AUM — Vol. 6, No.12, 27 July 1971
How to conquer doubt1How to conquer doubt. A great writer once said, “A philosopher is one who doubts.” Now, in my humble opinion, we are all philosophers, for there is nobody on earth who has not doubted at least once. So, in that respect, we are all philosophers.
The Sanskrit word for philosophy is ‘darshan’. Darshan means vision; to envision the truth. Sri Ramakrishna said, “In days of yore people used to have visions and now people are studying it.” One thing is to have the direct vision of the highest ultimate Truth, another thing is to study it.
Now, here I am in no way throwing cold water on the students of philosophy — far from it. I happen to be also an insignificant philosopher. But now, what I wish to say is this: philosophy leads us to spirituality and spirituality offers us God-realisation, self-discovery and so forth. So let us start our journey with philosophy. This is the first rung of the spiritual ladder and then the next rung is spirituality and then the final is God-realisation.
Doubt. Doubt means absence of real knowledge. Real knowledge is true light and true light is our inseparable oneness with the world.
Faith and doubt. These are like the North Pole and the South Pole. Unfortunately, a man of faith is very often misunderstood. We are apt to call a man of faith a fanatic. Here we make a deplorable mistake. A fanatic and a man of faith are two different persons. A fanatic hates reason, ignores the reasoning mind; whereas a man of faith, if he is really a man of faith, will welcome and accept reason and the doubting mind. Then his faith will help the doubting mind to transcend itself into the infinite vast, into something eternal and immortal. This is what faith offers to the doubting mind.
A man of faith is also a man of divine humility. The farther he advances in the realm of spirituality on the strength of his faith, the deeper he grows into the supreme humility.
Here at this point I wish to quote Keats’ immortal utterance, “My greatest elevations of soul every time make me humble.”
Doubt is our self-imposed ignorance. Faith is our inner vision of the ultimate Truth. Again, faith is our soul’s expansion and soul’s illumination.
We see darkness all around. We see impurity ail around, imperfection all around. Again, it is we who have the inner inspiration, aspiration, capacity and adamantine will to transform the very face of the earth. How? If we conquer doubt, self-doubt; if we conquer our doubt of humanity, of God.
Doubt. Why do we doubt? We doubt because we do not have the conscious oneness with somebody else, with the rest of the world. Now, if somebody doubts me, shall I doubt him in return? If I doubt him, then I sail in the same boat. Now, if I offer him my faith, my implicit faith, then either today or tomorrow, sooner or later I can transform his nature.
What do we learn from a tree? When we vehemently and ruthlessly shake a tree, what does the tree do? The tree immediately offers us flowers, fruits. Now, if others similarly torture us with their teeming doubts, let us offer them our snow-white faith. And then our snow-white faith will transform their life of teeming, darkening and darkened clouds of doubt.
With our eyes wide open we see that the world is ugly. With our ears wide open we hear that the world is impure. Now, we have the mind. Let us use our mind or compel the mind to see only the right thing, the pure thing, unlike the eyes. Let us use our mind or compel the mind to hear only the right thing, divine thing. It is the mind, developed mind, conscious mind, illumined mind that has the capacity in abundant measure to transport us into the highest regions of consciousness.
We are all under the laws of Mother Earth. The Mother Earth is under the laws of Heaven. Heaven is again under the express law of God. And our doubt, cherished doubt, is under its own law. Its law is frustration and in frustration destruction looms large.
Why do we doubt? Because we are wanting in proper understanding. There was a great spiritual saint named Kavir. He said, “Listen to me, brothers: he understands who loves.”
Now, if we love, then we understand; and if we understand the truth, then we have neither the opportunity nor the necessity to cherish even an iota of doubt in our day-to-day existence.
We doubt God at our sweet will. We doubt God precisely because we think He is invisible. We doubt Him because we think He is inaudible. We doubt God because we think He is incomprehensible. Now, to see Him, what have we done? To hear Him, what have we done? To understand Him, what have we done? To see Him, have we prayed soulfully daily? The answer is in the negative. No. To hear Him, have we loved mankind devotedly? No. To understand Him, have we served divinity in humanity? No. We have not prayed to God. We have not loved mankind. We have not served the divinity in humanity. Yet we want to see God face-to-face. It is impossible. God can be seen on the strength of our inner cry, which we call aspiration, the mounting flame within us. Every moment this flame is mounting towards the highest. If we know how to cry within, then this flame will mount, will climb up high, higher, highest; and while it is climbing up, it will illumine the world around.
There is an Indian proverb. I am sure most of you have heard it: “A strong man fears his enemy when the enemy is far off, but when the enemy is near, he is no longer afraid of the enemy.” I wish to add that when doubt attacks a spiritually strong man, he becomes stronger, infinitely stronger. He does this by bringing to the fore his own soul’s light which energises him to fight against doubts and conquer them.
There is another way to conquer doubt: If we at this very moment feel that we are children, children of God. And again, if we can feel that God is a divine child playing with us. We are human children and He is a divine child. A child does not doubt. He has implicit faith in his parents. He has implicit faith in everyone he comes across. We can also play the same role in our day-to-day life. Let us play with God, the Divine Child. There can be no shadow of doubt in our life, when we speak, when we eat, when we move around, if we feel that we have a divine child within us, sporting with us. We are not alone. There is someone playing with us at every moment. If we know and feel this, then doubt can never eclipse our mind.
A lover of God, an adorer of God feels that deep within him, in the inmost recesses of his heart, there is an island of ecstasy. And this island can never be submerged by the floods of doubt, for his love has already made him one with this divine certitude.
A seeker of the highest order said, “Some say He (God) is too far. Some say, ‘No. He is at home here.’ But I have found Him. He is in the cradle of love.”
When we love God, our problem is over. True, we all do not see God face-to-face. But we can imagine for a fleeting second that God with all His love abides in our dear and near ones. Let us try to see the face of our Beloved in our dear ones. Where there is love, true love, there is all oneness. Where there is oneness, there can be no doubt — no darkening, no threatening, no destructive doubt.
Finally, how to conquer doubt. In order to conquer doubt, we have to be in the process of purification of our nature constantly. This purification has to take place in our physical. The body has to be purified constantly. It is not by washing the body or taking six or seven baths that we can purify the body. Our body will be purified only when we feel a living shrine within us and we have to install the living deity of light and truth within us. Then the body in no time will be purified. At that time we cannot have any doubt in the body, or in our physical mind.
The vital — the vital has to play the role of divine dynamism. It is the dynamic energy that we have to offer to the vital and not the aggressive and destructive power, in order to conquer doubts in the vital.
The mind — each moment the mind has to be flooded with clarity and right thinking. Each moment the mind will consciously house divine thoughts, divine ideas and divine ideals. Then doubt will not be able to breathe in the mind.
The heart — each moment we have to make the heart soulful so that we can easily conquer doubt in the heart. The heart has to offer the message of sacrifice for others, for the rest of the world. And while sacrificing the very life-breath, a sincere seeker feels that he is not sacrificing anything, he is just expanding his own inner consciousness and fulfilling himself here on earth.
Doubt can be conquered. It has to be conquered. How? The only answer is constant, soulful concentration on the mind, meditation on the heart and contemplation on the entire being.
AUM 725. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at the University of Dundee, Scotland, on 25 November 1970.↩
Love, devotion and surrender2Love, devotion and surrender. Love is sweet, devotion is sweeter, surrender is the sweetest. Love is sweet. I have felt this truth in my mother's spontaneous love for me. Devotion is sweeter. I have discovered this truth in my mother's pure devotion towards the perfection of my life. Surrender is the sweetest. I have realised this truth in my mother’s constant surrender towards the fulfilment of my joy.
Again, love is mighty, devotion is mightier, surrender is the mightiest. Love is mighty. This truth I feel when I look at my Father’s face. Devotion is mightier. This truth I discover when I sit at the feet of my Father. Surrender is the mightiest. This truth I realise when I live in the breath of my Father’s will.
Love, devotion and surrender. St. Augustine has blessed us with a profound message. The message is: “Love and then do what you like.”
Our mind thinks that this is absolutely true. Our heart feels that this is undeniably true. But unfortunately in our day-to-day life we are not able to practise it. That is to say, we do not know what love is. We do not know why we love something or someone. Finally, we do not know how to love.
What is love? From the spiritual and inner point of view, love is self-expansion. Human love binds and is bound. Divine love expands, enlarges itself. Here we are dealing with the divine love.
Now, devotion is the intensity in love and surrender is the fulfilment of love. Why do we love? We love because at every moment we are pinched with hunger to realise the highest, to feel the inmost, to be consciously one with the universe, with the universal truth, universal light, peace and bliss and to be completely fulfilled.
How to love? If we love with a view of achieving something from others, then that love is no love. Love means constant self-offering on the strength of one’s own inner aspiration. This world of ours needs peace, joy, bliss, harmony and understanding. We feel that here on earth there is no light, no truth, no divinity — nothing of the sort. All divine qualities, all aspects of the Lord Supreme are in the skies, in the deep blue skies, not here. This is what we feel. Hence we always look up high for help. We feel that God is in heaven, not on earth. God will come down into the world to our rescue. He is not to be found here on earth. Here we are wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance. There can be no light, no truth here. But we must realise that, God being omnipresent, He is here too. He is within us. He is without us. In the inmost recesses of our heart, we feel His living Presence.
As you all know, George Bernard Shaw has warned us, “Beware of the man whose God is in the skies.” But our God is everywhere. He is not only in heaven. He is here on earth. He is with us, He is within us and He is for us. We don’t have to enter into the highest regions of consciousness to see God. Our inner cry will bring to the fore our inner divinity which is nothing other than God.
Surrender. Surrender is protection and surrender is illumination. Surrender is our perfection. We begin our journey at the very commencement of our life. We surrender our existence to our parents and the result is protection. We listen to our parents. We surrender to their will, to their advice, suggestions and we are protected, well protected. Joy boundless we felt in our day-to-day life when we were children. Why? Because we surrendered our personal will, our own inner thinking to our parents. Here immediately we get joy plus protection. In protection is joy and in joy is protection.
Now in the evening of our life, what happens? If we follow the inner life and the spiritual life, in the evening of our life we surrender. To whom? To the Inner Pilot, the Lord Supreme. At the end of our journey we surrender our very breath to the Supreme. Then we again get joy, perfect joy, unalloyed joy.
To quote Dante, “The happiest man is he who can connect the evening of his life with the beginning.”
Now, if we are all sincere seekers of the ultimate Truth, then our journey begins with surrender to our parents, who are our well-wishers, who are our dearest and nearest ones. When we surrender to them our existence, we get joy in abundant measure. Then, when we walk along the path of spirituality, every moment we try to listen to the dictates of our inner being. The more we listen to the inner being, the greater is our joy, the higher is our fulfilment. And then, when our term is over, when we have to enter into another world for a short rest, if we consciously surrender to God’s Will, ours will be the supreme joy, ours will be the glory supreme.
It is difficult to love mankind. It is difficult to devote oneself to mankind. It is difficult to surrender oneself to mankind. This is true. In the same way, it is difficult for us to love God, to serve God, to devote ourselves to God and to surrender our living breath to God. Now, why? The simple reason is: we want to possess and be possessed. Now here we are constantly making ourselves victims of ignorance. That is to say, our desire can never be fulfilled. We have countless desires. God will fulfil only those desires that will be of some use, from which we will derive benefit. But our countless desires — if He fulfilled them, then He would be doing an injustice to our aspiring soul. That He won’t do. He knows what is best for us and He has given us beyond our capacity, even beyond our necessity. But unfortunately we are unaware of this fact.
St. Francis, from his own experience, has offered a unique truth to the world at large: "He who thinks that God’s Love is inadequate is very greedy." Really we are all greedy people. If we go deep within, we see, we feel, we realise that God has given us infinitely more than we need. Needless to say, more than we deserve.
Love, devotion and surrender. These are the three rungs in the spiritual ladder, or should we say the ladder of our evolving consciousness. The first rung is love; the second, or you can say the penultimate, is devotion; and the ultimate is surrender. A tiny drop enters into the ocean and becomes the mighty, the boundless ocean. Unfortunately, in the West surrender is misunderstood. We feel that if we surrender to someone, that means he will lord it over us. We will have no individuality and personality. From the ordinary point of view, the human point of view, this is true. From the spiritual point of view, it is absolutely wrong. When the finite enters into the infinite, it becomes the infinite all at once. When a tiny drop enters into the ocean, we cannot trace the drop. It becomes the mighty ocean. Each moment we are given ample opportunity to love mankind and if we really love mankind, then we have the feeling of devoted service to mankind. And then when we really want to enlarge our existence, expand our consciousness and be one, inseparably one with the vast, then surrender is the only answer.
Each moment we see right in front of us a barrier between one human being and another human being — an adamantine wall between two human beings. We cannot communicate properly, wholeheartedly and soulfully. Why? Because we are wanting in love. Love is our inseparable oneness with the rest of the world, with God’s entire creation. We can break asunder this adamantine wall that we feel between us on the strength of our soulful love.
India’s greatest poet, Rabindranath Tagore, said, “He who loves finds the door open.” So our heart’s door is already open for those who really, truly and soulfully love. God loves us out of His infinite bounty and His heart’s door is always wide open. Just because He is all love, we approach Him. He is our dearest, not because He is Omniscient and Omnipotent — just because He is all love. God is dearest to us precisely because He is all love.
Love, devotion and surrender. To serve and never be tired is love. To learn and never be filled is devotion. To offer and never to end is surrender. Love is man’s reality. Devotion is man’s divinity and surrender is man’s immortality. Reality is all-pervading. Divinity is all-elevating and immortality is all-fulfilling.
AUM 726. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at the American International School, Zurich, Switzerland, on 27 November 1970.↩
The permanent and the impermanent3What is permanent? What is impermanent? What is permanent is reality. And what is impermanent is non-reality. Reality is the existence of light, in light and for light. Non-reality is the existence of night, in night and for night. Reality’s parents are divinity and immortality. Non-reality’s parents are bondage and ignorance.
When we see the divine light we feel happy. When we feel the divine light we become strong and when we grow into the divine light our life becomes fruitful. When we see the undivine night, we become weak, impotent. When we feel the undivine night, we feel sorry, we feel miserable. And when we grow into the undivine night, our life becomes meaningless, fruitless.
Now, illumining light and illumined light; darkening night and darkened night. Illumining light is the light that is within us. Illumined light is the light that is without us. Darkening night is the night that is before us. Darkened night is the night that is around us.
That which is real is permanent. And what is permanent is spiritual. What is spiritual? The life of the ever-transcending beyond is spiritual. But this life of the ever-transcending beyond has to be manifested here on earth. This life is real, reality itself. What is unspiritual? Let us use the term material. Material is something which is the wealth of the fleeting time.
Divine wealth and material wealth. Divine wealth is our inner aspiration. This aspiration is the song of infinity, eternity and immortality within us. Material wealth is desire. It is the cry for immediate and constant possession. When we try to possess, unfortunately we feel that we are already possessed. When we try to see someone with our soul’s light, we feel that we are already liberated and he too is already liberated.
A thing permanent is divine. A thing impermanent is undivine. When divine wisdom dawns on earth, we realise that an impermanent thing is useless.
Divinity and immortality are within us. Immortality tells us what to do and divinity tells us how to do it. Immortality tells us to listen to the dictates of our soul, which is a spark of the supreme light. It tells us to be conscious of the Inner Pilot constantly. Divinity tells us how we can do it. We can do it through a self-disciplined life, through dedication to a higher cause, through purification of our outer nature and through undying and unreserved love for God.
Bondage and ignorance are the parents of night. Ignorance tells us what to do and bondage tells us how to do it. Ignorance tells us to destroy the world and bondage tells us how to do it through cruelty and brutality, through unfair means.
A spiritual seeker tries to enter into the inmost recesses of his heart and from there he tries to bring light to the fore. With the help of this light, he wants to grow into the breath of the permanent. Now, to grow into the breath of the permanent what we need is inner wisdom. What is this inner wisdom?
Lord Krishna, in the Bhagavad-Gita, the Song Celestial, says to Arjuna, his divine instrument, “O Arjuna, a wise man is he who has the mastery over the senses.” That is to say, when we conquer the senses, we enter into the realm of wisdom, where reality grows and divinity flows.
Now, to enter into the world of wisdom we need constant love — love for the truth, love for light. But right now we are fond of fleeting truths, fleeting light, fleeting possession. The fleeting wealth that we have or we cherish is terribly afraid of truth, it doubts truth and it fears God. But our divine wealth, aspiration, invokes truth and adores God. Each day we are seeing with our own eyes and feeling with our own heart the impermanence of the man-made world. That is to say, the things that we create with our thoughts and ideas don’t last. This moment I have a thought and soon that thought is gone. Perhaps it gives me a result; this result lasts for again another fleeting second.
But there is something else we call will-power — soul’s will, adamantine will of the soul. If we can exercise an iota of this will-power, then we will see that not only the action but also the result is an everlasting reality. In order to develop the will-power of the soul, we have to enter into the life of the Spirit. We have to have a self-disciplined life. Self-disciplined life does not mean the mortification of life or a conscious torture to the human life. Self-disciplined life means a life that needs the light and wants to be guided by the light and moulded and shaped by the light. And when the life is disciplined, we shall not act like an animal. When the life is disciplined enough, the real divinity will grow. At that time we can say that God-realisation or self-discovery is our birthright and in God-realisation we acquire the wisdom of the everlasting Truth. It is not that an individual or some individuals are chosen to realise the highest Truth. No. Far from it. Each individual is an instrument of God. But he has to be conscious. Right now he is not. He is unconscious. But when he prays, when he meditates, he automatically becomes a constant, conscious instrument of God. And he who becomes a conscious instrument of God hears in the very heart of the finite the message of the Infinite and feels in the fleeting the Breath of the Eternal. To think of God, to meditate on God constantly, is to live in God unreservedly. When we live in God constantly, soulfully and unreservedly, God unconditionally does everything for us. In infinite measure He offers His Light, Peace and Bliss and we grow into His very Image. Here on earth the message of the permanent Truth, the transcendental Truth has to be fulfilled, for God has chosen earth as His field for manifestation. The eternal Light has to be manifested here on earth and we, all of us, have to become conscious instruments of God. We can be so if we have the inner cry and this inner cry has to be the cry of a child. The child cries for the mother. The mother comes running towards the child, no matter where the mother is. The child may be in the living room or he may be in the kitchen, but the mother comes running to feed the child. Similarly, when we have the inner cry, spontaneous cry for light and truth, God out of His infinite Bounty will show us the Light and in that Light we will grow. We shall fulfil God. While fulfilling God, we shall fulfil ourselves and our only prayer to God is:
Lead us from the unreal to the real,
Lead us from darkness to light,
Lead us from death to immortality,
O Lord Supreme!
AUM 727. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at the University of Bristol, 30 November 1970.↩
Spirituality — is it only for the chosen few?4Spirituality: is it only for the chosen few? The answer is at once in the affirmative and in the negative.
The blessed aspirants who cry for the transcendental Truth, Peace and Bliss are undoubtedly the chosen few. Again, all human beings, with no exception, can easily swim in the infinite sea of spirituality.
Those who have lesser goals, those who want to be satisfied with an iota of peace, bliss and truth, unfortunately cannot dine with the chosen few in the inner world.
I am afraid the beginners and the budding seekers may, at this point, take me amiss. Truth to tell, I in no way intend to throw cold water on them. On the contrary, I want them to be cognisant of the fact that the highest Goal is never denied to them. It is they who have to cultivate the strongest necessity in the world of their aspiration to reach the ultimate Beyond.
What prevents them from reaching the Beyond? Their fear. What else? Their doubt. They must know that fear is the owner only of those who do not believe in God. They do believe in God. They do have faith in God. Their love for God is unquestionable. Such being the case, they need not, they must not be afraid of God’s transcendental Height.
Now about their doubt. To doubt God is to play with a balloon. Their doubt-balloon is bound to burst before long. Their ignorance is, sooner or later, bound to be exposed. To doubt themselves is to underestimate their own divinity, overestimate their ignorance-reality, belittle their inner potentiality and aggrandise their temporary and fleeting insecurity.
I am sure that they have true love for God. I am sure that they have true love for themselves. Their love for God will eventually transform them into perfect Beauty supreme, and their divine and fulfilling love for themselves as fully awakened and advanced members of the human Family will be manifested by God Himself on earth. Further, their love is their inseparable oneness with God’s Light and with their inner revealing Reality.
It is high time for me to speak a few words about the chosen few. Theirs is the task sublime to realise God’s universal and transcendental Consciousness. Theirs is the bounden duty to reveal and fulfil God on earth. And among the chosen few, he is by far the best who unconditionally realises God, reveals God and manifests God at God’s choice Hour, in God’s own Way.
The chosen few, when they look forward, find themselves already seated in the Dream-Boat of the Supreme. When they look upward, they find themselves already seated in the Life-Boat of the Supreme. When they look inward, they find themselves already seated in the Soul-Boat of the Supreme.
The Supreme blesses a budding seeker. The Supreme caresses a climbing seeker. The Supreme utilises a flowering seeker. The Supreme extols a realised seeker to the skies. The Supreme unreservedly offers Himself to the supremely realised seeker who unconditionally serves Him in the heart of humanity.
AUM 728. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, on 4 June 1971.↩
MeditationDo not try to approach God with your thinking mind. It may only stimulate your intellectual ideas, activities and beliefs. Try to approach God with your crying heart. It will awaken your soulful, spiritual consciousness.
O, love me more and love me longO, love me more and love me long.
My boat is sinking; my hope is strong.
O, love me more and love me long.
My breath is bleeding; my dream is strong.
O, love me more and love me long.
My soul is leaving; my surrender strong.
O, love me more and love me long.
My Goal is crying; my promise strong.
When I am gone awayWhen I am gone away
Remember me, O children sweet,
No, not because I failed,
No, not because I cried,
No, not because I tried,
No, not because I saw my Lord in you,
No, not because I served my Lord in you,
No, not because I fulfilled my Lord in you,
No, not because I was your Pilot true,
No, not because I was your 'Infinite' blue,
O, but because my life was all gratitude,
To you, to you, my children sweet, to you.
1.True, where my treasure is, there will be my heart also. Now, what is my treasure? God’s Compassion, God’s Compassion alone.
2.Mysticism is not only a human belief but a divine faith. This faith is the creative principle of life. Mysticism is also the outer expression of man’s inner flowing life.
3.Try not to change the world. You will fail. Try to love the world. Lo, the world is changed. Changed forever.
4.People have friends, many friends. I have one friend, only one, my good old friend: God. He says that I am His soul. I tell Him that He is my only GOAL.
5.If your life’s name is soulful gratitude, then you can most powerfully broadcast yourself to God.
6.Man is infinity's Heart.
Man is Eternity' Breath.
Man is Immortality's Life.