AUM — Vol. 5, No. 2,3, Sep. — 27 Oct. 1969
AUMMan is Infinity’s Heart.
Man is Eternity’s Breath.
Man is Immortality’s Life.
America: transmitter of the new lightWhen one has run through a very wide range of glittering ephemeral things and sought incessantly to perfect them, a true light from beyond may dawn. Judged from this point of view, America has a great possibility of taking to the life of the Spirit. This does not mean withdrawal and inaction, retirement into the forest to give oneself up solely to the contemplation of the Supreme. This kind of isolation is of no avail. Vida Reed Stone of Hollywood in “The Dawn of the Cosmic Age” writes:
Self-protection must precede spiritual realisation. There can be no satisfactory attainment where one’s existence itself is under a threat. Life is a series of struggles and the fittest only will survive. So America has to prepare herself to meet the world’s challenges and to do that she must be in the vanguard of countries possessing the latest scientific inventions. She has already achieved much in this field and much more is likely to follow. Thus only the pursuit of her spiritual life will be made secure. William O. Douglas, Associate Justice U. S. Supreme Court, in his thought-provoking book, America Challenged, significantly observes:
How to please God1How to please God? I can please God by offering to Him what I have and what I am. What I have is gratitude. What I am is aspiration. If I want to please Him more, then I must never consider my life a sad failure, but a constant experience of God. If I want to please Him most, not only in one aspect of life, but in every aspect of life, then I must feel that, unlike me, He sees my life, inner and outer, as the Song of His own Life-Breath — the Song of His perfection, growing into His own perfect perfection Absolute.
Do you know when you hurt God? You hurt God the moment you underestimate your inner capacity. You hurt God the moment you overexaggerate your self-imposed outer responsibility. You hurt Him deeply when you cherish the futile idea that God-Realisation is not for you. To be sure, your God-Realisation is the mightiest “yes”, the greatest certainty at God’s choice hour.
Unfortunately there are people in whose lives the very question of pleasing or hurting God does not arise at all. They do not believe in the existence of God. True, they have not seen God. That does not mean that they are qualified to deny the existence of God. What about those who have seen Him, felt Him, realised Him and are fulfilling Him in this world and other worlds. I tell the unbelievers and disbelievers that they are not only mercilessly deceiving themselves in their inner life of divinity, but also unendingly carrying themselves away, far away from the outer life of reality. There are people who deny the existence of God outright. Again the eager desire of Christ’s disciple Thomas to have proof is spread all the world over. “Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” Let the message of the Son of God reverberate in the inmost recesses of each human heart, aspiring or unaspiring, inspired or uninspired. Today faith is the harbinger of reality. Tomorrow, faith and reality will move together. The day after tomorrow, faith and reality will fulfil each other. Faith fulfils reality in its embodiment of reality. Reality fulfils faith by revealing itself through faith.
The feeling of gratitude makes a man truly happy and God is pleased when a man is truly happy. Dostoevsky declares, “I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped.” This may be true when a man swims in the sea of his body’s ignorance. But a man, when he lives and swims in the sea of his soul’s light, is all-gratitude. He is the constant expression and spontaneous revelation of God the Receiver and God the Achiever.
According to Paul Valery, “The soul is the wife of the body. They do not have the same kind of pleasure or, at least, they seldom enjoy it at the same time.” First of all, the spiritual world has already discovered for certain that the soul is neither masculine nor feminine. It is above and beyond these two dividing zones. Hence the soul can never be the wife of the body. The Upanishad has taught us that the soul is the master of the chariot and the body is the chariot. Valery is absolutely right when he says that the body and the soul do not have the same kind of pleasure. We know that the body gets pleasure in ignorance and from ignorance. Slowly, gradually and unerringly we come to realise that the body’s pleasure is ignorance itself. In the case of the soul, instead of using the word “pleasure” let us better use the word “delight”. The soul feels delight in and from Infinity and Eternity. The soul’s delight is the flowing Infinity; the soul’s delight is the glowing Eternity. When the desire-pleasure of the body is transformed into aspiration-delight by the aspirant’s meditation, the soul and the body not only will eat the same food, but eat at the same time. And their food is Truth. Truth at once awakens the body and pilots the soul.
The other day somebody said to me that God is all the time pleased with him because of one secret reason. He then volunteered to tell me his precious secret. He said, “Although I have many things to say against God’s creation, even against God Himself, I just cleverly ignore His world of countless imperfections and mightily flatter Him in silence and in public. That is why God is so pleased with me all the time and He ought to be.” I said to him, “My dear friend, there is a slight difference between you and me. Your sense of imperfection in God’s world entirely differs from mine. You feel that imperfection is something discouraging, disheartening, dirty and finally damaging. Am I right?” “You are right,” said he. I continued, “I take imperfection as something growing, something that has to complete its role, its journey. I take imperfection as something as an unavoidable rung in the ladder of gradual and ultimate perfection. I take imperfection as an experience. God Himself is having this significant experience in and through man’s life. Again this very God will enjoy perfection, perfect perfection in and through each individual in the bosom of Eternity. Now, as regards your flattery of God, God needs no human flattery. You don’t have to flatter Him to gain His Love, Concern and Blessing. God neither expects nor demands flattery from you. God is not a beggar. He does not have to expect anything of you. God is not an autocrat. He has not to demand anything from you. What God is is Love. What God is is Joy. If you can love yourself soulfully, and and if you can discover your true inner Joy, then you will see that God has already been pleased with you. Don’t try to please God by deceiving Him. We can’t deceive God, never. We can’t even deceive any human being on earth. What we, at most, can and do is to deceive ourselves. Emerson is perfectly right when he affirms. “It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself.”
To come back to our original question, how to please God? The easiest and most effective way to please God is by constant and unconditional self-offering. Let us try. We shall, without fail, succeed. Lo. God is standing right in front of us. He is pleased. God is really and truly pleased with us.
AUM 502. Bridgeport University, Bridgeport, Conn. 14 April 1969↩
Surrender[fn:: AUM 503-513.The following significant questions were asked by Sarama (Mrs. Linda Smiler) of the New York Centre.
Question: Is there any relationship between surrender to God and progress — in the opening of the Chakras?Sri Chinmoy: There is no direct relationship between one’s surrender to God and one’s progress in the opening of the chakras. One may totally surrender to God, but God may not or need not open his chakras. The full opening of the chakras may give the aspirant some occult powers, but that does not indicate that his surrender to God is stronger or going to be stronger as the result of the opening of the chakras. Far from it. If the surrender to God’s Will is not complete, the occult powers that you get from the opening of the chakras is a veritable curse instead of a covetous boon. One’s misuse of occult power can and does lead one astray. To be sure, if he uses the occult power to draw the attention and admiration from the world and not in conformity with God’s will, for him, the realisation of the highest Absolute will always remain a far cry.
Question: Does the achievement of complete surrender assure that one will have the possibility of accomplishing self-realisation in this lifetime, or are there other factors that enter the picture?Sri Chinmoy: Mere achievement of complete surrender does not assure self-realisation in this lifetime. There are other factors that must enter into the picture: God’s choice hour and the aspirant’s receptivity in its fullest measure and the full readiness of the entire being to name only a few, are required for realisation to dawn on the aspirant.
Again, I wish you to know what complete surrender means. It means that the aspirant’s surrender is joyful, soulful, spontaneous, unconditional, constant and forever and forever.
Question: Am I correct in assuming that Surrender necessarily precedes Realisation, or may it occur at the time of the first realisation experience or later?Sri Chinmoy: You are correct in assuming that surrender precedes realisation. It is inevitable. Realisation and experience are two totally different things. Realisation is oneness with Oneself Itself. Experience is, at the most, an insignificant feeling of oneness with the highest Truth. So you cannot say “the experience of Realisation”. It is not an experience; it is Reality itself. You can correctly say “the oneness of Realisation in the realisation-consciousness.”
Question: Having once surrendered completely, is there any possibility of backsliding, or will the strength of the disciple's aspiration and oneness with the Guru's consciousness prevent this?Sri Chinmoy: In one of my previous answers, I have told you what complete surrender means. If surrender has already achieved that kind of perfect perfection, then there can be no possibility of backsliding on the part of the disciple. A disciple who achieves perfect perfection in his or her surrender will undoubtedly be the highest pride of the Guru.
Question: Realising that the ability to surrender is 99% dependent upon grace, I have been using part of each meditation time to pray for the grace of God and my Guru. In view of the fact that you have said that prayer is a lesser form of devotion than meditation, I wonder whether what I am doing is a worthwhile effort.Sri Chinmoy: I am extremely glad to learn that you have realised the fact that the ability to surrender is 99% dependent on the Divine Grace. That you are praying for Grace is an excellent thing. Unfortunately however, there has been a slight misunderstanding. I have not said that prayer is a lesser form of devotion than meditation. What I stated was that prayer is a lesser form of aspiration and that the rung of meditation is by far the highest in the spiritual life. Since you are meditating devotedly, you are undoubtedly doing the right thing. Needless to say that your effort is worthwhile.
Question: At times, when praying and meditating on Surrender, I am moved to copious tears. I feel these tears as different from those tears of Soul's joy which I have experienced at times. The anguish which accompanies them, makes me feel that these are not even tears of aspiration, but merely of frustration and this disturbs me. How can I aspire for and concentrate on surrender without becoming so emotional? Even writing this question, I find myself moved to tears.Sri Chinmoy: I am sure, you know, that when the soul expresses its joy with tears it means that the soul is expressing its deepest gratitude through the physical being. As you know, in the soul’s joy, there can be no frustration. There you get only the feeling of a vast and total oneness with the Highest on the strength of your surrender. During your meditation and prayer, at times what you feel is the uncertain drive of your yet-uncontrolled emotional vital. Since you have, a few times, experienced the tears of your soul’s joy, which are a kind of divine light, the frustration that lies in your unlit emotional vital cannot last for long. Again if your prayer is flooded with purity and your meditation is surcharged with luminosity, even in the domain of gross vital, instead of frustration you will have a partial sense of psychic realisation, of Truth in the form of heart’s spontaneous joy. The spontaneous joy of the heart can easily enable you to meditate on total and integral surrender. Please try to illumine your emotional vital through your soul’s light. Once the limited emotional vital is illumined, it enters into the boundless sea of all-achieving and all-fulfilling surrender.
Question: What is involved in the surrender of the Vital and of the Physical body? Having surrendered with the heart and soul, how can we best help the other recalcitrant members of our being to surrender?Sri Chinmoy: After surrendering the heart and the soul, if you want your recalcitrant members, the vital and the physical body, to surrender to God, you can do two things. The first thing is to make them feel that they are as important as the heart and soul in the fulfilment of your mission on earth. The second thing is to threaten them, saying that you will remain in the soul’s region and not care for their limited happiness, achievement and fulfilment on earth. Your inspiration, aspiration and your threat and withdrawal will compel them to make a decision and very often it is seen that they do care for boundless joy, achievement and fulfilment and that they identify themselves consciously and sincerely with the heart and the soul and become part and parcel of the integral surrender.
Question: I have the feeling that when our heart and our soul have surrendered we can know it ourselves, in fact do know it in our heart, but, other than being told by the Guru, are there any ways in which we can know positively that our Vital and our Physical being have surrendered?Sri Chinmoy: It is not always inevitable that one knows definitely when the heart and the soul have surrendered to the Will Divine. There are many cases where we have seen that in spite of the heart’s surrender and the soul’s surrender to the Divine, the aspirant still gropes in the dark, playing with uncertainty. Here is the need of a Guru. If the Guru says that your heart and soul have both surrendered, then rest assured that they have certainly done so. There is one positive way of knowing that one’s vital and physical being have surrendered and that is through widest expansion and enlargement of one’s vital and physical being. In the constant flow of inner delight and outer dynamic and confident urge, one invokes the Highest to descend into the lowest, thus bringing the Supreme atmosphere into the earth atmosphere.
Question: As one may consciously feel that one deeply wishes to surrender and may in fact do so intellectually, without yet ridding oneself of the fear within the Physical mind, this would seem to indicate that the different levels of mind each have an independent relationship to surrender. Would you please explain what the relationship is?Sri Chinmoy: You know well that there are the physical mind, vital mind, subtle mind, intellectual mind, intuitive mind, apart from the infinitely higher ranges of the mind, the overmind and supermind, etc. If you want to offer the different levels of the human mind proper, then you have to give due importance to each, individually and collectively, with your aspiration; you have to create a basic and fundamental union amongst them. You have to feel that these are petals of a lotus and the lotus is your own aspiring life. Unless and until the lotus is offered totally, and fully bloomed, the realisation cannot be complete and the acceptance of the inner Pilot will not be for Eternity.
Question: When fear holds back the physical mind from surrender, it operates like an invisible enemy. This fear, being subconscious, is something of which we may be totally unaware and even when told that it exists and is holding us back, it remains a fear that we do not feel. I daily offer my fear to the Supreme, but this offering has a feeling of unreality. How may we overcome an invisible obstacle such as this?Sri Chinmoy: I am glad that you feel that fear acts like an invisible enemy. If you become more aware of your inner life and deeper existence, you will realise that fear is not only a visible, naked enemy but your worst possible foe. It is absolutely true that fear holds back the physical mind from total surrender. If a spiritual Master tells the disciple that he has inner fear, then he should have perfect faith in the Master, although he may not feel the existence of this fear. The Master’s Vision is always faultless. The Master has no need to tell a lie. He gains nothing by telling a certain disciple that deep down in his being there is real fear. If the aspirant is not aware of fear, the culprit, that means that either in the subconscious or unconscious part of his being, he gets some joy when he identifies himself with fear. Here at this point, the Master can say if he wants to, that the unaspiring and insincere part of the disciple is unconsciously in collusion with fear to prevent the Light from descending from above.
You say that you offer your fear to the Supreme daily. This is something absolutely necessary, wonderful and praiseworthy. But to my surprise, you say that this offering of yours has a feeling of unreality. If only once you cared to believe that the Supreme does exist on earth to accept your offer of your unconsciously cherished fear, then your feeling of unreality would be baseless. The Supreme will make you feel, on the strength of your implicit sincerity, that you do have fear.
You want to know how you can overcome this invisible obstacle. I wish to tell you that you can overcome all obstacles, visible and invisible, on the way towards your God-Realisation if you have genuine faith in the Master’s inner inspiration, outer dispensation, higher guidance and deeper wisdom.
Question: How does Surrender affect rebirth into our next incarnation? Does it in any way assure that we will be able to pick up where we left off without the loss of time which often occurs?Sri Chinmoy: If one’s surrender is complete and constant, then the result of surrender, which we call conscious oneness with the Divine, will bring the aspirant into a first-class spiritual family in his next incarnation. From the very beginning, he will be inspired and nurtured spiritually by the parents. He will not have to wait for seventeen or eighteen years to convince the physical mind about his inner spiritual thirst. His will be the life of conscious awareness in the field of spirituality right from the dawn of his birth.
I just said that the parents would inspire the child. It is equally true that the child, the very divine face of the child, will inspire the parents to dive deep into the sea of spirituality.
Sarama, our path is the path of love, devotion and surrender. I am sure by this time all the members of our Family have come to realise it.
I am my haven's kingI cry.
Because I know not when to try.
Because I see Temptation’s Spear.
Because I am lost within, without.
Because I’ve closed my Beauty’s Gate.
Because I breathe below, above.
Because my Goal no more a chance.
Because I am my haven’s King.
Ever and neverWill you love me,
Lord, if I love Ignorance more?
I shall love you:
To you open my Spirit’s Door.
Will you love me,
Lord, if I marry the fires of Hell?
I shall love you.
Your life’s venom tree my Eye shall fell.
Will you love me,
Lord, if I live with wildest Death?
I shall love you.
In you I sowed my deathless Breath.
Will you love me,
Lord, if I come to you alone?
With you the world, else I shall moan.
I prayedI prayed without feeling.
My Father slept.
I prayed without crying.
My Father left.
I prayed without loving.
My Father died.
I prayed without ceasing.
My Father cried.
Revealing soul and fulfilling GoalIf you but knew,
Father, what I have done for you.
Planted and raised a climbing tree
For you to dance on its top smiling tree.
If you but knew,
Father, what I have done for you.
I have become the world’s lowest slave
Your Breath to serve in man, the grave.
If you but knew,
Child, what I ever think of you.
You are my Life’s revealing Soul,
You are my Vision’s fulfilling Goal.