AUM — Vol.II-2, No.11, 27 November 1975
Transcendence-PerfectionOn Saturday, 1 November, Sri Chinmoy began writing poems at 12 a.m. and continued with only brief intermissions, until 12 midnight. During that 24-hour period Sri Chinmoy completed 843 poems. Following is a notice of the event which appeared in the New York Post and selected poems from the book that was printed.
People in the news
Sri Chinmoy, the Indian yogi who heads the UN Meditation Group, surpassed his own unofficial world’s record for poetry-writing in a 24-hour period by writing 843 spiritual poems between midnight Saturday and midnight Sunday. The 44-year guru, whose disciples include jazz-rock guitarists John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana, had previously written 360 poems in one day on April 28. He said he used powers of concentration developed through meditation to keep himself going.
He is really somethingHe is really something!
He always likes to compete
With himself and
God smiles with joy
Because he competes
God cries with joy
Because he does really
My days of sweetnessMy days of sweetness
I have totally lost.
My days of sadness
I have somehow rediscovered.
My days of goodness
Will be found
Only in God’s
That is not your taskDon’t overestimate
That is not your task.
That is the task
Of God’s fondness for you.
That is not your task.
Your foes will do it for you.
In fact, they have already done it.
I must add, successfully, too.
His all-conquering willHis thoughts began to cry
When they saw the face
Of his all-conquering Will.
Lo and behold!
His all-conquering Will
Has surrendered unconditionally
For his own perfection-delight.
Imagination and realisationImagination
God took it away
Gave it away.
God adds His own Realisation
To mine and says:
“Son, promise that you will
Stay with Me,
Father, Amen, a thousand times.
Patience1There is not a single human being on earth who does not need patience, especially we who are seekers of infinite Light and Truth. We need patience more than others for we are consciously, soulfully and devotedly aiming at the highest Goal. The higher the goal, the more patience we need. We want to climb up Mount Everest in the spiritual life. Naturally we need conscious, constant and unending patience. It is not like climbing up an ant hill or even an ordinary hill; it cannot be done in the twinkling of an eye.
In our ordinary human life we have problems with our superiors, inferiors and equals. We have need of patience with our superiors when they exploit us and misuse our capacity and humility. We have need of patience with our inferiors when they mistrust our sincere appreciation and good will or anything that we want to do for them. We have need of patience with our equals because there comes a time when our equals do not want to stay with us or live in us and for us any more. But at the same time they want us to live only for them. They feel that they have to surpass us — that is their inner joy, that is their duty, while our duty is to remain where we are and please them in their own way. They want to surpass us and lord it over us as our superiors dominate us.
We have need of patience with our human mothers who tell us, “Don’t go out, children. Stay inside. The outer world is dangerous; it is a devouring tiger. We don’t want our children to be devoured by the world’s cruelty, temptation and destruction. We want our children to stay at home cheerfully and peacefully for our constant affection, love and blessing.” We have need of patience with our fathers. Our fathers tell us, “Children, it is high time for you to go out of the house and walk around to see the world at large. It is time for you to receive from the outer world what it has to offer and to offer to the world what you have. The outer world needs your aspiration to fulfil itself, and you need the outer world’s dedication to fulfil yourself. So don’t stay inside any more. You are no longer a tiny plant but a strong tree. Go out and offer yourself to those who are in need of your guidance and protection.”
We have need of patience with Heaven. Although Heaven will eventually grant us its infinite Peace, Light, Bliss and Power, it unfortunately delays at times in spite of our having the necessary receptivity. The only reason we can find is that we are beggars; therefore, we accept our deplorable fate. Alas, Heaven tells us that a beggar cannot be a chooser. Heaven will give according to its willingness. A beggar cannot demand. But we know well that there will come a time when we shall not remain beggars. We know well that when our full awakening takes place we will see that we are none other than God’s chosen instruments to fulfil Him here on earth. As spiritual seekers, our aspiration grows and glows; we realise that God wants only to please Himself and fulfil Himself through us. We will feel that the best thing is to please God according to our awareness. Sooner or later we come to realise that it is not we who fulfil but God who fulfils, satisfies and manifests in and through us.
We have need of patience with earth. Earth is constantly crying. It wants us to elevate its height to Heaven. We try to help earth in its upward movement since earth has legitimate reasons to ask us for a favour. Earth has blessed us with concern, oneness and sacrifice; naturally earth can make a request. But in spite of our best efforts we fail to elevate earth-consciousness even an inch from where it is now. But even this sad experience cannot last for good. One day our incapacity and inconscience will see that we are simply trying to please God. There will come a time when all our inner failures will be transformed into success. On that day our name will be Gratitude.
We have need of patience with God. At God’s choice Hour God will greet us and give us illumination-salvation, illumination-liberation. We try to expedite that choice Hour of God’s, but God says, “Children, My decision has been made and will not change. I am not going to change the Hour.” We cry and God tells us, “True, in your lamentation is sincerity. Cry more soulfully. Let Me see what I can do for you.” But we feel the necessity of crying not only soulfully but also unconditionally. We wanted God to expedite His Hour, but we are now ready to wait for God’s Hour. God says, “You have made considerable inner progress. I see you are ready. I have changed your Hour.” When we are ready to wait for God’s choice Hour unconditionally, God offers us His soulful Smile; sooner than at once God greets us with what He has and is. What He has is infinite Concern and Love for us and what He is is immortal Consciousness.
AUM 1577. Manhattan — All Angels Church, Wednesday, 31 July 1975↩
Tribute to the Governor of Puerto RicoOn 12 November 1975 Sri Chinmoy and his disciples held a special function for the Honourable Governor Rafael Hernández Colón of Puerto Rico. On several occasions the Governor has invited Sri Chinmoy to his home and to the gubernatorial palace to hold private meditations for him and his wife, and this programme was one of Sri Chinmoy’s ways of expressing his gratitude.
The Governor was greeted by a special disciple colour guard, and then honoured by the singing of the Anthem of Puerto Rico. Some of the other events included a choral rendition of Sri Chinmoy’s “O My Puerto Rico”, a recital of selected Spanish aphorisms, Sri Chinmoy’s United Nations song, a children’s prayer and an exhibition of Spanish dancing.
At the end of the program Sri Chinmoy made a brief speech to the Governor and presented him with several gifts. Following is a transcription of Sri Chinmoy’s words and the Governor’s reply.
Presentation of giftsSri Chinmoy: Two loving hearts: the Puerto Rican heart and the Indian heart. This evening the Indian heart is extremely happy and proud that it has been given by God, the Author of all good, the golden opportunity to offer its concern, love, appreciation, admiration and joy in abundant measure to the Puerto Rican heart.
Highly esteemed brother, I am truly fortunate that I have visited your home four times in the short span of a year. Each time you and your wife have shown me flowing generosity from the very depth of your hearts, and illumining luminosity from your souls’ effulgent light. Therefore, to both of you I offer my gratitude-heart from the garden of my service-life.
(Sri Chinmoy presents Governor Hernández Colón several gifts for himself and his wife, including a straw hat, symbol of the Governor’s political party.)
These are my earthly gifts to you. I have only one heavenly gift and that heavenly gift I wish to offer you in soulful silence.
My soulful prayer is this: your victory, your continuous victory, your constant victory in the Universal Heart of the Almighty, to please Him, manifest Him and fulfil Him in an unprecedented way. Victory to you, victory to the Supreme Pilot in you, victory to the Universal Brother in you.
Governor Hernández Colón: Thank you Sri Chinmoy and all of you for this wonderful evening that we have had together. When your spiritual Master visited me and invited me to come to visit you when I was in New York, I never expected that I would have such a reception to greet me and such a presentation to honour, perhaps not me, but the people that I represent. I thank you on behalf of the good people of Puerto Rico whom you have honoured here tonight through our national anthem, through the presentation of our flag, through the song that Sri Chinmoy has written for Puerto Rico and through all the other manifestations of our people. I thank you on behalf of all of them for the love and the appreciation that you have shown to them and to me on this occasion.
May I tell you that you are very fortunate. You are very fortunate that you have a spiritual Master like Sri Chinmoy here close to you, that you have his guidance and are able to develop spiritually beside him. He is a Master of the spirit, but he is not detached from the world. He lives in this world as you and I do, and yet the sanctity in him and the deep spirituality which he embodies is present wherever he is.
As Governor of Puerto Rico, I have been fortunate to have him visit our home on four occasions. I know that you have quite a few Centres in Puerto Rico, I know that you have established Centres throughout the world, and I know of the great mission of spirituality, of beauty, of joy which Sri Chinmoy, your spiritual Master, has brought to all those Centres and to all of those whom he has touched. I also know of his work as an artist. I know the beauty of his work because one of his paintings is in our own living room as a result of a gift that he made to us on the occasion of my birthday. I also know of his great work in the United Nations and his efforts in helping the United Nations gain the spiritual direction that it needs to cope with the problems of the world today. It is indeed a very hard task, but if there is any one person with devotion and deep spirituality who can carry this task to fruition, it is Sri Chinmoy. Therefore, it is not only you and those at your Centres, but also those at the United Nations who are very fortunate to have him, who are very fortunate to be able to aspire towards greater light with him and through him.
Tonight you have been very generous to me and to my wife, Lila. You have been generous to the Puerto Rican people. I thank you on their behalf and I leave with you my conviction that these Centres will continue to grow as the spiritual power of Sri Chinmoy grows and spreads throughout the world. May his work at the United Nations gain fruition so that this body may also realise the highest mission which he has for all mankind.
[Thunderous standing ovation]
[Sri Chinmoy presents the Governor with a commemorative plaque. The garland and straw hat are other gifts from Sri Chinmoy.]
Aphorisms from the Peace Room1Look at our body.
It is always helpless.
Look at our vital.
It is always hungry and angry.
Look at our mind.
It is always doubtful and scornful.
Look at our heart.
It is always insecure and impure.
Look at our soul.
It is always willing and crying; willing with us and crying for us.
Look at our God.
He is pleading with us to believe in only one thing: “Children, each one of you is My very own. If you call me God, then I wish to tell you that each one of you is another God. In and through you only one God is playing, experiencing and realising what He eternally is and what He eternally is not. What He is: constant self-giving. What He is not: constant self-doubting.”
AUM 1579. United Nations Church Centre, Tuesday, 18 November 1975↩
Questions asked by Dulal, president of the New York Sri Chinmoy Centre
Question: What is the essential quality which a seeker would need in order to enter into this path?Sri Chinmoy: The essential quality that a seeker needs, not only to enter into this path, but to enter any path, is sincerity. The seeker has to ask himself whether he really needs someone to fill his life. Right now he needs someone because he has not yet established a free access to his inner life, where he is absolutely inseparably one with God. So, if the seeker feels that God is represented by someone somewhere, the seeker has to go to that particular place and see that person who represents God.
A day will come when the seeker’s own highest transcendental height will be consciously one with God, but he cannot claim the highest as his very own right now because most of the time he is swimming or drowning in a sea of ignorance. He has to feel that he needs someone’s help in illumining him. How can he search for that someone, somewhere? First of all that somewhere is really nowhere but inside his own heart. He first has to look within his heart. How can he look within? Only with sincerity. If he can feel that his whole life — body, vital, mind, heart and soul — is composed of sincerity, then he is not only meant for this path, but for any path, and he will make the fastest progress.
There are many paths and many Masters, and each path has a special quality of its own. All paths and Masters lead the seeker to the destined Goal, but each path has something different and unique. In our path we have divine love, devotion and surrender. To acquire these divine qualities, we must give of ourselves. While giving, we shall feel our oneness, and thereby fulfil our own necessity to be illumined and satisfied. So if someone wants to try our path, he has to feel the necessity of realising the highest Truth through divine love, devotion and surrender. If he has love, devotion and surrender along with true sincerity, then he is more than qualified to follow our path.
Question: What is the best cure for human frustration?Sri Chinmoy: The best cure for human frustration is a state of consciousness which never expects anything from anyone, even from oneself. The moment we expect something, we are bound to be either fulfilled or frustrated. If the individual has a desire and this desire is fulfilled, he is then satisfied for a few days. However, even if the desire is fulfilled, he will not be satisfied for very long because other desires will come and take its place. This moment a fleeting desire is satisfied, but the next moment another desire is frustrated. This game goes on forever.
Expectation creates frustration, but if there is oneness in us with everything in God’s creation, then we become inspired. That does not mean we will become lethargic, and wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. Rather, we shall feel that we are not the doer, but that someone else is acting in and through us. We only expect if we feel that we are the doer. So, if we feel that we are not the doer, then we will not have expectations. If we can think of ourselves as divine instruments, we can feel that God is having an experience in and through us.
In our human life we feel that if we are successful, we have everything and, if we fail, we have nothing. In the divine Life we don’t lose or gain, we only rediscover what we are. We should be interested only in rediscovering our birthright of Eternity and Immortality, and bringing to the fore what we are. Everything that God has and is is in us, so why must we expect? Only because we have separated ourselves from divine Light do we expect. If we know how to rediscover within ourselves infinite Peace and Light, then we don't have to expect anything; we only have to claim them as our very own.
If we have expectation, we will always be frustrated. We should act only because God wants us to do something and we should feel that we are His instruments and He is working in and through us. When we act or speak only to please God in His own way without expectation, then only will we cease to experience frustration.
Question: Is it possible for a disciple to learn from a more advanced seeker?Sri Chinmoy: It is not at all necessary for a seeker to go through all the mistakes personally in order to arrive at truth. If a disciple is a beginner and he happens to meet an advanced seeker — really advanced, not just the one who has been a disciple for many years — the advanced seeker will be able to advise the beginner from his own experience. This relationship between the beginner and the advanced seeker might be compared to a mother and child. The mother tells the child not to touch fire because she knows from her own experience that, when she touches fire she burns her finger. If the child does not believe his mother, then he does not profit from his mother’s experience. But, just as the child can go to his mother and ask her what happens when she touches fire, so a beginner in the spiritual life can seek advice from an advanced seeker. The beginner recognises the advanced seeker because he sees that he is leading a divine, disciplined life. The advanced seeker sets an example.
If a beginner does not accept the advice of an advanced seeker, it will take him longer to reach the goal. Just as the good, positive advice parents give their children will help them run faster and grow up to be better adults, the advice of an advanced seeker who is like a father or elder brother to those who have just entered into the spiritual life can help the beginners to make faster progress. If the beginner has to do everything on his own and go through all the experiences, then he will waste a lot of time and reach the goal much later.
Question: How can I hear the voice of silence?Sri Chinmoy: You can hear the voice of silence only when you feel that the world of din and sound has nothing to give you, nothing which you can treasure. Only the world of inner existence, the world of peace, light and bliss, can satisfy your eternal thirst and hunger. But when you see and feel this inner reality, you must also grow into it. You have to bring to the fore the inner reality to change the face of the outer world, or it will remain imperfect. Go deep within. You will not be able to change the face of the world if you do not achieve some wisdom-light first. First you have to become a doctor before you try to cure a sick person. The world of ignorance must be transformed, but before you can transform it, you must enter into the world of wisdom-light. There you are bound to hear the voice of silence, which is all-illumining transformation.
Question: How can I learn to swim in the ocean of light?Sri Chinmoy: You can learn to swim in the ocean of light if you know how to cry like a child who misses his mother. The moment he misses her, he cries with all his heart to get her back again. If you really miss the Supreme, cry in your heart; His presence is the ocean of light which you can swim in easily if you really cry for Him.
Question: Which is the greatest: purity, love or oneness?Sri Chinmoy: Purity is essential for the entire being. If love is impure, it is all destruction. The human vital love is all destruction. So purity is necessary. But love is essential for achieving the feeling of oneness. A saint is pure but often he is afraid to touch the world, because it may make him impure. But if he really loves the world, no matter how impure the world is, he will touch it in order to help it become pure. When wisdom-supreme dawns, we discover that where there is oneness there can be no impurity. Real divine oneness is constant expansion and consciousness of the universal reality within and without us. It is only in limitation that there can be impurity. So oneness is undoubtedly the greatest of these three divine qualities, but oneness cannot be achieved without both love and purity. Inside oneness we see the perfection of love and purity.
Question: Is there a connection between the third eye and intuition?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, there is a connection, but the third eye is infinitely superior to intuition. The third eye is like the sun and intuition is like a few flames. With intuition one can get an immediate answer to a question. With the third eye one can look forward and backward, one can see past, present and future. All is at its disposal. The third eye has the power to transform the past through its adamantine will power. Intuition does not have this power, but the two are good friends.
Question: How can the Supreme become more real to me?Sri Chinmoy: The Supreme can become more real to you if you can think of the Supreme as someone personal, as someone with whom you can establish an eternal friendship, as someone who sees you at every moment. Think of the Supreme with the idea that He alone is real. Everything that you have and see is unreal. He alone is necessary in your life. In this way, He becomes more real to you.
Question: When is a smile most effective?Sri Chinmoy: A smile from the Guru is most effective only when a seeker is receptive.
Question: Is the word "failure" in God's dictionary?Sri Chinmoy: In God’s dictionary there is no such word. What we see in His dictionary is “experience.” “Failure” is an experience. “Success” is an experience. We can and we should accept them with the same joy. When God does something on the outer plane, because of our own preconceived ideas we call one result success and one result failure. But God does not use His Mind. God manifests an experience which the human being needs to go through. He gives whatever experience is necessary to have. But human beings have preconceived ideas about what success is. They depend on outer results. “Failure” immediately ruins all their inspiration and “success” carries them up to the skies. In God’s case, it is all experience. When He starts, does and ends, He is only having a series of experiences.
Question: Can outer failure be turned into inner success?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, outer failure can be turned into inner success provided you take outer failure as an experience. If you cannot take it as an experience, you have at least to take it as an experiment. You experimented with something, and that experiment was not able to give you the satisfaction that you wanted. But if you can offer the experiment itself with joy to the Supreme, then the result of the experiment automatically is placed at the Feet of the Supreme.
An experiment is like a house. If you offer the house to the Supreme, then all the possessions of the house — if there is a chair or other furniture — also are offered to the Supreme. If you can offer your experiment to the Supreme, then you are also offering Him the results — like the furniture of the house. On the strength of your offering, you become one with the Supreme, and when you become one with the Supreme, automatically the experiment becomes an inner success.
But if you can take your outer failure as an experience, which is infinitely superior to an experiment, then it will definitely be a success both in the inner world and in the outer world, for each experience consciously or unconsciously embodies the divine Light, which the seeker receives or brings to the fore according to his capacity and receptivity.
Question: Can generosity ever be a spiritual fault?Sri Chinmoy: Generosity can never be a spiritual fault, but we should try to know what compels us to be generous — whether it is our vital or our spontaneous heart, and whether it is something God-ordained. If our generosity is founded upon the pleasure of the vital or if it is motivated in any way by the vital, then that generosity is no generosity. It is only an aggrandisement of our ego in a subtle, clever way. If it is a gift of the heart to someone in need, then it may be good. But it need not be always good because we may feel that somebody is in need, whereas in God’s Eye perhaps it is not so. That person does not really need the thing.
Sometimes it may happen that when we give something, instead of its being a help, our gift can become a veritable obstacle in someone’s life of aspiration. We may think that somebody is very poor while we are very rich, so we want to give him a large amount of money so that he does not have to work very hard and he will be able to spend all his time meditating. But when we give him a large amount of money, he only wallows in the pleasures of ignorance; he gives up work, he does not remain in the world of aspiration, and lethargy becomes his friend. Now money-power he has gained, but aspiration-power has gone away. This is a mistake.
Our heart is not always totally one with our soul’s realisation. But if the heart is offering something as a gift, and if we know that it is God’s Will, then that generosity is absolutely a spiritual truth, spiritual light, spiritual perfection. At that time it is not only generosity; it is the completion of our life-journey, our universal journey, our own fulfilment in many hearts, in many faces, in many dreams and in many realities.
Question: Is there anything more beautiful than true humility?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, gratitude. The soul’s gratitude, the mind’s gratitude, the vital’s gratitude, the body’s gratitude are much more beautiful than humility. One can be humble but he need not be grateful. Again, one can be grateful and not humble. But if one is sincerely grateful, then there is every possibility that his gratitude-power will lead him to recognise that somebody is superior to him. That was why this other person was in a position to give him something. When we receive something from somebody else, automatically we feel that that person is in some way superior to us. In this way gratitude-power can make us humble.
If we are grateful, we are grateful because of our achievements or because we have received something from somebody else, so we feel that we are under obligation to be humble. Otherwise, the next time we want to achieve or receive something from that person, he may not help us. But if we have not received anything from someone, why should we be grateful to him? We may feel humble when we are with him, but this humility will not make us grateful.
Question: How can I become more compassionate?Sri Chinmoy: You can become more compassionate when you look at someone who shows you compassion. You know that you made mistakes when you were a child, and your parents showed you compassion. Your parents were superior in terms of age and in terms of wisdom as well, but they did forgive you. They showed their compassion. When someone shows you compassion, it means that he is to some extent more perfect than you. That is why he can show you compassion.
You have to feel that there is someone who is infinitely more perfect than you are, and that is God. God is your superior, and He is showing you constant Compassion, infinite Compassion. You make mistakes quite often, but He forgives and forgives. Since God has millions of dollars of Compassion, He gives you thousands of dollars at the time of your need. Now, if there is somebody who is inferior to you, who is making many more mistakes than you are, he also deserves compassion from you. You can easily give him one hundred or two hundred dollars in terms of your compassion-power.
We should always try to have somebody as our ideal, or try to see our goal inside somebody. Until we realise that that somebody is our own higher part, our own illumined, more fulfilling part, until then we have to feel that he is better or superior.
When I see a flower, I try to become as pure as the flower. When I look at a candle flame and feel its purity, I try to become as pure as the flame of the candle. But afterwards, when I can enter deep into my heart, I see that the same flame is burning there, the inner flame. Then I don’t have to keep thinking of a candle or flowers outside me, for I discover that my inner being is always full of fragrance and purity and light.
Similarly, in the beginning we can become more compassionate by thinking of God, who has far more compassion than we have. But eventually we come to realise that God is also inside our own hearts. At that time we don’t have to think of God as our superior and ourselves as His inferiors. Instead, we see that this God is nothing but our own higher, more illumined self. When we realise this, superiority and inferiority disappear into oneness, and we can claim God’s infinite Compassion as our very own.
Question: How can I experience God's Essence?Sri Chinmoy: You can experience God’s Essence by knowing and feeling that all the time, throughout Eternity, you are and have been God’s substance. If you are God’s substance, then there has to be someone who is your essence. Substance cannot exist by itself; it needs essence. So if you are the substance, then God is the essence. You have to know that there is an origin, and the origin is the essence. I am only the product. If I exist, then somebody is responsible for my existence. If I am the flower, then God is the fragrance. If I am the fruit, then God is the seed.
Question: What are the limitations of the mind?Sri Chinmoy: The limitations of the mind are that it sees and feels everything and everyone — even its owner — in a separative way. The mind always separates. If the mind sees one person as an individual, it tries to see that person in hundreds of forms, shapes and ways. It does not see the human being as a whole, from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. It does not see the person as one integral reality. Like a doctor, it always operates and dissects. It gets tremendous pleasure from seeing everything piecemeal, in fragments. This sense of separation which the mind constantly enjoys is the most deplorable weakness of the human mind. The mind does not want to see reality as an integral unbroken whole.
The other major weakness of the mind is doubt. Unconsciously or consciously it doubts. It feels that doubt strengthens it. It feels that since it is in a position to doubt, it holds the supreme authority. But this is absurd. He who doubts does not hold the supreme authority. He who loves and becomes one holds the supreme authority. In order to become the supreme authority one has to love and become one, and not judge or pronounce a verdict and show one’s supremacy. When one shows supremacy, immediately the feeling of oneness goes away. When there is a feeling of oneness, reality is vast, infinite. When the feeling of oneness goes away, reality becomes finite, infinitesimal. At that time there is no endless or transcendental Reality; there is only limitation. Here, there, within, without, everywhere is limitation and bondage.
Question: What is the best way to be an eternal beginner?Sri Chinmoy: The best way to become an eternal beginner is to think of oneself as the ever-blossoming dawn. Dawn is the beginning of the new day, so the dawn symbolises hope, illumination, realisation and perfection. Think that your whole being — your body, vital, mind, heart and soul — represent the dawn or vice versa. Every day the dawn plays the role of a beginner. It begins its journey at daybreak and ends its journey in the infinite sun. If you have that kind of feeling, then you will always feel that you are an eternal beginner.
The dawn invites and invokes. Whom does it invite and invoke? The sun, the eternal wisdom, infinite wisdom, immortal wisdom. The dawn invites and, when one listens to its invitation, one merges into the infinite Light and infinite wisdom of the sun and becomes one with it.
Question: How can I find joy and smile in moments of discouragement?Sri Chinmoy: Here you have to understand the role of imagination and give utmost importance to imagination. As I always say, imagination is a reality; it belongs to a world of reality. But that world is not in front of us or before us. Because it is not within our easy reach, we feel that imagination is all mental hallucination.
When you feel discouraged, please try to imagine the moments of happiness that you have had countless times. This is not like dealing with counterfeit coins. You did have happiness yesterday or a few days ago. Now just identify yourself with that time. Discouragement you can take as night. When night approaches, you do not lose all your hope and feel that you are totally lost. No, you know that tomorrow day is going to dawn once again. Twelve hours before, you were in day and twelve hours later, again you are going to enter into day. So either imagine yesterday, when your life was all satisfaction, or imagine what is going to happen tomorrow. Either enter into your immediate past and let the immediate past offer you its haven, or enter into the immediate future for your solace. In this way discouragement goes away. The present has thrown you into a sea of discouragement; everything is futile. But then you remember that there are many things and many people that inspired you and claimed you as their very own only twelve hours ago, and there will be many things only twelve hours later that will do the same. When you think like this, automatically discouragement disappears.
Question: What is a sincere question?Sri Chinmoy: There are two sincere questions, not one. On earth there is one sincere question and in Heaven there is one sincere question.
In Heaven the sincere question is: “Who am I?”
On earth the sincere question is: “Where am I?”
To “Who am I?” the answer is, “He I am.”
To “Where am I?” the answer is, “I am in His Heart-Boat. He is in my Life-Breath.”
Question: How can I repay Guru for his eternal gifts?Sri Chinmoy: You do not have to repay your Guru for his eternal gifts, in either a material or a spiritual way. Only you have to remember all the time — twenty-four hours a day throughout Eternity — that you are of him and you are for him. He is a representative of the Absolute Supreme for you and you are a most perfect, chosen instrument of the Supreme in your Master. If you can feel that you are chosen by your Master to do his work, to fulfil the mission of the Supreme, your very realisation of this is your supreme gift to your Guru and to the Supreme. The moment you realise who your Guru is — this is the supreme gift.
If anybody wants to give me a significant gift, then I want to tell that person just to realise me. I try my best to take you up in my fastest elevator when I meditate. I wait, wait, wait, but you people don’t come. How long can I wait? So I go up and send down my elevator to get you. Then, when it comes, you press the wrong button and instead of going up, you go down and create problems. So then I come back to the ground level, to the very starting level, but even there I don’t see you. I see that you are in the basement. You people have gone down instead of up and are enjoying the pleasures of ignorance. Then I have to go there to get you.
When you climb up with me to the Highest and realise me, your realisation of what your Guru is will be the supreme gift. And this I am not saying with pride or vanity, but with utmost sincerity. The greatest gift any disciple can give to the Guru is to realise him, to realise his height at least once during a meditation before the Guru leaves the body. The difficulty is that once you have realised his highest height, that height does not remain; he constantly transcends it. But if you really reach a very high height and if you can maintain it, if you can have a free access to that height and be able to go there at any moment even if that particular height is not the topmost, this achievement of yours becomes the greatest gift to the Master.
A lost friendThere was once an extremely advanced seeker who stayed in the ashram of a very great spiritual Master. The seeker’s name was Brahmamoy. In his previous incarnation he had been a great Yogi. Now, at the age of sixteen he was already meditating for six, seven, eight, nine, sometimes ten hours a day to regain his spiritual realisation, revising the pages of the book that he once knew so well. Many of his brother and sister disciples in the ashram felt something in him. They saw his shining purity and they appreciated his inner wealth, but they didn’t realise his true height, for he was extremely humble and lived as one of them, working at his daily job of peeling potatoes in the ashram dining hall. Many people secretly mocked at him, for they thought the Master must be displeased with Brahmamoy to give him such a menial task. His family and friends felt miserable about it, but Brahmamoy was very happy since it was a simple job and permitted him much free time to meditate and read.
Brahmamoy had a very close friend whose name was Kanu. Kanu was extremely devoted to Brahmamoy. Every day when they went to the dining hall for meals, the first and foremost thing Kanu did was to bring water for Brahmamoy, and he would always insist on getting Brahmamoy’s food. He would say, “Please stay here. I will get your food. Please let me do this for you.” Brahmamoy deeply appreciated his friend and was moved by his sincere devotion.
This went on for months and years. Then Kanu found a girlfriend and he started to think of her all day. Poor Kanu was very sincere in his spiritual life, and his impurity was a real torture to him. He used to curse both himself and his girlfriend all the time. One morning he said to himself, “Brahmamoy is so pure, so spiritual. I have such love for him and he has such love for me. I feel sure that if I can just touch him he will take all my impurity from me. He will cast it into the Universal Consciousness and I will be freed from this bondage.”
Kanu anxiously awaited the midday meal when he would see Brahmamoy again. In his eagerness he was the first to arrive at the dining hall and he was already seated with two trays of food when Brahmamoy arrived. Brahmamoy smiled and sat down next to his friend. But as he closed his eyes for a few seconds to invoke the Supreme before eating, he felt Kanu touch his knee. Brahmamoy looked up and said, “What are you doing?”
“Oh! That girl, that undivine girl! She has made me ruin my whole day with impure thoughts. But as soon as I touched you they went away. Now I am all purity.”
Brahmamoy was a little bit amused but, at the same time, he was moved by Kanu’s faith in him and gave Kanu a compassionate smile. This purification ritual became a regular part of their friendship, Every few days, when Kanu was suffering from thoughts of his girlfriend, he would devotedly touch Brahmamoy’s knee at mealtimes and say, “Oh, now it is gone. Now I am pure.”
A few months passed and one day in the dining hall Kanu said to Brahmamoy, “Can you read my thoughts? Can you enter into my mind?”
Brahmamoy replied, “I don’t have to be able to do that, Kanu. I only have to look at your face to read your mind.”
Kanu said, “You know that I am very impure. That is why you are saying this. But can you really read my mind?”
Brahmamoy nodded, “Yes, Kanu, I can. Not only will I read your thoughts of today, but I will read your thoughts of quite a few days past and I will tell you what they were. First I will make you conscious of the exact times at which you had the thoughts, so you will believe me and not deny it. Then I will tell you for three days what kind of thoughts you cherished and at what times. Give me your notebook.”
Brahmamoy started to write down Kanu’s thoughts. He wrote both the good and the bad thoughts. He knew that if he wrote only the bad thoughts Kanu would think he didn’t know about the good thoughts. Before he had even finished writing Kanu took the notebook from him and started to read the first two pages. Suddenly he let out a cry, “Oh no, oh no, oh no…” and he rushed out of the dining hall. Brahmamoy ran after him and found him sitting in the farthest corner of the sports ground. His head was in his hands, and he was sad and depressed. Brahmamoy sat down next to him and tried to console him.
He said, “Look Kanu, I don’t cherish these kinds of things. What is in your mind, good and bad, doesn’t matter to me. You are my friend.”
“Oh, you know all about me, you know how bad I am.”
“Kanu, my heart is big. It is full of compassion. You are my friend.” He put his hand on Kanu’s shoulder but Kanu pulled away.
“Oh, but you know, you know exactly what is going on inside me. I am filled with inner disgust for myself. I am so bad and if I mix with you, I will ruin you. I will bring you down to my level.”
“Kanu, that is a wrong way of thinking. It is a false way of feeling. You cannot ruin me, and I assure you that I shall not cherish your weaknesses.”
“Oh, but I am so inferior and you are so superior.”
“That is absurd.”
“I cannot be your friend any more,” Kanu continued. “I know that on the one hand I will cry to be near you, to be beside you, but on the other hand I shall always feel that I cannot come near you.” He stood up abruptly and walked away from Brahmamoy without even looking back at him.
Brahmamoy thought sadly to himself, “By showing Kanu my occult power I have really lost something. If I had not done it he would always have been very close to me. But now I have lost my friend. With my inner vision I can see that Kanu is not going to stay in this ashram. He will leave in a few years and get married. From where to where he will descend!”
Brahmamoy walked slowly back to the ashram. He remembered his Master telling him that if spiritual Masters show occult powers they often lose disciples. He thought of his own sad experience with Kanu and sighed, “Yes, and if seekers show occult powers they will lose their near and dear friends.”
Jharna-Kala news — Jharna-Kala marathonOn Sunday, 16 November, Sri Chinmoy spent 24 hours in almost non-stop painting. The result was 16,031 new paintings. Following are two notices of the event which appeared in local newspapers. The picture shows Sri Chinmoy in progress, with hundreds of paintings drying on racks around him.
November 17, 1975
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Indian yogi Sri Chinmoy, who recently set an apparent world record by writing 843 poems in 24 hours, set another one yesterday when he took paintbrush in hand and completed a stagering (sic) total of 16,031 paintings within the same period of time. Chinmoy, whose paintings have been displayed here and in Puerto Rico and who has written 260 spiritual books, said he used the same powers of concentration to paint all those paintings that he had used to write all those poems.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE? — Indian spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy of Jamaica set what is considered to be a world record at 12 a.m. this morning when he completed 16,031 paintings in 24 hours. The paintings, which ranged from two by three foot canvases to wallet-sized miniatures, were completed in his home “in order to inspire humanity”.
Jharna-Kala celebrates its first anniversary1Today is a most significant day for my disciples and for me, for today we complete one full year of my art-life. It is the first anniversary of my art experience. I was a seeker, I am a seeker and I shall eternally remain a seeker. I shall eternally walk along the road of aspiration. The Supreme in me taught me at a very young age how to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. But even before that, when I was totally ignorant of aspiration and consciousness, when I was one year and two or three months old, my parents took me to a spiritual institution called an ashram. Then, when I was four years old, they took me again. When I was seven and when I was nine years old again I was taken to the ashram. Finally, when I was eleven years and a few months old I went there to become a permanent member. At that time the Supreme in me made me conscious of my aspiration. He taught me from then how to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. In a few months’ time I came to discover who I was in my previous incarnation and what would be my role in this incarnation.
But no matter what I realise, I feel that my realisation is nothing but a form of aspiration, ever-crying aspiration. Each realisation is nothing but a progressing rung in the ladder of evolution. While I was aspiring through concentration, meditation and contemplation, I was asked by the absolute Supreme within me to aspire also through athletics. Again, out of His infinite Bounty He made me in my youth a champion sportsman. Then, along with my physical discipline and spiritual discipline, He wanted me to aspire through poetry. I started writing poems before I was twelve years old — of course, in Bengali.
I am saying this not for the sake of boasting. What I wanted to tell you is how my aspiration took shape in various forms, in various fields — spirituality, sports, poetry and also music. I was a music-lover, and even now I am a music-lover. Music also played a considerable role in my aspiration. I came to the West, here to America, by the express inner command of the Supreme Pilot who wanted me to be of service to many here in the aspiring West. As you know, the Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, has inspired me, according to my power of receptivity and capacity, to write over 250 books during the eleven years of my existence in America. These books are nothing but the revelation of my own aspiration which is crying, according to my inner receptivity and capacity, to go high, higher, highest, to the ever-transcending Height. It is always aspiration that is being manifested in all my activities, physical, vital, mental and psychic.
Here in the West I have come to act as a devoted server, unconditional server of the divine Love, Light and Truth. In the outer life, in the outer world, some people take me as a spiritual teacher, a Master. But I wish to say the real Master, the supreme Master, is God Himself. We are all representatives. He who knows a little more than we do in any field we are apt to call our teacher. But the real teacher, the absolute Teacher, who has infinite Knowledge and who is infinite Wisdom, Light and Love is God Himself and no human being.
Here in the West the Inner Pilot, my Supreme Pilot, expressed Himself in and through me according to the power of my receptivity when I gave hundreds of talks at various universities in America and in Europe. Hundreds of questions I have also answered. I have composed hundreds of songs both in Bengali and English and a few in Sanskrit. All these things are nothing but various ways of expressing my own inner cry.
Last but not least, I entered last year, exactly one year ago, into the field of art. This field was not my forte. In our family, as ill luck would have it, art-life was not cultivated. Of course, in the broad sense, poetry is an art, music is an art, undoubtedly, but painting as such was not appreciated. Our family was wanting in the capacity for appreciating this particular art. I was in no way an exception.
Eleven years ago when I arrived in New York, I happened to visit the Guggenheim Museum. I saw quite a few paintings. To my extreme sorrow I could not appreciate any of them. But my Fate-Maker one year ago wanted me to become an artist. I was in a hotel in Ottawa. Around 5:00 in the afternoon it was drizzling, but the command came from within to go out and buy a few crayons and drawing paper and so forth. I went out in the rain and bought a few drawing books and I started my journey. After I had drawn a few, I was totally disappointed and disgusted, but the Inspirer in me did not permit me to stop. He wanted me to continue, and I did.
Now some people call me an artist. Yes, I am an artist; this is true. But to be exactly true, one hundred percent true, I wish to say that I am a seeker. Here again, my aspiration is being expressed through art in the form of thousands of paintings in the short span of a year. The artist in my Beloved Supreme, according to my receptivity, according to my surrendering and surrendered existence, has painted and drawn in and through me. Then he wanted me to offer to these paintings an Indian name: Jharna-Kala. It means Fountain-Art. Like a fountain this art flows spontaneously. It has no birth, it has no death; a ceaseless, birthless and deathless flow.
I have quite a few admirers to appreciate my paintings. I am extremely grateful to them. Again, I have quite a few critics who feel they have legitimate reasons to find fault with me. They say, “Why deal with quantity and not with quality? Why not aim at perfection?”
I tell my critics that earthly perfection is a relative experience of and in the mind. A child’s perfection is to pinch someone. The satisfaction that he derives from pinching is perfection in his life. A child crawls and stumbles, he stands up, he walks, marches, he runs very fast. Each progressive stage that he masters is perfection in his life. When he was unable to crawl, he was having a particular experience in earth-life. But the day he started crawling he felt that that progress was perfection. Continuous progress is perfection. Constantly transcending one’s own existence-reality is perfection. Otherwise, perfection would be a finished product. If perfection is a finished product, then it is no perfection at all. Perfection is the song of ever-transcending reality that we embody and we eternally are in the cosmic Vision and transcendental Reality of the Absolute Supreme.
When I paint, I do not have in mind — I never use the mind — how many I am going to do. No, I only try to become a perfect instrument of the Supreme by surrendering to His Will. When it comes to thousands and not hundreds, I clearly see and feel that each painting of mine is a flame of aspiration. Now if I see thousands of aspiration-flames instead of one, then I see clearly that these thousands of aspiration-flames can more easily illumine ignorance-night than only a few could. Those who claim me as their very own, those who are my spiritual children, still need illumination. These thousands and thousands of paintings are for what? To be of service to them, to illumine them. If they see not one but thousands of flames, naturally they are bound to be carried far, very far, high, very high, deep, very deep. Instead of one if they have thousands of aspiration-flames to be of service to them, naturally their progress is bound to be much faster.
Again, each painting of mine is a spark of my own aspiration. One person will appreciate one painting of mine, a second person will appreciate another, a third person still another. This way each person gets the opportunity to identify himself with my aspiration-light. For my disciples, nothing can be as important as identification, identification with the Master’s life of aspiration and dedication.
As I said, I have written thousands and thousands of poems, I have given hundreds of lectures and composed hundreds of songs. Each poem, each talk, each song embodies my own aspiration. A disciple of mine may find his identification in one particular poem or song. The more he identifies himself with the consciousness-light of my creation, which is God’s own creation in and through me, the better for him, the sooner his illumination will take place on the strength of his identification with the Highest.
This is an opportunity for all art-lovers and all seekers of the transcendental Truth. Each painting, each poem, each thing that I undertake is at the express command of my Beloved Supreme. I have 900 disciples. I feel that each disciple can be given the golden opportunity to select whatever form of creativity inspires him most in his own way. There are also seekers who are not my disciples who feel something sublime in me. I wish to assure them that the inspiration and aspiration that my paintings and my writings embody is for them. He who sees something in me or in my creation is my soul’s friend, my heart’s friend. A friend of mine is he who gives me the best opportunity to be of dedicated service to his Inner Pilot. He who gives me this golden opportunity to serve him is my real friend. Here there are about fifty seekers who are not my disciples. But I wish to tell them that their very presence here has given me enormous joy and divine pride. Why? It is they who are giving me the golden opportunity to be of service to the Supreme in them. I say this with all the sincerity at my command. You may feel that I am sharing with you my inner wisdom, but I wish to say that what I feel in the inmost recesses of my heart is something else: the song of aspiration, the song of dedication. I sing in and through you my aspiration-song. I sing in and through you my dedication-song.
To my disciples, art-lovers and all those who are seekers of the transcendental Truth here, to you my fervent soulful request is that you try to identify even for a fleeting second with what I stand for, which is constant inner cry. What I am doing and what I shall be doing is aspiring, and you are all doing the same thing — aspiring, crying within to be conscious and constant instruments of God. The Goal is one; the roads are many. When the seekers see eye-to-eye with one another, then the road undoubtedly is shortened.
AUM 1625. 19 November was the first anniversary of Jharna-Kala. Sri Chinmoy gave this talk about the significance of his art at the Blue Centre meeting in Manhattan's All Angels Church.↩