Blue light of discipline-waves
Question: How can we feel that the inner world is more real than the outer world?1Sri Chinmoy: The body, our outer sheath, is the outer world, and inside the body is the inner world. Inside the body what do we have? It is the heart. Inside the heart is the soul, and inside the soul is God. God is everywhere, true. But inside the soul, God-Reality is infinitely more manifest, more visible, more tangible. And he who embodies the soul-reality consciously, constantly and unconditionally is undoubtedly revealing and manifesting God more than anybody else.
As a human being, we definitely give more importance to our heart. When the heart fails, we know that we have to leave this world and pass behind the curtain of Eternity. Someone may not aspire, someone may not pray to God or meditate on God, but if anything happens to his heart, he will be miserable, because the heart is dearer to him than anything else. Someone may live in the mind, but the moment somebody speaks of the heart, he feels that his reality there is more important than his reality in anything else. The heart reality is much more important than the mind reality or the vital reality or the physical reality.
Anything that is more real to us is more important and more meaningful to us. And again, anything that is more important to us becomes more real to us. God is most important because He is most real; He is the only real Reality in His entire universe. So, God is most real to us and, at the same time, God is most important to us.
If we give importance to a thing, then automatically that thing becomes real to us. The moment we take away the importance of a thing, that thing has no value. If we really value the inner life, then the inner life becomes real to us. It has to become real.
When we don’t pray and meditate we see only the physical world around us. We feel that this is absolutely real. But when we pray and meditate, we see and feel that there is another world and that this physical world is only an expression of that world. But again, we have to know that we ourselves are the creator of this other world, just as we are the creator of this physical world. The physical world is like a house, which we build with our hands, with our outer capacities. Similarly, the inner world we build with our will-power — not mere thought power, but will-power. When we create something in the inner world with our will-power, if what we create is something pure, divine and immortal, then we feel that we are safe.
How can we feel that the inner world is more real? As I said, reality depends on necessity. If we are hungry, immediately food becomes the only reality before us, around us, within us, without us. Anything that demands our attention or concentration has to be real, whether it is material food or inner Peace, Light and Delight. The reality of a thing entirely depends on its necessity for us. If we need something, then that very thing has to become real. Again, if the thing that we need has no reality within it, then there will be no inner cry on our part. If God were not real, then we would not cry for God. The reality itself has abundant power to create hunger in others. It is like an expert runner who teaches the beginners how to run towards the goal. This moment he is at the goal beckoning to them, the next moment he is at the starting point or in the middle of the course right beside them. Similarly, God the Reality is the starting point and God the Reality is the end. But we don’t say “end”, because God Himself is constantly progressing; He is the ever-transcending Beyond. So today God the starting point is our supreme necessity; therefore, the starting point is totally real to us. Tomorrow the goal will be our aim, and at that time the goal has to be real to us.
The inner world is real because we know everything that is within will one day come forth and blossom. The seed is under the ground, within the mother earth. But one day it comes forward, it comes upward; it germinates into a plant, a sapling, and finally a huge banyan tree. But everything in the beginning is inside. From within we come out.
The soul is inside the heart, and the heart is inside the body. The deeper we go, the sooner we see that the real Reality is within us, not without us. But again, to complete the game, we cannot remain only inside the inner reality. We have to come out to the outer reality. Otherwise, there will only be a tenant but no house for him to live in. But both the tenant and the house are equally important. If there is a tenant, then only we will feel the necessity of a house. And again, if there is a house, then we will definitely need a tenant. The soul is the tenant and the body is the house.
How should we value the inner life? We should value the inner life slowly, steadily, sincerely and devotedly. If we do it in that way, then the inner life is bound to grant us infinite Peace, infinite Light and infinite Bliss. The inner life is the normal life. God is always normal. Occult power, spiritual power and all the other powers are all normal powers. They are not unnatural. Unnatural power we have developed by mixing with ignorance and falsehood. Only when we do not acknowledge our divine birthright do we act like abnormal human beings. The outer life has become unfortunately abnormal because we try or want always to get the immediate result from the outer life as such. We do not want to dive deep within; we are satisfied always with an iota and not with the ocean. But when we value the normal in us, when we want to become normal once again, then we automatically value the inner life.
BDW 1-2. Sri Chinmoy invited his dear disciple Una to ask him two spiritual questions on her twenty-sixth birthday on 30 January 1977. These are her questions and Sri Chinmoy's answers.↩
Question: How can we treat our brothers and sisters with a more spiritually encompassing heart?Sri Chinmoy: Let us simplify this question. How can we show our affection, love, concern and become one with our spiritual brothers and sisters? We have to know at this point that we are all students and at the same time, we are aiming at teaching. While we are learning, we are also planning or thinking of teaching. Each day we pray and meditate we are learning from the Supreme. He is teaching us every day, every hour, every minute how to become kind, affectionate, loving, illumining and fulfilling.
Then immediately our inner beings try to share this knowledge with others. We call them “others” because we have not yet established our oneness with them. When we pray and meditate, we gain something. If we share that very thing with others, then it immediately increases. The more we share our earthly knowledge, the more we gain. And heavenly knowledge, which is wisdom and oneness, increases in infinite measure when we share it. With one light, with one lamp, we can ignite another lamp. With one flame, we can ignite two flames or three flames. This is one way.
Another way is to bring to the fore the entire knowledge-sun. If we can bring to the fore the entire knowledge-sun, or wisdom-sun, from within, then automatically we will see the flames inside that sun. Each spiritual brother and sister we can see as a flame from the sun. Again, each flame embodies another sun. The sun itself embodies countless flames and, at the same time, inside each flame a new sun is dawning.
When you look at your spiritual brothers and sisters, try to see them as an exact prototype of your life, of your reality. Try to feel that there are two bodies but only one goal and one Source. Remind yourself at every moment of the goal and of the Source, where you came from and where you will return. If you can remember that, then automatically you will be kinder, more loving, more affectionate, more illumining and more fulfilling.
You play the viola; you also play other instruments. While playing, if you see that one string is not functioning well, what do you do? You fix it. Your concentration is not only on one string, but on all the strings. If one string creates problems for you, then you cannot play well. So, try to feel that each of your spiritual brothers and sisters is a string inside your heart. The viola that you play is the outer reality. But there is also an inner reality, an inner viola which you are playing every day, every hour, every minute. The strings of this instrument are sincerity, simplicity, humility, purity and divinity. If sincerity goes away, if sincerity is not functioning, then the whole instrument is useless. If the purity-string is not functioning, then your whole music will be ruined.
When you think of yourself, think of your own instrument. You are that particular instrument, and your strings are sincerity, humility, purity, divinity and so forth. You have to keep all the strings in perfect order. If you can keep them in perfect order, then only will you have satisfaction. If you can keep them in proper shape, you can have one family, one consciousness, one reality, one soul and one goal.
Question: How can we find joy in strict discipline?2Sri Chinmoy: The mind calls it discipline; the heart calls it a process by which we achieve something or gain something. The soul does not call it even a process. The soul feels that what we call discipline not only embodies the reality-delight but is the reality-delight itself.
Whenever we want to do something, immediately the mind vetoes it. Even if the mind itself wanted it two days ago or two years ago, that same thing the mind is now ready to veto. This is our tricky mind. Even if it wanted something yesterday, today it has taken away its conscious willingness. With our heart or our vital we want something, but our mind immediately says, “No, don’t take it.” So discipline in our ordinary life is nothing short of punishment, precisely because of the mind’s unwillingness.
Here in America you have not suffered from malaria and I hope nobody ever suffers from that disease. In India how I suffered from malaria! Once my elder brother and I were attacked on the same day. You can’t imagine how painful it is. All the subtle nerves and gross nerves start dancing. Such pain! You simply shout and scream. Previously perhaps you did not know any acrobatics or special exercises, but as soon as you get malaria you become an expert. All our best acrobats you can challenge with your exercises. Pain compels you to do it. At any other time if you had asked me to do that kind of exercise, I would have said, “Impossible!” But when I had malaria, I was in such pain that I could do all kinds of acrobatics.
The only medicine for malaria is called quinine. It is extremely, extremely bitter. No other medicine is as bitter as quinine. But quinine is the saviour. Now if we don’t accept the saviour, then how are we going to get rid of our fever? Right now ignorance lords it over us. Ignorance is our master, but we don’t want this master any more. We need somebody stronger than our present master who can overthrow the present master. We want knowledge to be our master. It has come in the form of discipline, which is like quinine. If we accept this discipline, then only we can conquer ignorance. So we have to know that discipline is our new master, new guide, new saviour. Let us give the highest post to discipline.
Right now when you think of discipline, you feel that it is nothing short of punishment which you are facing all the time. But try to feel that it is your help, your guide, your inspiration, your aspiration, even your realisation. It is discipline that can and will conquer the undivine forces in you and around you. So think of discipline as a new master who is helping you to learn something new, meaningful, soulful and fruitful so that you don’t have to learn anything more from your old master. Your old master was lethargy, darkness, ignorance and all the negative forces. Now you have to give discipline the utmost value. It is your new master. It embodies light and it is more than eager to offer you light. Then only you will not be afraid of discipline. Think of what it is going to give you which you do not have right now. When you make this kind of comparison, you will see that you are swimming in ignorance-sea and discipline is telling you, “Poor girl, why are you suffering? I have boundless light, delight, peace and bliss. Come here; it is all for you.” So you go there where it is all light and delight. And who is giving you this light and delight? Discipline, your guide, your saviour.
The question was asked on 6 February 1977 at the New York Centre.↩