Canada aspires, Canada receives, Canada achieves, part 2

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Part 1: Trent University

Question: How do we know if our actions are ego-motivated or whether we are following the message of our soul?

Sri Chinmoy: We can easily know whether it is the soul operating in and through us or whether it is ego operating in and through us. If we execute the message of the ego, consciously or unconsciously it will bind us; whereas, if we execute the message of the soul, immediately we will feel a sense of freedom. At that time we are not bound by our action; only we know we have done the right thing.

If we carry out the commands of the soul, then no matter what the result is — whether success or failure — we will be satisfied. When the soul asks us to do something, we will not be attached to the result. Even if the result comes in the form of failure, we will be satisfied. This is because in divine action, our attitude is of paramount importance, not the result. Our attitude should be one of giving. We will only give, give and give — according to our soulful capacity. Then it is up to God whether He blesses us with success or failure, whether He gives us Peace, Light and Bliss or not. If we feel this way, we are bound to be satisfied with our actions.

But if ego has compelled us to do something, if the ego’s desire is not fulfilled, we will be disappointed and upset. Even if our ego-centred desire is fulfilled, we will not feel a sense of abiding satisfaction; for immediately another desire will come into existence. Our ego-hunger will increase and we will say, “No, it is not enough.”

Question: What were you doing during the silence before you asked for questions?

Sri Chinmoy: I was doing quite a few things before I invited questions. I went to a very, very high plane of consciousness and from there I brought down Peace, Love, Light and Bliss. All the people in this hall have souls, and most of the souls were hungry. But some souls needed Love, while others needed Peace or Bliss and other divine qualities. So according to the different souls’ need and receptivity, I have brought down the divine food and fed them.

Question: Does a spiritual Master have any ego?

Sri Chinmoy: To be very frank with you, to be a true spiritual Master of a high calibre one has to transcend the ego. Once one is truly realised, the ego is bound to disappear and be divinely transformed. The ego is always in the world of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, the world of possession. This is a limitation. Only when he transcends this limited consciousness can he embody Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure in his inner being.

When a spiritual Master says, “I am God’s son; Him to realise, Him to reveal, Him to manifest, I came into the world,” this is not ego. True spiritual Masters are fully conscious of the fact that we are all God’s children. They have this inner knowledge, and they tell others how they can also attain it. At that time some people misunderstand. They feel that the Masters are exercising their ego-power. But I wish to tell you that with real spiritual Masters, it is not ego but oneness that they are offering. When they try to illumine others with their oneness, people feel that they are imposing or thrusting their ideas, emotions or idiosyncrasies upon them. But spiritual Masters know that they are not only God’s children, but His conscious, chosen children; therefore, they cannot make friends with ignorance. They feel God’s Love and Presence in all their multifarious activities so consciously and so vividly that they feel whatever He does they themselves are doing.

Spiritual Masters have something called divine authority. When a Master says something forcefully to his disciples, when he tells them that they have to do this or that, it is not the human ego that is operating; it is the feeling of oneness. The Master feels that they are a part of him, a part that is unlit or obscure; so he exercises his conscious will power to perfect that part. The part that is perfect tries to perfect the part that is imperfect. Spiritual Masters are very often misunderstood because of this. Ordinary people think, “If he is a Master, then how is it that he has so much ego?” But his ego, fortunately, is of a different type. His ego is not crying to show its superiority and lord it over others, or trying to separate him from others. No! His ego is expressing the feeling of divine oneness.

Question: Why do you go from place to place and give lectures?

Sri Chinmoy: As a human being, I personally do not do anything for my own sake, absolutely nothing. For God, for God’s sake, I do everything. Earthly things I do not need. I need one thing only and that is service. God has given me the capacity and the necessity to serve Him in humanity. To offer my dedicated service to the world at large is my only will, and it is my will because this is what the Supreme in me has commanded me to do. I go from one place to another because I have been asked by the Divine within me to serve Him in this way.

I come here like an inner farmer and try to cultivate the inner crop. If I get fertile soil then it becomes easier for the farmer in me to cultivate the land. If the land is dry and barren, then the farmer finds his work extremely difficult. The people who believe in this farmer are the ones who will get the bumper crop of realisation from him. Others, who believe in other farmers, will get realisation from them.

Question: How can we attain lasting freedom?

Sri Chinmoy: If we try to achieve freedom through our vital power, by hook or by crook, then we will not get real freedom. But if we get freedom from the soul, it is spontaneous and everlasting. This is the freedom that is based on our feeling of inseparable oneness with the entire world. So if we want to achieve real and everlasting freedom, it has to come from the soul. If we use our human determination to attain freedom, we see that this determination usually comes from our vital — not the emotional vital, but the vital that wants to exploit its position of supremacy. When we attain freedom through the exercise of our determination, it does not last. On the contrary, just when we think we have attained freedom, we discover that we are badly bound in a hundred subtle ways. Real freedom is the feeling of love, truth and oneness; it is not through determination but through inner realisation that we can build up this feeling. It comes from our inner realisation that we are of infinite Light and for infinite Light.

There is another word we can use: will power. Will power and determination are two different things. Will power comes directly from the soul, while determination usually comes from the vital, which is often unillumined, obscure, impure. Will power, which is the very breath of the soul, immediately brings Light with it. It endows us with the ultimate Vision, and with that ultimate Vision we can attain the soulful and permanent experience of real inner freedom.

Question: Sometimes during meditation I get a feeling of timelessness. Can you comment on this?

Sri Chinmoy: At that time earth-bound time disappears and Heaven-free time appears. At that time you consciously obliterate from your physical mind the sense of time that binds. Now you look at your watch and feel that you are supposed to meditate for an hour or half an hour; but when your consciousness is elevated, you forget the time that binds and you enter into the eternal time. There it is all a continuous flow; the river is flowing into the ocean of Infinity.

Part 2: University of Toronto

Question: Do you have a particular meditation technique?

Sri Chinmoy: No, our technique is love, devotion and surrender. We practise this in our silent meditation and also in our life of divine manifestation. An outer technique we do not have; but our inner technique, or rather our path, is the path of divine love, divine devotion and divine surrender. These are like three rungs in the ladder of spiritual evolution: love, devotion and surrender.

We differentiate between human love and divine love. Human love binds; divine love liberates. Human love wants to possess and be possessed; divine love always wants to feel universal oneness through conscious and constant expansion. Human love eventually leads to frustration; divine love is a constant expansion of our consciousness. In divine love, all is self-giving with no expectation of anything in return. We try to love God inside each human being and in this way we develop divine love.

Then we try to devote ourselves to a higher cause, to the Supreme. If we love God inside each human being, we try to serve Him in everyone. We offer our dedicated devotion to divinity within humanity. In human life when we use the term ‘devotion’, what we are thinking of is pure attachment. If we go deep within, we will feel that when we are attached to someone we are wasting our energy on him. But in divine devotion we always feel the necessity of offering our very existence to the One whom we really and eternally love, who is God.

Finally, we try to surrender ourselves to the Will of God. Divine surrender is not made under any compulsion. It comes from our inner awareness of Truth and Reality. It is not the surrender of a slave to his master. At every moment the slave is at the beck and call of his master. If he does not listen to the master, then the master will punish him. But our surrender to God is not like that. There is no reluctance on our part to serve God or surrender our individual will to His infinite Will. We do it cheerfully, devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally. We feel within us the bounden duty to surrender to Him because He is all Love, all Light, all Wisdom. When a tiny drop of water enters into the ocean it loses its own individuality, but it gains the universality of the ocean itself. When we surrender to God, we do not regard God as a separate person or somebody other than ourselves. We feel that God is the highest and most illumined part of our own existence. This highest part also belongs to us, but right now our conscious existence is in our lowest part. We are living in the earthbound consciousness; but if we can enter into our highest part, then we can be totally freed from ignorance, darkness limitation and death. We therefore try to enter into our highest part, or we try to bring down our highest part into our less illumined part so that we can be inspired, illumined, transformed and perfected by the highest Light in ourselves, which is God.

If you want to call this a technique, you may do so. But we call it our path. Each seeker has a path of his own. He walks along that path and eventually reaches his destination. We know that those who follow the path of love, devotion and surrender will ultimately reach the goal. Those who are following other paths will also reach the goal. The destination is the same for everyone, but the paths are many. Each path is absolutely correct in its own way. But the individual seeker has to choose the path that suits him best, because he cannot follow ten different paths. He can follow only one path. Otherwise, if he is constantly changing his path, he will never reach his destination. In an ordinary school, we study many subjects — history, geography, science, physics and so on. For each subject we need a teacher. But in the spiritual life, God-realisation or Self-discovery is the only subject. Since there is one subject one spiritual teacher is enough.

We start with divine love and try to love the entire humanity with the inner awareness, consciousness and conviction that inside each individual is the presence of God. Just because we love God we try to devote ourselves to Him and serve Him in mankind. Then, because we know that it is His Will and not our will that can perfect the world, we surrender unconditionally to His Will. Again, we know that His Will is not and cannot be separated from our real will, the will that comes from the very depths of our soul; therefore, we try to remain in the soul, for there we can easily feel His Will. When we live in the mind, very often we are confused; we do not know what God’s intention is. We doubt His existence. But if we remain in the heart and the soul, then at every moment we feel that we are a conscious channel for God’s Will and we try to serve mankind by executing His Will.

Question: It is said that if a person is complex, then he cannot run fast in the spiritual life. Is this true?

Sri Chinmoy: God Himself is very simple and inside His simplicity we feel our constant oneness. Complexity is in the mind and not in the heart. The heart is all simplicity. We need the heart of a child in order to run the fastest. A child’s heart is all simplicity. But when the child develops the mind and lives in the mind, then world-confusion enters into him. At that time fear, doubt, anxiety, jealousy and many other undivine forces weigh him down, so naturally he cannot run fast.

Suppose you and somebody else are walking or running toward a goal. If the other person is carrying a heavy load on his shoulders, whereas you are not, naturally he will not be able to run as fast as you can. But who compelled him to carry that heavy load? Nobody! It is his self-chosen ignorance. In your case wisdom has dawned; that is why you know that fear, doubt and all these things have to be discarded. They have to be discarded or they have to be transformed and illumined so that they can become an added help to your race.

Speed is of great importance. When we reach our destination, our journey is not over. After we realise the Highest we have to enter into the world dynamically to be of service to mankind. It is like climbing up the tree. First we have to climb up the tree; then after reaching the highest branch we have to bring down the fruits and distribute them to those who are still trying to climb up but do not know how. These are sincere seekers who need help from those who are more advanced. The sooner we reach our destination, the better, for there are many things we have to do after we reach our goal. And the fastest way is the path of the heart, because the heart is not weighed down with world-confusion and world-anxieties.

Part 3: Mcmaster University

Question: I have read your aphorism that says. "When the power of love replaces the love of power, man will have a new name: God." Could you please elaborate on this?

Sri Chinmoy: The love of vital power is destroying the entire world, but the divine love, which is power itself, can only transform us — transform the human in us into the divine. The love of power is the love of supremacy. If I can have a little more power than you, then I will try to lord it over you. An individual or a nation feels that by exercising power it is possible to conquer the heart of humanity. But this is impossible! We are crying to see the Face of God, not because He is all Power, but because He is all Love. It is only the power of love that can really conquer the heart and change the face of humanity.

This is not only my discovery; it is the discovery of all sincere seekers. If we feel that the world is full of hate, we will constantly have a bitter feeling toward life. Then immediately we will try to conquer the world with our vital power, the power that wants to dominate. But when we pray and meditate early in the morning, if we cherish good thoughts, divine thoughts, loving thoughts that come from the depths of our heart, immediately we feel that the world is our friend. We feel that there is no enemy for us or that there are very few enemies. At that time we are experiencing the positive power, the power of oneness, which comes from love.

When I say that ‘God’ will be man’s new name, God means universality. He is one and He is many. He was one, but He wanted to express Himself or enjoy Himself through multiplicity. In this sense, God means universality. Here individuality disappears and universality appears. When we use the power of love, the human individuality immediately disappears and is replaced by the divine universality.

Question: What is eternal Time?

Sri Chinmoy: There is earth-bound time and there is Heaven-free Time. Early in the morning, we look at the clock and think of going to school or going to the office. This kind of time is limited: It is divided into seconds and minutes and hours. On a particular day so many hours we shall study, so many hours we shall rest and so many hours we shall mix with our friends. When we use one hour for a particular purpose and the following hour for something else we are dividing time into parts. Each time we divide we see that there is an abrupt halt. This is earth-bound time. But when we pray and meditate we see time as a continuous flow. We feel that we are rivers, constantly flowing without interruption. The river is flowing toward the sea, its source. When we think of ourselves as a river, we feel that our existence is a continuous flow; our existence has come from time immemorial and it is flowing toward an eternal, infinite Reality. This is Heaven-free Time.

From earth-bound time we get constant suffering. We become a victim to earth-bound time. At this hour we have to accomplish something; otherwise we feel that we will be totally lost: the world will ridicule us or we will regard ourselves as a total failure. Time is limited, energy is limited, opportunity is limited, capacity is limited — everything is limited. But the moment we go deep within, we feel that we are freed; we are enjoying Heaven-freedom. When we meditate we soulfully establish an access to something unlimited, ceaseless, eternal and immortal. It is only through proper meditation that we can free ourselves from the limited time that has been assigned to us. There is no other way. In sublime, deep, profound, high meditation we see that there is an eternal Time, which is without limits and without sections, and we can grow into the very current of that ever-flowing eternal Time.

Once we become expert or advanced in our meditation, then what we feel within during our meditation becomes a reality in our day-to-day multifarious activities. In the beginning, only during the meditation do we feel that there is something called eternal Time. The moment we face the outer world we are immediately baffled and lost, because we cannot synthesise earth’s outer time with the inner timeless Time. But there comes a time when we are well-established in our inner life and are able to bring forward the Heaven-free Time into the hustle and bustle of life. At that time the inner world will constantly supply its wealth to the outer world. We have to be fully aware of the capacity of the inner world, which is always free, and of the capacity of the outer world, which is always bound. If we can dive deep into the inner world, where time is unlimited, and from there bring forward this limitless Time into the outer world, then the worries, anxieties and insecurities of the world cannot plague us. With our eternal Time we transform everything. If we have fear, we transform fear into divine courage; if we have doubt, we transform doubt into faith; if we have insecurity, we transform insecurity into security. Earth-bound time makes friends with the things that are perishable, but unfortunately some of these things don’t perish so easily. But if we can bring to the fore eternal Time, then we will see that all negative forces will be transformed.

Question: What is the power and significance of a mantra?

Sri Chinmoy: A mantra is an incantation. It can be one syllable, it can be a word or it can be a phrase or a sentence. Each mantra embodies a particular aspect of godhead. When we chant a mantra, immediately we invoke the presence of the presiding deity of that manta. We may not know the name of the god or his particular capacities, but this does not matter. A mantra is like the root of a tree. If we can touch the root, then immediately we feel that the current in the root will take us to all the branches and flowers and leaves and fruits. When we chant a mantra, all the capacities of the particular god that is being invoked will come into our system.

But this chanting has to be done most soulfully. When we chant a mantra, most of us do it like a parrot, so the mantra has no efficacy, and there is no result. But if the mantra is repeated most soulfully, then the infinite power that the mantra has becomes a manifested reality in us. We don’t have to know all the divine qualities of a particular god. But through a mantra, inwardly and in a very unmistakable way, we enter into all the capacities of that particular god. Chanting mantras can be practised from the beginning to the end of our spiritual journey.

Question: Could you please tell us the value of practising transcendental meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: I am the wrong person to ask; I am not competent to say. This morning somebody came up to me after I gave a talk and asked me about some other Master. He was holding a pin with the Master’s picture and he said to me, “Please tell me something about my Master.” I said, “Your Master is inside your heart. How will I know more than you do? Your Master is inside you and I am outside, so I am an intruder. You will definitely know much more about him than I know.” I have not practised transcendental meditation. Since I have not practised it, I do not know anything about it. Whatever I will say will be all wrong. I know what I have inside my heart or inside my room. About that I can tell you. But the things that belong to somebody else or are in somebody else’s room, I won’t be able to discuss. You will have to ask that person.

Question: Do you think it is better for us to think of God in personal terms or in impersonal terms?

Sri Chinmoy: God can be seen with form, with personal attributes, and He can be seen without form, with impersonal attributes, but it is easier to approach God in His personal aspect. If we try from the very beginning to enter into the impersonal God, it will all be very vague. Then our physical mind — which is so clever — will try to convince us that God is unreal, that our goal is all imagination. But if we see something solid right in front of us — a most luminous being, let us say — and then if we try to enter into the heart and depth of this being, there we will also see the formless. If we go from the form to the formless, the process is easier.

Suppose we see someone standing in front of us. If we know that this person is our father, then we can try to see how much knowledge, wisdom and capacity he has. But if we first try to fathom his knowledge without thinking of the person as our father, then we will be totally lost. If we know that he is our father, immediately his affection and love enter into us and then we can easily see his capacity. At that time, it is impossible for us to separate his capacity from his reality.

A commander has a big battalion and inside him is the power to make this battalion do something. He may say just one or two words and then the power that he controls acts and leaves the whole world stunned. He utters the word of command and immediately his power is seen all over. Once we see him and his capacity, it is impossible to separate his capacity from his reality. It is the same with the personal God. Once we see Him and realise where this immense capacity is coming from, then it is impossible to separate the Being and the capacity.

First let us take the form as reality and from the form let us go to the formless reality. For a seeker, form is a reality and formlessness is also a reality. But to go to the formless reality from the form is infinitely easier than the other way around.

Question: I would like to know whether I should pray for something I want or whether I should just pray for God's Will to be done.

Sri Chinmoy: To pray for God’s Will to be done is the highest form of prayer. But a beginner finds it almost impossible to pray to God sincerely to fulfil him in God’s own way. Early in the morning, a beginner will say to God, “God, I want to be Your unconditionally surrendered child.” Then, the next moment, when jealousy, insecurity or pride enters into him, his self-offering becomes all conditional. At that time the seeker says, “God, early in the morning I prayed to You so sincerely to fulfil Your Will in me, but You didn’t listen to my prayer. Otherwise, I would have been above jealousy, fear, doubt, anxiety and attachment.” If the seeker prays for something in the morning and his prayer is not fulfilled in a few hours’ time, immediately he becomes discouraged. Then he stops praying and meditating for six months. For a day he offers his sincere prayer, then for six months the seeker is ready to enjoy his ignorance. So when the seeker is just starting out, it is always advisable for him to pray to God for whatever he feels he needs most, whether it is patience, purity, sincerity, humility, peace, and so forth. This kind of prayer is always best for the beginner. Then God will give the seeker a little Peace, Light and Bliss, which are the precursors of something infinite that is going to come into his inner being. Then, when the seeker has received and achieved some Peace, Light and Bliss and has become established to some extent in his inner being, at that time he will have some confidence in God’s operation and also in his own life of aspiration.

When one is making very fast progress or is a little advanced, he feels that there is some reality within himself and that this reality is not going to disappoint or desert him. Then he feels that God is fully aware of what he desperately needs and is eager to supply him with the things that he needs, because God wants to fulfil Himself in and through His chosen instrument. God has to fix his choice Hour for that seeker, and at His choice Hour, God will fulfil Himself in and through that particular chosen instrument. When a seeker feels this kind of confidence within him, that is the time for the seeker to pray, “Let Thy Will be done.” At that time he can sincerely say, “God, now I want to please You only in Your own Way.” At that time he will feel that God wants to manifest Himself in and through him. He will feel that the moment God makes him perfect, he will be able to serve the divinity in somebody else or be able to help somebody else toward perfection.

Part 4: Guelph University

Question: What is the difference between an ordinary learning situation and spiritual study?

Sri Chinmoy: The life of a dedicated student and the life of a dedicated seeker are similar. A student goes to a teacher and the teacher teaches him. Similarly, a seeker goes to a spiritual Master and learns from him the subject of God-realisation. In the outer life, a student goes to school. There he sees his teacher in the physical and his teacher also sees him in the physical. Then the teacher and the student fulfil their mutual tasks of teaching and learning. But this is all done on the physical plane. But in the case of a seeker and a spiritual Master, the teaching and learning can take place outwardly or on the inner plane, or on both planes. The teacher can inwardly offer the message of how to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. He offers the message to the soul, if he has to do it inwardly, and the soul conveys the message to the mind, to the vital and to the physical of that particular seeker.

As an ordinary student we need a teacher on the outer plane to expedite our journey. The books are all available, but when we buy the books and start reading, we are not convinced by what we read; or we do not completely understand it. But when we go to a teacher, the teacher explains the thing and we are convinced. In the spiritual life also there are many spiritual books that may give us inspiration. But real aspiration grows when we go to a spiritual Master who can teach us inwardly or outwardly how to aspire. The teacher convinces the seeker of his own aspiration. Otherwise, doubt may at any moment assail him. He may get a very good, very high, sublime experience; but doubt may enter into him and convince him that it was all rubbish, just sheer imagination. Again, he may have some mental hallucination and think that he has achieved absolutely the highest possible realisation. But afterwards his life will again become a life of frustration. If there is a spiritual Master, he will immediately tell the seeker whether his experiences are founded on reality or on falsehood. In this way the student gets constant help from the Master so that he can run the fastest toward the goal, without having any misconceptions about his progress.

Question: Can an individual be consciously surrendered without having first realised the state of being that allows him to be freed from all effort?

Sri Chinmoy: A seeker can and must first surrender totally and unconditionally to God if he is to get realisation. If he cannot or does not do this, then he cannot get realisation. If I study hard, then I pass the examination. But if I don’t study, then how am I going to pass the examination? In the spiritual life study means to offer oneself devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally to the Supreme. Study is self-study, total self-giving. If I don’t study in this way, then I won’t get the result.

You can ask who helps and guides the seeker, who gives him the necessary capacity. We pray and meditate and this is what you call personal effort. But if we go deep within we realise that this personal effort is also a form of Grace. Grace and personal effort go together. God is on the third floor and I am on the first floor. With my personal effort I come up to the second floor and with His Grace God comes down to the second floor. There we meet together, and realisation takes place.

But if we are sincere, we have to know that it is God who has given us the necessary power, strength, capacity and willingness to come up from the first floor to the second floor. Otherwise, why are relatives and friends still fast asleep while we are so anxious and eager to go up and see the Face of God? It is just because God’s Grace has entered into us and awakened us. When our hour has struck, God has come and lifted us up and He Himself has descended, and the two eternal friends are meeting together. So I wish to say that personal effort is necessary, but if we are totally sincere, we will feel that this personal effort also is due to God’s unconditional Grace.

Question: What do you mean by the Face of God?

Sri Chinmoy: The Face of God is our own highest, eternal Reality. The Face of God is the Reality which is Eternity, Immortality and Infinity. It is Reality in its purest form. Infinity, Eternity and Immortality are vague concepts to most of us. But if we say ‘face’, immediately it becomes something vivid for the physical mind. Our physical mind is convinced when we give a form to Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. If we say ‘face’, then immediately we know that there is somebody who has this face. The face may be beautiful or ugly, but at least it has some reality. If there is no face, then it is very difficult for us to comprehend the Reality which is revealed and expressed as Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.

When we speak about the Face of God, it is a matter of belief. When I am in my highest consciousness, my students enter into me or into themselves, and the Face of God is a reality for them. They feel Bliss or Peace in boundless measure. It need not even be my students. When I hold public meditations in New York, hundreds of people come and in their meditation they feel Peace, Light and Bliss in boundless measure. At that time a sense of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality looms large in their life of aspiration.

Question: How do we see the Face of God?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to sacrifice our existence to God devotedly and soulfully, with no reluctance. If we want to see the Face of God, if we want to grow into our real Reality, then we have to offer God constantly all that we have. If we have an iota of love or concern for God, we have to give it devotedly and soulfully. This kind of self-giving is possible only when we regularly pray and meditate. Otherwise, our life is one of possession, not giving. But when we pray and meditate, at that time we try to minimise or diminish all our wants. Peace is found not in possession, but in constant renunciation. We renounce our limited self and enter into our unlimited Self. This unlimited Self is God.

Question: Does one always use a mantra for initiation?

Sri Chinmoy: One need not use a mantra in order to initiate. There are various ways of initiation. The traditional Indian way is to offer a mantra or perform some religious rite. But there are other ways to initiate as well. A spiritual Master can initiate someone by simply placing his hand on the head or the heart of the seeker. But there need not even be any physical contact. The Master can initiate through the third eye. When he uses his third eye, he makes the disciple feel that he has established a conscious bridge between himself and the seeker. Again, there need not be any formal initiation at all. The Master’s total acceptance of the seeker is as good as initiation. But whether he initiates inwardly or outwardly, the message of the Master is always this: “I accept you, my child, as my own.” Each individual Master has his own way of initiating a disciple. All are right, provided that the seeker has found the Master that he is meant for.

In the spiritual life, acceptance in any form is called initiation. The Master accepts everything that the disciple has and is, and he offers to the disciple everything that he himself has and is. If the disciple is impure, if the disciple is ignorant, the Master accepts all his ignorance and impurity as his own. The seeker’s achievement, his reality, his existence, the teacher accepts as his own. First he accepts; then by the Grace and Light of God, he transforms. He accepts someone as his own — both his weaknesses and his capacities — then he tries to increase these capacities and transforms these weaknesses into strength unlimited.

Question: What do you think is the greatest obstacle in achieving God-surrender and God-realisation?

Sri Chinmoy: The greatest obstacle need not be the same for each individual. Somebody’s greatest obstacle will be doubt; somebody else may have fear as his greatest obstacle, and a third person may have insecurity. All these difficulties can be overcome by using only one weapon and that is love.

Let us take obstacles as imperfections. A child plays in the playground and gets covered with mud and dirt. His whole body is dirty, but the child does not feel that he is dirty. He just runs to his mother, and she cleans him. It is the bounden duty of the mother to get soap and water and clean the child. If the child feels that because he is dirty his mother will scold him, insult him and strike him then he will not go to her. But he does not feel that. First of all, he does not consider himself dirty. Then, when he runs to his mother, he is aware only of her love. He feels that his mother is his all. At every moment he has a free access to her.

If we have doubt, if we have fear, if we have other undivine qualities or imperfections, like a child let us run toward our eternal Father. He is there to purify us, to illumine us, to liberate us, to give us what He has. We have a free access to the eternal Father. But if we use our physical mind, we will feel, “Oh, God will be displeased with us. God will not accept us because we are so dirty, so imperfect, so impure.” The physical mind immediately separates us. It makes us feel that we are all imperfection while God is perfect Perfection; so how can we go to Him? But if we feel that God is our very own, that God is all Love for us and we are all love for Him, then we just go and sit before Him and place ourselves at His Feet. At that time, there is no obstacle.

We have to feel that what God is, we also are. That very thing we are right now, but we are not aware of it. We have to feel that God has created us and He wants us to grow into His very image. We have a mind which separates us; but we also have a heart. When the heart comes to the fore, immediately we feel tremendous joy, relief and satisfaction. We feel that God is ours. When we use our heart, we claim God as our very own on the strength of our oneness. When we use the heart, there is no obstacle which cannot be surmounted. As a child has established his oneness with the mother, even so we can also establish our oneness with God on the strength of our spontaneous love for Him.

Question: Could you possibly explain if there is some ground for unifying Karma Yoga and the Yoga of renunciation?

Sri Chinmoy: Karma Yoga is dedicated service. When we practise Karma Yoga, we try to make all our work a true dedicated service to the Supreme. In ordinary work we immediately expect something in return; we expect success or fortune or advancement. An ordinary human being will not work if he knows that there will be no success at the end of his work. But when one practices Karma Yoga, he works most devotedly; he serves most devotedly and soulfully without caring for the result, as such. He knows that the result will come in the form of either success or failure. He accepts both success and failure as an experience. Also, he feels that this experience is not actually his; it is the experience of God. When the seeker goes deep within, he sees that God Himself is the doer, He Himself is the work and He Himself is the result. When he is just a beginner, he feels that God is the giver and he is the receiver. But when he becomes advanced, he feels that God Himself is always acting in and through him and experiencing Himself in and through him.

“Thou hast the right to act but claim not the fruits thereof.” Lord Krishna has given us this message in the Bhagavad-Gita, the Song Celestial. The Upanishadic Seers have also said: “Action does not cleave to a man.” Action cannot bind us if it is divine action. If it is undivine action, immediately the result binds us. If we get success, immediately we feel that this success is not enough; if we get failure, immediately we want to give up.

The Upanishadic Seers have also said: “Enjoy through renunciation.” Now what do we actually renounce? We renounce the things in us that do not want to aspire, that do not want to reach the Goal or carry us to the Goal. Again, when we enter into the very breath of renunciation, into the very core of renunciation, we see that there is no such thing as renunciation. Renunciation is really transformation. If my leg is dirty, I don’t cut off my leg; I do not renounce it. No! I clean it; I transform it. If we see something that is dark, unlit, obscure and impure in us, we don’t have to discard it; we have to transform it. Night has to be transformed into light. But we cannot transform night all at once. We have to go to light first and bring some light into our system. Then the darkness in us will be transformed into light. That is God’s Dream, which we have to fulfil and transform into a reality. This is the message of Karma Yoga.

Question: What do we have physical bodies for?

Sri Chinmoy: The physical body is like a temple, a shrine. If there is no temple, where will the soul, the living deity, remain? From the highest point of view, the physical body is needed for the manifestation of the divine reality on earth. If we stay on earth in the physical, we get the opportunity to manifest the divinity which the soul embodies. When the physical aspires consciously, the physical receives light, peace and bliss from the soul and then tries to manifest these qualities on earth in humanity.

Question: Is it difficult for the seeker to develop the heart when he is heavily engaged with his intellect, say in studies?

Sri Chinmoy: It is difficult but not impossible. When we use the intellectual mind, constantly we are scrutinising things. But we are never satisfied. We doubt others; we even doubt our own existence with our intellect. The intellect is like a sharp knife that is constantly trying to see what is in something. It cuts the thing into tiny pieces and then tries to see what is inside the tiny piece, to see if there is any reality there. It tries to see the reality in its smallest form. But the heart wants to see the reality as an infinite expanse of Light and Delight. The heart first identifies with the reality; then it expands its own existence. We have to see reality as a whole; then only shall we be satisfied.

We have to know that the soul stays inside the heart. True, its vibration, its consciousness, permeates the whole body; but its actual existence is inside the heart. So if we go to the source, to the place where the soul abides most of the time, it is very easy to feel its light. But if we remain in the mind and wait for the soul’s vibration to reach us, it is much more difficult.

Eventually we have to bring light into the mind, into the intellect, into the lethargic body, everywhere. Light has to permeate every part of our existence. But it is infinitely easier to get light if we go to the heart first and then bring light from the heart to the mind.

Part 5: Sir Wilfrid Laurier University

Question: How does one meditate?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two principal ways to meditate. One can either silence the mind or one can empty the heart. When one silences the mind, the divine Reality, the highest Reality, can flow in and through the mind. When emotional desires and wrong movements from the vital are emptied from the heart, then the heart is ready to receive Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure. So by silencing the mind or by emptying the heart one can have a good meditation.

Question: Do you feel that man has to suffer on earth?

Sri Chinmoy: No! Human beings are not on earth to suffer. On the contrary, human beings are on earth for illumination. We have to know that our Source is God, who is all Love, all Light, all Satisfaction. He is not suffering; He is all Bliss. Thousands of years ago the Vedic Seers offered us a most significant message: “From Delight we came into existence; in Delight we grow and at the end of our journey’s close, into Delight we shall retire.” Suffering is not the ultimate Reality. The ultimate Reality is Bliss. Sometimes we go through an experience which we call suffering. But eventually we will arrive at Delight, and this Delight is our real Reality.

Question: If God is everywhere, what is the purpose of evolution?

Sri Chinmoy: God is present in the mineral kingdom, in plants, in animals, in everything. God is omnipresent. God is also in the process of evolution. From the world of Silence the transcendental Spirit descended into the mineral kingdom which He created. When the Spirit descends, we call it involution and when the Spirit evolves from inconscience and goes up again to the Source, we call it evolution. From the mineral life, God within us evolved into plant life, then into animal life and now into human life. From human life it has to evolve into divine life. Now we are human beings, yet we are still half animal. We quarrel, we fight, we kill, we do many undivine things. But we also have the aspiration to become divine, to serve God in mankind, to become one with the world at large. As seekers, as lovers of Truth who pray and meditate, we are to some extent divine. So God has evolved in and through us from the mineral kingdom to the plant kingdom, from the plant kingdom to the animal kingdom and from the animal kingdom to the human kingdom. Now God within us is trying to evolve into a divine being. He has started climbing the tree right from the foot. He will be satisfied only when he has reached the topmost branch.

Question: You seem to have a cold today. Why does a spiritual Master like yourself get a cold and have to suffer?

Sri Chinmoy: Today it is from pure negligence. I came here today an hour before my talk and I went to buy some books in spite of knowing that I was catching cold. If I had been careful to be more warmly dressed, then I would not have caught cold. But, I don’t take this cold as punishment or suffering. I take it as an experience. I did something; now I am getting the result of my action.

Sometimes when I am sick, it is not negligence. Sometimes I take diseases from the wrong forces of my disciples. I know the way to throw these diseases into the universal Consciousness, but usually I do not do it immediately because it is better for my disciples to see and feel what kind of suffering they are causing me by cherishing so many wrong movements. But an hour ago I did something wrong, so why should I fight when the result comes to me. Since I allowed myself to catch a cold in a natural way, let it be cured in a natural way.

Question: If we are part of God, why do we leave our Source in the first place and come to earth?

Sri Chinmoy: We are part and parcel of God the absolute Supreme. We are totally and inseparably one with Him. But we have come from the Source in order to take a conscious part in God’s cosmic Game. God is the eternal Player and we are participating in His cosmic Game. We have come into the world as representatives of God for the sake of manifestation. In order to manifest the divine within us, we come back to earth again and again. Inside us is strength, but if this strength is not utilised, we do not feel satisfied. Inside us is love, but if this love is not offered, we remain unfulfilled. Inside us is service, but if this service is not rendered, it does no good at all. If we do not manifest on earth what we have inside us, then our divinity is all in Heaven; it is all in dreamland, let us say.

But why do we come down the cosmic Tree when we could have stayed on the top of that Tree? It is because it is God’s Plan. God did not want to remain as one. He wanted to become many. He was one, but He thought He would like to enjoy Himself in infinite forms and shapes. That is why He created us. The song of multiplicity He is singing. It was for His own supreme Satisfaction that He made Himself into many forms. Seekers are consciously trying and non-seekers are unconsciously trying to arrive at the same satisfaction. Unless and until our divinity is manifested, we are not satisfied and we do not or cannot regain our Source.

Question: What is the real seeker's goal?

Sri Chinmoy: The goal of the seeker is to please the Supreme in His own way. The real seeker will only try to please God in God’s own way. Then if God wants to give that particular seeker Light, Bliss and Peace so that he can offer it to mankind, that is up to God. The real seeker will only try to please God in His own way. His goal is not to have a little Peace or Joy or Love. He wants to reach the Highest and let the Highest decide for him how or what he can offer to the world.

Question: How important is faith?

Sri Chinmoy: The role of faith is of paramount importance in the seeker’s life. Always he has to feel that he is God’s son, and that he has to realise God consciously. Ultimately it is God who protects, liberates and illumines a seeker. If the seeker has no faith, then he cannot proceed. If he does not have faith, that means he has something else: doubt. Either one has faith or one has doubt. There is no middle ground. Doubt puts real poison into us. A seeker must have faith in God and also in himself. If he loses faith in God or in his search for Truth, then his progress may be slow. But if he loses faith in himself, then he is doomed. By doubting God, by doubting our friends and neighbours, and by doubting ourselves we do not gain anything. If we have faith in ourselves and in God, constantly our life-tree is blossoming. He who has faith feels God’s presence inside himself and inside others. Faith is our constant inner growth. If there is no faith, there is no growth. If there is no growth, how are we going to reach the Highest? So faith is of paramount importance in the spiritual life.

Question: Do human beings have free will?

Sri Chinmoy: As an ordinary human being, we have very limited free will. But if we become a sincere seeker, then we will be surcharged eventually with an adamantine will. Now we are like a cow that is tied to a pole. There is a point beyond which we cannot go, but within these confines we have free will. The higher we go or the deeper we go, the more our capacity increases. When we can listen to the dictates of the soul, or when we can bring the soul forward to illumine our vital, our mind and our gross physical, then our will becomes boundless. At that time, our individual will unites itself with the universal Will within us. When the universal Will becomes our will, at that time our freedom is infinite. Although we have free will to a very limited extent right now, this free will can be increased in infinite measure.

Question: Are determination and will-power the same?

Sri Chinmoy: Human determination is not and cannot be the last answer. Usually determination comes from the vital or from the mind. It tries to achieve something by hook or by crook. Real will or will-power comes from the soul. There is no difference between the soul’s light and will-power. The soul’s light can illumine everything, and once we see something illumined, there is no obstruction. If the road is illumined, then we can walk and run. But if the road is obscure and dark, at any moment we may stumble and fall.

Question: Do you think it is possible for a seeker to cure physical illness through prayer?

Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely! Suppose your father is sick and you pray to God. If your prayer is soulful, then God will definitely cure your father if that is His Will. But even if your prayer is most soulful, if God wants your father to go through an experience of sickness, He knows what is best for your father as well as for you. Then you have to know that God Himself is suffering in and through your father. It is God Himself who is having that particular experience. But even if God does not cure your father, your soulful prayers will not be lost. God will fulfil your prayers in a different way. Since your prayer has knocked at God’s Door, God will keep the sincerity, the soulful quality of your prayer inside His Heart. Your prayer God preserves as a peerless treasure. Then He will enlarge and expand your heart and illumine your life. He will give you a very big heart. Today you are crying and praying for the cure of your father; tomorrow you will cry for ten persons; the day after for the vast humanity. At that time, you will pray not just for your near and dear ones; you will pray for all of suffering humanity. God will give you the divine capacity to pray for all of humanity.

Part 6: University Of Windsor

Question: How can we keep the heart's door open all the time?

Sri Chinmoy: You can keep your heart’s door wide open all the time if you can value the presence of God. You have to feel that without the conscious presence of God you cannot exist, not even for a fleeting second. If you can feel that you can exist on earth without drinking water or without eating food or without breathing, if you can feel that there is nothing on earth which is essential to your life except to consciously feel God’s presence inside your heart, then you can easily keep your heart’s door wide open. Feel that if you do not consciously feel His presence inside your heart, that is worse than death. You need Him desperately; you need Him at every second of your life. If you don’t have that kind of need or urge, then you cannot keep your heart’s door open. But when you come to realise that nothing is indispensable in your life except God, then your heart’s door will automatically remain open.

Question: How do we get rid of vanity, ego and pride?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways. One way is by invoking Peace, Light and Bliss through prayer and meditation. You can bring down Peace, Light and Bliss from above and then illumine vanity, ego and pride. When Peace, Light and Bliss descend, vanity, pride and ego disappear. This is the spiritual approach.

There is also a practical approach which is quite effective on the ordinary human level. Suppose you are a good singer and you are very proud of your voice. Immediately ask yourself whether you are by far the best singer on earth. Your immediate answer will be no, there are many who sing far better than you do. If you have studied and have become a great scholar, you may feel you have every reason to be proud. But if you become sincere and ask yourself whether you are the greatest scholar on earth, your immediate sincere answer will be no. There are some people who far surpass you in knowledge and wisdom. No matter in which walk of life you are eminent, there is always someone who has far surpassed you. How can you be bloated with pride when you know that there is someone who has surpassed you in your field? We are proud of ourselves because we feel that we have achieved something which others have not achieved. But the moment we see that there are others who have far surpassed our capacity, immediately our achievement pales into insignificance and our pride has to die.

The difficulty with this approach is that this realisation may not last. It may last for five days or five months or five years: then we totally forget about others who have surpassed us in our field. Again we enter into ignorance and build up our ego, pride and vanity. Then after a while perhaps sincerity once more dawns. Nobody wants to fool himself all the time. Because we are spiritual people, sincerity wants to come to the fore in us. We see that there are others who have better qualities and capacities than we have, and then we try to compete with them and transcend our present capacity.

At this stage of development, for many people the spiritual process of trying to bring down Peace, Light and Bliss is simply impossible. So let us take the practical point of view and compare ourselves with others. With the spiritual approach of aspiring for Peace, Light and Bliss, there is no competition. If we get Peace, Light and Bliss, immediately we are satisfied. Also, if we have the feeling of oneness, at that time we don’t compete. My right eye does not compete with my left eye. My right arm, if it has a little more strength than the left arm, does not compete with the left arm. The right arm does not have a superior feeling, because it has accepted the left arm as its very own. When the right arm throws the shot-put, the left arm does not feel miserable. On the contrary, it feels that this is their mutual achievement and it shares the achievement with the right arm. The right arm also gladly shares the achievement, because the left arm and right arm feel their oneness. When we have brought down Peace, Light and Bliss we establish our feeling of oneness with everything and everyone. If another person has achieved something and we have not achieved that thing, on the strength of our inner oneness we feel that it is also our achievement. In oneness there is no competition, no competition whatsoever.

Question: There are several paths to spiritual attainment and each stresses something different, such as Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga. How can a person know which path is his path, which aspect of the spiritual life he should stress?

Sri Chinmoy: One can easily know. An individual knows whether he likes love and devotion in his life more than knowledge or wisdom. He himself knows whether he is more inclined to work and serve or he is more inclined to pray and meditate. Each individual knows what he wants to do. When morning dawns, immediately he may start working because he feels that work gives him joy; or he may start praying with love and devotion because he feels that this gives him joy. When an individual enters into the spiritual life, he is bound to feel whether he is most inclined toward Bhakti Yoga or Karma Yoga or Jnana Yoga — whether he is most inclined toward love, service or knowledge.

If there is a Master who advocates the path of love, devotion and surrender, one aspirant will go to him. If there is a Master who wants dedicated service, devoted service, surrendered service, someone else will go there. If somebody teaches knowledge and wisdom, then somebody else will go to him. Some will teach the path of the heart, some will teach the path of the mind and some will teach the path of action. It is the seeker who will know which path is meant for him. Then he has to stick to his path. In the university if you like history, you go to the history professor. You don’t go to the geography professor if you don’t like geography. The subject you like, you study; the subject that you do not like, you do not study.

You are bound to know which path is for you because there is always an inner urge for you to achieve something, embody something, reveal something and manifest something. If you want to manifest something, naturally you first have to have it inside you. And why do you have to have that particular thing? Just because there is someone who is pushing you and inspiring you to achieve it. That someone is God within you.

Question: Must someone be a seeker in order to know about God?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes! If somebody is not a seeker and he wants to know about God, then he will only argue unnecessarily. If I am a layman, it is only stupidity if I challenge a doctor or a scientist. If I want to understand some medical ideas, then I have to be at least a nurse; I have to know the ABC’s of medicine. Then when the doctor says something, perhaps I will understand it.

If I don’t feel any need for God, if I don’t want Him, then what can I expect to learn from the person who has Peace, Light and Bliss? In the spiritual life we are all seekers; we have an inner hunger. If we are hungry, then God is there to feed us. But if we are not hungry, then even if I go into a restaurant I will not eat anything. If I am not hungry, it is not your duty to feed me. A spiritual Master is like that. If somebody is hungry, he feeds him; if somebody is not hungry, then the Master does not feed him.

Part 7: University of West Ontario

Question: Is there any difference between one God-realised Master and another?

Sri Chinmoy: There is a difference between one God-realised Master and another. Once someone touches the foot of the realisation-tree, you can call him a God-realised Master. But while one Master has only touched the foot of the tree, another has climbed up to the topmost bough and then come down again for manifestation. Some Masters have only a little boat that will carry two or three aspirants across the sea of ignorance. But great Masters, avatars, can carry the whole of humanity.

Question: When you speak of touching the tree of realisation, is that like being in an altered state of consciousness, some psychological state?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not a psychological state; it is an inner experience that enters into our consciousness. In the inner world, on the ladder of consciousness there are many rungs. One particular rung is the realisation-rung. A higher rung is the revelation-rung. Another, still higher, is the manifestation-rung. But these are not psychological states. Psychology does not apply to the spiritual life, All spiritual experiences take place in the realm of the universal Heart.

Question: Where did the universal Heart originate?

Sri Chinmoy: The universal Heart originated in God’s Silence. When God was absolute Silence, inside this Silence something was growing all the time. This was the universal Heart. The universal Heart came into existence before God’s sound-life came into existence. And where is the universal Heart? It is deep inside us, where reality constantly grows.

Question: How can we stay in the highest consciousness when we are in the midst of intellectual activities?

Sri Chinmoy: First we have to know whether intellectual activities have given us what we want. If we feel that intellectual activities have not given us abiding satisfaction, then we value the heart more than the mind. Unfortunately, we feel that the reason we are not discovering the truth through the intellect is because we are not properly illumined or not properly dealing with the intellect. We don’t realise that there is no chance of finding the ultimate Truth or Reality in the intellect. Right now we have the feeling that the intellect can give us as adequate an answer as the heart. But a day will come when we will feel that it is only the heart that can give us the real answer. Once the heart brings us that answer, we shall then bring it into the intellect. The physical mind and the intellect will not always remain unillumined. Everything has to be illumined eventually. But we have to get illumination from where it is available, and then bring it where it is not yet available.

Question: How does one meditate?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways to meditate. One way is to silence the mind. An ordinary man feels that if he silences the mind he becomes a tool. He feels that if the mind does not think, the mind has lost everything. But this is not true in the spiritual life. In the spiritual life when we silence the mind we see that a new creation, a new promise to God, dawns in the mind. Right now we have not fulfilled our promise to God; we have not totally dedicated our existence to God. When we can silence the mind, we are in a position to please and fulfil God.

Right now we do not hear God’s Voice. There may be something we hear from within that we feel is God’s Voice, but it may be only a voice coming from our subtle physical or subtle vital or from somewhere else. But when we silence the mind, we can hear a silent voice inside the very depth of our heart or above our head, and that is the Voice of God. Once we hear the Voice of God we cannot make any mistake in our life. If we listen to its dictates all the time, we will go forward, upward and inward constantly.

Another way to meditate is to empty the heart. Right now the heart is full of emotional turmoil and problems caused by the impure vital which has enveloped it. The heart is a vessel. Right now this vessel is full of undivine things, things that limit and bind us. If we can empty the heart vessel, there is someone who will fill it with divine Peace, Light and Bliss, which will liberate us. When we empty our heart of ignorance, God’s Wisdom-Light will come and fill it.

A seeker can make a choice, or he can do both forms of meditation. In the morning he can try to silence his mind and in the evening he can try to empty his heart. Our meditation is our inner food. We have to eat if we want to be inwardly strong. If the food is nourishing and delicious, then we can eat the same food in the morning and in the evening. But if we enjoy two types of food and feel that both types have the same sweet taste and the same nourishment, then we can eat both. But if we find that one form of meditation is more difficult than the other, we should do the one that is easier. If both are equally easy, then we are very fortunate; we can have a variety of food.

Question: How does one empty the heart and receive Peace, Light and Bliss?

Sri Chinmoy: When we pray and meditate, we give and receive; we offer and achieve. Right now we feel that ignorance is our possession. Although we say that ignorance is very bad, we don’t want to give it away. But we have to know that ignorance is not our real possession; our real possessions are Peace, Light and Bliss. During our prayer and meditation we should offer to God our false possessions and receive from God our real possessions. We should ask God to take what we have and what we are and to give us what He has and what He is. What we have is aspiration, the inner cry to become divine. What we are is ignorance. We ask God to take both our aspiration and our ignorance and to give us what He has and what He is: Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. When we breathe in, we can feel that we are breathing in God’s immortal qualities, and when we breathe out, we can feel that we are offering God our ignorance.

Question: How does one go about silencing the mind?

Sri Chinmoy: Just as a child cries for a toy, we have to cry to God to silence our mind. If we follow a spiritual path under the guidance of a true spiritual Master, the Master can help the disciple to silence his mind if he sees that the disciple is sincere in his aspiration. Our aspiration is our most powerful inner weapon. We have to become a divine warrior who is always ready to fight against ignorance, a divine warrior who wants to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, beginning with his own nature. As a divine warrior, we will guard the mind’s door with a naked sword. When an undivine thought comes, we will immediately kill it.

Another way is to adopt a totally indifferent attitude toward our thoughts. Right now we have made friends with ignorance, with undivine thoughts. It is very difficult for us to tell them not to visit us any more. These thoughts feel that they have found a safe harbour in us, since we have always made them welcome. When they see that their lifelong friend is neglecting them and not giving them proper attention, first they wonder what is wrong with us. They see that they have done nothing wrong, and they decide that it is our own stupidity that is making us ignore them. After a while they feel that it is beneath their dignity to visit us. Just as we have pride and vanity, ignorance also has pride and vanity. So these thoughts that were once our closest friends refuse to enter into us because we are not paying any attention to them.

Undivine thoughts are like monkeys. The nature of the monkey is to bite us. If we just ignore it, the monkey will bite us a few times and, if there is no reaction, it will go away. But if the monkey bites us, if we strike it vehemently a few times, the monkey also goes away. Both methods are effective. Either we have to have the strength not to pay attention to the bite of the monkey or we have to strike it.

Question: Would you tell me what you mean by the word 'God'?

Sri Chinmoy: Each person has his own conception of God. If the conception of God as Light satisfies you, then you are perfectly right in thinking of God as Light. Someone else perhaps will be satisfied only with God as a most luminous being, like a most beautiful child. Each person has to think of God according to his own inner capacity and inner receptivity. God is not bound by any form, but He can take any form He wants to.

If you want to see Him in a form, if you have pleased Him, then He is bound to appear before you in that particular form. God is with form and attributes, and He is without form and attributes. If you want to see Him one moment with attributes, if you have pleased Him, He will show Himself to you with attributes. The next moment if you want to see Him in His impersonal Form, as infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, then He can appear in that way also. God is more than ready to appear before you in whatever form to which you are devoted. He transcends both form and formlessness.

Question: What is the significance of the white light which I sometimes see when I meditate?

Sri Chinmoy: White light is the light of divine purity, infinite purity. It is also the light of the Divine Mother. God is both Father and Mother; He is our Eternal Father and He is our Eternal Mother. When God wants to express His Divinity in the feminine aspect, He uses white light. When he sees white light, the seeker can rest assured that he has established an inner connection with God the Universal Mother.


Peterborough, Ontario March 22, 1974

Toronto, Ontario March 24, 1974

Hamilton, Ontario March 24, 1974

Guelph, Ontario March 25, 1974

Waterloo, Ontario March 26, 1974

Windsor, Ontario March 27, 1974

London, Ontario March 28, 1974

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