AUM — Vol. 2, No. 4,5, Nov. — 27 Dec. 1966
AUMMan is Infinity's Heart.
Man is Eternity's Breath.
Man is Immortality's Life.
VII. Has your soul a special mission?1Your soul has a special mission. Your soul is supremely conscious of it.
Maya (Illusion or Forgetfulness) makes you feel that you are finite, weak and helpless. This is not true. You are not the body. You are not the senses. You are not the mind. These are all limited. You are the soul, which defies all time and space. Your soul is infinitely powerful. Your soul is infinite in every way.
Now, can you ever realise your soul? That means, can you be fully conscious of your soul, and be one with it? Certainly, you can. In fact, you are nothing other than the soul. It is your soul that represents the natural state of consciousness. Hence to realise the soul is not impossible. But doubt makes it difficult. Doubt is the fruitless struggle of man in the outer world. Aspiration is the fruitful confidence of the aspirant in the inner world. Doubt struggles and struggles. Finally it defeats its own purpose. Aspiration flies upward to the highest. It reaches the Goal at its journey's end. Doubt is based on outer observation. Aspiration is founded on inner experience. Doubt ends in failure because it lives in the finite physical mind. Aspiration ends in success because it lives in the ever-climbing soul. A life of aspiration is a life of peace. A life of aspiration is a life of bliss. A life of aspiration is a life of divine fulfilment.
To know what your special mission is, you shall have to go deep within. Hope and courage must accompany you in your tireless journey. Hope will awaken your inner divinity; courage will make your inner divinity flower. Hope will inspire you to dream into the Transcendental; courage will inspire you to manifest the Transcendental here on earth.
To feel what your special mission is, you have always to create. And this creation of yours is something which you ultimately become. Finally, you come to realise that your creation is nothing other than your self-revelation.
True, as many as there are souls, so many are there missions. But all missions fulfil themselves only after the souls have achieved some degree of perfection. The world is a divine play. Success depends on each participant. The role of the servant is as important as that of the master. In the perfection of each individual part is the collective fulfilment. And at the same time, the individual fulfilment is perfect only when the individual has realised and established his inseparable connections and relations with all human beings of the world.
You are one from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. Yet at one place you are called ears, at another place you are called eyes. Each place in your body has a name of its own. Strangely enough, although they all belong to the same body, one cannot perform the action of another. Eyes see, but they cannot hear. Ears hear, but they cannot see. So, the body being one, yet it is many. Similarly, although God is one, He is manifesting Himself through many forms.
And God will tell us our mission. But we do not understand God's language, so He has to be His own interpreter. When others tell us about God, they can never tell us fully what God is. They misrepresent, and we misunderstand. God speaks in silence. Also He interprets His message in silence. Let us also hear and understand God in silence.
Has your soul a special mission? Yes. Your mission is in the inmost recesses of your heart and you shall have to find and fulfil it there. There can be no external source for the fulfilment of your mission. The deer grows musk in his own body, in a certain part of his stomach. He smells it and becomes enchanted. He tries to locate its source. He runs and runs. He cannot find the source. In his endless search, he loses all his energy and finally one day he dies. But the source for which he was so desperately searching, was within himself. How could he get it elsewhere?
Such is the case with you. Your special mission — which is the fulfilment of your divinity — is not outside of you, but within you.
20 May 1966. In this issue, we are completing the last two of the eight talks given by Sri Chinmoy in the spring of 1966. The following talk, the seventh of the Spring series on Yoga, was held at the home of Mrs. Ruth Moseley, 706 Riverside Drive, New York City.↩
VIII. How far are we from realisation?2Avidyaya Mrityum Tirtha, Vidyaya Amritam Snute: "By Ignorance we cross through Death, by knowledge we achieve Immortality." This is indeed a major realisation.
Realisation means the knowledge of God. Realisation means the revelation of God in a human body. Realisation means man is God himself.
Unfortunately man is not alone. He has desire and desire has tremendous power. Nevertheless, it fails to give man lasting joy and peace. Desire is finite. Desire is blind. It tries to bind man, who is already boundless by birthright. God's Grace, which acts through man for His full manifestation, is Infinite.
Realisation springs from self-conquest. It grows in its oneness with God. It fulfils itself in embracing the finite and the Infinite.
We are seekers of the Supreme. What we need is absolute realisation. With a little realisation we can, at most, act like a cat, half-dead. With absolute realisation we shall be able to threaten Ignorance like a roaring lion.
The moment I say "my body", I separate myself from the body. This body undergoes babyhood childhood, adolescence, maturity and old age. But the "I am" who is the real "I", remains changeless always. When I say that I have grown fat or thin, it is the body that has grown fat or thin, and not the inner "I am", which is eternal and immortal.
Realisation says that there are no such things as bondage and freedom, which we so often declare in our day-to-day lives. What actually exists is consciousness — consciousness on various levels and consciousness enjoying itself in its varied manifestation. So long as we think that we are living in the bondage of ignorance, we are at liberty to feel that we can dwell in freedom as well if we want to. If bondage makes us feel that the world is a field of suffering, then freedom can undoubtedly make us feel that the world is nothing but the blissful Consciousness of the Brahman. Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma: “All that is extended is Brahman.”
In order to realise what realisation is, one has first to love one's inner self. The second step is to love the realisation itself. This is the love that awakens the soul. This is the love that illumines our consciousness. Love, and you will be loved. Realise, and you will be fulfilled.
Realisation is our inner lamp. If we keep the lamp burning, it will transmit to the world at large its radiant glow. We all, with no exception, have the power to self-realisation, or in other words, God-realisation. To disbelieve this truth is to be consciously ignorant of our divine heritage. To disbelieve this truth is to deceive ourselves mercilessly.
We realise the Truth not only when joy fills our minds, but when sorrow clouds our hearts, when death welcomes us into its tenebrous breast, when Immortality places our existence in Transformation's lap.
How far are we from realisation? We can know it by the degree of our surrender to God's Will. There is no other way to know it. Also we must know that every single day dawns with a new realisation. Life is a constant realisation to him whose inner eye is open.
Why do we want to realise God? We want to realise God because we consciously have made ourselves avenues through which the fruits of God-realisation can flow. Realisation is a divine lubricant. Our very body is a divine machine. Hence it needs oiling. Realisation does this most effectively.
Realisation can be achieved by God's Grace, the Guru's Grace and the seeker's aspiration. God's Grace is rain. The Guru's Grace is the seed. The seeker's aspiration is the act of cultivation. Lo, the bumper crop of realisation!
27 May 1966. The final talk of the Spring series on Yoga was held at the home of Miss Elma Winter, 139 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn Heights, New York.][fn:: Sri Chinmoy and the Editor of Aum wish to express their deepest gratitude to Mr. Eric Hughes, who with his loving heart and genuine concern, edited these eight talks of the Spring series of Yoga and made many valuable suggestions.↩
What is spirituality?3Spirituality is the universality of Truth, Light and Bliss. Spirituality is the conscious necessity of God. Spirituality is the constant opportunity to realise and prove that we all can be as great as God.
God is Delight. Delight is the breath of the soul. God does not want us to see the face of sorrow. God will give us infinitude, the moment we are ready to offer Him just one flash of our soul's delight.
Sorrowful is the world. We are responsible for it. Our self-interest and self-importance are fully responsible for it. The individual consciousness must expand. Man needs inspiration. Man needs action. Spirituality needs man. Spirituality needs an absolute Fulfilment. Spirituality has the inner eye that links every condition of life with inner certitude.
Man can make and unmake his outer conditions by his spiritual thoughts. To him alone God is a living Reality, who carries Him in his thought and action.
Spirituality has a secret key to open the Door of the Divine. This key is meditation. Meditation simplifies our outer life and energises our inner life. Meditation gives us a natural and spontaneous life. This life becomes so natural and spontaneous that we cannot breathe without the consciousness of our divinity.
Meditation is a divine gift. It is the direct approach. It leads the aspirant to the One from whom he has descended. Meditation tells him that his human life is a secret and sacred thing, and it also affirms his divine heritage. Meditation gives him a new eye to see God, a new ear to hear the voice of God, and a new heart to feel the Presence of God.
The spiritual life is not a bed of roses. Neither is it a bed of thorns. It is a bed of reality and inevitability. In my spiritual life, I see the role of the Devil and the role of my Lord. If the Devil has temptation, my Lord has Guidance. If the Devil has opposition, my Lord has Help. If the Devil has punishment, my Lord has Love. If the Devil takes me to Hell, my Lord takes me to Heaven. If the Devil has Death for me, my Lord has Immortality for me.
Out of the fullness of your heart, and with tears flooding your eyes, you must pray to God. You must pitch your aim as high as God-realisation, for that is the sole aim of your earthly existence. Sri Ramakrishna says: "He is born to no purpose, who, having the rare privilege of being born a man, is unable to realise God in this life."
Science has achieved marvels. Nevertheless, its range of vision is limited in the purest sense of the term. There are worlds beyond the senses; there are hidden mysteries. Science has no access to these worlds; science can never solve these mysteries. But a spiritual figure with his inner vision can easily enter into these worlds and fathom these mysteries. Again, forget not that a spiritual figure is a real idealist who does not build castles in the air, but who has his feet firmly planted on the ground.
Spirituality is not merely tolerance. It is not even acceptance. It is the feeling of a universal oneness. In our spiritual life, we look upon the Divine, not only in terms of our own God, but in terms of everybody else's God. Our spiritual life firmly and securely establishes the basis of unity in diversity.
Spirituality is not hospitality to the other's faith in God. It is the absolute recognition of the other's faith in God as one's own. Difficult, but not impossible, for this has been the experience and practice of all spiritual masters of all times.
"Truth" has been the problem of problems in every age. Truth lives in experience. Truth, in its outer aspect, is sincerity, truthfulness and integrity; and in its inner and spiritual aspect, is the vision of God, the realisation of God, and the manifestation of God. That which eternally breathes is Truth. Soul-stirring is the cry of our Upanishadic seers: Satyam eva jayate nanritam: "Truth alone triumphs and not untruth." Blessed is India to have this as her motto, her life-breath, her far-flung message of universal Divinity.
Spirituality is not to be found in the book. You may even squeeze the book but you will get no spirituality. If anybody wants to be spiritual, he has to grow from within. Thoughts and ideas precede the book. Mind arouses thoughts and ideas from their slumber. Spirituality awakens the mind. A spiritual man is he who listens to the dictates of his soul, and whom fear cannot torture. The opinions of the world are too weak to torment his mind and heart. This truth he knows, he feels and embodies.
Finally, I have an open secret to those who want to launch into the spiritual life. That open secret is: You can change your life. You need not wait for years for this change, not even months.
Try to live the life of spiritual discipline for a day — a single day!
This talk was given in San Juan, Puerto Rico on 18 July 1966 during Sri Chinmoy's nine-day visit to that country. The lecture was held at the invitation of "Aquarius: Universal Brotherhood Society"↩
Questions and answersThese questions were asked on 20 August 1966, at the second class of the Summer series on Yoga, held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Gant, 467 Central Park West, New York City.
Question IQuestion: Sri Chinmoy, there is a story about a Brahmin, who, having heard about the Buddha's intended visit to a village, waited for the arrival of the Buddha from afar, carrying with him two bouquets of flowers. And the Buddha, in his divine wisdom, read what was in his heart; so while he was yet afar off, the Buddha shouted to the man, "Drop it!" and the Brahmin dropped the bouquet from his right hand. Still the Buddha shouted, "Drop it!" and the man dropped the bouquet from his left hand. But the Buddha again called, "Drop it!" and the Brahmin said, "What is there to drop?" And the Buddha said, "The ego."
This story tells that in order to achieve the state of Pure Delight, one must drop the ego. What exactly is the ego?
Sri Chinmoy: The ego is that very thing which limits us in every sphere of life. The ego always makes us feel that we are anything but divine. We are God's children, we are one with God, but the ego makes us feel that we do not belong to God, that we are perfect strangers to God. At best, it makes us feel that we are going to God, not that we are in God.
The ordinary human ego gives us the sense of separate identity, separate consciousness. No doubt, the sense of individuality, of self-importance, is necessary at a certain stage in man's development. But the ego separates our individual consciousness from the universal consciousness. The very function of the ego is separation. It cannot feel satisfaction in viewing two things at a time, on the same level. It always feels that one must be superior and the other inferior. So ego makes us feel that we are all separate weaklings, that it will never be possible for us to be or to have the Infinite Consciousness. Ego, finally, is limitation. And this limitation is ignorance and ignorance is death. So ego ultimately ends in death.
Question: How was the ego born? How did it come into being?Sri Chinmoy: The ego came into existence from limitation. The moment the soul enters into the physical consciousness or the physical world, it comes down into a strange, foreign world. In spite of being a flame of the Divine and, in essence, omnipotent, the soul in the beginning finds it very difficult to cope with the world. And most of the time it has to endure unpleasant experiences just in order to remain in the physical world and finally establish the Divine here on earth.
The ego, day by day, gets the opportunity to function independently and it gets stronger day by day and separates itself completely from the source of its absolute, divine fulfilment, the soul. The ego wants to crush and starve the divine in man, and the ignorance of the physical world feeds that limitation which is ego. The Divine, too, initially feeds the ego, but eventually illumines and transforms it into a perfect instrument of the Supreme.
Question: How do we weaken the ego and ultimately subdue it?Sri Chinmoy: By thinking of God's all-pervading consciousness. This consciousness is not something that we have to achieve. This consciousness is already within us and we have just to be aware of it. Further, while we are in meditation we have to develop it and illumine it infinitely. In the meantime, to our wide surprise, the ego will be buried in the bosom of death.
Question II: How can one move ultimately toward success, believing that "As thy feet bend, so bends the path?" Is that really possible?Sri Chinmoy: It is quite possible. We think we must have a plan first and then we can achieve success in the future, that we are progressing and we are going to fulfil our plan. But in God's case, it is not like that. God sees the past, the present and the future at a glance. So an aspirant; by constant aspiration, identifies himself with God's consciousness. Whatever he does, he does it spontaneously. It becomes an act of intuition.
Now we are labouring with our minds. The mind says, "I have to achieve something. I have to think about how I can execute the plan." This is how the mind acts. But when you are one with God, you do not utilise the mind. You always act from your own inner consciousness, with an intuitive faculty. And. when we develop that intuitive faculty, we can easily act without having a plan.
At each moment, the possibility of the total manifestation that is going to take place will come right in front of you and materialise. Now you are thinking that within, let us say, ten or twenty days, some possibility may materialise concerning your hopes and aspirations. But when you are one with God's Consciousness, it is more than a possibility. It is an inevitability, an immediate achievement. The vision and the fulfilment go together. In the ordinary human consciousness, the vision is something and the fulfilment is something else. But when you are one with God's consciousness, the vision and the fulfilment are inseparable.
Question: About the vision and its fulfilment, how do you know that you are having the right "vision"?
Sri Chinmoy: You can easily know it. Are you referring to yourself or someone else? If it is yourself, I can tell you easily. I know that in your meditation, there are times when you go very deep, and your inner voice tells you, on the spur of the moment, that something has already been done. The mind does not come and impose its ideas on that voice, saying, "If you do this, perhaps it will be a mistake; don't do that, what will happen in the future; if I do it… and if I don't do it… etc." The mind does not come in. You can rest assured that when you get this vision in your deep meditation, it is correct and it will spontaneously bring in the fulfilment.
Question III: Guru Chinmoy, you were speaking about the vision without the mind. Is this what is known as Intuition? Or is Intuition something else?Sri Chinmoy: You may call it either Intuition or The Direct Perception of Truth, which needs no mental help.
It is thoughtless. There is no form, no thought. It is direct and spontaneous. It comes and makes you feel what it is. Normally, you see something and then you give it a mental form, saying "This is what it is." But Intuition comes and makes you feel its true existence at once. Intuition houses the depth of vision and the wealth of realisation all at once.
Hinduism: its spiritual significance5The ideal of Hinduism is to see all in the Self and the Self in all. A Hindu believes that each individual is a conscious manifestation of God. The spirit of selfless service is his supreme secret. A Hindu unmistakably feels that God is manifesting and perfecting Himself through each human being. Each individual soul represents a type of divinity projected by the Supreme. Each human being has a mission to fulfil on earth, and he does it at God's choice hour.
The breath of Hinduism is spirituality. Whatever a Hindu does, he does as a means to this end. It is true, as with any other individual, that he wants to accomplish all that he can here on earth. But the important thing is that he does not and cannot do anything at the cost of his spiritual life. To him, the spiritual life is the only life that will eventually garland him with the victory of perfect perfection.
In the spiritual life, people very often use the word 'sin'. Here I must say that a Hindu has nothing to do with sin. He takes into consideration only two things, namely, ignorance and light. With his Soul's light, he wants to swim across the sea of ignorance and also wants to transform the lower self into the higher Self.
Tena tyaktena bhunjita: "Enjoy through renunciation." This is the life-giving message of the Hindu seers. What is to be renounced is the train of our desires and nothing more and nothing less. In renouncing all our earth-bound desires, we can have the taste of true divine fulfilment.
I have already told you that the breath of Hinduism is spirituality. In the spiritual life, the control of the senses plays a great part. Since such is the case, let us try to have a clear conception of the senses. A devout Hindu feels that his senses are not meant for mortification. Senses are his instruments. Their assistance is indispensable. The senses should and must function divinely in full vigour, for the divine purpose of an all-fulfilling, integral wholeness. Then alone can true divinity dawn in human life. Self-indulgence ends in utter frustration. Poor man, he is so lavish in using and exhausting the pleasures of the body which is composed of five elements. Certainly he is not so lavish in his life in anything else as he is with his self-indulgence. Alas, to his utter surprise, before the exhaustion of the pleasure of the body, his very life exhausts itself into futile nothingness. It is high time for the brute in man to give place to the divine in him. Brutality does not conquer. It kills.
Spirituality is the all-embracing love. This love conquers man to make him conscious of this true, inner divinity, so that he can fulfil himself and can become a perfect channel to God's manifestation. This love, or the bond of love, one can create within oneself in order to bind or unite oneself with other individuals, other nationals, other internationals. This is what a devout Hindu feels.
No movement, no progress. But movement needs guidance. Guidance is knowledge. But man has to know that mental knowledge can only help man to a certain extent. With its help, he can go nowhere near the Goal. It is the knowledge of the soul that grants man his God-realisation.
The vision of Hinduism is unity in diversity. Firstly, it lovingly embraces all alien elements; secondly it tries to assimilate them; thirdly, it tries to expand itself as a whole, with a view to serving humanity and nature. Indeed, this is the sign of its life's meaningful, dynamic aspiration.
This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy on 23 October 1966 at the invitation of the Adult Class on Comparative Religion, Chaim Weizmann Chapter of Hadassah, West Hempstead, Long Island, New York.↩
Silence liberates(A short story)
There lived a pious man in Bengal, India. Every day a Sanskrit scholar would come to his house and read aloud a few soul-stirring spiritual teachings from the Gita, the Upanishads and the Vedas. The master of the house was an aspirant. He would listen most devotedly to these discourses.
The family had a bird. 'Krishna' was kept in a cage in the room where the discourses were given. So it also listened to these talks.
One day the bird spoke to its master: "Could you please tell me what benefit you actually derive from these spiritual talks?"
The master answered: "O Krishna, you don't seem to understand that these spiritual talks will liberate me, free me from bondage!"
But the bird said: "You have been listening to these discourses for the last few years, but I don't see any change in you. Would you kindly ask your teacher what will actually happen to you?"
On the following day the master of the house said to his teacher, "Guru, I have been listening to your spiritual talks for the last ten years. Is it not true that I will get liberation and freedom?"
The teacher kept quiet. He scratched his head, pondered over the question, but found no reply. He just remained unhappily silent for about an hour and then left the house.
The master of the house was stunned. His Guru could not give an answer to the bird's question. But the bird found the answer. The Answer.
From that day on, Krishna stopped eating. It stopped even its usual chirping. It became absolutely silent. The master and his family would place food inside the cage every day, but the bird would not touch anything.
One day the master looked at the bird, and seeing no sign of life in it, took it gently out of the cage. With a tearful heart, he placed his Krishna on the floor. In a twinkling, the bird flew away into the infinite freedom of the sky!
The bird taught. Its master and his Guru learned.
Visit of Sudha to New York City9-13 December 1966
Sudha (Miss Carmen M. Suro), the President of the Aum Centre, Inc., Santurce, Puerto Rico, visited New York City at the invitation of Sri Chinmoy and stayed in the new quarters of the Aum Centre, New York City, 504 East 84th Street.
She was the guest of honour at the Guru's spiritual talk on Sunday, 11 December 1966, where the following message of welcome was read out to her:
She is not only the President of our Centre in Puerto Rico, but she is everything there. She is the living and creative force of the Centre. Her life is made of two qualities: Devotion and Dedication. Through her eyes her Gurudev sees. Through her heart her Gurudev feels. Through her soul her Gurudev illumines the Aum Centre of Puerto Rico."
Sri Chinmoy announces that he will spend eighteen days from 11 to 29 January 1967 at his Aum Centre in Puerto Rico.
Editor's introduction"AUM" is a sacred Sanskrit mystic syllable
which prefaces all Hindu prayers.
The first issue of the journal AUM (Vol. 1, No. 1)
deals with its full spiritual significance.
Chinmoy Kumar Ghose 1966
AUM is a monthly journal devoted exclusively to the spiritual writings of Chinmoy Kumar Ghose. It will deal with the spiritual life and its problems from the point of view of Indian philosophy and yoga.
AUM is intended to help aspirants of the West in their search for a true inner life by acquainting them with the realisations of a seeker of the Supreme.