AUM — Vol. 1, No. 4, 27 November 1965

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The King

God is proud of His Divinity in Sri Krishna. Man is proud of his humanity in Sri Krishna.

Sri Krishna is the beloved Boatman who untiringly plies his Boat of consciousness between India's unparalleled history and her unrivalled spirituality.

Man's growing divinity cries for the human perfection in Sri Krishna the man. In Sri Krishna's humanity lies man's promise of becoming Divine.

Sri Krishna stole the hearts of the Gopis unconditionally. The Gopis stole his Ecstasy unreservedly.

Sweetness and grace inexpressible, bond unbreakable, sacrifice unfathomable — this indeed is Radha, the Mother-Heart of Sri Krishna.

Radha carries the human soul into Sri Krishna's Heart. Sri Krishna transforms the human soul into the Divine Soul and commands it to play its role in the Divine Play.

The influence of the Mahabharata is a flowering of centuries. The influence of Sri Krishna is the Blessing for Eternity.

The Pandavas had love for Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna had not only love but also unstinting concern for the Pandavas.

Arjuna ultimately became the spiritual child of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna ultimately became the loving slave of Arjuna's surrender.

The Gita is Sri Krishna's Heart, his Vision-in-Fulfilment. The Gita is humanity's Breath, its Journey towards Immortality.

Sri Krishna's Flute stirs the Universal Consciousness. Sri Krishna's Gita enchants the Transcendental Consciousness.

Sri Krishna plays on His flute. We hear. We do something more. We barter our body's dust with His Soul's plenitude.

If the Avatar Sri Krishna is the most complicated Door, then the Gita, His Song, is the most effective Key.

For an earth-bound soul, the Gita can fruitfully reconcile the dark problems of human life. For a Heaven-seeking soul, the Gita can awaken a new consciousness of ever-increasing Bliss.

I do. I refuse to accept the invitation of Desire. Sri Krishna does. He comes in to illuminate my consciousness.

My Ideal is to mount higher and higher up the ladder of divine evolution. Sri Krishna's Ideal is to make of Himself the divine Sacrifice to strengthen the rungs of the ladder.

Sri Krishna is sweet when I realise Him in the perfection of my "I". Sri Krishna is sweeter when I realise Him as the Doer. Sri Krishna is sweetest when I realise Him as the Pilot of all my actions and myself as His dedicated instrument.

An aspirant's is the cry that compels Sri Krishna to seize him with the very madness of love.

A Vaishnava's life is love-intoxicated. He is a portion of Sri Krishna's individuality, perpetuating all the divine qualities of an everlasting Life.

When I live in Sri Krishna's Soul, I see the Truth from above. When I live in Sri Krishna's Heart, I see the Truth from within. When I live in Sri Krishna's Body, I see the Truth from without.

Sri Krishna is the shoreless ocean of Bliss. But as soon as I sincerely dedicate myself to Him, He presents me with His own Boat and takes me to the boundless Shore, the Golden All.

Sri Krishna walked the soil to annihilate the philosophies of world-shunning spirituality and of world-grasping materialism. He established on earth the "Dharmarajya", the Kingdom of the Inner Law. He restored the true spirit of Kshatriya heroism, motivated not by human ego, but by Divine Will, making man a devoted and active instrument of the Supreme. He brought down to the earth-consciousness the supreme Truth that earth and earthly life, being inherently divine, must be made outwardly divine, fully and totally, in every sphere, in every aspect.

Concentration and meditation

Concentration is the Arrow. Meditation is the Bow.

When you concentrate, you focus all your energies upon the chosen phenomenon in order to unveil its mysteries. When you meditate, you rise into a higher consciousness.

Concentration wants to penetrate into the object it strives for. Meditation wants to live in the vastness of Silence.

In concentration, you endeavour to bring the consciousness of your object right into your own awareness. In meditation, you rise from your limited consciousness into a higher and wider domain.

If you want to sharpen your faculties, concentrate. If you want to lose yourself, meditate.

It is the work of concentration to clear the roads when meditation wants to go either deep within or high above.

Concentration wants to seize the knowledge it aims at. Meditation wants to identify itself with the knowledge it seeks for.

Meditation is at its highest point when the seeker and the object of his concentration become merged into one consciousness.

An aspirant has two genuine teachers: Concentration and Meditation. Concentration is always strict with the student; Meditation is strict at times. But both of them are solemnly interested in their student's progress.

Concentration says to God: "Father, I am coming to you." Meditation says to God: "Father, do come to me."

Concentration is the commander who orders the dispersed consciousness to come to attention.

Concentration and absolute firmness are not only inseparable, but are interdependent divine warriors.

Concentration does not allow Disturbance, the thief, to enter into his armoury. Meditation lets him in. Why? Just to catch the thief red-handed.

Concentration challenges the enemy to a duel and fights him out. Meditation, with its silent smile, diminishes the challenge of the enemy.

Concentration and the surface mind dislike each other. Concentration is the father of an inner and outer opening to higher states, while the surface mind wants to stay where it has always been.

The mind that is incapable of concentration is as changeable as the wind and as elusive as moonlight.

When concentration reaches its acme, revelation dawns. Newton saw the law of gravitation in the falling of an apple; Archimedes discovered the secret of displacement and cried out "Eureka!" ; J. C. Bose discovered life in plants, even in metals. The crown of success is attainable only in moments of deepest concentration.

Concentration gives the aspirant two boons. The first boon intensifies the aspirant's experience. The second boon dynamically energises the aspirant's consciousness.

Concentration has two permanent and all-fulfilling palaces to live in. One is in the human mind, another is in the heart. When concentration lives in the mind, it cultivates will-power. When it lives in the heart, it develops spontaneous delight.

Concentration in the heart cries for the psychic being, the all-flowering divine element in the individual. Concentration in the head wills for the wide and silent mind, the abode of spiritual experience and knowledge.

Only that meditation is worth having that remains equally unperturbed in the midst of clamour and in stark silence.

Concentration is an immediate success. Meditation is a lasting success.

Meditation in its purest sense shows you three successive states of an evolving consciousness. Firstly, God in all. Secondly, all in God. Thirdly, God as all.

Love: a divine power

"Blue eyes say: ‘Love me or I die.` Black eyes say: ‘Love me or I kill thee.`
Spanish proverb"

Red-angered eyes say: "Whether thou lovest me or not, I have come to kill thee." But soul-illumined eyes say: "I see God in thee and love thee whether thou killest me or not."

No doubt, life precedes love. But if love does not follow life faithfully, life is no better than death.

Love in the process of its manifestation is conscious truth enjoying itself.

If you ever dare to fight against hatred, then there is but one weapon: Love.

When I love a man, I live within his ever-blossoming heart. When I hate a man, he lives within my ever-torturing vital.

Love has a power of its own. It can be used to see and feel both the lowest and the highest.

The noblest love of man constitutes his purest vision of God.

Love is always expensive, whether heavenly or earthly.

Like death, man's love is capable of levelling all ranks.

To have no love for others is in no way a step towards God-Realisation. On the contrary, fellow-feeling helps one considerably to live in the Divine Consciousness.

Vital love lacking in purity is not only a stumbling-block but a dangerous limitation of consciousness that prevents our nature from turning towards the Divine fully and unreservedly.

Marriage is at the mercy of love. At times love allows itself to be caught by marriage; at times it does not.

Ascending love makes friends with the Everlasting. Descending love makes friends with the fleeting breath of death.

""Tis better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all./
Tennyson"

But can true love ever be lost? True love enlarges the giver and brings him closer to God, even if he loses the object of his love.

Unique

Kennedy is unique.
Why?
God kindled him with His Dream.
On him God showered
His blessings divine
Thickly
Lavishly
Significantly.

Kennedy is unique.
Why?
God threw on him
The burden of the world at large
Smilingly
Consciously
Inevitably.

Kennedy is unique.
Why?
His soul visioned Tomorrow's Dawn,
Far beyond the flight of imagination,
Far above the strongest investigation,
Deep within the core of transformation.

Kennedy is unique.
Why?
He pined with his bleeding heart
To free the world
From the spiked wounds of life.
This eyeless earth of ours
Will burst into glorious bloom.
He saw this diamond truth
While sleeping
Struggling
Daring.

Never was he alone

Never was he alone
Tragedy and sovereignty,
Catastrophe and victory
Freely in him were grown.

Never was he alone.
God's bright Promise and Bliss,
Earth's wild ignorance and her kiss
Lavishly in him were grown.

Alone he stood1

Alone he stood
Above all storms of life.
He stood alone
To challenge Pain and Strife.

Alone he stood
To feed a blooming race.
He stood alone
To change earth's tearful face.


  1. AUM 34. In commemoration of President John F. Kennedy, ... November 22nd, 1963..

Vivekananda and America

He who broke the barrier between East and West and placed the two on common ground is still a living force in both. His function was to bring in oneness where there was none before, by carrying the best of each to the other. The East had become lost by moving away from materialism; the West by keeping clear of spirituality. A happy marriage of the two, he deeply felt, was the supreme need of the world. Life without spirituality was as poor as life without material power. Hence he dynamised the East with the force of the West, and inspired the West with the ancient wisdom of the East.

It is foolish to think that he sailed for America to satisfy his mental curiosity. It is also an absurdity to believe that his feet touched foreign shores to make a noise in the world. No. It was Sri Ramakrishna's silent blessing that kindled the inspiration-fire of the beloved disciple to share his light with the soil and soul of America.

No country is superior to others in all spheres of life. Vivekananda with his deeply penetrating insight says: "As regards spirituality, the Americans are far inferior to us, but their society is far superior to ours." He showed how a happy and true union could be effected between the other-world-loving Indians and the this-world-loving Americans: "We will teach them our spirituality and assimilate what is best in their society."

Asia, Europe and America — each continent made a contribution of its own to the world at large. With the help of his spirit's vision, Vivekananda revealed the truth: "Asia laid the germs of civilisation, Europe developed man, and America is developing woman and the masses."

It is an established fact that the women in America are the most advanced in the world, especially in the cultivation of knowledge. Vivekananda made a surprising observation: "The average American woman is far more cultivated than the average American man." He further added: "The men slave all their life for money and the women snatch every opportunity to improve themselves." His highest compliment to women came when he said: "I have seen thousands of women here whose hearts are as pure and stainless as snow." And again: "American women! A hundred lives would not be sufficient to pay my deep debt of gratitude to you! I have not words enough to express my gratitude to you."

However, he was also deeply indebted to American men. For it was J. H. Wright, Professor of Greek at Harvard University, who was first in realising what Vivekananda was. It was when the Indian monk was found, prior to his becoming a delegate to the Parliament of Religions, to be almost destitute, no better than a street-beggar. Verily, Professor Wright, that blessed son of America, was a man of action. He introduced Vivekananda to the President of the 'Parliament' in Chicago. The professor's flaming and instructive words have echoed and re-echoed in the hearts of both east and west: "To ask you, Swami, for your credentials is like asking the Sun to state its right to shine."

Vivekananda's soul-stirring addresses inspired the audience to have faith in all the religions of the world, to hug the best in each religion. There was a magic spell of throbbing delight woven around his very name at the Parliament of Religions. He was the figure that dominated the world's gaze there. A report appeared in the Boston Evening Transcript of September 30th, 1893 about the great triumph of the Indian spiritual giant: "If he merely crosses the Platform, he is applauded, and this marked approval of thousands he accepts in a child-like spirit of gratification, without a trace of conceit."

The same paper on 5 April 1894 had an irresistible recollection:

"At the Parliament of Religions, they used to keep Vivekananda until the end of the programme, to make people stay until the end of the session. On a warm day, when a prosy speaker talked too long and people began going home by hundreds, the Chairman would get up and announce that Swami Vivekananda would make a short address just before the benediction. Then he would have the peaceful hundreds perfectly in tether. The four thousand fanning people in the Hall of Columbus would sit smiling and expectant, waiting for an hour or two of other men's speeches, to listen to Vivekananda for fifteen minutes."

In no time America realised that Vivekananda was no isolated dreamer, nor, unlike most spiritual figures of the East, did he care primarily for his own personal salvation. They discovered in him a lofty spiritual realist and a universal lover of humanity. It was his vast personality and his spiritual inspiration that achieved for him such acclaim in America. Vivekananda's credo was characterised by its freedom; thus the freedom-loving Americans responded enthusiastically to his message. They accepted his teaching that material prosperity and spiritual aspiration must run abreast and help each other if man is to see the full face of Divine Knowledge.

It is indeed only when we live in this truth that we can bask in the glorious Sunshine of the Soul that is Vivekananda.

Questions and answers

Question: How can one reconcile America's inner decay and crassness with an evolving spiritual awareness?

Sri Chinmoy: Your question is at once extremely interesting and thought-provoking. It is a question about which one can say much. I wish to reflect on it, not from the sociological viewpoint, but from the spiritual viewpoint which is not so well understood.

America's inner decay is, to me, not so grave or so vital as you feel it to be. I take it to be a battle between Darkness and Light. When we consciously open ourselves to the Light, inevitably all our unconscious weaknesses and limitations come forward to bar the way. The more the Light beckons us, the stronger become our unruly, undivine and unconscious parts. This is an inescapable spiritual law, which one can see operating in the individual as well as in the collectivity. Before proceeding with America, let me explain why this law exists.

Until now, ignorance has ruled the earth and continues to dominate the earth-consciousness. The material world has not consciously aspired for its own inner fulfilment which is part of a destined integral spiritual fulfilment of humanity. Darkness has always been the master. It does not want a higher force to take its place. So it fights with all its power to perpetuate its rule. And so, as I have said, when the Divine Force succeeds in making an opening in a certain area of our earth-consciousness and is rewarded with a renewed aspiration, the anti-divine forces also intensify their efforts, creating values and ideas which are utterly empty of any higher truth. This eternal battle between Darkness and Light becomes even more intense when a new and higher cycle is about to begin in the evolution of mankind, which is the case today.

These are the primary reasons for your feeling that a yawning chasm exists between America's high aspirations and ideals on the one hand, and some of her unlit ideas and values on the other. Her evolving spiritual awareness and her hasty outer movements are not quite in collaboration with each other; one is not helping the other. Until the Light dawns fully, the true seeking cannot come forward wholeheartedly; hence the values leading to integral spiritual progress are not much in evidence.

Moreover, America is a young nation. It does not want to walk; it wants to run as fast as possible in order to breast the tape first. You know that while running at top-speed, there is every possibility of stumbling or running off the track.

Nevertheless, with America's sincere and dynamic urge for progress, her present gropings and wanderings will pale into insignificance as we vision the promise and possibilities of her future fulfilment.

AUM — A monthly journal of spiritual philosophy and yoga1

"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.

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.


  1. AUM 37e1. Editor's introduction from the first edition.