AUM — Vol.II-6, No. 6, June 1980
The inner commitmentAs you know, we have a path. Along that path many, many people are walking or running towards the destined Goal. Seekers from various walks of life, from various countries, are walking along our path. There are many roads that lead to God, but you can walk along only one road. If you keep changing roads, then you will never reach your destination. Those who want to follow our path or any other path, should understand what it means to make an inner commitment.
If you make a commitment to our path, you have to know that it is a commitment that your heart and soul are making to the divine within you. It is not a financial commitment or an earthly commitment. No, it is not that kind of commitment, but a far more important commitment. It is the commitment of your heart to your soul, and of your soul to your heart; and it is the combined commitment of your heart and soul to your entire life.
Joining an established spiritual group is most important, because without a group, without friends, without supporters, without spiritual brothers and sisters, you cannot make fast progress. If you see some other swimmers in the sea, then only will you jump in. Otherwise, you will not be inspired. You will feel that it is chilly or that it is dangerous. You will be uncertain, or you will be frightened to death. But when you see that some people are already swimming in the sea, then your fear and uncertainty disappear. You enter into the sea and swim along with those people.
When you belong to a group, today you may not be inspired to meditate, but if somebody beside you in the group is praying and meditating most soulfully, then immediately you will get inspiration. Then tomorrow you may be surcharged with inspiration and aspiration, whereas your spiritual brother or sister will not be inspired, so you will inspire that person. This is the main reason why we have Centres all over the world. It is extremely helpful to have a group so that the seekers can inspire one another or get inspiration from one another. Every day you may not have the same kind of aspiration. Sometimes for weeks you may lack aspiration. But if you have a brother or sister disciple who is on the same path, then that person can inspire you. And again, when that person is totally lost in the world of frustration, anxiety or temptation, it is you who will be in a position to inspire him or her. That is why we feel the supreme necessity of having meditation groups, which can grow together most divinely and soulfully.
What I need from God1We are all seekers. That means we all need God, love God and want eventually to grow into the very image of God.
When I say, “I need God,” what do I actually mean? God is everything, true, but I need certain aspects of God more than other aspects, at least right now. God is all Power, God is all Light, God is all Justice, God is all Compassion, God is all Forgiveness, God is everything. But for the time being, I need only a few things from God. God is infinite, God is eternal, God is immortal. But to start my spiritual journey, I need God the Forgiveness first.
First I have to empty myself of my undivine existence. All the undivine thoughts and undivine deeds that are inside me, everything that is unaspiring and uninspiring within me, I have to empty out. And for that I need forgiveness. If God forgives me, then only can I think of the spiritual life. I have committed Himalayan blunders countless times. If God does not forgive me for the undivine things that I have done over the years, then how can I walk along the spiritual path, the sunlit path? So, to start with, I need God’s Forgiveness or God the Forgiveness.
Then, when I feel that God, out of His infinite Bounty, has forgiven me, at that time I can think of another aspect of God, and that is God’s Compassion, or God the Compassion. God has forgiven me; now I need His Compassion. I need His Compassion because I am weak, I am ignorant, I am in every way a failure. I fervently desire to do something, to achieve something, to become something, but I do not have the capacity to do the thing that I want or to grow into the thing that I want. So I desperately need God’s Compassion. Without God’s Compassion I will not be able to achieve anything, and I will not be able to become anything.
After receiving God’s Forgiveness and Compassion, then I need God’s Blessing. If God does not bless me, then I cannot succeed in life. He has to shower on me His infinite Blessings from above, so that I can succeed in the battlefield of life. Life is a constant battle, and if I am to succeed here, then I have to entirely depend on God’s Blessings. If He blesses my devoted head and surrendered heart, only then can I succeed in life and proceed along the spiritual path.
God has forgiven me, God has granted me His Compassion, God has showered His Blessings upon me. Now I have to feel at every moment God’s Love. I have to feel that the One who has forgiven me and shown me His Compassion and blessed me, really cares for me. So now I have to think of God’s Love. If God really loves me, then only can I have true and abiding happiness. The Creator is all love for His creation. But the creation quite often does not feel it or realise it. I am part of God’s creation, and it is my bounden duty to feel God’s Love at every moment. If I feel His Love, only then will I try to become good, divine and perfect, and to please Him in His own Way.
After Love, something very significant and very deep I have to feel, and that is God’s Oneness. Love is not enough. I can love someone, I can love something, but I may not have established my oneness, inseparable oneness, with that person or that thing. So after I have felt God’s Love, I have to develop and feel my conscious, constant and inseparable oneness with Him.
In order to have constant, conscious oneness with God, I have to achieve something and become something, and that thing is perfection. Unless I become perfect, how can I establish my constant, conscious and inseparable oneness with God? It is not possible. So in order to become inseparably one with God, I have to become perfect. How do I become perfect? I become perfect by crying inwardly to receive the things that will uplift me and illumine me, and to conquer the things that torment me and disturb me. When I cry for good things, God is pleased. When I cry to conquer bad things, God is also pleased with me. And it is only by pleasing God that we become perfect.
At every moment we are assailed by bad thoughts or we are inspired by good thoughts. Each thought can act like an atom bomb in our life. When we are assailed by a bad thought, we will try to discard it. When we are assailed by a good thought, we will try to develop and enlarge it. When we start meditating early in the morning, if one good thought comes, let us enlarge it. Let us say it is a thought of divine love — not the human, emotional love but divine, universal love: “I love God, I love God’s entire creation.” Love can be our ideal, love can be our ultimate Goal. So if it is divine love, universal love, transcendental Love, then we are dealing with the Goal itself.
If we start with the thought of divine love, or other good thoughts, and if we throw out bad thoughts, if we cry to get divine things and to conquer bad things, then we will feel perfection dawning in our life of aspiration. As perfection dawns, we begin to establish our oneness with God and achieve abiding satisfaction. So perfection is the harbinger of satisfaction. Before I become perfect, there can be no true satisfaction, no divine satisfaction. But if I am perfect, then God can make me into His choice instrument; He can manifest Himself and satisfy Himself in and through me, and that is the true, divine satisfaction.
I go to God with my heart’s inner delight; my only cry is to please Him in His own Way. God comes to me with a broad smile, for now He can manifest Himself in and through me. When I go to Him, I carry my cry and say, “O my Beloved Supreme, make me Your perfect instrument.” When He comes to me, He gives me a broad smile — a wide, soulful, illumining smile — and says, “My child, I shall make you My perfect instrument and, at the same time, I will manifest Myself in and through you.”
So first I need God’s Forgiveness, then God’s Compassion, then His Blessings and then His Love. Only then can perfection dawn in my life. Once perfection dawns in my life, I can become one with God, and God can make me His perfect instrument. At that time, God is satisfied with me and I am satisfied with Him; my life is all satisfaction, illumining and immortalising satisfaction.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 16 March 1980↩
Peace1What is peace? Is it a magic word? Is it something that will always remain a far cry? Is it a reality that will always be beyond our grasp? Is peace something that will never be permanently in the inmost recesses of our heart? Is it some heavenly treasured thing, a blessingful gift from above, which we do not have here on earth?
What is peace? Peace is a reality which is at once self-revealing and self-fulfilling. When can we have peace of mind? We can have peace of mind only when we surrender our ignorance-night to the Wisdom-Light and Compassion-Height of our Beloved Supreme.
We can say that we are very clever. We offer our Beloved Supreme our ignorance-night and, in exchange, we invoke His Compassion-Light and His Satisfaction-Delight. We give our ignorance-night and, in return, out of His infinite Bounty, He gives us His infinite Light, Peace, Wisdom and Compassion. But again, we see that quite often our Beloved Supreme surrenders to our ignorance-night. We are like a child asking for something unhealthy. Because of the child’s constant insistence, the parents at times give in to him. But when the child realises that it is something harmful, then he stops asking and the parents stop giving. Again, our ultimate, absolute Father knows that it is He who is experiencing this unhealthy thing in and through us.
If we do not breathe in, we cannot live. Similarly, without peace we do not and cannot live like true human beings. We cry for peace — peace within, peace without. So how is it that we do not get peace, which is so important in our life? We do not get peace because of our hunger for possession. We want to possess the world, but as we increase our material possessions, we come to realise that we are still veritable beggars. No matter what we acquire, when we look around we see that there is someone else who has more material wealth. Each time we increase something in our life, we look around and see that somebody else has that very thing in greater measure, and we lose our peace of mind. We become a victim to worry, anxiety and depression; we become frustrated, and frustration is always followed by destruction.
As soon as we come to realise that possession is not the answer, that possession will not give us peace of mind, we go to the other extreme. The other extreme is renunciation. We try to renounce. But when we try to renounce, we come to know how stupid we are. What are we going to renounce? Is there anything on earth which we can claim as our own, very own? Our body does not listen to us, our vital does not listen to us, our mind does not listen to us. Instead, they try to control us.
We want our body to be active, but our body wants to wallow in the pleasures of lethargy. We want our vital to be dynamic, but instead of being dynamic, our vital becomes aggressive and tries to destroy others. We want our mind to be inundated with faith. Instead, our mind always doubts and suspects. It is inundated with doubt at every moment. It not only doubts others, but it also doubts its own capacities, its own achievements, its own realities, its own realisations. This moment our mind will say that you are a very good person, the next moment the same mind will say that you are very bad. And then the following moment the mind will wonder, “Am I right in doubting that person?” First we say he is nice, then we say he is bad. Then we start doubting our mind’s own capacities. And once we start doubting the reality and the authenticity of our mind, destruction starts. When we doubt someone else, we don’t really lose something very significant. But when we start doubting ourselves, then our reality-life comes to an end.
We consider something to be our possession only when we have the last word, only if whatever we say goes. But even the members of our own reality-existence — our body, vital and mind — don’t listen to us and are not within our control, so how can we say they are ours? Even though they are unruly, we want to keep them permanently. Alas, death comes and snatches them away. If they are our own possessions, then how can they be taken away without our permission? If we can’t control our own body, our own vital or our own mind, then how do we dare to say that these are ours?
We can renounce only the things that we possess. The things that we cannot keep permanently, we cannot claim as our own possessions. So what right do we have to renounce them? Renunciation is ridiculous when we do not have a thing to renounce. If we dive deep within, we see that we are veritable beggars. How can a beggar renounce anything?
So possession brings frustration, and renunciation is fruitless. What then can give us peace of mind? Only acceptance — acceptance of God’s Will can give us true peace of mind. By accepting God’s Will as our own, very own, we can get peace. Then only is our life normal. In God’s Eye there is no such thing as possession and renunciation. In God’s Eye there is only one thing: acceptance. In our heart, in our life, there is only one truth, one prayer, which is the ultimate prayer that the Saviour Christ has taught us: “Let Thy Will be done.” Millions and billions and trillions of prayers have been written from time immemorial, but no prayer can equal this one: “Let Thy Will be done.” When we accept God’s Will as our own, at every moment peace looms large in our life of wisdom, in our life of aspiration, in our life of dedication.
How do we know if something is God’s Will or is not God’s Will? We can easily know. When we do something that is God’s Will, we feel a kind of inner joy or satisfaction before we even do it. And while doing or completing the thing, we also get joy. Then comes the paramount question whether we can be equally happy if our action is fruitful or fruitless. In the ordinary life we are happy only when success dawns. When we see victory at the end of our journey, only then are we happy and delighted. But if we can have the same kind of happiness, joy and satisfaction whether we succeed or fail, and if we can cheerfully offer the result of our actions at the Feet of our Beloved Supreme, then only can we know that what we have done is God’s Will. Otherwise, when there is success we feel that what we did was God’s Will, and when there is failure we say that what we did was the will of a hostile force. Or when we succeed we say it is because of our will, and when we fail we say it is because God does not care for us.
We can blame our Lord at our sweet will. We can misunderstand our Lord at our sweet will. When we fail, we can blame God and when we succeed, we can try, to get the glory for ourselves. But if we are sincere seekers, and if we want real abiding happiness, then we shall do the things that we feel are good and right, but the results we shall offer to the Supreme. Success and failure are two experiences. These two experiences we have to unify, and whichever experience we get at the end of our journey, at the end of our performance, we have to offer with tremendous joy. If we can place the result at the Feet of our Beloved Supreme soulfully, cheerfully, unreservedly and unconditionally, then without doubt we will have true peace of mind. At that time peace of mind will come and knock at our heart’s door, our life’s door. We will not have to wait for peace of mind; it will be waiting for us.
We have to surrender our earth-bound will to the Heaven-free Will of our Beloved Supreme. We have to cheerfully, soulfully, devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally surrender our limited human reality to the Universal or Transcendental Reality. This surrender is not the surrender of a slave to its master. This surrender is the wisdom-light that recognises a difference between our highest height and our lowest depth. Right now, even as seekers, we are often embodying the lowest depth of consciousness, whereas the highest height of consciousness is represented by our Beloved Supreme. Both the highest and the lowest belong to us. What happens when we surrender is that we offer our lowest part to our highest part, for the Supreme is none other than our own highest Self. When we surrender our lowest self, which we now represent or embody, to our high, higher, highest Self, we get peace of mind and inundate our entire being with joy, light and delight.
We are like the tiny drop, and the Supreme is our Source, the ocean. When the drop enters into the ocean, it loses its little individuality and personality and becomes the ocean itself. But as a matter of fact, it does not lose anything at all; it only increases its existence-light unimaginably. If the drop maintains its own reality and personality, it will always be assailed by fear, doubt and all the negative and destructive qualities. But when it enters into the Source, which is all Light and Delight, at that time it acquires all the divine qualities and capacities of the Source.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 17 March 1980↩
Meeting with Pope John Paul II1As soon as the Pope came near me, I stood up and one of the Cardinals said, “This is Sri Chinmoy from the United Nations.”
I gave the Pope a plaque, which was so beautiful, and the pamphlet with the song about him. As I was giving him the plaque and the pamphlet, the Pope asked me, “Are you from the United Nations?”
I said, “Yes, Father, I am.”
Then he asked me, “Are you an Indian?”
Again I said, “Yes, I am.”
Then he said, “India, India, India!” with such joy and enthusiasm in his face. He was absolutely beaming with joy.
He very powerfully grasped my elbow with such affection, and looked at me as if I were an old forgotten friend or grandson. He was holding me firm and talking to me. Then he started patting my shoulder, seven or eight times.
Then he said to me, “Special greetings to your members. Special blessings to you. We shall continue together.”
… We shall continue together.
The words we exchanged were few, but he spent time looking at the plaque and appreciating it. I also showed him the picture of me with the previous Pope that was in the U.N. booklet, “Our First Ten Years.” He looked at the picture and also at the pamphlet with the song about him.
I must say, this Pope has tremendous warmth, and he is very sincere in expressing affection. He is very sociable, very affectionate, very compassionate. He has sincere compassion and affection. He was beaming with joy and showed me tremendous affection, love and concern when he offered me his benediction.
This Pope has compassion on the human level, the physical level, which others can immediately see and feel. The previous one, Pope Paul VI, had compassion in a luminous, ethereal way. The previous day, the soul of the previous Pope came to me four or five times with real aspiration. His psychic presence I saw and felt most powerfully.
Following is not a transcription, but Sri Chinmoy's recounting of this soulfully historic meeting, which took place at the Vatican on 18 June 1980.↩
To-morrow's dawn[Continued from previous issues]
218.True, you are today’s slave. But you will be tomorrow’s God. Without fail.
219.“Give unconditionally.” This is the meaning of God. “Receive cheerfully.” This is the meaning of man.
220.Take off the mask. Let the world see the real you. I assure you that the world will be happy and blessed.
221.You do not have to say that you are young. You have just to feel that you are young. Lo, the miracle of miracles: God is shaking hands with you.
222.Gratitude is the multiplication of our heart’s oneness-love.
223.Yesterday was God’s Day. Therefore I loved Him dearly. Today is God’s Day. Therefore I am devoted to Him unreservedly. Tomorrow will be God’s Day. Therefore I shall surrender to Him unconditionally.
224.My Lord loves me for what I am. My dear world, can you not do the same?
225.My journey’s start: self-enquiry. My journey’s end: self-mastery.
226.Self-offering comes from our prayer to God. Self-faith comes from our meditation on God.
227.A perfect seeker is he who knows how to bow his head, open his heart and offer his soul.
228.Do not plan your life in advance. It is not fair to take away God’s job.
229.Not to plan does not necessarily mean irresponsibility. It means a cheerfully surrendered oneness with God’s Will.
230.Why am I resigning from the world? I am resigning because I clearly see that there are people who have more wisdom and more compassion than I have. They too should be given a chance. I want to be fair.
231.Why am I resigning from the world? I am resigning because I thought that the human life was something else. I thought self-giving was another name for the human life.
[To be continued]
Questions and answersThe following questions were asked following Sri Chinmoy's talk "What I Need from God" in Hawaii on 16 March 1980.
Question: How do you receive God's Forgiveness?Sri Chinmoy: You receive God’s Forgiveness only by reminding yourself — constantly, consciously, sleeplessly and breathlessly — that God is Forgiveness itself. You should not think of God as Justice or as infinite Light or Peace. You should not think of any other aspect of God. You should only think of God’s Forgiveness or of God the Forgiveness. You have to inundate your mind and your heart with one thought: forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness. Instead of thinking of God’s Justice-Light, you should just repeat, “My Lord is all Forgiveness, my Lord is all Forgiveness.” While repeating, “My Lord is all Forgiveness,” you must not think of all the countless undivine things that you have done: “Oh, I have told a lie, I have struck someone, I have done something very undivine.” No, you will see only the positive side. You will think only of God’s Forgiveness before you, around you, within you. If hundreds of times, thousands of times, you can repeat most soulfully, “My Lord is all Forgiveness, My Lord is all Forgiveness,” then all your Himalayan blunders will be washed away. All the crimes that you have done over the years, all the ignorant things that you have done, will all be annihilated. At that time you will not only feel that you are forgiven, but you will feel that you yourself are God’s Forgiveness. If someone asks you your name, you will say, “My name is my Lord’s Forgiveness.” If someone asks who you are, you will say, “I am my Lord’s Forgiveness.”
This will be your only credential. In the ordinary life people have many credentials. They have this university degree, that degree and so on. But in the spiritual life, a seeker will say that he has only one credential. He will say either, “I am my Lord’s Forgiveness,” or “I am my Lord’s Compassion,” or “I am my Lord’s Love.” So if somebody asks what are your credentials, immediately you will say, “My Lord’s Compassion is my only credential,” or “My Lord’s Forgiveness is my only credential.” It is not just false humility; for in the inmost recesses of your heart you do feel that your only credential is God’s Compassion, God’s Forgiveness. That is what all the seekers must feel.
Question: Should we feel that we have God's Blessing in the same way?Sri Chinmoy: You have to feel that you have God’s Blessing, and that because you have His Blessing, you will succeed. When you undertake a journey, if a person who is superior blesses you, especially if it is a spiritual person, a spiritual Master, then you are bound to succeed. In the ordinary life, when children are about to do something, their parents bless them. These blessings are of tremendous importance, for the parents are pouring into their children their utmost good wishes. In India, before children go to school for an examination, they first go to their parents for blessings. When the parents bless, they do not feel that they are representing God; far from it. They put their hands on their children and pray to God, “I am blessing my child, but in secret I am praying to You to bless him in and through me.” The mother places her hand on the child’s head, and the child is thinking that the mother is blessing him. But the mother knows that the actual Blessing is coming from above, from God. Only she is the instrument, because she sincerely loves the child. She is praying to God, “O God, please descend into my son with all Your Blessings.”
Before, I was saying that there is no difference — between God and God’s Compassion or God and God’s Forgiveness. Similarly, there is no difference between God and God’s Blessings. If I say ‘Blessing’, then it is God I am speaking of. If I say ‘God’, you have to know that He is all Blessing. When you have that kind of feeling, then naturally you will have all divine blessings in your life.
Question: How is it possible to take that first step towards building discipline in your meditation practice?Sri Chinmoy: Let us take discipline as a muscle. Overnight we cannot develop a most powerful muscle. Slowly and steadily we develop our muscles. First you have to know how many minutes you can meditate. If you can meditate for five minutes, it means that for these five minutes you have disciplined yourself. Early in the morning, while your friends and dear ones are still in the world of sleep, you get up to pray and meditate. For five minutes you are able to pray and meditate, because you have disciplined yourself.
How do you discipline yourself? The most important thing is to develop a true thirst, an inner cry, for the fruits of discipline. You can do this by seeing what happens when you do not lead a disciplined life and what happens when you do lead a disciplined life. You yourself have to be the judge. When you get up at five o’clock and meditate for fifteen minutes or half an hour, you feel extremely good. You feel that the whole world is beautiful. You love everybody and everybody loves you. God’s creation is all love for you, and you are all love for God’s creation. Because you got up and meditated for a few minutes, you are inundated with good thoughts. Each thought is a world in itself. This earth is not the only world. There are so many worlds, and you are running, jumping and flying in the good-thought worlds of beauty, joy, peace and light.
But the day that you don’t get up early to meditate, you hate the world and you hate yourself, and you feel that everybody in the world hates you. So you provide your own answer. It is not that you have never meditated early in the morning. The results you have had many, many times. Hundreds or thousands of times you have meditated, and again, hundreds of times you have not meditated. So you know the result of each. If you are clever, if you are wise, the good things you will always repeat, and the bad things you will shun.
So if you are finding it difficult to discipline yourself to do something, look for the result. If you climb up the tree, then you will get the most delicious fruit. If you don’t climb up, you will get no fruits. You know that if someone is disciplined, he can climb up and pluck the most delicious mango and eat to his heart’s content. You also can do the same. When you climb up and take the fruit, you get tremendous satisfaction. So by thinking of the satisfaction, you can easily discipline yourself. There is no other way.
You are seeing people all around who are wallowing in the pleasures of idleness. There are many in the idleness-boat. But you can say, “No, I don’t want to be in that boat. I want to have a new boat, the boat that will sail towards the Golden Shore, towards the Goal.” It is up to you. But by reminding yourself of the joy that you get when you discipline yourself and of the unhappiness you get when you don’t, you can easily discipline yourself.
Question: When you meditate and you cry for something, should you also make an effort to achieve it, or just let it take place naturally?Sri Chinmoy: At the beginning you have to make a personal effort. Then later it becomes spontaneous. Unless and until it becomes spontaneous, you have to make the personal effort. When a sprinter starts a race, his hands make such a vigorous movement. In the beginning he moves his arms and hands very fast. He is making such a personal effort. But after fifty or sixty metres, when he is going at top speed, everything becomes spontaneous. At that time he is not striving to move his arms. Others will say that he is not trying at all. They don’t know what a vigorous movement he made at the start.
It is like sailing a boat. Before you start, you grab this thing and do that thing. All kinds of things you need to do before you start. While you are getting ready, you are moving very fast. But that is only your preparation. Still the boat is near the shore. It is only when you are actually well on your way, that the boat can sail without your constant personal effort. At that time it is all spontaneous, and this spontaneous movement is an act of Grace from above.
If you are sincere, then you will say that at the very beginning of your journey also God’s Grace descended. Otherwise, you would not have been inspired to even enter into the boat. When you start out, you feel that you are making a personal effort. But there comes a time when you realise that this personal effort is nothing other than Compassion from above. Why are you getting up early to pray and meditate, whereas your friends are still wallowing in the pleasures of lethargy? It is because God’s Grace has descended into you. So the deeper you go, the clearer it becomes that it is not your personal effort at all, but God’s Grace that enables you to make progress. Either God is pleased with you, or out of His infinite Compassion He is helping you.
Personal effort is of paramount importance at the beginning, because then we don’t feel that God is our unconditional Friend. As human beings, we always say that if I give you something, then you will give me something in return. But if I don’t give you anything, then you are under no obligation to give me. But God is not like that. God gives unconditionally, whether we claim Him as our own or not. This moment I may pray to God to fulfil my desire. But the next moment, after He fulfils my desire, immediately I will say, “Oh, I don’t need You. I don’t want to be Your child.” But God cannot do that. God always claims us as His own no matter how bad we are, because He sees that in hundreds or thousands or millions of years, He will make us perfect. A child, at his sweet will, can leave his parents; but can the parents leave the child? Impossible! Similarly, I can disown God, my eternal Father, because I am angry with Him or because He has not fulfilled my desire. But He will never disown me, because I am His child.
So personal effort is necessary because we do not feel that God is constantly loving us and blessing us unconditionally. Once we can feel that He is doing everything for us unconditionally, then personal effort is not necessary. But just because we don’t have that kind of feeling, so-called personal effort is of paramount importance. But when we become sincere, when we become humble, and especially when we become pure, at that time we feel that it is God who has inspired us to exercise our personal effort. So credit goes to God from the beginning to the end. In the beginning we give 50 percent of the credit to ourselves, because we got up to pray and meditate, and 50 percent to God, because He responded to our prayers and inspired us during our meditation. But if we are sincere, devoted and absolutely pure, then we will say that 100 percent of the credit goes to God.
Questions and answers on running
Question: I find that during races my aspiration varies a lot, sometimes going up, sometimes going down. Is there any way that I can maintain my aspiration throughout the whole race?Sri Chinmoy: This is my simple suggestion. Before the race starts, meditate most soulfully for five minutes. Try to make yourself feel that you are not the runner, but that somebody else is running in and through you. You are only the witness, the spectator. Since somebody else is running, you are at perfect liberty to watch and enjoy. While you are running, sometimes it is very difficult to enjoy the race. At that time you feel that you are literally dying. Either the competitive spirit or frustration is killing you, or your body is not abiding by your mental will. So many problems arise.
But before you start, if you can convince yourself that you are a divine observer and that somebody else is running in you, through you and for you, then fear, doubt, frustration, anxiety and other negative forces will not be able to assail your mind. Once these thoughts occupy the mind, they try to enter into the vital, and then into the physical. Once they enter into the physical, you lose all your power of concentration. But if you feel that you are not the runner, if you feel that you are observing the race from the beginning to the end, then there will be no tension, and these forces will not attack you. It is the tension that takes away your power of concentration. So, from the very beginning be spiritually wise. Then throughout the race there will be no self-doubt, no frustration, no mental torture. This is the only way to overcome these forces. This is the only way that you can maintain the highest type of concentration from the beginning to the end.
This is what I do. As a runner I am useless, but right at the beginning I try to become an instrument and make myself feel that somebody else, my Beloved Supreme, is running in and through me. Right at the beginning of the race I offer my gratitude-heart to the Supreme, and at the end, after I finish the race, I also offer my gratitude. If I can offer my soulful gratitude to my Inner Pilot before the race and after the race also, then there can be no frustration, no decline of aspiration. At that time there will be no ascent and descent. The aspiration and power of concentration will remain the same throughout the race.
Question: Is your incredible progress due to athletic or spiritual capacity? 1Sri Chinmoy: First of all, my progress is not incredible. It is absolutely legitimate. The progress that I have made is due to my inner concentration and my outer regularity and discipline.
The following questions were asked by Sri Chinmoy's San Francisco disciples on 8 April 1979.↩
Question: What is the best accomplishment one can make while running?Sri Chinmoy: While running, one can accomplish many things. The first and foremost thing that you should try to achieve is an inner feeling that there is a goal ahead of you and that sooner or later you have to reach that goal.
Question: How soon do you see me running a marathon?Sri Chinmoy: You can run a marathon either in three months or in three years or never. It entirely depends on your sincere necessity.
Question: Why does running make me so happy?Sri Chinmoy: Running makes you happy because you love the inner journey. The inner journey, in itself, is all happiness. When the outer journey reminds you that a higher, deeper, more illumining and more fulfilling goal is ahead of you in the inner world, then naturally you will be happy.
Question: Which is more important: the running experience or actually winning the race?Sri Chinmoy: Always there should be a goal. Having a goal does not mean that you have to try to defeat the world’s top runners such as Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter; far from it. Your goal should be your own progress, and progress itself is the most illumining experience.
Question: Guru, what time of day is best to run?Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the individual runner. Whenever the individual feels most physically fit, most vitally fit, most mentally fit and most psychically fit is the best time for that individual to run.
Question: How is the running movement related to America's soul?Sri Chinmoy: America’s soul cares for speed: fast, faster, fastest. So naturally, if anybody runs speedily towards the goal — whether it is the ultimate Goal or even a partial goal — America’s soul will be satisfied with that individual runner.
Question: How can we prevent training from becoming tedious and boring?Sri Chinmoy: We can prevent training from becoming tedious and boring if we keep in mind that running is nothing short of a newly-blossomed flower which we are placing each day at the Feet of our Beloved Supreme. We have to feel that this newly-blossomed flower is our soul’s daily awakening and daily self-giving reality to our Beloved Supreme. If we can maintain this experience while running, then we will never find running tedious or boring.
Question: How can I become a divine runner filled with gratitude?Sri Chinmoy: Before you run, think of yourself as a divine runner. Before you run, think of yourself as a gratitude-seed which will eventually grow into a tiny plant and, at long last, into a tree. Before you run, think of what you want to achieve or become and meditate on that very thing. If today you meditate on a particular subject or object, then tomorrow you will most assuredly grow into that very reality.
Question: Should we run even when we are extremely tired?Sri Chinmoy: As a rule, when we are extremely tired it is not advisable to run, for it will not help us in any way. At that time, running will be nothing but fatigue and self-destruction, and it will leave in our mind a bitter taste. But sometimes, even when we are not extremely tired, we feel that we are. Our human lethargy is so clever! It acts like a rogue, a perfect rogue, and we get tremendous joy by offering compassion to our body. We make all kinds of justifications for the body’s lethargy, and make ourselves feel that the body deserves rest.
So we have to be sincere to ourselves. If we really feel extremely tired, then we should not run. But we have to make sure that it is not our lethargic mind, our lethargic vital or our lethargic physical consciousness that is making us feel that we are extremely tired. This kind of tricky cleverness we have to conquer.
Question: How does one overcome one's reluctance to run?Sri Chinmoy: We have to practise self-discipline if we want to become an instrument of God. It is by doing something, by becoming something — not necessarily something great or famous — that we can overcome our reluctance. It is through movement — which is progress — and achieving — which is another type of progress — that we can overcome reluctance. In order to overcome reluctance, we have to have a goal; and if we have a goal, then we have to try to reach that goal. Then only can we overcome reluctance and become an instrument of God.
Question: How can running help to remove undivine forces?Sri Chinmoy: While you are running — especially when you are tired — you are much more conscious of your breath intake and outgo; you are more aware of when you are inhaling and when you are exhaling. While running, when you inhale, you can consciously invoke divine energy to energise you. This divine energy energises the willing reality in you and illumines the unlit reality in you so that you can become a perfect instrument of God. When you breathe in the divine energy, automatically it is going to change or transform your undivine forces into divine forces. And then, when you breathe out, you will see that a new eagerness, a new promise will go out from you to the Universal Consciousness. And this new promise is nothing short of your sincere willingness and eagerness to become a good and perfect instrument of the Supreme.
Question: What is a winning attitude?Sri Chinmoy: A winning attitude, from the spiritual point of view, is a self-giving attitude. If we have a sincere self-giving attitude, then we are more than ready to conquer our own ignorance. In ordinary human life we try to win by defeating others. In the spiritual life we try to win by conquering the unaspiring and the undivine in ourselves. The winning attitude is our eagerness to conquer the qualities that are not willing to progress or that are trying to destroy us.
Question: How can we benefit spiritually from training for and running marathons?Sri Chinmoy: The marathon is a long journey. Of course, there is also the ultramarathon, but the marathon has its own unique source, and it will always remain unparalleled among long-distance runs. Just as the marathon is a long journey on the outer plane, so is spirituality a long, longer, longest journey on the inner plane. Your own spiritual run is birthless and deathless; it is endless.
When you run a marathon, you are trying to accomplish on the physical plane something most difficult and most arduous. When you do this, it gives you joy because it reminds you of what you are trying to accomplish on the inner plane. As you are determined to complete the longest journey on the outer plane, the marathon, so are you determined to reach the Goal in your inner journey. So the one journey should always remind you of the other. The outer journey reminds you of your inner journey toward God-realisation, and the inner journey reminds you of your outer journey toward God-manifestation. If this is your attitude, then you will benefit the most.
Question: How can we find our soul's will in running?Sri Chinmoy: If you cry sincerely while running, then you will feel that your soul’s will is being fulfilled in and through your running. Sincere crying means wholehearted self-giving to the running.
[to be continued]
Without a secondI have seen God’s Smiles.
To my sorrow,
They are not as beautiful
As God’s Eyes.
Truth to tell,
His Eyes are infinitely more beautiful
Than His Smiles.
I have devoured God’s Eyes.
To my sorrow,
They are not as delicious,
And as fulfilling As God’s Heart.
His Heart was,
And will always remain
Without a second.
God has and you areGod has a Golden Boat,
And you are that Boat.
God has a Golden Shore,
And your satisfaction-smile is that Shore.
This is the dayThis is the day
When I shall think
More of myself
Than of my enemies.
This is the day
When I shall think
More of my friends
Than of myself.
This is the day
When I shall think
Only of God,
Only for God,
Only in God.
God gave youPower you wanted.
God gave you.
Love you wanted.
God gave you.
A few things more you want
God will undoubtedly give you
At His choice Hour.
What God wantsWhat I want from my life
What God wants from my life
Is a regularly soulful availability.
FearFear of God’s Tears
Is amazingly constructive.
Fear of ignorance-night
Is sleeplessly destructive.
A gift from aboveTransformation is not received,
It is achieved.
Satisfaction is not an achievement,
It is a gift from above For you,
For you alone.
An iota of gratitudeThe seeker’s offering
Of an iota of gratitude to God
Is as beautiful as a rose
Held by God in His own Hand.
You never needed itI heard Your blessingful Voice,
When I least expected it.
You accepted my empty sound-worship,
Although You never needed it.
I love you, I need youI pray to You,
Although I do not know
How to pray.
I love You,
I need You,
And I also know
How to love You and need You.
Tumi avatar kripa ajanar
Dhara adharar setu anibar
Tumi avatar gati sabakar
O Avatar of the era,
O Compassion of the unknowable,
You are the bridge between Heaven and earth,
Sleepless and endless.
You are at once the journey’s speed
And the journey’s goal
Of all human souls.
Aspiration leads me gratitude gives me
Aspiration leads me to my Father dear.
Gratitude gives me His boundless sphere.
Aspiration is purity-light.
Gratitude is beauty-delight.