The eternal journey

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Part I

No more the desire-life1

No more the desire-life, no more. The lure of yesterday’s desire-life has sunk into meaningless insignificance today. Aspiration, the real reality of the seeker in me, begins to triumph today. Aspiration, my heart’s inner cry, is hastening the arrival of my Beloved Supreme. From now on, I shall always remain devoted to my life within. From now on, my body shall sing and sing, my vital shall smile and smile, my mind shall fly and fly, my heart shall dive and dive, my soul shall spread and spread. No difficulty, no sorrow, no worry, no anxiety will be able to assail me. I shall not fall. I shall not stumble. Onward I shall march. Mine will be the life of the eternal journey, the journey that has neither beginning nor end. This is the ever-transcending journey, the journey that beckons humanity’s cry and Divinity’s Smile.

The teeming troubles and tribulations of the past are no more. I am in front of an unhorizoned reality. Now, at every moment, unceasing opportunities are looming large. I shall avail myself of all these opportunities. From now on, my life of surrender to God’s Will will be my infallible guide. My life of devotion to my Beloved Supreme will be the supreme feast to satisfy my hunger of millennia.

My selfless love of God shall transform the dwarf-seeker in me into a spiritual giant. I shall become a devoted, faithful, soulful, unreserved and unconditional instrument of my Beloved Supreme. To manifest Him in His own Way my soul-bird flew down into the earth-arena. Now I have become one with my soul’s promise. My soul’s promise and my life of love, devotion and surrender will fulfil our Beloved Supreme throughout the length and breadth of the world.


  1. EJ 1. 18 June 1977 — Cape Cod Community College, Hyannis (Massachusetts)

Transcendence and perfection1

Transcendence-Perfection. Perfection is transcendence. Transcendence is perfection. How do we transcend and perfect ourselves? There are a few ways: we learn and unlearn, we accept and reject, we command and surrender.

We learn and unlearn. We learn devotedly anything that our aspiring heart teaches us. We unlearn consciously everything that our doubting mind has taught us over the years.

We accept and reject. We accept soulfully, devotedly and gratefully the things that we have received from our Inner Pilot, our Beloved Supreme. We ruthlessly reject the things that ignorance-sea has already given us and the things that ignorance-sea wants to give us.

We command and surrender. We command our ignorance-life to abide by our soulful will; for we feel that since we have practised spirituality over the years, we have at least a partial access to our inner guide, our soul. We command ignorance to leave us alone because we are of the soul and for the soul, which is all wisdom. We surrender to the Highest in us, and this Highest we gradually realise as we go on unveiling our hidden realities. We surrender what we have and what we are to the Supreme Pilot. What we have is our eagerness to become His perfect instruments, Him to fulfil in His own Way. What we are at this moment is nothing short of a veritable beggar, a helpless child in the dense forest. Our utter helplessness we surrender to our Beloved Pilot, and also our most sincere eagerness to become totally His — to be guided, moulded, shaped, transformed, illumined, perfected and immortalised by Him.

We learn and unlearn, we accept and reject, we command and surrender. If we can do all these things, then we can easily transcend ourselves, and our self-transcendence is another name for our faultless perfection.


  1. EJ 2. In a 24-hour period on 1 November 1975 Sri Chinmoy wrote 843 spiritual poems, which were published under the title Transcendence-Perfection. These were his words on the third anniversary of that achievement.

Part II — Selected poems from Transcendence-Perfection.

Eternity's vision-reality song

Beloved Lord Supreme,
Do You approve of
My self-transcendence-song?

"My son, not only do I approve
But it is I who will
Sing in you,
Sing through you
My Eternity’s Vision-Reality-Song."

He is really something!

He is really something!
He always likes to compete
With himself
And
Transcend himself.

God smiles with joy
Because he competes
With himself.
God cries with joy
Because
He does really
Transcend himself.

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Two simple promises

Two simple promises
To God
To remember:
God, I shall love You
Unconditionally.
God, I shall please You
Eternally
In Your own supreme Way.

I can only promise

I can promise
To be sincere;
But sweet Lord,
It is You alone
Who have to make me sincere.

I can promise
To be good;
But beloved Lord,
It is You alone
Who can and will
Make me eternally and supremely good.

Two things he treasures

Two things he always treasures:
The invisible wings
Of his heart’s silence-bird
And
The visible arms
Of his body’s dedication-life.

A soul-life of gratitude

A soul-life of gratitude
To You I offer,
My Master-Lord,
For Your satisfaction
In my service-love-boat.

Experience-gain

There is no loss;
It is all experience-gain.
Believe it or not,
You will realise it is true
Long before you start
Consciously sailing
In God’s Self-Transcendence-Boat.

All for You!

Lord Supreme, all for You
My surrender-heart,
My concern-life,
My purity-body,
My devotion-soul.
All that I have is for You
To personally use.

Lord, I thank You

Lord, I thank You
For Your Smile.

I thank You
For my heart’s cry.

I thank You
For all that You have done for me
And all that You have not done for me.

Lord, I thank You
Because You have given me
A sure heart,
A brave vital,
A pure mind
And a strong body.

Lord, finally, I love You
Because You have made me
Your Blessing-Love incarnate.

This very moment

This very moment
Is the best the world can afford to give us.
Let us avail ourselves of this golden moment.
Inside the heart of the moment
Is Eternity’s Silence-life
And Infinity’s Smile.

I am teaching God, too

My self-giving
Is my God-becoming.
This is what God
Has so kindly taught me.
I am teaching God something, too:
Patience.

Heaven-peace envelops me

Heaven-peace envelops me
When I meditate
On God’s Silence-Vision.

Earth-joy envelops me
When I dedicate myself
To God’s all-illumining Sound-Reality.

Let God guide you

Let God-Compassion
Guide your plans.
This is the only way
For you to succeed.

Let God-Perfection
Guide your steps.
This is the only way
For you to proceed.

Reveal again the light

Lord Supreme, reveal again the light.
This time I shall treasure the light
And grow into the illumining fragrance
Of Your Light infinite.

Smile, humanity, smile!

Smile, humanity, smile!
God not only loves you
Constantly
But also needs you
Unreservedly.
Smile, humanity, smile!

Life's surrender

Better than heart’s joy
Is life's surrender.

Better than life’s surrender
There was nothing,
There is nothing
And
There can be nothing.

Part III — Questions and answers

Question: Can you say that love is the only law in the whole universe?

Sri Chinmoy: Love is the only law. We can call it “law”, we can call it “love”, we can call it “oneness”. A judge or a scientist will say “law”, a seeker will say it is all love and a spiritual Master will say it is all oneness. It depends on the person. A seeker will say that love is holding the universe. A person who has realised God will say that oneness is holding the universe. An ordinary human being will say that laws are holding the universe. If you break the laws, then there will be chaos. If everybody abides by the laws, then there will be no disharmony, no conflicts, no quarrels, no fights. But when we go one step ahead and become seekers, at that time we say that if I really love you and you really love me, then there will be no disharmony or conflict at all. Again, if we go still farther, deeper or higher, we see that if I am one with you and you are one with me, then there can be only perfection. It depends on the individual’s spiritual growth. First comes law, then comes love, then comes oneness.

Question: We just lost our baby, and we were questioning ourselves why the baby, in the span of one week, came to earth and then left.

Sri Chinmoy: There is no hard and fast rule about this. It can be your karma, it can be your wife’s karma, or it can be the soul’s spontaneous decision. It may be that in a previous incarnation the Supreme decided that this would happen, or else the soul decided to leave as soon as it saw the ignorance of the world. Sometimes the soul comes into the world quite unprepared. When it arrives and sees the ignorance of the world, it is frightened to death. Then it goes away again. These are the two main reasons.

Since you are following our path, the thing to do is to surrender to the Will of the Supreme. That is the best. If it is because of your past karma or your wife’s karma, if you have done something wrong, then whatever you did wrong will be nullified. And if the soul of the child made the decision and it was not your karma or her karma, then the only thing to do is to surrender. If the soul has decided it wants to stay in Heaven for a few more years, let us surrender to the Will of the Supreme in the soul.

If you surrender to the Will of the Supreme, then you are doing absolutely the right thing. Not what has happened but how we have accepted it is of paramount importance right now. If you have accepted it cheerfully and soulfully, because this is the decision approved by the Supreme, then everything is perfect. Otherwise, you may have kept the child but if this was not the Will of the Supreme, then it would have been a terrible mistake. What has happened is for the best for you and for your wife. It is not a loss if you offer the child to the Supreme. He came and he has gone back to the soul’s world, where he will remain with the Supreme.

Question: One lady, when she meditates on your transcendental picture, sees it grow bigger, then smaller, change hues and take on a physical presence.

Sri Chinmoy: Many, many people have had this experience from my transcendental picture. It is my subtle body that she is seeing. If my inner beings want to bring my subtle body forward, then this subtle body appears absolutely tangible. When I become one with the transcendental Consciousness, you have to know that that Consciousness can take the smallest form and, at the same time, a form larger than the largest.

Question: She says she sees a violet colour a lot.

Sri Chinmoy: Violet is her own colour: It is one of her principal colours. Each individual has one or two colours that are associated with his own manifestation. Her soul wants to manifest with the violet colour.

Question: I used to go to a resting place where I can talk to myself and where I have been in contact with two people, a man and a woman. I have never seen their faces; I don't know them. But I can talk to them, although they cannot talk to me. When I ask them questions, they answer me with signs, or by doing something with the body. But since I started to meditate, I can't go to this place any more.

Sri Chinmoy: In your previous incarnation you were closely connected with a particular spiritual Master. The man and woman were your teachers. Now your teachers are not in the physical world, but they are trying to lead you towards me. Once they are convinced that you will run towards God on this path, then they will be satisfied. This is an experience that started from your previous incarnation. They were your teachers and mentors, and they were leading you towards me. It is a connection from your previous incarnation.

Question: Are the inner bodies composed of spiritual energy? I feel within me several bodies, and sometimes they clash in their will.

Sri Chinmoy: Each person has three bodies: the physical, the subtle and the causal. In the causal body everything is in seed form. The subtle body is inside the physical, and it can take any form it wants to. The physical body you all know. It may happen that the physical body is revolting against the subtle physical. The subtle physical may be putting pressure upon the physical to do the right thing, to lead a pure life, to lead a divine life, and the physical is not doing it. At that time, the person may feel a clash.

Question: What can you do to get them unified?

Sri Chinmoy: Through prayer and meditation you can unify them. The subtle body is always ready to inspire the physical, and the causal is always inspiring and inspiring. The physical has to go through some rigorous discipline. Then only will there be perfect harmony among the physical, the subtle physical and the causal bodies.

Question: I feel a strange vibration in my neck. First there is joy, and then this vibration. What is that?

Sri Chinmoy: If you feel joy when you feel this vibration, then it is a good vibration. If you are getting joy, then definitely it is good. Anything that gives you pure, innocent joy is good. When you get a vibration which encourages you and inspires you, that means it is a good thing that is happening inside you.

Question: What can I do to have that experience more?

Sri Chinmoy: Strengthen your prayer; pray more. You also have to be physically a little bit stronger. Otherwise, you will not be able to develop more receptivity. In your case, you have to be physically stronger. Otherwise, when more light, abundant light, descends from above, it will be very difficult for you to hold it. So, first your physical body has to be strong enough to receive the light from above.

Question: I feel that I don't know how to receive prasad [food blessed by the spiritual Master] properly.

Sri Chinmoy: When you come to me for prasad, there are two things that you should try to do. One thing is to feel utmost humility. From head to foot, you should feel that you are all humility. Feel that you are swimming in the sea of humility. The next thing is to imagine that your heart, which means your receptivity, is like an elastic band. If you pull it, it will expand. As soon as you come near me, first become all humility. When I give you prasad, you will receive it with utmost humility. Then immediately feel that your heart has become wider and larger.

It is not just an orange or a banana that I am giving you, but a living portion of my compassion-light. Prasad is my compassion-light, and inside that compassion-light is the illumining reality. The blessingful, illumining reality is inside my compassion light. In order to receive the thing that I am offering, you must immediately expand your heart. It has to be received with a wide heart and with utmost humility. This is absolutely the correct way for you and for everybody to receive prasad from me.

Question: I am not sure that I know how to feel humble.

Sri Chinmoy: It is very easy. I have asked you and your husband to open up a divine enterprise, a flower store, in Canada. That is your field. You will be an expert in taking care of flowers and plants with a delicate, subtle and soulful touch. You are happy and proud that you have the capacity. But if you are sincere, then you will acknowledge the fact that Kanan definitely knows more than you do with regard to plants, because he has been in that line for so many years. I am not discouraging you; I am not saying that you are not good. You are good, very good, in your field. But if you look around at other florists, will you be able to say that you are by far the best? No. Kanan will surpass you, and there will be many thousands of florists who will far surpass Kanan. So, in any field on the earth-plane, if pride enters into you and you find it difficult to be humble, just look around to see if there is anybody who is far better than you. You will immediately find that there are many, many, many who surpass you. Then your pride will go away.

In you are both the lower self, or let us say the desire-life, and the higher self, which is the aspiration-life. Now you are consciously in the aspiration-life, but five or six years ago, before you joined our path, you were in the desire-life. Just think of your own desire-life of five years ago. How many desires you had! Countless ordinary human desires you had. Now you are in the aspiration-world, which is infinitely higher than the desire-world. Try to imagine or identify yourself for a fleeting second with what you were and what you have become. If you become identified with what you were, then immediately you become humble because of what you have become. If you become one with your old desire-life, then the desire-life surrenders to the aspiration-life and feels humble because the aspiration-life is far superior.

Now you are in the aspiration-world, but your goal is realisation. You don’t want to stay only with aspiration. From aspiration you have to go forward. You know that it will take time. Your goal is far, very far, but you have the intense cry to reach the goal. If you can imagine that the goal is at the top of the mountain and you are sitting at the foot of the mountain, then automatically you become humble.

Again, you can transform this humility into a sincere feeling of oneness with anything that you are going to become in the future. You won’t be proud, but you will try to become one with the goal itself before you reach the goal. Before you reach the top of the mountain, try to feel that the top of the mountain is welcoming you. Your soul is already there, your heart is already there; only your body is not there, your vital is not there, your mind is not there. In that way you will not be discouraged.

Sometimes we become very haughty and proud; we are assailed by ego. Again, sometimes we think very ill of ourselves. We go from one extreme to another. This moment we feel that we can break and build the world with our ego-power, and the next moment we feel that we don’t have the energy even to budge an inch. We feel that we are hopeless, that we are absolutely the most useless person on earth. Then frustration kills us. This moment ego takes us very high, like a balloon, but the next moment it bursts, and frustration-dragon comes and immediately devours us. We don’t want to be carried by the ego-balloon, which will burst, and we don’t want to allow ourselves to be devoured by the frustration-dragon. So what shall we do? We shall increase our oneness, our inner confidence and our inner assurance. These are the things that will help us to reach our goal.

Question: I would like to ask you how you experience God when you meditate?

Sri Chinmoy: There is no set rule. When I experience God, it can be His personal aspect or it can be His impersonal aspect. Sometimes I see Him, feel Him and divinely enjoy Him as infinite Bliss. Sometimes I see Him and talk to Him the way I talk to an individual; but He appears to me with His divine attributes. He is infinitely more beautiful at that time than the most beautiful child that you have seen on earth. Sometimes He appears in the form of infinite Peace, sometimes as an eternal Child playing inside my heart’s garden. There are many ways that I experience my Beloved Supreme.

Question: Is it possible to reach a form of realisation from a very straight background? It is hard to keep trying to stay with it. Is it possible, although it is difficult?

Sri Chinmoy: God is not the sole monopoly of an individual or of some selected individuals. If somebody has a sincere inner cry, then sooner or later, at God’s choice Hour, that particular person is bound to realise God and reach the highest Height. God’s Compassion-Light can easily nullify one’s deplorable background. If someone has a sincere inner cry, then definitely he will be able to realise God, no matter what his or her background is, or how much difficulty he has gone through in life before he accepted spirituality. It entirely depends on how sincerely one needs God. If one sincerely needs God, then eventually in one’s spiritual march one will realise God.

Question: Why is there some pain when the third eye starts to open?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are experiencing pain, it means that you are trying to pull beyond your capacity. Sometimes when we try to pull something beyond our capacity, we get pain. In the spiritual life, there should be no pulling or pushing, but a natural and spontaneous flow. Meditation should be like a river flowing into the sea. There should be a natural flow — no pulling, no pushing, no coercing, no strenuous effort. Progress should be made in a very natural, spontaneous way. Then there will be no pain in the forehead near the third eye area.

Question: I have been meditating on and off for a couple of years, but a few months ago I did some Hatha Yoga and shortly afterwards I experienced pain in the third eye area. I don't want it, but at the same time I don't want to get rid of it. It helps me become conscious of everything I am doing, yet I feel confused about it. I was wondering if you could suggest anything.

Sri Chinmoy: If we invite pain or invoke pain to make us conscious of God’s Reality, then our progress will be very slow. God is all Bliss. He does not want us to cut off our limbs to prove to Him how much we care for Him. He will say, “Children, you are fools. I am all-loving. You should come to Me with all your heart’s love, not through your body’s pain.” God does not want to torture us. It is our own ignorance and wrong forces, and the hostile forces all around us, that like to torture us. In order to reach God, we should not create pain or invite pain. It is through constant love that we should approach God. As a child runs towards his parents — cheerfully and lovingly — even so, each individual seeker should run towards the Eternal Father — cheerfully, lovingly, unreservedly and unconditionally. Deliberate invitation of suffering will be a very long and unhealthy process, and it may lead the seeker very far astray.

Question: During meditation I find I have feelings of stress in the area of the solar plexus — sometimes a spasm or contraction. Should I continue meditating?

Sri Chinmoy: Before you meditate, you should concentrate for a few minutes on the Compassion aspect or the Protection aspect of God. Since you experience pain, it is good to invoke God’s Protection-power so that you can continue with your meditation and enjoy the bliss of your meditation. Then God’s inner Forces will protect you, and you can continue your regular meditation as long as you want to.

Question: Some Masters teach that you should hold your spine erect. Is that always necessary?

Sri Chinmoy: In the beginning it is necessary. When one becomes a very advanced seeker it is not necessary. At that time one can do excellent meditation at any moment — while lying down, while running, while jumping. When one is advanced, one does not have to maintain any particular posture. But in the beginning, it is much better for the proper circulation of the breath to sit with the spine erect. Once your consciousness goes far beyond the domain of the mind, it will not be necessary. Once you can go beyond the confusion of the mental world, you can take any posture. You can meditate anywhere and any way you want to. But, in the beginning, it is really advisable to sit with your spine erect.

Question: Guru, I noticed that some of your disciples are married, and others are single and celibate. I was wondering if you could comment on how a person decides whether to do his sadhana in partnership or alone?

Sri Chinmoy: Either the seeker has to dive deep within to get the inner message or ask his spiritual Master to decide on the strength of the Master’s oneness with the Supreme. There is no hard and fast rule that everybody should get married or everybody should not get married. In some cases, the seekers make faster progress if they get married. In some cases, it would be simply impossible for them to make any progress if they got married. Their progress immediately would come to a standstill. It is the soul’s need that the seeker must fulfil.

Sometimes when two people join together, all their capacities are doubled. In the tug-of-war against ignorance, if two persons are pulling together on one side, naturally their strength will be greater than the strength of either one alone. But again, if they are not pulling together, if they are only fighting against each other all the time, then they just destroy themselves.

Some spiritual Masters, like Sri Ramakrishna, used to advise most seekers not to get married. They felt that if you were not married, you had won half the battle. But again, Sri Ramakrishna’s dearest spiritual son was Brahmananda. When Brahmananda got married, Sri Ramakrishna was quite happy. When his wife had a child, Sri Ramakrishna was extremely happy. But when the child died, Sri Ramakrishna started dancing with joy. He knew that it was necessary for Brahmananda to go through that experience for a few years. But in the case of Vivekananda, his mother and his relatives tried so hard to make him get married, but Sri Ramakrishna stood vehemently against it inwardly and outwardly. Sri Ramakrishna’s two main disciples were Vivekananda and Brahmananda. In one case he approved of marriage, and in one case he stood against it.

Question: I would like to lead a spiritual life, and my husband would, too. But he doesn't know which path to follow, and this is causing a lot of confusion as far as he is concerned. How can we know which path we should follow, and who our Guru is?

Sri Chinmoy: It is fairly easy to know who your Guru is if you are destined to accept spiritual life and a Master. When you go to a shop, there are quite a few things available, and you make your choice. I am a spiritual Master, and there are quite a few other spiritual Masters available. You please visit them. You will find that you have a kind of inner affinity for one particular Master. You can vote inwardly for the Master who gives you the utmost joy, and then accept him as your Master. If you see three or four individuals, give them marks. The one who acquires the highest mark is bound to be your teacher. The marks depend on a kind of inner feeling which is established between the Master and the seeker. You are the only one who is in a position to judge the Masters. The Master who gives you immediate joy or boundless joy is destined to be your Master. It is very easy to know.

Question: Why don't people have as much awareness of their soul while living as they do between one lifetime and another?

Sri Chinmoy: This world is the physical world. Inside the physical body is the soul. It is like a bird inside a cage. If the bird is outside the cage, it can fly or do anything it wants to. But when it is inside the cage, very limited scope it has — unless the owner allows the bird to come to the fore, to come outside the cage.

In the soul’s world, the soul can function most powerfully, because there is no obstruction. But here in the physical world there is constant obstruction. Here we are wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance, and the soul has to tolerate it to some extent. The soul does not approve of our shortcomings but, being compassionate, it tolerates them. But when the soul is in its own world, it enjoys freedom. There it does not have to wait for our stupid human life. There it enjoys full freedom.

If we pray and meditate, we can become fully aware of the soul’s divine activities. The more we pray soulfully, the sooner we will become aware of the soul’s divine activities. Only when we become spiritually conscious will we become automatically aware of the soul’s activities in the inner world.

Question: If you feel you have a sincere desire, how do you deal with the parts or aspects of yourself that you feel may not be sincere?

Sri Chinmoy: A part of your being is sincere and a part is not sincere. From the spiritual point of view, the part that is not co-operating or not siding with the aspiration-life is insincere. You want to get something from the desire-world or in the desire-world. But something is holding you back and telling you that the fulfilment of desire will only take you away from the Peace and Bliss which you are already getting. The sincere part of you wants only God, Truth, Light, Peace and Bliss.

In the desire-world, if you want something, you try to get it with your intense effort. You throw your heart and soul into getting it, as they say. But if something is telling you, “Don’t throw your heart and soul into this. It will only create more problems for you,” then it is the soul that is coming to the fore and pleading with you not to throw yourself into the desire-world. Again, it may happen that although you have desires, sometimes laziness comes in and tells you it is not worthwhile to fulfil them. So you will be the judge. If one moment you have the intense desire to do something and the next moment something tells you it is not worthwhile, that is only your lethargy standing in your way. But if the message comes from the very depth of your heart, from the depth of your being, then you can know that your soul is warning you not to dive into the sea of ignorance.

Question: I had the feeling last week that you were thinking about me, and I saw you smiling, and found myself smiling like you. Is that possible?

Sri Chinmoy: It is quite possible. Your inner being can easily identify itself with one of my inner beings. Since my inner beings know what I am doing — the way I smile, and so on — your inner being can easily see it or learn of it from my inner beings. It is quite possible. It is not your mental hallucination.

Question: I want to be in the spiritual life only.

Sri Chinmoy: You want to be in the spiritual life only, but where? In the Himalayan caves, or in the world-arena? Real spiritual life means carrying our Beloved Supreme inside our heart. When you go to the office, when you go to the supermarket, you can carry the Supreme inside your heart and inside your mind. At every moment you can try to manifest the Supreme.

At this moment, by holding meditation I am fulfilling the Supreme. The next moment, by playing tennis I am pleasing the Supreme. Right now I am answering your questions, and half an hour ago we had a very good, soulful meditation. In all these different ways the Supreme is being manifested. You also can manifest the Supreme in many different activities, but you have to surrender to His Will. God wants you, like me, to manifest Him through a life of action. Each time you get a thought, are you offering it to the Supreme? If the answer is yes, then you are doing the right thing. Whether it is a bad, undivine thought or a good, divine thought, if you can offer it to the Supreme, then you are doing the right thing.

For each action there is a thought, there is an idea, there is an ideal. If you are doing it soulfully, devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally, then you are more than perfect. You don’t have to live in a particular place in order to be spiritual. You have just meditated. That is wonderful. Now, if you have to go to school or to some other place, you can carry with you your spiritual consciousness. Your soulful consciousness you can take into all your outer activities. Otherwise, you may sit in front of your shrine for hours thinking of your friends, your enemies, or things that have happened. You can be closeted alone in your room, but millions of thoughts and ideas will enter into your mind. Nobody is there; you are not talking to anybody, and nobody is talking to you, but you and your mind are constantly talking to each other. That is just a waste of time.

It does not matter where you are, but what you are keeping inside your heart. If you are keeping good thoughts, divine thoughts, illumining thoughts, fulfilling thoughts inside your heart, then you are doing the right thing. If you are carrying me inside your heart as the oneness-representative of God, then you are doing the right thing. You don’t have to go anywhere. While walking, while talking, while eating, while running, while studying, if you can feel God’s Presence, then you are doing absolutely the right thing spiritually. Otherwise, no matter what you do, no matter where you go, you will not be satisfied. Always please try to fulfil the Supreme inside your heart. This is His creation. He has sent all of us to please Him and fulfil Him on earth in His own Way.

Question: Does intuition come about from having previous incarnations?

Sri Chinmoy: Everybody has previous incarnations, but very few people have developed intuition. It is not that. It is something that you have to acquire, either in this incarnation or in a previous incarnation or in a future incarnation. You will not get it because you have had thirty, forty, fifty or one hundred incarnations. It is like a university degree. If I have not studied, no matter how many incarnations I take, I will not automatically get it. Intuition is a subject that you have to study. In one of your incarnations you have to study it well and learn it.

Question: You have told us that the planet Saturn has a powerful relationship with us. Is there also a relationship between us and other planets, or are they just beautiful manifestations of the Supreme's multiplicity?

Sri Chinmoy: Very good question. Not only does Saturn have a connection with us; other planets also have a connection. Somebody can be more influenced by one planet than another, but each individual has some connection with the planets. Some souls are very powerful, or very receptive, or very fortunate, and the Supreme is extremely affectionate to those particular souls. So the planets also become more friendly with those souls. It is like pleasing the manager of a factory. If the boss likes someone, then the subordinates all try to be kind and nice to that person. So if the Supreme Boss is pleased with a particular soul, all the planets make it a point to be kind and affectionate and to offer their good qualities to that soul.

Ordinary people will be afraid of Saturn because Saturn represents renunciation. Ordinary householders invoke Saturn so that he will not come to them. They pray to Saturn: “Please do us a favour. Don’t come near us.” But when a spiritual person invokes Saturn, he says, “Please come and give me the message of renunciation. I don’t want to wallow in the pleasures of ignorance any longer. I want only God. I am wearing millions of ignorance garments. Please take them away.” That is the traditional Indian way. We renounce the things that are not essential to our spiritual life, the things that are of no use to us in realising God. We invoke Saturn to take away the things that give us no help, such as earthly desires. At that time, Saturn is a great help to the sincere seeker. But people who want to fulfil their earthly desires ask Saturn not to come to them.

Each soul is connected with some planet, and each planet has some influence on the soul. But it cannot be the same for each person. Sometimes it is very little, sometimes very much. When the seeker becomes spiritually advanced, on the verge of God-realisation, he or she can easily enter into the planet worlds. Some seekers are fortunate because the Absolute Supreme is fond of them. So the planets give them everything in order to make the Absolute Supreme happy. Again, when a seeker is sincerely aspiring and making very good progress, at that time all the planets may come to help him.

Question: What causes clothing to be uncomfortable? Sometimes I can't stand the feel of clothing against my skin.

Sri Chinmoy: Your clothing may have accepted wrong vibrations from the house or from the atmosphere. Even while you are driving inside your car, it may happen that somebody else throws his wrong vibrations at you. Clothing has a magnetic way of receiving vibrations. You are quite comfortable, but something or someone undivine passes by and his vibration enters into your coat or sari. When wrong vibrations enter into your clothing from anybody undivine, those forces will try to attack you.

Again, if you are in a wrong consciousness, your clothing may be an outer manifestation of the wrong forces inside you. It may happen that others are attacking you, or wrong forces inside you are trying to attack you. The last obstacle for these forces is your clothes. Then you find your clothes uncomfortable. If someone else is attacking you with wrong forces, then clothing is protection for you. The clothing becomes an obstruction to the forces trying to enter into you from the outside. For them it is an obstruction, and for you it is protection. Your clothes take the first attack. So when the first attack comes, please try to be conscious. Let all your inner purity come forward and permeate the length and breadth of your clothes. Then this problem will be solved.

Question: Guru, is it possible to be in your consciousness but not be conscious or aware that we are in your consciousness? If so, is it better to be consciously in your consciousness?

Sri Chinmoy: Something is better than nothing. But if you are consciously staying in my consciousness, it is infinitely better, more meaningful and more fruitful than if you are unconsciously staying inside my consciousness. If you remain unconsciously inside my heart and in my boat while I am taking you to the Golden Shore, a problem may arise. When you reach the Shore, you will first deny the Shore. How many storms the boat has weathered while coming to the destination, how much obstruction there has been, you will not know because you have not kept your eyes wide open. If you had been conscious of the difficulty, you would know how to value the destination properly.

Another thing is that if you have watched the pilot, then you will have learnt many, many things. In a thousand years or ten thousand years, each disciple will eventually have to do the same thing, according to his or her capacity. If you are not an ocean liner, you will have to become a small boat to carry others to the Golden Shore. If you are not conscious while I am carrying you, then you will not know how I cope with the water, with the storms and inclement weather.

It is always better to be consciously aware. If you are in the boat, that boat will eventually take you to the Shore. But you will not know how to come back to take others. Always, at every moment, be consciously aware of my presence inside your heart or your presence inside my heart. Then you will make the fastest progress, and this progress will constantly help you, me, the Supreme and the entire universe. If you can become conscious of my presence inside your heart and your presence inside my heart, then you will be pleasing the Supreme in His own Way, which is absolutely the best way.

Question: How can we know our mission in the spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: It is very easy. Somebody within us knows what our mission on earth is, and he who knows has to be invoked to come to the fore. We can know our mission if every day we meditate on the Supreme or pray to the Supreme to bring our soul to the fore. The soul has to come to the fore to inspire us. I have written considerably. I have lectured considerably. I have composed many songs. I have painted thousands and thousands of paintings. How do I do all this? I bring to the fore my soul. The soul is all the time one with the Supreme. It is inside us like a seed under the ground. If we cultivate it, it germinates and becomes a small plant and eventually a huge banyan tree. In the case of the soul also, from deep within it has to come forward to manifest itself. The more we can bring the soul to the fore consciously, the sooner we can be aware of our mission.

Right now, we use our mind most of the time. We feel that the mind knows everything. But actually the mind knows next to nothing. Later we come to feel that the heart knows everything. But even the heart does not know everything. It is the soul that knows everything. The heart is always eager to listen to the soul, whereas the mind quite often does not want to listen. Because the heart tries to listen, it gets considerable light from the soul.

We can feel the presence of our heart. But inside the heart we have to feel that there is something else, the soul. If we can bring to the fore the soul — its consciousness, its vibration and all its capacities — then definitely we shall know what is our mission on earth.

Question: Guru, a lady had an experience in which you made the sign of the cross on her forehead. You baptised and spoke to her daughter, then rose up. Was this a real experience from you?

Sri Chinmoy: One of my inner beings has given her this experience. You call it baptism. We call it, in our Indian way, initiation. This initiation is done in many ways. When it is done on the forehead, it means that we are bringing the inner vision forward. A seeker does not have to move around here and there in search of light. Light is inside him, but somebody has to bring it forward. For that, we need a teacher. The forehead is the place where light abides. One of my inner beings inwardly has blessed this lady and her child, since they have an inner cry to follow our path. It was all done in the inner worlds.