AUM — Vol. 3, No.11,12, June — 27 July 1968

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

Work and service1

Why do we work? We work to support ourselves, to support our dear ones. We may also work to keep our bodies in perfect condition. But a true aspirant looks upon work differently. He sees work as a veritable blessing. To him, each difficult and apparently painful work is a blessing in disguise. To him, work is nothing short of a dedicated service. He has discovered the truth that by offering the results of what he says, does and thinks, he will be able to realise God. He works for the sake of God. He lives for the sake of God. He realises Divinity for the sake of God.

Now what about fate? Fate is our building. We built it. We had the power to build it; we have the power to demolish it. Now whether to demolish the building or to set up a new one or to transform the present one is of paramount importance. To do any of the three, we shall have to work physically, vitally, mentally, psychically and spiritually. Not for no purpose has God so graciously granted us the body, the vital, mind, heart and soul.

We are afraid of fate. Strangely enough, fate itself becomes horror struck at the very sight of our inner Will, our soul-power. The power of destiny can lord it over us only as long as we are fully engrossed in the physical world. But once we truly enter into the inner, spiritual life, destiny has to surrender to God's omnipotent Grace and it unreservedly does so.

Our human birth is a work. So also are our earthly life and our physical death. My day dawns when my inner consciousness declares my birth. During the whole day it celebrates my life. And at night, when I retire, my consciousness pronounces my death, my spiritual rest. This is the cosmic law. It is something quite natural. How can there be any fear when birth, life and death are our natural work?

Each human being must find his own work, the work that helps him grow in his soul. Nothing can be more encouraging, inspiring and fulfilling than to discover one’s true inner work which is the work of Self-Realisation. Carlyle touched a deep truth when he said, "Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness."

Each soul is a chosen instrument of God. Each soul has a particular mission here on earth. Each person has to realise and fulfil himself, not in his own way, but in God's way. God, out of His infinite Love and by virtue of His self-imposed divine Duty, gives to each aspirant what he needs and at the same time, God does not expect an iota more than the aspirant can offer. It was a great human voice who said, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."

It is not what we do, but why we do it and more so, how we do it. We pray. Others also do the same. Why do we pray? We pray to realise God. Others may pray to fulfil their countless desires; so we can easily see the difference between their prayer and our prayer. Now the most important thing, as we have already mentioned, is how we pray. We pray with a heartful devotion and dedication, while others pray with their unlit and demanding vital. Further, at times they will not hesitate to adopt unfair means to fulfil their wild desires by hook or by crook. We cannot do that. We just cannot think of it. We pray to God for our Self-Realisation. Even if He refuses to grant it, which He will not, we shall continue praying, for we know that He is All-Love, All-Compassion. He will fulfil our aspiration at His choice hour.

There is a common complaint which is voiced by all human beings irrespective of age, caste and creed. What is it? "I have no time." With a poetic sigh, they tell the world, "So much to do, so little is done." Here time is acting as our worst foe. Time is able to cause worry, fear and frustration in us because we are working through our ego and for the ego. There is always a constant battle between our ego's injudicious intensity and time's inscrutable and merciless flow.

But if we work with our soul and for the soul, then time not only helps us, but at each moment, it appears before us as an opportunity, a golden opportunity. For our soul knows unmistakably how to throw itself and us into the cosmic rhythm of the Infinite Time.

True, each human being is a chosen instrument of God to do a particular work, to fulfil a divine mission here on earth. But nobody should imagine, even in his wildest dream, that he is indispensable. God gives us an unparalleled opportunity in each distinct work to enter into His Heart's absolute Infinitude. If we do not avail ourselves of this constant opportunity, God, the Compassionate Father, cannot help saying, "Sleep, my children, sleep. You are the children of my Eternal Patience. I wanted you to be in my All-Transforming Light. Since you do not want that, I shall have to be in your Eyeless Night."

  1. AUM 309. This talk was given at the Aum Centre, Inc. 504 East 84th Street, New York, N.Y. on 26 May 1968.

Blossoms of the heart —- I prayed

I prayed to God for Power. He said, "Take it and use it." I prayed to God for Light. He said. "Take it and spread it." I prayed to God for Peace. He said, "Take it and unveil your divinity." I prayed to God for Bliss. He said, "Take it and stay in your Source." I prayed to God for Love. He said, "Take Me; I am yours."

My liberator and my transformer

To know the Truth, I shall have to be conscious of the Supreme. To possess the Truth, I shall have to stay with the Supreme. To become the Truth, I shall have to breathe in the Breath of the Supreme.

How can I serve the Supreme? By practicing His Thought. How can I reveal the Supreme? By practicing His Will. How can I fulfil the Supreme? By practicing His Truth.

My soul's aspiration cries for my Supreme, the Liberator. My life's breath cries for my Supreme, the Transformer.

I have loved

I have loved humanity. Humanity says, "No longer are you a stranger to me."

I have loved Infinity, Infinity says, "No longer are you caught by space."

I have loved Eternity. Eternity says, "No longer will you be caught by time."

I have loved Immortality. Immortality says, "No longer will death be able to bind you."

At long last I have loved God. God says, "My child, from now on, you have bound Me in your divine embrace. You have bound Immortality, Infinity, Eternity and Humanity."

Sri Chinmoy was interviewed on radio station WHOA — Part II —- San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 10 December 1967

From 9:30 to 10:30 A.M. Interviewers: Mr. Jim Knight and Mr. George Riddell

Mr. George Riddell Does anyone else have a question? Mr. Casanova!

Question: It seems that modern man has made quite a mess of the world with constant wars, riots, rebellions, strikes, delinquency, traffic accidents, etc. All ordinary corrective methods seem to be a total failure. Do you think, Master Chinmoy, that this is a natural order of things or is there any way for modern man to live in peace and have universal love and order?

Sri Chinmoy: You are right. We have made a mess of the world. Now, from the spiritual standpoint, this is not the natural order of things. Far from it. The most natural thing in our human existence should be the life of peace, universal love obeying faithfully a universal law and order. Now your question is, "How can man do that?" Man can do that by thinking God's thoughts and by living God's Truth. Impossible it might seem today, but tomorrow it will be not only possible, but inevitable. United, let us raise our consciousness into that Golden Tomorrow.

Mr. George Riddell: In Yoga, do you have a Scripture, as we have the Bible?

Sri Chinmoy: We have many scriptures in India. Among these are the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Gita. Just as your Bible is a collection of writings and not one particular piece of writing, so are our scriptures a collection of religious and spiritual books. The most loved and revered scripture of India is a book that I have mentioned, the Bhagavad-Gita. This book, by the way, is often called the Bible of India.

Mr. George Riddell: The Gita is also used in Islam?

Sri Chinmoy: They have their Koran. The Koran is a sacred book as we have the Gita and you have the Bible.

Mr. Jim Knight: One of the great, perhaps the greatest Indian political leader of all time was the Mahatma Gandhi. How did he relate to Yoga?

Sri Chinmoy: Mahatma Gandhi… what was his position?

Mr. Jim Knight: What was his position in relation to Yoga?

Sri Chinmoy: "Mahatma" means "Great Soul" and so he was. But from the strictly spiritual point of view, Mahatma Gandhi was not a yogi. He was a patriot, political leader, martyr. But he was not a self-realised soul like Ramakrishna, the Buddha and others. You can say he was a religious saint. Self-Realisation he did not have, but he had boundless love for humanity and his interpretation of God is unique. He said, "Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of Truth we have not known." For him, religion was nothing but Truth. He lived the life of a saint. God gave him boundless love and compassion. This was Mahatma Gandhi. But when the question of Self-Realisation, self-discovery comes in, he cannot be placed on the same footing as the Christ, Ramakrishna, Buddha and so on.

Question: Sri Chinmoy, the question in my mind is: why do we need a teacher or guru? Or is it important to have a teacher to follow the spiritual path?

Sri Chinmoy: In this world we cannot do anything without the help of a teacher. The teacher may be necessary for a second or for a year or for many years. If I want to learn music, at the beginning I have to go to a musician. If I want to learn how to dance, I have to go to a dancer. If I want to learn about the sciences, I have to go to a scientist. In order to learn anything in this world, we need a teacher at the beginning. Then how is it that we do not need a teacher to help us in our inner, spiritual life?

A soul enters into a human frame, a human body, and then the human being grows and completes his first year of existence, his second year, third year and so on. What has the mother done during these years? The mother or the parents? They have taught him how to speak, how to eat, how to dress, how to behave. He learns everything from his parents. Without their guidance, he would grow up a human animal, an abnormal being. The parents played their part in the formative years of the child.

Similarly, in the spiritual life the necessity of a teacher is inevitable because the spiritual teacher has to teach the student how to pray, how to meditate, how to concentrate. Then, when the student learns and he goes deep within, he can do all this by himself.

Right now I am here in Puerto Rico. I know that New York exists and that I have to go back to New York. What do I need to get me there? An airplane and a pilot. So in spite of the fact that I know that New York exists, I cannot get there alone. I need help. Similarly, we all know that God exists. You want to reach God, but someone has to help you, carry you. As the plane takes me, carries me to New York, someone has to carry you to the Consciousness of God which is deep within you. Someone has to show the path in order to enable you to enter into your own divinity, which is God. So this is the answer — that at the beginning, we need a teacher.

Question: Master Chinmoy, what do you mean by "concentration"?

Sri Chinmoy: Concentration is the open secret of focusing all one's attention on a particular object or person in order to enter into and have one's identification with that object or person. The final stage of concentration is to discover and reveal the hidden ultimate truth in the object of concentration. What concentration can do in our day-to-day life is unimaginable. It most easily separates our heart's Heaven from our mind's Hell so that we can live in the constant delight and joy of Heaven and not in the perpetual worries, anxieties and tortures of Hell while we are here on earth.

Mr. Jim Knight: I have another question deviating just a little bit from what we have been talking about. Most of us in the western world who are ignorant of Yoga have a tendency to think of a Yogi as someone, let us say, sitting with his legs crossed, or someone standing on his head, someone doing particular exercises or things that seem strange to us. How or why does a Yogi perform these feats? How does it relate to his religion?

Sri Chinmoy: Some people take these exercises to keep the body fit, freed from physical ailments and so forth; while others take them in order to get realisation. But realisation can never be had by merely doing Hatha Yoga exercises. What these exercises actually do is to help the seeker enter into the true spiritual life.

In the beginning a child, when he reads, he reads aloud in order to convince his parents that he is reading. But a grown-up person does not do that. He reads silently. Right now most of us are physically very restless, no better than a monkey. We cannot stay more than a second without getting restless. But there are aspirants who just sit and make their minds calm and quiet and then they enter into the deeper regions of the being. It is these physical exercises and postures, when we do them, which relax our body and give us peace of mind for a short period of time. But these exercises will never give us realisation… never! These are the preliminary stages. We say in our true spiritual system that the beginners in Hatha Yoga are like kindergarten students. And one can easily skip kindergarten. But we have to go from kindergarten to grammar school, high school, college and then to university. Concentration, meditation and contemplation are taught in the higher courses. Otherwise just by taking these physical exercises and making the body strong, the athletes, the boxers, the wrestlers would all have realised God by this time. All the sportsmen would be God-realised souls!

I must emphasize the fact that Hatha Yoga exercises are far superior to the western system of exercises which are often done abruptly, vigorously and, to some extent, violently. The Hatha Yogic exercises are done calmly, quietly, in a meditative mood. They strengthen the nerves and calm the mind, unlike most of the western exercises.

The body is necessary. We must have a sound and solid body so that the soul can act in and through the body in the field of manifestation. But if we expect something more from the body, then we are being foolish.

Mr. George Riddell: Are you a vegetarian?

Sri Chinmoy: I am a strict vegetarian. Sorry, I take eggs, so I cannot say that I am a strict vegetarian. But I take no meat or fish. I stopped eating meat and fish when I was twelve years old, the age that I entered seriously into the spiritual life.

Mr. George Riddell: Are you married?

Sri Chinmoy: No, I am not married.

Mr. George Riddell: Do you practice celibacy?

Sri Chinmoy: Of course. Without celibacy, there can be no true spiritual life, not to speak of God-realisation.

Mr. George Riddell: We have one question from our radio audience. Someone has called in with a question. Her question is: "What do you think of the communication between the living and the dead? Do you think there is a communication?"

Sri Chinmoy: There is a way to communicate with the dead. As a matter of fact, there are various ways. If one has occult powers or spiritual powers, one can easily communicate with anybody living or departed. What we call "death" is not the extinction of consciousness. It is only a transition. Today I am here; tomorrow I will be in New York. Similarly, now I am here on this earth; after some years, I will be somewhere else in one of the other worlds. On the strength of our Self-Realisation, we can enter into the soul of a person who is either here or elsewhere; either in heaven or in hell.

On earth we can make either a short-distance call or a long-distance call to any part of the world. The telephone is the medium. Similarly, our conscious oneness with God or, we can say, our Self-Realisation, enables us to commune with anybody, whether here on earth or there in heaven.

Mr. George Riddell: In your answer you have mentioned something that has disturbed my mind. You said something about "heaven and hell." How does Yoga relate to heaven and hell?

Sri Chinmoy: Heaven and hell are two planes of consciousness. With our human mind we feel that heaven is elsewhere and that it is full of joy; whereas hell, we feel, is full of torture. This is not the case. Heaven and hell are two planes of consciousness into which we daily enter. When we do good things, we are in joy, we are in heaven. When we do wrong things, we are in hell. Each moment we are experiencing heaven and hell. Heaven is right here, deep inside us. It is up to us whether to live in our inner heaven or in our outer hell.

Question: Some persons are disturbed by the problems surrounding them. They think they can find an escape in suicide. Do you think this is a door that we can open at our sweet will to escape from responsibility and suffering?

Sri Chinmoy: I have been hearing for the past few years, from many people, this very idea of committing suicide. Suicide is by no means an escape. There is no escape, there can be no escape. We can escape from this room but we'll be caught in another room. We think that we can escape from this world by killing ourselves. Unfortunately, this is not the only world. There are other worlds as well. In this world I will take my life, but in another world I will have to continue my existence. Nay, I will be caught. God's Consciousness is all-pervading and He will be able to catch me, the thief.

To come back to your question, suicide can never be an escape. Why do people commit suicide? They commit suicide because they feel that they are miserable, frustrated; others do not understand them. They feel that by committing suicide, they will be freed from countless responsibilities, inner turmoil and pain. Or they feel that they will be mercilessly punished for their wrong actions and prefer to take their life first. So they need an escape. Now who escapes? Not a divine hero. A hero fights; a thief escapes. A coward escapes. But not he who is on the right path. If I am on the right path, I will not try to escape. He who wants to commit suicide is a coward. He does not face the world. First of all you have to face the world, live in the world in order to establish your divine qualities on earth. We have to accept. If we do not accept the world, what are we going to face? When we face the world, if there is anything wrong with the world, we can rectify it. So those who are committing suicide are committing the worst possible mistake. To be sure, there is no escape for them either in this world or in any other world. They are not only killing themselves, but are also killing the fruitful possibilities of their future incarnations.

Mr. George Riddell: There are many people in the United States who claim that with the use of certain drugs they are able to get closer to God. Of course the Chinese have been using opium for centuries and centuries. How do you feel about using stimulants, drugs, etc. to stimulate the mind in order to get closer to God?

Sri Chinmoy: Let me start out by saying that there are two ways of approaching the Truth. One way is that by meditation, prayer and concentration, we know the real Truth, we feel the real Ecstasy, we see the real Light, we experience Existence, Consciousness, Bliss. These last three go together and we can come into that state only through meditation and oneness with God. But those who are taking drugs are putting the cart before the horse. They are deceiving themselves into thinking that they already know the Truth. At the same time, they are not aware of the fact that by taking drugs, they are damaging their inner, spiritual faculties which are of paramount importance in order to enter into God's kingdom. Let me make it clear to you.

If you throw me into a sea and plunge me, immerse me forcibly in the water, not allowing me to come to the surface, then what shall I see? All blank, all white. And that is what actually happens to those who have taken to drugs. They get an experience… all white! But when I pray, when I concentrate, when I meditate, I enter into the Living Consciousness of God. This is the positive and natural way of entering into God. God is Natural and I am His son, you are His son; we have to follow the natural process. But by taking to drugs and using these artificial means, people are unconsciously, if not deliberately, negating the real Truth.

I have two or three students who used to take drugs. They have had first-hand "experiences". They tell me now that when they were taking drugs, it was nothing but self-delusion and self-annihilation. Now what they experience is self-acceptance and self-fulfilment. So this is the difference that they have now discovered. Needless to say, that I am proud of their present spiritual achievements.

To come back to your question: no man can come closer to God by taking drugs or stimulants. He can come closer to God only by loving God and meditating on God.

Mr. George Riddel: We are just about coming to the end of our time now. We have time for one more question.

Mr. Ed Belville: I would like to ask one more question before we sign off. May a Westerner become a real Yogi?

Sri Chinmoy: Your name is Mr. Ed Belville. We are greatly honored to be here at this Radio Station WHOA where you have brought us, Mr. Belville, and made all the arrangements. At this hour you are asking me this particular question. I wish you to remember this question some day, either in this incarnation or in your immediate future incarnations.

You are a westerner; you are an aspirant, a sincere aspirant. You are bound to realise God, you are bound to become a Yogi in one of your forthcoming incarnations. Then you will see whether a westerner can become a Yogi or not. A Yogi is he who is in union with God's Consciousness. Yoga is not the sole monopoly of India and a Yogi is not the sole product of India. I am God's son, you are God's son. We have the equal right, the equal privilege to go to our Father, to enter into our Father's Consciousness. Many western spiritual masters have entered into God's Consciousness and received what the Indian Yogis have received. You too, can do it. For God-Realisation, geographical boundaries do not exist. God's Consciousness pervades the length and breadth of the world and beyond. So, being a westerner, a human being, you are caught by God's all-pervading Embrace. You cannot escape; you also have to have Self-Realisation. Then only will ignorance leave you.

Westerner, Easterner, Northerner or Southerner, all must needs have this union with God; all can and all must become a Yogi. It is a matter of time, either today or tomorrow. God will not allow anyone to remain unrealised or unfulfilled.

Mr. George Riddell: Well, that is all the time we have now. We thank you very much, Sri Chinmoy Ghose, for the privilege of having you here and for accepting our invitation to come here and explain yoga to us.


This concludes the Radio Interview on WHOA, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 10 December 1967, Part I of which was printed in our last issue of AUM, Vol. III, No's 9 & 10.

The interview was tape-recorded and transcribed by Mr. Jose L. Casanova (Agni), who deserves all our deepest appreciation.