— Sri Chinmoy"
We know what we want from the human life. We are crying for the divine life, for oneness with God. There will come a time when we will see that God possesses Peace, Light and Bliss. At that time we will say, "I need these qualities to reach Him. When I have all these good qualities in abundant measure, then my Divinity will come to the fore. At that time I will become one with God." So we try to gain Peace, Light and Bliss so that we can become perfect instruments or images of God, who embodies these qualities. Then we grow into His Divinity. This is one way we can grow into these divine qualities and become one with God.
There is also another way. If we know where the Possessor of these divine qualities is, and if we have free access to Him during our meditation, then we can approach Him and say, "O God, now I am at Your Feet. Please give me what I need. Give me what You feel is best: Peace, Light or Bliss. But please give it to me only if it is Your Will. If it is not Your Will, then don't give me anything. And if You want me to be in hell, then let me be in hell."
We already know the negative qualities or propensities within us: fear, doubt, depression and so on. If fear has entered into us, then we must use our strength to conquer it. If doubt has entered into us, then immediately we must use our divine surrender, which is our soul's power, to overcome it. We always have the antidote inside us, the capacity to fight and overcome negative qualities. But once they enter into us, we often surrender to them. And when we surrender to negative forces and circumstances, we become their victim again and again. Thus it is always better to fight against them with our positive inner capacities. Our positive capacities are confidence, absolute certainty and faith: faith in ourselves, faith in God and faith in our spiritual life. Let us use the positive power that we have in order to challenge and destroy or transform the negative power inside us. When our soul uses its positive power, its spiritual power, it enters into twenty divine qualities at once, and these qualities become like divine flowers offered at the Feet of the Supreme.
— Sri Chinmoy"
Purity is a divine quality of paramount importance in our spiritual life. Everybody knows what purity is, but purity is something that has to be cultivated. Unless we are pure, we cannot achieve anything. Spiritual power will be a curse instead of a boon if we don't have purity in our body, mind, heart and soul; it will simply burn us to ashes. If we have wisdom without purity, then it will immediately be eclipsed by fear and doubt.
All divine qualities are attainable in our spiritual life. So purity is most certainly attainable, but everything depends upon how sincerely one has accepted the spiritual life. It may take a few days, a few months or a few years, depending upon the individual's aspiration. And it may take many incarnations if one is not sincerely aspiring at all.
In our path, physical purity is extremely important. Some spiritual seekers neglect the body; they do not care for the physical. But we do care for the physical because we feel that it is in the physical that the soul resides. The fulfilment of our divine mission can only take place here on earth, in the physical body. In the physical, purity is power; so we must keep the body pure. When we establish purity in our nature, only then can the divine power last permanently in us.
If we are impure, wrong thoughts, jealous thoughts, obscure thoughts and death will haunt us. This is the secret I wish to tell you: If we want to be free from the fear of death, then we must be pure. The moment we feel the purity of the soul, at that time we can enter into the very existence of death. When we can consciously enter into something, we are not afraid of it because there we bring our own strength, our own soul's light.
There are various ways to purify our outer existence. If we do not have any specific method of meditation, we can start with breathing. We should try to breathe in calmly and quietly, and while inhaling just repeat the word "purity". Or we can say "Supreme". We need no other secret than this. If we do this, we will feel purity coming down from above our head. Then, when we breathe out, we try to feel our impurities going out with the breath. If we practise this simple exercise, we will see a difference in our nature in this lifetime.
Then we must try to economise in the production of our mouth. Most of us talk daily at least three and a half hours more than necessary. If we want to make true spiritual progress, then we have to minimise our talking. We are not being asked to become a silent Brahman. That is far from what God wants. But we need not enjoy silly, useless, meaningless talk. Very often we ruin our deep inner experiences by talking about them or just talking too much in general. What actually happens is that when we receive some inner truth or inner reality, we feel that it is not inner truth at all but just a kind of meaningless mental hallucination. Why? Because by constant talk, we have alienated ourselves from our real Source. After we have had major experiences or, we can say, minor realisations, we can talk as much as we want. But at that time we will not be able to speak of anything that our inner being does not want us to speak about. So let us try to minimise talk. All of us can practise this golden truth.
Only when we have attained spiritual perfection will we achieve absolute purity. Everybody is impure until the last moment before perfection. But right now, if we can bring down into our mind peace from Above, then inner purity will abide in the mind. Our inner existence is always pure. The soul is always pure. Our divine heart is always pure. It is the physical, earthbound mind that is impure; and that mind, along with our outer existence, can be purified if we bring to the fore the light of the soul. This is not only possible, but practicable and inevitable as we attain spiritual perfection.
From the spiritual point of view. I wish to say that purity is something that will immediately help us to become one with the highest and the lowest at the same time. When we are in the lowest, we will not feel that the lowest is the only thing on earth; and when we are in the highest, we will not feel that the highest is the only thing on earth. At that time, there will no longer be any difference between the highest and the lowest. It will all be one.
When we are pure we are able to expand our mind, our thoughts and our ideas. When we possess real purity, we constantly see that our consciousness is expanding from one individual to another, from one place to another, from the limited to the unlimited. The moment the highest purity is developed or possessed, we feel that the entire world is ours. It is not something apart from us; we belong to the world and the world belongs to us.
In the spiritual world, purity is the secret of oneness, the indivisible oneness between the finite consciousness and the infinite consciousness, between the individual world and the collective world. It is purity that can unite us. It is purity that can permanently establish the divine Kingdom of Heaven here in the physical.
— Sri Chinmoy"
— Sri Chinmoy"
Intuition is an inner faculty which all human beings have. But everyone has not developed this faculty or brought it to the fore so that he can use it, so some people are not yet convinced that they have it. One form of intuition is inside the mind. But real intuition comes from the soul. Sometimes we use the subtle mind and feel that our mental understanding is intuition. But this is not true. Intuition is the machine in us that sees the Light immediately. Intuition itself is the conscious Light in each individual. It is the faculty in us that sees the Truth and Reality all at once, without separating these from their entire existence and essence. In the ordinary life, most of the time we will see that Reality is at one place and vision is somewhere else. But in the case of intuition it is not like that. In intuition, the Reality and the vision go together; they cannot be separated.
When a small child looks at an elephant, what does he see? Immediately he sees the tail or the legs or the trunk. His attention is concentrated only on one part of the elephant, but he feels that he has seen the whole elephant. But when we see something while using our intuitive power, immediately we see its whole existence. It is like seeing the whole body of the elephant at the same time. We will not only see all the limbs of the elephant simultaneously but also, at the same time, its inner existence as well. The power of intuition sees the inner and outer Truth completely, as a whole, without separating the two aspects.
The outer existence we see with the outer eyes: one portion, one limb of the elephant we see when we use our outer eyes. But intuition comes from the third eye. If we are fed by the soul's light, then it becomes very easy to open up the third eye. The third eye, which we call the ajna chakra, actually has infinitely more power of vision than just intuition. Intuition is only a part of its capacity. You may call it a significant part, yet I call it insignificant in comparison with its total capacity. But again, the difference between the human eye and the intuitive faculty is enormous.
There is a great difference between perception and intuition. Perception is of a very, very low origin and intuition is of a very, very high origin. Perception comes from the mind proper, from the vital, or from even lower regions. Perception can never go beyond the ordinary level of mental consciousness. Even when we perceive something to the fullest extent, this perception comes from the mind. But intuition comes from a very high level of consciousness far above the mind. In perception there is very rarely a direct knowledge of Truth; there is no direct wisdom. Perception is an indirect way of approaching the Truth, a roundabout way. But intuition is an immediate and direct way of approaching the Truth. There can be no comparison between perception and intuition.
If we try to open up the third eye or cultivate the intuitive power without being fully energised in the heart, then the intuitive power may only create problems for us. We will be disturbed by it. Right now, if I see with my intuition that my father is going to die tomorrow, then I myself will be dead today. My very fear will kill me. So what is the use of torturing myself with this knowledge? But if I have developed will-power, if I have claimed the soul's light as my own, at that time I become one with the Supreme's Will. Then, even if I know that my father is going to die, I will not be disturbed because I know, after all, who my father is. He is only a child of the Supreme as I myself am also a child of the Supreme. My father is now here on earth playing in the Lap of the Supreme. As soon as he leaves the body, he will be inside the Heart of the Supreme. You may take this as a theoretical experience. But no! This is what we feel when we see the Truth through the Eye of the Supreme.
Again, if we see with our intuition that the future is very bright, if we see that something very good is going to happen, then our impatience will kill us. We are like a child. A child sees a mango, but his mother is not giving it to him. The time has not yet come, the hour has not yet struck for him to get the mango. He feels miserable. He says, "Since it is for me, I should eat it now." But the mother knows when is the best time to give the mango to the child. Similarly, with our intuitive power, our intuitive light, if we see something coming we may try to grab it. Then, if we don't get the result or cannot pull it down right in front of our nose, we feel miserable. We may see it, but we cannot hasten its arrival; we have to wait for God's Hour to strike. So we feel miserable. Right now, if we have intuitive power, we will be like a child dealing with a knife: a child may cut his finger or may even stab himself.
But if we first open up our heart centre and become one with God, then when we see the future we will not be disturbed. So the best thing is to wait until the heart centre is open and we have imbibed the soul's light to a great extent. We can best embody intuitive power only when we live in the soul's light. At that time, if we have the intuitive power, we will be safe; nothing will go wrong. I tell my disciples not to think of intuition right now. It can help considerably, but only at the right hour, when it is properly understood. Intuitive power will automatically come when our own inner being develops, when our psychic surrender is complete, when we have established our conscious inner oneness with the Supreme. At that time we will not misuse it. It will be of constant help to us.
— Sri Chinmoy"
Determination and will-power
— Sri Chinmoy"
If we want to develop determination, then we must think not of the lower, emotional vital but of the dynamic, energetic vital. We must think of ourselves not as the aggressive vital, which most gladly enjoys depression and frustration, but as the vital that is full of determination. If the vital wants to achieve something by hook or by crook, then it is the undivine vital. But the undivine vital only destroys our possibilities and potentialities. By adopting foul means, by misusing our determination, we cannot get anything. But if the vital wants to work devotedly and with tremendous sincerity, that is to say, if it needs the truth and if it will not take rest until it achieves the truth, then that is the divine vital. The divine vital longs for everything positive. It needs Light. Without Light, it will not be fulfilled. It needs divine Power: the Power that builds, not the power that destroy us. It needs divine Love: the Love that expands, not the human love that ends in frustration.
Let us say that a child has started to study in primary school. He says, "I am determined to get my Master's degree; before that, I will not give up studying." If his determination is very sincere, then the child will one day reach his goal. Similarly, in the spiritual life if the vital makes the promise that it will bring down from Above Peace, Light and Bliss in boundless measure, then eventually it is bound to bring down Peace, Light and Bliss.
But the determination of the vital is not enough; we also need the will of the soul. Determination ultimately comes from the soul. When we use this power on the physical, vital or mental plane — that is to say, on the outer plane — we call it determination. But when we use it on the inner or psychic plane, we call it will-power, the light of the soul. "Will-power" is the spiritual term that we use for determination. When the light of the soul enters into the vital, we can have one-pointed determination. This one-pointed determination is divine determination, real will-power.
In ordinary human life, when we are determined to do something, we maintain our determination for five minutes and then all our determination is gone. If we try to achieve determination on our own, it will not last. But once we know what the soul's will-power is, we see that it lasts for many years, even for a lifetime.
Divine determination automatically comes if we meditate on the heart, on the heart's light. Each seeker can develop the capacity to bring light to the fore. If we meditate somewhere else rather than on the heart, our determination may fluctuate. Suppose we are determined to get up the next morning at five o'clock. Tomorrow we may get up at five o'clock with greatest difficulty. But the day after tomorrow, we simply forget to get out of bed. We have not made a determined promise and so we get up at eight o'clock or ten o'clock. Why? Because we have not charged our battery. If we get divine light from our soul during our meditation and if we sincerely pray to the soul to wake us up at five o'clock, then the soul will be pleased. Even if we go to bed at two o'clock in the morning, we will be able to get up at five o'clock. The soul will get us up. It is the soul that can take the responsibility to do what is necessary on our behalf. The Seekers of Truth and Light will always try to have free access to the soul's will. If we make a conscious effort to identify with our soul's will and with the determination of our inner being, only then can our efforts have power.
— Sri Chinmoy"
The more Light we get from within, the swifter comes our progress and achievement. Each achievement sparks an iota of detachment. But total detachment is something we do not get until practically the end of our journey, after a long period of spiritual practice. Nobody can say he started his spiritual journey with detachment. One can never get detachment all at once. For years, even for quite a few incarnations, one has to concentrate, meditate and do selfless service; then only one can achieve detachment. Detachment is something extremely difficult to achieve, but it is something which we all have to have.
In a family, each member has a responsibility towards the other members. Physical, moral and other kinds of obligations we have as long as we live. The mother has to care for the son because the mother brought the son into the world. The son has to care for the mother because the son feels an obligation, to some extent, to fulfil or please the mother. But often the mother does not truly care for the son, or the son for the mother. When affection or true understanding is missing among family members, immediately we can know that it is lack of concern, not detachment. Lack of concern everybody knows we see it in our day-to-day life. Lack of concern is often mistaken for detachment. But detachment is something far superior to lack of concern. Detachment, not lack of concern, is what a spiritual seeker needs.
Detachment does not mean that we will have no concern for others. Detachment means that we will perform our duties as well as possible, but not care for the results. In detachment we do the right thing in the right way and at the right moment. Everything is done precisely because the Inner Pilot has commanded it. Then, if we go still deeper, we feel that the Inner Pilot is everything. He is the Doer, He is the Action itself and He is the Enjoyer.
Suppose one is an athlete, a runner who has been practising for a long time. Finally he runs in the Olympics and he comes in last. He will say to himself, "I have practised for so many years. How is it that I have stood last?" But now he must be detached. From what? From the fruits of his actions. A runner has to practise with all hope that he will be the winner. He has to get up early in the morning, take various kinds of exercise and do everything else that is necessary to improve his performance. But the result of his actions he has to place at the Feet of God, who is the only Doer.
The supreme philosophy is, "God is the Doer and the Enjoyer," and this is absolutely true. But here on earth, on the physical plane, we definitely have to do what we feel is best. We have to work and do the needful. In every way we have to do our duty as well as we can in order to reach our goal. Sometimes we try to see the result of our work with our mental eye, and our mental eye shows us that the result will be defeat. If we know that the result will not please us, then we find it extremely difficult to work well and with enthusiasm. If success is all that we care for, then naturally we will be discouraged. But at this point we are making a mistake; we do not know the true meaning of detachment. We have to act with hope, enthusiasm and determination, and whatever happens is not our business. When the action is over, it does not remain in our hands. When the result is out, we will be totally detached whether we stand first or last. If we stand first, we will be happy. Again, if we stand last, we will also be happy because we have surrendered the result of our action to God.
Real joy comes if we can feel the moment we begin working that the work itself is the result. Then we don't have to wait for twenty minutes or two months or two years for the result. What we want is the satisfaction that will come only after a few months or a few years, when we reap the fruits of our action. But if we are wise enough, we enter into the work and see that the work itself is joy. First of all, we have to know that out of millions of people on earth, it is we who have been chosen to do this particular job. Then, the moment we start working, we have to feel that the very work gives us what we want. If we want to get satisfaction, joy and fulfilment from any kind of work, then we have to feel the moment we enter into it that the work itself, not the future result, is all joy.
How can we be detached in our work? There are two ways. One way is to feel that nothing remains permanently on earth. No matter how great one is in the human world, nothing remains forever — nothing. Name and fame will all be buried. We can claim nothing as our very own, not even ourselves. Today I use the terms "I, my, mine". But tomorrow this "I" goes away to some other world. What is the use of attaching myself to someone or something which I now call mine if I cannot take it with me after sixty or seventy years? It is simply foolish!
The same thing is true about attachment to others. Although I know that I am attaching myself to someone whom I cannot claim as my own, I say that that person is mine. I cannot show him, I cannot prove it to him. How can I show my heart? I cannot show my inner feelings. If it is a good feeling, I try to offer it. If it is a bad feeling, I try to cover it. Often, if we are doing good work, we are eager to show it. If we are doing bad work, we are reluctant to show it. But whether the work is good or bad, whether we have good feelings or bad feelings, the object of our attachment does not last. We finally come to realise that nothing we call our own can last permanently. This is one way to be detached.
Another way to achieve detachment is to know that apart from the finite light there is a higher Light, an infinite Light. This Light gives us true joy. Knowing this, how can we be attached to the people and things that are constantly tempting us? The more we detach ourselves from these temptations of the finite, the more we are attaching ourselves to the Infinite. In this divine attachment is our real satisfaction. If we really care for the spiritual life, then our business is to focus all our attention only on the Supreme. If we are deeply attached to the Supreme, to the inner life, then naturally we remain detached from other people and things, from the world which is not aspiring. What we call our attachment to the Supreme will be seen as Wisdom-Light in the future, because in Him only, and not anywhere else, can we grow. In Him only, and not anywhere else, are we fulfilled.
Some Indian seekers who follow the path of devotion go to the length of saying that devotion is nothing but attachment to God. As human desire is attachment to a human being, so spiritual devotion is a form of attachment to God. We cannot be attached to two things or two persons at the same time. When we go deep within, we see that we can be attached only to one person or one thing. Attachment and devotion are like concentration. We cannot properly concentrate on two fingers at once. We see two fingers, but we focus our attention either on one or on the other. Similarly, when we really offer to the Supreme our purest attachment, which is devotion, it can only go to Him. And inside Him the rest of humanity can be found. In the beginning we have an ordinary family with a few members. But there comes a time when we have to expand our family. Humanity itself becomes our family. The more we grow within, the larger becomes our family. And it is always inside the Supreme that humanity stays.
We can identify with another person's sufferings and feelings and still remain detached if we enter into that person with our soul's Light. Our soul's Light always expands. It does not bind and, at the same time, it cannot be bound. With our soul's Light we can identify ourselves with anybody on earth and not be affected. If we enter into the person with our inner soul's Light, which is all freedom and perfection and if we spread this inner Light in the sufferer, at that time he gets the best help from us. Afterwards, we can fly away like a bird without being touched by the person or being attached to him.
The Boat of the Supreme is carrying us to the Golden Shore. The Boat is in the water, but it is not of the water. The Boat is right now in the sea of ignorance, but it is not affected. It is carrying us to the Golden Shore, where there is no ignorance, no doubt, no bondage — where all is perfection and plenitude. In our human life also, we have to feel that if we have the soul's Light within us, we can stay inside anybody. He may be the most imperfect person or the worst sufferer. Yet, although we are helping him most sincerely and effectively, we will not be attached to him or pulled down by him. So first we have to discover our inner Light, our soul's Light. Then only will we be truly qualified to help others without being attached to them or to their suffering. Then only can we be of truest and purest help to suffering humanity.
— Sri Chinmoy"
It is infinitely better to be an honest and moral person than to be an immoral, insincere and dishonest person. We won't tell lies; we won't deceive our parents, friends, teachers or students. If we are scrupulous about something, such as telling the truth, that means we are aiming at perfection. Because we are striving, partial perfection is already there. Partial perfection is bound to be found in our attitude itself. But for full perfection, many things will be required. If we are just scrupulous, that is not enough. We need many more divine qualities in order to achieve full perfection.
We have to know what truth we are aiming at: the ultimate Truth or the ordinary, mundane, day-to-day truth. Suppose you want to drink a glass of water and you tell me, "I am going to drink a glass of water." In a few seconds you change your mind; you feel that your thirst is not so great. You told me that you were going to drink a glass of water, but you did not drink it. So, from the literal point of view, you have told a lie. Now, if you do drink the water, that means that you have told me the truth. But just because you have told the truth, that does not mean that you have realised the highest Truth. Again, if you don't drink the water, in spite of telling me that you will drink it, you do not lose your own highest consciousness even for a second. We say we will do something and perhaps we don't do it. But in this case, the truth we have broken is not the ultimate Truth.
There are many people on earth who are honest, but we have to know how far their honesty can take them. There are many clerks working in big offices who have never told a lie. They are honest; they always tell the truth. When it is a matter of telling the truth about filling out forms or receiving money, these individuals are perfect. Day after day they speak truthfully hundreds of times; they don't deceive anyone. But when it is a matter of aspiration, when it is a matter of wanting to reach God, where are they? These clerks find the ultimate, absolute Truth beyond their imagination. They cannot even imagine praying to God for two or three hours a day, let alone being one with His Consciousness. Here they are absolutely limited.
Suppose one of our arms is dirty and we enter into the ocean. The part of us that is a little bit purer also enters into the ocean. Then what happens? The sea of illumination bathes the part that has a little purity and that part is properly illumined. But the part that is full of inconscience is also illumined. This is how real illumination takes place. We have to jump into the sea of spirituality with both the undivine part of our nature and the so-called pure part. The so-called pure part in us is our morality, our earthly truth. When we enter into the sea of spirituality, our entire being is flooded with illumination.
Right now we feel that the truth has to come only from within us, that there is no truth in the outer world. But no! The outer world is also God's creation. We are all trying to be spiritual persons. When somebody tells us something for our own benefit, we have to accept it. If our neighbour has found some truth which we have not yet discovered, let us not be stubborn about accepting it. Only a foolish and stubborn person will always hold to his own opinion. The difference between a wise man and a stupid man is this: a wise man will try to rectify his opinion. It is not lack of wisdom on his part that makes him change his opinion. No! He sees a higher truth, a higher light, a higher possibility and he changes his opinion to reflect the higher truth. But a stupid person always sticks to his original opinions. He actually does not hold an opinion; the opinion holds him. We say we are holding an opinion. But no! Very often we ourselves are in the grips of this opinion. And right now our opinions need not and cannot be always founded on the ultimate Truth.
The real Truth, the highest Truth, comes to us only when we reach the Absolute. When we reach the Absolute, only then we can realise and embody the absolute Truth. But before we realise the Absolute, before we embody God, we cannot live the ultimate Truth. It is impossible! First we have to embody something; then only can we live it. Only when I embody Truth, Light, Love or any other divine quality can I reveal and manifest this divine quality in my day-to-day life. To live means to manifest. When we live Truth, we manifest Truth.
When we have given birth to Love, Light, Joy, Peace, Harmony, Bliss, Power and other divine qualities, they need a place to live. We have to constantly try to house all these divine qualities in our consciousness. If we aspire to keep these divine qualities inside us, we have to try to constantly give life to them. How can we give life to them? We can give life to them by consciously making them play within and without us. If we do this, then Truth is going to create life-breath inside these divine qualities. When Truth starts functioning in these divine qualities, this means that life is functioning. For their life is Truth. When life is functioning slowly and steadily, we will see our outer life listening to the dictates of our inner life. At that time we will be able to live the Truth.
— Sri Chinmoy"
— Sri Chinmoy"
Spirituality is a very significant word, but it is vague. Each one enters into the spiritual life with a different motive. For an ordinary person, spirituality denotes just a little fleeting peace of mind. For him, spirituality means harmony in the family: the husband and wife will no longer fight and the children will no longer remain unruly. That is why some people enter the spiritual life. For an aspirant, a true aspirant, spirituality means something that will give him realisation. He wants spirituality only for the sake of realisation. If somebody wants to get realisation by hook or by crook, then he will learn that realisation does not come in that way. In India, many people have tried to realise God within a fixed period of time, in two or three or six years, but God did not come to them. Only death came to them; they committed suicide. But a real aspirant feels that realisation will come at God's choice Hour. He will do his part; then he feels that the rest is up to God. The real seeker who is crying for infinite Light must surrender to the Will of God, to the Hour of God. To be one with God's Will means to surrender to the Hour of God. If one can consciously surrender to the Hour of God, that means that one has abundant faith in one's own life of aspiration and in God's Will. In the spiritual life we use the word "faith" rather than "belief", which is used in a more general context. Faith is a gift, but it is not like an ordinary gift. We have it inside us as an achievement or as a reality. Faith is our inner recognition of the universal Truth within and without. In order to recognise the Truth, we have to have faith first in our soul. Our soul will reveal to us abundant Light, as well as the source that is offering us Light. Then we have to give our ignorance totally and implicitly to the Light within us. The real, infinite trust comes from the soul, which is in touch with the highest Absolute. If we remain in our soul, we will have all trust, all faith.
We always have to have faith in something or someone. If we have faith in nothing else, we have faith in our physical existence, in our human life and body. We have faith that our hands can work and write. If we don't have that kind of trust or faith, then we will see that our hands will not be able to function the way we want. Once we consciously take the trust away from our hands, we will see that no matter how sincerely we try to write, we will not be able to do so. It is not that we just say that we can't write with our hands, and then, once we try, we see that we were mistaken. No! If we take our full consciousness away from our hands, we will not be able to write at all. It is just because consciousness is operating in our hands that we are able to write.
We know that we are conscious beings; within us consciousness is always playing. Not only do we have a conscious part, but we also have a subconscious part. Sometimes we enter into the subconscious while we are awake: we also enter there during sleep. From the strict spiritual point of view, the subconscious plane starts below the navel; below the knee it is all the realm of inconscience. Inconscience is something absolutely useless. From inconscience we do not get Light, because inconscience is not aspiring to enter into the Light.
When we live in inconscience, we do not see with the eye of faith. We believe something only after we see it. In this ordinary, human, unaspiring world, we have to see something ourselves in order to believe it; we always need first-hand proof. If we see that one individual is striking another, we believe it. We are an eyewitness. If we see things happening right in front of us, we have more belief in our mind. But when others tell us something, it is up to us to decide whether to believe it or not. We read in the newspapers many things which we discard as false. We can't believe these things. But if we see them ourselves, we do believe them. So when we enter into the lower world, seeing is believing.
Then there comes a time when we aspire. When we live in the world of aspiration, first we believe something and then we see the truth. If we have faith and believe in something, only then can we see that thing. We have faith in something; that is why we realise the truth.
The higher we go, the more clearly we will be able to see. Faith is the precursor of our seeing, which is realisation. To have faith is to have realisation. Faith tells us what is coming after it, our realisation; but faith also becomes totally one with the thing that we are going to realise. When we actually realise the Truth, at that time we will see that our realisation of the Truth was all along totally one with our faith.
What is realisation? Realisation is our discovery that we are not finite but infinite. In realisation we come to know that it is in the finite that the infinite is playing its tune. Tagore, India's greatest poet, said, Majhe asim tumi — "In the finite, You are the Infinite; You are playing Your own Tune." Amar majhe tomar prakash — "Your Revelation is inside me. That is why oneness is so sweet, so gentle." When the Infinite plays through the finite, it uses the finite as its instrument. When the finite can claim the Infinite as its very own in the field of realisation and in the field of manifestation, then only can God the Infinite and God the finite — God in Heaven and God on earth — become totally fulfilled.
It is faith that will clear away the obstructions on our path. We have to have faith in our spiritual Master. We have to have faith in our life of aspiration and in the divine Grace. We have to have faith in ourselves and feel that we can become the chosen instrument of God. If we can have this kind of faith, then we know that we are going to see the Truth, feel the Truth and become the Truth.
We have to have faith in our Master in infinite measure. If the Master says, "You are making good progress," we have to believe him. But if we let the mind enter in and say, "Oh, the Master is just flattering me," then we are making a serious mistake. We have to have faith that our Master is a realised soul and that he can grant us realisation. The Master gives realisation to the disciple at God's chosen Hour. Not only that, but it is actually the Master who strikes the Hour when God, the Supreme, tells him that it is time for realisation to take place. But if we do not believe what our Master tells us, how are we going to have faith in his capacity to grant us realisation?
We also have to have faith and confidence in ourselves. If we do not have confidence in ourselves, there can be no divine faith in our life. It is confidence that gives us the faith to say, "I have come from God and God is thinking of me twenty-four hours a day. Now it is my turn to think of Him. God has given me these twenty-four hours. The same twenty-four hours that He is using to observe me, He has also given me to think of Him." So it is through confidence that we can create our faith. Without confidence, the so-called blind faith is of no use. If we have the confidence to say, "Yes, I am God's son and I shall realise God," then God is bound to give us faith in what He is constantly doing for us.
Faith in ourselves is like a ladder. We see a ladder and we notice the first rung. When we step on the first rung, we see that it is solid; it does not break. Then we get faith. We say to ourselves, "Yes, perhaps now I should put my foot on the second rung." We see that this rung also is solid. In this way we test the third, fourth and fifth rung and finally all the rungs. Each time we place our foot on the ascending scale, we get a higher and deeper assurance of our own capacity, of our own experience and realisation. But we have to climb up one step at a time. We cannot immediately jump and touch the highest. No! We see the first step and then slowly and steadily we start climbing up all the steps. This is how we create faith in ourselves on the strength of our own confidence.
Faith is like a muscle that one can develop. Everybody is divine; everybody is of God. And God has endowed each soul with faith. But still there are quite a few individuals who are not exercising their faith. Today we may have only a little faith, but tomorrow we will have more faith in ourselves. Faith is like a box. Inside the box is a jewel, but we are not opening up the box in order to see our jewel.
Tremendous will is also necessary, We have to say at each moment, "My fate shall be changed by my unchanging will." Fate can be changed, but will-power can never be changed. Nothing is impossible for our will-power. This will-power is not aggressive; it is not something that tries to get its way by hook or by crook. No! Will-power is the conviction of our soul. Within us we have a soul which is all the time united with God, the Supreme. Our soul declares, "When I am one with God, is anything impossible? No!" This firm conviction of our soul is the divine will-power. Divine will-power is a far cry from the aggressive way of acting which we often call will-power in the ordinary life.
How can we have faith in ourselves? First we have to feel that our existence in this world has a special significance. We can feel anything we like whether it is right or wrong, good or bad. Faith is not involved in feeling. So let us start with the feeling that we have a particular aim, a particular mission here on earth.
The next thing is to observe and to separate ourselves from our achievement. We and our achievement are not one and the same. We have to put our achievement at one place and then stand one step behind or ahead of our achievement. If we do this, we will see that we are not at all satisfied with our present achievement. We appreciate what we have, but we are not satisfied. We want to go beyond this achievement. We feel or sense that there is a world beyond. What is the ultimate Beyond? That Beyond is God. When we try to transcend our physical, it is the Beyond that is beckoning us. When we try to transcend our mind, it is the Beyond that we begin to approach. The moment we try to transcend ourselves, we will have the feeling of the Beyond.
The moment God or the feeling of the Beyond comes into our existence, we will see God. The moment we repeat the name of God, or chant Aum, immediately the sound travels to the Beyond, and from there we hear the vibration echoing and re-echoing. When we call God, He will not simply remain in the Beyond: He will echo our call. God immediately receives our call in the Beyond and from the Beyond He sends His divine vibration into our heart. When this happens, faith is bound to come into our life.
When we have faith in someone or in something, we feel that that person has some power or some capacity. Even when we have faith in someone or something, we are aware that the capacity of that person or thing is limited. But when we think of infinite Light, which is our Source, at that time we see quality, quantity and every capacity in boundless measure. Every capacity, every good quality, is a gift from God. If we can remain in God, our Source, we will not only see good qualities in infinite measure but actually possess these qualities and capacities ourselves.
There are many ways to feed our faith and make it stronger. Daily we must try to feel the importance of time. When we can enter into the heart of time, then we will see and feel how the fleeting second is part and parcel of the infinite, eternal Time. We have to feel that in fleeting time is our fleeting faith. This faith is insignificant to some extent and not fully sincere or promising. But let us feel that this momentary faith is coming from the soul's infinite Faith. Always we need to feel that our faith is now just an insignificant, infinitesimal part of the infinite Faith, but that it has every right to enter into the infinite sea of Faith which is God's Light.
Some of us lose our faith because our immediate family or our dearest friends create problems in our life. At that time the conflicting, disturbing, destructive forces around our nearest and dearest ones try to weaken our faith. But who is asking us to act like a fool? We have to run fast. If somebody wants to be with us, then he has to stay on our shoulder as lightly as possible. The aspirant can give chances to his so-called dearest ones, but if they refuse to utilise these opportunities, then he must go alone. At that time the Supreme will not blame him. No! The Supreme will say, "I have rung the bell. Now you come and let the others sleep." But if the aspiring souls try to make the unaspiring ones feel that they all have to go together, or if the aspiring souls feel that the Father will be pleased only if they wait and come to Him with the ones who are not yet aspiring sincerely, then it will be a matter of eternity before any of them reach the Goal.
On the one hand, it is absolutely necessary that we go to the Supreme with our near and dear ones. Otherwise, He will say, "Go back! I do not need you. You have not brought your entire existence with you." On the other hand, the Supreme will tell us that it is He who is really our nearest and dearest. Many family responsibilities and family problems are absurd. If the real aspirant is getting pulled down by these problems, at that time God will say, "Who is your dearest? Your wife, your husband, your children, your friends? If you think so, then stay with them. They will bring you satisfaction." But everlasting satisfaction we will get only from the Supreme, who is eternally the dearest. If we can please Him, then we have pleased the entire world. Our physical mind may not understand it, our outer physical existence may not understand it, but we must have faith that we live on earth only for the highest Divinity, the Divinity that has brought us into the world. If we are realised, certainly we will be able to help our dear ones much more than we are doing now. How can a blind man lead someone else who is blind? A man of Light, however, can guide and reveal.
Now, if inside our dear ones we can feel the existence of the Supreme, then we are saved. If we see our dearest Supreme inside the members of our family, then our faith can remain strong. But this is sometimes difficult. That is why it is the traditional Indian feeling that earthly human relationships stand in the way; that they weigh the seeker down like stones. When they stand in the way, the aspirant has every right to run towards the Light all alone if that is the Will of the Supreme. If the Hour strikes for one member of the family first, then this member of the family has to be prepared to leave the others in order to run the fastest towards his Goal. In such cases, the husband has to be prepared to leave the wife, and the wife has to be prepared to leave the husband; parents have to be prepared to leave their children and children have to be prepared to leave their parents. Only in this way can they run the fastest.
We have to feel the necessity of being inwardly brave. Outwardly we are brave if we are stronger than somebody else. We can strike a person if we feel that we are more powerful than he is. But inwardly we have to be very, very strong, and inner strength we cultivate through faith.
If we have a real inner conviction at every second, then our faith will grow into Infinity's Light and we will be able to feel the divine Light inside us. We must feel only one purpose, one aim, one goal: to see the Highest and grow into the Highest as soon as possible. If the world around us is willing to run with us, then let it also run. If the world around us is obstructing us, finding fault with us, hindering our progress, then we do not need the world. When our inner necessity compels us to be totally removed from our earthly, human obligations, we will be able to feed our faith most satisfactorily. God alone will give us more faith to protect us, guide us and show us the Light.
We know the word God is spelled G-o-d. Just reverse these letters and they become d-o-g. God and dog go together. In this case, "dog" means faithfulness. A dog, in the spiritual sense, represents infinite faithfulness; it is symbolic of God as faith. This is very significant. God has all faith in us, in humanity, and He wants us to have constant and spontaneous faith in Him. But we are ungrateful creatures and we are wanting in faith in God. He is infinitely superior to us; He is infinitely more powerful than we are. But at the same time, it is He who has abundant faith in us. We know thousands of stories about how dogs are ready to offer their very lives to save their masters. A dog follows his master all the time. It is ready to offer its very existence for the master at any moment. At night if robbers try to enter into the house, the first thing the dog will do is fight. And what does the dog get in return? A piece of bread. In God's case, when an aspirant is crying for Light, for Self-Realisation, and the ignorance around him is trying to devour him, it is God who comes and tries to save the person.
As human beings, we have to know that here on earth we represent either the Divine or the undivine. It is we who have to make the selection. Are we going to take the side of the Divine or the side of the hostile forces? Immediately we come to the decision that we will take God's side, the side of the Divine.
Divine satisfaction will come only when we are faithful to the inner cause, which is nothing other than God. So every day when we pray and meditate, let us try to feel that we can satisfy the Supreme only when we have total faith in our life and in God's cosmic Will, which is God's fulfilling Will in and for us and our spiritual brothers and sisters. As a dog always follows its master, so our aspiration must always follow the Light, which is God the Realisation. Today we are God the Aspiration. Tomorrow, on the strength of our faith in our inner Divinity, we shall become God the Realisation.
Editor's preface to the first editionThis book consists of a series of brief reflections by the Indian spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy. In these essays, Sri Chinmoy offers some illumining insights and unique perspectives on a variety of spiritual subjects.