AUM — Vol.1, No.12, 27 December 1974
The message for the New YearThe year 1975
Will be the year
Of the seeker’s outer success
And inner progress.
With his outer success
He will love and serve
The Supreme Pilot.
With his inner progress
He will manifest and fulfil
The Supreme Pilot.
In memory of U Thant. 1Beloved Brother, you were a man of silence, you were a man of peace. May the Supreme grant your soul Eternity’s Silence and your heart Infinity’s Peace.
The passing of our beloved brother U Thant marks the real death of a colossal hope for the twentieth century. Divinely great he was; supremely good he is. The greatness of his earth-height his body-consciousness is carrying. The goodness of his Heaven-delight his soul has left for us, for Mother Earth to claim as her very own and treasure forever and ever.
We, the members of the United Nations Meditation Group, have a special place for our beloved brother U Thant in the inmost recesses of our gratitude-hearts, for he has helped us unreservedly with his aspiring heart and with his illumining soul, both inwardly and outwardly. We have been extremely fortunate for being blessed by his soul’s light.
I have received from him quite a few letters of deepest light and profoundest wisdom encouraging and inspiring us to be of greater service to the soul of the United Nations and to be of greater service to aspiring mankind. I wish to read out to you one of his recent letters….
[Sri Chinmoy read out a brief letter from U Thant.]
I wish to invite those seekers from the United Nations Meditation Group who would like to offer their heartfelt feelings to honour and perpetuate the memory of our beloved spiritual brother U Thant to say just a few words to us all. I would be very grateful if you would like to share your feelings with the rest of the group.
AUM 1326. Sri Chinmoy delivered the following short message in memory of U Thant at the chapel of the Church Centre for the United Nations during the regular weekly meditation which he holds there for delegates and staff members of the United Nations. Tuesday, 26 November 1974↩
1.Prayer is man’s protection.
Meditation is man’s salvation.
Realisation is man’s transformation.
2.[The first performance of Sri Chinmoy’s play Siddhartha Becomes the Buddha was dedicated to U Thant, and he was guest of honour at the performance. Below is a transcription of Sri Chinmoy’s welcoming speech to U Thant, followed by Mr. Thant’s gracious reply.]
When I go to the Buddha for refuge,
He blesses me.
When I go to the Inner Law for refuge,
He illumines me.
When I go to the Order for refuge,
He utilises me.
A child of Bihar, a son of India, a citizen of the world, a denizen of the higher spheres — Siddhartha, the Buddha.
In the outer world, he is known as the Light of Asia. In the inner world, he is, indeed, an ever-illumining Light of the universe.
To the world-sorrows he offered his heart of infinite Compassion. To the world-aspiration he offered his soul of transcendental Illumination.
The Omnipotent did two things. Through Siddhartha Gautama, He revealed the ideal of Perfection in a human being. Through the Buddha, He revealed His Enlightenment and Compassion in a divine being.
With His Heart, the Unfathomable came to the Buddha.
With His Mind, the Unknowable came to the Buddha.
With His Bliss, the Transcendental came to the Buddha.
This evening we are deeply honoured and blessed by the gracious presence of our most esteemed brother, U Thant. Two thousand five hundred years ago a world-father, the Buddha, came with the message of universal Peace. Now, two thousand five hundred years later, he has sent his chosen son, U Thant, to carry on the same message of Peace.
Dear Brother, for ten long years you have served the world-consciousness most devotedly and most significantly through the world body of the United Nations. Mother Earth and Father Heaven have bestowed their choicest blessings on your devoted head, aspiring heart and illumining soul. Now the outer political world has lost you, but the inner spiritual world has gained you and claims you as its very own. Your silent life of aspiration, dedication and illumination is guiding the outer world and leading it to its destined Goal.
With deepest joy and gratitude I am dedicating this play, Siddhartha Becomes the Buddha, as a humble token of my treasured feeling towards you. In you I feel the pioneer-pilot of world-peace. In you I see a beacon-light of world-redemption. In you I discover the true love of human life and an utmost reverence for Truth, both in the inner world and in the outer world.
The Absolute Supreme claims you as His very own. The Lord Buddha claims you as his very own. We, your brothers and sisters of this world, claim you as our very own.
U Thant: Revered and highly esteemed Sri Chinmoy and brothers and sisters, I feel it is a great privilege to be able to participate in this spiritually rewarding experience, and for this I am most grateful to our esteemed teacher, Sri Chinmoy, for this innovative undertaking. I also feel particularly moved and touched by his very gracious blessings bestowed on me.
Sri Chinmoy very kindly sent me a copy of the play, Siddhartha Becomes the Buddha. I read it with great interest and with great admiration and profit. Of course, it is extremely difficult to depict the important episodes of the life of the Buddha in the course of a few minutes or an hour or so, but I find that Sri Chinmoy has done a most remarkable job in presenting the play in simple, understandable language for the uninitiated. His stress on the basic characteristics of Buddhism, on compassion, love, renunciation, peace, should stimulate the thought of leaders of men and leaders of thought everywhere.
As you are all aware, I was brought up as a Buddhist by tradition, by faith and by practice, and I find myself in complete agreement with Sri Chinmoy in his enunciation of the ethical and moral aspects of Buddhism which, in my view, should be the basis of every one of us in our search for inner Light, in our search for Truth. Sri Chinmoy in his play, has also drawn a very vivid picture of the identity between God and Truth, soul and inner Light, which I very much hope will create an abiding interest in these two great religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, which in many ways constitute the key to all great religions.
I feel very strongly, as some of my friends know, that only by a practical application of the teachings of the great religious leaders, particularly the development of the moral and spiritual aspects of life as Sri Chinmoy has stressed in the play: love, compassion, tolerance, the philosophy of live-and-let-live, modesty and even humility, only with this approach, only with this method, will we be able to fashion the kind of society we want: a truly moral society, a decent society, a livable society, which is the goal of all great religions.
I want to thank particularly those friends who are participating in this play and I wish all of you eternal joy, particularly the inner joy and peace of mind.
Thank you very much, Sri Chinmoy.
Questions and answers on the soul_AUM 1329-1337. Selections from Sri Chinmoy's book, Eternity's Soul-Bird, Part I
Question: Why did God introduce the soul into the body? Was it to punish some souls that were malevolent?Sri Chinmoy: God did not send the soul into the body to punish it. It is we who like ignorance more than we like light. When I say ‘we’, I am referring to the unconscious body, not the soul. This unconscious, unaspiring physical body is in darkness and it likes darkness. If we love ignorance and darkness more than we love light, then naturally we will quarrel and fight. It is not that God has brought our souls into the world to destroy them or punish them.
When the soul enters into the body, rest assured that God also enters. The soul is a conscious portion of God, the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. We can definitely say that it is a conscious representative of God. It has the ability to communicate with the Highest, with the Absolute, at any time, and it has permission from the Highest to play its part on earth.
God’s original purpose in uniting the soul and body is very clear. The body is the shrine and the soul is the deity. The body is the fort, the spiritual temple, and inside the body the soul resides. The soul is a flood of light and this flood of light will eventually illumine the teeming ignorance in the physical body. When we aspire, when we go deep within, we actually see the physical existence, the physical body inside the soul. The soul is in touch with the Highest, the Absolute, the All-Pervading, but the physical right now is not; the physical is limited, very limited. When we remain in the limited consciousness, we feel that the soul is inside the body and the soul is very tiny. Our Indian scriptures say that the soul is smaller than the smallest and, at the same time, vaster than the vastest. There are many different conceptions of the soul. On the strength of our oneness with the highest Truth, we can see the soul either with form or in the formless state.
The purpose of uniting the soul and the body is to fulfil both the inner and the outer. Inside is the soul and outside is the body. If there were no soul, then the body would act blindly. Again, without the body, the soul would be helpless; it would be unable to function at all. God’s purpose in uniting the soul and the body is to enjoy Himself divinely, both within and without. Otherwise, He will never be perfect, for perfection must be in every realm of existence.
Question: A chair has a soul. If you chopped up the chair into little pieces of wood, would those pieces of matter each have their own soul?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, but you have to know that those souls would have practically no development. In those pieces of wood there would be only the tiniest spark of consciousness. True, everything and everyone has a soul; but the consciousness of the soul is a matter of development.
Question: What is the difference between spirit and soul?Sri Chinmoy: In the West the word ‘spirit’ is used in a different way than in India. In India when we use the term ‘spirit’, we mean the Unmanifest, the Absolute, the unlimited Divinity, the Cosmic Self, which does not take human incarnation. In the West the term ‘spirit’ is used in connection with the vital world, the world of disembodied vital beings. When a frustrated individual dies, from the vital world his spirit tries to enter into other human beings, sometimes to punish them and sometimes to bring a message from the world of spirits. In this case when we speak of a spirit, generally we mean a hungry, aggressive, unsatisfied being in the vital world.
The soul abides in everyone. It has no birth and no death; it is beginningless and endless. A spirit connected with the vital world is something debased and destructive, while the soul is something luminous and ever-progressing. When we feel the presence of a spirit, we may feel nowhere near God. We may be influenced by lower occult powers and dark forces. But when we feel the presence of the soul, we feel the Breath of the Divine. The soul within us is a portion of the Infinite, of the Supreme. The soul is something extremely good, spiritual and divine. Each soul is the direct, conscious messenger of the ultimate Truth. It feels the vision of the Absolute and at the same time it wants to transform the vision of the Absolute into reality. The soul will not be satisfied until it has manifested the infinite Truth here on earth. When the soul enters into this world, which is the field of manifestation, it evolves according to the receptivity of the individual human being. Finally it manifests the ultimate Truth here on earth.
Question: Will you explain what is meant by a group soul?Sri Chinmoy: In a particular class in school we have perhaps forty students studying the same subjects together under one teacher. Similarly, in the spiritual world, some souls want to move together and make progress together. It is much like a relay race where four persons are required.
When the soul incarnates in a human body, it is endowed with human propensities and it gets the opportunity to mix with other souls. In the inner world as well as in the outer world, souls choose according to their preference. Some souls want only light: they do not care for power, they do not care for joy, they do not care for peace. They want only light, light, light. If a soul cares for light, then naturally it will be pulled and attracted by another soul which cares only for light. The group souls unite themselves with light or power or peace or some other predominating divine quality. If light is connecting a particular group of souls, then that group will have more light than power. If it is power that unites them, then they will have more power and less light. These souls will have a natural inner connecting link among them.
Question: When does the soul enter the body?Sri Chinmoy: Between six and eight months before birth is the usual time for the soul to enter into the body. On rare occasions it may enter at the time of conception. The latest time for the soul to enter is usually about thirteen or fourteen days before the child is born. In very rare cases the soul enters into the body just two or three days before birth and sometimes it may even come shortly after birth. At that time the soul may be waiting until the last moment before making a decision because it is doubtful about the family. Some souls feel that by waiting for a longer time they will be able to make a better decision. Again, some souls simply take longer to make the decision just as some people take more time to make a decision than others. But some souls don’t wait; they know immediately what to do and it is done within a few months after the time of conception.
Question: Does the body have an identity separate from the soul?Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the soul. When a very powerful, mature soul comes into a body, it can force the physical consciousness to follow its direction. The physical consciousness performs what the soul dictates; body and soul act as a single entity. But if the soul is not very powerful, then it is like a mother who is physically weak and cannot make her child do what she thinks best for him. In that case the soul simply watches what the physical consciousness is doing. If the soul wants to do something, the body may do just the opposite. At that time the soul and the body appear as two different identities.
Question: Does my soul have a face? Does it look like me?Sri Chinmoy: The soul’s face is infinitely more beautiful than the physical face and it need not look like the physical face. Again, if the soul wants to take the form of the physical, it can. It can take any form, but it is always infinitely more beautiful than the physical.
Question: How can one know if he is a young or an old soul?Sri Chinmoy: Why should one have to know if he is a young soul or an old soul? By knowing that you are a mature soul you don’t gain anything and by knowing that you are a young soul you don’t gain anything. If you feel that someone else is more mature than you or you are more mature than he, then you are creating unnecessary problems for yourself.
In the spiritual life let us not be concerned with who is an old soul and who is a young soul. Let us only think that we are all God’s children. God Himself is a Child. He is never old. What will help us most in the spiritual life is the feeling that we are children of God, for only a child can make constant progress. It is a child who evolves, not an octogenarian, because the octogenarian has already played his role. So always try to feel that you are a child, and do not be concerned about your soul’s age.
Question: Does it matter to the soul whether we meditate every day at the same time?Sri Chinmoy: Those who are awakened, those who are no longer in the world of ignorance, should make it a point to be sincere, regular and punctual in their spiritual discipline. Their very regularity and punctuality will dispel the darkness which comes in the form of sloth and inertia. Try to be regular always in your meditation and try to be punctual as well. You will see that regularity and punctuality have abundant power. Each day when you meditate punctually you go one step closer to your goal.
Some individuals do not give enough importance to regularity in their aspiration. You may think that you have meditated for three months and made so much progress in your spiritual life that you can take rest for a few days before starting again. But unfortunately it is not like that. As soon as you begin to take rest on your spiritual journey, you start running backwards; you go right back to your old life. Doubt, fear, suspicion and all kinds of negative forces enter into you and begin to destroy your inner progress. The potentiality for you to realise God remains; naturally one day you will realise God. But previously you ran forward continuously with your possibility; that golden opportunity you have now lost. The progress that you have made will be totally lost if you take rest.
Of course, the essence of the progress remains inside the soul and is never destroyed, but your past progress will not be manifested in your outer life. You won’t be able to speak the truth, you won’t be able to give your soul’s smile, you won’t maintain a good vibration or give inspiration. No one will have faith in you.
After falling off the spiritual ladder, it is extremely difficult to climb up again. But because the quintessence of your spiritual development will remain inside your heart, in your next incarnation or whenever you want to meditate again, that quintessence will come to the fore. It will gradually, gradually loom large again if you most sincerely pray to God to help you return to the spiritual life. But you will delay your progress beyond your imagination if you take rest.
This is why I always say regularity must be maintained. Once you have reached your goal you are safe. But before that even if you are only an inch from the goal, there is no certainty. Ignorance can pull you back. Many people on the verge of realisation have been attacked by hostile forces that have prevented them from realising God. These unfortunate seekers will get their realisation, but it will take them much longer. So until you have reached the ultimate Goal, there is no security, there is no fulfilment, there is no continuous delight. You must always be on the alert and run as fast as you can toward your ultimate Goal. Until the Goal is won, do not stop, because ignorance will pull you back again to your starting point.
1.To concentrate on God is to live with God.
To meditate on God is to live for God.
To contemplate on God is to possess and be possessed by God.
Questions and answers on realisation and manifestation_AUM 1339-1342. Selections from Sri Chinmoy's book, Realisation-Soul and Manifestation-Goal
Question: I feel that both aspects of man, the animal and the divine, are part of God. In order to enter into the spiritual life, is it necessary to deny or run away from the animal aspect in ourselves?Sri Chinmoy: In the field of manifestation, God is everywhere. God is in pure water and He is in filthy water. Why do you drink pure water and not filthy water? Because you know that you will get sick if you drink filthy water. Similarly, we have to know what things are necessary for us to reach our goal. God is in everything, but what we cannot utilise in our journey has no place in our aspiring consciousness. If the animal quality is obstructing our way, then we have either to illumine it or to destroy it. Our philosophy is the philosophy of acceptance. One has to accept life as it is and then try to transform and illumine it. In the Yoga of acceptance, we do not destroy anything; we transform it. This is what we must do with the animal nature in us. When we transform something, it loses its original unlit, destructive quality. When night is transformed into light, you will see the total extinction of night, because all becomes light. It is the same with the animal in us when it is transformed into the divine.
Question: How can you blend your transcendental Self or Spirit with your physical being?Sri Chinmoy: This can be done and is being done every day by those who follow the path of Yoga and spiritual discipline. Yoga means union, conscious union with God. We are one with the Self, but we are not now aware of it. We can become aware of it only when we consciously practise spirituality, and for that we need aspiration. When we are marching along the path of aspiration, our soul will automatically blend with our physical being and the physical being will devotedly listen to the dictates of the soul. Then we will see that our inner life and our outer life have become totally one. At that time one complements the other; one fulfils the other. The inner life becomes the embodiment of the Truth and the outer life becomes the manifestation of the Truth.
Question: When we are in the outer world, are we to be free and open in talking about our spiritual life or should we reserve it only for those who are aspiring?Sri Chinmoy: If you speak to everyone about your inner experiences, you will run into difficulty. The soil has to be fertile. If people are genuine and sincere, your conversation will then be fruitful. Otherwise, they will misunderstand and ridicule you. You may not mind if someone mocks you, but the person who has not benefited or been inspired by what you said may unfortunately try to block your own inspiration and aspiration. So you should use your wisdom and say that he is also God’s child; let the moment of his awakening come at God’s choice Hour. It is not your business to awaken those who want to sleep. When someone is ready, crying for a higher life, then you can inspire him with your own spiritual experiences.
If you give a thousand dollar bill to a child, he will tear it up. For him there is no value in it. But a grownup will know the value of a thousand dollars. Similarly, when you share your inner experiences with an aspirant or seeker he will benefit by it while others will not. Only those who really cry for the inner life are the right persons to share your experiences with.
[The following question was asked after Sri Chinmoy spoke about the three major categories of souls: those that care most for divine manifestation, those that care most for perfection of the inner and outer life and those that care most for oneness with the Inner Pilot. Sri Chinmoy told each disciple present which quality his soul cared for most.
Question: Is there any reason why the majority of souls seem to want manifestation and few souls want oneness or perfection?Sri Chinmoy: You are seeing that the majority here today care most for manifestation, but when we consider all our Centres perhaps we will find that as many souls also care for the other qualities. Let us say that more people, not more souls care for manifestation. What is meant by manifestation? Manifestation means dynamic revelation. The soul uses the dynamic vital for manifestation. We think that without the body we cannot manifest. That is true, but we have to know that without the vital, either the dynamic vital or the aggressive vital, we cannot manifest anything either.
It is the vital push that compels the physical to work. If a person is restless, we say that his body is making the movement. But actually the movement is coming from his vital. If the vital does not act within the body, you will see that the body is all inertia. The body has very, very, very limited light. In the dynamic vital there is much more light. In the aspiring mind there is still more light. In the psychic heart there is abundant light. People consciously care for manifestation because through their ambition, all individuals want to do something. There are very few people on earth who do not want to do something. Yes, they may sit quietly because they are lazy by nature. But if somebody else does something remarkable, immediately desire comes into them and they say, “Oh, if only I could do that!”
When we are in the spiritual life, we do not think like that. If we see that somebody has done something extraordinary, we do not envy him. Either we identify with him and feel that it is we who have done it, or we feel, “It is good for him, but for me something else is necessary; something else will give me more joy. He is the best runner and I am the best singer,” or “I am an aspirant. Let me try to be the best aspirant and let him remain the best singer or best runner.” In this way we are freeing ourselves. We are not competing with anyone. But in the ordinary life, when an absolutely lazy man goes to a football match and sees how dynamic the players are, he thinks, “How I wish to be that kind of player!” But he will not make any effort to become a good player. He really feels that rest is the most important thing, his most favourite thing; but his human ambition makes him want to manifest himself in football.
That is how it is for ordinary human beings. The vital immediately wants to do something, although it knows that the body does not care for the action. Consciously, the individual does not know that his body does not care to do something and his soul does not care to do it; but the moment he sees that somebody has achieved something, he says, “I also have to become that.” All day and night, he has been sleeping, resting; he has been in another world. But when he sees somebody’s achievement, immediately he becomes greedy and feels that he also has to do the same thing.
But spiritual people don’t do this. Either they feel that they have their own goal, or they become one with the doers. When I see that somebody is running the fastest, I really feel that I am the fastest runner. Ask me to run with the fastest runner and I will be nowhere. But when the person runs, I get joy because I can identify with him and feel that it is I who have run the fastest. Or as a seeker, I say that his goal is to become the fastest runner and my goal is to realise God. In that way, the seeker in me is safe. But ordinary men won’t act like that. They will operate in their vital. They will do nothing and, at the same time, the moment they see somebody else achieve something, immediately they will try to grab that achievement. Without working they want to get the same name and fame, the same admiration, as somebody who has earned it. That is what the manifestation is like for ordinary, unaspiring people. But for the sincerely aspiring people, it is different.
Salutation to the soul of Australia4My salutation to the soul of Australia.
My aspiring heart is saluting you.
My illumining soul is loving you.
In you, I see a perfect combination of the
mind’s height and the heart’s depth.
In you, I see a perfect combination of the
body’s service and the vital’s dynamism.
Your soul is at once the embodiment
of the ancient sun and the revelation
of tomorrow’s dawn.
Your body-consciousness is the expansion
Your heart-delight is the perfection
Slowly and steadily your body walks.
Dynamically and confidently your vital marches.
Pointedly and unerringly your mind runs.
Devotedly and unconditionally your heart dives.
Eternally and supremely your soul flies.
Your life’s greatness-dream is humanity’s
Your life’s goodness-reality is humanity’s
AUM 1343. This version is a transcript from the video tape. The first edition of AUM Magazine missed out line 9. The original note in AUM magazine read - "When the Mahavishnu Orchestra made its first concert tour of Australia, this November, Sri Chinmoy concentrated spiritually on the soul of Australia and sent a videotaped message with Mahavishnu to the disciples in Australia. Below is Sri Chinmoy's salutation to the soul of Australia. Although the Master has not yet visited that country, the disciples in his several Centres there are hoping for a visit during the coming year."↩
O my Canada5O my Canada,
You are very vast.
Can you not be very high, too?
Try, you can.
O my Canada,
Why do you always follow?
Can you not lead from now on?
Try, you can.
O my Canada,
You think the world does not admire you.
Can you not demand the world’s admiration?
Try, you can.
You certainly can.
AUM 1344. Sri Chinmoy has written a song for the soul of America and one for the soul of Canada which many of his American and Canadian disciples have learned. The words and music are printed here. Musical notation was transcribed by Dulal, the President of the New York Sri Chinmoy Centre, from tape recordings of Sri Chinmoy singing the songs.↩
O my AmericaAmerica, America, America,
Great you are, good you are,
Brave you are, kind you are.
O my America, America,
is earth’s aspiration choice.
With you, in you is God-Hour’s victory voice.
Aphorisms on prayer, concentration, meditation and contemplation
1.Prayer uplifts your throbbing body.
Concentration strengthens your searching mind.
Meditation feeds your aspiring heart.
2.Concentrate! Humanity will like you.
Meditate! Divinity will love you.
Contemplate! Humanity will adore you and Divinity will cherish you.
3.I thought of God. God smiled.
I prayed to God. God cried.
I meditated on God. God became my real God.
4.Concentration makes us perceptive.
Meditation makes us receptive.
Contemplation makes us intuitive.