Part I — Discourse

The inner world and the outer world

The inner world prepares me. The outer world utilises me.

The inner world feeds me. The outer world announces me.

In the inner world I am all aspiration. In the outer world I am all revelation. What is aspiration? Aspiration is a soulful cry of my eternal life. What is revelation? Revelation is a fruitful smile of my immortal soul.

In the inner world I know that I eternally am. In the outer world I know that I constantly can. I am eternally God's instrument. This is what I know in the inner world. I can serve God, please God and fulfil God in His own Way. This is what I know in the outer world.

In the inner world I try to see God's Height, His transcendental Height. In the outer world I try to see God's Length, His boundless Length.

In the inner world I try to enter into God's Golden Boat. Out of His infinite Bounty He allows me to be in His Boat. In the outer world God carries me and pilots me to His Reality Shore, at His choice Hour. This also He does out of His infinite Bounty.

There comes a time when my inner world and my outer world become inseparably one. At that time I feel that my reality and God's Reality are inseparably one, that my reality's height and God's Reality's Height are inseparably one, that my vision-world and God's Vision-World are inseparably one. At that time I as a seeker become one with my Master, I as a dreamer become one with my reality, I as a divine lover become one with my Supreme Beloved.

In my inner world I need to love my outer world more, in a divine way. In my outer world I need to listen to my inner world more, in a soulful way. If I do not feel the need for my inner world, my aspiration-world, then I shall not be able to understand my outer world. My outer world's determination, manifestation, perfection and satisfaction entirely depend on my inner world's peace, harmony and oneness.

25 October 1978
St. Paul's Chapel
Columbia University
New York, New York

Part II — Interview on "The Other Hour" Wrvr-Fm radio

On 3 July 1977 Sri Chinmoy was the guest on "The Other Hour," a radio program broadcast live in New York on radio station WRVR. Following is a transcript of the interview.

Donna Halper: You are with "The Other Hour," and with our theme song we are actually on the air, through the Grace of God. I'm Donna Halper. You never know what you are going to hear on "The Other Hour," but what you are going to hear tonight is a little bit different and a little bit unique. We have a very, very great person, with whom you are probably familiar if you are into music at all. He's been the spiritual Master of a number of major musicians, and is also a great philosopher and teacher, and a musician himself. Of course, I am talking about Sri Chinmoy, who is our guest in the studio tonight. You can call in and speak with him a little bit later. I think before we do anything else. Sri Chinmoy would you like to play some music for us? I believe this is connected with meditation. Am I correct Guru? Music for meditation.

(Sri Chinmoy plays the esraj.)

Donna Halper: Wow! How would you like to do that for the whole rest of the show? God is that beautiful! We have a whole group of engineers who are saying that's nice, seriously. For our audience the instrument which he is playing is called the esraj. I'd like to ask you now what is the purpose of this music when you are meditating? What is the effect it is supposed to have on a person while he is meditating?

Sri Chinmoy: Soulful music intensifies our meditation. Soulful music expedites our soul's journey. Soulful music helps the seeker establish his conscious and inseparable oneness with the Supreme Pilot. Therefore I give great importance to music in the spiritual life.

Donna Halper: In other words, to hear music helps one to become more in tune with God. How does it do this? If I were an atheist and I heard that music, I don't know if I would think about God, but I know that I would feel very relaxed and peaceful. Would you say that that feeling means being closer to God?

Sri Chinmoy: We cannot define God in terms of one specific feeling or experience. Each one has to experience God for himself. If we say God is all Peace or God is all Delight then there will be people to contradict us. Each one has to define God for himself. We all want he have satisfaction. I have satisfaction by experiencing truth and light and others will also derive satisfaction from that reality-experience although they may call it by a different name.

Donna Halper: But don't people come to you looking to find out what God is?

Sri Chinmoy: They do come to me for that but only people who believe in God come to me. Stark atheists do not come to me. For them God is something else. The God we speak of is not God for them. But again I have deepest respect for their God. If they say that there is no such thing as God I say all right. As long as they believe in something I feel that that very thing is God for God is omniscient omnipresent and omnipotent.

Donna Halper: So the person who believes in music, for instance, or the person who is very, very into something, like playing an instrument- that's a form of religion, too?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not a form of religion but it is a form of communication with the Source.

Donna Halper: Sri Chinmoy, when people come to you, what are they usually hoping to find?

Sri Chinmoy: Usually they hope for peace of mind. They expect a better understanding of life. They expect inner ecstasy.

Donna Halper: Do you give them that?

Sri Chinmoy: I do offer it to them and they receive from me according to their receptivity.

Donna Halper: There are so many people seeking, trying to find out about religion. They don't feel satisfied with organised religion, let us say, so they come to you. How would they know whether or not you are the right spiritual Master for them?

Sri Chinmoy: They will be able to discover this in a few minutes' time. As soon as they see me if I am meant for them they will get a kind of vibration a kind of familiar feeling. They don't have to talk to me. They will feel an inner communication. They will see and feel in me a friend a true and eternal friend.

Donna Halper: What about the person who comes to you and is very sceptical? Will you also be a friend to that person?

Sri Chinmoy: I will definitely be his friend but he himself will feel uncomfortable. He will have to go to someone else with whom he will feel comfortable and who will he able to guide him in a different way.

Donna Halper: We're talking about music and meditation and religion. To continue on the subject of religion, Guru, there are so many people claiming to be Gurus these days, there are so many people claiming to be Messiahs, claiming to have the right answer. How can a person who is serious about this, tell who is a real spiritual Master and who is not?

Sri Chinmoy: There are quite a few ways to know whether a Master is genuine or not. If the Master says that he will be able to grant you realisation overnight, then he is a false Master. If he says that if you give him a fee of a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, then he will be able to help you enter into a higher realm of consciousness and attain Peace, Light and Bliss, then he is a false Master. A true Master will tell the seeker all the time that he is not God; he is not even the Guru. God Himself is the real Master. The human Master is only serving God in the seekers; he is not the Guru. The real Guru is God Himself. So if a seeker wants to know who a true Master is, from these guidelines he can usually know the real from the false.

Donna Halper: So the person who claims that he has the magic answer is probably not a person who should be taken seriously?

Sri Chinmoy: Spiritual progress is not like instant coffee. It is a slow and steady process. Slowly, steadily and unerringly we have to walk along Eternity's Road in order to reach Infinity s Goal.

Donna Halper: If someone comes to you and decides that you are the person he would like to study with, what does he have to do?

Sri Chinmoy: There are a few rules and regulations which the seekers must follow if I accept them as my students. First of all, I shall ask them to be very simple, very sincere, humble and pure. I recommend a very simple life.

Donna Halper: We read in the paper about various movements which are very austere, where the men and women are not allowed to associate with each other. They are not allowed to eat meat and they pretty much just stay inside and meditate all the time. Is this the kind of life that your disciples live?

Sri Chinmoy: No, I do not advocate austerity. I do not want my disciples to live in the Himalayan caves. We advocate acceptance of life. We have to accept life and then we have to transform life. There are many things in human life which we cannot appreciate. These are our deplorable weaknesses. So we try to illumine these weaknesses. We do not shun life. We accept life, but we transform the things that have to be transformed.

Donna Halper: In addition to meditation, do your disciples practise any chanting or anything of that nature?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, they do chant occasionally. I have composed quite a few melodies for verses from the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. I have set tune to quite a few verses, and my students occasionally chant them.