AUM — Vol. 1, No.10, 27 May 1966
AUMMan is Infinity's Heart.
Man is Eternity's Breath.
Man is Immortality's Life.
ArtCreation itself is the Art of arts, although unrecognised.
One truth is clear, very clear. Whatever is, is art. How can any creation of the Supreme Artist be a denial of Him? Even beneath the ugliest and the most loathsome shines His all-loving Face of beauty.
Love is the most charming of all arts. Love is so because it is 'life' itself and not the translation of life.
Art is the outer vesture of love. Art, like love, is a force of oneness with the Infinite. When we create a piece of art, we are really recreating or reflecting some beauty of the Infinite.
Imagination is an essential attribute of the creative power of the mind. It is that son of the mind that sees a thing before it is brought into the material plane.
Imagination, too, has to surrender to its Master: Will. If it is incapable of that, it can never originate anything.
Art is an exacting goddess that demands one's offering of heart, mind and body.
The relation between life and art is as between seed and fruit.
Nature is the mother of an artist. She serves the artist with a presentation of her beauties, visible and invisible.
Nature is the unmistakable evidence of evolutionary growth, and growth is the evidence of life; life, divinely organised and governed, is the evidence of art at its highest.
Keats' address to art:
Beauty without grace is a flower without fragrance.
As man is, after all, an integral being, art has its claim, like knowledge and religion, to be one of his true occupations in life.
Art is creation solidified and concretised.
Art is the joint fulfilment of Truth and Beauty.
Art is the wonderful convincing bridge between the sweetest harmony and the most perfect rhythm.
Physical beauty in a human being is an external manifestation of some inner harmony and truth. This inner beauty is at its highest in the full opening of the soul towards God.
The supreme Art is to know the Supreme Artist intimately, within and without. This knowledge, well-established, cannot but guide all our movements on artistic lines. And this knowledge will be the basis of a perfectly beautiful life within and without. Art in the most effective sense of the term is a sublime truth that draws our soul from within towards the Infinite Vast.
AspirationAspiration, in its simplest definition, is a lovely flame climbing Heavenward.
True aspiration can and does make us feel that if God is for us, who can eventually stand against us?
We feel a desire to have God on our side. But we need the aspiration to throw ourselves on God's side.
The sun is the only remedy for dark clouds in the sky. Similarly, there is no other medicine than aspiration for our troubled hearts.
Aspiration is the first rung of the sky-kissing ladder; Realisation is the last.
True human aspiration has three intimate friends: Purification, Quietude and Intensity. Aspiration has an enemy called impatience.
Aspiration is the mounting flame of our divine wish to raise ourselves to the crest and crowning of Divine Perfection.
The body aspires through action.
The vital aspires through struggles.
The mind aspires through self-search.
The heart aspires through the feeling of union.
The soul aspires through the perfection of God's manifestation.
Grace and compassionWe turn to the Lord for Grace; He looks to us for our sincerity.
A feeble prayer brings down God's omnipotent Grace. Such is the magnanimity of God's Compassion.
To a sincere heart, God's Grace is swifter than a weaver's shuttle. To an insincere heart, it is slower than laziness itself.
God may be unkindness to those who think, but He is All-Kindness to those who feel.
Blunders to commit is human obscurity. Blunders to forget is Divine blessing.
Although man frequently loses faith in God, He never loses His patience. For He knows well that His Grace is destined to save mankind from the tentacles of its own misery.
Our tears to God are our greatest strength to bring down His adamantine protection.
If one wants to be illumined by one word from the lips of God, then that word is Compassion.
Although we are accountable to God for all our conscious and unconscious actions, God, being the Father, finds no better way of dealing with us than to accept benignly our never-ending errors.
We may not see God personally. But if we can realise the relation between His Grace and His Power, it is as good as seeing Him.
God showers blessings on us from above. We offer our surrendered helplessness to Him from below.
God's Grace and God's Justice have been rivals right from the birth of creation. But it goes without saying that His Justice can never keep pace with His Grace.
Aspirant! If evil has an access to the mid-ocean and to the sky, God's all-pervading Compassion has a freer and more embracing access to these places.
Impelled by His strongest Compassion, God takes the feeblest man into His Omnipotence.
The world is partly conscious and partly unconscious of Nature's blessing. Nature is the conscious and direct blessing of God.
Easy is it for a man to say that God has become ruthless to him. Blessed would be he who could say that God has never been unwise.
In season and out of season we crack venomous jokes. And God simply smiles. But if ever God cracks a joke — and needless to say, He does so with a set purpose and with the most benevolent intention — we immediately shed bitter tears or become violently angry.
If we think of God's Justice before we think of His Compassion, our hearts will be mistaken. His Justice wants man to be fully exposed, but His Compassion wants to drop a veil over man's follies and misdeeds.
The universe is not vast enough for God's Grace to be buried. Hence It can never disappear.
Our enemy is anger. Anger's enemy is patience. Patience too has an enemy called ignorance. To be sure, eyeless ignorance also has an enemy, although unbelievable. What is it? God's Grace.
The purification of nature by personal effort is to cross over the Sea of Ignorance by a raft. The purification of nature by Grace is to cross over that Sea by an ocean-liner.
God's descending Grace and man's ascending delight are part and parcel of Earth's evolving consciousness.
God's Compassion is that which comes to all, being fully beyond the touch of human wickedness. God's Grace is nothing less than a universal panacea for all human ills.
A foolI am a fool, they say.
Am I, am I a fool?
I go to my inner School;
God's Eye my eternal Day.
To help my Lord in His Play,
To found His Smile on earth,
My divinely human birth.
Yet I am a fool, they say.
An idiotI know I am an idiot true.
In the growing clouds my hopeful feet,
Hands flung skywards for the blue stars.
My throes, no sun, no moon, shall greet.
I had a dream, a real dream:
God would bury Himself to live.
In human ignorance hungry and black,
To human death His Soul He'll give.
Editor's noteThe spring series of classes given by Sri Chinmoy Kumar Ghose on Philosophy, Spiritual discipline and Yoga ended on 27 May 1966.
There were eight classes in all, held in various homes, including those of his friends and students.
The classes took the form of a short opening meditation, chanting of the mantram AUM and Vedic hymns, a talk on the given topic, a closing meditation, and finally an informal discussion or questions and answers while refreshments were being served.
These extemporaneous talks will appear serially in successive issues of AUM, commencing from this issue.
1. Man and God1Man and God are eternally one. Like God, man is infinite; like man, God is finite. There is no yawning gulf between man and God. Man is the God of Tomorrow; God, the man of Yesterday and Today.
As God is in Heaven, even so He is on earth. He is here, there and everywhere. Each human being has a "God" of his own. There is no human being without a "God". The superb atheist does not believe in God. But fortunately he believes, rather unfortunately he has to believe, in a certain idea, some concept of order. And that very idea, that concept, is nothing but God.
Freedom, an absolute freedom, must be given to each individual soul to discover his own path. Mistakes along the path of spirituality are not at all deplorable. For mistakes are simply lesser truths. We are not proceeding from falsehood to truth. We are proceeding from the least revealed truth to the most revealed truth.
Until we have realised God and have become one with God, we have to call upon Him as Master, Guide, Friend and so on. According to our relationship with Him, our attitude toward Him may vary. This is of no consequence. What is of supreme importance is to feel that we love God as our very own. In our sincere love of God, we shall be inspired spontaneously to worship Him. Here we shall have to know which kind of worship is for us, that is, which kind of worship is in harmony with the development and inclination of our soul.
The realisation of absolute oneness with God is the highest form of worship. The next in the descending line is meditation. Lower is the seat for prayers and invocations. The lowest form of worship is the worship of God with things mundane.
When I think that the flute and the Flutist are two different things, I think of myself as God's servant and Him as my Master. When I feel that the flute has a part of its Master's consciousness, I feel that I am God's child and He is my Father. Finally, when I realise that the flute and the Flutist are but one, the Flutist appears as the Spirit and I as Its creative Force.
Man has to realise God in this body here on earth. India's greatest poet, Rabindranath Tagore, said:
"If your bonds be not broken, whilst living, what hope of deliverance in death?
It is an empty dream that the soul shall have union with Him because it has passed from the body;
If he is found now, He is found then;
If not, we do go to dwell in the city of Death."
Sisters and brothers, do not sink into the abyss of despair, even if you have at the moment no clear aspiration for God-realisation. You just start on your journey, upward, inward and forward — upward to see God's Dream, inward to possess His Dream, forward to become His Dream. This dream is the dream of absolute Fulfilment.
Countless are those who launch into the path of the inner life only after receiving innumerable blows or after wandering wide in the deserts of life. He is indeed happy and blessed who places his body, mind, heart and soul, like flowers, at the feet of the Lord before the advent of blows. It is true that the teeming clouds of worldliness cover up our yet unlit mind. It is equally true that the volcano of the seeker's concentration and the hydrogen bomb of his meditation can and do destroy the clouds, the age-long mists of Ignorance.
May I say a word to those who are married and have great family responsibilities. To your utter amazement, all such responsibilities will become transformed into golden opportunities the moment you try to see God in your children, the moment you realise that you are serving God in your self-sacrifice. To fulfil the husband, to raise his consciousness into the realm of the Spirit, to found him divinely in the boundless expanse of Matter, the untiring and spontaneous sacrifice of the wife has no substitute. To inundate the wife's soul with the Peace of the Beyond, to beckon her heart to the ever-blazing Sun of Infinity and to transmute her life into Immortality's song, the husband's promise has no substitute.
And those who are single can rest assured that they are singled out to run the fastest along the spiritual path. Inseparable is their aspiration and God's Inspiration.
When we men try to see deep within, when we try to live an inner life, we may encounter difficulties all around. We cry out: "Look, God, now that we have turned toward You, we have to take so many tests!" Finding no way out, we get perturbed. Now why should we do that? We should try to recollect if we were sunk deep in worry and if we had passed already through the valley of the shadow of death before we entered into the spiritual life. It cannot escape our remembrance that we have endured misfortunes in our lives. In the past we craved for worldly objects. Hence restlessness dogged our minds. Despondency proved to be our constant companion. Now we are at least in a better position since we have the capacity to recognise the ferocious tiger of worldliness. Let us take restlessness and weakness as tests. Why should God test us? He does anything but that.
He, being the Merciful, warns us of the imminent danger. Suppose we take the difficulties as tests; then to pass the test, we shall have to pray to God. Merely by thinking of difficulties and dangers we can never pass the examination. To pass a test in school, we have to study hard. Similarly to pass an inner examination, we shall have to cultivate more of sincerity and kindle the flame of aspiration.
During meditation the aspirant has to be very careful. At times the mind wants to indulge in certain worldly and emotional ideas and thoughts. The aspirant must not permit the mind to do so. During meditation everything is intense and, if the aspirant indulges in evil thoughts, the effects become more serious and more dangerous. The aspirant grows weaker the moment the mind becomes a prey to self-indulgent thoughts. It is the very nature of our lower mind to deceive us. But our tears and the mounting flame in our heart will always come to our rescue.
Man and God are one. All men belong to the same Family. We are all one. A genuine seeker must not listen to the absurd arguments of sceptics. They don't have even a pennyworth of spiritual knowledge. They are unaware of the fact that they are unconsciously making a parade of their naked stupidity. They say: "If we all are one, then how is it that when you have a headache, I don't? When my hunger is appeased, how is it that yours is not?" In reply, let us ask them if, when they have a wound in the leg, and, after some time, they are no longer conscious of it, then does it mean that there is no wound? Likewise the universal consciousness is within us all. If we are not conscious of it, that does not mean that it does not exist. I have a body of my own. Do I feel pain in my leg when my head suffers from a headache? No. But if I am aware of the Divine Consciousness which pervades all my body, undoubtedly I shall feel the same pain all over my body. Here the individual soul is my head and the collective soul is my whole body. To feel the entire world as our very own we have first to feel God as our very own.
Good Friday, 8 April 1966. Held at the home of Sri Ghose, 4826 New Utrecht Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.↩
Questions and answersReaders are invited to send in questions pertaining to spiritual philosophy or the spiritual life. Those not printed will be answered personally.
AUM — A monthly journal of spiritual philosophy and yoga2"AUM" is a sacred Sanskrit mystic syllable which prefaces all Hindu prayers.
The first issue of the journal AUM (Vol.1, No.1)
deals with its full spiritual significance.
Chinmoy Kumar Ghose 1966
AUM is a monthly journal devoted exclusively to the spiritual writings of Chinmoy Kumar Ghose. It will deal with the spiritual life and its problems from the point of view of Indian philosophy and yoga.
AUM is intended to help aspirants of the West in their search for a true inner life by acquainting them with the realisations of a seeker of the Supreme.
Editor's introduction from the first edition.↩