Fifty Freedom-Boats to one Golden Shore, part 3
God's Love1God loves us. He loves us constantly and unconditionally. No matter what we have done, what we are doing or what we shall do, He will always love us. God loves us much more than He loves Himself. If we use our thinking and doubting minds, this may seem hard to believe. But if we use our loving and surrendering hearts, then we are bound to feel that God loves us infinitely more than He loves Himself. Why does He love us so much? He loves us because He feels that His Dream remains unfulfilled without us, His Reality remains unmanifested without us; without us, he is incomplete. Right now we feel that it is only we who really love ourselves. Then there may come a time when we think that God, too, loves us. But for us to believe that God loves us infinitely more than we love ourselves seems sheer impossibility.
There have been many, many times in our lives when we have felt miserable because we told a lie or deceived someone or became jealous of others. After we do something wrong or undivine, our inner consciousness comes to the fore and we feel miserable. We curse ourselves and try to punish ourselves. But God's Love for us remains exactly the same. We hate ourselves for our mistakes, but God still loves us and will always continue to love us. Our justice-power condemns us, but God's Compassion-power forgives us, illumines us and transforms our weakness into strength with its adamantine will-power. God gets satisfaction when, with His blessingful Smile, He gives us His Compassion-flood, His Concern-sky and His Love-sea so that we can grow into His very Image.
God loves us, and in return He wants us to smile, to love and to transcend. The moment we offer Him a soulful smile, God is pleased with us. The moment we offer Him an iota of our love, God is pleased with us. The moment we want to transcend our earthbound consciousness, God is pleased with us.
Our human love constantly tries to separate and divide, but the divine Love we get from God always adds and multiplies. God used His Delight-power when He created the world, and now He uses His Love-power to protect the world and bring perfection to earth, His creation.
Here on earth we have everything save and except one thing: satisfaction. It is only by loving God that we will get true satisfaction. God is our own highest, most illumined Reality. "United we stand, divided we fall": this is the motto of the State of Kentucky. In the inner life also, when we become consciously one with God, we feel a real sense of satisfaction. But when we are separated from God, when we are divided into two, we feel incomplete, unfulfilled and dissatisfied.
If we are not seekers, we love God once in a blue moon; but if we are seekers of the highest Truth, then we try to love God soulfully and constantly. There is an easy way to love God soulfully and constantly. When we separate darkness from light, the transient from the eternal, and outer knowledge from inner wisdom, then it becomes extremely easy for us to love God soulfully and constantly. After we love God soulfully and constantly, we can go one step ahead and love God unconditionally by giving Him what we have and what we are. What we have within is inner aspiration to grow into the vast Beyond. What we are without is a sea of ignorance.
God also gives us what He has and what He is. What He has is infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, and what He is is constant Concern, Concern for our liberation from the meshes of ignorance and Concern for our perfection. God loves us. We love God. By loving God, we gain victory over our age-old ignorance. By loving us, God makes us consciously feel that we are eternal players, divine players in His cosmic Game.
The great pioneer, Daniel Boone, called Kentucky a second paradise. In the spiritual life, every day we can have a sense of paradise. Paradise means infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. When the seeker prays and meditates, he enters into paradise. When his mind is calm and quiet, when his mind is tranquillity's flood, his heart becomes all-giving and his life becomes Divinity's Reality. Paradise is not a place; it is a state of consciousness. When we free our mind from the meshes of ignorance, when we liberate our existence from the mire of earth, we see, feel and grow into paradise.
FFB 76. Baird Lounge, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, 21 February 1974 — 9:00 am.↩
Self-Transcendence1Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the highest Transcendental Truth, I wish to give a short talk on self-transcendence.
We are all seekers who wish to transcend our present realities. Why do we want to transcend? We want to transcend because the life of ignorance, bondage, imperfection and death cannot satisfy us. We want to achieve something. We want to grow into something which is eternal; we want to grow into the very image of Immortality.
Right in front of us there are two worlds: the world of desire and the world of aspiration. When our life belongs to the desire-world, we feel that satisfaction is always a far cry. When our life belongs to the aspiration-world, we feel that satisfaction is our birthright. The life of desire is a life of self-chosen bondage. The life of aspiration is a life of God-chosen transcendence.
In our life of self-transcendence, from the lower we grow into the higher. The lower is transformed into the higher, the less perfect is transformed into the more perfect. Things that have to be rejected, we reject; things that have to be transformed, we transform; things that have to be transcended, we transcend. This process of transcendence is beyond the thinking of the mental man. It finds its existence in the self-giving of the psychic man. The psychic man becomes part and parcel of reality by identifying with reality itself. The thinking man, the doubting man, finds it extremely difficult or impossible to identify himself with that reality.
In our ordinary life we deal with constant possibility, and at the end of our efforts we meet with either success or failure. But in the spiritual life, we do not care for failure or success; we care only for progress. In this way, possibility is transformed into inevitability.
A seeker of the Highest Truth, the moment he enters into the spiritual life, feels that he has transcended his life of conscious impurity and obscurity. The life of desire he has transcended; now he is living the life of aspiration. At every moment he has the golden opportunity to go high, higher, highest on the strength of his inner mounting cry.
Each time our aspiration, our mounting cry, touches the highest pinnacle, it is fired again. The goal that it touches need not and cannot be the ultimate Goal, for today's goal is tomorrow's starting point. Again, tomorrow's goal will be the starting point for the day after tomorrow. There is no end to our realisation. There is no end to our self-transcendence. Our aspiration ascends, our realisation transcends, our satisfaction dawns, finally our God smiles. With our inner cry we ascend to God's descending Smile. When we feed our inner cry, and when we become our inner cry, at that time our song of realisation and transcendence begins.
In order to transcend, two things are of paramount importance: our personal effort and God's Grace. By personal effort alone, we cannot transcend ourselves. Again, God's Grace will not do anything unless and until we are receptive. If we can receive God's Grace and properly use it, then only can we reach the Highest. A sincere seeker is transcending his previous reality at every moment. When he transcends, he does not reject anything. The sincere seeker accepts the world as his very own. Like a potter who accepts clay and moulds it into something beautiful, a spiritual seeker accepts the life of ignorance and tries to transform it with his inner wisdom-light.
In our deepest philosophy, we consider past achievements of no value. We say the past is dust. The past has given us what it has to offer, but it has not given us what we need: liberation, realisation, salvation and perfection. So it is today, it is in the immediacy of the present, that we have to grow into the spiritual life. Since most of us are beginners in the spiritual life we try to meditate for five minutes, ten minutes, half an hour, or an hour a day, and to keep our best consciousness always to the fore. If we can meditate an hour a day, we try to extend the effects of this meditation throughout the whole day. As soon as a child throws a ball, its momentum keeps it going, and it covers a considerable distance. So also our soulful prayer and meditation, even if it only lasts half an hour, projects our aspiring consciousness into the heart of each day and enters into all our multifarious activities as they unfold hour by hour.
As in the world of desire we want to grow and expand, so also do we want to grow and expand in the spiritual life. In the beginning we want an iota of Light, then we wish to have abundant Light, and then infinite Light. But there is a great difference between the expansion of our earthly desires and the expansion of our divine aspiration. When we possess mortal life, the desire-life, we are not actually satisfied. Even when our desires are fulfilled, we discover that we have new desires, and there is no abiding satisfaction. We have always the same hunger, the same unsaturated, unfulfilled hunger. But in the spiritual life, when we get an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss — although our ultimate aim is to have these in infinite measure — even an iota gives us a sense of satisfaction. And, in the long run, at God's choice Hour, we do get Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. Each time we are divinely satisfied and fulfilled, we transcend our earthbound reality and enter into the Heaven-free Reality.
The motto of this state is "Agriculture and commerce". The spiritual seeker is a farmer. He cultivates his heart here in this world and receives from Above, like falling rain, the divine Grace. At the time when the seeker develops one-pointed devotion to the Inner Pilot, he collects the bumper crop of realisation. It is like an exchange of natural capacities. The seeker identifies himself with the consciousness of earth, increasing his receptivity through surrender. And at the same time he invokes the transcendental consciousness from Above. When the earth consciousness and the Transcendental Consciousness meet, when earth's surrender and Heaven's Grace join together, at that time realisation dawns in the seeker's aspiring life. There is a royal road that leads to self-transcendence. That road is our surrender, our conscious, unconditional surrender to the Will of the Absolute Supreme.
The motto of this state is "Agriculture and commerce". The spiritual seeker is a farmer. He cultivates his heart here in this world and receives from Above, like falling rain, the divine Grace. At the time when the seeker develops one-pointed devotion to the Inner Pilot, he collects the bumper crop of realisation. It is like an exchange of natural capacities. The seeker identifies himself with the consciousness of earth, increasing his receptivity through surrender. And at the same time he invokes the transcendental consciousness from Above. When the earth consciousness and the Transcendental Consciousness meet, when earth's surrender and Heaven's Grace join together, at that time realisation dawns in the seeker's aspiring life. There is a royal road that leads to self-transcendence. That road is our surrender, our conscious, unconditional surrender to the Will of the Absolute Supreme.
FFB 77. Student Centre, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, 21 February 1974 — 1:30 pm. ↩
Compassion1Dear seekers, I wish to give a talk on compassion. When we use our mind to understand the meaning of compassion, very often we are misled and we mislead others. But when we use our heart, we understand the meaning immediately, and we make others understand as well.
Compassion is God's immense and intense Concern for mankind. When we show compassion to others at the time of their need, compassion is sweet. When we receive compassion from others while we are in dire need, compassion is sweeter. And when we come to realise that it is God's Compassion that is enabling us to fulfil our promise both to Heaven and to earth, Compassion is sweetest. Our promise to Heaven is to reveal our divine qualities here on earth. Our promise to earth is to manifest all our divine capacities so that Mother Earth can utilise them for her own purposes.
We are all seekers here, and we feel that if we can receive God's most illumining Compassion, then our spiritual journey will be expedited. But how are we going to receive this Compassion from Above? We can easily do it if we can feel that we are like a child, a little divine child. When a human child cries, no matter where the mother is, she comes to comfort him, for by pleasing the child she gets satisfaction. Similarly, when we soulfully cry for God's Compassion, God immediately descends with His Compassion-power.
A child cries helplessly because he feels that without his mother's help and guidance he cannot do anything. But the spiritual child does not cry with a sense of helplessness. He feels that there is a Source, and that Source is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. When we become soulful in our cry, we establish a free access to the Source. So the seeker in us, the divine child in us, cries soulfully and not helplessly.
In our ordinary day-to-day life, in our multifarious activities, we speak of Grace, divine Grace. From the spiritual point of view, there is a subtle difference between Grace and Compassion. Let us imagine a vast expanse of water all around — this is Grace. But when there is a heavy downpour, a shower, this is called Compassion. Compassion is Grace, but in a very intensified, one-pointed form. Grace is something general, which is for everyone whether he aspires or does not aspire. But divine Compassion, real Compassion, enters into our aspiring consciousness, our aspiring life, only when we feel the inner urge to fly into the Beyond.
Compassion wants to operate in us at every moment, but quite often, because of our ignorance, we resist Compassion consciously or unconsciously, even after we have begun to cry for it. In the ordinary life, if somebody wants to give us something out of his infinite kindness, and we don't take it, then the person immediately withdraws his gift, as if to say that we do not deserve it. But in the case of God, it is not like that. God never withdraws His Compassion from us. On the contrary, He tries to offer more of His divine, unconditional Compassion.
Compassion is a power, an illumining power. But when we are extremely stubborn and reject Compassion totally and mercilessly, God at times relies on His Patience-power. He knows that Eternity is at His disposal and that one day in the process of evolution we shall be able to receive His Compassion. Today if we do not achieve and receive His Compassion devotedly or gratefully, He does not mind. Tomorrow He will give us another opportunity, and in either the near or the distant future, we are bound to accept His Compassion-power, for this alone can transform our nature. So God does not withdraw; He only uses another type of Power, which we call patience.
Before we enter into the spiritual life, Compassion is something abstract. But when we enter into the spiritual life, and live a divine life, Compassion becomes concrete. At every moment we feel God's Compassion in us in either a subtle or a solid, palpable form. At every moment we can see it, feel it and grow into it.
The state motto of Louisiana is "Union, justice, confidence". These terms are extremely spiritual. Union. Union occurs between the finite and the Infinite. Right now we are in the physical, so we are all living finite, individual, separate existences. But when the finite enters into the Infinite in order to realise the highest Absolute, or when the Infinite enters into the finite to manifest its own Divinity, then this union immediately establishes one reality, one fulfilling reality. In the union of the finite and the Infinite we realise the highest plane of consciousness and, at the same time, we manifest Divinity on earth.
Now, what actually is being united when the Infinite and the finite join? It is God's Compassion and man's surrender. God's greatest gift to mankind is His Compassion-power, and man's greatest gift to God is his surrender-power. When man surrenders to God soulfully and unconditionally, when he surrenders to God's Will cheerfully, at that time God's Capacity, God's Reality, God's Infinitude become his. Compassion is the magnet in God, and surrender is the magnet in the seeker. When God uses His Compassion, it is like a magnet from above pulling us up to the Highest. And when we use our surrender, this magnet immediately pulls God down into our living breath. So when our magnet and God's magnet come together, the Hour of God dawns for us in our life of aspiration and self-dedication.
Justice. In the ordinary human life, justice says, "As you sow, so you reap." This is justice: tit for tat. If somebody has done something wrong, we feel we have every right to threaten him, frighten him, warn him, punish him. But this kind of justice is on the lowest rung of the human ladder. When we step up to a higher rung, justice becomes a kind of forgiveness. If we can forgive someone who has done something wrong, if we have the capacity, then we feel that forgiveness itself is justice. When we enter into the highest level of consciousness, at that time there is no question of either punishment or forgiveness. It is only a matter of illumination. The highest Self encompasses and embodies all of Reality. So if one part of its existence is unillumined, it does not punish or forgive. It tries to illumine that part of its own existence. When we watch the world from the highest plane of consciousness, we feel that the ignorant, obscure, impure, imperfect world needs illumination. Here justice is the feeling of oneness. Divine Justice is the transformation of our own unlit existence. Divine Justice is self-illumination.
In the ordinary life, we feel that equality is justice. But in the divine world, if somebody has the capacity to receive more Peace, more Light, more Bliss from Above, then he should be given more. Equal opportunity should be given, but if you have more capacity or receptivity than I have, then you should progress according to your own speed and not slow down to my speed. If you wait for me, then God's Hour will have to wait for you, and you will not reach the Goal at God's choice Hour. This kind of equality is not an act of illumination. If your time has come, you go. God has given me the same opportunity, but you have developed more capacity. That is why you have received more light and you can run faster towards your Goal. When God gives me the capacity at His choice Hour, at that time I also will reach the Goal. This is called divine Justice. God is constantly giving us all the same opportunity, but our individual capacity is not the same.
Confidence. Confidence is a most important quality in both our human life and our divine life. In the human life, usually our confidence is based on our ego, our unruly vital. The unruly vital makes us feel that we can do everything, that there is nothing on earth we cannot do. Nevertheless, it is true that in our human life, if we do not have confidence, we cannot do anything. But in the divine life when we have confidence, it is a different matter. This confidence comes from an inner awareness of our Source. We feel, "I am God's son, I am part and parcel of God. Since He has infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, since He has infinite capacity, I also have the same within me. Right now I am not aware of it, but a day will come when I will not only be aware of it but will actually be able to manifest it." This is called divine confidence.
Now, some people have confidence only in God and not in themselves. This is a deplorable mistake. They should have confidence in themselves, but they should feel that this confidence is coming directly from God. They have to feel that their faith in their own personal effort is their confidence in a capacity which has come directly from God. God has given us this confidence and God is the one who is experiencing this confidence in and through us. This confidence is nothing other than the confidence God has in Himself.
God always has confidence in us, but very often we lose confidence in ourselves. When we have been defeated once or twice in the battlefield of life, we lose all our confidence. But God never loses His confidence in us because He knows that He is the root and we are the branches. Since the root is firm and solid, how can the branches fail? God knows His capacity, His potentiality, His Plenitude and Infinitude; therefore He has all confidence, not only in Himself but also in us, for He feels that we are His direct manifestation. Without us He cannot manifest what He has and what He is; and without Him we cannot realise what we have and what we are. We are part and parcel of God's Divinity, His integral Reality; therefore He always has boundless confidence in our capacity.
FFB 78. Kendall Cram Room, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, 27 February 1974 — 9:00 am.↩
Love human and Love Divine1Dear sisters and brothers, I wish to share with you my humble philosophy, which is based on love. We know that there are two types of love: human love and Love Divine. In human love, what we actually try to do is to possess the many without caring for the One, the Source. But if we do not possess the Source, then the many cannot be of any help to us. If there is no root, then how will the tree grow? How will we be able to claim the branches or the flowers and leaves as our very own? With the divine Love, we go first to the One, the Source, and from there we go to the many. We become one with the root, and then we grow into the tree, which will manifest itself through the branches and leaves, the flowers and fruits. Divine Love is the song of multiplicity in unity.
In human love there is demand or, at least, expectation. Very often we start with demand, and when a higher wisdom dawns we no longer demand, but still we expect something from others. We convince ourselves that this expectation is justified. Since we have done something for others — offered our love — we feel it is quite legitimate to expect something in return.
But in divine Love there is no such thing as demand or expectation. In divine Love we just give what we have and what we are. What we have and what we are is dedicated service. In the human life, before we give our love, we try to discover love in others — that is, their love for us. In the divine Life, before we give our love to others, we try to discover Love in its reality and integrality within ourselves. Only then are we in a position to offer love to others. At first our satisfaction dawns when we feel that those to whom we offer our love accept it wholeheartedly. But there is an even higher form of divine Love when we go beyond this feeling, and give love just for the sake of self-giving. We give, and even if our love is not accepted, we do not mind. We shall go on giving, for we are all love, our Source is all Love.
In human love there is not only demand and expectation, but there is something even worse: withdrawal. First we demand, then we expect. When our expectation is not fulfilled, we sometimes try to withdraw from the person to whom we have offered our love. In divine Love, it is never like that. With divine Love we try to become one with the weakness, imperfection and bondage of others. Although we have inner freedom, we use this inner freedom not to lord it over others, but to become one, consciously one with their imperfections. In this way we can understand them and serve them at their own level, with a view to transforming their imperfections.
The capacity of human love is so limited that we cannot expand ourselves and totally embrace one another. There is bound to be a feeling of supremacy. I shall love you, no doubt, but I wish to remain an inch higher than you. On that condition I shall love you. The superior loves the inferior because he is satisfied to some extent with his position in this relationship. The inferior very often loves the superior because of his insecurity. So love binds them and gives them both some sense of satisfaction. But in divine Love there is no such thing as superiority and inferiority. Divine Love always gives itself freely and wholeheartedly. Divine Love gets satisfaction only by offering itself totally and unconditionally.
In divine Love, we come to notice that the personal and the impersonal perfectly go together. There is a balance between the two. The personal in us enters into the vast, which is impersonal; and the impersonal in us enters into the personal to manifest its unmanifested Reality, Divinity and Immortality. In human love, the personal and the impersonal are two strangers; worse, they are at daggers drawn. The personal and the impersonal at best try to reach a compromise, but this compromise brings no satisfaction at all; in the very depth of human love, there is always a rivalry and competition between the two. On rare occasions, the personal says to the impersonal, which is inside the human being, "Let us alternate our reality, our height, our wisdom, our capacity. This moment you stand up and I shall remain seated; the next moment I shall stand up and you will sit."
In human love, very often the physical mind, the doubting mind, the suspecting mind, comes to the fore. But in divine Love, we see only the loving heart, the surrendering heart, the all-beckoning heart. The mind loves a reality because it sees the reality according to its own understanding and vision. But the heart loves a reality because it sees the reality in the reality's own form. The heart becomes inseparably one with the reality, with the very existence of that reality, both inner and outer. It sees the living breath of the reality in its own form and shape; it sees the body and soul of the reality all together.
In human love, the lover and the beloved are two separate persons. The lover is running towards the beloved, and when he reaches the beloved he finds his satisfaction. In divine Love, the lover and the beloved are one and inseparable. In divine Love, the Lover is the Supreme and the Beloved is the Supreme. In human love, we feel that satisfaction lies somewhere else — not within us, but in somebody else. But in divine Love, satisfaction is found nowhere else but in ourselves. The Lover and the Beloved are one and the same — the Supreme dwelling within and the Supreme outside us. When we speak of our "self" as the divine Lover or Beloved, we have to know that this is the "Self" which is both the One and the many. This Self, the Supreme, finds its satisfaction only when It gets a glimpse of God's Reality, Infinity, Eternity and Immortality in the many. This "Self" is the One, and It wants to see and feel its Reality in the many.
Love is duty. In our human life we see duty as something mechanical, lifeless, forced — something thrust upon us. But in the divine Life, duty is something full of opportunity. At every second an opportunity dawning for us to expand our life's consciousness, our life's reality, our life's delight. So in the divine Life we welcome duty, for it increases our capacity and potentiality and expands the dream of our divine, unhorizoned Reality.
Life is the lesson of Love. Love is the lesson of Life. When we study Life's lesson in our human life, the lesson is composed of fear, doubt, anxiety, worry and frustration. But in the divine Life, we see that Love is the lesson not only of Life, but also for Life — for the Life that is everlasting, ever-illumining and ever-fulfilling.
A divine Lover is he who believes in the divine miracle. A human miracle is something that feeds our curiosity, something that lasts for a fleeting second. But the divine miracle is the elevation of consciousness. To raise somebody else's consciousness, to raise humanity's consciousness even an iota is the true divine miracle. The conscious help the divine Lover gives to the seeker performs this divine miracle.
We are of God the eternal Love and we are for God the eternal Love. We are of God the Infinite Love and we are for God the Infinite Love. Eternity is the Source of the Silence-life; and Infinity is the message of the sound-life. From the One we came and for the many we exist. This is the real message of divine Love. We are of the One and we are for the many — the many in the One. This is the quintessence of Love Divine.
FFB 79. Room 132, Jefferson Davis Campus, Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College, Gulfport, Mississippi, 27 February 1974 — 2:00 pm.↩
The human and the divine1Dear seekers of the highest Truth, I wish to give a short talk on the human and the divine.
Our outer essence is human; our inner essence is divine. The human world is the desire-world. The divine world is the aspiration-world. In the desire-world, when we get something we immediately cry out, "Eureka, I have found it! This is it." But in the divine world, when we get something we say to ourselves, "There is something else I need, something higher, deeper, more illumining and more fulfilling." This sense of dissatisfaction is not bad or undivine. This kind of dissatisfaction makes us feel that we are destined to grow into something infinitely higher than what we are now.
Human right and divine right. Human right tells us that we dare to defend our rights. This is the motto of the State of Alabama: "We dare defend our rights". Now why do we want to defend our rights? Because we feel that our skills and capacities are not properly appreciated and admired, that we are to some extent exploited. Therefore we feel that it is our bounden duty to defend our rights. The divine in us also tells us that we must dare to defend our rights. But in this case, it is our divine right to offer our inner message to the world at large, our divine right to tell ignorance that we belong to the Supreme alone. We are of the divine and we are for the divine. We cannot mix with ignorance and we must not allow ourselves to be devoured by ignorance. True, we have wallowed in the pleasures of ignorance for millennia. But that does not mean that we shall not exercise our divine right to go deep within and bring to the fore the Light infinite to inundate the world of suffering and darkness.
The human in us wants to discover if there is any Truth, Light and Divinity in others. It is in doubt whether others have these qualities. But the divine in us knows that Truth, Light and Divinity are everywhere. They are not the monopoly of any individual; everybody has deep within him Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure.
The human in us wants to see the face of reality, so that it can change the reality to suit its own desires. The divine in us wants to see the face of reality so it can grow into the very image of the transcendental Reality.
The human in us constantly cries for success, more success, abundant success. But the divine in us wants progress, constant progress, inner and outer. This progress is founded entirely upon self-giving, and self-giving is the precursor of God-becoming.
The human in us wants to possess the world so it can utilise the world in its own way. Alas, to its extreme sorrow it sees that before it possesses the world, the world has already possessed it mercilessly. The divine in us wants to offer its very existence to the world; it wants to illumine the world with its love and selfless dedication. Lo and behold, it sees that before it has illumined the world, the world has illumined it totally.
The human in us wants to realise God the Power so that it can lord it over the world. The divine in us needs the God who is all Good. The human in us prays to God and meditates on God and hopes to bring God down to satisfy its teeming desires. The human in us prays to God for its own satisfaction. But the divine in us prays and meditates so that God can utilise us in His own Way, in a divine Way, in a supreme Way.
The human in us wants to move from the door of the body to the room of the soul. It wants to go from the body to the soul through the vital, the mind and the heart. The divine in us wants to do the same thing, but the other way around. It wants to go from the soul to the heart, from the heart to the mind, from the mind to the vital, from the vital to the body. The divine in us feels that since the soul has Light, we have to enter into the soul's room first and from there enter into the other rooms, which are obscure, unlit and undivine.
When the human in us becomes sincere, we realise the undeniable fact that we need transformation: the transformation of the body, the transformation of the vital, the transformation of the mind and the transformation of the heart.
Right now, the body is constantly wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance, consciously and deliberately. But there shall come a time when this very body will try to aspire and try to serve the divine, here on earth and there in Heaven.
Right now, the vital in us is aggressive and destructive, but this very vital will one day aspire to become dynamic and progressive. Right now the vital in us will say, like Julius Caesar, "Veni, vidi, vici": I came, I saw, I conquered. But this same vital, when it gets illumination, will say, "I came into the world to love the world, to embrace the world, to become one with the world."
Right now, the mind in us suspects the world, judges the world, doubts the world. But the same mind, when it cries for illumination in the near or distant future, will realise that it has come into the world to perfect the world's ignorance and illumine others. But before it illumines others, it will feel the necessity of self-illumination; it will realise that its ability to perfect others entirely depends on its own perfection. So the mind will perfect itself first and then offer its perfection to the aspiring world.
Right now, the heart in us is insecure, weak and impotent. It sees the Vast, but it does not want to establish its inseparable oneness with the Vast, precisely because it is badly frightened. But when the human heart is transformed into the divine heart, it will throw open its door to the world at large and there all humanity will find a haven. The heart will become inseparably one with God's creation. By becoming one with God's entire creation, it will feel that it has fulfilled its promise to the soul and its mission on earth. Its promise was that it would receive the soul's light in boundless measure, and its mission was consciously to serve humanity with this light.
The soul, too, has made a promise, a promise to God and to man. To God, the soul has made the solemn promise that it will manifest divinity on earth; and to mankind, the soul has promised that it will liberate the body from the meshes of ignorance. Here "body" means the body-consciousness, which includes the physical, the vital, the mental and the psychic. The soul is bound to fulfil its promises to God and man.
Each human being becomes a conscious instrument of God when he enters sincerely into the spiritual life, the life of aspiration and dedication. Before that, he is in the world of ignorance, the world of sleep. But the impossibility which looms large in this human life need not and cannot forever remain with us. Our life of ignorance will eventually be transcended. Our essence, deep within us, is divine, and what we have within is bound to come to the fore at God's choice Hour.
The human in us wants to discover the Light; the divine in us wants to reveal the Light, which it feels it has always had. When the human in us aspires, it wants to grow and become. But the divine in us constantly knows that it eternally is.
The human in us will be fulfilled only when it consciously accepts the dictates of our inner divinity. The divine in us will fulfil itself only when it transforms, illumines and perfects the human in us. By the transformation of the human in us and the manifestation of the divine in us, we grow into perfect Perfection.
The human in us prays:
Hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham
tat tvam pusan apavrinu satyadharmaya dristaye
The progressive divine in us says:
Vedaham etam purusam mahantam
aditya varnam tamasah parastat
And the Transcendental, the all-pervading Divine in us, says:
FFB 80. Student Center Ballroom, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, 27 February 1974 — 8:00 pm. ↩
Problems1Dear seekers of the Transcendental Truth, I wish to give a talk on the subject of problems.
Problems within, problems without, problems everywhere. True, we do have some problems; but unfortunately we multiply them into countless problems. How do we multiply our problems? There are two ways. First, we invite the past and the future to come and stay with us in the heart of today. And second, we try to solve all our problems in the twinkling of an eye.
Let us consider the past — the unfulfilled past, the sad past, the past that has not given us what we actually wanted — an enemy or a useless friend. And let us take the unmanifested future as a perfect stranger. If we know that somebody is useless, that he has not encouraged, inspired or liberated us, then let us not invite that particular friend to stay with us. Again, let us not invite a stranger, either. A stranger may not please us. He may do something harmful and hurtful. Let us not have faith in a stranger; let us have all faith only in today. Today is our friend, our only friend. Let us take morning as a dream-boat and evening as the reality-shore. Right now we are all in the sea of aspiration. Once we cross the sea, we will reach our destined Goal.
Each human being, from a child to an octogenarian, has problems. A child has a problem when he wants to learn the alphabet. But he studies, and there comes a time when he not only learns the alphabet, but can easily read any book he wants. Similarly, a beginner in the spiritual life finds it extremely difficult to get even an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss no matter how bitterly he cries for it. But this beginner does not remain always a beginner. After a while he becomes an advanced seeker and finally, at God's choice Hour, he realises the ultimate Truth. At that time, his inner being becomes flooded with Light and Delight. But this cannot take place overnight. If we try to pull down God's Hour prematurely, we will only be frustrated.
We have the body, the vital, the mind, the heart and the soul. The problem of the body is impurity. The problem of the vital is aggression. The problem of the mind is doubt. The problem of the heart is insecurity. And the problem of the soul is that it has not yet manifested its inner divinity here on earth.
The body's problem can be solved only when purity dawns. The vital's problem can be solved only when dynamism enters into the vital and energises it. The mind's problem is solved when the mind is illumined by divine faith. The heart's problem is solved when the heart becomes flooded with the light of love. And the soul's problem is solved when the soul becomes the breath of supreme confidence.
In order to achieve purity, dynamism, faith, security and confidence, we must listen constantly to the dictates of the Inner Pilot, and consciously surrender to the Will of the Supreme. Now what is the Will of the Supreme? The Will of the Supreme is our conscious acceptance of the divine Light within us and our acceptance of earth as the field for the divine manifestation. We have to bring to the fore our inner Light in order to offer it to the world at large for its salvation and illumination. And we have to accept earth for the manifestation of God's Divinity.
In each individual there are two beings. One being wants material success; the other wants the life of inner solitude. Now, when the individual achieves material success, he feels that something is lacking, something is missing. His life is still filled with problems. What is he missing? He is missing peace and tranquillity. The material life has not given him Peace, Light and Bliss. He feels that if he can achieve Peace, Light and Bliss, then all his problems will be over, and he will be able to rest for good. The other being within him wants only the life of inner peace. Only the inner life is real for that being. The outer life it discards or negates; it feels the outer life is of no use. Then the individual goes deep within and realises Peace, Light and Bliss. But when this Peace, Light and Bliss remain unmanifested, the individual again feels miserable. He feels that the things that he has or has grown into must be manifested in the outer life, the outer world.
The first being cried for material wealth, but material wealth did not satisfy it because inner realisation was lacking. And the second being had inner realisation, but the outer manifestation was missing. So the second also had a problem.
Before we realise God, our problem is ignorance; we ourselves are the problem. After we realise God, our problem is manifestation. It is like earth's problem and Heaven's problem. Earth's problem is realisation; Heaven's problem is manifestation. Even God has problems. God's problem is to make us feel that we are His children, His chosen children, that we are of Him and for Him. His problem is to make us feel that He is the root and we are the branches of the self-same tree.
How do we solve our problems? We solve our problems by going deep within. The Christ said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." The Kingdom of Heaven means the Kingdom of Light and Bliss. Only if we go deep within, will we see the face of the Kingdom of Heaven. And once we have free access to the Kingdom of Heaven, all our problems are solved once and for all.
There are two types of people: desiring people and aspiring people. A desiring man takes a problem as a shattering experience, but an aspiring man considers a problem a strengthening experience. Whenever a problem arises, a desiring man feels that this problem is going to shatter his hopes. Then he is doomed to disappointment. This disappointment gives birth to frustration, and in frustration looms large his destruction. But an aspiring man sees a problem as a foundation stone. He accepts the problem as a challenge. He seeks to get a firm footing on the problem and use it as an opportunity to progress. In each experience, the Compassion of the Highest, the Beyond, is there to guide us and help us first to surmount the problem and then to transform it into a radiant opportunity to grow into the very image of our Lord Supreme.
There is a Zen saying that before one studies Zen, mountains are mountains. But after one enters into Zen practice, mountains no longer remain mountains. And finally, when one gets illumination, mountains become mountains again. We can say that mountains are the difficulties that we encounter when we enter into the spiritual life. After a while, we see that these mountains of difficulties can easily be surmounted. They are like passing clouds, and the inner sun is bound to reappear. Finally, when we realise the Highest, we see that the mountains of difficulties that we previously encountered have been transformed into mountains of opportunities — opportunities for progress, achievement and greater awakening in the ever-transcending experience of the highest Reality. The difficulties have become opportunities carrying us to the ever-transcending Beyond.
The motto of the State of West Virginia is "Mountaineers are always free." This is a significant motto from the inner point of view, because mountaineers are climbers. We aspirants, too, are all climbers, trying to climb up to the highest Height, the Pinnacle, on the strength of our inner cry. The higher we go, the more freedom we enjoy. The higher we go, the more the freedom of the Absolute is bound to inundate our existence, inner and outer. This freedom is the freedom of the Divinity within us, the freedom of the Infinity that belongs to us, the freedom of the Immortality of which we are made.
FFB 81. The Chapel, Wheeling College, Wheeling, West Virginia, 28 February 1974 — 1:30 pm.↩
Do we love God?1Dear friends, dear sisters and brothers, I wish to pose a question. Do we love God? Do we really love God? The immediate answer is, "We do, we do love God."
We love God. Therefore we do not want to live a semi-animal life; we do not want to live a life of temptation; we do not want to live in the world of falsehood, darkness, limitation, bondage and death. We love God. Therefore we wish to feel and grow into His Presence in all that we do and say. When we do not aspire, we love God only to fulfil our desires. But when we aspire, we love God for His own sake. We want to be freed from the snares of desire, from the teeming clouds of desire, so that we can claim our birthright in God and for God.
We love God. Therefore we try to live within. To live within is to divinely glow at every moment. We love God. Therefore we try to reveal without. What do we reveal? We reveal our inner divinity, our conscious, inseparable oneness with our Inner Pilot, the Absolute Supreme.
We love God. Therefore, if we see defects in others, we feel that it is our bounden duty to perfect these defects, for our sweet Lord can never be pleased with us when we consciously or deliberately fail to perfect the imperfections that we notice in others. But when we perfect others, we come to realise that our task is just an expansion of our own self-awakening. We are all members of the same family. The root and the trunk is God, and we are the branches and leaves and fruits and flowers of God, the Tree.
We love God. Therefore we live on earth and try to manifest Him and fulfil Him in His own Way. We play our roles like divine warriors. Every day we enter the battlefield of life to fight against fear, doubt, ignorance and bondage. And at the end of our journey on the physical plane, we leave the body behind and our soul-bird flies to the highest region of Light and Delight. There we take rest for some time before coming back once more to this earth. We come to earth in order to manifest our inner divinity and to fulfil the promise that our souls have made to the Absolute Supreme, our promise to manifest and fulfil Him here on earth as well as there in Heaven.
We love God. Therefore we want to live not in the unreal, but in the real. The unreal in us is the egocentric "I", the "I" that binds us and sings the song of separation. This is the personal "I", which tells us that we are of the finite and cannot come out of the finite. But the real in us is the universal "I". This "I" tells us that we are of the Infinite and we are for the Infinite. With this "I" we come into the world to sing the song of perfection, and when we retire from the earth-scene, with this same "I" we sing the song of realisation which we learnt here.
We love God. Divine Love is the first and foremost among our friends, here on earth, there in Heaven. Inside the heart of Love, we find two other friends: faith and devotion. Without faith we feel that our journey is insecure and that there is constant danger looming in our path. But when we see the face of our faith-friend, feel faith within us and grow into faith, we feel that our journey is quite safe. And when we see the face of our devotion-friend we know that we have found a short-cut, a sunlit road, to our destined Goal.
What makes us love God? It is God's boundless Compassion, His unconditional Compassion, that makes us love Him. God's divine Pride in us also makes us love Him. In addition, our inner cry, the climbing flame within us, makes us love God, for this flame knows that, unless and until it reaches the Highest, we can never see the face of abiding satisfaction. The world can offer us many things, but it cannot offer abiding satisfaction. This we must get from our inner life, our inner world. On the strength of our inner cry we have to reach the highest Pinnacle; and then we have to come down and distribute to the world at large what we have received and achieved in the highest plane of our consciousness.
We are all seekers. A seeker is one whose inner being is inundated with opportunity. There are three hundred and sixty-five days in a year. For a genuine sincere seeker, each day offers a new opportunity, and each opportunity is one rung in the ladder leading to our destined Goal. The seeker knows that if he cries soulfully from the inmost recesses of his heart, then each day he will climb up to a new and higher rung. Once we climb up the ladder of inner evolution and reach the Highest, we will see that the Highest is not something new; it was always within us, only we had not yet discovered it as our very own. Once we feel that the Highest is our very own, we have to reveal and manifest it. This is the cosmic Game that we play and that we have been playing from time immemorial.
The deeper we go, the sooner we discover that not only do we love God, but also God loves us. But God loves us in His own Way, not in our way. Right now we feel that God loves us if He fulfils our desires or aspirations. But when we go deep within and experience real Love, the divine Love, we will feel at every moment that we are God's chosen children. And whether He fulfils our immediate wishes or not, we know that whatever He does He is doing for our own good. Furthermore, we come to realise that He is constantly fulfilling Himself in and through us.
God is within each individual. He is found in unity and He is found in multiplicity. This moment God is unity and the next moment God is multiplicity. Again, He is unity in multiplicity and multiplicity in unity. When we love God unconditionally, we feel that at every moment we are facing Reality and growing into Reality, and finally we realise that we are also transcending Reality, that we are flowing in the stream of the ever-transcending Reality, which is our perfect Immortality. Only when we are aware of our divine, transcendental Reality can we establish our perfect Immortality here on earth and there in Heaven.
FFB 82. Omaha Milo Bail Student Center, University of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska, 5 March 1974 — 12:30 pm.↩
The spiritual life1Dear brothers and sisters, we are all students, students of the higher knowledge of the eternal Truth. A student learns and unlearns. A student learns the things that are inspiring, illumining and fulfilling; and he unlearns the things that are useless, the things that make him feel at every moment that his life is doomed. He learns the message of Light, inner Light; and he unlearns the message of ignorance and darkness.
How do we become spiritual? We become spiritual by emptying the mind, the mind that unconsciously cherishes fear and doubt. We try to empty fear, doubt and other undivine thoughts or foreign elements from the mind. We can also become spiritual by silencing the mind. When we can silence the mind, our life becomes a fertile field where a bumper crop can grow. There is still another way to become spiritual: by purifying the heart. In a pure heart, God can manifest Himself with all His Radiance. A heart of purity can easily become one, inseparably one, with God's eternal Reality, Divinity and Omnipresence. When we empty the mind, we welcome God; but when we purify the heart, we actually place a throne for God inside our heart, which is His Home.
To become spiritual is to represent the ideal within us. What is this ideal? Our ideal is God the infinite Light and eternal Truth. On the strength of our aspiration, our inner cry, we grow into our ideal, then we reveal the ideal and finally we manifest the ideal.
Before we become spiritual, life is meaningless, life is a most deplorable burden. But after we become spiritual, we do not feel the heavy weight of life. On the contrary, we feel that we have become like birds flying in the welkin of Infinity and Immortality. Our life offers us real meaning, for it is a life of love and divinity.
Before we become spiritual, we do not see or feel God's loving Hand and ever-compassionate Heart. But after we become spiritual we feel God's guidance consciously and constantly in all our multifarious activities. When we become spiritual, God unites our heart with His own Heart of eternal Truth and infinite Light, Peace and Bliss.
An ordinary person wants to possess God; a spiritual person wants God to possess him. The ordinary person feels that if he gets God, then he will be able to lord it over the world; the entire world will be at his feet. But a spiritual person wants to be possessed by God. He feels that if he possesses God, at any moment the world of temptation may lure him and he may fall. But if God the Almighty possesses him, he will never be able to fall. The seeker always wants God to look after him and guide him. He feels that if he is possessed by God, then at every moment he can be of dedicated service to mankind. And only by serving God in mankind will he have abiding satisfaction.
Not by establishing an empire can man achieve abiding satisfaction, but only by self-awakening and self-giving. The seeker knows this truth; therefore he wants to renounce the undivine in himself and embrace the divine. The undivine in him is fear, doubt, anxiety and worry; the divine in him is strength, courage, faith, the feeling of oneness and the sense of perfection. An unspiritual person wants to discover peace in the world. But a spiritual person knows that he can discover peace only in the inmost recesses of his own heart. An unaspiring person will not find satisfaction or peace of mind, no matter how favourable the outer conditions are, because he does not know where to look or how to look for it. But a spiritual person, whatever opposition or unpropitious circumstances he has to face, will always have abundant peace and satisfaction, for they will flow from within him in an unquenchable flood. For the sincere seeker, peace reigns supreme because of his life of aspiration.
For an ordinary person, the aggressive vital is normal and necessary. But for a spiritual person, the vital does not always have to be aggressive. It can become pure and dynamic. When we have a pure, dynamic vital, we feel that we can really establish the kingdom of Truth on earth. When our vital is dynamic, we expand our consciousness. But when our vital is aggressive, we just destroy others; and while destroying others, we diminish our own reality, which is the universal reality.
There is also a divine vital within us. This vital operates only in our sincerity, humility, clarity and self-giving. The aggressive vital or the dynamic vital can say, in the words of Julius Caesar, "Veni, vidi, vici", "I came, I saw, I conquered." But the divine vital says, "I came, I surrendered, I became. I came to God; I surrendered my existence to God; I became God the infinite Compassion, God the infinite Love, God the infinite Concern."
In our day-to-day existence, we discover that life is nothing but duty. This duty is a constant source of discouragement and frustration, as though somebody has placed a heavy load on our shoulders. But in the spiritual life, duty is taken in a different way. Duty means opportunity. Each time we fulfil our duty, we feel that we have gone one step further towards the Ultimate Goal. And each time we fulfil our divine duty, God entrusts us with more Peace, Light and Bliss.
A sincere spiritual seeker feels that human life is a constant blessing. Life is not bondage or frustration; life is opportunity. Here on earth is where we have to see the face of Truth and grow into the very image of the transcendental Reality. Life has to be utilised for a high purpose, for a divine purpose, for a fulfilling purpose. As an ordinary person cries for name and fame, for worldly satisfaction, a sincere seeker also cries; but he cries for Truth, for Light, for Bliss. He cries for God. He wants God to make him His perfect instrument. He does not want to be the doer, he does not want to be the action, he does not want to be the observer. He wants God to be the doer, he wants God to be the deed, he wants God to be the witness and he wants God to fulfil Himself in every way in and through him.
An ordinary, unaspiring person may see the Reality-tree from a distance, but he is afraid of it. He feels that the Reality-tree is all Light, and he is afraid that this Light will expose his ignorance. But a sincere seeker just runs towards the Reality-tree, touches the root, sits at the foot of the tree for a few seconds, and then tries to climb up the tree. He feels that the Light of the Reality-tree does not expose; on the contrary, he feels that it illumines, and illumination is perfect fulfilment. There are people who do not launch into the spiritual life because they are afraid that their weaknesses will be exposed, or they feel that there is nothing worth having in the spiritual life. But a sincere seeker knows that life has true meaning only when we enter into the spiritual life, for the spiritual life is the root of the tree of eternal life. If there is no root, then the tree cannot grow, and he can never climb up to the highest branch.
A spiritual seeker wants to achieve Truth, Light, Peace and Bliss on the strength of his self-giving, for his self-giving is his God-becoming. When he consciously becomes what he eternally has been, he knows that life is not a dream but a reality; that life is not only the messenger or harbinger of satisfaction, but also the real satisfaction itself. God is experiencing Himself in and through life, which is a manifestation of His Light and Delight. The seeker knows that today he is of God and tomorrow he will be for God. He is of God: that is his realisation; he is for God: that is his revelation and manifestation.
FFB 83. Room 103, Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, Iowa, 5 March 1974 — 2:00 pm.↩
Silence1Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, I wish to give a very short talk on silence. Therefore, with your kind permission, I wish to maintain silence for a few minutes…
[Sri Chinmoy meditates with the audience briefly.]
Life needs and wants victory, but the victory that we achieve in the world of sound does not last for long. This victory is very fleeting. The victory that we achieve in the world of silence is everlasting, and each time a victory dawns in this inner world we feel that we are being prepared for a higher and more fulfilling victory in tomorrow's Dawn.
An ordinary man thinks either that silence cannot be achieved or that it is of no avail. But a seeker knows that silence can be achieved on the strength of his inner cry. He also knows that silence is of tremendous importance, for without silence we cannot see the face of Truth or grow into the very image of Truth and Light. Silence is within, but we have to discover it. Unless and until we discover our inner silence, we cannot feel that we are of God and for God. Inner silence is not just the absence of thoughts. No! Silence is the blossoming of our indomitable inner will. Silence is our inner wisdom-light. This wisdom-light is our conscious and constant surrender to the Will of our Inner Pilot, who inspires us, encourages us and guides us to the Shores of the Golden Beyond.
Silence is preparation, our preparation for God's examination. We come to know God's Hour only when we observe silence, only when we dive deep within. An unaspiring person does not and cannot know God's Hour. If God's Hour dawns in his life he fails to notice it. But a seeker who practises silence every day for half an hour or an hour knows when God's Hour is going to strike. And God not only tells him when the Hour will strike but also, like a private tutor, helps the seeker to pass his inner examination.
Silence is our protection. When we live in silence, we are protected by God's mightiest Power, His all-illumining Light. At that time the negative forces of fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, insecurity and selfishness can have no access to our inner being. We are protected by God within and without at every moment.
Silence is our transformation. When we observe silence consciously, our outer being is transformed. This transformation is a great achievement for Mother Earth. When a human being is transformed, Mother Earth feels that she has achieved something momentous, something that can be kept for eternity for the rest of humanity to treasure. And this transformation becomes a foundation for a higher and mightier achievement in the ever-continuing process of evolution.
Silence is our will-power. This will-power conquers the very pride of ignorance-night and manifests the Light of Divinity's Delight in aspiring souls who want to climb up to the highest Pinnacle and bring down the message of Immortality to earth. Our human mind says, "Silence is emptiness; it is sheer emptiness and nothingness." But our aspiring heart knows that silence is the fulness and plenitude of our Eternity's Height and Infinity's Light.
Infinity is that.
Infinity is this.
From Infinity, Infinity has come into existence.
From Infinity, when Infinity is taken away, Infinity remains.
This is the message that we get from silence. Again, the soul tells us that silence is oneness, our inseparable oneness, our universal oneness with the Pilot Supreme.
Silence is our Truth-consciousness, our highest Reality. This Reality in the inner world is our divine Love, our supreme Love for the world at large. And this Reality in the outer world is the supreme Glory of the Supreme for aspiring humanity.
Here we are all seekers. At times we are prone to watch our weaknesses, incapacities, limitations and imperfections. When we do this we are bound to be disappointed with ourselves. But our inner silence illumines us. It says, "Don't be disappointed. It is God within you who is going through a series of experiences in and through your imperfections." When we realise God, we see that these imperfections were necessary at the time for our evolution. And then, when they were no longer necessary, these imperfections were turned into perfections. From darkness we enter into Light. From the unreal we enter into Reality. From death we enter into Immortality.
Asato ma sad gamaya
tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
mrityor ma amritam gamaya
Lead me from the unreal to the Real.
Lead me from darkness to Light.
Lead me from death to Immortality.
Silence tells the seeker in us to love, to love himself. It tells us it is wrong to hate ourselves because of our imperfections. When the seeker loves himself, loves the Divine within himself, he eventually realises the Ultimate Truth. Then he comes to realise that it was not he who loved the Divine in himself, but it was God the Lover who loved God the eternal Beloved Supreme within him.
In Heaven God is Silence-dream. On earth God is Reality-sound. In His Silence, God prepares Himself. Through His cosmic Sound, God manifests Himself. The transcendental Silence is our Source, and the emanating sound is our manifestation. The higher we go, the deeper the silence we enjoy. And the deeper the silence we enjoy, the more fulfilling the manifestation of our divinity.
FFB 84. Battenfield Auditorium, Student Center, Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas, 5 March 1974 — 7:30 pm.↩
Prayer 1I pray. I pray to become God's perfect instrument. I pray to God to free me from the little "I" and to make me the big "I", the universal "I". The little "I" tells me what it can do for me. It tells me that it can destroy the world or bring the whole world to my feet. The universal "I" tells me that I am of God and for God. It tells me that I am all love for God the Creator and for God the Creation.
I pray. I pray to God to act through me and for me. When I act for myself, I create constant problems, untold problems. But when God acts in and through me, it is all divine achievement, fulfilling achievement.
I pray to God to choose for me. When I choose, I choose desire unconsciously or consciously. Then there comes a time when I consciously treasure desire, imperfection, limitation and bondage. I consciously want to remain in the finite and wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. But when God chooses for me, He chooses aspiration, the inner cry. This inner mounting flame takes me high, higher, highest and then brings me down to offer my realisation-fruit to aspiring humanity. When God chooses for me, He chooses Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. Infinity, Eternity and Immortality — these are only vague terms for those who do not aspire. But for those who aspire, these are living realities in the very heart of the seeker's aspiration.
I pray to God to make me one with suffering humanity. I pray to God to make me one with aspiring humanity. I pray to God to make me one with illumined humanity.
When I pray to God to make me one with suffering humanity, it is because the physical in me is at last seeing the truth that there is no end to suffering in the unenlightened physical consciousness. When I expand my physical consciousness, I share and thus lighten the burden of the suffering earth.
But now suffering humanity does not want to remain forever in its deplorable condition, so it begins to aspire. When it aspires, I have a free access to its aspiration, for when I expand my psychic consciousness, I become one with aspiring humanity. Then, when suffering has been ended by aspiration, when humanity is flying with the wings of aspiration, it enters into the world of illumined humanity. It is here, when we become part and parcel of illumined humanity, that we discover the meaning of life.
When I pray, I converse with God. I tell God that I need Him. God tells me, "My son, you need Me now. But I always needed you, I need you now, and I shall always need you." Then God asks, "Son, why do you need Me?" I reply, "Father, I need You because with You I am safe, with You I am happy; without You I am unsafe, without You I am unhappy." God says, "Son, I needed you to become My Dream-Boat. I need you to become My ever-flowing Life-River. I shall need you to become the Golden Shore of My ever-transcending Beyond."
When I pray loudly, my prayer is not soulful, and I cannot hear the faint Voice of God. But when I pray in silence, when I pray soulfully, I hear God's powerful Voice clearly and most significantly. When I pray to God out of fear, my fearful prayer does not reach God's door. But when I pray to God with love, my prayer reaches God's very Heart. And my loving prayer places me at the very Feet of God, my eternal Haven.
My prayer is a magnet and God's Concern is another magnet. When I pray, my magnet-prayer reaches the Highest and pulls God down into the very breath of my earthly consciousness. At that time, God offers me what He eternally is: Immortality's Smile. And when God's Concern-magnet pulls me up, I give Him what I have always been: inner cry, the inner cry of millennia.
When I reach the Highest on the strength of my prayer, God makes me His Dream-fulfilling Reality. When God comes down and feeds my heart on the strength of His unconditional Compassion, He makes me His Dream-fulfilled Reality. It is our reciprocal self-giving that makes us inseparably one. Through my prayer, I offer to God all that I have and all that I am: ignorance. And through His Compassion, God offers to me what He has and what He is: Peace, Light and Divinity's ever-flowing Bliss.
In the Western world, we use the vehicle of prayer to reach the Highest. In the Eastern world, especially in India, we use the vehicle of meditation. Both are of paramount importance; both are of equal value. Prayer and meditation will give us the same result provided they are both soulful. But we have to know what actually happens when we pray, and what actually happens when we meditate, even though the result is the same. When we pray, we feel that God is the listener, and we are the talker. We cry from within, and God listens to our cry and consoles us. Our prayer is our conversation with God. But when we meditate, we empty our minds and purify our hearts and become receptivity itself. At that time, God the Guest, the eternal Guest, enters into us and sits on the throne of our hearts. When this happens, God talks and we listen. In this way the conversation is always perfect. In prayer, we talk and God listens; and in meditation, God talks and we listen. Let us pray; God is bound to listen to our prayers, our inner cry. Let us meditate; we are bound to listen to God's Voice, His inner Voice.
Prayer tells us that we are for God, for Him alone. Meditation tells us that we are of God, of Him alone. It was through the power of meditation, the soul's meditation, that the soul came down into the physical world. And now the soul will go back to its own transcendental Height by offering its prayer. The soul becomes one with earth-bound prayer, and this earth-bound prayer eventually grows into Heaven-free realisation.
Let us pray; God is listening to us. Let us meditate; we shall hear God's Voice. When we pray, God becomes our Beloved Supreme and we His eternal Lover. When we meditate, we become God's Beloved and He our Divine Lover Supreme.
FFB:85. Room 217, Haag Hall, University of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri, 5 March 1974 — 9:00 pm. ↩
Question: What is the purpose of reincarnation?Sri Chinmoy: Let us take a new incarnation as tomorrow's reality. Today we exist; we know today is a reality to us. But when tomorrow dawns we see that there is a new life. Reincarnation means new life. Life for me is today, but when tomorrow dawns the consciousness that I enter into tomorrow will be a new life. Now, why do we need tomorrow? We need tomorrow because we have not accomplished everything that we wanted to accomplish today. Let us take each incarnation as another today. We come into the world for satisfaction. While we follow the path of desire we find that we are never satisfied. Each time we fulfil one desire, more desires take its place. There is no end to our desires. So we come back to earth again and again to fulfil our endless desires. But when we enter into the path of aspiration we do get satisfaction. If we get an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss we are satisfied to some extent. But still we feel the need, the inner urge, for more Light, infinite Light, so we come back until we realise the Highest. Then, after realisation, God wants us to reveal and manifest the Highest. In this way we fulfil God and God fulfils Himself in and through us.
Question: What kind of powers do we get from meditation?Sri Chinmoy: When we have human power, earthly power, we try to lord it over others; we want to show our supremacy. But when we acquire power from our meditation we try to offer it to the world at large; we use it to fight the world's ignorance. And if we still have ignorance in ourselves, we use the power that we get from meditation to illumine our own imperfections and to perfect our own individual consciousness.
Question: If we meditate, will this in any way help our friends and neighbours?Sri Chinmoy: It is through constant prayer and meditation that the inner world will come to the outer world. If you pray and meditate early in the morning, if you treasure divine thoughts, they will immediately enter into your friends and dear ones. But if you cherish undivine thoughts, destructive thoughts, these also will affect the world around you. We can feel that our soul wants to be friendly, wants to illumine the world around us. First we have to know that the entire world has a common source, the Supreme. If we water the root, then only will the branches and the leaves be able to drink. If we don't feed the root, then the branches and leaves will all die. So the first thing we do in the morning is go to the root, the source: the Almighty Father, the Supreme. And from the Source we move out to the rest of the world.
Part III — Questions and answers: University of Tennessee
Question: What has been your experience of God?Sri Chinmoy: I have experienced God in the personal as well as the impersonal form. At this moment, I see Him as an expanse of Light and Delight. The next moment He may take the form of a most luminous being. When we realise the Highest, we see that He is at once personal and impersonal. Like water and ice, He can be with form or without. Sometimes water is liquid, and we can swim in it. Other times it is solid, and we can walk on it. In the spiritual life also, sometimes we are fond of the impersonal aspect of the Highest Absolute, sometimes we are fond of the personal aspect. The Highest is beyond personal and impersonal but, at the same time, He embodies both. The Highest is formless, and at the same time He is with form. If we have to state in a word what He is, we have to say that He is both, and again, that He is beyond both. We cannot grasp God with the human mind. In the beginning He is this; then He is that. Then there comes a time when He is beyond both. The Highest is the ever-transcending Reality. Today's Beyond is tomorrow's starting point.
Question: What is the relation between aspiration and prayer and meditation?Sri Chinmoy: When we aspire, we find that we have the capacity to pray and the capacity to meditate. Prayer takes us up into the highest Beyond and shows us the face of the Ultimate Truth. Meditation brings down the reality of the Beyond into the vastness of our own inner silence and enables us to offer this reality to the world at large.
Question: Are you right now in your highest plane of consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: I am now in a high plane of consciousness, but not in my highest plane of consciousness. I am in a calm plane of consciousness, where I can observe what is taking place in both the inner world and the outer world. I am right now in the psychic world, the world of the heart, where there is all love, all oneness. Here my heart is wide open. I have come here to be of service to the seeker in each of you, so my consciousness is the consciousness of inner dedication. We are sharing here. You are sharing your aspiration with me and I am sharing my realisation with you.
Part IV — Questions and answers: Tulane University
Question: Why are some people receptive to God's Light and others not?Sri Chinmoy: A farmer sows thousands of seeds, but perhaps only a few hundred of the seeds ever germinate. He offers equal concern while he is throwing the seeds, but the seed itself must have some power of receptivity. God is giving what He has: His Light. But each individual has to feel the necessity of receiving it. One person is hungry and somebody else is not hungry. One person is fast asleep when God's Hour dawns; somebody else jumps up and runs. It is the same Hour, the same opportunity. But when the Hour strikes, if somebody is still fast asleep, what can he accomplish? Because he is not receptive, he does not get up; but the other one immediately gets up and runs towards the goal.
Opportunity comes for everyone. The hour strikes at the same time, and all have been given limited freedom. But one wants to utilise freedom by accepting the Light, the other wants to utilise freedom by not accepting Light at all. With my freedom of choice, my free will, I can accept the Light. But if I choose to remain in the vital, then I can show my individuality and not accept the Light. Showing one's individuality expresses one kind of freedom. That is one kind of capacity. But showing one's universality, becoming one with God's Will, is also a capacity, and a much greater capacity. If someone wants to utilise his freedom in that way, naturally he will receive God's infinite Light.
Question: If two persons choose to accept God's Light, will they both absorb an equal amount?Sri Chinmoy: We both accept God's Light, but if your inner hunger is not as intense as mine, naturally you will not be able to eat the same quantity. If one person has an insatiable hunger and someone else is satisfied with only a little, naturally the former will accept more.
Question: And if we are both equally hungry?Sri Chinmoy: Then we shall run together. But I wish to tell you that very few people are equally hungry. For me, perhaps just a drop of nectar is enough. For someone else it will be ten drops. And a third person will say, "I need the infinite ocean." If two persons are of the same type, or the same capacity, naturally they will run together. But the inner hunger is rarely the same.
Part V — Questions and answers: Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College
Question: What do you feel about astrology?Sri Chinmoy: I feel it has helped and will continue to help mankind greatly. But astrology is not the highest Truth. Astrology is not the Highest; God is the Highest. If a seeker reaches the Highest and prays to God to change his fate, God can easily do it. So astrology is not the Absolute Truth; the Absolute Truth is God.
But astrology does have some truth. So it is up to the individual whether to be satisfied with astrology or with God. If the seeker finds it difficult to go to the Absolute all at once, naturally he can go step by step. If he has faith, tremendous faith, in astrology, then naturally he will benefit from greater understanding of it. But one's fate can be changed by an unchanging Will, by the Divine Will, by the Omnipotent Will. And that Will is within us. If we can have a free access to that Will, then we can go far beyond the domain of astrology.
Question: Can you say something about the other worlds or other planes of consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: This is not the only world; there are other worlds and other planes of consciousness. As we know, there are seven higher worlds and seven lower worlds. Each world has its own kind of love. The higher we go, the more we feel love as an expansion of consciousness — constant expansion, constant freedom. And the lower we go, the more we see love as something that is binding us, the more we find ourselves at the mercy of love.
When we pray and meditate, when we go deep within, we become aware of a ladder of consciousness leading to the higher worlds. Consciousness itself is a ladder which has seven rungs. So each time we step on a rung we know that we are in a different world.
Part VI — Questions and answers: University of South Alabama
Question: Do you teach any mantra or any meditation techniques to your disciples?Sri Chinmoy: We have a path of our own, but we do not teach any outer technique as such. Our path is the path of love, devotion and surrender. We feel that this approach can lead us to our destined Goal. Outwardly, I do not give any specific mantra to my disciples. But inwardly I do help them when they meditate. When my disciples meditate with me, or when they invoke me in their meditation, I bring down Peace, Light and Bliss from Above, and in silence they learn how to meditate properly from within. This technique cannot be demonstrated outwardly or taught by means of words. Our technique is the practice of conscious surrender to God's Will, divine love for God, and constant self-dedication to the Supreme within us. This is the technique which my disciples follow.
Question: You said that the human in us is scared to death when it sees vastness. Could you explain this a little more?Sri Chinmoy: When the human in us does not have any illumination, when we see vastness we are immediately frightened by it because it is something totally alien to us. It is completely outside the bounds of our experience. But when we aspire and the divine in us begins to come to the fore, we see some Light, at least a tiny ray of Light, within us. And because we have an iota of Light within us, then we see that the infinite Light of the vastness in front of us is like a friend or a relative. Now we are in darkness, and we do not dare to claim Light as our own. But if we have a little Light, then we feel that eventually we can grow into the infinite Light. If I have one dollar, I feel that if I try then I can get much more. But if I don't have even a dollar, then I feel that money is simply beyond my capacity to attain.
A child has very limited strength, limited knowledge, limited power. But he feels his identity, his oneness, with his father and knows that his father's capacity will eventually grow into him. If his father has material wealth, then he will also have material wealth in the course of time. Because of his oneness with his father, the child knows his wealth and claims it as his birthright. So when we establish some sense of oneness with the Vast, with the Light which is our Source, we feel that the boundless Reality of Peace, Light and Bliss is going to be ours.
Our heart of insecurity will not remain always a heart of insecurity. If every day we pray and meditate, then Light will descend into our heart. First a little Light descends, then more Light, then vast, boundless Light. With our inner Light we can approach the Light that is around us with no fear at all. For what we see around us is a manifestation, a projection, of what we have within. There is nothing which we cannot claim as ours, for our root is God. If our root is God, the omnipresent Reality, then we shall not be afraid of anything.
Right now we identify with ignorance, and feel that God is somebody or something separate from us. We feel a yawning gulf between our existence and God's. Because we have not tried to go deep within, our own reality is a stranger to us. Naturally we are afraid of this reality since it is a stranger. But once we go deep within we see that our reality is not a stranger. It is only a manifestation of the one Reality, and that Reality is the Supreme, the Source within us.
Question: Is it possible to have peace but not happiness?Sri Chinmoy: No! Real peace and happiness are inseparable. But we have to know that peace must be established on all the levels of our being. Perhaps we have established peace inside our heart, but not inside our mind. If we do not have peace of mind, then how will we have happiness? If one part of the being remains without peace — either the heart, the mind, the vital or the physical — then happiness will remain a far cry. Real peace — divine peace, illumining peace, fulfilling peace — is bound to give us happiness when the entire being is inundated with it. We are bound to be happy if the entire being is peaceful.
Question: Do you believe that Jesus was the son of God? Do you believe that Jesus was a transcendental Being?Sri Chinmoy: I consider Jesus the son of God and also a transcendental Being. Jesus is called the son of man, but he brought down to earth with him the divine Consciousness. The son of God means the conscious possessor of the infinite divine Consciousness. Jesus consciously embodied the Almighty Father, the Supreme, the Absolute. At times in his life he called himself the son of God. "Our Father who is in Heaven," he used to say. But also, there came a time when he said, "I and my Father are one."
Jesus had to present himself to the world at large as the son of man so that people would have faith in their own possibility. Otherwise people would have thought, "Oh, he is divine; that is why he can do everything." But when they could say, "If he can reach the Highest, we also can," they were encouraged and inspired to go deep within and aspire. Again, Jesus had to show that Heaven and earth are not at two different places. He showed that Heaven is inside our hearts, inside our consciousness, and that we can all be conscious children of God. And at times he had to offer his divine authority to the world, for only in this way could he establish his consciousness on earth. At these times it was necessary for him to reveal himself to the world as a transcendental Being, and he did so.
At one moment Jesus was the son of man, bound by the limitations of the physical nature. At other moments he was the conscious son of God leading the world to its destined Goal. And at still other moments he said, "Where is the Goal if not within me?" When Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Light," he meant that within him, within his divine consciousness, was the Goal itself. So he had to play three roles simultaneously during his stay on earth.
Question: If truth is in us and boundless consciousness is in us, then why do we always look for them outside ourselves?Sri Chinmoy: Our heart, our spiritual heart, is as large as the Universal Consciousness Itself. Truth is always inside our heart; it is not something outside of us. But when we think of ourselves, we think of the body with height and weight and certain features; we do not think of ourselves as something vast or infinite. But when we begin our spiritual search for truth and boundless consciousness, it is always an inner search. We do not look outside of ourselves for these things. When we realise the Highest, when we are in the inner world, in the world of divine Reality, at that time this physical body is not our only reality. Our true Reality we see as something vast and infinite. Right now we do not identify ourselves with that inner Reality, so we often feel that truth and boundless consciousness are something outside us. Once we begin to think of ourselves as infinite, eternal and immortal, then we will know where to look for these and all other divine qualities.
Part VII — Questions and answers: Wheeling College
Question: I understand that you are speaking in fifty states. What is the purpose of this tour?Sri Chinmoy: I have come here to serve. I feel that my service is like sowing a seed, a spiritual seed. If I see that somebody is aspiring, I know that God has given me the capacity to increase the flame of aspiration within him. My service is for those who are ready to accept, not necessarily my path, but some kind of inner life. I try to bring to the fore their own inner life. I try to encourage and inspire those who are a little bit awakened so that, instead of walking, they will march or run towards their Goal. It is to offer further inspiration to sincere seekers that I go from one place to another.
Being a lover of God, I see each state as a different home. All houses belong to God, and I am a son of God. So I go from one home to another to visit all my brothers and sisters. I feel it is my bounden duty to be of service to my brothers and sisters according to my capacity, the capacity that the Supreme has given me.
Question: You talk about first getting truth from within and then bringing it out to the world. I am wondering how much of an involvement you would allow for things like politics, marriage and other secular activities while one is engaged in the inner search.Sri Chinmoy: We must try to live a balanced life. The outer life and the inner life must go together. We must not exclude the world, but we must also use our wisdom. We have to know our own inner strength and how much we can be involved in ordinary earthly activities without being distracted or pulled down from our inner life. If we receive enough strength from within, we can easily handle the outer life. But if we are inwardly weak, the outer life can be like a mad elephant, which we are unable to control.
If we do not go deep within, if we give all our attention to the material aspect of life, then we find that even the achievement of material success does not satisfy us. Again, if we withdraw totally from the outer life and live a sheltered and withdrawn life, manifestation of our inner progress will be lacking. So we have to know that a true divine life is a life of realisation and manifestation. If there is only manifestation and realisation is lacking, then there can be no perfection. On the other hand, if we care only for realisation and not for manifestation, there will be no perfection there either.
Perfection means the oneness or the flowering of realisation and manifestation together. But light must come from the inner life to illumine the outer life, for in this way everything which the outer life offers to the world will be divine. The inner life will give what the inner life has to offer, and the outer life will give what the divinised outer life has to offer. The inner life will offer Peace, Light and Bliss to the outer life, and the outer life will gladly accept it. When the outer life is ready to serve, when the outer life is purified and illumined to some extent, then it will work in the world and offer its achievements and capacities to the world at large as a dedicated service. It is mutual acceptance that will offer us perfection in our lives. Those involved in the inner life will accept the outer life as well, and those in the outer world will accept the inner life as another necessity. In this way the Kingdom of Heaven will be born on earth.
Question: Could you tell us a bit more about what being a disciple involves?Sri Chinmoy: Whoever becomes my disciple naturally feels something in me, and if I accept him as a disciple, naturally I see something in him. A disciple and a Master make individual promises to each other. The disciple promises that he will follow the Master's path devotedly and soulfully. And the Master makes a solemn promise that he shall lead and guide the disciple to the destined Goal. The disciple makes his promise only to the Master, because for him right now the goal is the Master. He cannot conceive of the ultimate Goal, so he goes to an individual who has some Peace, Light and Bliss. Gradually, as he approaches his Master's consciousness, his only Goal becomes the Supreme. But the Master, right from the beginning, makes his promise to the soul of the disciple and also to the Supreme. He promises that he will take this seeker to God. The acceptance of a disciple and the acceptance of a Master are like mutual offerings. The disciple has tremendous aspiration; that is why he has come to the Master. So he gives what he has, his aspiration, to the Master. And the Master, just because he is a Master, has inner illumination. The Master selflessly offers his illumination to the disciple.
Question: Does the Master remain in contact with the disciple through prayer and meditation?Sri Chinmoy: Yes. Prayer and meditation are the real communication. The disciple prays, not to the Master, but to the Supreme, the Highest, the Absolute within the Master; and he also meditates in this way. But the Master observes the disciple and sees whether his prayer is sincere and his meditation is soulful. If it is, then the Master carries the disciple's prayer or meditation directly to the Supreme, and brings back Peace, Light and Bliss from the Supreme to the disciple.
The Master is like a beggar. He comes to the disciple with folded hands and says, "Pray sincerely, meditate soulfully." Then he goes to the Supreme and says, "Please grant me Your Peace, Light and Bliss so that I can offer it to my spiritual children, who are praying and meditating so soulfully." The Master cries to the disciples to pray and meditate soulfully, and he cries to the Supreme to grant them Peace, Light and Bliss.
Question: Is it necessary for the Master and disciple to come together on occasion?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is absolutely necessary. It is always advisable to visit the Master occasionally if you are not in the same city or same state. We have a physical mind, and the physical mind is satisfied only when it receives a very solid, positive experience. If we do not see the Master, then the world may tell us that our Master is like this or that, and our physical minds may start doubting our inner experiences. But if we see our Master personally, then our physical minds will have a better conception of him. This does not mean that the disciple will have more faith in his Master or make more progress if he stays with the Master twenty-four hours a day. Far from it! The disciple has to pay attention to developing an inner connection as well as an outer connection with his Master. But as long as the Master is on earth, it is good to remain in contact with him outwardly through seeing him, by telephone or by letter, so that on the physical plane the Master knows what is happening in the disciple's life, and the disciple knows that his Master knows. When the Master is no longer on the physical plane, then the disciple has to remain in contact with the Master through his most sincere and intense meditation.
Question: How do the Master and the disciple deal with a problem that seems to separate them rather than bring them together?Sri Chinmoy: When a problem arises in a disciple, the disciple should immediately offer that problem to the Master. The Master will gratefully accept the problem as his very own. The relationship is like that of a child and his parents. If the child has some difficulty, he immediately tells his parents, who then take full responsibility. If the child has a headache or a sore throat, he tells his parents. They call the doctor, who gives him medicine. Similarly, when one of my disciples has a problem, he tells me inwardly or outwardly. Then I go to the doctor, the Supreme Doctor, to whom I have free access. From Him I bring down Peace, Light and Bliss and offer it to the disciple. Then the problem is illumined and solved. As an ordinary father is responsible for his child when the child is suffering, so also the spiritual father takes responsibility for the problems of his disciples when the disciples freely and sincerely offer them to him.
Editor's preface to the first editionThe ten lectures in this book are part of a fifty-state lecture tour Sri Chinmoy was invited to give in 1974. The talks in this third series were delivered in February and March of 1974. The questions in this book were put to Sri Chinmoy by students at the universities where he spoke.