Father's Day: Father with his European children

Return to the table of contents

Question: Could you speak of the soul's worlds of the great spiritual Masters?

Sri Chinmoy: Each spiritual Master either has a world of his own or he belongs to a particular, special soul’s world. It depends on the calibre of the spiritual Master. In the inner world, all the sincere Masters are not of the same calibre. So, according to their calibre, according to their standard, they have their source. Spiritual Masters of the highest order have a world of their own, along with their disciples, devotees, admirers, followers and acquaintances. So if a Master is really very great, he has his own world. Otherwise, he belongs to some special soul’s world.

Question: How can one become more competent in fulfilling one's earthly duties?

Sri Chinmoy: One can become more competent in fulfilling one’s earthly duties by doing first one’s heavenly duties. Heavenly duties will never ask you to neglect your earthly duties. Only you have to do the first things first. Your heavenly duty is to remain in Light. If you are inundated with Light, then only can you enter into darkness and do what is needed there. Earthly duties are full of darkness. Heavenly duties are prayer, concentration, meditation, contemplation. If you do your heavenly duties first, you eventually embody Light. Then, with this Light, you can enter into the earthly duties. So first things first. With your heavenly duties — prayer, meditation, concentration — you will invoke Light; and once you are surcharged with Light, then you will attend to the earthly duties. Otherwise, you will never be able to acquire enough capacity to discharge your earthly duties.

Question: What is the spiritual significance of football?

Sri Chinmoy: From the spiritual point of view, football is extremely meaningful, soulful and fruitful. Each sincere seeker should pray to the Supreme to make him His football. When we kick a football, the football is at our mercy. The football is the instrument. We kick right, left, forward, backward and play with it according to our sweet will. Now, look at this football! It is far better than we are. The football does not quarrel with us, it does not fight us. At times the football, as an instrument, can fail us; the air can leak out, the bladder can burst, all kinds of problems can come up. But the main wish of the football is to please the football player.

We should consider ourselves to be footballs of the Supreme. The earthly football, the leather football is under compulsion to please its master. The football that we kick is under our control, at our mercy. It has become our instrument and it is pleasing us, although it may not be pleasing us cheerfully. But we should be conscious footballs always trying to please the Supreme cheerfully so that the Supreme can at any moment kick us, shape us, mould us, form us in His own way. We should be real divine footballs so that He can use us all the time in His own way, according to His sweet Will.

Question: What is the difference between God's Compassion and God's Justice?

Sri Chinmoy: The difference between God’s Compassion and God’s Justice is this: when we remain in God’s Consciousness, we feel there is no such thing as Justice; it is all Compassion. But when we remain in our own consciousness, then we feel that there is no such thing as Compassion; it is all Justice. When we live in the human consciousness, we say God is very cruel, unkind. When we live in the divine Consciousness, we realise He is all Compassion. The difference lies in us. If we live in ourselves, God is all Justice. If we live in God, then He is all Compassion.

Question: What is the highest question that a disciple can ask his Master?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends entirely on the development of the seeker. Each will ask the Master a question according to his own standard. The beginner will ask the Master, “How can I make my mind calm and quiet? My mind is bothering me and preventing me from making any progress.” This is a beginner’s question, according to his standard. Then, when one is very, very highly developed, when one is on the verge of realisation, he will ask the Master to tell him the date when he is going to get realisation. One who is on the verge of realisation has reached such a high level that he is begging the Master to tell him when he will realise God. And the other one will ask the Master how to make the mind calm and quiet. So it entirely depends on the standard of the seeker.

Question: Does creativity help purify our vital by redirecting our energies?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on what you create. Suppose you are an artist and you have painted say, an eggplant, or a carrot or a pencil; this will not purity your life. But if you draw my picture, if you draw something that has tremendous spiritual significance behind it, certainly it will help you. If you draw the sky, then the sky will give you a feeling of vastness. If you draw the ocean, then the ocean will give you consciousness. If you draw a boat, then the boat will give you a feeling of journey. You have to see the symbol behind the thing that you have drawn. No matter how beautifully you draw a carrot, or an eggplant or a tomato, still the consciousness will be limited. Even if it is extremely beautiful, how far can a tomato take you? Again, look how far the ocean or sky can take you. So you have to know what you are creating. Creation should be vast, boundless, sublime, so that it can carry you. Then you get the scope to purify your life. Otherwise, you will be bound by your own creation. If you enter into the ocean, it purifies you; If you enter into the sky, it purifies you. But if you enter into the carrot-consciousness, then it will not be able to purify you.

Question: How is it, Guru, that your songs always give us such wonderful results?

Sri Chinmoy: My songs give such wonderful results because my songs are my inner experiences. Most of the experiences I get from you people. So they are really your own experiences. My inner experiences I get from you — from your heights, from your sufferings and from your joy. Your own experiences I bring to the fore and use for humanity. They are something of yours that secretly I have stolen. In your own way you do not know how to express them, but I do know how to express them. Therefore, when you receive or hear my songs, your inner being makes you feel something of your own, although your outer being is not aware of it. When somebody shows you or tells you about your own thing, you get tremendous joy. Your outer mind is not aware of it, but your inner being is fully aware of it.

Question: What creates the feeling of restlessness in every life?

Sri Chinmoy: What creates restlessness? Restlessness indicates dissatisfaction with what we see and what we have and what we are. If we have peace of mind, anything that we have, anything that we are, anything that we are growing into is enough for us today. But tomorrow God will give us a new aspiration, so that we can go still higher. When there is peace, satisfaction is constantly increasing and inner hunger is also increasing. But when there is restlessness, we will feel there is no satisfaction. That is why it is like a mad elephant, going from this side to that side.

How do we get peace of mind? We get peace of mind only when we feel that there is some higher Authority that is thinking of us, that is showing us His Love, His Concern. If we feel there is somebody far above us who is thinking of us and showing us Concern, Compassion, Love, Blessings, then only does our restlessness go away.

Question: How may we maintain the strength to meditate regularly?

Sri Chinmoy: Just think of your food. Regularly you feed your physical body. Because you are fond of your physical body, you eat every day so that you will live on earth. You can be fond of your soul as well. If you are fond of your soul, then naturally you will feed your soul through your prayer and meditation. You want to stay on the physical plane; therefore, you eat regularly. If you want to stay also on the inner plane, the subtle plane, God’s real plane, then naturally you will pray and meditate. The physical you are pleasing, and the soul also you have to please.

Question: Which comes first, the mind's clarity or the heart's purity?

Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes they can come together. The mind walks ten steps and the heart walks ten steps and they come together. Or it can happen that the heart takes nine steps and the mind takes one step. Still, the mind is willing to be one with the heart. But sometimes the heart will come right up to the mind, but the mind hides. Then they can’t be together.

Very often only the heart’s purity can give the mind clarity, because the heart’s purity has much more power in it. It is like mother and child. The child can only crawl; he can only take one step. But the mother can take nine steps to meet the child. The heart is much more spiritual and powerful in every way in the inner world. But in the outer world the mind is stronger; it is defeating the heart. The earthly mind, limited mind, doubtful mind, sophisticated mind, intellectual mind — these things are all creating problems. But in the inner world, the heart is much stronger. Therefore, the heart has to come closer to the mind. Either they can both come to each other, or one has to come to save the other. Here, the heart has to come to save the mind. Most of the time, it is the heart’s purity that has to come first to bring clarity to the mind.

Question: How can I increase my capacity to accept love?

Sri Chinmoy: You can increase your capacity to accept love by giving love to others. The more you give, the more you receive. So if you are able to give more love to mankind, then you will be able to receive from mankind. Self-expansion is God-expansion. You are expanding your own reality inside God’s Universal Reality. So the more love you give, the more you get from mankind and also from God.

So when you miss God, that is a very good sign, an extremely good sign. The first step is to miss Him. But then you have to go one step ahead and ask yourself whether the person you miss is universal. If you feel that He is universal, then you know that He is bound to be here, where you are. Therefore, you do not cry for Him. You try to see Him all around you, since He is universal. And if you want to see Him around you, then your aspiration has to be the strongest.

Our progress depends entirely on our sincerity. At home I spend hours and hours in my chair. But my chair will never realise God before you. Impossible! I may go to a disciple’s house only once a year; I may not go to a disciple’s house at all. But the disciple will realise God long, long before my chair and the other things that I use and have around me. Progress entirely depends on what you consciously want, and from whom. My chair does not consciously want God-realisation from me. Again, you may live thousands of miles from my house, but if you are consciously knocking at my heart’s door, naturally your progress will be infinitely faster than the progress of some individual who may stand in front of me and talk with me, but has no aspiration. So progress entirely depends on the inner necessity, inner cry and how badly one needs the Master.

Question: Is the Divine Mother married to God?

Sri Chinmoy: All those who have accepted the spiritual life are married to God. It is not only women like St Theresa who are married to God. All, all, all those who have accepted God as their Master, all those who pray to God, are married to God. Here marriage means oneness. Marriage is not only oneness between two human beings, between man and woman; it is also oneness between God and man, oneness between the Creator and the creation. We are all creations of God. The creations and the Creator become one on the strength of love.

Question: What do you mean when you say Universal Reality?

Sri Chinmoy: Universal Reality is the reality that is not seen or felt in infinitesimal measure. You cannot take out a portion of the Universal Reality; it is not something that can be broken into various pieces. You can’t separate a portion from Existence. Universal Reality means the Reality from which nothing can be taken out. It is whole, complete, unlimited. Universal Reality means the Reality that came from the Transcendental Vision of the Supreme. The Transcendental Vision and the Universal Reality are one. They cannot be separated. The Supreme’s Transcendental Vision is universal. The Creator came down from above and then He became the universe.

Question: What does the song of the birds say?

Sri Chinmoy: The song of the birds says that there is no death. The birds fly in the sky. The sky signifies Infinity. If one remains in Infinity, then how can there be any death? So the song of the birds always declares the Immortality of the soul.

Question: What is the whirling, giddy sensation I sometimes feel during meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: It is your physical weakness. You must drink more juice, more milk; you are physically not strong. If the house is not in good condition, then the inhabitant cannot stay there. The inhabitant is the soul. Your soul is praying inside you. If your body is not strong, then how will you have good meditation? If the house is not in good condition, inside the house the inhabitant will not feel well. The inmate will always feel uneasy, upset, sick. So here also, in your case, please make the body strong.

Question: Why do I at times find it so difficult to live in the heart?

Sri Chinmoy: You do live in the heart. But everybody who is aspiring at times finds it difficult to remain in the heart all the time. If everybody were all the time in the heart, then everything would become perfect. Now, why is it that you do not always live in the heart? Sometimes you are mixing with people who are of the mental type. When you are dealing with customers, colleagues, acquaintances, they may not be at all spiritual. At that time you are assailed by their thoughts, their ideas. They live on the mental plane, so naturally they come and attack you on the mental plane and there you are engaged. You are not able to remain inside your heart. Actually, you are remaining in the heart, but you are not always conscious of your presence inside the heart. So the more you can become conscious of your presence inside the heart, the more you can be conscious of your heart-consciousness, the sooner the mind will surrender to your heart. If you are conscious of your consciousness that is inside the heart, then your mind will have to surrender to your heart.

Question: Do we truly reap all we sow, from every thought, from every action?

Sri Chinmoy: As we sow, so we reap. This is true. But at the same time, if you pray to God, if you meditate on God, then God’s Compassion can nullify your mistakes. When you pray and meditate, your prayer-power and meditation-power can nullify the wrong forces that come from your bad thoughts. So it is true that if you do something wrong, if you touch fire, naturally the fire will burn your fingers. But at the same time, there will be some protective power to prevent you from touching the fire.

If a child goes and strikes another child, he knows that this child will come and strike him back. So what will he do? He will immediately go to his father. The father is stronger and he protects the child. In this case, the Father is the Supreme. If you mix with ignorance and then ignorance wants to devour you, if you run to the Father before ignorance can devour you, the Father will show His utmost Compassion and save you from ignorance. It all depends on how much Compassion you can receive from the Supreme.

Question: How can we see if we make enough progress?

Sri Chinmoy: When you have made enough progress, you will be able to know it just by the fact that at every moment you have some inner joy. Also, you will not be disturbed by the result of your actions. Suppose you engage in a particular undertaking, an action, and from this you want to have satisfactory results. If you have not made enough progress, then you will feel miserable if the result is a failure. But if the result is a failure, and still you remain cheerful, you will know that you have made tremendous progress. You have given most importance to the action, divinely done, but not to the result thereof. If the result creates problems for you, if failure disturbs you, then you have not made real progress. But if you have made real progress, true progress, then the result will never bother you. If it is good, if it is success, well and good. If it is failure, it will not bother you at all; there will be always a sweet, sweet feeling of satisfaction inside your heart.

Question: Is our progress slower if we miss you when you go away?

Sri Chinmoy: This question can be dealt with in various ways. If you miss someone, then naturally you will try to bring that person into your consciousness. You miss me, so you try to invoke my presence. You miss the Supreme, so you invoke the Presence of the Supreme. You are a sincere seeker, so definitely you miss the Supreme. You have become a sincere seeker just because you miss the Supreme.

When you miss God, you feel that He is very far away, in Heaven. Since you are not seeing Him, you feel He is somewhere else, somewhere else, somewhere else. So naturally you miss Him. But your prayer and your meditation will one day tell you that he is everywhere, everywhere. Then you say, “If He is everywhere, why am I not seeing Him? That means my prayer can be stronger. My prayer, my meditation is sincere, but it can be stronger. Now it is strong, tomorrow it can be stronger, the day after tomorrow it can be strongest. So when my prayer and meditation become strong, stronger, strongest, at that time I will be able to see God.” It is like your two little children. Now they are studying and they are doing well. But even if they try hard, they won’t get their Master’s degree for twenty or twenty-five years. Here also, you have to pray and meditate most soulfully for many years before you can see God.

Question: When I see something beautiful, why do I feel sad?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two reasons. One reason is that the vital comes forward and becomes jealous of the thing. Since you are not as beautiful as the other person or thing, naturally you become jealous and this jealousy is expressed as sadness. There is another reason, a spiritual reason why you become sad when you see something beautiful. Your own inner cry, your heart’s inner cry to become really beautiful, becomes one with the beauty of that particular thing. At that time, the sadness that you feel is not really sadness; it is not vital sadness. It is psychic sadness, which is the purest oneness. Psychic sadness for God, for Truth, for Light is extremely good. So if you are in a spiritual consciousness and you feel sad, that means your inner cry wants to establish its oneness with the beauty you are seeing. But if you are in a lower consciousness, a vital consciousness, then it is jealousy that is expressing itself as sadness inside you.

Question: How can I still my restless mind during meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: During meditation, please try to feel that you are not the body, not the mind, but the soul. By all the time thinking of the mind, you are having problems. The mind is not listening to you. If you constantly are thinking of the mind, then you will never get rid of the mind; it will never leave you. But if you think of something that is not the mind, something that does not require the mind and, at the same time, has infinitely more illumining capacity than the mind, you will be able to go beyond the mind. And what is this thing that is infinitely higher and more powerful than the mind? It is the soul. So when you pray and meditate, please feel that you are not the body, you are not the mind, but you are the soul, which embodies boundless light. During your meditation, please try to consciously invoke the soul or feel that you have become the soul. Do not pay any attention to the mind, but pay all attention to the soul, which you eternally are.

Question: When I write stories for you, why do I shake?

Sri Chinmoy: When you write stories, your physical mind feels reverential awe. You feel, “Guru is so great, so vast; how am I going to write about him? No matter what I write, it will not be adequate.” But this is all in the physical mind. When you become one with me on the strength of your heart’s aspiration and love, on the strength of your devotion and surrender, at that time you feel an inner thrill, inner joy, inner ecstasy when you are writing about me. So if you offer love, devotion and surrender the moment you start writing, it is inner ecstasy that you enjoy. But when inner ecstasy inundates your entire being, sometimes it is beyond the capacity of the physical frame to assimilate it. You can’t store it; therefore you shake with this inner ecstasy. That is a very good experience.

When you are not in a higher consciousness while you are writing, at that time your mind will know my height and my depth; so a sort of reverential awe comes about. But what you experience when you are in a soulful consciousness is divine ecstasy, and that expresses itself in the physical and makes the entire body shake.

Question: What causes a twisted feeling in the heart during meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: This twisted feeling is nothing but an opening of the heart centre. Now the heart centre may take a few months or a few years or many, many years to open, but when you feel a kind of twisted feeling, a twinge, it signifies the inner opening of the heart centre. What causes the feeling? It is your inner aspiration. When you have intense aspiration, you will get that type of feeling inside the heart. It is very good. But this feeling that you get is not in the physical heart; it is inside the spiritual heart. So when you feel that kind of twisted feeling, it is a sign of tremendous progress.

Question: Can you tell us about the first animal that evolved into a human being?

Sri Chinmoy: According to our traditional Indian mythology, there were ten manifestations of Vishnu. In the animal kingdom, the bull was one of the manifestations. The bull was the animal in which Lord Vishnu expressed His divinity. But this is just according to tradition. From my own inner experience, I wish to say that it was the lion that entered first into the human field. The lion represents divine Victory; it was the divine force that acted in and through the lion to bring the animal consciousness into the human consciousness. It was a great victory for the animal kingdom to come out into the human kingdom; and it was a great victory for the human kingdom to get a creature from the animal kingdom to come and join the human life.

The divine force which is embodied in a dynamic and most powerful way is visible inside the lion. Even now, when the lion roars, it expresses divinity, power and the dynamism to conquer ignorance. How can ignorance be conquered? Ignorance can be conquered only by going beyond ignorance, by going beyond the limits where you are right now. The lion had to transcend the limits of the animal consciousness by means of some higher form, and that higher power was the divine Grace. Divine Grace entered into the lion and brought it into the human kingdom.

So from my own spiritual experience, I wish to say that the lion was the first animal to enter into the human kingdom. But according to our Indian mythology, it was the bull, through Lord Vishnu.

Question: How can I spread my love to humanity?

Sri Chinmoy: You can spread your love to people provided you can see all the time your Beloved inside them. Your Beloved is the Supreme. If you see the Supreme inside them, then you will do everything for them. If you see beauty inside something, then you will touch it. If you don’t see beauty, if you see darkness and ugliness, you won’t touch it. So if you see God’s Presence inside humanity, then only will you love humanity. You have to see something divine; then only will you love. If you can see the Beloved Supreme inside each and every human being, then automatically you will have love and respect for humanity.

It is like a flower. You care for a flower because the flower has fragrance and beauty. But if there is no beauty, no fragrance, then you don’t like the flower. Similarly, God is there inside human beings. God is the fragrance and beauty. So if you like the fragrance and beauty, then naturally you will like the flower, humanity.

God the Love is inside everything that we see. If we love God, and we do love Him because He is all Love, then whatever He has created, we also love. He is bound to be in His creation just because He is everywhere, just because He is omnipresent. So if you can love God the Love, then automatically you increase your love for everything. God the Love embraces everything and is inside everything. So if you care for the Source, the Creator, then automatically you care for the creation.

Question: How can we conquer our indifference over our lack of aspiration?

Sri Chinmoy: Indifference is not the right thing. We should not be indifferent to anything. We shall give due value to everything and everyone according to God’s inner Will within us. The real problem is not indifference but lack of aspiration. How can you give more value to aspiration? You can give more value to aspiration only by knowing what aspiration can give to you. Always try to see the goal inside. You see a fruit. You know that if you eat the fruit, then only you are satisfied. So try to feel that aspiration is a fruit, but it will give you satisfaction only if you eat it. You have to aspire every day, every day. Then, the result you get is realisation.

So you will be able to give all value to aspiration when you know that aspiration will give you realisation, aspiration will give you supreme satisfaction. If you know the ultimate result of what you are doing, you will not lack aspiration. You lose aspiration because you do not remember all the time what aspiration can do for you. People pray for two days, two months, two years, and then they totally forget the goal. But this is not enough. You have to pray for twenty years. When you use a stove, you have to turn the handle to a particular point before the fire comes on. But if you just start turning it and do not continue, then there will be no fire at all. So here also, your aspiration has to come to a particular point; then only will it give you realisation.

Aspiration becomes monotonous after a few years. Instead of climbing up the tree, people descend. So what you have to do is feel what aspiration will bring you. If you look at the thing that is after aspiration, which is realisation, then naturally you will want to fully prepare yourself, energise yourself, inundate yourself with aspiration. So always look one step ahead; look one step ahead to realisation. Then you will not be wanting in aspiration. You will be flooded with aspiration.

Question: How can I see my Master always as the diamond of my heart?

Sri Chinmoy: You can see your Master always as the diamond of your heart just by aiming at constant, conscious, unconditional surrender to his will. There should be no individual will of yours, no personal will of yours. Him to please in his own way, at every moment, at every moment, should be your goal. When you do everything unconditionally, in his own way, constantly, unreservedly, cheerfully, then you can get the Master always as the diamond of your heart. On the strength of your constant surrender and constant willingness to please the Master in his own way, you will get the Master as the diamond of your heart.

Question: Can godparents enhance the spirituality of their godchildren by prayer and meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly, not only godparents, but anybody can enhance the spirituality of somebody else by prayer and meditation. And if they are godparents, it means they have already taken some responsibility for their godchildren. So naturally their prayer is bound to be fulfilled, provided they are sincere in their prayer. When somebody is already connected to someone, and he is anxious to be of service to that other person, naturally the connection will enhance his ability to serve. You will always try to give more light to the persons you love. Since godparents definitely love their godchildren, their own spiritual practice, without fail, will enhance the spirituality of their godchildren. It is not only possible, but inevitable.

Question: While travelling, I cannot meditate regularly. How important is that for me?

Sri Chinmoy: While travelling, you can meditate regularly if you want to. Spirituality, meditation, is as important as your life-breath. You know that if you do not breathe in, you will die. Similarly, in the spiritual world, in the soul’s world, if you don’t meditate, then you become a dead soul.

You can’t live on earth with yesterday’s food. Just because you ate yesterday, you can’t say that you won’t need to eat today. No. Yesterday you ate, so you are nourished; and today you have to eat again. Regularity is of paramount importance. If you are regular in everything, if you consciously meditate every day, then you will be able to make fast progress. But if there is no conscious effort, then you cannot make fast progress. So, while you are travelling, you have to make it a point to meditate regularly. Without regularity, you cannot achieve anything abiding. Before you enter into the plane, easily you can meditate for five minutes. If you have to go to the airport at a particular time, then before you leave, meditate at home for half an hour. Or if you go to the airport earlier, meditate there. Or when you enter the plane, before the other passengers come you can meditate. Where there is a will, there is a way. This is absolutely true. So please do it.

Question: How can the need for affection and admiration be overcome?

Sri Chinmoy: The need for affection is not bad, but the need for admiration creates problems. We all need affection from God, affection from our dear ones. It is the mutual giving of affection that keeps us alive. Without the mother’s affection, it is impossible for us to live. But without admiration, easily we can live. The absence of affection from our dear ones is simply death. But if somebody does not admire us, no harm. Affection is in the same category as love. But admiration is totally different. When we are admired, the ego can come to the fore and destroy us. But when we are shown affection and loved, at that time our divine qualities increase. So when you get affection and love, you don’t have to worry. But when you get admiration, you have to be careful.

If you want to conquer your need for admiration, you have to feel that admiration is short-lived. Also you have to know that the people who are admiring you today may not be sincerely admiring you. For their own motives they are admiring you. Or you have to feel that this admiration is not leading you to anything; only it is increasing your ego. But if you get sincere love, sincere affection from someone, then your heart is expanding, your joy is increasing. So you don’t have to try to overcome it.

Question: Is the path to God-realisation through Duality or Non-Duality?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways. The Creator started with one: God the Silence, Brahman. Then, from Silence it came to Sound. In Silence is our realisation. When we realise God, it is God the Silence that we realise. Then again, God the Sound we can also realise. When we realise God as Silence, at that time it is Non-Duality. But when we realise God as Sound, at that time it is Duality. God in his highest Height, God unrevealed is one. But when the One wants to reveal itself, this does not mean that it has come down, no. It can reveal itself on the same plane. God can remain at the top of the tree and then we will climb up to Him to get the fruits. Again, if He wants, God can climb down the tree and enter into the world of multiplicity. When He remains at the top of the tree, we call it Non-Duality. When He comes down to distribute the fruits, we call it Duality.

Silence and Sound go together. If we realise the Silence-aspect, then we see reality as Non-Duality. But if we realise the Sound-aspect, then there is Duality, because manifestation is multiplicity. As soon as the tree has one branch, it becomes dual. Then, when it gets many branches and leaves, it enters into multiplicity. The Self, before it is revealed, is expressed as Silence, as Non-Duality. But when it becomes visible to us, its reality as Silence does not go away. It is only to our vision that it is duality or multiplicity. But its inner Reality as Silence it maintains.

So when you want to realise God as Silence, He is at that time Non-Duality. But when you want to realise God as Sound, then He is Duality. In the field of creativity, in the field of manifestation, God is many. But in the field of realisation, He is One. In the Universal Consciousness, God is many. In the Transcendental Consciousness, God is One. If you want to realise Him as One, then He is ready. At that time you will see Him as one Height. If you see Him spreading His Arms, at that time He is becoming many. But He is the same God.

Question: How can I know God's Will in my daily life?

Sri Chinmoy: You can know God’s Will in your daily life if early in the morning you offer your utmost gratitude to God for what He has already done for you. When you offer your gratitude-heart, then it expands; and when it expands it becomes one with God’s Universal Reality. Gratitude-heart blossoms like a flower. When the flower is fully blossomed, then you appreciate and admire it. In your case also, when your heart of gratitude blossoms, immediately God is pleased. So if you offer gratitude to God for what He has already done for you, then naturally God’s sweet Will will operate in and through you. Early in the morning, before you meditate or do anything, offer as much gratitude as possible; offer your soulful tears just because you have become what you are now. If you do this, eventually you will become infinitely more than what you are now. So gratitude will be able to make you feel what God’s Will is. God’s Will will act in and through you and God will do everything in and through you, and for you, if you offer gratitude.

Question: How can one best overcome negative forces?

Sri Chinmoy: One can best overcome negative forces just by becoming more aware of positive forces. If you want to conquer darkness, use your light-force. There are two rooms. One room is full of light and the other room is full of darkness. If you want to overcome anything that is negative or destructive, then you don’t go to that room. You go to the one that has the positive aspects of life, that has Light, Peace and Bliss. You go to the room that has the positive qualities. Then all these positive qualities you try to assimilate. Once you are inundated with the positive qualities, then you can enter into the room with the negative forces.

So pay no attention to the negative forces. Pay attention only to the positive forces, positive forces, positive forces. Let the positive forces become extremely powerful in your life; then you will be able to overcome the negative forces. But if in the beginning you start to pay attention to the negative forces, then you will be destroyed.

Question: What is our relationship to the plant kingdom in our aspiration-life?

Sri Chinmoy: Our relationship to the plant kingdom should be extremely sweet. The plant kingdom has real aspiration. We don’t see the seed; it is under the ground. But when we see the plant, we see how it aspires to become a tree and then how it aspires to have flowers. The Indian scientist JC Bose discovered how plants quarrel and fight for their own existence. But here we are dealing with their aspiration.

The relationship between the plant kingdom and your own existence is extremely important, extremely deep, extremely intimate. First you are a child. Because you are a child, you aspire to become physically strong, tall. You are a seed that germinates into a plant. Then you become an adolescent, and all the time you are dreaming of becoming a tree, a spiritual tree. So there is a child in you, a soul, that aspires to become a spiritual banyan tree. Plant life and human life are like two brothers. One human brother and one plant brother are here together. Your plant brother is reminding you of your aspiration. The plant brother is going upward to reach the sky and this helps to increase your own aspiration. It makes you feel that you also have to grow into your divinity to reach the highest.

Question: If someone has brain damage or senility, can he make spiritual progress?

Sri Chinmoy: Spiritual progress does not depend on our physical ability or inability. One can make progress even when one is dying. It is his hour, his life is ending, but still he has inner aspiration, there is an inner cry. So this inner cry can give him progress. Again, spiritual progress one can make even after one has just left the body, provided one has maintained a connection with Mother Earth.

One thing is called conscious progress and another thing is called unconscious progress. If the brain is damaged, our physical mind will not be able to know if we are making progress. When the brain is damaged, we cannot make conscious progress; but unconscious progress is there because the inner heart does not depend on the brain. Only the physical mind will not be able to know how much progress the inner heart has made in and through the physical body. Progress is always noticeable with our inner eye. With our human eye we don’t see the progress, even if there is nothing wrong with our brain. But our inner eye constantly shows us the progress that we have made in each incarnation, no matter how much the physical is suffering.

So if there is inner cry, then there is bound to be some progress. Brain damage or senility cannot stand in the way of our inner progress. Outer progress may be limited with brain damage; how can you expect any progress in the outer life? But in the inner life, as long as one remains on earth, he can make progress if there is an intense inner cry, which does not depend on the brain at all.

Question: Why is it that sometimes I can't see you clearly inwardly when I meditate on you?

Sri Chinmoy: You cannot see me clearly sometimes because your meditation is not high. It is like cooking something. If someone is an ordinary cook, then one day he cooks well and the next day he cannot cook well because he is not an expert. But when this same person becomes an expert, he cooks extremely well every day. In the beginning, one cannot dance well; his steps all go wrong. Then a few months later, sometimes he dances perfectly, sometimes he does not dance well. But there comes a time when he becomes a great dancer and he always dances well. So here also, when you continuously pray and meditate, you become an expert. Then you are bound to see me clearly all the time.

A little child can crawl, but his aim is to stand up and walk. Right now he can stand up for one fleeting second and then he falls down. But he knows that his aim is to stand up and walk. Your aim is to see me clearly all the time; that is your goal. Like the child who wants to stand up and walk, if the goal is clear, then you are bound to reach that goal.

Question: What qualities can we gain from the plant kingdom?

Sri Chinmoy: We can gain aspiration to grow high, higher, highest to reach the sky, and also we can gain patience. The plant wants to grow into a tree, but it cannot grow into a tree overnight. It needs patience. Our aim is to reach the highest goal. This aim for the highest we can learn from the plant kingdom. And, at the same time, what we need is patience. That also we can learn from the plant kingdom. So these two supreme qualities — aspiration to reach the highest and patience to wait for God’s Hour — we will learn from the plant kingdom.

Question: If the soul evolves from the rock consciousness, are there dead rocks?

Sri Chinmoy: Everything has a soul. If the time has come for the soul to evolve, then it will be replaced. Nothing remains without a soul. The soul is like the inhabitant of a house. Let us say this is your house. But you are outgrowing this place, or you have become very rich, so you want to live in a better house. You go to another house. Now, poor me, I need to have a house suitable for my own financial background. So I come here, because I cannot afford to go to a better place. Money here is like aspiration. If one soul is aspiring much more powerfully than another soul, then it will go higher. Then another soul, an absolutely raw, beginning soul, is coming to take its place. So all the houses have to be occupied by souls. Nothing remains unoccupied by a soul. When one soul progresses from the rock world, then that rock will not remain dead. Another soul will enter the rock. God every second is constantly creating millions of souls. So that particular rock will be inhabited by another soul.

Question: How can I best feel that I am an instrument of the Supreme?

Sri Chinmoy: You can best feel that you are an instrument of the Supreme if you can feel that there is no other reality but the Supreme. This is the first step. Then you have to feel that you can live without God, you can live without yourself, but God cannot live without you. A child hides. He is pretending that he can live without the mother but while pretending, he looks around to see if the mother is coming to find him. On the one hand, he pretends that he does not need the mother; that is why he hides. On the other hand, he waits and looks to see if the mother is actually coming to get him. This same child, when he grows into an adolescent, makes the mother feel and makes himself feel that he actually does not need his mother. He can live all by himself. He goes to some school and he does not keep in touch with his mother. But the mother’s heart is always for the son. The son feels that the mother needs him whether or not he needs her.

So if you can make yourself feel that you are needed by God, whether you need God or not, then your problem is solved. It is not your human ego that is saying, “I am very great. I do not need God, but God needs me.” No. Just because God has so much more knowledge and wisdom, He needs you. Just because He is the Creator, He is conscious of His creation. I am not the Creator; therefore, I can forget. The inferior sometimes finds it demeaning to go to the superior because he feels he will lose his individuality. Sometimes the inferior will feel that if he remains aloof, then he will maintain his sense of individuality. But the superior knows that the inferior is not a different reality.

A tiny drop may feel that it will have nothing to do with the ocean. If it mixes with the ocean, it feels the ocean will devour it. Then it won’t exist any more. But the ocean knows that it consists of all the countless drops; therefore, how can the ocean exclude the tiny drop? Only by virtue of the countless drops has it become the ocean. But the tiny drop wants to maintain its own individuality by staying separate. “If I mix with the ocean, then I will be totally lost. The best thing is to remain aloof.” But if you are sincere, you will feel that you are of God and also that He needs you more, because He is aware of how your existence is part of His, whether or not you are aware of it.

Question: What will happen to you when you leave the body?

Sri Chinmoy: When I leave the body, I will go to the soul’s world and enjoy a rest. And from there also, as from here, I will not allow sincere disciples to make friends with ignorance, to mix with ignorance. Here, at the foot of the tree, I am begging you not to mix with ignorance. There I will sit on the topmost branch of the tree of Eternal Life and shout down. As I bark at you from the foot of the tree so that you will not do the wrong thing, from there I will do the same; only the place will be different.

Question: How can we discover and develop our divine qualities?

Sri Chinmoy: You can discover your divine qualities by digging deep within. As a miner digs and gets something, you also can dig. Digging here means your inner cry. When you cry, you dive deep within. And you can develop your divine qualities by constantly crying. In order to discover your divine qualities, you have to cry constantly. And then, when you have a constant inner cry, automatically you will develop all your divine inner qualities. Each time you cry you dig deep within; and when you dig deep within you develop your qualities. So, at every moment, please think of the instrument that digs inside you. It is your aspiration. Just as a miner uses an implement to dig in the ground, you also need a constant inner cry to dig in your heart.

Question: How can I have heartfelt love for all humanity?

Sri Chinmoy: You can have heartfelt love for all humanity only when you love the Source. God created us. We did not create God. So in order to love all humanity, you have to go to humanity’s Source, God. If you love the root, then only can you love the tree. The root here is God. If you are conscious of the Source and the qualities the Source has, then only can you really love mankind. You cannot love any human being unless and until you love God. If you can make yourself feel that you love God and God alone, and nobody else, then you love everyone, for God is Someone who is inside everyone. If you say you love him or you love her, from that individual love you cannot go to love of God. But from love of God you can go to love of humanity. If you can please and love the Highest, God, then automatically you will be pleasing and loving humanity as well.

Question: What is real selfless service?

Sri Chinmoy: Real selfless service is that which does not expect a favourable result. Selfless service is only for the sake of self-giving; the result will come naturally. If there is an action, there will be a reaction. But the action will be performed not to please ourselves in our own way, but to please God in His own Way. We shall act when we are inspired from within. We shall work soulfully and consciously. For seven hours, eight hours, ten hours we shall be inspired from within. If we work without inspiration, then we are working mechanically, like workers in a factory who do not want to be there. We have become another machine. Selfless service is not like that. It is cheerful, soulful, conscious and constant. First it is soulful service; then it is selfless; and finally, when it becomes unconditional and uncaring for the result, then it becomes perfect selfless service. So make it, please, unconditional.

Question: Is it certain that every human will be realised and earth will be illumined?

Sri Chinmoy: It is absolutely certain that everybody will be realised. Not only will every human being be realised, but also all those in the animal kingdom will eventually come into the human kingdom and then they too will be realised. No creation of God will remain unrealised and unillumined. Earth will definitely be illumined; only it is a matter of time. God’s entire creation has to realise God. This is God’s decree. Otherwise, God’s Game will not be complete.

Question: Do we take most of our incarnations in one country? And does each country have a different type of soul?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the soul. One soul may take only one incarnation in a particular country, and one soul may take four or five incarnations in the same country. There is no hard and fast rule. It entirely depends on the Supreme’s Will.

The soul of each country has some inherent wish or urge to reveal and manifest God in a particular way. If it is an Indian soul, it may be through peace; an American soul, through power; an English soul, through nobility. So the soul of each country is different.

Question: How do you combat illness when trying to meditate?

Sri Chinmoy: The best thing is to cure the illness before you meditate. But if it is impossible, then while you are meditating, please totally forget about the illness. For a few minutes while you are meditating, just consciously forget; keep the negative force away from your mind. At that time, the meditative power, the power of your meditation, will enter into the illness and it will be overcome. When the positive force comes from your meditation, then illness, or the negative force, can be conquered.

Question: Are one's visions of God as Form influenced by one's cultural upbringing?

Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes it is true that one can have a vision of God that is influenced by one’s tradition or culture. But again, it may not be so. When, on the strength of our own aspiration, we realise God, at that time it is up to God how He will appear before us. In some countries they have very fixed ideas, fixed notions that God will be like this or like that. The Indian gods and goddesses have all kinds of forms. Again, there are many Westerners who have not read Indian books at all, but they get the experiences of the Indian cosmic gods and goddesses. And at the same time, there are many Indians who have not studied your Bible and Scriptures, but they do see angels and all kinds of things. So if religious tradition has formed some mental concept of God, the seekers may see God in this way when they are realising the Truth. And in some cases, what they see may be entirely determined by God’s own Will operating in and through them. There is no hard and fast rule. It entirely depends on God’s Will.

Question: What is the difference between self-confidence and ego?

Sri Chinmoy: Ego wants to increase its power and lord it over others. Ego becomes powerful, more powerful, most powerful in order to dominate others. In ego there is no sense of oneness. But self-confidence is a different matter. It says, “I am God; therefore, I must be for God.” Self-confidence comes from an inner source, a higher source. We get confidence from there, from our inner existence, from our own inner reality. There is a divine root there. But ego does not have any root. Ego’s root is only ignorance. When we have the confidence to become good, we remember who we are: “I am God’s son. I came here to do work for God. I am not an unaspiring person. I am meant for spiritual life. I have to realise God, because that is what God wants.” But ego does not care for God-realisation. Ego only cares for separation. I, you, he, she — this is ego. Ego will give us the message of separativity; whereas self-confidence will say, “I am all-pervading. If I am all-pervading, if I and my Father are One, then it is beneath my dignity to mix with anything that separates me from another creation of God, another human being.” So self-confidence wants to become universal, whereas ego wants only to dominate others. Ego separates in order to show its existence; self-confidence shows its existence by becoming omnipresent, by becoming one with God.

Question: Guru, how can we learn the language of your inner silence?

Sri Chinmoy: You can learn the language of my inner silence by doing two things: by becoming more sincere in what you are doing and by becoming more dynamically peaceful in what you are doing. Peacefulness can be lethargic and it can be dynamic. If you become dynamic in your peaceful life, then you will know my inner consciousness, my inner silence. Peaceful life is inner silence. So increase your sincerity and increase your dynamic qualities inside your peaceful life. Then you are bound to learn, bound to know the language of my inner silence.

Question: Would you please tell us something about the transitional stages of concentration, meditation and contemplation?

Sri Chinmoy: Concentration is the focus of our attention on something very minute, finite, subtle, small. When we concentrate, we have to focus our attention on the tiniest thing possible. When we meditate, we have to meditate on the largest thing possible. From the tiniest, we develop the capacity to meditate on the largest. Martin, when you were a child, at that time, with greatest difficulty, you learned the letter ‘m,’ then ‘a,’ then ‘r,’ then ‘t,’ then ‘i’ and then ‘n.’ With each letter you had to struggle. Then there came a time when you could read ‘Martin.’ It takes all a child’s attention to learn the alphabet. But that same child eventually gets a Master’s degree and reads millions of books. So in the beginning, when you concentrate, you will learn the smallest thing and you will learn it perfectly. And then, when you meditate, at that time you will learn the largest thing, the vast ocean, the vast sky.

Then comes contemplation. Contemplation is a combination of concentration and meditation. You have the love for both the vast infinite and also for the tiniest. God has created the tiny ant and also He has created the elephant. If you really love God, then you have to love God’s ant-creation and also God’s elephant-creation. When you contemplate, at that time you love both the ant who is God and also the elephant who is God. Contemplation gives us the greatest joy because it makes us one. When you play the game of contemplation, this moment God says, “My child, now I am playing the role of the ant, so you take the role of the elephant.” The next moment God says, “Let us change our roles.” Then He becomes the elephant and you become the ant. Here, the Lover and the Beloved are constantly exchanging roles. At this moment, when the Lover is the ant, the Beloved becomes the elephant. Then it is reversed. But it is on the strength of love that this one becomes the divine Lover and that one becomes the Supreme Beloved. So, concentration is the little one, meditation is the big one, and then contemplation comes and unites the two together. Concentration and meditation must be unified in order to get the proper result of contemplation.

Question: Please explain how individuals become collective souls.

Sri Chinmoy: When a group of individuals pray and meditate together, they don’t become individual souls of separativity; but they become a collective soul, a oneness-soul. When ten persons have the same prayer, they grow into one reality. Suppose somebody is sick and ten persons are praying for his recovery. These ten human beings have the same goal: they become one soul. Ten souls become one not in the sense of ego, but in the sense of oneness. Collective soul here means oneness-soul, not the soul that enjoys separativity. It is through joint effort, conscious and constant effort, that the collective soul becomes oneness-soul.

Now, how does an individual soul emerge from a collective soul? It is like ten persons who are working in order to support one family. They all lack good education, so they don’t have very good jobs. Each one is getting a very small salary; but when they combine the money, then they have enough to support the family. But then, out of ten persons, one person has some intellectual light. He gets a chance to go to school. Then he leaves the family. He goes out and becomes a man of knowledge and amasses material wealth. Then he tries to bring out another member of the family. Many of the Indian restaurant owners here are from a small town near Chittagong. They are poor people, very poor people, so they stay together in one family. Then one, with greatest difficulty, comes to London. Here he makes some money and then he brings somebody else here. In this way they keep their common goal to bring all to the highest standard. If you see this with your human eyes, you will say collectivity has gone away, because some members have come out of the family. But with the inner eye you will see that they still share the same goals. One has gained more light since he came to the West, so he wants to bring the others here so that they will also gain light.

Editor's preface to the first edition

On Father’s Day, June 20, 1976, Sri Chinmoy invited questions from the seekers and disciples at the Friend’s Meeting House, London, which he was visiting while on his 1976 European lecture tour. This book consists of these questions and the Master’s answers.

Translations of this page: Italian
This book can be cited using cite-key fdf