Creation and perfection

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Part I

Creation and perfection

If you go deep within, you will see that you don’t have to go to somebody else or talk to somebody else to be misunderstood. You are being misunderstood by yourself. Your own vital — your undivine, obscure, unaspiring vital — misunderstands your own highest aspiration. Whenever you want to do something devotedly and soulfully, do not lose hope because of your vital. Don’t feel that you are not ready or worthy. Don’t feel that you are not sincere enough or serious enough. Whenever you want to do something or say something divine, feel that you are sincere, you are serious, you are devoted, you are soulful.

Each human being is a creator; again, each human being is a critic. If the creator feels that he is perfect, then he is wrong. Or the moment he creates something, if he feels that his creation is perfect, then he is wrong again. But when he creates something, if at that very moment the critic in him comes and throws cold water on it and does not allow him to create further or to go higher or deeper, then that is most deplorable. At that time, the critic in him is infinitely worse than his creation or his achievement can be. You are the creator; you are the critic. But when you create something, you have to feel that the real creation is the Supreme Himself. By criticising the Supreme, you cannot make Him perfect. He is perfect, only He is trying to maintain and offer His perfection in and through you, according to your capacity and your receptivity.

Again, you should not stop doing something or saying something just because the critic in you is wide awake. The moment you do something, in ten different ways this critic will criticise you. If you pay attention to him, then you are doomed. By being afraid of the critic in you, you will never achieve perfection. Again, by continuously doing or saying something without inspiration, without sincere aspiration, you are not going to achieve anything either.

When you create something, you have to know that it is an achievement. But do not take it as perfection. If you expect perfection the moment you create something, then you will be disappointed. Today you do something; tomorrow you will do something else. Hundreds of things you will do, one after another. But there is no guarantee that every day you do something, all of a sudden perfection will dawn. Again, this does not mean that you have to go on, go on, go on indefinitely until you can achieve perfection in one thing. No, perfection will come, but not necessarily at a fixed time. And if you don’t create in action or thought, then what do you have to perfect? First you create something; then only can you think of perfecting it. There is no other way to achieve perfection in life.

When you create something, you have to feel that it is sheer Grace that has created this thing in you and through you. Let us say you have composed a song, or written an article, or said something nice to your fellow human beings. At that time, you have to feel that it is the divine Grace, the Grace or the Compassion of the Supreme, that has acted in and through you. Do not feel that this creation is yours. You have painted or you have played on the piano or you have done something remarkable. If you can give the credit to the Supreme, then the next moment the same Grace will act in and through you again with infinite potentiality and power. If you sincerely feel that your achievement is most perfect according to your own standard and that the Supreme’s Grace has enabled you to do it, then your sincere feeling will touch His Heart. He will say, “My child is satisfied with this, but I know that there is much more to be achieved.” So, when your sincere appreciation enters into the Heart of the Supreme, He will immediately give you more Compassion, more Grace, and this will come to you in the form of capacity. Then, the next time you do something, you will have more perfection. It may not be perfect perfection. But perhaps the third time that you do something, you will have the feeling that right from the beginning it is the Grace, the Compassion of the Supreme, that is acting in and through you and this time it will be perfect perfection. Again, there is no end to your perfection. Perfection is always transcending its previous boundaries.

No matter what your standard is on the path of perfection, each time you do something or achieve something, feel that it is the unconditional Grace of the Supreme that is operating. And always use the term ‘unconditional.’ You feel, “This morning I got up early; that is why I was in a position to have a good meditation.” But how is it that you were able to get up, whereas your friend was still sleeping? In the same apartment someone was still sleeping and snoring, but you got up early to meditate. You have to know that it was because the Grace of the Supreme acted in you and you were able to receive it. The Supreme has given you the inspiration to meditate and after meditating you go and inspire people. It is like a human father and child. The child takes money and then he goes out and buys things. But where does he get the money from? He gets it from his parents. Similarly, where do you get the inspiration for your actions? From the Supreme. Each moment you do something, if you give all credit to the Supreme instead of to yourself, then you become perfect. This is the secret of perfection. For any good action you do, always give credit to the Supreme.

So, start by giving credit to divine Compassion, divine Grace, and then immediately show gratitude. First you create something and then you show gratitude to the Supreme. You will admire your creation just because it is the Supreme Himself who has created it. When somebody else appreciates your creation, or when you offer it to someone, you feel that naturally he ought to show gratitude to you. But I wish to say that this is not so. The moment you create something for someone in the inner world or the outer world, the one who deserves your gratitude, his gratitude and everyone’s gratitude, is the Supreme. There are millions of people all around you who have not been able to create something. How is it that you have done it? It is because Somebody has accepted you as His instrument, His chosen instrument, for an hour or for a day or for a month. The Supreme is the only Doer.

Protection and inner conviction

For those who follow the spiritual life, the protection of the Supreme is always there. If some calamity takes place in your family, and if you have been meditating sincerely and devotedly and praying every day, then feel that the calamity could have been infinitely worse. Suppose an accident has taken place. An ordinary person will say, “Oh, there is no protection, nothing.” But if you are really spiritual, if you are my true disciple, then I wish to say that the Supreme in you has protected you. It could have been worse, infinitely worse.

If you are sincerely dedicated and devoted, then the suffering that you go through in life is nothing in comparison to the suffering that you might otherwise have gone through. And God alone knows how much suffering your Guru goes through on your behalf. The Supreme alone knows what this body of mine has gone through for the sake of the disciples’ imperfections. It was His Will for me to accept it and I did it. Let me not brag. Only I wish to tell you, whenever you suffer, please feel that it could have been infinitely worse.

If you really follow the path of spirituality, if you are really sincere, devoted and dedicated, then the law of karma can easily be negated or nullified. But what happens is that today you are sincere and tomorrow you are most insincere. Today this Guru is very good; today I am nice to you. But tomorrow I am absolutely useless. This moment you feel that I am good, the next moment you feel that I am bad. When you think that I am good, don’t think at that time that I am going to be very generous to you in the inner world or in the outer world. The Supreme in me will observe for how many days you maintain your faith in me. Today some of you will have faith in me just for half an hour. Then, when you go home, faith will go away. But I wish to say if you can forever maintain your faith in me, then there is nothing that you cannot do. I am not scolding you at all. I am only telling you how you can be fulfilled.

This moment I have smiled at you, so you feel that I am a very good man. The next moment, if I don’t get the chance to smile at you, if I turn to the other side to talk to somebody else, then according to you I am a very bad man.

Believe me, when you say that I am a good man, that I hear; and when you think that I am a bad man, that also I feel. You will think that since I have not looked at you, you will be able to deceive me. I may not see you at all, but my inner beings will bring me the message. Like a magnet they will bring the message.

By thinking that I am bad or by feeling that I am good, you will not gain anything. Only by becoming good will you gain something. If you can become good, then you will get everything. You think I am very bad, let us say; the teacher is not good at all. No harm. But if you can make your life better, automatically you will see good in me.

Quite a few of the disciples feel, “Guru does not care for me, Guru does not care for us.” Just by thinking repeatedly that Guru does not care for you, you won’t gain anything. If you think that I don’t care for you, that I will never care for you — if you cherish that idea for the rest of your life — you will not get one drop more of my concern from the sea of my consciousness. If you feel that I only care for others, you are not going to get one drop more from me.

Try to feel how many seconds I do think of you. Ask yourself, “How many times did I think to fulfil him in his own way?” Perhaps you will give yourself zero. Perhaps you will think that you try to fulfil me in my own way once a month. And, I tell you, there are disciples who do not make that attempt even once during the whole month.

The moment you think or feel that you can fulfil me in my own way, you have already fulfilled me. My concern, my love, does not depend on my smile or my blessing. It depends on your own inner and outer action. Inwardly, while you are walking, if you have a good thought about me, I wish to say that your whole inner being is flooded with joy. I don’t have to talk to you for a month. If you can have only once a divine thought, you are bound to get inner joy.

Why don’t you get this joy now? It is not because some people see me quite often and you do not. No, it is precisely because you are lacking in inner conviction. That inner conviction feels, “I am of you and I am for you.” Unless you feel, “I am of you,” you can never have the feeling, “I am for you.” You have to feel that I am one with you in your suffering. Right now you feel that only when you do something great am I for you, and that when you do something bad, at that time I am not with you. No, that is the wrong attitude. If you do anything wrong, immediately identify yourself and your wrong action with me. If you can identify yourself at that time with me, then you will be able to come out of it.

Suppose you have insulted or scolded someone. Already you are undivine. But then, if you separate yourself from me and feel that I am not in you, that I am not sympathising with you and with your thoughts, then immediately your anger will come towards me. You will say, “I have done such a wrong thing. I got angry with this person. It is very bad, very bad. And where was Guru? Why did he not protect me? What was he doing? Was he sleeping?” This is your reaction. But I wish to say, at the time you get angry with someone, try to feel that I am one with the action and with the result. You got angry; now you are getting the result. You are feeling miserable. But now you have to feel whether I am also suffering. Am I saying that I don’t want to see you, or that you deserve punishment? Am I saying that since you got angry and did not behave properly, you deserve this kind of suffering? No! Do not cherish the idea that I am saying that. At that time make me one with you. Bring me, pull me, into all your wrong forces, into your suffering.

Every day you can write down on the tablet of your heart many things that you have done wrong in thought and action. If you write them down, perhaps good disciples will get ten or fifteen wrong actions; bad ones will get fifty or sixty. Then tomorrow, again you start. Be your own examiner. Every day you examine yourself. When you have done something good, offer it. When you have done something bad, that also you offer. Everything, offer, offer, offer to me. But if you hold onto it, then it is impossible for me to enter into you.

Question: Sometimes I want to offer something that I feel is wrong with me. I try to offer it in my own limited way, but I really don't know the best way to do it.

Sri Chinmoy: Let us say that you get angry with your brother. At that time, feel that your anger is something that you can grab. Always think of everything as an object, a material object. That material object, just grab and throw into me. I am ready to accept it. When you throw it into me, I will take it. But when you throw it into somebody else, then that person only retaliates against your action and the problem starts.

So when you are angry, don’t cherish this anger. Just throw it into me. When you have wrong thoughts, vital thoughts, anything undivine, just throw it into me. If you do not throw it into me but just hold it, what happens? Unconsciously you cherish it. And if you cherish these thoughts, they gain enormous strength and try to destroy your whole being. When these thoughts start, at that time they are like a few ants. If you can see them, easily you can destroy them. But when they grow and a few ants become hundreds and thousands of ants, at that time it is very difficult, very difficult.

But even if you feel that it is a hopeless case, I wish to tell you that nothing is hopeless. Even when you yourself give up the challenge, God will not give up the challenge in and through you. He may allow you to take rest for a day or a month or a year or a hundred years, but eventually He will again inspire you to accept the challenge.

Question: Guru, you just said that when we feel we have done something wrong and we feel miserable about it, we are to identify with you. Should we feel that you are miserable also?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, you have to know that I also feel miserable. It is not that I will say, “You deserve it.” I will not say that. I will only sympathise with you, and my sympathy will have the utmost compassion. Then I will give you the necessary light not to do it again. Inner instruction, inner instruction: there is not a single disciple who can say that I do not give inner instruction.

Question: Could you please explain initiation?

Sri Chinmoy: The moment I accept someone, I initiate that person with my eyes or with my hand or with my smile. At that time I make an immediate promise to the disciple that I will make him realise the Highest. And the student makes the promise that when he realises the Highest, he will become my perfect instrument to manifest the Supreme in me.

The disciple gladly gives what he has: his ignorance. But it has to be given spontaneously. Your wealth you have to give to the Master. Your wealth is your ignorance and the Master’s wealth is his light. When you receive the ultimate wealth of the Master, you become the possessor of boundless Light. Where does the Peace and Light come from? It comes from the highest Source. Then you try to manifest this Peace and Light.

I have not initiated my disciples in the traditional Indian way, which I do not care for. I have not asked you to bring me a coconut, a piece of cloth or some rice. Chanting from the Vedas and the Upanishads, invoking the cosmic gods and goddesses: this I have not done. For me it is not at all necessary. The Supreme, who is above all, has initiated you people through me. In my case, the moment I accept someone as a real disciple of mine, that very acceptance is initiation. When I accept someone, he is initiated. If I really accept him, and if the person also really cares for initiation, then I make the solemn promise of taking his ignorance. Initiation means real acceptance. If you have really accepted me as your Master, then I have really initiated you. If your acceptance is not sincere, then there is no initiation for you.

Regaining past achievements

In the spiritual life, a seeker should know that he cannot always eat the most delicious food. Once he has eaten something most delicious, he feels that he will be able to eat it every day, at every meal. He can have always delicious food provided he is very, very rich and has an excellent cook. But if he is not rich and if he does not have an excellent cook, then he will never be able to eat most delicious food every day, at every meal.

In the spiritual life it is the same. In order to remain always in the heart, one must feel inside him the presence of a seeker, a seeker of utmost and constant sincerity. People are sincere, in general, when they start their journey. They accept the spiritual life and for five days or five months or five years they are sincere. To be sincere for five years is one thing; but to be sincere at every moment is something else. Let us say you have accepted our path. You say, “I am following Guru’s path.” But every day to have sincerity, every hour to have sincerity, every moment to have sincerity, is a different matter.

We say we are following somebody’s path, and it is true. But how do we actually spend our time? In each day there are twenty-four hours. For seven or eight hours we sleep. Then, four or five hours we waste by talking and mixing with others. On spirituality we spend hardly two or three hours. And even during these two or three hours, sometimes we are not sincere. While we are meditating, perhaps for two minutes we are sincere, and the rest of the time we are daydreaming; we are building castles in the air.

In our spiritual life, there is a constant battle between the heart’s inner cry and the mind’s rejection. When sincerity plays its role constantly in the spiritual life, we remain inside the heart. But sometimes sincerity fails and the heart loses. When the heart loses in the battlefield of life, life becomes a barren desert. But when this happens, we have to feel that the night will last only for a few hours, and then there will be day. Just because we are experiencing the night, we cannot say that there will be no day for us. There will be day. But if we want to remain in day all the time, then we can do two things. The first thing is to use our imagination-power. Imagination is not bad. Imagination is most important in the spiritual life. A scientist who discovers something really great attributes ninety-nine per cent of his achievement to the power of imagination. Today it is imagination, but tomorrow it is inspiration. Then, the day after tomorrow it becomes aspiration and the following day it becomes realisation. For those who are following our path, meditation in the heart centre has taken place many, many times. So if you use your imagination-power and remember how you used to meditate one or two years ago, immediately you will be able to go back and catch the bird that used to fly so well in your heart’s sky, psychic sky. Use your imagination-power and then, right after that, use your gratitude-power. As soon as you feel with your imagination that you have reached the stage where you were two years ago or one year ago, then immediately offer your heart’s gratitude-power. Show your gratitude to the Supreme or even to the heart, which has received Peace, Light and Bliss from above.

So, first use your imagination-power and then use your gratitude-power. In this way you are bound to get back in your day-to-day life the capacity to concentrate, to meditate, to contemplate on your heart. Once you have achieved something and then lost it, rest assured that you are bound to get that thing back again. It is only a matter of time. Again, if you have not got something, that doesn’t mean that you will not get it in the future. You will get it. But once you have already achieved something, it is always infinitely easier to get that thing back. How do you expedite the process? Through your constant, sincere cry and through your imagination-power and gratitude-power.

Part II

//During a meeting of the Manhattan Centre at New York University’s Meyer Hall of Physics on 15 September 1973, and the following day at his New York Centre, Sri Chinmoy invited the attendants who were present to ask him a question on power. The questions and Sri Chinmoy’s answers follow.//

Question: How can we have power and humility at the same time?

Sri Chinmoy: Power in the physical finds it difficult to be humble. Power in the vital finds it difficult to be humble. Power in the mind also finds it difficult to be humble. But the power in the heart finds it quite easy to be humble. Power in the heart has the feeling of oneness. The mother is much stronger and wiser than the child. But the mother does not feel that it is beneath her dignity to touch the feet of the child. She knows that she is doing it on the strength of her complete oneness with her son. In the mother’s case, her love is her power. Inside her love is the power of oneness. But when two ordinary human beings are together, one finds it difficult to touch the feet of the other because there is no sense of oneness. When there is oneness, there will never be a feeling of superiority and inferiority. An individual does not feel that it is beneath his dignity to touch his own feet. It is no different from touching his own head. Feet and head are equally important to him. When necessity demands, I touch my feet. When necessity demands, I touch my head. There is no question of humility or humiliation, because my head and my feet are one.

How can we have power and humility at the same time? Think of Mother Earth, which is right around us. Mother Earth is holding all power, but she is so humble. We are doing so many undivine things on earth, but Mother Earth has infinite compassion. She is infinitely more powerful than any individual, but her heart is all forgiveness, because she feels her oneness with God’s creation.

Or take a mango tree. It has hundreds of mangoes. When we human beings achieve something, we are bloated with pride. If we have a dollar, we are bloated with pride because somebody else does not have a dollar. But the tree is not like that. When the tree bears fruit, at that time it could be very proud because everybody needs its mangoes. But the tree does not become proud. On the contrary, it gives its wealth to us and we are nourished. By offering its wealth to us, it feels a sense of satisfaction. True satisfaction is divine contentment. So, the tree teaches us how humility and power can go together. When we achieve something, our achievement is a form of power. But this power is not destructive power. It is a power that feeds. When the tree bears fruit, it offers its wealth, its life, to mankind. This wealth we can call power. The thing that helps mankind undoubtedly is a form of power.

Whoever is in a position to give is stronger than one who receives. I need something from you. That means that you are superior to me. The tree is in a position to give us fruits, leaves and everything. But when the tree becomes great as a result of its possessions and achievements, the tree bows down. When it offers us all its capacity, it bows down. A tree is a radiant example of how power and humility can go together. Humility means oneness with the rest of the world, whereas divine power is the power to give and become one. When we give, immediately we expand our consciousness. Again, on the strength of our humility, we become vast. Vastness itself is power.

In the spiritual life, when a Master really becomes great, at that time he becomes a child. Because of his prayer and meditation, God gives him spiritual power, occult power, many things. When the spiritual Master becomes flooded with inner power, at that time he will mix with humanity like one child mixing with other children in a garden. God is all Love, all Power; again He is all Humility. How does He do it? God is an eternal Child and this Child is always sweet and humble.

Question: Guru, what is God's greatest power and what should man's greatest power be?

Sri Chinmoy: God’s greatest power is His Compassion. His Justice, ninety-nine out of one hundred times, fails. When there is a battle between His Compassion and His Justice, ninety-nine out of one hundred times His Compassion wins, because Compassion is His greatest power.

Man’s greatest power is his gratitude. That is the thing that he can offer. If man can offer even an iota of gratitude for what God has done, then that is man’s greatest power.

Question: How can we remain peaceful when we're trying to accomplish something powerful?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to know where power actually lies. If you feel that power lies only in running and jumping and struggling, then you are mistaken. The real power lies in inmost silence. So if you want to know how you can remain peaceful while doing something powerful, then I wish to say that you have to understand the meaning of the word ‘powerful.’ Power here means the poise of one’s inner being, one’s soul. If you have a free access to your inner being, to your soul, then automatically your outer action will be peaceful. You do not have to raise your hands and show off your outer capacity. No! Here there is no dramatic performance. If you are acquainted with what you inwardly have and inwardly are, if you have free access to your inner being, then automatically you taste the bliss of silence. And if you taste the bliss of silence, in your outer action you will all the time be peaceful.

So, powerful action is the result of inner poise. This powerful action is not vital action or something that is seen in the movement itself. No, it is only in the silent equanimity, in the very heart of silence, that you get this power. If you feel this power and enter into it, then everything is peaceful around you.

Question: Guru, how may one develop the power of concentration?

Sri Chinmoy: There are various ways to develop the power of concentration. One thing you can do is to stand facing a wall and draw a circle in line with your third eye. Then concentrate on it. First you are bound to see the wall, but gradually you will begin to see only the circle. And then, when you see only the circle, put a dot right in the middle of the circle and try to concentrate on the dot. Then, if you see the circle, feel that your concentration is not powerful enough. Only when you can concentrate entirely on the dot can you feel that your power of concentration is successful. This is the ordinary way or, you can say, the easiest way of developing the power of concentration.

There is another way which is most effective, but it may be a little difficult. In the beginning, feel that you have no arms, no nose, no eyes, no ears; you do not have anything but the heart. This heart need not be in the centre of your chest; it may be in your forehead or somewhere else. Only you have to feel that you have the heart and that you are the heart.

Then, after some time, you will locate the heart. How will you locate it? Your consciousness will tell you that the heart is here or that the heart is there. Medical science will immediately say that it is false, that the heart can only be here in the chest. But for spiritual people, the heart can be anywhere, for the spiritual heart means the abode of light. If the Divine within you, the Supreme within you, wants to show you the presence of light through your third eye, which is infinite light and power, then He will tell you that this is the heart. So, for you, the third eye will be the abode of light. That means that the Supreme within you wants to go and visit that particular place and stay there.

When you start your journey, you have to feel that you have the heart and that you are the heart. Then, after some time, your consciousness will tell you where the heart is or who the heart is. At that time, you will concentrate on that spot and feel that that is the only place for you to feel the heart or to become the heart. The heart means light and light means power. The more you have light, the more you will have power. God is all Light. That is why He is all-pervading; that is why He is all powerful. Light and power cannot be separated. Here we can see the electric lamp and we can see the place where it is plugged in. We can separate them. But in the spiritual life, we cannot separate light from power. Light itself is power. And what is light? Universal oneness.

If you want to make your power of concentration more effective, do not think of something vast. Think of something as small as possible. But when you want to meditate, at that time think of something very vast — the sky, the ocean, the mountains — and become one with the vastness, which is all power. But when you want to get the power of concentration, identify yourself with the tiniest thing possible. Then only will you become all-powerful. God is all-powerful not because He is Vastness itself, but because He is inside the elephant as well as the ant. God is all-powerful because He can be both elephant and ant. He is the infinite and He is the finite. Just because He is finite and infinite at the same time, He is omnipotent.

So if you want to meditate and acquire power, just think of Infinity itself, because there is God’s infinite power. But if you want to develop power through your concentration, think of something very subtle, very small.

Question: Guru, what is the most effective way to invoke and utilise divine power to conquer hostile forces that may have entered us or that may be trying to enter us?

Sri Chinmoy: Let us say that some undivine forces have stationed themselves inside us and are perfectly housed there. How can we bring them out of our system? The easiest and most effective way to conquer the hostile forces that are within us is to feel that we have an inner sun. There is a great difference between the inner sun and the outer sun. Both mean light. But here on earth, if we do something wrong, the outer light will expose us, whereas the light that we find in the inner world will never expose us. On the contrary, it will only illumine us.

What do we mean by hostile forces? These are dark forces that eclipse the inner sun. They are like veils that cover the inner sun. If we can consciously meditate on our heart and discover there the living presence of our inner sun, then we are bound first to feel and then to see this most effulgent sun. When we feel and see our inner sun, the hostile forces cannot stay even for a fleeting second. This is how we conquer the hostile forces that have already come inside us.

Now, what do we do about the hostile forces that are attacking us from outside and trying to enter into us? How are we going to conquer them? If we want to fight against them with our own strength, it is simply impossible. Our vital may say that we have abundant strength, but actually our own strength is limited, very limited. So what do we do? The easiest thing is to pray for protection, divine protection. For two minutes early in the morning, if we pray for divine protection, God’s adamantine Force in the form of divine soldiers will be moving around us. And these soldiers are bound to protect us. Our meditation will immediately bear fruit or, we can say, our prayer will be transformed into a battalion. So, in the morning we have to pray for protection and illumination. There is no difference between protection and illumination. When we are fully protected, then illumination automatically takes place; and when we are illumined, fully illumined, protection will be there all around us.

So, for protection against hostile forces that are already lodged inside us, we try to bring to the fore our inner sun. For protection from the hostile forces outside us, we have to pray and meditate early in the morning. And while we are praying, we have to feel that the protection is already there with its power. It is not enough just to have a vague feeling that we are doing it. We cannot do it mechanically. Mechanical prayer is no prayer. Mechanical meditation is no meditation. Each time we pray or meditate, we have to try to feel tremendous enthusiasm, an inner urge. We have to feel that we want something and that we are getting it. We are growing into it; we are becoming it. Then, I tell you, we are bound to get protection from within and from without.

Question: How can I unite soulful humility with power?

Sri Chinmoy: Soulful humility itself is a form of divine power. There is no difference between divine power and soulful humility. Real divine power is an aspect of the highest transcendental Power; and the Mother-power, the divine power, the power of the Supreme Mother, also has its soulful humility. You cannot separate soulful humility from power. So if you just develop soulful humility, automatically you will cultivate divine power within yourself.

Question: In the hustle and bustle of some event, is there some aspect of inner power that an attendant can invoke to immediately stop a wrong force inside himself?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. Each attendant has some inner power — an inner power of aspiration, an inner power of surrender to God, an inner power of brotherhood that makes him feel that we are all spiritual brothers and sisters. These divine powers the attendant can immediately invoke when he sees something undivine taking place. If he shows his outer power, if he threatens or frightens someone, he may think that he will be able to solve the problem. But the problem is usually not solved this way. But if he invokes immediately his inner power, that is to say, his inner light, and if his inner light comes to the fore, then automatically the undivine forces that are creating problems right in front of him can easily be eliminated.

So each attendant has inner power. This inner power is the power of his aspiration. This inner power is the power of his self-giving. He wants peace, he wants harmony, he wants love. All these qualities he has in his inner being in abundant measure. If he invokes them soulfully, they are bound to come forward because it is their very nature to come forward. But it has to be done soulfully. Every sincere invocation is immediately answered by the Supreme. There is not a single attendant who is not aspiring according to his capacity. When necessity demands that he bring to the fore his inner power, do you think his Inner Pilot, who is holding infinite power, will delay? The Inner Pilot will immediately supply him with most adequate power to cope with the outer circumstances.

Questioner: I think I was looking for some sort of magic word that I could say to stop any wrong force.

Sri Chinmoy: If there is a wrong force right in front of you, then immediately repeat “Supreme” very fast: “Supreme, Supreme.” But it has to be done very quickly. In a second try to repeat the Supreme as quickly as possible, hundreds of times. Let the other person feel that you are crazy. When somebody feels that you are crazy, automatically his power goes away. It is beneath his dignity to bother you. When you start repeating something, you are invoking the Supreme not to protect yourself, because you are physically stronger than the other person. You are invoking the presence of the Supreme only to illumine the other person. But he is thinking that you are invoking someone out of fear. He feels, “All right. He is terribly frightened, so let me leave him alone.” Or he will feel that you are invoking some magic power and then he will stay away from you. “Supreme” is a foreign word to him, so he will leave you alone.

Question: What is the strongest divine power?

Sri Chinmoy: For an unaspiring person, the strongest divine power is God’s unconditional Compassion. For an aspiring person, the strongest divine power is the power that makes him constantly feel his inseparable oneness with the Supreme. So if one is unaspiring, God shows His infinite Compassion, and that is the strongest divine power. But if somebody is aspiring, then God shows him constant, inseparable, all-pervading, universal oneness. For him, that is the strongest power that God is showing.

Question: Guru, is it true that, if we only concentrate on surrender we will get enough power when we need it?

Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely. If we concentrate all the time on surrender, then we are bound to get indomitable power. But this surrender has to be the divine surrender. The slave surrenders to the master under compulsion. But in divine surrender there is no compulsion. Here we surrender ourselves to our highest being out of spontaneous joy and delight. Here the finite surrenders consciously and soulfully to the Infinite. The drop is the finite and the ocean is the Infinite. The tiny drop, with its personality and individuality, is absolutely insignificant. But when this tiny drop enters into the mighty ocean, it becomes all-powerful. And the drop does it cheerfully, not under compulsion. So during our prayer and meditation, if we cheerfully, devotedly and soulfully offer our finite existence to the Supreme, then we are bound to get infinite Power and infinite Light. What we have and what we are is ignorance. When we offer this ignorance to light, then automatically we become all light and all power.

Question: How can I invoke divine power?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, it would be wise on your part to know what divine power is. If you think the divine power is something used by God at His sweet Will to punish and to destroy and to keep everyone under His control, then you are badly mistaken. Divine power is the power of light, the feeling of oneness, inseparable oneness, with God’s universe and with God. This is real divine power. And this divine power you can acquire only through constant and conscious self-offering. If you offer yourself consciously and constantly to the Inner Pilot within you, then immediately you will get divine power.

Question: How can the disciple gain the power of constant remembrance and unconditional surrender to the Will of the Supreme?

Sri Chinmoy: First let us take the power of remembrance. The power of remembrance we acquire only when we give importance to an object or a subject. When we are pinched with hunger, then we remember that there is something called food. Similarly, remembrance will come if there is real hunger. When a child is hungry, immediately he will cry to the mother for milk. His hunger is so acute; he can’t wait even for a second. So remembrance comes when we give due importance to the thing that we need.

Sometimes we say that we had something most important to do, but we forgot. But if we go deep within, we will see that the most important thing we have not forgotten. Only we do not pay adequate attention to it. Can there be anything more important in a spiritual person’s life than God? Can there be anything more significant, more meaningful and more fruitful than God? No. Then how is it that we forget God? Just because we do not give adequate importance to Him. When the body is hungry, we think of food but when the soul is hungry, we do not realise it. That is because we do not identify with the soul. But if we know how to identify ourselves with the soul, which is constantly hungry for the manifestation of divine light on earth, then we shall always remember the Supreme our eternal Guru. Always we are bound to remember.

The other thing is unconditional surrender. Unconditional surrender we can make only when we develop the power of gratitude, only when we constantly feel the necessity of gratitude within us. Millions of people are not praying or meditating, but we are praying and meditating and trying to realise God. So each morning we have to be grateful that we are doing something that our friends and relatives are not doing. That means that there is somebody who is really kind and compassionate to us. If we can feel this, then we will see that automatically unconditional surrender will grow.

Many things we have tried in life but failed to accomplish. We may ask, “How is it that we have tried so sincerely, yet we have failed?” But we have to know that what we call sincerity may not be sincerity at all. We may try to do something out of greed or personal necessity, but this may not be the necessity of God. Again, there are many things that we have achieved, but we have not paid any attention to them.

Unconditional surrender grows like a mushroom if, every day early in the morning, we get up to pray and meditate. Who compels us to get up? It is our inner being. We feel an inner urge to get up to meditate in the morning while our neighbours are fast asleep. So for all that we have and all that we are right now, if we can make ourselves feel that it is due to God’s conscious benevolent Will, we will feel the gratitude-flower blossoming petal by petal inside our heart. And from this gratitude-power, unconditional surrender will come.

Question: How can we invoke divine power while we're trying to pray most soulfully?

Sri Chinmoy: When you pray most soulfully, you have to feel that inside your soulful prayer, divine power is already there. You may say that you are invoking power for some special purpose, so you feel that the prayer itself is not the power, but you are making a mistake. Prayer is your power. And the other Power, which you can invoke from above is somebody else’s Power; it is God’s Power.

So, your power is prayer and God’s Power is Compassion. How can you best invoke God’s Power, which will come to you in the form of Compassion? You can best invoke God’s Power by feeling that the power which you have is like a cent, one cent, whereas God is about to give you one hundred dollars. Again, you have to feel that the one cent which you have, the power of your prayer, has been given to you by God Himself. So if you feel that even the one cent that you have has come from above, naturally you will show gratitude. At that time, God will give one hundred dollars to you.

Question: Guru, how can we use our power most dynamically and effectively for the divine purpose?

Sri Chinmoy: You can use your power most powerfully and most dynamically for the divine purpose only by listening constantly secretly, soulfully and unerringly to the message that you are constantly getting from deep within your heart. If you do not listen to the inner voice, then you are bound to misuse and abuse power. But if you constantly listen to the inner voice, then you will never misuse power. On the contrary, you will see that each time you use power, you will use it most effectively for the fulfilment of the Divine within humanity.

Question: Guru, how does power help us enter into sweetness and into our loving consciousness?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two types of power: destructive power and fulfilling, illumining power. It is in destructive power that the ego plays its role. “I am superior to everybody and everybody is at my feet.” This is destructive power. But fulfilling and illumining power says, “I won’t be satisfied with myself alone, as an individual. Only the Universal Self can satisfy me.” The power that we concentrate and meditate upon in order to become universal, which is the illumining and fulfilling power, is the power of oneness.

When you offer the fulfilling and illumining power to mankind, you do it with the feeling that you as an individual are unsatisfied or dissatisfied with your possession. You will be satisfied only when you can claim the universe as your very own and when the universe can claim you as its own, on the strength of your mutual self-giving. By giving yourself you become one, and this oneness is founded upon sweetness, affection, sympathy, love, concern, compassion and gratitude. The oneness-tree has many branches. There you will see affection, sweetness, concern, compassion.

If you give me money, naturally I will be grateful to you. But if you are really spiritual, you will also be grateful to me because it is I who received from you properly and am using your gift properly. If I misuse it, then immediately the world will say, “Where did he get this power from?” Then you will also be the culprit. But if you give me something divine and I use it properly, people will first appreciate me and then they will appreciate the source. They will ask where I got it from, and then they will see you. So when we use divine power, it is not only the one who gives but also the one who receives that is important. He who gives and he who receives are of equal importance.

Question: Guru, what is the divine definition of power?

Sri Chinmoy: The divine definition of power is self-giving: conscious, constant, cheerful, soulful, unconditional self-giving. Possessing is a form of power and self-giving is a form of power. Possessing is the human definition of power and self-giving is the divine definition of power.

What is self-giving? Self-giving is nothing other than God-becoming. If you give something divine, where does it come from? It comes from God Himself. So through self-giving we grow into the very image of God.

Question: What is the role of power in the spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: Power is indispensable in the spiritual life. At every moment we have to energise ourselves with divine, dynamic power. If we do not have that divine, dynamic power within us, then darkness, ignorance and inconscience will all the time reign supreme. Darkness will say, “Where are you going? You have been with me for twenty years.” And ignorance will say, “Where are you going, when you have been with me for forty years?” And then, all these friends, these old friends, will come and tell us that we have no right to leave them. But if the divine power, the inner power, that we have when we accept the spiritual life comes to the fore, then we will recognise that these so-called friends are not friends. They are only binding us and not letting us go forth.

So in the spiritual life, power is of paramount importance, because it is the inner power that tells us that we have to act like supreme heroes, that we have to embody, reveal, manifest and fulfil the truth. So if you do not have the indomitable feeling of power within you, you will be lethargic and feel that it is impossible to escape from ignorance. Always you have to be like a divine hero and feel that your life is for building the palace of truth, and not for the destruction of truth.

Question: Does power manifest itself through each individual according to his soul's quality?

Sri Chinmoy: When God shows Compassion to us, is that not power? Then He shows sympathy; this is also real power. When He shows a feeling of oneness, that too is power.

Power manifests itself through each individual according to his soul’s quality, true. Every soul expresses itself and manifests the Supreme through some divine quality: through light, peace, bliss and so forth. We have to know that power can be light, power can be peace, power can be compassion. Light itself is power. When we have light, then we will do everything right. Peace is power. When we have peace, then nothing affects us. These qualities can easily be seen as power, because whenever we achieve something or perform something we feel that it is due to some power.

In our human mind, we only recognise power in a specific form: the power that breaks or the power that builds. But the subtle power which comes when we prayerfully meditate, when our mind is calm and quiet, is peace, light and bliss. At that time, how strong and powerful we are! Here we are not struggling, nobody is striking us; but once we feel that our mind is silent, we will feel that this powerful silence itself is power.

Question: As attendants, how can we use divine power in performing our duties?

Sri Chinmoy: As an attendant, you can use your power of humility, your power of love, your power of affection, your power of understanding, your power of concern and compassion. Again, if there is violence and necessity demands, only then will you use your power of self-defence until the police come into the picture.

Question: Is it possible to use lower forms of power, say, vital power, for a divine purpose?

Sri Chinmoy: Vital power can be used, physical power can be used, mental power, psychic power and, of course, divine power, can easily be used, and must be used, for a divine purpose. But before vital power and physical power are used, they have to be purified, illumined. Physical power as such is a blind elephant. Vital power as such is a blind elephant. Mental power as such is a monkey. They are all undivine. But if they are illumined, then these powers can and must be used most effectively.

Why do we give so much importance to the physical: sports and circus and all that? It is because the physical power is necessary. Physical, vital and mental power are all necessary, but only if they are being used for a divine purpose. If they are being used for an undivine purpose, then it is all a waste of life’s energy.

So first the physical power, the vital power and the mental power have to be transformed and illumined; then they have to offer their might, their capacity, to their eldest brother, the soul, who is already anxious that they become one. The eldest brother has much more money than the younger ones, but together they all want to buy something for the whole family. So the eldest brother gives a hundred dollars. Then the physical power comes with one dollar, the vital power with three dollars and the mental power with ten or twelve dollars. They combine their wealth and buy something for the whole family, the family of the Supreme. What is their wealth? It is their power of aspiration. This power goes up and brings down Light from above.

Question: Can the Power aspect of God transform one's life?

Sri Chinmoy: Any aspect of God is bound to transform one’s life. It is the seeker who has to have boundless faith in some aspect of God. It can be the Power aspect, the Peace aspect, the Love aspect, the Light aspect or any aspect. It is up to the seeker to develop faith, absolute faith, in any aspect of God.

Question: Is a human being stronger than thought-power?

Sri Chinmoy: A human being is at the mercy of a tiny thought. You have two arms, two legs and so many things at your disposal. But if one tiny thought comes — anger, let us say, or insecurity — then you are finished. One little thought can weaken you to such an extent. It is smaller than an insect yet it has the power to destroy you. But much stronger than thought-power is something called will-power. Will-power has tremendous strength, dauntless power, inexhaustible power. So don’t follow thought-power; follow always will-power. An atom of will-power can illumine and fulfil your life.

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