AUM — Vol. 4, No. 6, 27 Jan. 1969
AUMMan is Infinity’s Heart.
Man is Eternity’s Breath.
Man is Immortality’s Life.
A New Year's message1A New Year dawns. A new year, a new aspiration, a new dedication, a new realisation enter into us. Let us enter into the Supreme with a new joy, a new achievement and a new, constantly surrendering attitude. We are always fond of the "new". Tomorrow, on New Year's day, that new newness will enter into us. What can we expect from tomorrow? We expect that which we do not have right now: freedom from bondage, freedom from limitation, freedom from disease, freedom from death. Our expectation is not enough. In addition to our expectation, we must cultivate deep within us the firm determination that we shall have it, that we are bound to have all these divine qualities.
I always say, "The past is dust." Once again I repeat, "The past is dust." Why? The past has not given us what we have been striving for. So the past is of no use. It is the present and the golden future that enter into the present and make us feel what we are going to be, nay, what we truly are. We are not children of the past, but the children of the glorious future. There are many things we want to do, we want to achieve. But unfortunately we have not been able to achieve them. Why? Because our aspiration is not intense, our determination is not firm, our cry, our inner cry is not genuine. There is no end to the progress we can make and each New Year comes and stands in front of us and reminds us of that very fact: that there is no end to our progress, both the inner progress and the outer progress.
How can we transcend ourselves? We can transcend ourselves the moment we feel that self-realisation or the conquest of the self is our birthright, our divine heritage. It is not that somebody has to come and thrust upon you this divine heritage. We have to leave aside, cast aside, throw aside doubt, one of our greatest enemies. Doubt does not allow us to go one inch forward or one inch backward. When we want to look forward, doubt says, "No, you are not so good." And when we want to look back, a kind of subtle doubt again tells us, "No, you cannot be so bad." Doubt never, never allows us to see the truth, to know where we actually stand. We stand right in front of God. Where are we seated? We are seated in the Lap of the Supreme.
Let us cry. The world needs seekers who will cry like a child for the Mother. We have forgotten how to cry. We know how to talk, how to impose truth on others, how to convince others of what we have acquired or what we have learned. From today on, let us cry from the innermost recesses of our hearts, Him to possess and Him to reveal. Without the Supreme, we do not exist. It is an unpardonable foolishness on our part when we say that we exist. No, we do not exist, we can never exist even for a second without Him. If you really, sincerely, whole-heartedly care for the Truth, my fervent request to you is to go deep within and try to discover your own divinity.
I am there to be your eternal slave. I shall wash the very dust of your feet the moment you feel that you are prepared to cry, cry whole-heartedly for the Supreme.
All of us present here, all our true members of the family here, must, once and for all, cast aside doubt. We must always feel that we are the children of the Supreme. We are growing together, we are fulfilling the Supreme together. The Supreme is entering into us to inspire us to dive into the deepest, to fly into the highest, to run toward the farthest.
In the name of the Supreme, I bless each and everyone present here and all those who are in my Boat, who need my help, my guidance, my assistance. It is not just for a year but forever, for eternity. I shall be a loving, dedicated servant, a slave, to all of you who care for the Supreme and for the Supreme alone. If one says or feels that the Supreme is his or hers, then at that very moment that very person can rest assured that I am there to serve the person, to be of immediate service. For me there can be no greater joy, no greater pride than to serve the seekers of Truth. And this is my soul’s promise to each of you on the eve of the New Year.
AUM 372. Delivered in person by Sri Chinmoy to the disciples of the Aum Centre in Puerto Rico on 31 December 1967↩
"Three Kings Day" message2The three kings, the three wise men, devoted aspirants, came to the Divine Child with three gifts. After seeing the Light of Delight they did not go back to the ignorant King Herod. They knew that they had seen the Light. They could no longer remain ignorant, nor could they come and tell the King about their discovery. Similarly, we have just come to the Light Supreme, the Infinite Consciousness, and we are now being illumined by the Light of Delight. We must not go back to the old age-long King, Ignorance, who has been lording it over us. We shall remain perpetually in the Light that we have seen. We shall grow in that Light and we shall fulfil the Light and by fulfilling that Light, we shall be fulfilled.
What are our three gifts to the Divine Child? Love, Devotion and Surrender. These are our divine gifts. These gifts are our inner wealth. Love: We feel that there is nobody more worthy to be loved than the Christ. Devotion: We realise that there is nobody more worthy than the Christ to receive our heart's devotion. Surrender: We have realised the true truth that it is to Him, the Christ, that we have to surrender our very life-breath, our very existence.
Just three steps forward: Love, Devotion and Surrender. When we know how to love again the Son of God, we shall know how to love the entire humanity, for deep inside each human being, it is the Christ that breathes. Who is the Christ? Not the mere physical body, but the Consciousness Infinite, the Light Infinite, the Peace Infinite, the Bliss Infinite, the Power Infinite.
The second step is Devotion. When we have learned the Supreme Secret of devoting our lives to the Christ, the Infinite Consciousness, we shall immediately discover the Supreme Secret of devoting ourselves to the entire humanity. When we know the meaning of devotion, in no time we shall know the meaning of service. Service and devotion go together. We serve the person whom we are devoted to. We get the greatest joy in serving the person to whom we show our utmost devotion.
Finally the third step is Surrender. When we have understood the Secret of Secrets, how to surrender our existence, our knowledge, our wisdom, our limitations, our ignorance to the Infinite Consciousness, Christ, we feel that we no longer exist in the finite. We become the Infinite. We become the Infinite Itself. Infinity becomes our own possession. For so long we have been a tiny drop but the moment the drop surrenders itself to the Infinite Ocean, it loses its existence, its finite existence and becomes the Infinite Ocean itself. So on the strength of our surrender, our absolute surrender, we become the Infinite, the Eternal, the Sempiternal and the Immortal. We sing the song of Immortality. We breathe in the life of Immortality. When we surrender our ignorance, we surrender our death. To whom do we surrender? To the immortal Self which is deep within us. What do we surrender? Our ignorance. And what do we get in return? We get Infinite Wisdom. More than that, we become Wisdom itself.
Three gifts, divine gifts, from the very depths of our soul we are offering to the Infinite Christ: Love, Devotion and Surrender. Love teaches us; love is our teacher. What do we learn from love? Acceptance. We have to accept the world of ours. We must not reject it or throw it into the darkest abyss. No. Then comes devotion. Devotion tells us to serve, to devote our precious life, or at least our precious time, to the person or the consciousness that we have accepted. We have accepted the world and now we have to serve the world. Finally comes surrender. We have to become part and parcel of the world. Acceptance is made; service is done. But transformation is still to be achieved. By accepting the world, we have not been able to transform the world. By serving the world we have not been able to transform the world. But while accepting and serving the world, we have to remember that we have to transform it. If we can transform the world, then only will the world become perfect Perfect and the Kingdom of Heaven be established here on earth. This transformation comes only through surrender to the Infinite Life, Bliss and Power.
We have accepted the world; we have served the world. Now let us surrender to the Infinite Wisdom, to the Infinite Peace, to the Infinite Light. The moment our surrender is complete, we hear deep within us the message of our absolute Union with the Highest, the Deepest, the Farthest. And our surrender to the Absolute not only makes us feel and realise, but makes us one with the Absolute. Finally in the march of evolution, we ourselves become the Absolute.
AUM 373. by Sri Chinmoy to the Aum Centre, San Juan, P. R. 6 January 1968↩
God's Dream-Boat and man's life-boat3There is always some compensation, even on God's part! God has not blessed me with a college degree or diploma. No, not even a high school certificate. But in His infinite Bounty, He has blessed my searching heart to serve Him in the seekers of the infinite Truth. You who are the fortunate students of Yale serve the University with your most devoted heads. The University serves you with its fathomless knowledge. I have now come to serve your matchless University, your distinguished professors and your significantly blooming minds with my heart's climbing flame and my soul’s glowing love.
To be unreservedly and perfectly honest with you, while I was in India, my ignorance prevented me from being aware of more than six universities in the whole of the United States, namely, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and Cornell. Lo, where am I now? I am now basking in the warmest kindness-invitation of Yale. Eureka!
Socrates, the grandfather of philosophy, once said, "What I know is nothing." I am most humbly and devotedly trying to follow in his inimitable footsteps. At this point perhaps, you, my young friends, are tempted to accuse me of taking shelter under the blue-vast canopy of the Upanishadic lore. True, the Kena Upanishad says, "By him Brahman is comprehended who thinks that he has not. By him Brahman is not comprehended who thinks he has. Brahman is not understood by those who say that they understand Him. Brahman is understood by those who say that they do not understand Him."
To those of you who are not quite familiar with the Indian philosophy, this particular message of the Kena Upanishad may sound absurd. But I wish to say that the significance of this momentous message is otherwise. What Brahman is is infinite Consciousness. The Vedic and Upanishadic seers of yore were wont to share with mankind their inner realisations that Brahman, the infinite Consciousness, is always in the process of transcending the limitless expanse of the Beyond. Brahman's Infinity along with Brahman's Eternity and Immortality is ever on the march.
To come back to the University and the students. The profound thought of Adlai Stevenson flashes across my mind, "Men may be born free; they cannot be born wise and it is the duty of the university to make the free wise."
Freedom and wisdom must always shake hands. If not, freedom will suffer from headache and wisdom from stomach-ache. Oh land of peerless freedom! I am positive that yours is the heart that cries for loftiest wisdom, too. God is showering His choicest Blessing on you. Before long, you will be crowned with unparalleled success.
Now let me come to my talk, "God's Dream-Boat and Man's Life-Boat". Today is the possessor of our Dream, tomorrow is the possessor of our Reality. What our earth-bound consciousness experiences is really our dream. What our heavenward consciousness realises is our Reality. Our Dream not only prepares us, but offers itself to us as our solid preparation. Likewise, Reality not only illumines us, but presents itself to us as our brightest Illumination.
Here I record the conversation between God's Dream-Boat and Man's Life-Boat.
Man's Life-Boat: I am crying, struggling, striving, desiring and aspiring, O God's Dream-Boat. What more is expected of me?
God's Dream-Boat: Something more.
Man's Life-Boat: I concentrate, I meditate and contemplate. What else is left?
God's Dream-Boat: Something more.
Man's Life-Boat: I know I am Imperfection incarnate. You are Perfection embodied, revealed and manifested. What else have I to know?
God's Dream-Boat: Something more.
Man's Life-Boat: I can only tell you that if I were you, all your longings should have their due fulfilment in me by this time.
God's Dream-Boat: O Man's Life-Boat, I needed you. I need you. I shall forever need you. You have at long last seen in me your friend, true friend. Me you have won.
God is man's Eternal Friend. Not as a beggar, but as a friend when man approaches God, he gets God sooner. He gets God the sweetest. We are not God's slaves. We are His children, His chosen children.
God's Dream-Boat is the heavenly individuality of man's Life-Boat. Man's Life-Boat is the earthly personality of God's Dream-Boat. Man's Life-Boat is sailing towards the Promised Land where Infinity plays, Eternity sings and Immortality dances. But where is this Promised Land? It is in the heart of Here and in the soul of Now. Human life is precious, priceless. The poet-soul in Emily Dickinson softly and unerringly tells the world:
I’ll tell you what I paid,
Precisely an existence" —
The market-price, they said.
We all must realise God. We must stand firm on this resolve. Ours must be the aspiration to explore the realm of the Spirit. Our inner urge should be insistent, nay, irresistible. The certainty of God-Realisation will loom large before us on every side. A regular chart of divine duties must be drawn up for us, in which top priority must, by all manner of means, be given to meditation.
Let us work. Let us meditate. Our life-breath let us not waste. Death will give us enough rest, more than we need. Let us work, let us meditate, for our dedicated life-activities are unmistakably the supernal glories of God.
We know what our earthly activities are. It is high time for us to focus our soulful attention on God's activities. What does God do with His Life? He flows with His Life through us. What does God do with His Peace? He comes with His Peace to us to transform our weaknesses into strength. What does God do with His Joy? He gives us His Joy and tells us that His Joy is our life-boat's only Goal. What does God do with His Power? He gives us His Power to love the world, to brighten the face of the world, to perfect our responsibility to others, so that we can truly fulfil our heavenly responsibility on earthly soil.
Dear friends, you have many teachers. I have only three and no more. My teachers are Mind, Heart and Soul.
My Mind tells me that God is an Eternal Mystery.
My Heart tells me that God is an Eternal Experience.
My Soul tells me that God is an Eternal Achievement.
I end my talk with a fervent request to you:
Think of God. You will see God standing behind you.
Pray to God. You will see God standing in front of you.
Meditate on God. You will see God seated inside you.
Devote yourself to God. You will see God within, without, here and beyond.
Surrender yourself to God. You will see God's stupendous pride in you.
AUM 374. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut on 4 December 1968. The address took place in the W. L. Harkness Hall at 7:00 P.M.↩
Questions and answersAUM 375-379. These question and answers followed the talk at Yale University. The entire program was recorded and transcribed by Madhuri (Nancy Sands)
Question: What role does the vegetarian diet play in your teachings?Sri Chinmoy: In my teachings the vegetarian diet plays a most important role. In order to become pure, a vegetarian diet helps us considerably. Purity is of paramount importance in our spiritual life. This purity we must establish in the physical, the vital and the mental. When we eat meat, fish and so forth, the aggressive, animal consciousness enters into us. Our nerves become agitated; they become restless and aggressive. The mild qualities of vegetables, on the other hand, help us to establish in our inner life as well as in our outer life, the qualities of sweetness, softness, simplicity and purity.
But again, if you ask me whether by becoming a strict vegetarian, you can realise God or not, then I would say "No", a definite "No". There are millions and millions of people on earth who are strict vegetarians, but I don't think there are millions and millions of God-Realised souls on earth. For God-Realisation, we need aspiration. In answering your question, I wish to say that it is always advisable, if possible, to have a vegetarian diet in order to further one's progress in the inner discipline, so that one can feel that even the body with its purity helps one's inner aspiration to become more intense and more soulful.
Question: It seems to me that it takes a certain amount of energy and desire to follow the path of your teachings. And what about the rank beginner on it? Sometimes you can't muster enough energy to get yourself going!Sri Chinmoy: You are right. Not only to follow my path, but to follow any spiritual path, one has to have some energy, some spiritual energy and aspiration. But I think that if one has to wait for this dynamic and spiritual energy, then one will never start one's journey. So if you really want the spiritual life, I say: Throw yourself into the inner life. Don't look either backward or sideways. Look ahead and jump into the sea of spirituality. Start from where you are. If you have limited energy, if your aspiration is insignificant, then I wish to say something to you. Go deep within. You will get to the inner Well, the source of aspiration. You cannot become a multimillionaire overnight. You have to start with a penny. But if you have a little aspiration, if you really care for God, then start uttering God's name once a day, early in the morning. Gradually you can transform the whole day into a repetition of God's name and make real headway towards your self-discovery. If you have a sincere cry for God, then you can start your spiritual journey, no matter where you are or what you have.
Question: My mind wanders and I would like to know how I can better my concentration so that I can keep my mind focussed on one point or on one thought without lower thought-structures wandering around.Sri Chinmoy: Before you actually start your concentration, I wish you to repeat the name of God at least twenty times as fast as possible. “God, God, God…” In one breath, please try to repeat the word "God" as many times as you can. First try to purify your breath by repeating God's name. The breath has to be purified. Unless and until our breath is purified, our mind will wander; thoughts will attack the mind mercilessly. After you have repeated God’s name, I wish you to focus all your attention on a particular picture. You are a university student and at the same time you are a disciple of mine. You can focus your attention on my picture or look at your own picture. Look at your reflection in the mirror. Do not feel that you are experiencing two bodies with one consciousness, but feel that you are feeling one body with one consciousness, even though the body in the mirror is a reflection of yourself. There should be no other thought besides this one, "God wants me; I need God. He will illumine me, my life; I shall fulfil Him, His mission". Then you will see that slowly and steadily God's divine thoughts are entering into you and permeating your whole inner and outer existence.
Question: I am studying to be an actor at the Drama School here at Yale. Is it possible to follow the spiritual path and also have this earthly value, or must I totally devote myself to the spiritual path and be devoid of everything else?Sri Chinmoy: This is a very wrong conception of spirituality. True spirituality never, never negates our earthly life and our significant earthly values. True spirituality only simplifies our earthly life; it purifies, illumines our human existence. We are now in ignorance. We know that we are caught in the meshes of ignorance, but spirituality shows us how we can come out of ignorance, how we can free ourselves from the bondage that we have consciously or unconsciously created. If you want to be an actor, spirituality will never prevent you from being one. On the contrary, spirituality will inspire you in your acting line. Spirituality never negates. It is like your private tutor. It will teach you privately and secretly to be successful and meaningful in your outer, as well as your inner, life. Nothing has to be given up. Everything has to be changed and transformed. If you give up, then what are you going to achieve? If you give up this world, what are you going to do? It is here on earth that you have to realise God, reveal God and fulfil God.
Question: There are many books on reincarnation on the market that you can buy. But is it something that can be understood by the intellect, the laws of reincarnation?Sri Chinmoy: The laws of reincarnation can never be understood by the intellect. After one has realised the Ultimate Truth, one can not only understand the laws of reincarnation, but seize the entire picture of the whole system of reincarnation from the beginning to the end. In order to understand the law of reincarnation, one has to enter into the region of the soul and abide therein. One has to go far beyond the domain of the intellect. By studying books, even if you study millions of books on reincarnation, you cannot enter into the region of the soul. To enter into the region of the soul, you have to aspire and meditate. All you can understand by the intellect are certain very insignificant principles in the boundless realm of reincarnation.