The Dance of Life, part 7

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301. His knowledge and his understanding

He knows everything.
He knows everything
    And understands nothing.

He understands everything.
He understands everything
    And knows nothing.

To be in the world of the soul
    Is to know everything.
To be in the world of the mind
    Is to understand nothing.

To be in the world of the vital
    Is to understand everything.
To be in the world of the body
    Is to know nothing.

302. Nobody's business

Nobody’s business
    Is everybody’s necessity.

Nobody’s business
    Is everybody’s duty.

Nobody’s business
    Is everybody’s depth of realisation.

Nobody’s business
    Is everybody’s sense of universal perfection.

303. Two different things

Love is one thing,
    Possession is another.

Possession is one thing,
    Happiness is another.

Happiness is one thing,
    Accomplishment is another.

Accomplishment is one thing,
    Perfection is another.

304. I can't follow

I can’t follow God
He wants, instead, to follow me most faithfully.

I follow man
He wants to lead me constantly.

Staying behind,
    God inspires me
To reach my sun-world.

Staying ahead,
    Man instigates me
To ignore my aspiration-world.

305. When I live

When I live in the vital world
    I find it easier to break than to build.

When I live in the physical world
    I find it easier to sleep than to work.

When I live in the mental world
    I find it easier to doubt and suspect
    Than to love and embrace.

When I live in the psychic world
    I find it easier to build than to break,
    I find it easier to work than to sleep,
    I find it easier to love and embrace
    Than to doubt and suspect.

    Unlike in other worlds,
In my psychic world
    I want what I need,
    I get what I want.

306. When

When I smile,
    I make everything out of nothing.
When I love,
    I make everything out of nothing.
When I offer,
    I make everything out of nothing.
When I hesitate to smile,
    I make nothing out of everything.
When I delay in loving,
    I make nothing out of everything.
When I calculate in my offering,
    I make nothing out of everything.

307. God depends on you

God’s arrival-appearance
Depends upon your divine audacity
Divine tenacity.
Claim Him as your unconditional slave;
He will be exceedingly pleased.
Stick to your realisation and assertion;
He will offer His Heart-Crown to you.

308. She and he count differently

She counts God’s Blessings.
    She is happy.

He counts his failings.
    He is unhappy.

She counts devotedly God’s divine approvals.
    She is happy.

He counts greedily his achievements only.
    He is unhappy.

309. He is great

He is hopelessly great.
In the vital world
    He pushes the door marked Pull,
In the mental world
    He pulls the door marked Push.
In the psychic world
    He neither pulls nor pushes
But waits for the hour to strike.
    He knows that at the choice hour
God Himself will open
    The door for him

310. Death and God

Only two persons
    On earth and in Heaven
Do not contradict.

    These are Death and God.

Death-hush knows not
    How to contradict.
God-Wisdom feels
    It is not worthwhile to contradict.

311. She and he

She is very rich
She always gives,
She always gives.

He is very poor
He always needs,
He always needs.

She is always beautiful.
She is always beautiful
Her surrender divine
Drinks the Beauty of God.

He is always ugly.
He is always ugly
His undivine autocracy devours
    the freedom of man.

312. Do you need?

Do you need peace of mind?
Then think that the world does not need you.

Do you need peace of mind?
Then feel that the world
Is not nearly as useless as you think.

Do you need peace of mind?
Then see that you do not make
The same mistakes
That the world quite often makes.

313. When he is

When he is in the soul
He speaks nothing.
He quietly listens,
He cheerfully agrees.

When he is in the heart
He speaks very little.
He tries to listen,
He tries to agree.

When he is in the mind
He speaks constantly.
He never listens,
He totally disagrees.

314. When I

When I imitate God
    To please Him,
He feels quite uneasy.

When I love God
    To please Him,
He feels quite uneasy.

When I serve God
    To please Him,
He feels quite uneasy.

When I become another God
    To please Him,
He feels divinely happy;
He feels supremely fulfilled.

315. My human confidence and my confidence divine

Human confidence
The proud feeling
Of knowing everything,
Of understanding everything.

Divine confidence
To identify myself with the heart of everything,
See God and the world
With the soul of everything,
Become one with God the Aspiration-Light
And God the Realisation-Delight of everything.

316. Two conductors

Man the conductor
    Sees the players
    Sees not the audience.
His hunger for growing appreciation
    Half fed.

God the conductor
    Hears the aspiration-music of the cosmic gods
    Becomes the appreciation-applause of the divine audience.
His hunger for the joy-distribution
    Sumptuously fed.

317. His doubt and his faith

His doubt dares to solve
    All his problems
Save and except
The unemployment problem
    For faith, which it so maliciously creates.

His faith faithfully solves
    All his problems
Created by his morning doubt-clouds
Nourished by his evening doubt-storms.

318. Machine and man

When a machine
Wants to think like a man,
    God feels proud of His Dream-Boat.
    He starts singing and dancing.

    When a man
Wants to think like a machine,
    God feels sorry for man’s unevolving life.
    He buries His Mind and Vital
    In the soil of despair-night
    He drowns His Heart and Soul
    In the giant bosom of failure-sea.

319. Fear and doubt

Fear of truth grows on his hope tree
    To weaken him.

Doubt in God grows on his hope tree
    To poison him.

His self-doubt grows on his hope tree
    To destroy him.

320. Before Columbus discovers you

Don’t sleep,
Get up at least.
Don’t stand still,
Walk a little at least.

Before Columbus
Dares to discover you,
Fly your wings
Into the unknowable Beyond
Your doubt-Columbus,
Your fear-Columbus
Shall have no access.

There you can reign

321. Transformation

“Everyone thinks of
    Changing the world, but no one thinks of
    Changing himself.”


I tried to change myself;
    I badly failed.

I tried to change the world;
To my wide surprise,
The world had achieved
Its perfection-light long before
I made my surrendered attempt.

I failed to change my life
I mixed too much
With my Master, Ego,
With my Disciple, Doubt.

322. How do we use English?

Stephen Leacock said:
“Canadians use English for literature,
Scotch for sermons,
American for conversation.”

I use English to betray my roaring stupidity.
I use English to ignore my doubtful capacity.
I use English to reveal my soulful divinity.
I use English to manifest God’s glowing Authenticity.

323. Expectation and attainment

Love is what we expect;
Hatred is what we get.

Concern is what we expect;
Indifference is what we get.

Union is what we expect;
Division is what we get.

Triumph is what we expect;
Defeat is what we get.

Transformation is what we expect;
Frustration is what we get.

324. Communication-problems

O Telephone,
You have solved
My communication-problems;
North and South,
East and West.
To you I bow and bow.
Alas, who will solve
The age-long communication-problems
My doubting mind
My crying heart,
My restless vital
My joyless body?

325. My family in action

My heart practises
    The Truth,
My mind preaches
    The Truth.

My heart achieves
    The Truth,
My vital distributes
    The Truth.

My heart treasures
    The Truth,
My body discards
    The Truth.

My heart becomes
    The Truth,
My soul is
    The Truth.

326. Being American means

Heinrich Böll, West Germany’s
1972 Nobel Laureate in literature, declared:
“Being American means the chance to be what you want.”

I asked my God two small questions:
    What is the meaning of chance?
    What do Americans want to be?
“My son, you are a God-lover.
For a God-lover there is no such thing as chance.
My dictionary does not house that particular word.
What you and I call Grace, others call chance.

“My son, here is My answer
To your second question:
Americans want to be perfect slaves to their freedom.”
Father, what do You mean?
I don’t understand Your answer.
Please be a little more explicit.

“What I mean is this:
Americans are not profitably,
Consciously and unreservedly
Using their freedom-soul
To reach the acme of their Freedom-Goal.”

327. Back to my desk

Boll said:
    “I am travelling too much and I want to go
    Back to my desk.”

    Since I have the same problem,
Although in an infinitesimal measure,
I sought my God’s advice.
God said: “My son, to Me your bed is your perfect desk.
To Me, your car is your perfect desk.
To Me, a jet plane is your perfect desk.

Is in your heart.
Is in your soul.
Is in your eyes.
Is in your hands.”

328. I came, I saw, I conquered

Caesar thundered:
    “I came,
    I saw,
    I conquered.”

Satan thundered:
    “I came,
    I conquered,
    I saw not.”

I thundered:
    “I came not,
    I saw not,
    I conquered not.”

God thundered:
    “I came,
    I was seen,
    I was conquered.”

329. When I drive

When I drive
I never feel
I own the car
I own the road.

I feel
God’s Protection
Owns the car
Man’s sympathy owns the road.

330. I studied

I studied in three schools
That do not believe in failure:
My first school was the school of
My second school was the school of
My third school was the school of

331. Comedy and tragedy

In life’s comedy
False fear dies.

In life’s tragedy
False hope dies.

Through life’s comedy
God reveals His Grace.

Through life’s tragedy
God perfects His Face.

332. God and I smile

God gave me a smile,
I gave Him a smile.
His smile made me feel
That I am not yet
    Past correction.
My smile made Him feel
That I am still a lover of

333. When I am

When I am
In the hands of a doctor,
    Fear and Death
    Quietly think of me.

    When I am
In the hands of a lawyer,
    Anxiety and deception
    Bravely think of me.

    When I am
In the hands of a Spiritual Master,
    Confidence and joy
    Constantly think of me.

334. One sows and another reaps

The cook laboriously cooks;
The waitress gets the immediate appreciation.

Nature and Fate cure;
The doctor demands the fee.

God’s Grace illumines and fulfils mankind;
Man feels it is all due to his own personal effort.

335. Peace

God’s Grace
Wants to offer man the soul’s eternal Peace.
Man’s cry
Wants to acquire the heart’s immediate Peace.
The United Nations
Wants to offer the mind’s universal Peace.
Divorcing couples
Want to give birth to the vital’s demanding peace.

336. I am lucky and fortunate

I am lucky
In my outer life:
Success ascends
    Before labour.

I am fortunate
In my inner life:
Grace descends
    Before success.

337. He is lucky

He is lucky,
He did not get what he deserved.
    He is lucky,
He did not say what he intended.
    He is lucky,
He does not find anything wrong with the world.
    He is lucky,
He does not know when death will knock at his door.

338. I was a fool

I was a fool,
I depended on my personal efforts.
I was a fool,
I depended on man’s assistance.
I was a fool,
I depended on God’s Grace.

Now I have become a wise man
Since I revised the order.
I now depend on God’s unconditional Grace first,
    Ninety-eight and a half per cent.
And then I depend on my puny personal efforts,
    One per cent.
Finally I depend on man’s conditional assistance,
    One-half of one per cent.

339. Three examinations

I have
Three examinations to pass:
    Death, Life and God.
I must say,
These are all most difficult examinations.

    I have
Two examinations to pass:
    Life and God.
I feel I shall fare well.

    I have
One examination to pass:
It seems I have already passed it.

340. They say

They say, “After middle age
The days go two at a time.”
I wholeheartedly
See eye to eye with them.
I just want to add
A few things:
After middle age
The mind-deer wants to run faster,
The vital-horse wants to run slower,
The body-bull wants to enjoy rest.

341. Two teachers

As a dance-teacher,
    God teaches me
How to dance soulfully
Before the cosmic gods.

As an ignorance-teacher,
    I teach God
How to cry pitifully
Before the human multitudes.

342. In my past, present and future

There was a time
When I lived to eat.
    I ate and ate and ate.

I eat to live.
    I regularly eat,
    I devotedly eat.

    There shall come a time
When I shall eat
    At God’s Will,
    At God’s Hour;
    From God’s Kitchen,
    With God’s Smile.

343. Because

I am unsuccessful,
    My desire suffers.

I am unsuccessful,
    My aspiration suffers.

I am unsuccessful,
    My life suffers.

I am unsuccessful,
    My goal suffers.

Alas, there is someone
Who constantly suffers for me.
    He is my God,
    He is my Lord,
    He is my All.
He suffers for me
Not because I am unsuccessful,
    But because
I have deliberately kept myself
Out of employment.

344. Fortune or misfortune

Lord, a woman’s beauty:
    Is it her fortune or misfortune?
Son, it is her fortune.
    I gave her the beauty,
    I am that beauty.

Lord, a man’s duty:
    Is it his fortune or misfortune?
Son, it is his fortune.
    I gave him the duty,
    I am that duty.

Lord, a Yogi’s heart:
    Is it his fortune or misfortune?
Son, it is his fortune.
    I gave him the heart,
    I am that heart.

345. I don't pray

I don’t pray.
Because God does not need my prayer.

I don’t pray.
Because man does not understand my prayer.

I don’t pray.
Because my enemies don’t believe in my prayer.

Finally I have come to the conclusion that
I don’t have to pray.
Because my friends believe that I always pray.

346. The story of my failure

When I failed
In man’s examination,
God came to my immediate rescue.
He explained
Why I had failed:
Because the examination was very difficult.

    When I failed
In God’s examination,
Man deeply enjoyed my failure
And whisperingly said:
You rightly deserved it
Your rich ignorance beggars description.

347. Three seekers

A beginner seeker
Is he who has started
The art of believing.

An advanced seeker
Is he who has started
The art of believing, loving, serving.

A realised seeker
Is he who has started
The art of surrendering:
    Surrendering cheerfully to God’s Will,
    Surrendering helplessly to man’s ignorance.

348. Experience, realisation and manifestation

Gives me no vacation.

Gives me no frustration.

Gives me no uncertainty.

Gives me no futility.

349. Two advisers

God’s advice to Man:
    “Don’t lie!”

Man’s advice to God:
    “Don’t sigh!”

God’s advice to Man:
    “Don’t hide!
    Are you a thief?”

Man’s advice to God:
    “Don’t chide!
    Am I a thief?”

350. Underestimation and overestimation

When I underestimated
    My Power,
God placed me on His throne of Bliss.

When I underestimated
    My Light,
God offered me His Garland of Victory.

When I overestimated
    My Power,
Satan demanded and confiscated my passport.

When I overestimated
    My Light,
Death mocked my height
Deported me into the Land of Destruction-Night.

Editor's preface to the first edition

The 50 poems in this collection were written by Sri Chinmoy on 15 May 1973.

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