Kindly do this with your eyes half open in the beginning.

  1. RD 14. At a meeting of the United Nations Meditation Group in February, 1976, these instructions by Sri Chinmoy on concentration, meditation and contemplation were read out. Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium