Earth-bound journey and Heaven-bound journey
Part I — Lectures at Harvard Divinity School
1. Dedication1Dedicated to the soul-illumining memory of President John F Kennedy.
EBJ 1-23. On March 25, 1969, Sri Chinmoy delivered his first lecture at Harvard University, on "The Vedanta Philosophy." Since then he has served this illustrious institution of higher learning by giving a number of additional talks and conducting meditations for the University community. In the spring of 1975, Sri Chinmoy continued his devoted service to the University by offering a series of seven talks on the spiritual life in Andover Hall at the Harvard Divinity School. These talks Sri Chinmoy soulfully dedicates to the memory of a most distinguished and beloved son of Harvard, the late President John F. Kennedy.↩
Earth versus Heaven1Dear seekers, dear brothers and sisters, I have come here to be of service to you. To serve you is to please my Inner Pilot and your Inner Pilot. At this place I shall be giving seven spiritual talks. I wish to offer all these talks to the hallowed memory of the late President Kennedy who studied at Harvard. I wish to offer our experiences to the great soul, Kennedy, who envisioned a better America, and not only a better America but a better world. Let us take it as our bounden duty to offer our experiences and dedicated service to this most illustrious soul.
Here we are all seekers; therefore, we all must needs be lovers of God. A true lover of God is he who believes in God’s existence as both personal and impersonal. In His personal aspect God is all Heart. In His impersonal aspect He is boundless Light, boundless Energy. In His personal aspect God’s Head is Heaven and God’s Heart is earth. Heaven is great because it owns God’s Head. Earth is good because it owns and treasures God’s Heart.
In Heaven we see God’s Eye. On earth we see God’s Feet. With God’s Eye we enter into His world of silence. With His Feet we follow Him into the world of sound, cosmic sound. In the world of silence we see God as many in the One. In the world of sound we see God as One in the many.
Earth is God’s progress-tree. Heaven is God’s success-fruit. Here God aspires in and through us. He achieves like a human being for earth-consciousness. He transcends His Height every day to offer to humanity success-fruit from Heaven-consciousness, which He showers on our devoted heads and surrendered hearts.
Here on earth we the seekers of the ultimate Truth listen to God and obey His commands, which we feel deep in the inmost recesses of our hearts. He wants us to aspire like Him and climb up the mountain of realisation. In Heaven we do what God Himself does. We swim with Him in the sea of Light and Delight.
On earth there is only one question: who is God? In Heaven there is the answer: everybody is God. Here on earth each human being unconsciously represents God the ultimate Truth. But when he starts aspiring, he comes to realise that God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation are his birthrights.
Two supreme God-lovers: Sri Krishna and the Christ. Sri Krishna taught us that God is our eternal Friend. If we dive deep within, we will realise this Friend. We can easily play with Him in the garden of our heart.
The Christ taught us that God is our eternal Father. We are His children. We pray to our beloved Father to grant us Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure so that we can be perfect instruments of His, Him to serve, Him to love, Him to fulfil in His own Way. When we dive deep within, we hear God’s message. He tells us that it is His bounden duty to feed us in Heaven and it is our bounden duty to feed Him on earth. He feeds us with His infinite ocean of Compassion, and we feed Him with a drop, an iota of gratitude.
We love Heaven because Heaven tells us secretly that we are of God, our source is God. We love earth because earth openly tells us that we are only for God and God alone.
The seeker of the ultimate Truth eventually discovers two things in the inmost recesses of his heart: what he has is God’s transcendental Beauty in Heaven, and what he is is God’s sempiternal Duty on earth.
Mother Earth, to you I bow. Father Heaven, to you I bow.
EBJ 2. 16 April 1975.↩
With knowledge how far?1Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, with knowledge how far? With your kind permission, I shall speak on this subject strictly from the spiritual point of view.
What is knowledge? Knowledge is information. What is information? Information is man’s greedy interest in the world-sound.
What is knowledge? Knowledge is the discoveries of the mind. These discoveries can be in the mind proper, in the vital and in the body. To the mind, knowledge in the mind is something rigid, fixed and complicated. Knowledge in the vital is something dynamic, or aggressive and destructive. Knowledge in the body, in the gross physical, is something obscure and uninspiring.
What is knowledge? Knowledge is man’s outer desire to help humanity, but his secret desire to please himself in every possible way.
Knowledge is something that keeps the knower and the known at two different places. The knower plays the role of the master; the known plays the role of the slave.
Knowledge is the little brother of wisdom. The big brother, wisdom, teaches us how to be inseparably and eternally one with the supreme Reality, the transcendental Reality. The little brother, knowledge, feels that the supreme Reality will eternally remain a far cry; therefore, he wants to be satisfied with the lesser reality. Knowledge wants to measure the lesser reality, and finally it wants to distribute the lesser reality to the world at large in infinitesimal portions.
What is the lesser knowledge? The lesser knowledge is the earth-bound knowledge. The lesser knowledge is the knowledge which tells us that we are of ignorance-night and we are for ignorance-night. It is the knowledge that tells us that all is matter, within and without us. When we embrace the knowledge of matter, we try and cry, cry and try to satisfy ourselves in the pleasure-seeking world. We consciously or unconsciously wallow in the pleasures of ignorance-mire.
As there is earth-bound knowledge, even so there is Heaven-free knowledge. When Heaven-free knowledge dawns on our devoted heads and surrendered hearts, at that time we can proclaim like the Saviour, “I and my Father are one.”
With knowledge how far? Not very far. When we start with earth-knowledge, we do not and cannot look forward; we are always stuck at the starting point. We cannot walk along the road of Infinity and Eternity; we cannot walk in the realm of the transcendental Spirit. But when we start with divine wisdom and try to walk along the road of Eternity, we see that the Golden Shore is ever beckoning us and that the distance is growing always shorter.
With knowledge how far? When we start with human knowledge, we enter into the world of no-where. When we start with divine wisdom, we enter into the world of all-where. Human knowledge is the wild laughter of possession. Divine knowledge is the sweet, illumining and fulfilling song of liberation and perfection.
Human knowledge is our common sense. Divine knowledge is our God-sense. With our human knowledge we declare that our body is all, that the physical in us is all. With our divine knowledge we proclaim God as our Eternity’s All; we proclaim His constant Self-transcendence as our All.
Human knowledge is the education of the unconscious or conscious ego-self in the finite. Divine wisdom is the education of the God-Self in the Infinite. Human knowledge belongs to the desire-world. And desire-world is nothing short of frustration-world.
Human knowledge leads us to cry, Asato ma sad gamaya. Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya. Mrityor ma amritam gamaya. “Lead me from the unreal to the Real. Lead me from darkness to Light. Lead me from death to Immortality.” Divine knowledge inspires us to voice forth, Anandadd hy eva khalv imani butani jayante. Anandena jatani jivanti. Anandam prayantyabhisam visanti. “From Delight we came into existence. In Delight we grow. At the end of our journey’s close into Delight we shall retire.”
God-knowledge tells us that each seeker must feel his inseparable oneness with his Inner Pilot. On the strength of his inner oneness, he proclaims to the world at large that he is Eternity’s divine lover and that God, his Inner Pilot, is Eternity’s Beloved Supreme.
Anandadd hy eva khalv imani butani jayante
Anandena jatani jivanti
Anandam prayantyabhisam visanti
“From Delight we came into existence. In Delight we grow. At the end of our journey’s close into Delight we shall retire.”
God-knowledge tells us that each seeker must feel his inseparable oneness with his Inner Pilot. On the strength of his inner oneness, he proclaims to the world at large that he is Eternity’s divine lover and that God, his Inner Pilot, is Eternity’s Beloved Supreme.
EBJ 3. 23 April 1975↩
Intellectual versus spiritual1He is intellectual. What does it mean? It means that the weight of his head far surpasses the weight of the rest of his body.
You are spiritual. What does it mean? It means that the weight of your heart far surpasses the weight of the rest of your body.
There is a striking difference between his head and your heart. His head quite often does not love his body. His head belittles the body’s capacity and the needs of the physical. But you have a different story to tell. Your heart loves your body. Your heart inspires your body to love God. From its own personal experiences your heart tells your body that there is only one way to be happy and fulfilled and that is to love God and serve God in every way.
Although his head does not care for God the infinite Light, infinite Energy, infinite Compassion, infinite Delight, still his head wants to capture God, measure God, bind God, scrutinise God. It is impossible, but his head wants to break and cut asunder God, the evolving Cosmic Tree.
But your heart does not want to capture God, bind God and measure God, for your heart knows that God is infinite, God is immortal. Your heart wants only to love God and surrender its very existence to God and God alone. Your heart cries for God and tries to live in God.
Inside his head there is the intellect. This intellect wants the world to kiss the dust of its feet. It wants to prove that its existence on earth is something meaningful and valuable.
Inside your heart is the light that tries to illumine the world within and without. Inside your heart is the love that unifies the inner world with the outer world. Inside your heart is the delight that immortalises your existence here on earth and there in Heaven.
Being an intellectual man, he tries to inform the world at large. Being a spiritual man, you try to transform the world within you and around you. An intellectual man tries to compel the world around him to see what intellect can do. A spiritual man tries to offer to the world around him only what God wants him to offer and reveal.
An intellectual man tries to compel the world around him to see what intellect can do. A spiritual man tries to offer to the world around him only what God wants him to offer and reveal.
My intellect-friend and my spirituality-friend play their respective roles. My intellect-friend fascinates me; my spirituality-friend illumines me. My intellect-friend has all the time in the world to criticise my shortcomings. My spirituality-friend forgives me day in and day out and accepts my mistakes as his very own. My spirituality-friend accepts me as I am. Slowly, steadily and unerringly my spirituality-friend carries me into the world of self-transcendence, where I eventually become inseparably one with the Beloved Supreme.
The intellect has an intimate friend: the reasoning mind. This reasoning mind is unfortunately quite often assailed by the doubting and suspicious mind. The mind of destruction has a free access to the suspicious mind. In the reasoning mind there is rarely any happiness. In the doubting and suspicious mind happiness is never to be found at all. On the contrary, there we notice the dance of destruction, total destruction.
Spirituality has a true friend: faith. This faith abides in the inmost recesses of our hearts. This faith embodies God, reveals God and manifests God. In the conscious embodiment of God, our faith brings us to our first destination. In the revelation of God our faith carries us to our second destination. In the manifestation of God, our faith carries us to our third and ultimate destination.
In our day-to-day life, in our ordinary multifarious activities, what we need is intelligence. When we go one step forward in our outer life, we see that we need intellect. If we do not have intelligence, we cannot survive. If we do not have intellect, we cannot see the truth in minute detail. Both intelligence and intellect know what ignorance is, but they do not consciously try to come out of ignorance-night.
In our inner life we have a bosom friend: intuition. Intuition is the life of the soul; intuition is the express train that expedites our Godward journey. Again, intuition’s flame burns the past. It burns our undivine previous life. It illumines our present life. It brings to the fore the remote future within us. With our intuitive power we create a new life within us. With our intuitive power we grow into the very image of our Beloved Supreme.
The so-called intelligence, a seeker of the highest Truth does not need. Nor does he need the so-called intellect. What he needs is an inner cry. On the strength of his inner cry he can easily have a free access to the world of intuition. And inside intuition there looms large salvation, liberation and perfection.
The intelligence which we get from book knowledge cannot help us discover our inmost reality. It cannot help us reach the highest pinnacle. It is our inner cry that helps us dive into the deepest realm of our consciousness, that helps us climb up to the ever-transcending consciousness.
In India Sri Ramakrishna and other spiritual Masters of the highest order did not care for earthly knowledge or intellect. They cried only for God, like children, and intuition became their immediate friend, their constant and eternal friend. Here in the West the Christ also had intuition at his disposal. With his intuitive power he realised his Father and distributed his Father’s Light to the world at large. Intellect is of paramount importance when the physical in us no longer wants to remain submerged in lethargy, in darkest night. Intellect is a beginning rung in the evolving ladder of consciousness. But the intuition-rung is infinitely higher than the intellect-rung.
A seeker of the ultimate Truth may start his journey with knowledge and intellect, or he can start his journey directly from intuition. His inner cry can easily carry him to the intuition plane without entering into the intellectual world.
My intellect-teacher eventually tells me that he does not know the answer. My spirituality-teacher tells me that he knows everything. He tells me something else: he tells me that it is God alone who knows everything in and through him.
My intellect-friend is a mental giant. He wants to devour the world. My spirituality-friend is also a giant, a soulful giant. The soulful giant friend of mine wants to unburden God’s imponderable burden, God’s immeasurable burden. He wants to unburden God according to his capacity, according to the power of his receptivity, which God has granted him out of His infinite Bounty.
One giant frightens the world and wants to devour the world. Another giant wants to put an end to the world’s excruciating pangs, wants to change the face and fate of the world radically so that here on earth the Kingdom of Heaven will become a living reality.
Eventually the intellectual giant will be transformed into a spiritual giant. When we are transformed, we feel that this world of ours need not and cannot remain always in ignorance-dream — that it need not and cannot consciously wallow in the pleasures of ignorance forever. In the transformation of the physical the reality of the Beyond claims us as its very own. In the transformation of the vital our aggressive animal qualities are transformed into the dynamism of the soul’s light. In the transformation of the mind the finite loses its very raison d'ętre in the Light and Delight of Infinity.
EBJ 4. 30 April 1975.↩
The mind power versus the heart power1The mind power is the world information power. From the world information power we come to know what the world looks like. The world looks like a round orange. The only difference is that the world badly and sadly lacks the delicious taste of an orange. From the world information we come to know how the world is. The world is extremely sick; it needs immediate treatment.
The heart power is the world experience power. From the world experience power we discover what the world actually is. The world is a devoted instrument of God. From the world experience power we discover what the world stands for. The world stands for conscious God-realisation, continuous God-revelation and constant God-manifestation.
The mind power is perception power. With this power we perceive a thing, a reality, but we do not achieve the thing or the reality. The heart power is identification power. With this power we not only achieve, but also become. What do we achieve? We achieve God-Perfection at God’s Choice Hour. And what do we become? We become God-Satisfaction, also at His Choice Hour.
The mind power is the penetration power of inspiration. Inspiration gets satisfaction only when it reaches its cottage destination. The heart power is the realisation power of aspiration. Aspiration is satisfied only when it reaches and becomes its palace destination.
The mind power wants to reason deliberately and skilfully. But to its wide surprise it sees the end of its life-journey in frustration-night. In the reasoning mind there can be no satisfaction, no abiding satisfaction. He who wants to live in the world of the reasoning mind can never be satisfied. Satisfaction always remains a far cry. But the heart power is revealed devotedly and soulfully. He who is ready and eager to be reasonable soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally will march along Eternity’s road in the heart, in the light of Immortality’s being.
The mind power believes in the existence of reality only after it has seen the face of reality and not a second before. The heart power spontaneously believes in the existence of reality. It does not need any proof. Heart is spontaneity. Reality is at once the seed and the fruit of the heart’s spontaneity.
The mind power is afraid of the heart power. It is afraid of the heart power because it thinks that it will lose its individuality and personality the moment it enters into the vast sea of oneness of the heart. Unfortunately, the heart power is also afraid at times of the mind power. It feels that it will be totally destroyed in the volcano of the mind’s destructive sense of separativity. But this unfortunate fear of the heart’s does not last forever. The soul eventually gets the opportunity to convince the heart that its qualities — softness, sweetness, kindness, sympathy, sacrifice, feeling of divine oneness with the inner Supreme Pilot — can never be destroyed. When the aspiring heart accepts this loftiest message of the soul, the heart no longer fears the mind. On the contrary it invites the mind — not challenges, but invites and welcomes the mind — to receive the light that it has already received from the soul.
The mind power wears out long before it reaches its destination. If it misuses its power, then it loses its capacity very soon, sooner than at once. Even if it properly uses it, the mind power does not last forever. The mind power does not house inexhaustible reality.
The heart power, which is founded upon the oneness power, soul’s oneness power, is at once the expression and the revelation of the transcendental vision and the universal reality.
The mind power is a short-lived power, an occult and miraculous power. The heart power is a psychic power, an eternal power, a normal and natural power of God, which God has granted us out of His infinite Bounty. The life that is dominated by curiosity is fascinated by the occult, miraculous power. But it is the normal, natural psychic power that we embody deep within the inmost recesses of our hearts, that illumines the animal in us, liberates the human in us, and fulfils the divine in us.
The mind power tells God, “Lord, I am as great as You are, I am as good as You are, I am as perfect as You are.” The Lord smiles and says, “Son, you are as good as I am, you are as great as I am, you are as perfect as I am.” But when the mind says, “I am as great as You,” here we notice the play of ego, the play of challenge. The ego of the mind comes to the fore and wants to be on the same footing as God’s transcendental Divinity and Reality. But when God says, “Son, you are as great, as good and as perfect as I am,” here we notice the song of oneness, the silence that embodies reality. The silence that embodies the omnipresent Reality of God, God reveals through His cosmic Sound when He tells the mind that it is as great, as good and as perfect as He is. When I say I am as great as you are, at that time my ego comes to the fore. But when I say that you are as great as I am, at that time my illumining and my fulfilling oneness plays its divine and supreme role.
The heart power says to God, “Lord, I know You are infinite, You are eternal, You are immortal. I know how helpless and useless I am. I make no comparison. But Lord, please grant me only one boon: I wish to claim You eternally as my own, very own.” The Lord immediately says to the heart power, “Son, you are not helpless, you are not hopeless, you are not useless. You are what I am, you have what I have. What I am is Eternity’s Transcendence-Reality and what I have is Infinity’s immortal and constant manifestation. You and I, son, are not only equal, but One, inseparably One. When you see Me, when you see My Height and Depth, you will realise what you eternally are, what you have been since the time of creation, even before the manifest creation. And when I see you, when I manifest Myself in and through you, I feel and see My Expansion, My Perfection, My Satisfaction in and through you. You need Me to reach My Height; I need you to manifest My Depth. We are One, the obverse and reverse of the same coin. I complement you; you complement Me. Through you I sing the song of My manifestation. Through Me you sing the song of your realisation.”
EBJ 5. 28 May 1975, 3:00 pm.↩
How to solve world problems1What is a problem? A problem is a disheartening, discouraging incident in the life of an unaspiring human being. A problem is an unwanted, unwarranted, yet meaningful experience in the heart of an aspiring seeker, a seeker of the transcendental Truth, a seeker of the ever-transcending Consciousness, a seeker of God’s ever-fulfilling Dream on earth.
Each problem is a blind force. This force is of ignorance and for ignorance. And what is ignorance? Ignorance is something in us that wants to fulfil the unreal in us. What is the unreal in us? The unreal in us is our conscious or unconscious acceptance of separation from God-Reality, God-Divinity, God-Eternity, God-Infinity and God-Immortality.
Each human being is a world of his own. Each human being has a world of his own. When he looks within, he is a world; when he looks without, he has a world. His world within is an illumining world, a fulfilling world, a God-loving world, a God-manifesting world. His world without is an unmanageable, uncontrollable, discouraging and disheartening world. This world constantly makes him feel that he is hopeless, useless. This world makes him feel that he is not meant to be God’s chosen instrument, he is not meant to fulfil God and manifest God, he is not meant to be in the Golden Boat that sails to our God-Destination.
Each individual has to face world problems. Again, each individual is a world problem himself. When he opens his eyes, he has all the world problems to face. He has to cope with them. When he closes his eyes, he becomes really and truly a world problem to himself. When he opens his eyes, world ignorance tries to capture him and make him a victim to world destruction. When he closes his eyes, he does not want to participate in the cosmic Game. He wants to remain aloof from God’s cosmic Drama. He wants to maintain his own unlit, obscure, impure individuality and personality. He becomes the problem of problems.
How to solve world problems. There are some people of the opinion that world problems can never be solved; therefore, a wise man is he who consciously and constantly ignores or avoids world problems. Again, there are people who think that by assessing world problems, or by judging world problems, there will come a time when the world problems will automatically be solved. There are people who think the world problems can never be surmounted, can never be solved; therefore, they feel that they should just enjoy what little they have. If they have pleasure at their disposal, they are ready to accept and embrace this fleeting pleasure. Since world problems cannot be solved, they say, a short-lived, fleeting pleasure-life is what they need.
But the seeker in a human being will never be satisfied unless and until the world problems are solved. The real seeker in us knows that there is a way to solve all the countless problems of the world, and that way is to accept the world problems as such and then try to bring perfection into the world problems. How do we accept the world problems? We accept the world problems as our own problems, personal problems. And how do we perfect the world problems? We perfect the world problems by perfecting ourselves and by perfecting the things that we claim as our own.
World problems can be solved only when we consciously remind ourselves of our soul’s promise to God before we entered into the world arena. This creation of God’s we have to accept as our field of experience, as our field of experiment, as our field of God-revelation and God-manifestation. Each individual soul makes the solemn promise to God to see God in God’s own Way, to fulfil God in God’s own Way before it assumes its earthly cloak. But the ignorance of the world veils the light of the soul and the promise of the soul, veils even God’s assurance. This experience of the soul is an unfortunate incident in the soul’s life, but it does not last forever. God’s infinite Compassion from above and man’s inner urge meet together and the soul again comes to the fore, offers its light to the world of obscurity and fulfils the promise that is made to the Absolute Supreme.
How to solve world problems. We can solve world problems by our heart’s prayer and by our life’s meditation. Prayer is our conscious invocation of God’s all-illumining Compassion from above. Meditation is our conscious manifestation of God’s illumination on earth. We pray in order to reach the Highest, the transcendental Height. We meditate in order to bring down the transcendental Height and manifest it here on earth. When we pray, we enter into the realm of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. Existence is the first runner, Consciousness is the second runner and Bliss is the third runner in the divine relay race of the cosmic Game. The first runner reaches Eternity’s Height. The second runner reaches Infinity’s Length. The third runner reaches Immortality’s Life.
We solve world problems by invoking Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure, according to our power of receptivity. The Hand of God that feeds the seeker in us is Peace. The Eye of God that leads and guides the server in us is Light. The Heart of God that immortalises the divine lover in us is Bliss. Self-control brings about world peace. World peace conquers world problems. In self-control is God-confidence. God-confidence is man’s ultimate satisfaction. In man’s ultimate satisfaction God the man achieves perfection on earth and man the God achieves realisation in Heaven.
The power that dominates cannot solve world problems. The power that loves can solve world problems. The power that feels insufficient, inadequate in the absence of one member of the world-community, can solve world problems. The power that declares “united in the heart’s world we stand; divided in the mind’s world we fall,” can easily solve world problems.
A life of silence is the fastest way to solve world problems. But this life of silence is not the silence of the senses. This life of silence is the vision of the supreme Reality which is constantly trying to come to the fore. It is only in the silence-life that the sound-life can meet with its own satisfaction. God’s sound-life is His life of omnipotence. This omnipotent power man can consciously develop. And once he has developed this power he sees that this power he eternally is.
What is this omnipotent power? It is the power that unifies the one with the many and the many with the one. It is the power that finds its fulfilment in self-giving. Self-giving is done not in the sense of sacrifice but with the feeling of the whole as one real reality. The vastness of Infinity is one’s own. Just because each individual plays a distinct role, he feels that only the sense of multiplicity can fulfil the reality in us. But when he prays and meditates, when he aspires, he comes to realise that multiplicity is alive, multiplicity exists because unity is there as its source. This unity is in the soul, while multiplicity is in the body. When we climb up, we sing the song of unity. When we climb down, we dance the dance of multiplicity.
A life of problems is for him who does not aspire, who lives in the desire-world. There is no problem, there can be no problem for him who wants to swim in the sea of light. A problem is night, the night that binds, the night that blinds us. But a seeker is he who always wants to remain in the effulgence of light. This light does not expose ignorance-night, it illumines and transforms ignorance-night.
When the seeker remains in the soul, bathes in the soul, he feels there is no problem, there can be no problem. When the seeker remains in the body-consciousness, he sees teeming problems in his daily multifarious activities in countless forms. But just because he is a seeker of the infinite Light, Truth and Bliss he knows that these problems are not going to last forever. On the contrary, he feels that each problem is a hurdle, a challenge, and in each challenge is a new world of hope, a new world of God-Vision, a new world of God-Reality.
He who does not aspire considers a problem a curse and he who aspires considers it a blessing in disguise. A seeker of the highest Truth accepts world problems as something that can be transformed, illumined and perfected. Each problem he transforms into an additional blessing. To him a problem is an experience and this experience is utilised in a divine way to fulfil a supreme cause. He takes each problem as a blessing which he can use as a stepping-stone to reach the Golden Shore of the ever-transcending Beyond. Just because he is a seeker, he is all compassion. He feels that the proper thing for him is not to discard ignorance-cloak, but to fix it, transform it, and make it useable. He feels ignorance-night as part and parcel of his existence. He considers ignorance-night as lesser light, and the lesser light consciously grows into the greater light. Ignorance-night is the younger brother and wisdom-light is the elder brother. The elder brother carries the younger brother to the parent sun for immortal illumination and immortal perfection.
EBJ 6. 28 May 1975, 8:00 pm.↩
Is spirituality an escape from reality?1The answer has to be always in the negative. Spirituality can never be an escape from reality. What is spirituality? Spirituality is the fruit of reality. And what is reality? Reality is the seed of spirituality. The seed and the fruit are together and inseparable. Today what is seed, tomorrow becomes fruit. The day after tomorrow it becomes seed again, and the following day it becomes once more fruit. In the heart of time the seed and the fruit change their respective roles and play a game of constant oneness-manifestation.
Is spirituality an escape from reality? No, never! Who escapes? He who feels that he has done something wrong. He who feels that the inner world or the outer world have reason to punish him. A thief wants to escape because he has stolen something, but the seeker is aspiring all the time to do the right thing. A seeker who is eventually going to become a saint is not stealing anything from anybody. He is praying to bring down Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure.
He who feels that his reality is insufficient, insignificant, will try to escape from the reality itself. But the real Reality is all-pervading; nobody can escape from that Reality. The unreal in us wants to escape from the real in us. The unreal in us sees its shortcomings, its deficiencies, its limitations; therefore, it tries to escape from the vast Reality-existence. But the unreal in us unfortunately does not know that the real Reality is all-pervading; it has an omnipresent existence.
The animal in us wants to devour the human in us. It feels that by devouring the human in us it can achieve satisfaction. The human in us doubts the existence of divine light; therefore, it tries to challenge the divinity within and without us. It feels that by challenging the divinity and by doubting, suspecting and ignoring the divinity it can derive satisfaction. This idea is absurd. As it is impossible for the animal in us to destroy the human in us totally, even so the human in us cannot doubt forever, cannot blight forever the brilliant effulgence of the divine light within us. The human in us will never be destroyed by the animal because the human in us is crying for something higher, for the higher light, for inner peace. Naturally one day, without fail, the human in us will be inundated with higher light and inner peace. And the human in us will not be able to doubt or blight the purity of the divinity within us forever, precisely because the divinity within us is infinite, eternal and immortal. The human in us will sooner or later surrender to the divine in us, just as the animal in us has to surrender to the human in us.
Real spirituality has to accept the world as it is. If spirituality wants to wait for the improvement of the world or if spirituality wants a better world in which to offer its light, then spirituality will have to wait for eternity. But spirituality in us is wise. It does not wait. It knows that the world is evolving and progressing. Each individual is progressing. Some are progressing slowly, while others are progressing fast and still others are progressing very, very fast. He who has an intense inner cry will naturally run the fastest.
We have to accept the world and change the face of the world, transform the world of desire into the world of aspiration and transform the world of aspiration into the world of illumination and perfection. Acceptance-song we must always sing. We have to sing the acceptance-song inside the body, inside the vital, inside the mind, inside the heart. Anything that is given to us by God, the Author of all good, must be utilised properly, Him to serve in His own Way. If we sing the other song, which we call the renunciation-song, we have to be extremely careful. Renunciation is a very complicated word, and a very significant word in our spiritual terminology. For the last four thousand years Indian seekers and some of the Indian spiritual Masters have sung the song of renunciation. If we begin to renounce, we will soon discover that there is nothing in us that we do not have to renounce eventually in order to attain satisfaction. Today we feel that our body is imperfect and ignorant; therefore, let us renounce the body. Tomorrow we shall feel that our vital is aggressive and undivine, so we shall try to renounce the vital. The day after tomorrow we will feel that our mind is unlit, impure, obscure, and we shall renounce the mind. The following day we shall see that our heart is very weak; it cannot resist temptation; therefore, we shall renounce the heart. In this way anything that we claim as our own we shall renounce. But if we renounce everything that we have or what we inwardly are, how are we going to see the face of satisfaction? It is simply impossible. That is why we have to walk along the other road, the road of acceptance.
We must know that we have a soul, which is a spark of the highest Divinity, within us. This soul has light in boundless measure and this soul abides in the inmost recesses of our hearts. On the strength of our aspiration we can feel the soul’s light inside our heart, and from the heart we can bring down the soul’s light into the mind; from the mind we can bring it into the vital and from the vital into the physical.
A seeker is he who wants to please God, who wants to please the real in himself, who wants to do the first thing first. The first thing is to love God and please God. The real in us is God and nobody else. By accepting what we have right now and what we stand for on earth, we eventually fulfil the divinity within us and the reality within us.
Now we have two lives, the desire-life and the aspiration-life. The desire-life feels that the fulfilment of the senses, whether they are purified or not, is everything. The pleasure-life is everything for the desire-life. For the aspiration-life, pleasure-life is not everything. On the contrary, it is absolutely nothing. The life of joy is everything. Pleasure-life is something that secretly compels us to deny the real Reality in us. The real Reality is all-pervading, inseparable oneness. The life of joy openly teaches us how to establish an inseparable oneness with the world at large. In the pleasure-life the sense of separativity constantly looms large. Pleasure is in the limited earthbound existence. And joy is in the unlimited Heaven-free existence.
When a seeker starts praying and meditating, either consciously or unconsciously, he feels the necessity of the aspiration-life. Many times a seeker prays and meditates unconsciously; therefore, he does not march continuously, he halts at times. But when he becomes conscious, he walks or runs along the road all the time, twenty-four hours a day. And he sees inside himself a different life, not a human life, which spans sixty, seventy or eighty years, but a life that transcends both human life and human death. When the seeker starts consciously walking along Eternity’s road, slowly, steadily and unerringly, he reaches his destined goal.
When the seeker reaches his goal, to his wide surprise he finds that his goal is nothing but a new starting point. Why? His inner hunger has increased. The life that he has seen and become is not enough for him. He needs more light, abundant light, infinite Light. When a child is in kindergarten, his destination is primary school. When he is in primary school, his destination is high school. When he is in high school, his destination is college. And when he is in college, his destination is the university. When he completes his university course, he is still not satisfied, even in spite of having a Master’s degree or a PhD, for he knows that there is no end to his knowledge. He wants to discover more about the world — more truth, more knowledge. He knows that there is no end to the things he can learn. This is in the ordinary life, the life of human knowledge. In the life of divine wisdom, which is infinitely more powerful, which deals with Eternity, Infinity and Immortality, one has to be continuously a student. Like the great philosopher Socrates we have to become eternal students.
Spiritual life is the life of love and satisfaction. The love that we achieve from our spiritual life is the love that grows, glows and flows. Unlike human love, which strangles and is strangled while it is trying to possess something or someone, divine love continuously grows and blossoms within us. Divine love is a flower; its offering is its fragrance. When the seeker smells the fragrance, he feels that his inner being is purified and his outer existence is purified.
Satisfaction can be achieved in two ways: through destruction and through perfection. The animal in us and the human in us try to derive satisfaction from destruction. The human in us wants to devour the world of reality. The human in us invents bombs to destroy the world and then both the animal and the human feel that they will have satisfaction. But the divine in us knows that satisfaction, true satisfaction, can never be achieved by destroying reality. As a matter of fact, the real Reality can never be destroyed. It is not only omnipresent but it is also omnipotent. Instead, the divine finds satisfaction in perfecting the limited reality that it discovers here on earth. In this way only can divine satisfaction, lasting satisfaction, be attained.
The world is God’s Dream. And God’s Dream and God’s Reality are inseparable. God cannot exist with only His Reality, without having a dream. Again, He cannot exist with only His Dream. His Dream and His Reality are like His Soul and His Body. The Body, let us say, is Reality and the Soul is Dream. The cosmic Dream is constantly running, flying, diving into unchartered planes. It has made friends with Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. The cosmic Reality is static; it holds the cosmic Vision. It is like a dancer who needs something to stand upon to dance. Reality God needs in order to perform the cosmic Game, which is the manifestation of His cosmic Vision or Dream.
Spirituality and reality are inseparable. Spirituality is the sky within us and reality is the sea within us. In the sky-consciousness we get the message of delight. When delight enters into freedom, we see that freedom has become the Face of the transcendental Supreme. When freedom enters into delight, we see that delight has become the Smile of the transcendental Supreme. The life of freedom and the life of delight each seeker has within himself. When he practises prayer, concentration and meditation, the day soon dawns when he discovers that he himself has eternally been the very thing that he has long been searching for. When his dream-boat carries him to the Reality-shore, he sees that that Reality-shore is nothing other than his own forgotten Reality.
EBJ 7. 9 June 1975, 3:00 pm.↩
Earth-bound journey and Heaven-bound journey1Earth-bound journey starts in Heaven and ends on earth. Heaven-bound journey starts on earth and ends in Heaven. With earth-bound journey the soul’s promise to God descends. With Heaven-bound journey the body’s aspiration for God ascends.
Earth-bound journey is for constant God-manifestation, and Heaven-bound journey is for conscious God-realisation. The speed of earth-bound journey is slow. The speed of Heaven-bound journey is equally slow. The speed of earth-bound journey is slow because the soul’s promise-light is afraid of entering into earth’s inconscience and ignorance. The speed of Heaven-bound journey is slow because earth’s aspiration-flame is afraid of Heaven’s beatitude and plenitude. But slow and steady wins the race. When the soul’s promise to God touches the earth-consciousness, Mother Earth garlands the soul’s promise-light. When the earth’s aspiration-flame reaches Heaven, Father Heaven blesses earth’s aspiration-flame.
Earth knows how to cry. Heaven knows how to smile. This is what we all know. This is what we all feel. But when earth-consciousness is about to reach Heaven, earth-consciousness smiles, and when Heaven-consciousness is about to touch earth-reality, Heaven-consciousness cries. Earth-consciousness smiles because it sees that it is about to reach its Goal. Heaven-consciousness cries because it is afraid of the inconscience-sea. Here their roles change. The soul accepts the body, the vital, the mind and the heart. The soul consciously and deliberately enters into bondage with the hope that one day it will be able to take the body, vital, mind and heart to conscious liberation.
To be transformed, earth-consciousness has to be liberated. The soul realises that earth-consciousness can be liberated only by the soul’s acceptance of earth-consciousness. If the soul remains always in the highest plane of God’s Silence-Reality, then it will not be able to liberate earth’s consciousness; so the soul descends. The earth-consciousness feels that if it does not receive the Heaven-consciousness, the Heaven-consciousness will be only a dream-world or vision-world. It will not see the face of fulfilling reality-world. Heaven needs earth for God-manifestation. This is the only way Heaven can satisfy God. Earth needs Heaven for God-realisation. This is the only way earth can satisfy God.
God has two special names. One is in Heaven, another is on earth. In Heaven God’s special name is Vision. On earth His special name is Compassion. With his Vision-Name He sees His Eternity’s all. With His Compassion-Name He becomes His Infinity’s all. Eternity’s transcendence He is. Infinity’s expanse He becomes. Eternity is His Silence-Reality. Infinity is His Sound-Reality. Eternity’s Vision He embodies. Infinity’s Reality He reveals.
God’s Eternity-Silence makes a solemn promise to God that it will unite earth’s fleeting life with Heaven’s undying life. God’s Infinity-Sound promises to God that in the finite it will sing the song of the Infinite. The finite will be able to treasure Infinity’s wealth. The finite will be transformed into Infinity’s Reality. The individual will be able to house the universal. The universal will be able to manifest its Divinity and Immortality in the individual.
Earth and Heaven are two great singers. They are great singers, but they are not good singers. When Heaven sings, earth comes and offers its dedicated presence, but Heaven deliberately ignores earth’s presence. When earth sings, Heaven comes to listen, but earth pretends to be unconscious of Heaven’s presence. Heaven ignores; earth remains unconscious. This is how earth and Heaven snub each other. This is why a sad dispute reigns supreme between earth and Heaven.
But there comes a time when earth dives deep within and Heaven dives deep within. There earth and Heaven see and feel the Supreme Pilot’s excruciating pangs. They want to know the reason. The Eternal Pilot tells them that they are the culprits. They do not satisfy Him. They do not see His Divinity, His Immortality in each other. Both earth and Heaven plead with the Eternal Pilot to sing a song for them. God sings. At the end of the song both Heaven and earth place their devoted heads and surrendered hearts at the Feet of the Lord Supreme. The Lord Supreme tells them, “My son and daughter, that is not the right place for you. Your place is inside My heart, inside the heart of My Pride, inside the heart of My blessingful Gratitude.” He places both earth and Heaven inside His Heart. Then He asks them to sing the song with Him. They all sing together. At the end of the song both Heaven and earth offer Him a garland of gratitude and God’s Eternity’s Faith, God’s Immortality’s Life, offer the garland of satisfaction to Heaven and the garland of perfection to earth. What earth needs is perfection. What Heaven needs is satisfaction. Earth’s perfection is in the soul of Heaven, and Heaven’s satisfaction is in the heart of Earth.
When a seeker is in earth-bound journey, he sees that today’s bondage, ignorance and imperfection will be transformed into tomorrow’s freedom, wisdom and perfection. The seeker who is in Heaven-bound journey comes to realise that today’s Heaven-bound journey, which is uncertain of God’s revelation on earth, need not be always uncertain. No, God-realisation and God-manifestation can easily take place on earth. God-satisfaction and God-perfection can easily take place in Heaven. The seeker in us, when he ascends with Heaven-bound journey, becomes the pride of humanity. The same seeker, when he descends with earth-bound journey, becomes the pride of divinity. Earth-consciousness ascends into Heaven-consciousness, for in Heaven-consciousness earth’s beauty and earth’s duty lie. Heaven-consciousness descends into earth-consciousness, for in earth-consciousness God’s revelation and God’s manifestation lie.
Earth has always been good. Heaven has always been great. Both greatness and goodness must be amalgamated. With earth’s goodness, which is sacrifice for her children, earth grows into perfection-day. Heaven’s greatness, which is wisdom, Heaven offers to its children and with this wisdom-light the children of Heaven become God’s Satisfaction-Smile. When earth is fulfilled, earth becomes Immortality’s Peace. When Heaven is fulfilled. Heaven becomes Immortality’s Delight. God unites earth’s Peace and Heaven’s Delight. In the unification of earth’s achievement and Heaven’s achievement God becomes complete, whole, perfect and fulfilled.
Before my green-red journey’s earth-bound flight
My soul shook hands with God’s Compassion-Height.
Before my blue-gold journey’s Heaven-bound flight
My life shakes hands with God’s Perfection-Light.
Today we complete our journey. Here we have given seven talks. I wish to offer this series to the great soul, the devoted soul of President Kennedy, who was a Harvard graduate, a Harvard jewel. To honour his memory in our hearts of love and gratitude I offer this series of talks. I am extremely grateful to all the seekers who are present today and to those who have been coming to this series of talks. To each of you I offer my most sincere gratitude for having granted me the opportunity to be of service to your aspiring souls and dedicated lives. Nothing gives me greater joy than to serve. To serve is to fulfil the real in us, the divine in us.
EBJ 8. 9 June, 1975, 8:00 pm.↩
Part II — Questions and answersEBJ 9-14. 16 April 1975.
Question: How can one have more faith or stronger faith?Sri Chinmoy: You can develop more faith, abundant faith and boundless faith by mixing with someone who already has this faith. It is like mixing with a person who has more knowledge than you have; it brings to the fore your own knowledge. Similarly, when one has more faith than you have, your faith-flame will be kindled. If you feel that somebody has more faith in God than you have, then it is advisable to mix with him. Even if you do not get the opportunity to talk to him all the time, his very presence in silence will increase the faith within you. It is always advisable for you as a seeker to mix with someone who has more talent, more capacity, more aspiration than you have. Unconsciously, not consciously, your heart will be able to draw, like a magnet, aspiration, peace and other divine qualities from the one who has more than you have.
Question: First of all, I thank you. I have been very much struck by your beautiful poems, your stories, your great creative gift to do so much and your paintings. Do you have something to say about that great capacity to produce beautiful things through imagination that relates to spiritual knowledge?Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual life, when we go deep within, what we call “imagination” is not imagination. It is something else. It is actually the precursor of inspiration. And what we call “inspiration” is not inspiration as such. It is something else. When you go deep within, you see it is aspiration hiding in inspiration. And “aspiration” is not aspiration, but something else. It is something higher, something deeper. In aspiration itself is realisation.
So when I do something, paint or write, I feel that my Inner Pilot is having an experience in and through me and that experience is aspiration. But the same Pilot, the Inner Pilot, would like to have another experience in and through you. At that time He might want the experience of realisation or inspiration. The seeker has to remember that he is not the doer, he is the instrument. The Inner Pilot is the doer. I know and I tell my students that I am not the doer and they are not the doers. The doer is somebody else. The doer is the Inner Pilot. Since He is the doer, we have to offer our inmost gratitude to Him, because it is He who is utilising us.
Today He is utilising me. Tomorrow, if I misbehave, if I do not listen to His inner command, inner dictates, immediately He will cast me aside and will give somebody else a chance to be His instrument. There are about 250 seekers here. On earth there are millions of human beings. But how many people are consciously praying to God or meditating on God? In comparison to the world population, very few people are praying and meditating. So you see, people who are praying and meditating are already chosen and selected for a special purpose. God could have chosen somebody else, selected somebody else. But just because He has given us the opportunity to become His instruments, we feel it is our bounden duty to be of constant gratitude to Him. So when I do something as an instrument of His, before I begin, I offer Him my gratitude, soulful gratitude. And while He is having the experience, while He is acting in and through me, when I see that it is He that is doing everything through me, I am all gratitude to Him. At the end, when I see the result that He produces, I offer Him gratitude again. So if you ask me what I do, I will say from the beginning to the end I try to become a gratitude-heart placed at the Feet of the Lord Supreme. This is the only experience that I can share with you.
Question: How is it that you refer to God as "He"?Sri Chinmoy: God has form and again God is formless. God is both with attributes and without attributes. God is masculine and again, God is feminine. According to Indian philosophy, God is neither masculine nor feminine but neuter. This neuter God we call “Brahma.” God has countless forms and faces.
But we are like children. A child likes to call his father “daddy.” He has no need to call his father any other name. Yet the father’s friends call him by another name, and his relatives also call him by a different name. Those at the office may call him by yet another name. Nonetheless he is the same man.
Similarly, each aspirant has his own name by which he calls God. It is a matter of personal preference and in my case, it is not that by referring to God as “He” I am denying that God is also the Divine Mother. Far from it. God is the Mother. God is the Father. God is Light. God is Peace. God is Infinite Energy. When I refer to God as “He”, I am not taking anything away from God. Like the child calling the father, God will come with all that He is, no matter if I call Him Father, Mother or Brahma. God will not mind. He simply comes to answer His child’s call and that is all.
Question: How can one find a balance of desires so as not to deny them and push them away, but neither to be overpowered and ruled by them?Sri Chinmoy: When we accept the spiritual life, can the fulfilment of our teeming earthly desires satisfy us in any way? No! On the contrary, each time we fulfil one desire, we fall prey to more desires. But even the fulfilment of the desire itself does not give us necessary satisfaction. On the contrary, it increases our greed, our dissatisfaction in what we see, what we feel and what we are growing into.
So vital desires, for a seeker, have to be transformed into the life of aspiration. They have to be illumined. If you feel that once this desire is fulfilled, you will not enter into the world of desire anymore, that you will immediately enter into the world of aspiration, you are mistaken, it is not possible. The life of desire is a tempting life. We cannot say that once twenty desires are fulfilled we shall enter into the spiritual life. No! At that time the twenty-first desire will come to claim us. Once we enter the spiritual life we have to feel that each desire has to be offered to the Lord for its transformation, for its illumination. At this point it is necessary to recognise whether we are dealing with a desire or with a command.
I have come to be of service to you. There are some people here who cannot, or do not wish to identify themselves with me. They will find fault with me. But if somebody is identified with my life of aspiration and dedication, he will feel that I have come to share with him my experiences, to be of service to the divinity in him. When one enters into the spiritual life, if one is really conscious, one will know whether it is a desire he is fulfilling or God’s command. Otherwise he may call it a desire when it is not a desire at all. It may be something else. And again, he may be fooled. He may have some real desires which have nothing to do with God’s commands or God’s inner dictates. Then he creates a problem. He feels that his actions are saving humanity, serving humanity, when they may be totally undivine.
So to come back to your question, in the spiritual life the life of desire has to be transformed and illumined. If you say spirituality and desire-life can go side by side, you are mistaken. Day and night do not go together. We have to choose one of the two. If we care for light, then we have to give all importance to light. But giving all importance to light doesn’t mean that we shall cast aside our life of desire. We shall have to transform it, illumine it, so that it can be of help to our aspiration life. Our life of desire is our weakness. It does not have strength enough to make us feel who we really are. But our life of aspiration makes us feel that we are God’s chosen children. So we have to strengthen ourselves by bringing illumination into our life from our life of aspiration. This is the only way we can really get satisfaction out of life.
Question: What challenge is offered to the seeker by the world of suffering and the suffering of other people?Sri Chinmoy: A seeker eventually learns that what he once called suffering is not actually suffering; it is only an experience. There are some experiences in life which are helpful to him in growing into his own ultimate divinity. He is making a mistake if he takes suffering as something which is standing in his way, if he wonders why he has to go through all kinds of suffering. He should feel that it is an experience. He should feel that the inner being is having an experience in and through him either for his outer life’s purification or for some inner purification. He should show the world around him that this is something necessary in his life, that through untold suffering, eventually light will dawn.
Suffering is not the ultimate message. Happiness and delight are the ultimate 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.” Delight is our source. Here in the world arena we are given limited freedom. When we misuse this freedom, we create more suffering, more bondage for ourselves. Instead we can use our limited freedom in a divine way. For example, we have come here to be spiritual, to pray to God, to discuss things about God. We could have gone to a bar or some undivine place or just watched television and killed time. But instead we used our limited freedom to come here, to increase the divinity within us.
When we misuse our time, the after-effects of that incident often turn into suffering. But again, if we go deep within, we will see that it is not suffering as such; it is something else. It is an experience. If we are conscious of it, we become part and parcel of the experience that the Inner Pilot is having. Otherwise we may feel that suffering is something that is thrust upon us which we don’t need. For a seeker of the Ultimate Truth, suffering is an experience. At times it is a necessary experience, at times it is not. It depends on what we have done or what experience we have unconsciously invited or invoked. The experience we see in our outer life is an unconscious or conscious expression of our inner purification.
Question: When you speak of human life and divine life it sounds like they are two separate worlds. I find myself here in this world. Why must there be another world?1Sri Chinmoy: There are already two worlds in us: the world of desire and the world of aspiration. Each day we enter into these two worlds. When we enter into the life of possession, we enter into the world of desire. When we enter into the life of transformation, we enter into the world of aspiration.
These two worlds — the world of human desire and the world of divine aspiration — are inside us, not around us. When we enter into the world of desire, we try to bind. But before we can bind anything, we discover that that thing has already bound us. When we enter into the world of aspiration, we try to liberate. Before liberating or while liberating the world, we discover that we ourselves are also being liberated.
EBJ 14. 23 April 1975.↩
Question: Can the soul of a seeker contact his spiritual Master if the Master lives in a different city or country?1Sri Chinmoy: Yes, the soul can contact the Master if the soul is a little developed. But sometimes the physical mind does not believe or does not receive the soul’s message. The physical mind doubts the very existence of the soul; it suspects everything, sometimes even its own reality. This physical mind unfortunately does not have a free access to the soul so it does not know what the soul is doing. But if the soul wants to convince the physical mind, it can elevate even the physical mind with divine light. Once this light is brought down into the physical mind in abundant measure, the mind will convince the entire being that the soul has contacted the Master.
EBJ 15. 23 April 1975.↩
Question: Can you explain the worth of trying to communicate one's inner experiences with others?1Sri Chinmoy: Some Masters advise their disciples to share their experiences only with them. Most of the time it is not advisable to communicate or offer one’s inner experience to others. Suppose you have had a very high, sublime experience. Even if you tell this experience to your most intimate friend, his jealousy may try to devour the wealth, the living reality of your experience. Sometimes it happens that when you share your inner experiences with a beginner, the beginner will try to have the same experience by hook or by crook. In the spiritual life this can never be done. Spiritual progress is a slow, steady and gradual process. Just because you have tasted a mango and you tell me about it, I may also try to climb up the mango tree. But if I do not know how to climb, when I try, I will fall down and hurt myself. Also, if you tell your inner experiences to others, human pride may enter into you.
One should share one’s inner experiences only with the permission of the Master. If one does not have a Master, then one must dive deep within and listen to the dictates of the soul. If the soul or the Master asks an individual seeker to share his experiences with the rest of the world, then there will be no problem whatsoever. In that case it may happen that if the person tells about his experiences, his friends will be inspired to enter into the world of aspiration. But it is always advisable to ask the Master or to go deep within in order to know whether to share one’s experiences with others. Otherwise, it may create unforeseen, deplorable results either in the seeker himself or in the one with whom he is trying to share his experiences.
EBJ 16. 23 April 1975.↩
Question: Is liberation possible without the help of a living Master?1Sri Chinmoy: It is quite possible for the seeker to achieve liberation without the help of a living Master. But it is advisable to have a Master if one values speed. If you can do something today with the help of someone else, why do you want to take three or four days in order to do it by yourself? We go to school and study with a teacher. Why? When we have a teacher, we are directed and guided in what we study. All the books that we study are available in the bookstore, but when the teacher says something is correct, then immediately we believe it. So the teacher expedites our study.
There is nothing wrong in taking help from someone. A spiritual Master is also God’s son. If my elder brother knows something, I have every right to ask my elder brother to teach me. Once I learn it, that knowledge becomes my own possession. At that time I am free to share with others the knowledge that I have acquired with his help. When it is a question of God-realisation, if someone says, “No, I don’t want to take any outer help, I will entirely depend on God and myself,” then that person has to know that his realisation will take thousands of years. But there is nothing wrong in this approach. He who realised God for the first time did not have a human teacher. God taught him directly. So, if the seeker is extremely sincere and if he wants to depend on direct inner guidance from God, he can. But he should know that his progress will be slow, very slow, and uncertain.
EBJ 17. 23 April 1975.↩
Question: How do we separate the voice of the soul from the intellect and emotion?1Sri Chinmoy: We can easily separate the voice of the soul from the emotional life and intellectual life. When we do something, the result comes in the form of either success or failure. When we follow the dictates of the voice of the soul, if the result of our actions is success, we do not proclaim ourselves to the skies and forget the world of reality. We do not lose our balance. And if the result comes in the form of failure, we do not become miserable and depressed. Whether we succeed or fail, with equal joy, cheerfulness and perfect equanimity we place the result at the Feet of the Lord Supreme.
But when we do something that has been prompted by our intellectual convictions or emotional feelings, we act in a different way, depending on whether the result of our actions is success or failure. When we act in accordance with the dictates of the intellect or emotions, we expect something in our own way. If the result does not meet with our expectations, we are frustrated and disappointed, and in our disappointment what looms large is destruction. But if it is the dictates of the soul that we execute, then we will always feel poise, peace and tranquillity in the result. We will see and feel that the result of our actions is nothing but an experience that will elevate our consciousness, deepen our consciousness, widen, illumine and perfect our consciousness.
When we listen to the dictates of the soul, we know that we are not the doer; the doer is God. We are the instrument, and God the Doer is having an experience in and through us in His own inimitable Way. We just offer our experience to the Inner Pilot and place it at His Feet. If we don’t have the sense of separativity, then we can feel that He is the one who has had the experience in and through us and that He is the experience itself.
EBJ 18. 30 April 1975.↩
Question: How can we disassociate ourselves from the desires of the flesh?1Sri Chinmoy: Let us imagine right in front of us two rooms. One room is the room of desire and the other room is the room of aspiration. When we enter into the room of desire, immediately we are caught by the life of pleasure, by the life of bondage, by the finite around us. Here we try to bind and possess everything as our very own. But before we bind something, we see that we are already bound by it. Before we possess something as our own, we see that we are already possessed by that thing. We see that others are ruling our lives, others are lording it over us. But when we enter into the other room, the room of aspiration, immediately we feel that there is something far beyond the physical. In that room we feel that the body is not all, but God is all. In order to realise that God is all, we have to make friends with our soul. If we remain or live inside the room of aspiration, we see our eternal friend, the soul. And the soul teaches us how to drink in divine nectar and how we can always remain far away from the sea of ignorance.
It is up to us to remain in the room of aspiration. In this room there is constant inner progress. Here we sing the song of self-transcendence. If we want to disassociate ourselves from our desire-life, the best thing is to associate constantly, consciously and soulfully with our aspiration-life. If we associate with our aspiration-life, automatically the desire-life will begin to leave us. We will remain with the friend we have chosen as our very own, and this is our aspiration-friend.
EBJ 19. 30 April 1975.↩
Question: How can we build our intuitive power?1Sri Chinmoy: We can build our intuitive power speedily if we know what intuitive power actually is. Intuitive power is our soul’s light.
The body is like a house. You have a house with quite a few rooms. Each room has some vibration of yours. You may not spend most of your time in the kitchen, but just because you go to the kitchen to eat, it has your vibration. Each room you spend time in has some vibration of yours, but there is one particular room where you spend most of your time, and this room is bound to have your vibration to the greatest extent.
It is the same thing with the soul. The soul is inside the body; that is why you are still alive. If the soul-bird flies away, you will die. The consciousness, the light of the soul, permeates your whole body. The light that the soul emanates is found from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head. But there is a specific place where the soul lives and is always available, and that is inside the inmost recesses of your heart. When you pray and meditate, if you try to enter into the heart or bring the heart to the fore, you can easily develop your intuitive power.
Or you can try to feel in your outer existence that you are nothing but the heart. In everything you claim as your own, in all your limbs, feel only the reality of the heart. If you think of your ears, feel that these two ears are nothing but a reflection of the heart itself. If you look at your finger, think that it is an expression of your heart. The heart means love and oneness. When you think of oneness, when you feel that oneness of your body with your spiritual heart, you become the universal reality. When you become the universal reality, when you claim this reality as your very own, you will see that the universal reality needs something to reveal itself, to manifest itself, to fulfil itself, and that is intuitive power. If you can focus your attention on the heart soulfully and devotedly, then you will develop slowly, steadily, confidently and unerringly the intuitive power.
EBJ 20. 30 April 1975.↩
Question: How can we purify our minds?1Sri Chinmoy: We can purify the mind either by emptying the mind or by invoking light from above or from within. We can think of the mind as a vessel. The vessel is full of dirty, filthy water, let us say. If we empty it, then only do we get the opportunity to fill it up again with pure water. Or we can think of the mind as a dark room, a room that has not seen light for many, many years. If we take the mind as a dark room, we see that we need someone who can bring light into this room. That person is the soul. So we have to make friends with the soul. We have to invoke this most intimate friend who has the capacity to help us and the willingness to illumine anything that is dark within us. We have to consciously feel that we need the soul just as we need the body. If our need is sincere and genuine, then the soul will come forward and illumine the darkness that we have in our minds.
EBJ 21. 30 April 1975.↩
Question: Do you advise one to leave society in order to make spiritual progress?1Sri Chinmoy: No, I will never advise anybody to leave society. You want to leave society because you are afraid society will pull you down. But if you go deep within, you will see that it is not society that pulls you down; it is your own mind. It is the unruly mind, the undivine mind, that pulls you down. You may be afraid of society and want to enter into the Himalayan caves, but I wish to say that there also your mind will dog you. If your mind is illumined, if your mind is transformed and purified, then you can live anywhere you want to. If you want to escape from society, you will never be able to see the face of reality. It is not the spiritual hero, it is the culprit in you who wants to escape. If you have not done anything wrong, why do you have to escape?
You may feel that your inner life, your efforts to renounce your own undivine thoughts, undivine qualities, will suffer if you mix with society. You may feel that since the members of society are full of the same undivine qualities you are suffering from, if you mix with them it will be very difficult to get rid of these undivine qualities. If you feel this, then you should remain a little aloof for your inner cure. You are sick and somebody else is sick. If both of you stay together all the time, neither one will be cured. It is for your good and his good that, for some time, you remain a little apart. Once you are totally cured, you can come and cure your friend who is suffering. But to leave your friend altogether, to never again look at his face because you feel that if you mix with him you will also become a victim to suffering — this is a mistake.
We shall not shun society completely. We shall let the inner being be the judge as to how much we can mix with the members of society. In our spiritual life we have to know whether we are a huge banyan tree or only a tiny plant. If we are a tiny plant, we have to be very careful, because at any moment we can be uprooted and destroyed. But if we have become a huge tree, then we don’t have to be afraid of anything.
EBJ 22. 30 April 1975.↩
Question: Could you kindly explain what samadhi is and whether there is a state of consciousness higher than this?1Sri Chinmoy: There are three types of samadhi: Savikalpa samadhi, Nirvikalpa samadhi and Sahaja samadhi. In Savikalpa samadhi there can be thoughts inside the trance, but the trance will not be disturbed or perturbed. The thoughts are like children playing in a room when the father is deeply absorbed in his studies. The children are playing, but they do not disturb him. So in Savikalpa samadhi there can be a turbulence of thoughts and ideas, but the divine trance that the seeker is enjoying will not be affected.
In Nirvikalpa samadhi there is no thought, no idea, nothing whatsoever. All is tranquility, or you can say tranquillity's flood. Here nature’s dance comes to an end. The restless activity of human nature cannot play its role. There is no thought, no idea, no form, only the transcendental Silence and boundless Peace, Light and Delight. In this expanse of infinite Peace, Light and Delight, there exist only the seeker and his Beloved Supreme, who have become one.
Then comes a samadhi known as Sahaja samadhi. In this samadhi, after having attained the highest realm of consciousness, one can remain on earth and enter into multifarious activities while maintaining his highest realisation. It is as if one is sitting quietly inside a jet plane which is flying at a speed of seven-hundred miles per hour, but one does not notice any motion at all. In Sahaja samadhi one maintains the highest transcendental consciousness within and, at the same time, throws himself into the world’s activities in order to transform humanity and free humanity from ignorance. This samadhi is for those who have reached the Highest and whom the Highest Absolute Supreme wants to manifest Himself in and through.
EBJ 23. 30 April 1975.↩