AUM — Vol. 1, No. 8, 27 March 1966

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To my Mahapurush1

I cry beneath my fount of orphan tears.
Your Spirit's Eye shall salve my sighing years.
In me shall breathe your Love, your Sacrifice-Soul,
O my Mahapurush, to the end of my journey's Goal.

AUM 71. "Mahapurush" means a "Great Soul". Jyotish Chandra Chaudhury of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India, breathed his last on 10 March 1966, at 9:20 a.m.

Eight human qualities

I. Humility

A blade of grass am I.
Ere long my breath shall die.
Wilt Thou not show thy Face
And feed my hope with Grace?

God has yet to fix the value of humility. Humans do not yet know its profound worth.

The seed of humility is exceptionally fertile. It may not germinate plants of power and force, but it does yield flowers of Sweetness, Grace, Modesty and Light.

Love for the Divine is in its essence a spontaneous spiritual humility.

Humility has no need to sit on the King's throne. But the King cannot help bringing the throne to humility. And now who is the King? God's Compassion.

A prayer, in its simplest and most effective definition, is humility, climbing the sky of an all-fulfilling Delight.

Only the true sense of humility can raise us from our knees as high as we aspire.

Humility is as rare as a man without self-pity.

We must realise that there is only one way of acquiring infinite future possibilities. That way lies in the great power: Humility.

II. Admiration

Admiration is not the sign of inferiority. Rather it is often a sign of the reciprocal recognition of two souls.

Familiarity and admiration can rarely be long-enduring friends, unless the uniqueness of one finds an echo in the other.

It is easy for our admiration to win over another's love. But often it is too difficult for our love to win over another's admiration.

Can one separate our admiration from our sincerity? Decidedly not. For admiration demands a truthful selflessness.

If we can allot any adequate prize to our sincerity, then that prize is our admiration.

Self-love must know that its annihilation will begin when admiration enters.

Admiration begins to show the psychic touch when it reaches out towards those eternal qualities possessed by seers, saints and sages.

III. Ambition

Our very life is an ambition to fight out obscurity and ignorance.

The more we inwardly obey, the better we outwardly rule.

Life is an ever-progressing reality. This is the firm conviction of ambition.

Ambition is the fond embrace of possession and expression.

If your ambition is to achieve perfection, then do not destroy imperfection. The destruction of imperfection can never be the way to perfection.

Perfection is the conscious annihilation of one's egocentric self.

Ambition is an attempt at self-expression and self-extension. When it is based on the ego's enlargement, we call it self-aggrandisement. When it is based on the soul's illumination, it ceases to be ambition and becomes a divine Mission.

IV. Character

Among the fearless soldiers that fight for your victory in life, character has no equal.

Character is the colossal hope of human improvement within and without.

Character is blazing sunshine in the soul's abode, the body.

A perfect society is built upon mutual trust. Character is the source of that trust.

He whose character is nothing need hope for nothing either in Heaven or on Earth.

Character is just what we inwardly are and outwardly do.

The secret of inner success is constancy to our highest character.

Character gives the key to open the most beautiful doors of life: Peace of Mind and Delight.

V. Courage

Courage is the most devoted servant of one's own faith in oneself and God.

Timidity says, "God is forever unknowable." Courage says, "God is at present unknown, but only for a while."

Cowardice is an extra load to carry in the march of your day-to-day life.

Courage is an ever-willing extra porter to carry your wealth, inner and outer, according to your soul's volition.

Courage is perfection only when it springs from one's oneness with the vision of God.

There is no other way to please your inner self than to be yourself a perfect emblem of courage.

Enthusiasm in its purest expression is courage.

Without courage, life is a path without progress.

Against one's inner courage, death itself contends in vain.

Courage is God's successful inspiration in Man's body, mind, heart and soul.

VI. Equanimity

Equanimity is the hyphen between God's Compassion and man's surrender.

Equanimity is the all-covering, all-protecting umbrella of true wisdom.

Whatever takes place in the divine Providence is not only for the best, but also inevitable, because there is no alternative.

A realised soul is he who is above likes and dislikes. He lives in the world cheerfully, but he is not of it.

Equanimity can by no means imply an inert acceptance. Far from it, equanimity is the living faith of a seeker in the divine Dispensation.

To be able to endure the buffets of life firmly and calmly is to have the full taste of matchless equanimity.

To take the inevitable, unmoved, for our Goal is a divine blessing. The cheering motto of our life can ever be:

"It is Love's supreme decree,
That only Good can come to me."

VII and VIII. Purity and power

Have purity first; then only will you never be devoid of strength.

Look at the miracle of a drop of venom and a drop of purity. The former vitiates the blood in your veins. The latter purifies the human soul in your body.

Power is not necessarily purity, but Purity is sheer power.

There is no one who can fly as high as a divine dispenser of power. There is no man who can ruin his heart as quickly as a misuser of power.

To have experiences without the strength of purification is like living in the most dangerous part of the forest. This does not mean that experience must always wait for complete purification. What is actually needed is a good understanding and a true relation between growing experience and growing purification.

Knowledge is a secret power. When you have won knowledge, power is bound to follow it.

The nature of love may not necessarily be peace and bliss, but it is undoubtedly a power.

Purity is the ceaseless shower of God's omnipotent Grace on aspiring human souls.

Purity is the immediate gift from the universal Treasure-House to God's hopeful children.

Recital of Indian devotional songs

AUM 79e1. On Sunday, 20 March 1966, Chinmoy Kumar Ghose gave a recital of spiritual and devotional songs at the Indian Cultural Centre, 50 Central Park West, New York, N. Y. 10023. The songs were sung in Sanskrit and Bengali and they ranged from the Vedic era to modern times. The excerpts from the Indian scriptures were put to music by the singer himself. Sri Ghose explained briefly to the audience the spiritual or philosophical significance of each song. We give the Indian titles of the songs, the translation of the verses sung and the commentary given by Sri Ghose.

1. Invocation:3

"Agne naya supatha raye asman . . .
  Agni! Lead us by the auspicious path to Prosperity;
  Thou God who knowest all our deeds . . ."

A devotional song has a universal appeal. It appeals to the aspiring soul and elevates the consciousness. It appeals also to our hearts, minds and bodies. A devotional song expresses a universal spiritual emotion, a personal experience which rises like a flame towards God.

I wish to say a word about the Invocation I have just sung. The Vedas are the most ancient, the most inspiring and the most important of the Indian scriptures. The quintessence of the Vedic Truth is the concept of the Journey. This is the Journey of the Soul along the Path of Truth and Eternal Order. The Vedas overflow with love of life and energy for action; they invoke the Supreme with implicit faith for Guidance and Divine Inspiration.

The Vedas are four in number, each book containing several thousand hymns. The four Vedas are the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda. The hymn I have just sung is from the Rig Veda, from that part of it devoted to the adoration of Agni, the God of the Eternal Divine Fire. The "Prosperity" mentioned in the hymn is not merely earthly prosperity, but is an inner and all-fulfilling prosperity, a plenitude of both the Spirit and the outer life.

AUM 79. From the Rig-Veda: I. 189-1


Now to come to the second song on the programme. The Upanishads are intuitive revelations derived from the Vedas. The Upanishads have inspired all systems of Indian philosophy and even today guide the spiritual lives of millions of Truth-seekers. God alone knows how many Upanishads once existed, but only 108 have been faithfully preserved. The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad contains one of India's most significant and inspiring invocations to God. For centuries, the firmament of India has resounded with this beloved and immortal prayer:

Asato ma sad gamaya . . . 4

Lead us from the Unreal to the Real,
Lead us from Darkness unto Light,
Lead us from Death to Immortality.

AUM 80,2. From the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad: I. 3. 28


The Gita is the Song Celestial, sung by Lord Krishna himself. The Gita is the essence of all Indian scriptures. There are eighteen soul-illumining discourses in the Gita. In the eleventh one, Lord Krishna reveals to his beloved disciple, Arjuna, his Visva-Rupa, his Universal Form. On seeing this overpowering sight, this Divine Form, the surrendered disciple in Arjuna cries out:

Tvamadi Deva Purusha Purana . . .

Thou art the ancient Soul,
The first and original Godhead,
And the Supreme resting place of all that lives;
Thou art the Knower and the Known; the Highest Abode,
O Infinite in form, by thee the Universe was extended.

Thou art Vayu and Yama and Agni and Soma and
Varuna and Prajapati,
Father of creatures and the great-grandsire,
Salutation, Salutation to Thee,
A thousand times over and again,
And yet again. Salutation,
Again and again. Hail unto Thee.5

From the Bhagavad-Gita: 11. 38-39


In Vaishnavism, Sri Krishna is the sole object of love, devotion and worship. The Vaishnavites believe that unreserved dedication to Lord Krishna is the matchless ideal, the supreme way of life.

Radha, Lord Krishna's divine consort and disciple, is the very embodiment of that self-dedication. Having won Him by many lives of aspiration and devotion, she surrenders her very existence to serve Him.

Chandidas wrote this poem in the 16th century. He was a great Vaishnava poet, cherished by all in Bengal.

E ghora rajani meghera ghata . . .

The night is dark, the sky is filled with teeming clouds.
Friend, what can I say to you?
By virtue of many lives, Him I have won.

Rabindranath Tagore wrote:

To the birds You gave songs,
The birds gave You songs in return.
You gave me only a voice,
But You asked for more,
And I sing.

Rabindranath was a Golden Song sung by the Divine Singer in him. He was, indeed, the World-Song, the golden chain that bound East and West.

He offered the world more than two thousand songs. He once said that when he was capable of singing, his own compositions were very few in number. But by the time he had become a prolific composer, his voice failed him.

He made a prophetic utterance about his own songs: "With the march of time, everything changes. But the Bengalees will sing my songs epoch after epoch. They will sing my songs in the hour of their sorrow, grief, joy and delight. They will have no alternative."


In the song I shall now sing, Tagore compares the Pole Star, fixed and steady in the dark night, with the light of the mind and heart which illumines the unlit existence of human life:

Nivid ghana andhare jwalichhe Dhruvatara . . .

In the tenebrous gloom shines the Pole Star;
O my mind, in the immense expanse of night,
Lose not your Way.
Dead with depression and despair,
O my heart, cease not your singing.
Breaking asunder the prison of delusion,
Fulfil your life . . .


This is another song by Tagore.

Amar hiyar lukiye . . .

Lord, You have been hiding
In the inmost recesses of my heart.
I have not been able to see You.
To the world without I have opened my eyes,
Not to the world within.

You were in all my loves and in all my pangs
And in all my hopes;
You were beside me,
But I did not see You, I did not.


The next is an inspirational song written by Kaji Najrul Islam in the early decades of this century. It tells of the famous battle of Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata, addressing Lord Krishna, the Charioteer, and invoking Him to infuse man with courage and strength.

He Partha Sarathi, bajao, bajao Panchajanya . . .

O Charioteer,
Blow, blow your conch;
Drive away this depression of the heart,
Make them fearless who are struck with fear.

String the bow and hit the target.
Singing the mantra of the Gita,
Sacrifice your life.

Make us forget the fear of death.
Death is not the end of life.
Through Eternity flows the eternal tide of life . . .


I wrote the following song in India about fifteen years ago. It calls upon the soul to awaken and lead the entire being towards God-Realisation.

Jago amar swapan sathi, jago amar praner pran . . .

Awake, O Comrade of my dream,
Awake, O Breath of my life,
Awake, my Boundless Heart spread over the universe,
Awake, O that Consciousness of mine,
Which ends not,
Even crossing the Beyond.

9. Bande Mataram . . .

Mother, I bow to Thee . . .

This was the original national anthem of India, and the source of profound inspiration in the long struggle for India's independence.

The lines of the song were written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, the greatest novelist of Bengal and one of her men of supreme genius. In one of his greatest novels, Ananda Math, we find the lines as a song.

No Indian will forget the role that this national song, Bande Mataram, played in the patriotic feeling of the Indian people. It served a Divine purpose in energising them in their long struggle for freedom. High into the sky rose its flames of incantation from the burning hearts of the patriots.

Many different tunes were put to this song over the years. The present one was composed by a great musician of India, Dilip Kumar Roy.


Now we come to the last song, Phire chalo.

By singing this song, a great singer of India, K. C. Dey, became immortal overnight. God had denied him sight; he was stone blind. But God sang through him in such soul-stirring grandeur as he sang this song for the famous film "Chandidasa" that his name became immortal in India.

In this song, Home is beckoning us. According to the Vedas, Home represents Heaven on Earth, for it is by abiding in the soul here on earth that we achieve spiritual Bliss. In the Rig Veda, the seers sing: "Madhumat Punarayanam" which means "Sweet be my return (home)."

Phire chalo, apana ghare . . .

Let us return Home, let us go back,
Useless is this reckoning of seeking and getting,

Delight permeates all of today.

From the blue ocean of death
Life is flowing like nectar.
In life there is death; in death there is life.
So where is fear, where is fear?

The birds in the sky are singing "No death, no death!"
Day and night the tide of Immortality
Is descending here on earth.

AUM — A monthly journal of spiritual philosophy and yoga6

"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.

Editor's introduction from the first edition.