AUM — Vol.II-3, No. 9, 27 September 1976

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Questions and answers on marriage

The following questions were answered at All Angels' Church in Manhattan on 10 September 1976.

Question: What is the spiritual purpose of marriage?

Sri Chinmoy: The spiritual purpose of marriage is to show that two can easily become one, that a sense of separativity can be transformed into unity and oneness.

Question: What do you see as being the current basis for most marriages?

Sri Chinmoy: Most marriages are founded either on the need to assuage loneliness or on the need to fulfil the demands of the lower vital. Loneliness must leave the human in us; therefore, companionship is of paramount importance in some cases. And when the lower vital demands become very powerful, people feel the unavoidable necessity of fulfilling them.

Question: Do you feel it is necessary for a couple to be legally married?

Sri Chinmoy: As long as human beings want to live in society, and as long as society has something to say about the welfare of the world, legal marriage is of utmost necessity.

Question: What is the importance of the marriage ceremony and what is its inner meaning?

Sri Chinmoy: The outer importance of the marriage ceremony is to share joy with others — with dear ones and well-wishers. The inner importance is to convince the outer mind that here on earth, where division reigns supreme, oneness can also play its role.

Question: Why do you feel marriage is compatible with the spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: Marriage may or may not be compatible with the spiritual life in each particular case. It is up to the individual to decide whether or not marriage is compatible with his spiritual life. In the spiritual life it is not at all obligatory for a seeker to get married. It entirely depends on the individual. To say that marriage is compatible with the spiritual life is to say something which may be very far from the truth in some cases. It is the individual seeker who has to decide whether marriage and the spiritual life can and should go together for him or for her.

In a good marriage, immediately two eyes become four eyes, two arms become four arms. Everything is doubled: strength, consciousness, reality, divinity, everything is doubled. In a bad marriage, everything is weakened. Frustration looms large, and finally destruction plays its role most ruthlessly. There is no hard and fast rule that one should not get married in the spiritual life or that one should get married. It entirely depends on the soul’s decision. Some souls feel that through marriage they will be able to make faster progress, while others feel that marriage will be a hindrance to their spiritual progress. God and the individual souls must make the decision, not the human mind.

Question: What do you feel is the place of sex in a spiritual marriage?

Sri Chinmoy: Slow and steady wins the race. Two seekers who have accepted the spiritual life and who want to continue making progress must slowly and steadily purify the lower vital. It is a slow, steady, illumining and convincing process. Gradually the lower vital movements can be transformed into inner and deeper ecstasy.

Question: Do you feel fidelity is necessary in marriage and, if so, why?

Sri Chinmoy: Fidelity is of paramount importance in married life. If, in the process of evolution, a being has come into the human kingdom, then that being must fulfil the demands of the human kingdom. Each kingdom has rules and regulations. The plant kingdom and the animal kingdom have their own rules and regulations. Similarly, the human kingdom also has rules and regulations. If one wants to remain in the human kingdom and not in the animal kingdom, then fidelity in marriage is of utmost necessity from the spiritual point of view.

Question: What do you feel are the necessary ingredients for a marriage in which both partners develop spiritually?

Sri Chinmoy: Mutual faith, mutual love, mutual sacrifice and mutual self-giving are the ingredients for a successful spiritual marriage.

Question: Do you feel that some kind of formal spiritual practice is of benefit to the harmony of marriage? If you do think so, what kind of practice would you recommend?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, there should always be some spiritual practices. These spiritual practices alone will enable the seekers to have harmony in their marriage. Purity in thought and action, patience, both in the inner life and in the outer life, and always to live in the loving heart, not in the doubting mind; these are the spiritual practices that can support a marriage.

Question: Do you have any recommendations for dealing with quarrelling and misunderstanding in a spiritual marriage?

Sri Chinmoy: Constant prayer for peace of mind and the expansion of the heart’s all-loving capacity, and prayer to bring the soul to the fore can alone solve all misunderstandings and quarrels.

Question: What should be the attitude of the husband toward the wife and of the wife toward the husband?

Sri Chinmoy: Both the husband and the wife must feel that he is the son of God, she is the daughter of God and God is the Father and Mother. The Source is God the Father and God the Mother, and they are His children. They are supposed to play their roles devotedly and soulfully in the cosmic Drama of God.

Question: What is the proper attitude towards money and possessions for householders?

Sri Chinmoy: The householders must take money as material power, which has to be utilised divinely. Money-power is not to be used to lord it over others, but to meet with the necessities of life. This power has to be used judiciously, devotedly and in a fulfilling manner. Money has considerable power, but whether it is good or bad depends on the individual. The individual can use it divinely or undivinely. When money-power is used properly, it is a divine boon. If it is misused, it is a veritable curse.

Question: What should a householder's attitude be towards working in the world?

Sri Chinmoy: The householder’s attitude should be all-loving, all-serving and all-illumining. The householder should feel that the outer world is only an expansion of his or her own world; it is not isolated from the householder’s world. The householder should feel that the vast world and the world that he himself embodies or represents must go together. Microcosm and macrocosm, the finite and the Infinite, must go together.

Question: When do you feel divorce is the best course of action?

Sri Chinmoy: When everything else has failed; when the power of love has failed, when the power of compromise has failed, when the power of oneness has failed, when everything has failed in keeping two lives together, then divorce is the best action.

Question: When do you feel divorce is detrimental?

Sri Chinmoy: Divorce is detrimental when the inner beings want to continue to be together, when the inner beings feel that in the course of time both husband and wife will better understand each other and lead a more illumining life. The inner beings must determine the continuation of the marriage. If the seekers do not listen to the voice of their inner beings, if their outer minds compel them to get a divorce, then the divorce is detrimental to their spiritual progress. It is the inner beings that should determine both marriage and divorce.

Question: Do you feel ritual is of benefit to a harmonious family life?

Sri Chinmoy: If the members of the family have faith in rituals, then certainly the rituals will give benefit. But just because there are people who have faith in rituals, that doesn’t mean that all couples should observe rituals. Rituals are preliminary stages in the spiritual life, like kindergarten. Some children study in kindergarten before they enter primary school. Some students skip kindergarten. It depends on the individual.

Question: What do you see as the main reasons why people desire children?

Sri Chinmoy: Most people desire children because they feel the necessity of expansion. On the human level they want to show that they have a family and a comfortable life. The smile of their children gives them tremendous joy. On the inner plane it is the same song: expansion. One wants to become many.

Question: What do you see as the main reasons why people do not desire children?

Sri Chinmoy: People do not want to have children because they do not want to have more responsibility. They feel that the less responsibility they have, the faster they will be able to run toward their destined goal.

Question: What is the spiritual purpose of having children?

Sri Chinmoy: This entirely depends on the seeker. The seeker must listen to the inner voice. If the inner voice says two seekers should have children so that the manifestation of God can take place in and through more members of the family, that is the only spiritual purpose.

Question: When do you feel a couple should have children?

Sri Chinmoy: When a couple is well established, fully secure and mature in the spiritual life and if it is the Will of God, only then should a couple have children, not before.

Question: When do you feel a couple should not have children?

Sri Chinmoy: A couple should not have children when they are not on good terms, when they are not well established in the spiritual life and when it is not the Will of the Absolute Supreme.

Question: What is the best attitude for bringing up children?

Sri Chinmoy: The best attitude for bringing up children is guidance, compassion, forgiveness and conscious oneness.

Question: What is the mother's duty in bringing up children?

Sri Chinmoy: The mother’s duty is to teach the children how to pray, how to be simple, sincere and loving. These are a few things that the mother should take as her bounden duty in bringing up her children.

Question: What is the responsibility of the father in bringing up children?

Sri Chinmoy: The father’s responsibility is to teach his knowledge and wisdom and to bring to the children the message of the vast world. The little family is not all; there is a large family also. The mother will use all her loving, intimate, affectionate qualities. The father will also do that, but the father will also bring the message of the outer world to the children. The mother will make the little family sweet, sweeter, sweetest and the father will bring the outer world closer to the children. He will make them feel that there is another world which has to be housed inside the little world, or that the little world has to be part and parcel of that large world.

Question: How should parents work together in bringing up children?

Sri Chinmoy: Parents should do their respective duties as I mentioned. Whatever the father has to do, the father should do gladly, soulfully, devotedly, untiringly and unconditionally. Whatever the mother has to do, she should also do gladly, soulfully, devotedly, untiringly, unconditionally. This is the only way to bring up children satisfactorily.

Question: What is the parents' responsibility for the formal education of the children?

Sri Chinmoy: The parents have to take full responsibility for the formal education of the children. They have to send the children to school. They have to give proper attention to their children’s studies, to their outer behaviour and to their inner growth. Children must not be left alone. At every moment the parents should take considerable interest in the children’s welfare. In the formative years, the parents must play a most significant role. Children are like tiny saplings or plants. They have to be sheltered and taken proper care of by the parents until they have grown into large and strong trees.

Question: What advice can you offer to single parents?

Sri Chinmoy: To those who are single parents because of divorce, my only suggestion is that they should not speak ill of the other party to their children. The children should not be influenced. Let the children listen to the dictates of their hearts. Let them feel that both their father and their mother are good. Let their hearts, like magnets, pull the good qualities of the father and of the mother. Neither the father nor the mother should consciously or unconsciously influence the children against the other partner.

Parents should be very careful if they get a divorce. They should pay extra attention to the children, for when the family breaks, the consciousness of the children will break automatically. And who is responsible? The parents are one hundred percent responsible; therefore, they should take action to rectify the situation to some extent. They can only do so by giving more love, abundant love, and by showing the children that their separation will in no way affect their love for them. What is of paramount importance is love. They have to offer their children boundless love.

Question: Do you feel that having only one parent affects children, and if so, how?

Sri Chinmoy: Very often, having one parent does affect children. Children want to have both a father and mother. Only then do they feel that the family is complete. But again, in hundreds of cases we have seen that the father is enough to show the children the affection and love of both father and mother, or that the mother has the capacity to offer the children the love that they expect from their father as well. If the father is not alive, naturally the mother is expected to offer and bound to offer the father’s love as well. And if the mother is not alive, the father has to play the mother’s role. But if one parent cannot play the role of both parents, naturally it affects the children.

Aspiration: concentration, meditation and contemplation

United Nations, 15 September 1976

Aspiration: concentration, meditation and contemplation

I wish to speak on my most favourite subject: aspiration. Aspiration is divided into three parts: concentration, meditation and contemplation. Concentration, meditation and contemplation are the three branches of our aspiration-tree. Concentration is a beginningless reality. Meditation is earth’s illumining and Heaven’s satisfying reality. Contemplation is the ever-transcending Reality.

Concentration says to the seeker, “My child, I have come to awaken you. I have come to inspire you. I have come to conquer your lethargy and your ignorance-sleep. Don’t be lethargic; don’t sleep. You have slept enough. It is high time for you to get up and look around. I have come to help you. I have come to guide you.”

Meditation says to the seeker, “My child, just come to me, that’s all! I have kept for you boundless Peace, boundless Light and boundless Bliss. All that I have, I have kept intact for you, for you alone. Just come and claim your divine wealth, your supreme property.”

Contemplation says to the seeker, “My child, you live in your tiny ignorance-hole; I live in the sea of infinite Light and Delight. Let us come out of our respective homes. Let us meet together and become good friends. I shall give you all that I have and all that I am, and you also shall give what you have and what you are. Your precious wealth is your ignorance. My precious wealth is my Delight. Let us barter, let us exchange our most precious possessions. Then let us walk, march, run, fly and dive together. Let us become Oneness-reality.”

Concentration is the speed of power and the power of speed. When we use the power of speed, we reach the farthest length, the highest height and the deepest depth. When we use the speed of power, we see the Source, the Source of everything that was created, that is now being created and that shall ever be created. We see the creation with its past Source, present Source and future Source. We see the Source of the past reality within us, the Source of the present reality within us and the Source of the future reality within us.

Meditation is the wisdom of light and the light of wisdom. When we use the wisdom of light, we give up the desire-life — the life that binds us, the life that strangles us, the life that offers us constant frustration and dissatisfaction. When we use the light of wisdom, we lead a life of aspiration and inner cry. We see all in the One and the One in all. We are one because our Source is the universal Oneness. We are many because the transcendental Oneness wanted to enjoy its Reality in multiplicity.

Contemplation is satisfaction in perfection and perfection in satisfaction. Satisfaction in perfection is our continuous progress in the world of God’s Vision and in the world of God’s Reality. Each time we make progress, that is our satisfaction in perfection. Perfection in satisfaction is our conscious, constant and cheerful oneness with the reality that is constantly growing and glowing in us and for us. To have perfection in satisfaction we must accept all that we have and all that we are as our supreme fulfilment. If we can accept what we have and what we are consciously, constantly, cheerfully, soulfully and unconditionally, then that is the supreme form of perfection in satisfaction.

Concentration says to the seeker, “My child, I am working so hard for you. If you do not listen to me, if you do not listen to my dictates, if you do not abide by my divine decision, then I am going to close my heart’s door and I shall not allow you to enter. I have come to help you, to serve you, to illumine you, but if you do not listen to me, I shall keep my inner door closed indefinitely.”

Meditation says to the seeker, “My child, if you do not listen to me, if you do not abide by my request, if you do not fulfil the divine within you the way you should fulfil it, then I shall keep my heart’s door closed for a short time. I am sure that you will feel inner pangs for what you are missing and what you will forever miss if you do not listen to me. I am keeping my heart’s door temporarily closed so you will value me, so you will miss the things that I have decided to give you. Precious beyond measure are the things I have for you. So try to listen to me. If you listen to me, I don’t have to keep my heart’s door closed.”

Contemplation says to the seeker, “My child, even if you do not listen to me, I shall keep my heart’s door open to you, for I know that once you accept earth-reality, ignorance-night envelops you and ignorance-sea swallows you. It takes time to listen to me. But if you are fortunate and if I am fortunate, then you will listen to me even now, and forever you will continue to listen to me. If you are not fortunate, if I am not fortunate, if ignorance-sea and ignorance-night play their destructive roles inside you, then it may take countless years, eons, for you to see who I am, what I stand for and what I have for you. But I shall keep my heart’s door always, always open to you. It is up to you either to enter into my heart or to remain outside. If you enter into my heart, you will fulfil the real in you, the divine in you, the Supreme in you, the oneness-vision which you have and the satisfaction-reality which you eternally are. I shall always keep my heart’s door open to you. You will determine your own earthly success and your heavenly progress by virtue of your eagerness to see the Light, to feel the Peace and to grow into the Delight infinite.”

Finally, concentration tells the seeker, “Be great, my child. I want you to be great.” Meditation tells the seeker, “Be good, my child. I want you to be good.” Contemplation tells the seeker, “Be one, my child. I want you to be one, universally one, eternally one, transcendentally one, immortally one — one in your universal Reality, one in your eternal Reality, one in your transcendental Reality and one in your immortal Reality. Be one, be one.”

Spiritual words

On 7 September 1976 Sri Chinmoy asked each of the visiting disciples who had not yet returned home after his birthday celebration, to give him one spiritual word which he would then enlarge upon.

Disciple: Sleeplessness

Sri Chinmoy: Sleeplessness for the Supreme is the beginning of conscious oneness with the Supreme.

Disciple: Devotion

Sri Chinmoy: God has created infinite things on earth, but a human heart of devotion will always remain sweeter than the sweetest in His Heart of Satisfaction-Delight.

Disciple: Purity

Sri Chinmoy: The purity of the body tells us where God is. The purity of the heart tells us how God is. The purity of the soul tells us who God is.

Disciple: Gratitude

Sri Chinmoy: A heart of continuous gratitude is the most difficult thing for a human being to offer to the Beloved Supreme.

Disciple: Surrender

Sri Chinmoy: When you surrender your human will to God’s Will, you immediately come to learn that God will not only do everything for you, but in reality He has already done everything for you.

Disciple: Strength

Sri Chinmoy: There is only one strength in the inner world, and that eternal strength is constant love of God in God’s own way.

Disciple: Sincerity

Sri Chinmoy: Sincerity is the fulfilling sweetness in the world that becomes. Sincerity is fulfilment in the world that eternally is.

Disciple: Purity

Sri Chinmoy: When you offer your heart’s purity to the divinity in humanity, God immediately blesses you with His infinite tears of Light and Delight.

Disciple: Illumination

Sri Chinmoy: Love the truth. This is human illumination. Become the truth. This is divine illumination. You are the truth. This is supreme Illumination.

Disciple: Purity

Sri Chinmoy: Smile inside your heart. You will see the face of purity. Smile with your heart. You will see the soul of purity. Smile with your soul. You will meet with purity’s all-illumining sister: divinity.

Disciple: Purity

Sri Chinmoy: Purity is the height of aspiration, the length of dedication and the depth of illumination.

Disciple: Purity

Sri Chinmoy: A seeker with a heart of purity does not have to run. God himself runs for him constantly, unreservedly and unconditionally.

Disciple: Humility

Sri Chinmoy: Humility is the pioneer quality that beckons the rest of the divine qualities to see the universal Light of the Absolute Supreme and to grow into the infinite Delight of the Beloved Supreme.

Disciple: Dynamism

Sri Chinmoy: A heart of dynamism at once embodies the Creator’s cosmic Vision and His cosmic Manifestation. A heart of dynamism is an illumining and fulfilling reality which unfolds God the Supreme in His own way.

Disciple: Purity

Sri Chinmoy: There are two types of purity. One is pure purity; the other is sure purity. Pure purity comes from continuous spiritual discipline. Sure purity comes from the eternal child that dwells in the inmost recesses of our heart, fulfilling cheerfully, devotedly, consciously and unconditionally the dictates of the Supreme.

Disciple: Purity

Sri Chinmoy: There is no other way to see God’s Face of Beauty than to offer your heart’s purity to God constantly and unconditionally. Purity is the seed of your aspiration. Purity is your peerless companion which will never fail you.

Disciple: Constant aspiration

Sri Chinmoy: Constant aspiration tells you that God is both finite and infinite. You can see God, clasp God and become God precisely because He appears before you as a divinely finite reality. God stands before you, loves you, illumines you and fulfils you precisely because He is infinite in His universal self-giving Reality and also He is infinite in His self-transcending transcendental Reality.

Ten divine secrets

On 6 May 1976, Sri Chinmoy requested Dulal to ask him some questions, in honour of Dulal’s birthday on 5 May. Dulal requested Sri Chinmoy to reveal some of his inner secrets for the benefit of the disciples. Following are Sri Chinmoy’s revelations on that occasion.

Miracles

In the outer world a miracle is something that fascinates the human in us. In the inner world a miracle is a common incident, an experience-reality. In the outer world each miracle creates tremendous confusion in the human mind. It fascinates the mind, but at the same time it detracts from the spiritual reality. But in the inner world there is nothing miraculous. It is only an incident, a happening, a necessity, so that the outer life can be awakened, perfected and fulfilled. Otherwise doubt, fear, frustration and impurity will attack the human in us. There is not a single day when I do not perform hundreds of miracles in the inner world, but when I remove undivine qualities in the outer world directly and immediately, then it becomes an astonishment, something fantastic, which may create problems. This is a secret.

Reality of the Inner World

When I sing or play instruments, no matter how badly I play or sing, no matter how many mistakes I make, my realisation remains. When I am playing, some disciples inwardly laugh, some fall asleep. Each time I do anything in the outer world, in the inner world there are quite a few things that happen. The cosmic gods and spiritual Masters of the highest order visit me. Each time I do something significant for mankind, they come to appreciate it, for they also wanted to do the same thing. I am their brother, I am one with them. Unfortunately, they did not do it, but they tried. When I do it, the cosmic gods come and garland me.

But what am I going to do with the human beings who are living in the insecurity, impurity and jealousy world. Shall I take them as the reality and the inner world as the dream? Or shall I take them as the dream and the inner world as the reality? The inner world is much more real to me. When I look at you, I see inside you the Supreme, and also the undivine human imperfection. I see the real inside you and, at the same time, something else which is not real. I see the divine and the human. But there is a kind of separation. Within, it is the same Supreme, but in the outer expression it is totally different.

Insecurity and complacency

I always say that insecurity is very bad. Why should you be insecure? Oneness is the only reality. He who has established oneness with God has no insecurity. But until that oneness is established, one has to be very careful, because complacency ends spiritual progress. Until oneness is established, one must always remember that he has come here to become God’s perfect instrument. He must feel that if he does not become a perfect instrument, he will not be able to please God in His own Way, and the fulfilment of the Master’s mission will remain a far cry. Every hour and every day he should think, “Let me become a perfect instrument.” Even if he is highly appreciated in the outer world, he should not have a complacent feeling. If he does, he will not strive to become better, and he will not make any progress.

God is transcending Himself at every moment. My part in God’s cosmic Game is to know that I need perfection and then to strive for perfection, the ultimate Perfection, which is always transcending itself. If I have inner insecurity, not in the sense of a feeling of inferiority, but in the sense that I know I have not yet reached my goal, that I am still imperfect, then that insecurity is helpful. I am imperfect and I know it, but I am in no way trying to increase other people’s insecurity. I am only aware that since I am not perfect, God has to wait for me.

If I have this kind of insecurity, then every day I will try to make progress until I become a perfect instrument. This sense of insecurity helps us, because when we feel miserable that God-realisation is a far cry for us, our next stop is to strive to make progress. Some disciples become complacent because they get outer affection from me. But perfection will remain a million miles away from them if they do not constantly increase their desire for self-perfection.

Fighting in the inner world

The other day we were watching television — Muhammad Ali fighting Young. One of the disciples asked me, “How can you watch that kind of fighting? It is so brutal!” So I told her that several weeks ago two of my disciples fought in the inner worlds, which was infinitely more brutal. She herself had fought with someone in the vital worlds a month or so before that time.

If you are fighting or boxing in the outer world, you may break your nose or your neck, and then you have to stop until you are cured. But if you are fighting in the inner world, especially in the vital world, your inner capacities can be permanently damaged or totally destroyed. You can lose all faith in your inner reality, in God and in your Guru. When faith loses to doubt, your spiritual life is ended.

When l see disciples fighting or being jealous in the outer world, sometimes I just ignore them. In comparison to what can happen in the inner world, this is nothing. I direct my attention to the inner world; my whole concern is for their inner life. Their quarrelling outer nature will be transformed in a minute when their inner life is illumined.

Inner work

Just because I am eating or talking, people think my spiritual life is forgotten. But they have to know that in the inner world I do many things at one time. When someone drives a car, he is doing all kinds of things at the same time. He looks ahead, in the rear view mirror and to the sides of the car. He uses his feet and his hands to operate the car, and at the same time he may be talking or listening to the radio. But when someone outside the car sees him, it may appear to that person that the driver is just sitting in the car. An ordinary man has enough power of concentration to do so many things at one time only in the outer plane. But a Yogi like me can do all these things on the outer plane and many other things on the inner plane simultaneously. I go very high in the inner world, while outwardly, you do not know what I am doing. This is another secret that I have to offer.

Feeding the disciples' souls

Believe it or not, every day I feed the disciples’ souls. As it is the bounden duty of the mother to feed her children every day, whether the children want to eat or not, so it is my duty to feed my divine children who are here on earth and also the disciples who have passed away. Also, I feed many who are not my disciples but who have seen who I am.

There are times when I visit you in a subtle body while you sleep. Like a nurse, I go with utmost compassion to check on the patient while he is sleeping and see if everything is all right. If she sees that the patient is all right, she quietly leaves. I go to make sure the wrong forces are not operating inside you. Many times you see me, but before you get up other forces operate and you forget that I was there. The experience of my presence can last three or four days, or not even five minutes if ignorance, like a cloud, veils the mind. These are secrets that I think will be of benefit to you in your inner life. If you are not aware of them, try to be aware.

Disciples who have left the path

Quite a few disciples have left our path, and I have asked a few to leave. I wish to say that those who have left us have gone out of one room and are staying in another room. I have two rooms belonging to me. If they were to remain in the one room, they would disturb the others who are there. So I have asked them, either inwardly or outwardly, to enter into the room of the Universal Heart. The other room is for the select few who are crying for realisation, and who are ready to give utmost importance to realisation.

Those who have the capacity to run fast, those who have some standard, those people stay together. When a family has many members, the young children get joy by mixing with other young members. The older members do not get joy from playing games with the younger ones. If the younger ones and the older ones have to stay together all the time, they will not get any satisfaction. The tiger and the goat are both animals, but how can I put the tiger and the goat together? Some animals eat grass and some eat meat. If they are put together, the one will just kill the other. Those who belong to the same category should stay together. They are called together, and their group soul is fulfilled together. If the tiger and the goat are put together, there will be immediate destruction.

Disciples who have left, or whom I have asked to leave, will not stay with the select few of Sri Chinmoy’s family, but they will stay within my Universal Heart. Is there anything apart from the Universal Heart? Nothing, so how can we say that someone has gone out of my heart? But my personal heart, which also houses Infinity and Immortality, is eager to help you. It is ready to offer realisation, perfection, satisfaction and salvation to you as soon as possible, whereas the others will have to take time. They belong to Eternity. But for you people Eternity beckons now. For you God’s Hour has struck. They will also reach the goal, but you people have learned the value of time.

Eternal newness of life

There is no end to realisation. Once you start manifesting, there is no end to what you can achieve. There is always something new inside. Those who do not live the life of the heart are like broken records. They are playing the same ignorance-tune over and over. Every day we have to make a new record, sing a new song, discover a new melody. Those in my boat who are consciously aspiring are singing a new song every day.

Dealing with wrong forces

Sometimes the disciples are frustrated and depressed. Wrong forces attack them, and they ask for an interview because they are suffering. Now, I have observed inwardly why they are suffering. They have done quite a few things wrong, so the forces have attacked them. They feel that if I talk to them, it will all be over. But I know that if I give them outer attention it will become worse. It has often been my experience with the wrong forces that as soon as they see love and compassion in the outer world, they attack more violently. It is like the last effort. And it is so powerful that the person identifies with it and his depression and frustration increase. But in the inner world I try with utmost compassion, love and concern.

When depression and frustration loom large in your life, if you want to receive my light, you have to bring some receptivity. A doctor asks for a fee for his care, and I also ask for a fee. You receive my cure according to your receptivity, and your receptivity is your cheerfulness. If a patient is dead, no matter how many injections you give him, he can’t be cured. If he is totally dead, what can the doctor do? Only when there is a little life-energy left is there some hope. Even if the person has been suffering for a long time, if he comes to me with cheerfulness, I can cure his suffering. Your cheerfulness is the bud that will blossom. If there is no bud, how can you eventually have a flower?

I am not ignoring you in the inner world, although I may appear to ignore you in the outer world. I see that the last-effort forces will attack you most powerfully, and you will become a victim. If you are depressed, become cheerful. You have no receptivity when you are depressed, so there is nothing that can be done outwardly. You have become an instrument of the wrong forces. When they see love, concern and affection on the outer plane, they attack most powerfully because they are most powerfully threatened, and you have to surrender to them. It has happened many times. When the depressed person asks for an interview, I don’t give it because I know what the consequences will be. If the patient starts with a little cheerfulness, which is spiritual life-energy, then the doctor is able to feed that cheerfulness immediately. I know you are suffering, but I must not feed the destructive aspect. You have to come with receptivity. If you show inner cheerfulness, I am ready to help you. Without your cheerfulness, the minute I try, that minute I will fail.

If I give you an interview when you are depressed, your depression becomes infinitely worse. You must bring some cheerfulness to save yourself. Outwardly, I try so many times to please the disciples in their own way, so that they will also please me in my own way. If I please them ten times in their own way, I feel that they should try to please me at least once in my own way. But human desire knows no end. The more I try to please them, the more they compel me to please them. I feel that they should at least act like gentlemen, and if I please them ten times they should please me at least once. But they like to please ignorance instead, and don’t please me even one time in return. In return for pleasing me, they would open up to light, to compassion and to delight, but instead the disciples say, “You have not given us an interview. You are not pleasing us. You are doing many things wrong. You smiled at someone else and made me jealous. What is wrong with you? You do something wrong and make me suffer, and then you just watch. You just sit there painting or playing the flute. You are fooling us, and you won’t fulfil any of our needs.”

Fulfilment of desires

I am fearful of your desires. I have not come into the world to fulfil your desires; I have come to fulfil the divine Will. If you have desires, you have to be responsible for the fulfilment of those desires. But I wish to tell you that those who have given up the inner life to fulfil their desires have found that all was frustration. Either they have not been able to fulfil their desires, or they have found that fulfilling their desires has not given them any true satisfaction. So let us be wise; let us walk along another way. I am your guide. Previously, you listened to the mind and were disappointed. But the heart is the reality. You are searching for light, but you have not yet achieved it. The heart has told you to take my guidance. When you want to do something, if the teacher tells you not to do it, you should not. If I don’t allow you to do something, it is because it is not God’s Will. You have come to me with an age-old disease: ignorance. Just allow me to cure you. Ignorance has ruled you for millennia, because you tried to please your desires before. Now try to please your aspiration. God’s Hour will strike without fail.

These Supreme secrets are my gifts to you. These are real inner secrets. Other inner secrets will be difficult for you to grasp. They are also true, but they will not help you in any way. If all the disciples listen to these secrets, they will be able to run the fastest. If they do not do the right thing, they will stumble and fall on the road.

Questions and answers

The following questions and answers are continued from last issue

Question: Can one attain God-realisation by meditating on the sun?

Sri Chinmoy: One can realise God by meditating on the sun. In India seekers get up at the Hour of God, 3:00 in the morning, and start to meditate on the rising sun. The sun represents dynamism, inner beauty and inner light. The sun is a manifestation of God’s transcendence. As the flower is God’s outer manifestation of beauty and purity, the sun is the manifestation of the beauty and power of God.

Question: What is the most effective way to spread light?

Sri Chinmoy: The most effective way to spread light is to be a constant instrument, for then light is nothing but self-giving.

Question: What keeps me from increasing my inner speed?

Sri Chinmoy: It is your lethargy, your lack of determination and lack of conscious awareness of what you can eventually become.

Question: How can I tell if I am making the best use of time?

Sri Chinmoy: You can tell if you are making the best use of time if you feel that each second is leading you to the highest Reality. If you feel that each second is a tiny drop falling into the eternal ocean, only then can you take the finite time into infinite Time. If you do not separate one second from an hour or one drop from the ocean, then you will not be able to think of good or bad use of time.

Question: Is every person born with the same amount of good and evil in him?

Sri Chinmoy: No, each individual is born with divine qualities, and each individual starts to manifest divine qualities. Because of his receptivity to the higher light he has beauty, divinity and so forth. When we start, we start with different capacities. God gives the hand five fingers. But the little finger does not have the same strength as the thumb. If we separate our little finger or our thumb from our hand, the hand will not be so strong, but both the little finger and the thumb can claim the strength of the entire hand as their own. So there is equality on the strength of oneness. God has distributed capacity, but not to everyone to the same degree. God’s strength is inside the elephant and inside the ant, but not to the same degree. Without multiplicity we do not get joy.

Question: How can I improve my power of concentration?

Sri Chinmoy: You can improve your power of concentration by concentrating on the flame of a candle, on the petal of a flower, or on any small object. Always take a tiny object for concentration. When it is a matter of meditation, take something vast like the ocean or sky.

Question: How can we stop ego from interfering with our progress?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to know that salt and sugar together cannot be tasted. Salt by itself or sugar by itself you can taste, but together they have no flavour. You have to decide what you appreciate. If you appreciate your inner progress, then you will give no importance to the ego. If you value your ego-authority, then you will have to make slow, very slow progress.

Question: In what way does a flower embody purity?

Sri Chinmoy: When we use our human eye, we see the outer beauty of the flower, but when we use our heart, what we see is inner purity and divinity. The heart is oneness, and it immediately tells us what qualities the flower has.

Question: Who am I?

Sri Chinmoy: Ramana Maharshi used to ask his disciples this question. On the inner plane this question is answered by another question: “Who am I not?” On the outer plane we cannot claim anything as our own, but on the inner plane we are Eternity, Infinity and Immortality. So we can say the answer to “Who am I?” is: “Nothing on the outer plane, and everything on the inner plane.”

Question: Do you love me more than I love you?

Sri Chinmoy: I do love you more than you love me, because I know you are a child of God and a manifestation of God.

Question: Is a parent responsible for a child's aspiration?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, parents are always responsible for a child’s aspiration. From the very beginning the parents can read the child books about God. The parents can also teach the child to read, and give the child divine books to read himself. The parents must teach the child how to pray and how to meditate and see that the child’s friends are also spiritual. Children must be taught by the parents. If the parents don’t teach the children that milk is good, how else will the children know? A day will come when the children may find out that something else is more nourishing or more delicious, and then they can choose that. But at the beginning parents must tell children how to pray and meditate, and later, if the children find out something else that they like better, then they can make the choice themselves.

Question: How can one increase one-pointedness in doing selfless service?

Sri Chinmoy: One can increase one-pointedness provided one can inwardly imagine or feel that God is doing this selfless service in and through the individual. Selfless service is nothing but God’s Compassion-Smile.

Question: Why does it always seem so difficult to do what we know is right?

Sri Chinmoy: It is difficult to do what you know is right because one part of your existence wants to enjoy temptation-world and another part of your existence wants to enjoy illumination-world. You are like a magnet: one side is drawn toward temptation, and the other is drawn toward illumination. It is up to you to turn the magnet. If you turn toward temptation, it will draw you to it. If you turn toward illumination, it will also draw you to it.

Question: How can I always dwell in the soul?

Sri Chinmoy: You can always dwell in the soul if you feel you are the soul and not the body. What do you think when you say ‘Marc’? You think of the physical body. But if you can think of only the soul and the soul’s illumining existence on earth, then you can remain in the soul.

Question: Why am I here?

Sri Chinmoy: You are here to become good, to do everything that is good, to learn that you are a true instrument of God, and to make God happy in His own way. You are here to be happy and you can only be happy when you please God in God’s own way.

Question: Why was I born?

Sri Chinmoy: Your soul wanted to take human incarnation; therefore, you were born. Your soul wanted to be part of the divine Game; your soul wanted to be part and parcel of God’s Manifestation-Reality; your soul wanted to reveal the light it has received from God; your soul wanted to be totally free from ignorance-night; therefore, you were born.