AUM — Vol. 3, No. 1, 27 January 1976

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Liberty torch Bicentennial Run1

O divine runners, you are the harbingers of America’s new dawn, America’s new promise, America’s new conviction and America’s new assurance to the world body. Two hundred years ago America received, nay achieved, independence from human bondage. This was not only the freedom of American consciousness but the freedom of all human consciousness to strive for a higher life, a more illumining soul and a more fulfilling goal.

Two hundred years ago the world body observed the freedom of the American body. Two hundred years later the world audience again observes America’s freedom. In the past, it was observed with tremendous surprise. Now it is observed with tremendous gratitude. Each nation has committed blunders; there is no nation which has not. But the American consciousness is serving mankind consciously, devotedly and unreservedly. America still remains unparalleled in history as a new awakening, a new revelation and a new manifestation.

When we use our outer vision, we see that thirteen runners are observing this bicentennial historical event. But when we use our inner vision, we see that these runners are runners of a new dawn, beckoning America’s body, vital, mind and heart to run fast, faster, fastest towards a goal which others call unknowable. These divine runners call that goal unknown, but tomorrow it will not only be known but it will be a day-to-day reality for Americans, and not for Americans alone, but for the entire world. Today's goal seems unknowable, but tomorrow it will be known and utilised for the betterment of the new world.

In silence I bless each of you, my sweet children. You are not only honouring your country but also you are leading your country to a higher, more illumining goal. The soul of America is blessing you with her transcendental Pride. The soul of the world is blessing you with her universal Love and her immortal Life. You will live in the very Heart of the Supreme, who is humanity’s cry, divinity’s smile and Eternity’s Pilot.


AUM 1665. On Friday, 9 January 1976, thirteen dedicated boys from the East Coast Sri Chinmoy Centres began a three-day non-stop relay run from New York to Washington, D. C. in honour of the nation's Bicentennial. The participants ran in five-mile relays, carrying a flaming torch which was passed from runner to runner as the relays changed. The 360-mile route was mapped out to pass by many historic sites of the Revolutionary era. At eight o'clock in the morning on 9 January the runners assembled at Sri Chinmoy's home to receive his blessing and final words of encouragement. This is Sri Chinmoy's message to the runners.

Philadelphia's Christ Church2

O Church of Christ, to you I bow, to you I bow. You embodied, you embody and you will forever embody America’s hope, America’s promise, America’s sacrifice and America’s pride. As a seeker of the transcendental Truth, I wish to tell you that in the inmost recesses of my heart I feel that you are not only historically unparalleled but also spiritually unparalleled. Countless are the churches in America, but I soulfully and unmistakably feel that this particular church has been blessed by the Absolute Supreme most dynamically and most powerfully. Here I always experience the freedom-spirit of America, not only in the physical world, but also in the world of the spirit.

It is the most significant day for me and for my students, especially for the thirteen hero-runners, runners who are lovers of their nation. These divine runners will cover three hundred sixty miles as one way to acclaim their country’s independence from bondage. Love of their country, love of the presiding deity of their country, love of the Inner Pilot of their country, has divinely and supremely inspired these thirteen runners to offer their dedicated capacity to their country.

Here in Philadelphia we are offering our heart’s most soulful prayer to this church, the Truth-Abode of God. The soul of America embodies peerless hope, peerless promise, unparalleled sacrifice and unparalleled pride. My soulful prayer is this: “O soul of America, you are awakened. You are running fast, faster, fastest. May you continue this unimaginable speed, not only in the world of vision but also in the world of reality.” The world of vision has made America great. The world of reality is making America good.

I believe in reincarnation. I can tell you with absolute certainty that this church was frequented by me in the physical body many, many years ago. It was here that I played my role soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally as a supreme lover of this mighty country. In this incarnation I have come here as a seeker, to love this country and to serve this country infinitely more than I did in that previous incarnation. In this incarnation, by the Grace of the Absolute Supreme, I shall be infinitely more successful, for I have with me this time hundreds of sweet children, who are for the Supreme and who consciously want to please the Supreme in the Supreme’s ever-illumining, ever-fulfilling way.

When I lived here before, I saw a new world emerging. Now again, after a long time, I see another new world. The world that I saw and lived in is being triumphantly surpassed by the world that I now see and now live in. Previously, the world was one of hope, promise, sacrifice and pride. Now the world is oneness within and oneness without — oneness of the individual with the collective, oneness of the one with the many, oneness with the world that we already have and oneness with the world that we are going to have. Here I see the oneness of the veiled world and the unveiled world. The veiled world is ignorance; the unveiled world is wisdom. Today the veiled world is being transformed into the fulfilling manifestation-world of the Absolute Supreme.

In the name of the Absolute Supreme, in the name of the Saviour’s soul, I bless my runner-seekers. These thirteen runner-seekers will always feel special Grace in the heart of the American freedom-spirit. Today their dedication to their country’s spirit is being imprinted in letters of gold in my gratitude-heart.

[Sri Chinmoy wrote in the guest book at Christ Church this significant message:]

The country-server of the past comes as the country-lover of the present to fulfil the Supreme in His own way.


AUM 1666. Early in the afternoon of Saturday, 10 January, the runners arrived at Philadelphia's Christ Church, seat of worship of many of the Revolutionary leaders whenever they were in Philadelphia. Sri Chinmoy met the runners at Christ Church and held a brief ceremony for them. These are his inspired words from the church.

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Sri Chinmoy speaks to the Liberty Torch Runners in Philadelphia’s Christ Church.

— photo by Lloyd

Note

Arriving in Washington at around noon on Sunday, 11 January, the runners made a detour to the grave of President Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery before running to their final destination, the Washington Monument. Sri Chinmoy placed a wreath on the grave and meditated there in silence for a few minutes. The following picture and caption were distributed nationwide by Associated Press.

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CEREMONY: Sri Chinmoy, (background) director of the United Nations meditation group, clasps hands as David Littlehales (foreground) touches a “Liberty Torch" to the eternal flame at gravesite of the late John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday. The torch was carried by Littlehales and 12 other runners on a 360-mile relay from New York to Washington to celebrate U.S. bicentennial.

Ceremony

At the Washington Monument an official ceremony was conducted by Mr. Casey Conrad, President’s Advisor on Physical Fitness.

Mr. Casey Conrad:

The spirit of the Bicentennial is exemplified by these young dedicated Americans who have shown their sense of sacrifice, and a rekindling in their own lives of the spark that made this country great. One of the aspects of this, of course, is physical fitness. Now, I have some wonderful presentations here. For example, I have a letter from the President, who has asked me to give each of these young men his personal commendation. (Mr. Conrad then read out the letter, a copy of which had been typed for each of the runners and personally signed by President Ford. A reproduction of the letter appears on the following page.)

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Letter from President Ford

THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON
January 8, 1976

We now mark the beginning of our Third Century as an Independent Nation as well as the 200th Anniversary of the American Revolution. For two centuries our Nation has grown, changed and flourished. A diverse people, drawn from all corners of the earth, have joined together to fulfill the promise of democracy.

America's Bicentennial is rich in history and in the promise and potential of the years that lie ahead. It is about the events of our past, our achievements, our traditions, our diversity, our freedoms, our form of government and our continuing commitment to a better life for all Americans. The Bicentennial offers each of us the opportunity to join with our fellow citizens in honouring the past and preparing for the future in communities across the Nation. Thus, in joining together as races, nationalities, and individuals, we also retain and strengthen our traditions, background and personal freedom.

As we lay the cornerstone of America's Third Century, the very special part in this great national undertaking being performed by the Members of the Liberty Torch Bicentennial Group is most commendable.

Gerald R. Ford

Reproduction of the letter from President Ford

Comments

Apollo Astronaut Bill Andhers: First of all, I would like to offer my congratulations to the Liberty Torch runners. On a day like this, we are reminded of what a long way it is from the place they started to here. Also, the weather is not so good, and when I ran down here from McLean, I can tell you it was kind of icy underfoot.

Seriously though, the kind of dedication and commitment that you young men are demonstrating here by your Liberty Torch run is, as Casey said, what made this country really great. Back in 1776 the maximum speed of locomotion wasn’t much faster than a man could run. And twenty-five miles an hour was considered a staggering speed. Nowadays we beat that by some three orders of magnitude. We’re up to about twenty-five thousand miles per hour. When the country was first being explored and settled by people on foot and on horseback, it seemed like a gigantic place. It seemed like a really large nation. But at the velocity we move with today, particularly when we are able to look back from space, we see that not only the United States but the entire world is a rather small place where men seem much closer together. And this is because of the speed not only of locomotion but also of communication.

I think that your Liberty Torch run today is a very good communications vehicle (as well as a locomotion vehicle) to tell the people of this country and the people of the world that the values we had back in 1776 are still alive today. And we’re going to catapult them or launch them into the future for the nation’s next 200 years, where they will be able to do the kind of things that have made the country great in the past.

My congratulations to you. And thank you very much for the opportunity to be with you.

Captain Harry Allendorfer, National Bicentennial Commission, Director of Special Events: Looking at you people, your background — the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker — I can say it is a good thing that you have done. Something has happened. A lot of people have seen you do it and it takes them back 200 years to when fifty-six men were thinking about signing the Declaration of Independence. It was impossible; it couldn’t be done. But it had to be done. This group of boys, with different backgrounds, also had a goal that had to be done: to start at New York and run to Washington. It couldn’t be done, but it was done. Some 200 years ago men got together and did things that couldn’t be done. This country is a big country and we can do anything we want to do.

[Letters from New York Congressmen Ottinger and Addabo, supporting and commending the runners, were then read out.]

Mr. Conrad: And the last of our distinguished guests is Sri Chinmoy, who is the director of the United Nations Meditation Group.

Sri Chinmoy: Two hundred years ago America’s life-boat reached the Independence-Shore of the Golden Beyond. At the Shore it was blessed by Divinity’s transcendental Pride and humanity’s universal gratitude. These thirteen great Liberty Torch runners gloriously symbolise America’s promise in the inner world and America’s speed in the outer world.

Promise is the climbing aspiration of man in God. Speed is the illumining satisfaction of God in man. Now let us pray to the soul of America to bless us, to bless our devoted service to her.

[After a silent prayer Mr. Casey Conrad presented each of the runners with a badge representing the prestigious seal of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and asked each of the runners to share with the observers a thought or experience of his in connection with the Bicentennial run.]

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The Liberty Torch Runners at the Washington Monument Ceremony.

— photo by Lloyd

Article in magazine People weekly3

A ceremony of meditative silence, song and prayer draws to a close. At the invitation of guru Sri Chinmoy, his flock, numbering almost 50 this evening, rises from cross-legged humility on the floor of a frame house in Queens, N.Y. Disciples are mostly in Indian dress — women in flowing saris, short-haired men in white cotton pajamas.

The few outsiders are skeptical as they approach the final benediction, a one-to-one moment with the guru himself. But the encounter is unlikely to leave even the most cynical unmoved. Offering a handful of tiny cakes he has blessed, Sri Chinmoy concentrates intensely on the recipient. Then his eyes begin to flicker wildly, and the pupils eventually roll up to leave only the whites visible. Sri Chinmoy has reached a state of meditative bliss called “samadhi” in his native Bengali. “I swear I could see a gold-colored aura suffuse his head,” exclaimed one first-time visitor later. “I don’t think I could ever succumb to a guru,” he added, “but there’s no doubt in my mind that as far as gurus go, this one’s the genuine article.”

At present count, about 700 individuals worldwide have dedicated their lives to Sri Chinmoy’s spiritual path. He advocates love, devotion and surrender to “the supreme.” His most publicized adherents are rock musician Carlos Santana, who now uses the spiritual name of Devadip, and the British jazz guitarist Mahavishnu John McLaughlin. As head of the meditation program at the United Nations, the slight, bald-headed guru has attracted diplomats and statesmen as well. He has lectured at Yale and conferred with the Pope, and his writings have been published in several languages.

Some of his commercially minded followers manage “divine enterprises.” Parsons Boulevard in Queens is dominated by stores with names like Guru Health Foods, Guru Stationery and the Blessing Light Supreme bookstore. The Smile of the Beyond cafe offers delicious ice cream, a favorite with Sri Chinmoy, whose weight fluctuates as dramatically as his eyes in trance.

These businesses, which are dedicated to manifesting spiritual conviction to the outside world, are as nothing compared to the guru’s own productivity. By avocation a painter, poet, songwriter and playwright, both in Bengali and English, Sri Chinmoy seeks constantly to “transcend” his own spiritual limitations. Recently he wrote 843 poems in 24 hours and then followed up with a staggering 16,031 paintings in the same amount of time. Disciples paraded up New York’s Madison Avenue in celebration.

Born to a railroad inspector in West Bengal 44 years ago, Chinmoy Kumar Ghose (sri — pronounced shree — is an Indian title of respect) claims to have achieved the highest state of “god-realization” as a 12-year-old. After two decades in an Indian ashram he emigrated to this country in 1963 and worked in the visa section of the Indian consulate in New York, slowly gathering the flock he leads today.

Asked if he misses Bengal, Sri Chinmoy deftly summarizes his spiritual philosophy: “I don’t miss anything or anybody, because inside me is the universal reality as inside you is the universal reality.” He avows that “if I get a command from my Inner Pilot I will be more than happy to go to the foot of the Himalayas or into a Himalayan cave — which I did in some of my previous incarnations.”


AUM 1670. 12 January 1976, Vol.5 No.1

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The child of one of Sri Chinmoy’s disciples discovers that the guru’s blessing is a giggle-inducing pat on the head.

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He calls it “fountain-art”, and Chinmoy’s outpourings are copious. He recently completed over 16,000 paintings in a day.

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As he approaches bliss through meditation, Sri Chinmoy’s eyes flicker and his features seem to melt from an inner heat

Poems

For humanity to enjoy

The seed of faith
And the fruit of freedom
Are for humanity to enjoy.

The love of perfection
And the life of satisfaction
Are for humanity to enjoy.

Try to perfect humanity

Time tried to perfect humanity,
But it failed.
God has been trying to perfect humanity,
But who knows
What will be the outcome?
Now it is your turn.
You try to perfect humanity.
I am sure success-glory
Will be all yours.

Each

Each body
Is an aspiring hope.

Each soul
Is a descending rope.

Each life
Is a God-spreading scope.

You have failed

You have failed;
You are no longer humanity’s hope.

You have failed;
You are no longer divinity’s voice.

You have failed;
You are no longer Immortality’s choice

If it is difficult

Lord, my Lord, seal my mouth.
If You find it difficult,
Then bless me with patience-light.

If that too is difficult,
Then take me to another world
Where I shall have less difficulty
In pleasing You
In Your own way.

I need you

Lord Supreme,
Because You are very great
I need You in public.

Lord Supreme,
Because you are very good
I need You in private.

Virtue

The beginning of virtue:
Give.

The continuation of virtue:
Give and take.

The culmination of virtue:
Become.

Payments

What I must pay:
My earth-body’s earthly rent.

What I should pay:
My heaven-soul’s heavenly telephone with God.

What I am paying for:
My long and unforgotten friendship with ignorance.

Look at them!

Look at your body!
It is always graceless and useless.

Look at your vital!
It is always hungry and angry.

Look at your mind!
It is always doubtful and scornful.

Look at your heart!
It is always insecure and impure.

Only

Preach
Only what you do.

Practice
Only what you know.

Reach
Only what you see.

Teach
Only what you are.

Welcome! Congratulations!4

O Senior Citizens! O Esteemed brothers and sisters! Welcome! Congratulations!

Do you know what you divinely have? You have wisdom-light.

Do you know what you supremely are? You are patience-perfection.

Your wisdom-light tells us that each fleeting second is of paramount importance, nay, each second is invaluable. Your patience-perfection tells us that we are of Eternity’s Silence-Vision and for Eternity’s Sound-Reality. Eternity is at our disposal. Eternity reminds us of the forgotten truth: “Slow and steady wins the race.” Slowly, steadily and unerringly we shall walk along Eternity’s road. Eternity’s ever-transcending Goal is our heart’s only choice.

You are at Annam Brahma. “Annam Brahma” means “Food is God.” The human in us eats to live, just for the sake of remaining alive. The divine in us eats to live, so that it can realise, reveal and manifest God-Beauty and God-Love in all that we say, do and become.

O Senior Citizens, you are our wise pioneers. You are our beckoning lights. To you we devotedly offer what we have: love and concern. To us you lovingly offer what you have: blessing and compassion. Our love and concern and your blessing and compassion, both Mother-Earth and Father-Heaven shall eternally treasure.

O Senior Citizens, you are the glorious heights of our world family. To you we offer our service-trees. To you we offer our oneness-fruits.


AUM 1681. On 18 January, Annam Brahma restaurant hosted a vegetarian banquet for senior citizens from the Jamaica area. Each guest received a copy of the following message and a red rose from Sri Chinmoy.

Spiritual power, occult power and will power5

Spiritual power is vastness, occult power is swiftness, will power is readiness. Spiritual power says to the seeker, “Eternity is at your disposal.” Occult power says to the seeker, “Here, here and now.” Will power says to spiritual power and occult power, “We are friends. Both of you are perfectly right; therefore, I wish to help you, serve you, manifest you and fulfil you in your own way.”

Spiritual power is the sea, occult power is the river and will power is the current of the river and the tranquility of the sea. Spiritual power is self-awareness, occult power is self-confidence and will power is self-experience. Slowly, steadily and unerringly the spiritual power within us grows until eventually it reaches its destination. Occult power speedily, dynamically and amazingly reaches its destination. Occult power has the speed of a deer. It runs very fast and reaches its goal quickly, but that goal is not the ultimate Goal.

Will power has faithfulness and devotedness. It is devoted to occult power, and at the same time it is devoted to spiritual power. With its devotedness and faithfulness will power reaches its destination. We can safely say that will power acts like a faithful dog, constantly and devotedly the Master’s own.

The seeker who is far advanced in the spiritual life tells us that he uses his spiritual power in order to climb up high, higher, highest. The seeker who is far advanced in the spiritual life tells us that he uses his occult power quite often, in order to run fast, faster, fastest. The seeker who has tremendous will power, who is inundated with will power, energises the seeker who has spiritual power and the seeker who has occult power. The role of the seeker who is inundated with will power is to help the seeker who has spiritual power and the seeker who has occult power.

Spiritual power almost whisperingly tells us that right is might. If you have the divine right, inside that right you must feel the divine power. If you have the right, then use your power. Occult power bravely tells us that might is right. If you have the capacity, that is your right. Occultism is simple. But the seeker with tremendous will power will tell us that the cry of Mother-Earth is the might of Mother-Earth, and the Smile of Father-Heaven is the right of Father-Heaven. We need only one might, and that is the inner cry of Mother-Earth. We need only one right, and that is the Smile of Father-Heaven.

Now, how do we acquire spiritual power? We acquire spiritual power by self-giving, constant self-giving. And how do we acquire occult power? We acquire occult power by self-examining. How do we acquire will power? We acquire will power by self-affirming. Self-giving — what do we give? We give what we have and what we are. What we have is love of God, and what we are is concern for mankind. Self-examining — what do we examine? We examine sincerely our capacity and our incapacity. We examine our incapacity in order to transform it into capacity, and we examine our capacity in order to make it perfect, absolutely perfect. And what do we affirm? When we affirm ourselves, we have to know that this self-affirmation is not like the self-affirmation of Julius Caesar, who declared, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Our self-affirmation will be: “I came, I loved and I became.” This is our divine self-affirmation: “I came into the world. I loved all human beings. And I established my inseparable oneness with all human beings.”

If we properly use spiritual power, then we can live here on earth in Immortality’s Reality. If the seeker properly uses occult power, then universal Reality is always at his disposal. Nothing will be able to hide from an occultist’s vision. Anything that involves creation will be within the reach of the occultist sooner than at once.

If we misuse spiritual power, we shall be extremely, extremely poor in the spiritual life. Sometimes it has happened that advanced seekers, after misusing spiritual power, have become poorer in aspiration than they were right at the beginning of their spiritual journey. Similarly, if an occultist misuses his occult power, then he becomes totally blind in the spiritual life. This blindness is not physical blindness, it is a much more serious blindness. It is the loss of his inner vision. This seeker will not be able to see the truth anymore. And something worse, when occult power is misused, the power that is misused eventually comes and attacks the occultist. In the case of spiritual power, he who misuses it sometimes escapes the attack of the misused spiritual forces, but when occult power is misused, the person who has misused it will eventually be attacked and punished by the forces that were once upon a time his own, at his beck and call.

With will power what can we do? With will power we can identify ourselves with God’s Creation, we can identify ourselves with God’s Vision, we can identify ourselves with God’s Reality. Will power is conscious identification with the reality that exists, or with the reality that is going to blossom. Each individual here has a certain amount of will power. But will power can also be cultivated. As we develop our muscles, even so we can develop our will power. But while developing will power we have to know that we are going to use his will power only to build in us the temple of truth, the temple of light, the temple of peace, the temple of delight. If this is our goal, then will power will always be ready to help us, mould us, shape us into perfect Perfection. Otherwise, will power can also be a true obstacle in our spiritual path.

Spiritual power tells us in unmistakeable terms, “I am, I eternally am.” Occult power tells us unmistakably, “I can, I immediately can.” Will power unmistakably tells us, “I enjoy, I divinely enjoy, I supremely enjoy. I enjoy, not in a human way, but in a divine way, in a supreme way.”


AUM 1682. Marvin Hall, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 28 January 1976

The greatest meets the greatest

On 25 January, Sri Chinmoy and Muhammad All met at Ali’s hotel in Puerto Rico and had a long and soulful conversation which has been printed in booklet form by Aum Publications.

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Muhammad Ali explains the Muslim form of prayer to Sri Chinmoy.

— photo by Bansidhar

Letter from Muhammad Ali

To My Dear Brother Sri Chinmoy

From Brother Muhammad Ali

Love is the net, where
Hearts are caught
like fish.

Jan 25-19-76
Peace & Love
Always

Questions and answers on religion

AUM 1683-1695. Sri Chinmoy answered the following questions on religion at the United Nations on 16 January 1976.

Ms. Michelle Hein: Will man always need religion?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, you have to know what kind of religion it is. If it is a man-made religion which is founded upon fear of God, then this religion will not and cannot last forever. But if the religion is nothing but a code of life for the illumination of the human in us and for the perfect manifestation of the divine in us, then that particular religion — if such a religion can ever exist — man shall always need.

Mr. Bill Paradis: Is there a basic difference between religion in the East and religion in the West?

Sri Chinmoy: The Eastern approach gives more importance to peace; the Western approach gives more importance to power. But we have to know that basically there is no difference between God’s Peace and God’s Power. Peace is God’s Vision that fulfils itself in the heart-expansion of the Reality Transcendental. Power is God’s Reality that fulfils itself in the life-expansion of the earth-reality. Each manifests itself through the body, vital and mind — especially through the dynamic vital. Peace makes us feel the beauty of God’s Vision. Power makes us feel the duty of God’s Reality.

Mr. Bill Paradis: In Western religion many prayers are offered to God the Father. In Eastern religion many prayers are offered to God the Mother. What is the spiritual difference?

Sri Chinmoy: There is no spiritual difference. God the Father and God the Mother are eternally one and the same. The seeker in us feels the necessity of approaching either God the Father or God the Mother for the satisfaction that is needed. Some seekers feel that they can easily establish a free access to God the Mother, while others feel that they can easily establish a free access to God the Father. It is up to the individual to approach either God the Father or God the Mother for both inner and outer satisfaction.

Ms. Anne Agostini: Why do many religions claim to be the only way to God?

Sri Chinmoy: It is true that many religions claim that they represent the only way to God. If these religions feel that aspiration is the only way to God, then they are offering us the correct message. But if they feel their own respective religious philosophy represents the only way, then they are mistaken. If a particular religion claims that it has or embodies the only way to God, then that particular religion must convince us that it is nothing short of aspiration. Religion, in this case, has to be pure aspiration, for aspiration is undoubtedly the only way to God. If that religion claims to be something else, then unfortunately it is incorrect in saying that it is the only way to God. Religion, when it becomes nothing short of aspiration, a climbing inner flame, is undoubtedly the only way to God-discovery.

Ms. Anne Agostini: Can the study of world religions help the seeker in gaining a better idea of what God is?

Sri Chinmoy: The study of the world religions may help a seeker in gaining a better idea or it may create unnecessary confusion. If one wants to be conversant in all religions, he is apt to enter into a sea of confusion instead of creating a synthesis of all religions. But there is no hard and fast rule that one will have such a deplorable fate. If there is inner guidance, by studying all the religions one is able to acquire the quintessence of all religions, which is Truth-discovery.

In order to realise all the religions in their pristine beauty, light and delight, one has to practise spirituality. Spirituality is the only way to enter into the very raison d’etre, into the very essence of all religions. There can be no other way. Religion can at most be the door or gateway to God’s Palace. But spirituality is the main room in God’s Palace. If you want to go to the main room, the living room, naturally you have to pass through the gates, the doors of the palace. If you want to, you can stop at the gate; nobody will prevent you from standing there. But if you want to go right into the main room, there is no need to learn about religion. You can practise Yoga and pass right through religion directly into God’s Palace.

Mr. Blaise Scavullo: What is the difference between following your path and practising the Hindu religion?

Sri Chinmoy: Mine is a path and Hinduism is a religion. Anybody can walk along a path irrespective of his religious background or religious belief. I was born of a Hindu family. But by practising Yoga I transcended my family religion. Then, through self-discovery, I have far transcended not only the Hindu religion but all religions. At the same time, through the practice of Yoga and self-discovery, I have acquired in myself the quintessence of all religions: love of God, love of Truth.

Mr. Blaise Scavullo: Is it realistic for someone who was raised as a Catholic to feel that Jesus Christ is a spiritual Master?

Sri Chinmoy: Why not? If he was brought up in a Catholic family and if he feels that the Christ is his spiritual Master, then he is doing absolutely the right thing. If someone else was brought up in a Hindu family and he feels that Lord Krishna is his spiritual Master, then he is also doing the right thing. But if one is wise, then he has to feel the Eternal Master, the Eternal Supreme, the Inner Pilot inside the Christ, inside Lord Krishna. Inside the Christ, inside Lord Krishna is He who embodies both the transcendental Vision and the universal Reality. If one enters into the infinite Christ-Consciousness or the infinite Krishna-Consciousness — and not just the consciousness of the historical figures — then there is no difference between the Inner Pilot and Lord Krishna’s infinite Consciousness or the Christ’s infinite Consciousness.

Mr. Peter Neumann: Despite the fact that religions are aimed at the similar goal of becoming closer to God, they outwardly seem to compete with each other. Why is this so?

Sri Chinmoy: It is because of ignorance. In spite of knowing that the goal is the same, the believers of the different religions fail to see eye to eye with one another. They all eat the same food, but some feel that this food must be eaten in the kitchen while others feel it must be eaten in the living room or on the porch. The same food we are going to eat, but we want to maintain our individuality and supremacy by saying that if we eat it at a particular place, then we shall be more satisfied. But we know that it is the same food we are going to eat no matter where we eat it.

Mr. Peter Neumann: Will the world ever have one religion and is this something people should strive for?

Sri Chinmoy: The world will have one religion, but that religion is not a religion we can talk about. We cannot say that Christianity will be the only religion, or Hinduism, or Buddhism, or Judaism. We cannot say that one religion far surpasses another religion and that this particular religion has to be the only religion. No! There can be one religion provided that this religion is nothing short of inner cry, the inner cry to realise the Truth. One religion means one inner cry in all human hearts.

Mr. Richard Howard: Is religion the offspring of spirituality?

Sri Chinmoy: Spirituality is a vast reality, but when we use the mind, at times it becomes a vague reality. But if we see spirituality as the house of God-Reality, then naturally religion is only the offspring of spirituality. If spirituality is taken as the height of Yoga, which is conscious, constant and inseparable oneness with God, then I must say that religion has to come forward and claim Yoga as its source. If spirituality is seen as the living breath, the oneness-breath with God, then religion is most certainly the offspring of spirituality.

Mr. Richard Howard: Can religion lead man to God?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes. Religion is a house. If someone prays and meditates inside his house, he will realise God. Your house is your religion. If you stay inside your house and pray to God, then without fail you will realise God.

Ms. Gail Gershon: Why do some people who are highly developed and mature souls often reject the idea of God or religion?

Sri Chinmoy: Some people are highly developed, but they are developed on the physical plane, on the vital plane or on the mental plane. Unless and until they are developed on the psychic plane, on the heart’s plane, there is no guarantee that they will accept religion, not to speak of God. When we live in the heart, we cry for oneness; but when we live in the physical, the vital or the mind, we consciously reject oneness, for we want to see the Truth in an infinitesimal measure. When we live in the heart, we want to see the expansion of truth; we want to see the reality of truth as inseparable oneness. The mind, the vital and the body still enjoy the sense of separativity, whereas the heart wants to enjoy and does enjoy only the unity of inseparable, eternal, immortal oneness.

Ms. Saroja Douglas: Why do many people feel attracted to meditation when it is represented as an intellectual exercise but shy away from it when they feel it has to do with devotion?

Sri Chinmoy: Many people are not aware of what the term ‘devotion’ means and they misinterpret it. They feel that devotion is a type of slavery; they feel that to touch the feet of someone is devotion. But this is not true. One is not touching somebody else’s feet; one is devoting himself to a higher cause, a higher reality. So if one feels devotion to a higher cause, if one is trying to reach one’s own transcendental Reality, then one cannot feel that he is making a mistake in his devotion.

Intellectual people feel that since the head is higher than the feet, they have to keep the head as the only reality. But spiritual people feel that the head stands high precisely because it is joined to the feet and the rest of the body. Spiritual people feel that it is the heartbeat that is keeping the head and also the feet alive, just because they are inseparably one with the heartbeat of God-Reality, they remain alive. Spiritual people see the reality everywhere — inside the mind, vital, body, heart and soul — but intellectual people want to see the reality only at one place: inside the mind. Real reality has to be everywhere precisely because God is everywhere.

Letter

JHARNA-KALA NEWS

NORTH AMERICAN MENTOR MAGAZINE Fennimore Wisconsin 53809

December 12, 1975

Sri Chinmoy
c/o David I. Gershon
275 West 22d Street
New York New York 10011

Dear Sri Chinmoy:

I am pleased to present to you this cash award of $50 for your painting of January 28, 1975, signed C.K.G. (as shown on page 2 of your brochure on Fountain-Art).

It is my intention to use this painting on the front cover of the Winter 1976 issue of the North American Mentor Magazine. I would be grateful to you if you could provide me with the original negatives as used in your brochure, as these negatives would reproduce much nicer and much clearer than if I have to make them direct from the copy which you submitted.

Many publishers of free lance work by artists and writers consider these awards favorably when they are considering work for publication. You, too, might find it advantageous to list this award among your publication credits as well as in future professional biographical listings.

I hope that you will enter more of your work in our 1976 contests.

Congratulations to you.

Very sincerely

John Westburg, Ph.D.
Editor