AUM — Vol. 1, No.11, 27 June 1966

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Man is Infinity's Heart.
Man is Eternity's Breath.
Man is Immortality's Life.

India: Her consciousness and light, part 21

They say that India long ago lost the Milky Way of greatness. But we know that she has now a colossal hope that the overcast sky will clear at last, revealing again the myriad points of light.

What were the chief causes of India's downfall? She neglected the body-consciousness and eschewed the material life; she narrowed her outlook and sealed herself up in the outworn rituals of the past; she clung to the festering shell of her ancient culture and succeeded in killing its living, growing spirit. And India's doom was sealed the day she started these practices.

India began to rise the day she turned away from these tendencies and accepted life in all its dynamic aspects.

India will rise fully the day she becomes self-reliant. She knows well that she cannot achieve her goal if she has to depend permanently on alien help. Self-help is the best help. Self-help is God's own help in disguise.

India has within her a voice that is the self-same, all-fulfilling voice of God. That voice she simply must hear and act up to.

What is actually meant by the emancipation of the Indian woman? It means that she must no longer be alienated from education. She must have free access to the world-wide knowledge of the present day, in addition to the sacred lore of the past centuries. True education helps us to live in the integral perfection which is the very backbone of our existence on earth. The Indian woman must be given a full opportunity to develop and manifest this perfection.

The emancipation of the Indian woman also means that she must not be suppressed and dominated by man. She must be free to be herself, independent in her own right, strong, confident, a true partner and companion of man and not his drudge and serf. She must become again what she was in Vedic India, a respected and equal citizen, a glorious complement to man.

Today's India is poverty-stricken. But tomorrow's India will be prosperous, a mighty wave of hope and faith. Her very thought will be stirred with a new vision. Infinite will be the possibilities on her horizon. Her sacrifice will build a more durable foundation for mankind. She will contain within herself nationalism and internationalism, making herself the true symbol of spirituality in action.

India with her spiritual power will wield a tremendous influence on the future generations of mankind. This is no imagination, but vision in operation.

India and India alone is the nerve-centre of the aspiring four corners of the world.

India's strength is not in her arms, but in her heart. More so is it in her seer-vision.

India tells the world that the realisation of unity is the only strength to conquer the world.

India is the seeker of the Absolute. The summum bonum of life is the ideal of God-Realisation. In her heart there is a burning love of God; in her mind, the service of unawakened humanity.

True, consumed with desires and temptations, Europe rushed towards India to acquire her fabulous wealth. It is equally and absolutely true that Europe's soul came to India with a spiritual seeking and an occult urge to discover what India was actually like.

India has three world-conquering weapons: Non-Violence, Peace and the Wisdom that tells that she is in All as All is in her.

India's choice is character. But she must feel that she needs personality as well.

Mother India's fear is not in atomic bombs but in Her children's Self-forgetful amnesia.

Unbelievably, India has perfectly reconciled in herself the two worst antagonists: Renunciation and Epicurianism.

Perfection was the choice of the Greeks. Proportion was the choice of the Romans. Universality is the choice of the Indians.

India is the voice that never falters. Hers is the truth that cannot be silenced by the threatening darkness of centuries. Hers is the heart that sings perpetually the unity of mankind.

India is the vault of an ancient eternal wisdom that has a universal appeal. It is also the universal reserve-bank of an ever-growing wisdom and is destined to be the hub and dynamo of world transformation.

continued from Vol.1, No.9

The significance of a birthday2

The soul comes down. Mother-Earth smiles. Father-Heaven smiles. Father smiles in His divine offering. Mother smiles in Her divine acceptance.

A soul comes not alone. It breathes God's Promise and God's Fulfilment. A new Thought, a new Inspiration, a new Light, a new Power and a new Manifestation of God enter into a physical body, the fort of protection.

God once more inspires the soul and energises the body to enter dauntlessly into the battlefield of life with a stronger inspiration, a brighter freedom and a deeper peace.

Each birthday flowers into a special significance. The yet unfulfilled desires of a man knock at the Door of his soul. His soul opens the Door and comes to the fore on this special day.

The Supreme sends Eternity, Infinity and Immortality down into the world to feed His divine child, the soul. Eternity serves the breakfast, Infinity the lunch and Immortality the dinner. Eternity tells the soul where it is, Infinity tells the soul how far to go, Immortality tells the soul when and where to stop.

God dreams in the soul, for the soul. The soul dreams in the body, for the body. The body dreams in the senses, for the senses. The senses say to the body, the physical consciousness: "United we are playing our roles to fulfil you." The body then says to the soul: "I am coming to fulfil you. Please stay for a while."

The soul says to God: "I am come. Be pleased to fulfil Yourself in me."

This talk was given on 7 June 1966, in celebration of the thirty-fifth birthday of Mr. Eric Hughes. It was held at his home, 43 Greenwich Avenue, New York City.][fn:: Eric is a dedicated disciple of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. The freshness of a flower, the speed of a deer, the surrender and consecration of a devotee are the divine attributes of his soul.

II. Within us is our goal3

We are God's all-fulfilling Dream. Our within is God's boundless Plenitude. Our goal is Infinity's Heart and Immortality's Breath. Our goal is within our very body.

In the physical world the mother tells her child who his father is. In the spiritual life our aspiration tells us who our God is. Who is God? God is an infinite Consciousness. He is also the self-illumining Light. There is no human being who does not own within him this infinite Consciousness and this self-illumining Light.

If we want to see anything in the outer world, in addition to keeping our eyes wide open, we need light. It may be sunlight or electric light or some other kind of light. But in the inner world, we need no light whatsoever. Even with our eyes closed we can see God, the self-illumining Light.

God is not something to be obtained from outside. God is that very thing which can be unfolded from within.

Each human being has millions and millions of questions to ask. In his spiritual life, a day dawns when he feels that there is only one question worth asking: "Who am I?" The answer of answers is, "I am not the body, but I am the inner Pilot." How is it that a man does not know himself, a thing which ought to be the easiest of all his endeavours? He does not know himself precisely because he identifies himself with the ego and not with his real "I". What compels him to identify himself with this pseudo "I"? It is Ignorance. And what tells him that the real "I" is not and can never be the ego? It is his self-search. What he sees in the inmost recesses of his heart is his real "I", his God. Finally, this seeing must transform itself into becoming.

The other day a friend of mine, or perhaps I should call him a student, said to me: "I can't think of God. My mind becomes restless."

"What do you do then?" I asked.

"Why, I just think of the world."

"Now tell me, when you think of the world, in all its activities, can you even for a second think of God?"

"No, never."

"So, my young friend, is it not absurd to know that, when you think of God, restlessness takes your mind away from God, but when you drink deep the pleasures of the world, your restlessness does not take your mind away and place it at the Feet of the Lord? No, this should never be. If you have genuine hunger for spiritual food, the same restlessness, or what you may call 'uneasiness', will take your mind speedily and dynamically and place it in your heart to drink the Nectar.

To be sure, your mind cannot do two things at a time. If you are thinking of God with an implicit faith, if the flame of aspiration is burning within your heart, your outer restlessness-monkey, however mischievous it may be, will not dare to touch you, much less pinch or bite you. Further, if you see the situation from a different angle, you will feel yourself extremely fortunate that you cannot do two things at a time. You cannot look at your own two shoulders with full attention at the same time. Similarly when you see your God within, you cannot see the ignorance-tiger of the outer world."

What we shall have to do first is to see the ego, touch and catch the ego, and finally transform the ego. Believe it or not, in Indian villages even now when a Brahmin's son gets angry with his friends, he boldly says: "Look, I am a Brahmin. All the sastras, the scriptures, were at the command of my forefathers. We are the possessors of the inner knowledge. Our curses act like volcanoes. Be careful!" His friends are struck with fear and keep silent. In the spiritual life when the ego enters into us, and bothers us, we shall have to think of ourselves as the Brahman, the One without a second, and we shall have to feel ourselves as the all-pervading Consciousness. The ego disappears into nothingness.

Even if we think of ourselves as the ego-centric body, we can use the senses to fulfil ourselves fully and divinely here on earth, and prevent the senses from using us according to their sweet fancy.

We all know that the mind plays an important role in our material life as well as in our spiritual life. So we must not discard the mind. What we should do is to be always conscious of the mind. The mind becomes restless; that does not mean that we shall have to punish the mind all the time. If the master of the house comes to learn that his old servant has now formed the habit of stealing, he does not immediately dismiss the servant. The servant's past sincerity and dedication are still fresh in his mind. He waits and observes unnoticed and unconcerned, feeling that his servant will turn over a new leaf. In the meantime, the servant becomes aware that his master has come to know of his late conduct. He stops stealing. He goes one step further; to please his master, he works even more sincerely and more devotedly than he did before. Similarly, when we become aware of the mind's restless activities and its tricks, we shall have to be silent for some time and observe the mind quite unconcerned. Before long, we shall see that our mind, the thief, will feel ashamed of its conduct. We must not forget that during that time we have to think of ourselves as the soul and not as the body, for the soul can alone be the master of the mind. The soul alone is our true identity. At the appointed hour, the mind will start to listen to the dictates of the soul.

Action, action! We shall always act. Action and inaction. According to the Gita, we shall have to see action in inaction, and inaction in action. What does this mean? It means that, while acting, we shall have to feel within ourselves a sea of silence. While we are without activity, we shall have to feel within us a dynamo of creative energy. Let us not think of actions as ours. If we can do this, our actions will be more real and more effective. When a servant does something, say, cooking for his master, he does it to the best of his capacity. Why? To get his master's appreciation and favour. But when he cooks for himself, he does it as negligently as possible. In the same way, if we act to please our soul, the inner Pilot, we shall be able to act most devotedly and most successfully.

Our Goal is within us. And to reach that Goal we shall have to take to the spiritual life. In the spiritual life, the thing that is most needed is the awareness of consciousness. Without it, everything is a barren desert.

When we enter into a dark place, we take a flashlight or some other light in order to see. Now, if we want to know the existence of our unlit life, we shall have to take the help of our consciousness. Let us go deeper into the matter. We know that the sun illumines the world. But how are we aware of it? We are aware of it through our consciousness, which is self-revealing. The functioning of the sun is not self-revealing. It is our consciousness in the sun that makes us feel that the sun illumines the world. It is our consciousness that is self-revealing in everything. And this consciousness is an infinite sea of delight. When we drink a drop of water from the sea, it tastes salty. In the same way, during our meditation, if we can drink a tiny drop from the sea of delight, we shall realise that the sea is full of delight. This delight is nectar. Nectar is Immortality.

Within us is our Goal. Let us go deep within and hear the Vedic Seer singing:

Vedaham Etam Purusham Mahantam
Aditya Varnam Tamasah Parastat.

"I have known this great Being,
Radiant as the Sun beyond darkness."

15 April 1966][fn:: The second class of the series on Yoga was held at the home of Mr. Charles Blackwell, 350 East 54th Street, New York City.

Earth-bound hearts

Vain are the ways
Of human cries.
Strange are the moulds
Of earthly hopes.
Queer is the dream
Of climbing skies.
In earth-bound hearts
Divinity gropes.

How to conquer

Lo, how to conquer evil thoughts?
One thing, just try —
Imagine you are the ocean vast,
You are the boundless sky.

Your evil thoughts are fish and birds,
Their Lords are ocean and sky.
Fear not!
The slaves are only slaves;
Their revolt a fruitless cry.

Questions and answers

The following questions were among those asked during the question period of the classes in Yoga

Question: You are always using the word "consciousness". What exactly does it mean?

Sri Chinmoy: I will give you a very simple definition. Consciousness is the spark of life which connects each one of us with the universal Life itself. It is the thread that puts us in tune with the universe. If you want to fly into the Transcendental, you need the thread of consciousness.

Consciousness is a spark that lets us enter into the Light. It is our consciousness which connects us with God. It is the link between God and man, between heaven and earth.

Question: Do we have control of our consciousness?

Sri Chinmoy: An ordinary man doesn't have control of his consciousness. But a spiritual man is able to control his. He is trying to lead a better life, a higher life, and in so doing, he is bringing down the Light of the Beyond into the darkness of the present-day world.

Question: How do I work on my consciousness?

Sri Chinmoy: Don't think of doing anything. Just keep the door of your consciousness open to see whether it is a thief or a guest that is coming in. Allow in only those that you want. Keep out the lower thoughts. Open the door to higher, sublime thoughts. This is the first step in working on your consciousness. The following steps will come to you from within.


//Questions and answers// //Readers are invited to send in questions pertaining to spiritual philosophy or the spiritual life. Those not printed will be answered personally.//

AUM — A monthly journal of spiritual philosophy and yoga5

"AUM" is a sacred Sanskrit mystic syllable which prefaces all Hindu prayers.

The first issue of the journal AUM (Vol.1, No.1)
deals with its full spiritual significance.

© Chinmoy Kumar Ghose 1966

AUM is a monthly journal devoted exclusively to the spiritual writings of Chinmoy Kumar Ghose. It will deal with the spiritual life and its problems from the point of view of Indian philosophy and yoga.

AUM is intended to help aspirants of the West in their search for a true inner life by acquainting them with the realisations of a seeker of the Supreme.

Editor's introduction from the first edition.