Flame-Waves, part 1

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Question: How do we know if it is the proper time for us to enter into the spiritual life? Can the spiritual life help us to overcome frustration?

Sri Chinmoy: We can begin the spiritual life only when we feel the need. When we feel hunger we eat. Similarly, when we have the inner hunger we have to feed ourselves with Peace, Light and Bliss.

Now human beings are full of frustration. Every day begins with a new frustration, disappointment and sense of total failure. How can we conquer frustration, despair and other unaspiring and negative forces? We can do so only when we consciously feel that there is something beyond, far beyond these frustrations and so-called failures. Our human life cannot and does not end with failure precisely because the divine in us will never accept failure. The divine in us will eventually manifest the soul’s Light and Truth on earth if we have the conscious cry, or conscious hunger for the Light that can transform our frustrations into radiant achievements.

He who does not aspire is a total failure in God’s Eyes. But his aspiration is only a matter of time. God Himself will aspire in him and through him when the hour strikes. But if we consciously fight on the side of the inner Truth and inner Reality, if we listen to the dictates of the inner voice, then we hasten the progress of our own life and the progress of all mankind.

Frustration exists just because we do not see anything beyond frustration or do not consciously want to go beyond frustration. Let us take frustration as a thing that can be captured and offered at the feet of God or offered at the feet of any happiness or good experience we have had — even if it was ten or twenty years ago. The power of the happy experience will destroy the power of frustration or transform frustration into glowing inspiration at the feet of inner awakening and outer realisation.

Question: How can we bring enough perfection into our own lives and into the world to be truly satisfied?

Sri Chinmoy: If we want to accept only the limited insignificant perfection that we notice in the world, then we can never be satisfied. Hunger for perfection is like any other hunger. If you have an immense hunger, a very little portion of food will not satisfy you. We have the hunger now for infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. Our outer being will not be satisfied when it receives only an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss. It will be satisfied only when it has Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure.

The more we achieve inwardly, the clearer will be our conception of perfection. If we are satisfied with only a little inner attainment, like the mystics and mediums, we will say we have perfection according to our satisfaction. But the perfection that satisfies them need not and cannot satisfy the inner hunger of someone who cries for absolute perfection in his nature and the earth-consciousness. The higher we go, the more we receive and achieve and become aware of the possibility of integral perfection in our nature and elsewhere.

Complete and total perfection will come about only when we feel that our perfection is no perfection when the rest of humanity remains imperfect. If we call ourselves children of God, then others are also children of God. If we do not share with them what little we have, then what right have we to call them our brothers? They may be travelling a few miles behind us, or they may be fast asleep. But they must reach the Goal before perfect Perfection can dawn on earth.

Each individual has to make a decision. Each seeker has to discover within himself at what point he wants to stop his inner quest for Truth and Light. If he is ready to continue, to march on, to dive deeper within, and if he feels that there is no end to his achievement, only then will he be ready to offer the message of ever-fulfilling and ever-transcending Perfection. What you call perfection today, you may call imperfection itself tomorrow. A child’s perfection is the ability to scream and shout and strike others. But when he grows up, his idea of perfection may be just the opposite. And if he enters into the spiritual life then his sense of perfection will be something else. He will try to conquer his fear, his doubt, his jealousy and other negative forces. But when he goes deep within after he has achieved what he wanted for himself, he will feel that only his limited self has been satisfied. His larger self, which is humanity entire, is far, far from perfection. So he will try to remove fear, doubt, anxiety, worries and other undivine forces from humanity.

In our path we feel that perfection has to be total and integral. We know that we have imperfection in our nature, and at the same time we have limited perfection. If the imperfection right now looms large, we have to brave that imperfection and transform it into perfection. Through our conscious prayer, meditation, concentration and contemplation the imperfection of the past can be perfected, and the darkness can be transformed into Light.

The perfection of the body lies in its conscious awareness of the ever-progressive dynamic Truth. The perfection of the vital lies in its acceptance of the Truth in a dynamic form. The perfection of the mind lies in its acceptance of the vast, the infinite, as its very own. The perfection of the heart lies in its acceptance of earth’s cry and Heaven’s compassion as its very own.

This is how we can see, feel and manifest perfection in our everyday life. The seekers of the infinite Truth can manifest perfection in the body, in the vital, in the mind and in the heart only through conscious awareness and acceptance of the ever-increasing, ever-transcending Reality.

Question: Will the process of striving for perfection ever come to an end?

Sri Chinmoy: It will never come to an end, because God Himself does not want to end His Cosmic Game. Today what we feel is the ultimate perfection, tomorrow will be just the starting point of our journey. This is because our consciousness is evolving. When the consciousness evolves to a higher level, our sense of perfection simultaneously goes higher. Let us take perfection as an achievement. When we are a kindergarten student, our achievement in perfection may be very good for that stage. But from kindergarten we go to primary school, high school, college and university. When we get our Master’s degree in perfection our achievement is much greater than what it was when we were in kindergarten. But even then we may feel that there are many things more that we have to learn. Then we will study further and enlarge our consciousness still more. If the child thinks that the Master’s degree will always remain unattainable then he is mistaken. The spiritual ladder has quite a few rungs. If we do not step onto the first rung then how can we climb up to the ultimate rung of the ladder? We start with inspiration, and from there we begin to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. And these three words — concentration, meditation, contemplation — are included in one word: aspiration. We start with inspiration and continue with aspiration. There is no end to aspiration, and there is no end to our achievement of perfection.

Question: I always felt it was selfish to look for salvation. I thought that this would come of itself if one did the right thing.

Sri Chinmoy: You are absolutely right. Salvation will come in its own way, at the chosen hour, if you do the right thing. And what is the right thing? The right thing is to pray, to concentrate, to meditate. If you climb up a tree then you get the fruit. But if you don’t climb up, then the fruit will always remain out of reach. In the spiritual life, when we climb up, God’s Grace descends.

Getting salvation is like getting a salary. You work at the United Nations. At a specified time your salary is bound to come. But that is because you also play your part — you come and work here. Similarly, if you do something for God, for mankind, salvation will come. Instead of living in desire, if you live in aspiration, salvation will come. What you are supposed to do is pray, concentrate and meditate, and if you do, naturally you will get salvation. It is not by saying, “Give me salvation, give me salvation,” that you will get it. Salvation doesn’t come that way. But if you do the right thing, which is to live a spiritual life, a life of dedication and devotion, automatically you will get salvation.

Question: What age were you when you commenced meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: I started consciously meditating at the age of eleven, but at four or five I used to say a daily prayer, as children do. When I was eleven I became fully conscious of divinity, that is to say, of concentration and meditation, and I started to take it very seriously. Before that I spent one, two, three minutes in prayer. By the age of thirteen I was meditating eight hours daily. I have to say that I began meditation seriously at the age of eleven.

Question: You say we should meditate in the heart, but I find it easier to meditate in the mind.

Sri Chinmoy: If you find it easier in the mind, then meditate in the mind. But if you do so, you will be able to meditate for perhaps five minutes, and out of that five minutes, for one minute you may meditate very powerfully. After that you will feel your whole head getting tense. First you get joy, satisfaction, but then you may feel a barren desert. For five minutes you will get something, but if you want to go on beyond that, you may feel nothing. If you meditate here [in the heart] a day will come when you start getting satisfaction. If you meditate in the heart, you are meditating where the soul is. True, the soul is everywhere — in the mind, in the body, everywhere. But it is like my situation now. I am here at the United Nations. If someone asks, “Where is Chinmoy?” you can say that I am at the United Nations, or you can say that I am in Conference Room 10. My presence is spiritually pervading the entire United Nations, but my living consciousness is right here in this room. If you come here, I will be able to do more for you than for others who are elsewhere in the building. Similarly, when you focus your concentration in the heart, you get much more inner satisfaction than when you meditate in the mind, because the heart is the seat of the soul. But it is difficult for some people to meditate in the heart because they are not used to doing it.

You have to be wise. There is a vast difference between what you can get from the mind and what you can get from the heart. The mind is limited; the heart is unlimited. Deep within us is infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. To get a limited quantity is an easy task. Meditation in the mind can give it to you. But you can get more if you meditate in the heart. Suppose you have the opportunity to work at two places. At one place you will earn $200, and at the other place $500. If you are wise, you will not waste your time at the first place. But you have to know that the Source and the Reality is in the heart. Reality is everywhere, but the actual manifestation of the Reality has to be in a particular place. Inside the heart is the soul, and if you meditate in the heart the result is infinitely more fulfilling.

Let us not be satisfied with the things that we get very easily. Let us cry for something which is more difficult to get, but which is infinite and everlasting. If you get something from the mind, tomorrow doubt may come and tell you that it is not real. But once you get something from the heart you will never be able to doubt it or forget it. An experience on the psychic plane can never be erased from the heart.

Question: In meditation sometimes the mind stops functioning and there seems to be little information coming.

Sri Chinmoy: In meditation we should not give importance to the mind. If there is no information coming it is good. Real meditation is not information; it is identification. The mind tries to create oneness by grabbing and capturing you and this may easily make you revolt. But the heart creates oneness through identification. The mind tries to possess. The heart just expands and, while expanding, it embraces. With the mind we only divide ourselves. The mind may try to do something and immediately the body or the vital may try to prevent it. But if the heart wants to do something, no matter how difficult, it will be done. This is because when the mind gets no satisfaction when it tries something, it just says that there is no reality there and gives up. But when the heart does not get satisfaction, it feels that it has not done the thing properly. So it tries again, and continues trying until satisfaction dawns at last.

Question: What do you mean when you speak of unconditional surrender to God's Will, and how can we develop this quality?

Sri Chinmoy: When we do something unconditionally, we do something really great, and for that we need much preparation. Ordinarily we do everything conditionally. We go to a shop and give the shopkeeper money and the shopkeeper gives us what we need. In this world it is always give and take. We are exchanging things of equal value. But God has everything in infinite measure. If we do something for God, then what we will get from Him will be far beyond our expectation. We will get much more than we give. If we give God an iota of prayer, one minute of prayer, the things that God will give us will be most fulfilling. But there comes a time when we pray to God with the feeling that this is what He wishes us to do. At that time we become the chosen instruments of God and the representatives of God on earth, and then we feel that we are really fulfilling God in His own Way.

As long as we are on earth we are fulfilling God according to our own limited, very limited capacity. Everybody is fulfilling God in this way. But when we do something with the conscious feeling that what we do is being done by God in us and through us, then even if we just give a smile, in that smile there is infinite potentiality, infinite capacity.

There comes a time in our life of aspiration when, if somebody says “God” we will feel that he is referring to us, and not to somebody else. Now God is a third person. I am somebody. You are somebody. And God is a third person. We are completely separate, each with a personality of his own. But a day will come when we make unconditional surrender to God’s Will. At that time, when somebody speaks to us, we will feel that God is speaking to God. But it is all done gradually. It takes a few months of constant exercise to develop very powerful muscles. Unconditional surrender is much more difficult to develop. It takes continual daily exercise, and that exercise is our prayer, our meditation.

Question: While I am in the office how can I control my emotions? There is so much injustice and nothing we can do to help ourselves.

Sri Chinmoy: You say that there is nothing you can do, but I am giving you a way to protect yourself. We have been meditating here for five or ten minutes. This meditation has real power. In your office there is much injustice. Injustice itself is a kind of negative power, a destructive power. Injustice is an undivine power and justice is divine power. Now injustice is creating suffering in your life. But there is something called God’s Light. You can be well protected by God’s Light and be unaffected by injustice. True, you cannot change the minds of the people who are causing this injustice, but you can protect yourself. They are striking you inwardly and because of your fear or your incapacity you don’t strike them back. But if you become very strong, very powerful inwardly, your strength will take you to some other place or will give them some illumination. God’s Compassion will save you from this kind of injustice if you enter into the spiritual life seriously.

Another way of saving yourself, which is quicker, is to have peace of mind. At our Tuesday meditation we bring down Peace, which is very solid. It is not something imaginary. You can feel Peace; you can swim in the sea of Peace when you meditate with us on Tuesdays. Here, too, on Fridays, we shall meditate and you will feel Peace if you join us. Injustice is undivine power, but Peace is an infinitely more powerful divine weapon. It is solid power. When you are in Peace, no human power can upset you.

When you have to defend yourself or protect yourself, try to use a higher weapon. If people say something and you retaliate on the same level, there will be no end to it. Again, if you simply swallow your anger they will continue to take advantage of you. But when they see and feel tremendous inner Peace in you, they will see something in you which can never be conquered. They will see a change in you, and this change will not only puzzle them but also threaten and frighten them. They will feel that their weapons are useless.

Peace is the most effective weapon with which to conquer injustice. When you pray and meditate your whole being becomes flooded with Peace. Then no matter what other people do, you will just feel that they are your own children playing in front of you. You will say, “These are all children. What more can I expect from them?” But right now, because they are grown up in terms of years, you become angry and upset instead. If you pray and meditate regularly, you will soon feel that your peace is infinitely stronger, more fulfilling and more energising than the unfortunate situation that they create.

Question: It seems to me that the Will of God for us is not only to be silent but also to be active.

Sri Chinmoy: Please excuse me. You have misunderstood me. By outer silence I do not mean not speaking. I mean the outer expression of one’s inner silence. One silence is dynamic; another silence is static. Static silence is found in deep meditation, which is preparation. Dynamic silence is found in action, which is manifestation. The inner silence guides and illumines us. The outer silence reveals and manifests us.

Question: So outer silence or dynamic silence is really divine action — doing the Will of God by serving man?

Sri Chinmoy: Right. The role of dynamic silence is to fulfil the Will of God in humanity. But what God’s Will is, we learn only from inner silence, static silence. Once we know the Will of God then it is our divine duty to dedicate ourselves to the service of mankind.

Some people only want to meditate. They do not want to give anything to the world. This is selfishness. Again there are some who want to give but do not want to meditate. This is foolishness. If we do not meditate, if we do not possess something, then how are we going to give? There are many people on earth who are ready to give, but what do they have? There are some people who have acquired something and do not want to give it. They are acting like misers. They are afraid that the moment they try to give their wealth to the ignorant world, the world will misunderstand them or misuse them. But we have to play our part. First we have to achieve, then we have to offer. In this way we can please God and fulfil mankind.

Question: Inner silence is equated with prayer and meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: Prayer, meditation, concentration, and contemplation are the inner silence. Outer silence is dedication, service, action. Dedicate yourself, fulfil the Will of God, but only after knowing the Will of God. We can know the Will of God only by practising inner silence. Otherwise, if we try to help mankind in our own way, we think that we are serving God but really we are just aggrandising our own ego. We say, “I have done this, I have done that.” But the important thing is, “Was I inspired by God? Was I commissioned by God?” If our actions are not inspired by God, they are inspired by our ego. Then the service that we offer to the world will be full of darkness and imperfections.

Question: You say that if fear is our problem we should feel that we are God's chosen children. Do you mean that we are chosen by God to experience fear?

Sri Chinmoy: Fear is a negative force, a destructive force, and we are the soldiers of God who will fight against it. Fear comes from darkness, from ignorance. If we enter into a room which is pitch dark, we will be frightened. But as soon as we turn on the light, our fear vanishes. The darkness is illumined, and we see that there was nothing to fear in the darkness and that there is nothing to fear in the light either.

Question: In your talk you said that if we see the problem and if we face the problem, then we have greater force than the problem. Do you mean, then, that a problem is not a problem if we know how to look at it?

Sri Chinmoy: If we know how to look at a problem, half the strength of the problem goes away. But usually we try to avoid the problem; we try to run away from it. A problem is not an indication of any fault or crime of ours, so why should we be afraid to face it? Our difficulty is that when something unfortunate happens in our life, we immediately feel that we are at fault, that we have done something wrong. We must know that there are also wrong forces, undivine forces, hostile forces around us. We believe in the law of karma — that if we do something wrong, we suffer later. But even if we do not do anything wrong, the ignorance of the world may come and torture us. Think of Christ. He was a great spiritual Master. He did not have any bad karma. He did not do anything wrong. But the ignorance of the world crucified him. Of course, we cannot compare ourselves with Christ, but at our own level we have to feel that we are not necessarily at fault.

By blaming ourselves and then trying to hide, we do not solve the problem. We have to face the problem and see whether we really are to blame. If our own ignorance has made the problem then it may be difficult to deal with. But if somebody else is creating the problem then we have to stand like a solid wall and not allow the problem to enter into us. If it is my house, my wall, I will not allow anybody to break through. But if I am the problem itself then how am I going to prevent it from entering? This problem is infinitely more difficult to solve than the problem coming from without. In order to solve the problem of myself, I have to feel that I am not the problem maker but the problem solver. Then I have to practise the spiritual life and develop inner strength, aspiration and inner detachment. Slowly, gradually, I will become inwardly strong, and then I will be able to solve the problems caused by myself, by my own inner weaknesses.

Question: I always wanted to ask you what is the spiritual significance of insanity and how it develops.

Sri Chinmoy: Insanity is an imperfection in our nature. It is a result of our inner imperfection. In our outer life we have no need for Light. We have need for everything else but we are afraid of Light. When we think of Light, instead of feeling that we will be illumined we feel that we will be exposed, and we try to hide ourselves.

Insanity can start in any plane of consciousness, but when it develops in the mental plane we notice it. Before it develops in the mental plane it can develop in the inner plane, the psychic plane. When insanity starts it does not start all at once in the physical. It descends like rain, as a downward flow into our system. And only when it enters and captures the mind do we lose our mental balance. Insanity starts when we do not keep everything in our mind in the proper place. Thoughts, inner actions, inner ideas, ideals, facts — everything has a place of its own in the mind. When we misplace these things or when we do not give them their proper importance, then we develop insanity.

Question: What do you mean when you say that the unaspiring man's eternity is uncertain?

Sri Chinmoy: An unaspiring man is not sure of anything. He is at the mercy of all his whims. At this moment something may make him feel that he is absolutely useless and hopeless. At the next moment his ego will come forward and he will feel that he is everything, that he is the Lord of the Universe. Nothing is certain for the unaspiring man, even his own life. He lives in constant fear. He may feel that while he is sleeping somebody will come and kill him. An unaspiring man will never feel certain that there is a tomorrow, since he does not feel the flow. For him, tomorrow does not exist, not to speak of eternity.

But for an aspiring man, eternity is certain because he knows and feels that he is in the flow of eternity. He is the river which is entering into the ocean. For an aspiring man nothing is uncertain. He knows that inside him he has everything. Right now he is like a child. His Father cannot give him millions of dollars because, since he is only a child, he will misuse it. He knows that he can use at this time only a dime or a quarter. But he is certain that when he grows up his Father will give him all His wealth: infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. He is certain he will get all of this.

Question: How can one accept and love one's fellow man?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all you must feel that your fellow man is part and parcel of your own existence. I have two eyes. Now if my left eye does not function as well as my right eye, what do I do? Do I become angry with my left eye? Do I take it out of my body? Do I keep my left eye closed or cover it with my hand and say, “I won’t let you see”? No. At that time I have the feeling of oneness. I simply accept my left eye as less capable then my right eye, but still as a part of me. If my left eye does not see well I use my right eye also. Whenever I have to use my eyes I use both eyes, and the eye that is more powerful naturally does more work.

You must regard the persons around you as limbs of your own body. Without them you are incomplete. You may feel they are less developed, but they also have their role to play. Your thumb is much more powerful than your little finger. But the little finger also has its job. God has created five fingers. Although some are shorter and weaker than others, you know that only when you have five fingers are you perfect. Now your middle finger is the tallest. If you feel that for this reason you don’t need your shorter fingers, then you are sadly mistaken. If you want to play the piano or if you want to type, then you need all five fingers.

You can love the people around you only when you feel the necessity of real perfection. If you remain isolated as an individual, then your achievement will be limited. Your very sense of perfection will be limited, very limited. But when you think in terms of unlimited perfection, then you have to love humanity. For it is only by accepting humanity as part and parcel of your own life, and by perfecting humanity with your own illumination, that you can fulfil yourself.

Question: What actually is illumination?

Sri Chinmoy: Illumination is the conscious awareness of the soul. Illumination is the conscious vision of the Reality that is going to be manifested. Illumination is possibility transformed into practicality. Illumination is like God’s divine magic wand. An ordinary magician in this world uses his wand to make one thing turn into another. When God uses illumination in the world, immediately the finite consciousness of earth enters into the Infinite and becomes the Infinite.

Illumination is humanity’s first realisation of God’s omnipotent Power, boundless Compassion, infinite Light and perfect Perfection. It is our illumination that makes us feel what God really is. Before illumination, God is theoretical; after illumination God becomes practical. So illumination is the divine magic power that makes us see the Reality which was once upon a time imagination. When illumination dawns in a human being, God is no longer just a promise but an actual achievement.

I spoke to you about illumination on your birthday. Illumination is in the mind and in the heart. When the mind is illumined we become God’s Choice. When the heart is illumined we become God’s Voice. Here in the physical world the mind has evolved considerably. Because man has developed his intellectual mind, he has become superior to the animals, for the standard of the mind is higher than the standard of the physical or the vital. Man has cultivated the capacity of the mind, but he has not cultivated the capacity of the heart. When we cultivate the heart, we will see that its capacity is far greater than we had imagined. When we cultivate the unique sense in our heart that we are of God’s highest Vision and we are for God’s perfect Manifestation, then illumination will take place.

Question: How can we develop patience?

Sri Chinmoy: How to develop patience? In order to develop patience, we have to feel that we have launched into a spiritual journey, an inner journey, which has a Goal, and that this Goal wants us and needs us as much as we want and need it. This Goal is ready to accept us, to give us what it has, but it will do this in its own way at the choice hour of God. We must know that God will give us His wealth in time. Patience will never tell us that it is a hopeless task. Patience will only tell us either that we are not ready or that the time is not ripe. We may have the feeling that we are ready, but we have to know that our integral being, our whole being, is not ready. Our soul may be ready, our heart may be ready, our mind may be ready, but our vital and physical may not be ready to reach the Goal, which is Light and Truth. When our whole being is ready, the Goal itself will dawn within our aspiring consciousness. When the hour strikes, the Goal will draw us towards itself like a magnet.

When we are in the spiritual life we have to feel that patience is not something passive. On the contrary, it is something dynamic. In patience we develop our inner strength, our inner willpower. It is true that if we have willpower we can easily acquire patience. But it is equally true that when we have patience, our inner willpower develops itself in a special way.

Question: During a meditation, if something external to the meditation occurs — such as noise or something unforeseen — is it better to include it in the meditation or to try to shut it out and pursue the meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: Each seeker has to know his own standard of meditation. If we are a beginner, we should feel that anything that is not part of the meditation is like an intruder. We should not allow an intruder, a foreigner, to enter into us and disturb us. But if we are very advanced, and there is a disturbing sound or a noise during our meditation, we can go deep into the sound itself and try to assimilate it. If we have the capacity, then in our own consciousness we can transform the attack of a most powerful, most challenging foreign element into an inner music, a thrilling or haunting music, which will really add to our meditation. But we have to develop this capacity to transform a disturbing, annoying noise into soothing, thrilling and soul-stirring music. When we have this capacity we shall include the disturbance in our meditation. As long as we don’t have the capacity, we shall always exclude it.

If you have strength, inner strength, to transform someone, when he is transformed he becomes totally yours. Before you entered into the spiritual life you had darkness, ignorance. Now you have started transforming your own darkness and ignorance. When they are finally transformed and illumined, they will still be your own possession. But where they previously stood in your way, now, on the contrary, they shall help you. The darkness has been transformed into light, and it has become an added help.

Question: I have an experience here at the Dag Hammarskjold lectures which I never am aware of at your other talks or at the Tuesday meditation. I know you are bringing down tremendous Peace which I feel in both places, but here at these lectures I have a feeling that I am falling asleep. Yet I hear what you are saying. I try very hard to keep awake but it almost seems an impossibility. Could you explain whether I am doing something wrong?

Sri Chinmoy: You are not doing anything wrong. When I give talks I bring down Peace, and this Peace is something tangible for the seekers. When the seeker is eager to swim in the sea of Peace, he or she is allowed by the Supreme to do so. During this experience, the mind does not operate; only the heart operates. The activity of the mind is totally silenced, and the heart has started functioning in its place. The function of the heart is to identify with anything that is around it or before it or inside it. Your heart is identifying with Peace and this Peace is silencing the mind. It is not inertia; it is not an experience of useless futility or something bad. No, in this Peace you cultivate the inner truth and grow into the Light which illumines the darkness that you faced or the ignorance that you cherished before you entered into meditation.

I bring down Peace, Light and Bliss in boundless measure, and according to his receptivity each seeker receives this Peace, Light and Bliss. This Peace is not an unconscious way of putting you to sleep. No, this Peace silences the outgoing energy of the mind and, at the same time, illumines the inflow of the heart. And when you are in the heart, the aspiring heart, you become one with the Peace that sustains the divine Reality in you.

Question: I once read that if you choose evil, you are not really free. I thought it was an interesting idea. Would you enlighten me?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all we have to know what evil is. Anything that limits us, anything that binds us, is evil. Evil will come to us in the form of pleasure, and when we surrender, when we yield to the pleasure that evil brings, we are caught. The evil that wants to make us its instrument for its own purpose makes us feel that we are helpless and ignorant, and that is the reason we accept it.

Sometimes we may have no freedom in our outer life, but in our inner life we have freedom, a considerable amount of freedom. We can pray, we can concentrate, we can meditate even in a prison cell. But when evil possesses us, at that time our inner freedom goes away, and our outer freedom also deserts us. At that time we are bound to seek the fulfilment of our desires or evil impulses.

Everything has a nature of its own. The very nature of evil is to bind; the very nature of divinity is to liberate. The nature of scorpions is to sting. We cannot expect them to behave differently. Therefore, we must not give them the opportunity to sting us. We have to stay away from them at all times. If we stand in front of a scorpion to exert our own freedom, it is foolishness.

We have to feel the necessity of staying only with something which constantly liberates and illumines us, and that is Light.

Question: When we come to meditate with you, you give us Light. But we have to keep coming back to get refilled. How much of the Light which you give us remains permanently in us?

Sri Chinmoy: It entirely depends on how long you maintain the consciousness that you feel here. When you go back to your office, you can totally forget about what you have done here for one hour. Or you can remain conscious of the Peace, Light and Joy that you felt here even while you are typing or taking dictation. In this way you can keep the entire amount if you want to.

We sometimes say that a person is doing something, but his mind is somewhere else. Now, instead of the mind, let us say that the aspiring heart is not there. Your mind will take dictation from your boss, but your aspiring heart will keep its oneness with this room where it received Peace, Light and Bliss.

If you can maintain your inner connection with this divine consciousness until your early morning meditation tomorrow, then you will keep the full amount of Light that you have received from me. That doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to friends, or can’t eat, or can’t do any ordinary things. You can do these things, but you have to be careful not to lose your precious inner wealth. Once you have assimilated the Peace and Light that you have received into your inner system, it is safe. Before assimilation it can be lost. Even the full amount can be lost. If you go to your office now and enter into a quarrel or some unpleasant situation, not even an iota will remain. If you can keep it safe until your next serious meditation, then you are totally free from the possibility of robbery, because your whole spiritual system will have assimilated it. But assimilation takes quite a few hours, so the Light that you receive has to be maintained through inspiration or through your conscious inner awareness until your next meditation. It depends on your inner awareness and your care in dealing with the outside world.

Question: In practical terms, how can we give the world love and concern?

Sri Chinmoy: A practical thing is something that comes spontaneously from within and not from without. When you get up in the morning, if the thought comes to your mind to show love or concern for the world, that is a practical idea. Now how can you transform this practical idea into fruitful reality? In the morning or in the evening, during your regular prayer, you can add to your prayer this: “O Lord, I wish this world to be better, more illumining and more fulfilling by Your infinite Grace.” God is the Creator and Sustainer of the world. If your prayer reaches the Creator, which it will certainly do if it is sincere and intense, He can easily carry your concern and love for the world into the field of manifestation.

As an individual you are here. You cannot be somewhere else at the same time. But your prayer, your aspiration, can approach Someone who is Omnipresent. All of us have been praying and meditating here in this room, but spiritually we have been spreading Peace and Love into the world. Physically we are bound in this tiny room, but spiritually we are flying like birds; our wings are widespread with Peace, Joy and Love.

When you feel something, when you see something, you may call it a practical experience. Here we have been meditating for fifteen or twenty minutes. During that time our experience of inner Peace and Love was absolutely practical. To us these things were most tangible. While you are praying or meditating here next week look at yourself. Is it not a reality — the Peace, the Joy, the Love that you are getting?

What we get we can easily give to others. But the process is an inner process. And the best way to carry out this inner process is to approach the Source. We know that we cannot go everywhere and we cannot approach everyone during our prayer. But there is Someone who can do this on our behalf, and that is God. During our prayer, if we ask Him to offer Peace, Concern and Love to the world at large He can do it. If He is pleased with our request, naturally He will do it. So our daily communion with God is the best way for us to offer the world our love and concern.

Question: How can an individual truly know what God's Will is for him?

Sri Chinmoy: God’s Will in an individual is progressive, like a muscle developing — strong, stronger, strongest. God’s Will is to make an individual feel that there is something abiding, lasting, everlasting. When an individual reaches that stage, he will know God’s Ultimate Will. God’s Will we can know from the sense of abiding satisfaction it gives us. Anything that is eternal, anything that is immortal, anything that is divine, is God’s Will. Even though God deals with Eternity, He is not indifferent even for one second. For it is from one second, two seconds, three seconds that we enter into Infinity and Eternity. Let us try to feel God’s Will in us at every second.

There is a very simple way to know what God’s Will is for us as individuals. Every day when we start our day we build our own world. We make decisions. We feel that things have to be done in a certain way. I have to deal with this man in this way. I have to say this; I have to do this; I have to give this. Everything is I, I, I. We all do this. If, instead of all this planning, we can make our minds absolutely calm and silent, we can know God’s Will. This silence is not the silence of a dead body; it is the dynamic, progressive silence of receptivity. Through total silence and the ever-increasing receptivity of the mind, God’s Will can be known. When the human mind works powerfully, the Divine Will cannot work. God’s Will works only when the human mind does not work. When the mind becomes a pure vessel, the Supreme can pour into it His infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.

We are constantly building and breaking our mental house. But instead of making and breaking the house at our sweet will, if we can empty our mind, make it calm and quiet, then God can build His Temple or His Palace in us in His own Way. And when He has built His Abode within us, He will say, “I have built this for you and Me to reside in together. I have built it, but it is not Mine alone. It is also yours. Come in.”

So the easiest way for us to know God’s Will is to become the instrument and not the doer. If we become only the instrument for carrying out God’s plans, God’s Will will act in and through us. God does the acting and He is the action. He is everything. We only observe.

Question: How can we attain lasting inner peace?

Sri Chinmoy: We can attain lasting inner peace, only when we feel that the Supreme Pilot, our Supreme Pilot is in the many as One and in the One as many. When we consciously feel this truth in our life, we get lasting peace in whatever we say, whatever we do, whatever we offer and whatever we receive. We do not get everlasting peace when our mind tells us that if the One is One, He cannot be many, and that the many cannot be One.

The day I feel my existence, my illumining heart in everyone, is the day I immediately become one in many. When I receive or bring down Peace from Above, immediately I feel that I am many, not one. Then when I assimilate the Peace in myself, I see the Peace has been assimilated in all of us. Then I have a conscious feeling of oneness, of the oneness in the many and the many as one.

Peace comes in and we lose it because we feel that we are not responsible for humanity, or that we are not part and parcel of humanity. We have to feel that God and humanity are like a great tree. God is the tree, and the branches are His Manifestation. We are branches, and there are many other branches. All these branches are part of the tree and are one with each other and with the tree. If we can feel that we have the same relationship with God and with humanity as the branch has with its fellow branches and with the tree as a whole, we are bound to get everlasting peace.

Question: Every time I act, I am not certain if I am doing the right thing, and I was wondering if perhaps the best way to find real peace would be to withdraw from the world and not act at all.

Sri Chinmoy: If you think that you must withdraw from life in order to achieve peace then you are making a serious mistake. In withdrawal our satisfaction will never dawn. It is in activity that we progress and achieve. It is in action, in fulfilment, in creation, in manifestation, that we can be satisfied.

But we have to know that if we expect something from our action, peace will never come in our lives. If we expect some particular result from our action we will be frustrated when the result does not meet with our expectations. We will feel that we have failed. When this happens, naturally there can be no peace.

We have to feel that action itself is a great blessing, but the result of action we have to take as an experience. According to our own limited understanding, we see it as either failure or success. But in God’s Eye, failure and success are both just experiences which help to develop our consciousness. When acting we have to expect only the fulfilment of God’s Will.

Whatever happens we should see as the experience that God wanted to give us. Today He may give us the experience of failure. Tomorrow He may give us another experience which will satisfy us outwardly. But if we live a spiritual life, no matter what result comes to us from our action, we shall be satisfied.

Let us look at a river. The river flows constantly towards the sea. It carries all kinds of rubbish — dirt, stones, leaves, sand — that it picks up as it moves towards its goal, but it always continues flowing towards the sea. We should also think of our lives as a river running to the sea. This sea is the sea of fulfilment. If we are afraid to act because we don’t want to get involved with the imperfections of the world, if we become still and inactive, then we will never reach the goal.

You may say that you do not know where the goal is right now. No harm. Just move. If you go in the wrong direction, soon you will realise it and go in another direction. Eventually you will reach your goal. But if you do not move at all, there is absolutely no hope that you will go in the right direction. If you cannot do disinterested work, selfless work, then work with a motive first. If ego and vanity come in while you are helping someone, let them come. A day will dawn when you will feel that the satisfaction that you are getting is not enough. You will realise it does not last more than a few seconds. Then you will try to work in a more divine way.

Activity is always far better than inertia. Even if you run around like a mad elephant at first, eventually you will start acting like a deer and run straight towards your goal. You may start your movement with the crude and destructive strength of an elephant but you will complete it with the grace and speed of a deer.

We have to act. If we withdraw from life then we are consciously and deliberately telling God that we do not want to be players in His Game. God will allow us to withdraw for a few days or a few months or a few years. But then God will compel us to participate again, so He can fulfil Himself in us and through us. The world has to be accepted and faced. If you don’t accept it, the world will remain as it is and then you will feel miserable that you have done nothing for the world.

Question: I have recently felt quite distinctly a force that people throw around themselves for protection, or even when they don't want to speak to someone. I have felt it like a solid object, like a wall. I would like to know how it is built. Is it built consciously or unconsciously?

Sri Chinmoy: Usually it is built consciously. Some seekers feel that when they are around unaspiring people they need protection to maintain their high consciousness. They are afraid they will be attacked by unaspiring people who will enter into them like arrows and destroy their aspiration, so they consciously build a wall around themselves. Sometimes ordinary people who are not aspiring have a tremendous insecurity. They are afraid that others will take away whatever little wealth they have. And spiritual Masters may build this wall to protect themselves from the attacks of the consciousness of the world around them. Some people come into the presence of a spiritual Master and feel that once they have come that is more than enough. They do not want to accept anything. The moment the Master wants to give them Peace or Light, they attack him inwardly. Or people come to a Master without knowing what they want, and when Peace is offered, they feel that it is something strange. When Light is offered or Bliss is offered, they feel it is something strange. They feel that they are not being given what they want, so they come and attack. Or they come and bother the Master, saying, “Give me, give me, give me!” Then when it is given they don’t take it. At that time the Master creates an aura for self-protection.

Each individual has a special aura, of which he is not conscious. That aura, the most important aura, goes around the person from head to foot. It consciously protects the person. When you meditate you may see that there is an aura constantly revolving around you. Other auras you may also see, behind pictures of the Buddha or Christ, for example, but usually these do not revolve or move. But this aura that we all have is constantly moving around us. But we have to know that this aura is not all-powerful. It is only a strong protection on the physical, vital and mental level. It does not protect the whole being. This aura becomes all-powerful only through our prayer and meditation. Each day when we pray and meditate this aura is strengthened. It moves faster, very, very fast. And when the movement becomes extremely fast, the aura acquires tremendous strength, enough to protect the entire being.

Question: In the Meditation Group's bulletin you spoke about the importance of meditating on the heart instead of in the mind. Could you speak more about this?

Sri Chinmoy: Our philosophy gives more importance to the heart than to the mind. We feel we can get more fulfilment from the heart. We are not saying that the mind is bad. Far from it. But the mind is limited while the heart, which is very close to the soul, is unlimited. At most, what we can get from the mind is inspiration. But inspiration itself is limited. When we meditate on the heart, inspiration turns into aspiration. And not only do we get aspiration, but we also get the fulfilment of that aspiration: the soul’s infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.

Question: Can you tell if something comes from the mind or the heart, or does something always go from the heart to the mind?

Sri Chinmoy: One cannot always tell absolutely if something is coming from the mind or the heart. We should always listen to the heart, for the heart is childlike and pure. But the mind thinks that the heart is childish and does not want to listen to the heart. It cares only for its own knowledge, and not for the heart’s wisdom. Needless to say, we should always see the world through the heart.

Now, something from the heart does not have to go to the mind. That is, the heart need not communicate through the mind or through anything else. The heart is very eloquent in its own right. If I enter into a room and just see someone, I can immediately know all about him. The other person does not have to say a word to me outwardly; his heart tells me everything in a fleeting second. My heart is speaking to him and his heart is speaking to me. In this case the heart is not using the mind at all to communicate. It is speaking in its own language.

Question: Some people are very absent-minded and they seem to be in another world. Are they meditating all the time?

Sri Chinmoy: No. Absent-mindedness has nothing to do with the spiritual life. It is a Himalayan mistake to think that absent-mindedness is due to aspiration. Many absent-minded people, of course, are not even aspiring. And those absent-minded people who are aspiring are not absent-minded because of their meditation. They may seem to be in another world because they neglect their duties, but they are not actually staying in a higher consciousness. In the spiritual life it is very important that we live in the outer world and do our best in the outer world. We should look upon the world and humanity as our very own. To allow ourselves to be absent-minded is to be rude and inconsiderate of others.

There are some spiritual Masters and very advanced seekers who appear to be absent-minded and forgetful at times. But with them, it is a different story. At that time their consciousness is not in the physical. They are on a very high plane. Again, a few — very few — Masters can remain on this high plane and still function normally in the world.

But in the case of a beginner, a spiritual seeker, absent-mindedness is not aiding him in his spiritual journey. It is not a positive expression of his aspiration; it is a hindrance, an obstruction. He is running towards his Goal with a heavy load on his shoulders. After a few years, when he has made more progress, the seeker will realise that he is carrying this burden. He will feel that he cannot go any farther while carrying it, and his progress will come to a standstill. At that time the seeker makes every effort to transform his weakness, and finally sheds his heavy load so that he can continue towards his destination.

Question: Sri Chinmoy, how can we become childlike in spirit?

Sri Chinmoy: In the outer life we see that when the grandfather talks to his grandchildren, if he is wise he becomes actually another child. He knows that only by acting like a child will he be able to give the children satisfaction and get satisfaction from them. We have to feel that God Himself is a Divine Child who is always playing with us. A child is ready to play twenty-four hours a day. And we have to become like a child in order to play with God.

If a boy of nineteen does not have the capacity to draw something from the world or offer something to the world, if he remains aloof, if he does not care for the world and feels that he does not need anything from the world, then he is ninety-nine years old in spirit. On the other hand, if somebody of ninety-nine wants to learn the inner language, the language of divine love, the language of divine peace, the language of inner wisdom, the language of inner Light, then he is a child in spirit. But if he wants to get only information from the world, this will not help him spiritually at all. For this kind of information is given by the mind and received through the mind. And if a person lives in the mind he will never be able to act like a child. Who cannot act like a child? He who cares more for the intellect than for the heart. He who cares more for outer achievement than for inner achievement. He who cares more for society around him than for God within him.

If you really want to become a child, then you have to feel that there is someone who is thinking of you constantly. You have to feel that there is somebody who is not only thinking of you and meditating on you, but who is also taking responsibility for you. A child always feels that his mother or his father will take care of him. All the time he feels that there is protection, there is guidance, there is assistance. So naturally he has confidence in his life. A child can rely totally upon his parents because of his child’s heart. Because he is always in the heart, he feels that there is no need which his parents will not fulfil. If he lived in the mind he would immediately think, “Oh, perhaps my father will not be able to do this. Perhaps my mother will not be there to help me.” Then he would become fearful. He would become doubtful and anxious. In the spiritual life, no matter how old you are, you have to feel that there is someone with infinitely more wisdom-light who is constantly thinking of you, loving you, guiding you and protecting you, and that this person is God. And you have to rely upon God with a child’s heart. We can have Peace, Light, Love and Bliss in infinite measure only when we feel that we are children.

When a student goes to his spiritual Master he must feel that his Master has infinitely more wisdom than he has. He must maintain his feeling of humility. Whenever we deal with somebody who is superior to us and who has more capacity in the inner world, then we become a child. If we think that our Master is either of our standard or of a lower standard, how can we act like a child? How can we have faith or confidence in him? Immediately our superiority will come to the fore. Our mind will make us feel that we know better. And the moment we feel that we know everything and can do everything, we lose our childlike qualities.

A student is always a child in the presence of his teacher no matter how old or sophisticated he may be. Always we have to feel that we are learning. In the spiritual life, we learn everything every day, every hour, every minute, every second from our Father, God. If we constantly have the feeling that we are learning in the inner worlds, there is no end to our receiving and achieving God’s Divinity. We can become childlike when we know that there is something to learn and that God is there to teach.

Question: It seems to me that it is easy to have this feeling if one has a spiritual Master, is living in a spiritual community and has all his needs provided for. But what about someone who is a separate individual living in the world?

Sri Chinmoy: Why do people enter into a spiritual community? Because it is easier. And why do people mix with other spiritual people? Because it is easier. There are always opportunities and ways which present us with fewer difficulties, fewer problems. What you are saying is absolutely true. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that we are all children. Before realising God we play with ignorance. After realising God we play with Wisdom. If we are wise, we will go where the things we want are easier to achieve. No matter how much wealth we get, how much appreciation we get, how much admiration we get in the outer life, we will not get much satisfaction. But if we get an iota of Love, Peace, Light, Bliss, Concern from the inner life, we get everything. An iota of inner Truth is infinitely more powerful, more convincing and more fulfilling than the boundless wealth of the outer life. If the seeker realises this, then naturally he will find a spiritual Master and associate with spiritual people. In a spiritual community it is much easier to be childlike. There you will have a Master whose concern you can feel constantly. Then it becomes easier, infinitely easier.

But even a person who is living in the world can have a childlike attitude towards God. To be childlike does not mean to be childish. We can be simple, sincere and spontaneous in our dealings with the sophisticated world without being stupid or foolish. We can have implicit faith in God’s protection and guidance even while living and working in the ordinary world. For this we must feel that whatever job we are doing, it is God who has given us this job out of His infinite Compassion, it is He who is giving us the necessary capacity to do the work satisfactorily and keep the job, and it is He who will enable us to find another job if we lose the one we have. This kind of childlike faith is not foolishness. Far from it. It is the spontaneous trust of a child in his father or mother. This kind of feeling will never stand as a hindrance in our life in the outer world.

If one does not take a childlike attitude his speed will be hampered. It is a child who can constantly be moulded. A child is like a lump of divine clay. He can easily be shaped into something divinely beautiful. But if one follows the spiritual life and at the same time tries to maintain his independence, he will not make much progress. There is only One who is truly independent, and that is God. The more we can be dependent on that One, the faster will be our progress. There is no human individuality; there is only divine individuality. What we call human individuality does not last. No matter how hard we try to maintain it, we must eventually give it up if we sincerely want to become close to God, one with God. If we try to expand our human personality, very soon it bursts like a balloon. But the divine Individuality which is the Highest, supreme Individuality is already infinitely vast. It can embrace all our human individualities. When we surrender our human individuality it does not mean that we are becoming a slave. We are only allowing ourselves to be shaped the way the Highest wants us. The individuality of the Master does not enter into the student. The Master has long ago given up his individuality to the Highest Supreme. Now it is the Will of the Supreme which he is executing when he guides and moulds his disciples.

Question: How can a person detach himself emotionally from irritating people and situations?

Sri Chinmoy: First, you have to identify yourself with the standards of the person who is creating the irritation. Suppose you are in your office and somebody is creating unnecessary problems. If you get angry with him, that will not solve the problem. Instead, you will be tortured inwardly by your anger and outwardly by the person. If you allow yourself to become angry, you will only lose your own inner strength. But if you come down to the standard of that person and identify with him, you will see that he himself is very unhappy and therefore wishes consciously or unconsciously to make others unhappy as well. The moment you identify with the person who is creating the situation, you will see that there is nothing to be gained by irritation. Half of your irritation will go away. It will feel that half of its domain is now captured by something: identification. When you identify yourself with the lowest standard of the person who is creating this undivine disturbance in you, your presence inside that person’s ignorance will take away half the strength of his attack.

Another way to avoid becoming involved in irritating situations is to invoke Peace. For the spiritual person, for the sincere seeker it is always advisable to bring down Peace from Above. While invoking peace you will feel enormous strength inside you and around you. The power of inner peace is infinitely greater, more solid and concrete, than any outer situation created by anybody on earth. Your inner peace can easily devour the irritation caused by somebody else. If you are in the office, it is difficult to invoke peace. If you pray before others, they will mock at you. They will misunderstand you. But if there is a quiet corner where you can meditate undisturbed by others and bring down peace, then you can do it even in your office. Otherwise, the best thing to do is to invoke peace during your morning and evening meditations, and keep that peace locked inside your heart to be used during the day whenever you need it most.

Question: I read something in one of your books about the control of breath in meditation. Could you elaborate on that?

Sri Chinmoy: In Yoga, there is a systematic way of breathing called pranayama. This is a Sanskrit word. But this is dangerous if you do not have a teacher to guide you at every step. Without the proper guidance of a real Master of pranayama, many people have developed tuberculosis and died. But if you want to learn a very simple way of controlled breathing which will help you in your meditation, and at the same time will not create any danger, then I can teach you what to do. When you breathe in, try to breathe in as slowly and as quietly as possible. The highest type of spiritual breathing, which is not at all dangerous, is to breathe in so slowly and quietly that if somebody placed a tiny thread in front of your nose it would not move at all.

When you breathe in as slowly as possible, feel that you are breathing in not just air, but cosmic energy. Feel that tremendous energy is entering into you, and that you are going to use it to purify yourself: your body, vital, mind and heart. Feel that there is not a single place in your body that has not been occupied by the flow of cosmic energy. It is flowing like a river inside you. When you feel that your whole being has been washed or purified by the cosmic energy, then feel that you are breathing out all the rubbish inside you, all the undivine thoughts, impure actions, obscure ideas. Anything inside your system that you call undivine, anything that you do not want to claim as your own, feel that you are exhaling it.

This is not the traditional yogic pranayama, which is more complicated and systematised. Pranayama is a traditional yogic discipline. But what I have just told you is the most effective spiritual method of breathing. If you practise this method of breathing, you will soon see that it is not imagination; it is reality. In the beginning you have to use your imagination, but after a while you will see and feel that it is not imagination at all, but reality. You are consciously breathing in the energy which is flowing all around you in the cosmos, purifying yourself, and emptying yourself of everything undivine. But this breathing has to be done in a very conscious way, not in a mechanical way. If you can breathe this way for five minutes every day, you will be able to make very fast progress.

When you reach a more advanced stage, when you breathe do not feel that your breath is coming and going only through your nose. Feel that you are breathing in through your heart, through your eyes, through your nose, through your pores. Now you are limited to breathing only through the nose or the mouth, but a time will come when you will know that any part of the body can breathe. Spiritual Masters can breathe even with their nose and mouth closed. When you have perfected this spiritual breathing, you will feel that all your impurity and ignorance is gone. What has come to replace your ignorance and your imperfection is God’s Light, God’s Peace and God’s Power.

Appendix: these quotes, from other writings of Sri Chinmoy, were included in the first editions.

"Arise! Your Lord Supreme is crying for you.
  Awake! Your Lord Supreme is waiting for you in the Sea of transcendental Consciousness.
  Walk! Your Lord Supreme is expecting your sure and safe arrival.
  March! It is you who will realise your Lord Supreme in this very life.
  Run! It is you who will fulfil your Lord Supreme in this life of yours here on earth.
  Fly! Yours is the Goal of the ever-transcending Beyond."

"When your friends say that you are the greatest aspirant, be sure to correct and perfect them.
  When your enemies say that you are the lowest aspirant, don’t hesitate to correct and perfect yourself.
  Remember, in either case you are not the loser.
  In your own perfection your enemies do not derive any benefit.
  When you make your friends perfect to assess you properly, you don’t lose anything.
  Be correct and perfect; you will be able to fulfil God in you.
  Correct and perfect others; you will fulfil them in God."

"What my mind has is limited learned knowledge.
  What I am is an unlimited source of light."

"An act of sweet pardon helps me to be really brave.
  An act of anger helps me to see my own grave dug by me alone."

"God exists. We don’t have to invent Him. Our mouth at least dares to prove God’s existence.
  But alas, peace does not exist on earth. Let us try to invent peace."

"Action is our peaceful realisation.
  Action is our peaceful fulfilment.
  Action is our peaceful manifestation."

"Religion and philosophy fulfil and are complementary to each other.
  Religion without philosophy is brainless.
  Philosophy without religion is heartless."

"I thought of God. God smiled.
  I prayed to God. God cried.
  I meditated on God. God became my real God."

"After you have enjoyed your life, your name becomes frustration.
  After you have employed your life, your name becomes realisation."

"To love man is my only duty.
  To love God is my only necessity.
  To become God the Dream is my only certainty.
  To become God the Reality is my only inevitability."

Editor's preface to the first edition

The United Nations Meditation Group is a group of United Nations staff members, delegates and representatives from non-governmental organisations accredited to the United Nations who believe that there is a spiritual way to work for world peace as well as a political way. Twice a week the Group meets at the U.N. for non-sectarian meditations and spiritual discussions on brotherhood and world union.

The United Nations Meditation Group functions under the inner guidance of its Spiritual Director, Sri Chinmoy, who conducts the Group’s meetings and also delivers the continuing Dag Hammarskjold monthly lecture series at the U.N. It is Sri Chinmoy who best sums up the credo to which the Group adheres:

  ... and we hold that each man has the potentiality of reaching the Ultimate Truth. We also believe that man cannot and will not remain imperfect forever. Each man is an instrument of God. When the hour strikes, each individual soul listens to the inner dictates of God. When man listens to God, his imperfections are turned into perfections, his ignorance into knowledge, his searching mind into revealing light and his uncertain reality into all-fulfilling Divinity."

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