Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, part 1

Return to the table of contents

1. A new marathon1

Who am I?
A completely long lost tornado-speed.
Yesterday my supremely uncooperative body
Ran the New York Marathon.
The lightning-arrows of anxieties
And worries did not attack me.
I must say, they have
Been very kind to me.
They do not knock at my heart’s door.
No, not even by mistake!
But cramps,
My unfailing friends, came and
Shook hands with me gently
Even before I had covered eleven miles.
Usually they come to befriend me
At the eighteenth mile.
But this time, after fifteen miles,
They desired to lavish
Infinitely more affection on me.
So they embraced me most avidly
And most powerfully.
Alas, alas!
From fifteen miles on,
I dragged my ill-fated body,
At times with my compassion-smiles,
At times with my frustration-cries.
To my great joy and sublime relief,
The worst possible nightmare
Finally ended
At the end of twenty-six miles.

One marathon-world
Leads me into another marathon-world.
To satisfy this new marathon-world,
Or to be satisfied by this new one, will be
Infinitely — I really mean it —
More difficult.
For here it is not just twenty-six miles
and 385 yards to run,
But to sow the seeds
Of ten thousand flaming flower-poems
Which at long last I shall place
Devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally
At the Compassion-Feet
Of my Beloved Supreme.

FF 1-70. These seventy poems were written on a Pan Am flight to Japan on 22 October 1979.

2. Are you not ashamed?

Hurry up, my body!
Are you not ashamed
Of your lethargy-night?

Hurry up, my vital!
Are you not ashamed
Of your aggression-fight?

Hurry up, my mind!
Are you not ashamed
Of your doubt-poison?

Hurry up, my heart!
Are you not ashamed
Of your timidity-insecurity?

3. Days pass by

Days pass by.
No success-height.

Days pass by.
No progress-light.

Days pass by.
No perfection-delight.

4. Afraid

My mind is afraid
To feel anything.
My heart is afraid
To discuss anything.
My soul is afraid
To manifest anything.
And I am afraid
To like anything.

5. The tears of Mother Earth

The tears of Mother Earth
Make my life pure.

The smiles of Father Heaven
Make my heart sure.

6. Self-defeat

You defeated yourself
You did not try.

You are defeating yourself
You are not crying.

You will defeat yourself
You will not be living.

7. Prayer-cry

A tree is the seeker’s

A flower is the seeker’s

A fruit is the seeker’s

8. Inside my silence-life

Inside my sound-life
I realise how weak I am.
Inside my silence-life
I discover that God’s God-Power
Is my other name.

9. God is not discouraged

God is not discouraged
You are an unthinkable fool.

God is not discouraged
You are an unspeakable rogue.

God is not discouraged
You are an unbelievable failure.

10. A small trouble

A small trouble:
I do not think of God.

A big trouble:
God does not think of me.

A small fear:
I do not love God.

A big fear:
God does not love me.

11. A tamed mind

A tamed mind
Can do anything.
It can even think
Of the Compassion-God
And the perfection-life.

12. Pride

A woman’s pride:

A man’s pride:

Earth’s pride:

Heaven’s pride:

13. What you need

What you need is another moon
To reveal you.

What you need is another sun
To fulfil you.

14. My journey's companion

My journey’s companion:
A silence-world.
My journey’s goal:
God’s Heaven-blossoms.

15. Mine is the life

Mine is the life that cries
In man’s binding chains.
Mine is the heart that flies
In God’s liberating reins.

16. In the field of frustration

In the field of frustration
My desire-life grows.
In the sea of satisfaction
My aspiration-life glows.

17. Two miracles

The miracle of my sound-life:
It can chase God.

The miracle of my silence-life:
It can embrace God.

18. The fever of my life

The first fever
Of my human life:
God does not think of me.

The last fever
Of my human life:
I have not loved God.

19. Your aspiration-life

Your aspiration-life
Has drowned the power of death.

Your realisation-life
Shall turn you into another God.

20. My aching urgency

My aching urgency
Has helped me see
God’s unseen Feet.
You are not an inferior flame.
Like me, you too are meant
To be a God-lover
A God-seer.

21. An infant God

True, today you are
An infant and inferior God.
But tomorrow
You can and you will
Be a mature and superior God.

22. First gift, last gift

My first gift to God:
My sincerity-awareness.

God’s last gift to me:
His ever-transcending

23. My progress

My thought-freed mind
Was a God-seeker.

My crying heart
Is a God-lover.

My faithful life
Shall be a God-server.

24. Try not to rob my heart

Try not to rob my heart.
My heart has already been robbed
By my Lord’s Compassion-Feet

25. Competition-separation

Does not find him
Either here or there
Or elsewhere.

Finds him
Here and there
And all-where.

26. O my beloved

O my beloved Eternity,
Do not forget me.
From this moment on, I shall always
Remember you.

O my beloved Infinity,
Do not desert me.
From this moment on, I shall always
Love you.

O my beloved Immortality,
Do not disown me.
From this moment on, I shall always
Claim you.

27. Ambition-noon, affection-moon

Finds him.
Does not know him.

28. You have lost

You have lost
Your beloved Satisfaction-God
You have overfed
Your insistent ambition-horse.

29. You are destined

You have a sunlit mind
You are destined
To become a moonlit heart.

30. A solemn promise

I have made a solemn promise
To myself:
Next time
I see my Beloved Supreme,
I shall beg Him
To build me a new little heart
And totally destroy
My proud, giant mind.

31. He is God's

He is God’s.
God loves him
In planetary sweep.
His heart is a perpetual surprise
To changing and unchanging,
To loving and unloving

32. Beauty born of life

Beauty born of life
Has deepened my love.

Beauty born of death
Has deepened my wisdom.

33. Surrender-fulness

Obsession is not love.
Possession is not love.
Compulsion is not love.
In oneness-light
Is alone love.

34. Prayers are made of tears

Are made of tears.

Are made of smiles.

Is made of surrender-perfections.

35. Two things I immensely enjoy

Two things I immensely enjoy:
A sleepless perfection
A dreamless satisfaction.

36. Succeed and proceed

I like man the God
To succeed daily.

I love God the man
To proceed constantly.

37. A sly deception

Your very life
Is a sly deception.
How do you expect
Even an iota
Of your Master’s Compassion-Salvation?

38. The telescope of time

My desire-life
Wants to possess
The telescope of time.

My aspiration-life
Likes God
To keep it always with Him
And always use it,
Him to please in His own Way.

39. Your real need

Because of your ocean-greed
You have lost your real need,
Your only need:

40. Too poor

Too poor for God:
Your mountain-pride.

Too poor for man:
Your fountain-surrender.

41. What delays our meeting?

I am dying to see God.
God is seriously planning
To meet me.
What, then, delays our meeting?
Alas, my surrender-smile.

42. Each night, each day

Impossibility does not
Discourage me.
Each night I dream of God-realisation.

Impossibility does not
Dishearten me.
Each day I plan for God-manifestation.

43. Although God loves him

God loves him,
He is his heart’s sorrow.
God blesses him,
He is his life’s failure.

Because he has not
Changed his name
Into love-devotion-surrender.

44. Poor little heart

Poor little heart,
Do not cry.
I have come to you
With a rising rainbow.

Poor little heart,
Do not cry.
I have come to you
With my beloved Father’s

45. Because he loves

He loves the ascending earth,
God has given him
His Eternity’s Strength.

He loves the descending Heaven,
God has given him
His Infinity’s Length.

46. God does not love me

God loves her
More than He loves me.
God does not love me any more.
My last and only resort
Is my sincerity-security-light.

47. God does not care for me

God cares for him
More than He cares for me.
God does not care for me any more.
My last and only resort
Is my humility-purity-height.

48. Slowly and steadily

Slowly the mind
Becomes clean.
Steadily the heart
Becomes pure.
Unconditionally the soul
Manifests the Supreme.
Supremely our Beloved Supreme
Fulfils Himself
In and through His creation-child.

49. The best, the worst

The best in man
Is his gratitude-flame.

The worst in man
Is his insurmountable

50. All due to jealousy

I have lost my patience-seed.
I have lost my flower-heart.
I have lost my satisfaction-soul.
All this is due
To my deplorably stupid jealousy.

51. The call of America

The call of America
Turned the timid cat
Into a roaring lion.

The love-blessing of America
Has turned the lion
Into a choice and fond lamb.

52. The stories told

The stories told by my soul’s delight
Are difficult to believe.

The stories told by my heart’s pangs
Are impossible to believe.

53. Two inseparable friends

Ignorance and incompetence:
Two inseparable friends.
Wisdom and competence:
Two inseparable friends
Eternity’s perfection-friends.

54. Finally

Truth is on the march.
I can declare God’s Victory.
I shall see my Lord Supreme smiling.

55. Clutching the last hope-ray

Clutching the last hope-ray
I seek
Within, without.

56. He took up death's challenge

He took up death’s challenge and declared:
“Earth-life is not
Man’s failure-night.
Heaven-life is descending
With satisfaction-delight.”

57. Human and Divine Business

My human business
Is to know the right thing
Do the right thing.

God’s Divine Business
Is to forget my past,
Forgive my present
Grant hope to my future.

58. The supreme Reality

The great reality,
The good reality,
The vast reality,
The supreme Reality,
Within, without,
Below, above.

59. Human life, divine life

Human life
Is the slave of fear.
Divine life
Is the courage of freedom-sphere.

60. My mind is tired

My mind
Is tired of its supremacy.
My heart
Can never be tired of its intimacy.

61. Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Imitation was my ignorance-nourishment.

Limitation is my bondage-increment.

Aspiration will be my freedom-announcement.

62. The blossom of your Heaven-fame

Sooner than the soonest,
The blossom of your Heaven-fame
You will see all around.
Just once and for all
Your wild mind tame!

63. The sure Hour of God

The pure hour of prayer
Awakens the sleeping man in me.
The sure Hour of God
Feeds the starving God in me.

64. The same day

The searching heart of earth
Will one day become soulful.
The beckoning hand of Heaven
Will the same day
Become fruitful.

65. A sad mistake

O my poor body,
Your marathon run
Was not a bad mistake.
Your lack of marathon fun
Is, indeed, a sad mistake.

66. I do not deserve

God’s unconditional pardon
I do not deserve.
Man’s regular prosecution
I do not deserve, either.

67. A God-Knower Master

A God-knower Master
Helps me to stand
On Eternity’s Shore,
Helps me to open
Immortality’s Door
Helps me to enter
Infinity’s Core.

68. In human nature

In human nature
There is something
Which everyone knows:

In human nature
There is also something
Which practically nobody knows:

69. To teach humanity how to love

To teach humanity how to love,
I must first become
God’s choice dove
And always soar above.

70. Desperate needs

The world’s most desperate needs:
A crying heart,
A self-giving life,
A God-becoming soul.

71. Why not take a chance!2

Why not take a chance!
Be a climbing cry
A running smile.
I assure you,
God is awaiting
Your great arrival
At the end of both roads.

FF 71-100. These thirty poems were written in the Tokyo Prince Hotel, Tokyo, on 23 October 1979.

72. Spread your cheerfulness

Spread your cheerfulness.
God’s Love you will feel
Infinitely more.

Deepen your soulfulness.
God’s Satisfaction you will feel
Infinitely more.

73. The message I have heard

This is the message I have heard
From the lips of rank fools:
Man can hide
If he wants to;
God cannot abide
Although He wants to.

74. A simple truth

A simple truth:
God is.

A brief message:
God loves me.

A deep realisation:
I am of God alone
I am for God alone.

75. A full harvest of peace

A full harvest of peace
I collected
The day I realised
That neither earth’s great hunger
Nor Heaven’s good feast
Desires my eager presence.

76. The road from heart to heart

The road from heart to heart
Has perfection-trees
With satisfaction-fruits
On either side.
I have all along seen it.

77. I live for you alone

I live for You alone,
My Lord of Compassion Supreme.
I live in You alone,
My Lord of Satisfaction Supreme.

78. A secret way

To reach God’s Height
I have discovered
A secret way:
I just touch the lowest man’s
Filthiest feet.

79. Who lives above me?

Who lives above me?
Certainly not my Beloved Supreme.

Who lives below me?
Certainly not my Beloved Supreme.

Who lives inside me?
Who else if not my Beloved Supreme!

80. Three are the false excuses

Three are the false excuses:
Sorry, I have no time.
Alas, I am not ready.
Surely God does not care for me;
Therefore, why should I...?

81. True sacrifice glows

True sacrifice glows.
True happiness flows.
True perfection grows.
True gratitude sows.

82. To speak with authority

Three times God will allow you
To speak with authority:
If you know the Truth,
If you have the Light,
If you are the Sea of Peace.

83. Heaven descends, earth ascends

Heaven descends
When I consciously
And soulfully serve.

Earth ascends
When I unreservedly
And unconditionally love.

84. Two secret wishes

Are my secret wishes:
I shall show God
Man’s transformation-head,
I shall show man
God’s Compassion-Feet.

85. Only three strides ahead

Only one stride ahead:
God’s Compassion.

Only two strides ahead:
My transformation.

Only three strides ahead:
God’s Satisfaction-Smile
My gratitude-cry.

86. A dreamless night

A dreamless night
Grants an unpromising day.
A sleepless night
Grants a sickening day.

87. A wild sound-call

A wild sound-call from below
Frightens me,
My entire being.

A perfect silence-call from Above
Enlightens me,
My all.

88. My secret rehearsal

I took my failure-life
As my secret rehearsal.
I take my success-life
As my open and free performance.

89. The lesson supreme

I barter my aspiration-cry
With humanity’s indifference-sky.
Why am I such a fool?
Indeed, this is the lesson supreme
I have learnt in my Lord’s

90. Freedom-Immortality

Selflessness means
Closeness means
Oneness means

91. The symphony of mental clouds

The symphony of mental clouds
Always has the same message:
Human life is doomed
To dine with ignorance-night.

92. My God-Realisation

Everything in life grows,
Then goes;
But not my God-realisation.
It grows only to glow,
It glows only to grow,
And it never, never goes.

93. Not beyond possibility

Not beyond man’s possibility
Is God-realisation.
Not beyond earth’s possibility
Is earth-transformation.
Not beyond my possibility
Is my Himalayan self-transcendence.

94. My life is burning out

My life is burning out.
I see no boatman.
My life is burning out.
I see no boat.
My life is burning out.
I see no life-river.
Alas, alas!
Nowhere my three old, good friends
Are to be found.

95. My God-hunger

Material things age and ache.
Spiritual things grow and glow.
And my God-hunger
Is a birthless and deathless thing.

96. I do not interfere

I do not interfere in God’s Affairs.
Every day I let Him
Create a new world.
God does not interfere in my affairs
Every day He lets me
Destroy an old world.

97. An idle thought

An idle desire awakens
The ignorance-prince in me.
An idle thought destroys
My heart’s inner beauty-world
My life’s outer duty-world.

98. Therefore I love

Life is lovely.
Therefore I live.

Prayer is lovely.
Therefore I pray.

Creation is lovely.
Therefore I love.

99. Nothing is equal

Nothing is equal
To my God-need.
Nothing is equal
To my God-satisfaction.
My aspiration-world
Is sleeplessly crying
To enter into
My God-realisation-world.

100. Just for a second

O my narrow faith,
How long am I supposed to live
In your tiny hole?
I am suffocating, I am dying.
Leave me alone!
Just for a second
I wish to enjoy
The Universal Breath of my Beloved Supreme.

Editor's introduction to the first edition

This is the first volume in a series of ten thousand “flaming flower-poems” which Sri Chinmoy is placing devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally at the Compassion-Feet of God, our Beloved Supreme. They stand as a supreme offering from the unfolding beauty of his flower-heart and the flaming heights of his realisation-sun. Indeed, a treasure-tower which will at once be claimed by humanity’s self-ascending cry and Divinity’s God-descending Smile.

Editor's note

Some poems in this first edition were later selected by the author for a special collection of 207 Flower-Flames (FFP). The author also chose to revise some of his original poems for this anthology:

FF-93: FFP 12 (revised version).

Translations of this page: Czech , Mongolian
This book series can be cited using cite-key ff-1