AUM — Vol.II-4, No. 4, 27 April 1977
The First Estate: Religion in ReviewOn 28 April 1977 Sri Chinmoy was one of three guests interviewed on the weekly WNBC television series “The First Estate: Religion in Review” which is hosted by Dr. Russell Barber. The program began with Sri Chinmoy playing the esraj, and after the three interviews were over, while the program credits were being shown, Sri Chinmoy played again, in place of the program’s usual theme music.
Following is a transcription of Sri Chinmoy’s portion of the program. The entire show is scheduled to be re-broadcast on 28 August.
Dr. Barber: That very peaceful music you have just heard Guru Sri Chinmoy play is one of over 1,000 of his original musical compositions for meditation. Sri Chinmoy is a spiritual teacher and leader of a world-wide religious organisation that is dedicated to an active outer life of service to humanity and a fruitful inner life of prayer and meditation. He is a prolific writer and artist, having written over 300 books and, in a single 24-hour span, 843 poems. He also created 100,000 paintings in just over eleven months. Since 1970 he has served as Director of the United Nations Meditation Group, conducting interdenominational meditation services for U.N. delegates and staff. And he is with us today to help us better understand the phenomenon of meditation. Welcome, Guru. It's a pleasure to have you with us. Guru, what is meditation, and what is its ultimate objective?
Sri Chinmoy: Meditation is our conscious awareness of God and constant oneness with God. When we meditate, our ultimate objective is to be constantly and consciously one with God. This has to be our main objective.
Dr. Barber: Does it differ from prayer in some way?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it does differ from prayer. Although prayer and meditation lead us to the same goal, their approaches are different. When we pray, we speak to God, and when we meditate, God speaks to us. When we pray, we offer our prayer to God for something, and God listens to our prayers. And when we meditate, we hear God’s Command; we try to hear God’s dictates from above.
Dr. Barber: Guru, can everybody benefit from meditation, or is it something that only a gifted person can have?
Sri Chinmoy: We are all God’s children, so everybody can meditate. It is not for the selected few. If one is sincere enough, then one can meditate. Meditation is not the sole monopoly of any individual. Anybody can meditate, provided he has some sincerity in his heart.
Dr. Barber: Still, there are those who are given special gifts, and you, for example, as a teacher or Guru, must have realised at an early age that you did have some special religious gift. Could you tell me about that?
Sri Chinmoy: At the age of twelve I had quite a few major experiences, and these experiences have led me to what I am now. I went beyond the domain of the physical mind that doubts and suspects, the mind that is never satisfied with anything. I went beyond that mind, and also, by God’s infinite Bounty, I was in a position to have a free access to the Supreme Reality within me.
Dr. Barber: What kinds of special techniques are used by people who practice your form of meditation?
Sri Chinmoy: I ask my students to have a mind totally freed from thoughts. This is the first technique I offer. Then, after some time, I tell them to welcome only good thoughts, divine thoughts, the thoughts that are progressive, illumining and fulfilling. This is how I advise them to start their meditation, especially in the preliminary stages.
Dr. Barber: Well, for example, do they use a mantra, or a word to meditate on?
Sri Chinmoy: No, in our path we do not advocate mantra, incantation. We feel that our prayer and meditation are most effective. At the same time, we do not have a word to say against mantras. It is necessary for those who want to follow certain other paths. In our case love, devotion and surrender to God’s Will is the way to approach the Supreme Reality.
Dr. Barber: I understand that not everybody can be a disciple of yours; that you look into a person’s eyes and you can tell whether or not that person should be able to follow you. Would you look into my eyes and tell me whether or not I could be a disciple of yours?
Sri Chinmoy: I do not want to say in public.
Dr. Barber: I’m afraid it’s negative…
Sri Chinmoy: No, it is not for that, but then it will have a kind of commercial feeling. These things are very intimate, very soulful. When a seeker comes to me, at that time I have to take full responsibility of his entire life, as he has to dedicate himself totally to the inner command, to the Supreme within. So here on television, if I accept or reject someone, it will be an act of injustice to our spiritual belief, and your soul will not permit me to do this kind of thing on television. You have a very fine soul, and your soul will not believe in this kind of commercial acceptance of seekers.
Dr. Barber: Let me ask a question that is related to that. Is it possible for somebody of a particular religious faith — say a Jewish person or a Christian person — to be a disciple of yours and still maintain their faith?
Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. One can belong to any religion he wants to. Religion is like a house. He has to remain in his house. Then he has to come out to study. He has to go to school. We have implicit faith in all religions. Each religion is a house. You have to stay in your house; I have to stay in my house. But both of us are students. We can go to a common teacher.
Dr. Barber: So there are many paths?
Sri Chinmoy: Many paths that lead to the same realisation. Each religion represents a house.
Dr. Barber: Tell me for a moment about your work at the United Nations. How does meditation aid in the pursuit of world peace?
Sri Chinmoy: When we meditate, we acquire peace of mind, and once we have peace of mind, we simplify our outer life. Our mind is full of complicated thoughts and ideas, and it is constantly assailed by fear, doubt, anxiety and worry. But if we can soulfully meditate early in the morning, we see that there is a way to simplify our life and, at the same time, to see the Reality face to face.
Dr. Barber: How many disciples do you have, Sri Chinmoy?
Sri Chinmoy: I have about 900 disciples.
Dr. Barber: And of course your work goes on all over the world, doesn’t it?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes.
Dr. Barber: But your headquarters is here in New York?
Sri Chinmoy: It is in New York.
Dr. Barber: And do you find that you have many new converts to your brand of faith here in New York? Are there many new people coming in all the time?
Sri Chinmoy: Not all the time. As you know, I am very fussy, I am very strict, so I do not get disciples as some of the Masters get, as easily as possible.
Dr. Barber: Well, I know that you have met with religious leaders all around the world, and I’m very pleased that you’ve come to meet with us and our audience on The First Estate. Thank you very much for being with us.
Sri Chinmoy: Thank you, I am so grateful to you.
[After the taping of this program in mid-March, Sri Chinmoy received the following letters from Dr. Barber and from the associate producer of “The First Estate.”]
NBC Television Stations Division
National Broadcasting Company, Inc.
Thirty Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10020 212-247-8300
Dr. Russell B. Barber
Producer, The First Estate
March 25, 1977
Sri Chinmoy Centre
P.O. Box 32433
Jamaica, New York 11431
Dear Sri Chinmoy:
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for participating in our religious series, THE FIRST ESTATE: Religion in Review.
Your segment is an important contribution in understanding the religious community's opportunities and challenges. It can be seen in the New York Metropolitan Area Sunday, April 24 at 11:30 a.m.*
We deeply appreciate the time and preparation you committed to helping us show how modern men and women express their faith in God.
Sincerely, Dr. Russell B. Barber
*Repeat broadcast following the Sunday Night Film Festival.
cc: Mr. Neil Vineberg
NBC Television Stations Division
National Broadcasting Company, Inc.
Thirty Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10020 212-247-8300
April 11, 1977
Sri Chinmoy Center
Jamaica, New York 11431
Dear Sri Chinmoy:
Dr. Russell Barber and I want to thank you for remembering us in such special ways.
We hope you will keep the enclosed photos as a rememberance of us and THE FIRST ESTATE. We truly enjoyed having you on the program and hope that we will have another opportunity to have you back again.
Wishing you a happy 13th Anniversary.
Patricia T. Parker
The seeker's mind1O mind, what are you doing to me? You are destroying all my divine possibilities. You are delaying indefinitely my supreme inevitabilities.
O mind, what are you doing to me? I thought that you would teach my vital and my body — the younger members of our family — how to enjoy the strength of vastness. Alas, instead of doing that, you are teaching them how to enjoy the weakness of meanness.
O mind, look, what are you doing to yourself? I thought that you were wise enough to see and feel the happiness that my heart enjoys by becoming inseparably one with the soul and its unfathomable ecstasy. Alas, instead of doing that, you are enjoying base jealousy towards the heart.
O mind, what are you doing to me? What have I done to you? My life — human life — is for happiness. The moment you think of me, all my happiness disappears. The moment I think of you, I suffer the same fate.
O mind, why, why on earth do you have to become so cruel to me? You torture me ruthlessly. I forgive you unreservedly. But alas, I fail to forget you, your jealousy, your meanness, your destructiveness. Deathless have become my excruciating pangs.
O mind, cruelty incarnate, you have bound me taut to your pitch-dark, tenebrous and wee world. As if that is not enough, you are strangling me there. Death is undoubtedly preferable to the untold torture that you continuously inflict upon me.
Truth to tell, you have been punishing me since you have known me with your doubt-dart and suspicion-gun. In you meanness has reached its zenith height. In you jealousy plays with the darkest night. In you insecurity fails to see the face of purity’s beauty.
O mind, you are nothing but your own unparalleled stupidity. Even when God Himself with His infinite Compassion-Light enters into your sordid existence-hole for its radical transformation and perfect perfection, you suspect God openly, strongly and unreservedly. Your fertile, nay, to be precise, futile imagination instigates you to think that God has an ulterior motive. Not only do you know what a suspicion-snake is, but you are nothing but that and that alone.
Helpless, God enters into His own two birthless and deathless Realities — Transcendental Height and Universal Delight — to hear all at once one solitary message: “Endless patience, endless patience.”
God the Compassion is not enough. God the Patience is needed, too.
O mind, you need some retribution which you so richly deserve. I give you my word of honour. And who is the witness? God the Pilot Supreme. Do you know what I am going to do? I shall compel you to be eternally one with my heart that enjoys inseparable oneness-delight with Infinity’s Light, Eternity’s Peace and Immortality’s Love.
United Nations, 26 April 1977↩
I shall worship you only with my left handIn India there lived a merchant named Chand who was quite rich. He had six boats, and in these six boats he carried his merchandise. He also had six sons who all worked in their father’s business.
Chand was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Every day he used to pray to Lord Shiva most devotedly and soulfully. After many years Lord Shiva was extremely pleased with him and gave him a special boon, the boon of immortality on earth. Needless to say, Chand was delighted to get this boon.
One day Chand’s wife went to the river Gangur to bathe. On her way back she saw many people enjoying a special festival at the house of one of her neighbours. She went inside the house and there she saw a small statue of the goddess Manasha, the snake-goddess. All the people were devotedly worshipping that particular goddess. When Chand’s wife asked why they were so fond of this goddess, the mother of the family told her that they had become extremely rich by worshipping Manasha. The statue had come from the river Gangur, and her two sons had become rich by worshipping the goddess who was represented by this particular statue.
Chand’s wife knew that her husband was not as rich as these two brothers, so she begged them to give her a statue of exactly the same type. In a few days they made a mould and gave her a statue just like theirs. She was so happy to get the statue, and she immediately brought it home and started worshipping the goddess Manasha so that her husband could become as rich as their neighbours. But when Chand saw what she was doing, instead of becoming happy, he became furious.
He said, "I have been praying to Lord Shiva for years and years! He is so kind to me that he has given me the boon of immortality. Now how can I worship somebody else? I don’t need this goddess.” Then he kicked the statue of Manasha, and it smashed to pieces. His wife was extremely shocked, and his six sons were very unhappy and frightened because their father had shown such disrespect to a goddess.
The goddess Manasha was so angry that she cursed Chand. Her curse was that she would take away all his children and all his possessions and make him an ordinary mortal again. One day Manasha took human form as a most beautiful woman. When Chand saw this beautiful woman, he was tempted. When earthly temptation entered into him, Manasha was able to take away the boon that he had received from Lord Shiva. Now Chand became mortal once again and could easily be killed by the goddess or by any human being.
In the course of time, Manasha started fulfilling the rest of her curse. One day when Chand was sailing to a distant city, three of his boats capsized and sank. Three of Chand’s sons who were on the boats died, along with the crew members. That was the first serious misfortune. A few months later, he went with his remaining sons on a business trip. This time there was a serious hurricane. In this terrible storm Chand’s remaining three boats sank, his last three sons died and all the rest of his wealth was lost.
Chand himself was about to drown in this hurricane because he swallowed so much water, but the goddess Manasha, who was watching everything, said to herself, “If he dies now, then my objective will not be fulfilled. I want him to worship me. If he dies, then he will not be able to worship me. I have to keep him alive, but how am I going to do it?” Then she caused a lotus plant with a few blooms on it to appear right in front of him.
When Chand touched the lotus, he immediately thought of the goddess Manasha, because Manasha is also known as Lotus. But Chand was too angry with Manasha to take any help from her at all. He thought, “Manasha is the cause of all my suffering. I will not take help even from a lotus plant.” But already the goddess had been able to give him strength through the lotus, and with greatest difficulty he reached the shore and came out of the water.
For three days Chand could get nothing to eat. He became so weak that he could hardly walk. Finally, on the third day he came to a friend’s place. The friend gave him something to eat, but when he heard Chand’s story he said, “Compromise. Pray to this goddess. Then she will not create any more suffering for you.”
Chand said, “No, that I will not do.”
It took Chand several months to return home on foot. There he saw his wife fondling a little baby. It was his own child, a seventh son. Chand said, “That means the curse is now removed. Otherwise, how could I have a son now? This child must be a sign of prosperity.” So Chand gave the child the name Laksmindar, “one who is blessed by the goddess of prosperity.”
Over the years Laksmindar attained maturity, and Chand found a most beautiful wife for him. The girl’s name was Behula. Chand was once again very happy with his little family.
Then, early one morning, Behula suddenly started screaming and crying. Chand and his wife ran to her and there they saw that their only son was dead. He had been bitten by a snake. After so many years the snake-goddess had taken the form of a snake and killed their last son.
According to Indian tradition, if somebody dies of snake-bite, then he cannot be cremated. His body has to be thrown into the water or put on a raft or a small boat. Then the boat can carry his body wherever it will. Behula was so devoted to Laksmindar that she said, “I am not going to allow him to be thrown into the river. He is dead, true, but I cannot leave him. I don’t need my parents or my father-in-law and mother-in-law. I need only my beloved husband.” So, with Laksmindar’s dead body, Behula entered into the boat and floated away to an unknown destination. Behula was praying constantly to Lord Shiva. She said, “Lord Shiva, my father-in-law has worshipped you so devotedly for years and years. Can you not do anything for his son? Will this be his fate?”
Lord Shiva heard her soulful prayer and came out of his long trance. He commanded the goddess Manasha to give back Chand’s sons and all his wealth. The other cosmic gods also requested the same thing. But the goddess prayed to Lord Shiva for a boon. She wanted Chand to worship her at least once. Only then, she said, would she give back his wealth, his ships and all his children.
Lord Shiva said, “Only once? All right, I shall grant your boon.” Then Lord Shiva said to Behula, “Go and beg your father-in-law to worship Manasha just once,” and he took the boat which was carrying her back to where it had started from.
Behula went to Chand and said, “You are unbearably proud. That is why this has happened. You did not want to worship the snake-goddess; you only wanted to worship Lord Shiva. Now can you not worship her only once? Then you will get back all your beloved sons, your ships, your wealth, everything. Can you not worship her just once?”
Chand said, “No, I will never surrender.”
Behula said, “Have you no affection for your sons? Have you never loved your dear ones, your children, your wife?”
He said, “Yes, I did love my children. I loved all my sons.”
“Then where is your affection gone?” she asked.
“It still remains,” said Chand, “But now competition is going on between affection and pride.”
“Your pride has won,” said Behula. “You did not care as much for the members of your family as you cared for your own pride. Otherwise you would have surrendered to the goddess long ago and worshipped her to save your sons.”
Chand said, “You are right. Now let me surrender to affection. Let affection win. Let me just get back my children, my ships and my wealth. Then I will worship Manasha.”
Behula was extremely happy. She spoke to Lord Shiva, and Lord Shiva spoke to Manasha. The goddess agreed to give back everything to Chand.
Now Chand had to worship her, but his pride was still strong. He said to himself, “I used my right hand to worship Lord Shiva, so I will never use my right hand to worship this goddess. It will be a real insult to Lord Shiva, so I will never do it. I will use my left hand. I promised that I would worship her once, but I didn’t say I would use my right hand.”
Manasha became furious because, according to Indian tradition, the right hand is always used for worship, if not both hands, but Chand wanted to worship her only with his left hand. In India we are very fastidious about the right hand and the left hand. When you place a flower or candle on the shrine, when you do arati, when you put a sacred mark on your forehead, always it has to be done with the right hand. Everything sacred has to be touched with the right hand. Manasha said, “You promised that you would worship me. It is well understood that you have to worship with your right hand, not with your left hand. Two hands are not necessary, but at least you should use your right hand.”
But Chand had got back all his sons and all his possessions, and Lord Shiva was once again protecting him, so he worshipped Manasha with his left hand only. Lord Shiva again gave the boon of immortality not only to Chand but also to his daughter-in-law Behula.
Even now it is said that if you want to worship the goddess Manasha, you can do it with your left hand. All other gods and goddesses have to be worshipped either with both hands or with the right hand.
The Goal is won28 April was the third anniversary of Sri Chinmoy's completion of The Goal Is Won, a book of 360 poems written in 24 hours. In honour of that achievement, a few poems from the book are reprinted here.
The bridgeI was the frustration-despair-bridge
My vital’s first dark hour
My body’s last deep sleep.
I am the rapture-treasure-bridge
My heart’s birthless hour
My soul’s deathless life.
Three defectsThree defects of doubt
At long last
I have discovered:
It fears to come out
Of its prison-mind.
It fears to marry
It fears to believe in
Its own existence-might.
Just wait and seeWith Compassion-rain
God will clasp your life-dreams.
Just wait and see.
God will carry your heart-blossoms
To His Promise-Paradise.
Just wait and see.
God will offer you
His Throne of Infinity’s Silence-light
His Crown of Eternity’s Sound-might.
Just wait and see.
Your life-bookDo you want to exclude something
From your life-book?
Exclude your doubt-chapter.
God will bless you Immediately.
Do you want to include something
In your life-book?
Include your confidence-chapter.
You will bless yourself
DefinitionsDefinition of the soul:
Definition of the heart:
Definition of the mind:
Definition of the vital:
Definition of the body:
My definition of God:
Be careful!I see God.
Do you doubt me?
God will delay
I play with God.
Do you doubt me?
God will cancel
Dire contradictionHis is the life
Of dire contradiction.
He loves God the root
But hates man the fruit.
His is the life
Of dire contradiction.
He loves God the Vision-oasis
But hates man the reality-desert.
The Core of India's Light[Continued from previous issue]
Lower life in a human being is not only a kind of frustration and failure, but also a total negation of the satisfaction which we have in the inner world. This satisfaction is founded on our devoted surrender to God’s illumining Vision and fulfilling Reality.
We offend others, others offend us. But the worst possible offence is when we treasure our wee “i”. It binds us inside the body-cage, strangles us inside the vital-den and kills us inside the mind-prison.
Everything is unconquerable except God, and once we conquer God with our unconditional surrender, we immediately see that the things that were unconquerable are now only unconquered, and the things that were unconquered are now being conquered. To conquer God’s Compassion is to conquer the conquerable. To conquer man’s stupidity is to conquer the unconquerable.
Infinite is the Goal. Eternal is the soul. We make friends with the Eternal in order to grow into the Infinite.
In order to have the direct knowledge of God, try to unlearn immediately what you have learned so far from humanity’s stupidity, and learn once more what divinity’s Reality has already taught you.
An impure thought lasting for a minute is strong enough to destroy a man’s aspiration for the rest of the day. A day lost is the precursor of a new defeat. A new defeat in the life of aspiration marks a fatal destruction.
By doing something we cannot complete our incomplete life. By becoming something we cannot complete our incomplete life. But by establishing a cheerful and unconditional oneness with God’s Will we can easily complete our incomplete life.
God the created universe is unique, and God the unmanifested reality is unique. I need God the created universe to see God’s unique Face. I need God the unmanifested Reality to touch God’s unique Feet.
The body’s real offering to God is lethargy.
The vital’s real offering to God is aggression.
The mind’s real offering to God is doubt.
The heart’s real offering to God is insecurity.
The soul’s real offering to God is unwillingness to work in and through ignorance-night for God-manifestation.
With material wealth we are apt to challenge the world. With spiritual wealth we are apt to establish our inseparable oneness with God’s entire creation.
[To be continued in next issue]
To-morrow's dawn[Continued from previous issue]
59.Come rain, come shine, I shall always listen to the still small voice within.
60.Be divinely active. God the Light will inspire your heart, and God the Delight will bless your life.
61.God loves. Do I? I try.
God satisfies. Do I? I shall try.
62.To have a divine God, you must be a human God at least. A human God is he whose life has become an unconditional surrender.
63.I shall not give up. I shall accept. I shall not just accept. I shall transform.
64.To love is to see man in God. To serve is to see God in man.
65.Ingratitude strengthens the animal in us, weakens the human in us and shortens the divine in us.
66.Do you want to be happy? If so, then try one of the two: either push your desire-life aside or pull your aspiration-life inside.
67.To err is human. But only a special person has the God-given divine capacity to forgive.
68.We shall eventually give to God what He has already given to us: Eternity’s soulful Cry and Infinity’s fruitful Smile.
[To be continued in next issue]
Questions and answersThe following questions were asked by disciples at the New York Centre on 6 February 1977.
Question: At home, how can we tell when we have meditated long enough?Sri Chinmoy: When your meditation is only ten minutes old, during these ten minutes if wrong forces enter into you, you have the energy, dynamism and will-power either to destroy them or to transform them, illumine them or purify them. Later it may happen that you do not have the necessary capacity. When you no longer have the capacity, dynamism and will-power to destroy, transform, illumine or purify the wrong forces that enter into you, that is the best time for you to stop meditating. It may be ten minutes, fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, half an hour or even an hour.
Recently we have adopted the best method: to meditate for five or ten minutes, then relax for a few minutes. It is like running a long distance. You run for a few minutes, then you take rest to energise yourself, then again you run. This policy is excellent. So when you feel that you do not have the energy, strength, willingness or capacity to transform, illumine, destroy or purify the wrong forces during your meditation, then the best thing is to stop at that time. At that time you have to feel that you have meditated enough.
Question: Is surrendering to the will of other disciples a good practice for learning to surrender to God's Will?Sri Chinmoy: If you surrender to the will of other disciples, it will be practically like a blind man leading another blind man. Only if you feel that somebody is doing or saying the right thing and you are unable to accept it because your ego is looming large, at that time it is really advisable for you to surrender your will to his will. But you have to know whether they are right or you are right. If they are right, you should surrender to their will, for God can easily speak in and through them. If you are right, not just stubborn, you should stick to your principles. If you know you are one hundred per cent right, just to make a compromise you need not surrender your will. You have to know that the Supreme is always right. If you are right, you will not be very haughty, proud or authoritative. Only stick to your right principle, and the day will dawn when they will surrender to the Supreme’s Will inside you. Otherwise, to surrender to their will just to practice surrender will be a fruitless experience.
Question: When meditating, I feel that there are two parts of me meditating. The left side seems to do extremely well, but the right needs much more concentration. Why is this so?Sri Chinmoy: The left side is connected with the moon, and the right side is connected with the sun. In your case you are blessed by the moon’s capacity and qualities more than by the sun’s capacity and qualities. What you can do is look at the sun during the day if possible, and try to bring more grace, more compassion, more light from the sun into your existence. The moon aspect in life is predominant in you right now. If you want to have equal benefit from both the sun and the moon, you can try to meditate on the sun.
Question: When I am working for you and assuming a position of responsibility, how can I avoid problems from myself, my own negative qualities, or from other people?Sri Chinmoy: You are now taking care of the Blue group. Suppose you are having problems with them. You have your own problems and they have their problems. Problems are like a disease which is not incurable but is often fatal. We can only cure this disease by bringing more light. When we transform what we call “problems” today, tomorrow these things become an added help to us. It is like a hurdle to a runner. A hurdle is a problem, but once he jumps over it, it is much easier for him to reach the goal. If there is no hurdle, often we will not appreciate the goal because we will feel it is so easy to reach.
In terms of Eternity, Infinity and Immortality, God is asking us to meditate soulfully for only a few years. He is offering to give us His Eternity’s Wealth, Infinity’s Wealth, Immortality’s Wealth, and in return He is asking us to pray and meditate for a few years soulfully. His Infinity and Eternity we are buying for a few years of soulful prayer and meditation. If we do not have to pay even that much, we shall not value the return. If a rich man freely gives his boundless wealth, his son will just squander it. He will not know or feel its value.
Never be afraid of a problem. Think of it as an opportunity. If you overcome it, you will value the goal more. But at the same time, you will not welcome problems. If they present themselves before you, then accept them and illumine them, transform them or jump over them, but never try to avoid them. If the goal is just across the hurdle and you want to try going some other way, you can’t. You have to cross the hurdle. Avoidance is not the right answer, but to face each problem and then cross beyond it.
Question: What is the significance of feeling the Master's feet inside one's heart?Sri Chinmoy: Feet always symbolise protection, and the Master’s feet are the Heaven-protection. If one sees or feels the Master’s feet inside one’s heart, that means his or her devotion has increased immensely. The disciple will also feel a magnetic pull. That magnetic pull will be two-sided. The magnet will pull away all ignorance-problems and the life of pleasure from the seeker, and the magnet will pull into the disciple’s heart peace, light, bliss, concern and the feeling of oneness from the Master. Devotion increases immediately and immensely when one sees or feels the Master’s feet inside his heart.
Question: Could you explain what you mean when you say that the physical sheath is made of earth, air, fire, water and ether?Sri Chinmoy: When a house is built, we need bricks, sand, wood, cement and many other things. Similarly, according to God’s plan the physical body is composed of five elements. In Sanskrit we call them kshiti, maruth, tej, av, vyom. In English you say earth, air, fire, water, ether. This is how God’s plan works. In the near or distant future, if God ever wills to change His plan, then the physical sheath can easily be composed of other principles. But right now He uses these five earthly elements to form the gross physical sheath. If God changes His plan, then perhaps we will not have this physical body with its constant problems.
Question: Guru, can you tell us, please, how to make the vital absolutely sincere, and how to transform the mind?Sri Chinmoy: The vital can be made sincere, especially the lower vital, only through fear. There is no other way. If you know that the lower vital is doing something wrong, immediately feel that somebody is aiming a gun at you, and you are going to die, or that a raging fire is about to burn you to ashes. If you feel that death is imminent, what will you do? You will be terribly afraid. When the vital gets fear, immediately it takes the right path. It does not do anything wrong. It tries to remain perfect if it knows that otherwise fire or a bullet will destroy you. If you maintain that consciousness of fear when the lower forces bother you, then immediately the vital becomes sincere. It does not want to do the thing that it considers so dangerous.
Now, how to transform the mind? By treating the mind like a mischievous boy who does not want to take a bath. His parents just grab him and throw him into the water. He has to be forced. You have to force the mind; you have to throw it or pull it into the heart-room, which has light. Think of the mind as a mischievous, naughty boy. Just grab it and take it into the heart-room. This is how one can transform the mind.
Question: What is the light that you sometimes let me see right in front of your mouth when you smile?Sri Chinmoy: If you see light around the mouth, that means darkness has been devoured. Disciples have brought darkness, so I have entered into the darkness and, like a thirsty person, I have drunk voraciously. When I drink darkness voraciously, then there is a tremendous victory for the light. And right after I have devoured darkness, then inside you or somebody else, or in the earth-atmosphere, you see a kind of satisfaction. When we drink poison, it means that poison will not disturb our dear ones, so it is a tremendous victory and a tremendous relief. The smile is the sense of relief and a kind of real satisfaction that comes from devouring darkness.
Question: I often see your mouth moving when I meditate with you. Sometimes it seems to be moving quickly, sometimes slowly. Are you talking to someone?Sri Chinmoy: No, actually I am not talking. What actually happens is that tremendous light, energy, power and bliss enter into my body in infinite measure. Now, although I am one with the Supreme’s Will, the capacity of the physical is not unlimited. Our physical will is unlimited, but the physical sheath is limited. When these forces enter into me I already have them within in abundant measure, so when these divine forces come, they overflow. The Supreme brings them, out of His infinite Bounty, but that quantity is not necessary, so it overflows.
When the Supreme pours these blessings into me beyond the necessity, at that time you will notice a movement around my face, like something is dancing or bubbling. It is extra energy, light, peace and bliss. Actually I am not talking. It is just that when the cup is full to the brim, the rest is extra. The cup is receptivity. In my case receptivity is tremendous, boundless. But even then, Infinity has no end. On the physical plane Infinity cannot be absorbed. When it comes, we see around the face some constant movement. Something is dancing on the outside, because the cup is full, and more is still being poured in. So you people can freely take that extra amount.
Question: Is there a dividing line between being unfriendly and not letting our consciousness be lowered by someone?Sri Chinmoy: You have to know, good girl, that you are trying to live a spiritual life and some people are by nature very undivine. Their consciousness is so low that they are absolutely like hungry wolves. If you talk to them, mix with them, they will devour you, your good will, simplicity, sincerity and purity. So it is not advisable to be friendly to these people at all.
You have to think of yourself as a tiny plant. Once you become a huge banyan tree, nothing will destroy you. But while you are just a tiny plant, even a cat or a dog can destroy you. So you have to be very careful when talking to people. You do not want to be rude, but you want to protect yourself. If you do not put a fence around yourself, how will you grow into a banyan tree?
Let their outer minds misunderstand your unfriendliness. They also have a soul, and their souls will know that you are doing absolutely the right thing. Their minds may think you are very rude and unsociable, but their souls want them to be exactly like you. You want to lead a spiritual life. Their souls want them also to lead a spiritual life; therefore their souls will not mind even if you have to snub them. Their souls know you are not indifferent; only you are trying to protect yourself. You should always try to protect yourself from the undivine, undeserving, unaspiring people, for they may at any time ruin your aspiration. Let them think whatever they want.
Question: What are the most important qualities needed for spiritual maturity?Sri Chinmoy: For spiritual maturity the most important qualities we all know: simplicity, sincerity, humility and purity. Simplicity in the physical consciousness, sincerity in the central heart, humility in the mind and purity from the sole of one’s foot to the crown of one’s head. If these qualities can be achieved, then one becomes without fail a perfect instrument. Simplicity, sincerity, humility and purity.
The entire body, the entire being, has to be simple, absolutely simple. When it is a matter of sincerity, the central heart particularly needs it. Humility is necessary inside the mind and in the head proper because the head does not want to bow down. Purity, like a river, has to flow from the top to the bottom, from the Crown Centre to the absolutely gross inconscience at the feet-level. From the starting point to the Golden Shore, from the beginning to the end, we have to feel purity. If we start with purity, then our success, our progress, everything becomes meaningful, soulful and fruitful. Right from the very beginning we have to start with purity, no matter where we start or when we start.
Question: If I am in a grumpy, cross or morose mood, how can I become cheerful right away?Sri Chinmoy: There are various ways to become cheerful, but the most effective way is to think of yourself as a four-year-old child. He is not seriously affected by anything. Think of yourself as four years old, not thirty-five. Just separate the three and the five, and you stand in between. Just move around in your heart’s garden. There you will see all divine qualities. You will see beauty, simplicity, sincerity, purity and perfection blossoming in every flower around you and inside you. If you look at them, then automatically you get the essence and substance of the flower-heart qualities.
If you can think of yourself as a three-year-old or five-year-old child, then all your frustration will go away. It will not last. A child is angry or depressed for one minute. At that age there is no serious type of anger, frustration or agitation. This we develop only when we have the mind. A four-year-old child does not have the mind. Only when we are twelve or thirteen do we start developing the undivine mind. If you can think of yourself as three years old or four years old, then you will remain in the heart, which is all oneness and forgiveness. So never think of your age as thirty-five. Either three or five or in between. Then all your problems will be solved. Sweetness, cheerfulness will be yours. Now frustration, agitation and depression have made friends with you. If you can feel that you are a child, then you will be able to live inside your heart. That is your eternal garden. If you can remain there, you will remain always cheerful.
Question: How can we find joy in strict discipline?Sri Chinmoy: The mind calls it discipline. The heart calls it a process to achieve something, to gain something. The soul does not call it even a process. The soul feels that that very thing not only embodies but is Reality-Delight itself. Whenever we want to do something, immediately the mind vetoes it. Even if the mind wanted it two days ago or two years ago, if we sincerely try to get it, the mind vetoes it. It does not want it anymore. It says it is much too difficult, or it is not worth having. This is our tricky mind. Even if it wanted something yesterday, today the mind will take away its conscious willingness. With your heart or your vital if you want something, the mind immediately says, “No, don’t take it.”
Discipline, in our ordinary life, is like punishment, nothing short of it. You people have not suffered from malaria, and I do not want anybody to suffer from it. In India we do suffer from this disease. I suffered. You cannot imagine how painful malaria is. All the subtle and gross nerves start dancing with pain! You may not know any acrobatics, but as soon as you get malaria you become an expert. All kinds of acrobatic exercises you will do because pain compels you. Now, the only medicine for malaria is called quinine. It is extremely, extremely bitter. No other medicine is as bitter as quinine. But quinine is the saviour. You have to take it if you want to be relieved from this pain. If you do not take it, unpleasant as it is, then how are you going to get rid of the fever?
Now ignorance lords it over us. Ignorance has become our master. We do not want this master, so we need something stronger than this present master in order to overthrow him. Ignorance is our master, but we want knowledge to be our master. So if ignorance is the disease, discipline is the only cure. We have to consider discipline as our new master, new guide, new saviour. If we take discipline, then we can be cured from this ignorance-disease. Right now discipline is something we are facing like a kind of punishment. But if we think of it as our help, our guide, our inspiration, our aspiration, our realisation even, to conquer the undivine in us and around us, then it will give us joy.
Think of discipline as a new master who is helping you to learn something new, meaningful, soulful and fruitful so that you do not have to be under the domination of the old master anymore. The old master was lethargy, darkness, ignorance and all negative forces. Give discipline the utmost value. It embodies light and it is more than eager to offer you light. Then only will you not be afraid of discipline. Think what it is going to give you, or what it has and what you do not have. When you make a comparison, you will see that right now you are swimming in ignorance-sea and discipline is telling you, “Poor girl, why are you suffering? I have boundless light, delight, peace and bliss. Come and get it from me.” Discipline is your guide, your saviour.
One truth speaksOne truth speaks
To another truth:
God is proud of us.
One life speaks
To another life:
God is fond of us.
One love speaks
To another love:
God is made of us.
Nami juga avatarNami juga avatar
Smari ratula charana
Dibe ki ebar adhikar
Rishi kabi prema avatar
Shata name daki
Shata bhabe anki
Nami toma shatabar
Mukti dishari manavatar
Bidurita karo juga avatar
I bow to You, O Avatar of the era!
Will You give me the right
To worship You
By touching Your red lotus-Feet?
O Seer-poet, O love incarnate!
In hundreds of ways I call You,
In hundreds of ways I paint You,
I bow to You countless times.
O beckoning hands of humanity’s liberation,
Do offer Your Nectar-flood,
And sweep away the dark disgrace of death.
I bow to You, O Avatar of the era!